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Breast Health for All Ages and Stages

Oct 01, 2010 ● By Gail Kopin

According to the American Cancer Society, one out of eight American women who live to be 85 will develop breast cancer, a risk that was one out of 14 during the 1960s. We need to address breast cancer’s prevalence in the United States and take proactive steps toward prevention.

As a naturopathic doctor, I believe that our current health system is too focused on sickness, rather than earlier prevention and wellness. It’s possible that up to 90 percent of disease in the U.S., including cancer, can be prevented and reversed if caught early enough.

Fortunately, more women today are becoming educated about the importance of early detection. Familiarity with their breasts and understanding early changes in their breast tissue is a great start at prevention.

Seeking alternative prevention methods, such as a digital thermogram using infrared scan, is also helpful. This compression- and radiation-free tool can help detect breast inflammation and the early onset stages of cancer. By comparison, the National Cancer Institute reports that a breast tumor can be developing for eight years or more before it is discovered by a mammogram. As a cancer survivor and a woman, I believe it is vital to seek out earlier and alternative detection methods, educate yourself and obtain multiple opinions.

In addition, be aware of your exposure to potential toxins and know what is going into your body. Assess the air quality and chemicals in your home and work environments—are they healthy? Do you eat organic foods and exercise regularly? What is your level of stress? Stress creates high levels of cortisol that can promote inflammation and disease.

Our poor dietary and lifestyle habits, coupled with environmental toxins, are most likely at the root of breast cancer’s increased prevalence today. By making wise choices and focusing on preventive care, we can reverse this trend and return to wellness.

Gail Kopin, a naturopathic doctor, speaker, expert on preventive care and the founder of Alternative Health Associates, sees patients of all ages in northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. For more information on Dr. Kopin or to order her
Breast Health for All Ages and Stages DVD, visit All proceeds from the DVD are donated to her patients battling breast cancer.