My journey with breast cancer beat all odds. Three mammograms missed my breast cancer. My lump was found by the grace of God when my ring got tangled in my nightie. I had none of the risk factors for breast cancer, and extensive genetic testing showed no genetic factors either. My breast cancer journey taught me many things I didn’t know before. I’d like to share with you five facts key to preventing breast cancer that I learned from the School of Hard Knocks:
Most women (85%) diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history.
Even if you have no known relatives diagnosed with breast cancer, you should be screened on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon for oncologists to see most of their patients not having any family connections. It’s true that having a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer doubles your risk. In my case, my mother died from breast cancer, but at a later age. My oncologist ordered genetic testing, not due to her breast cancer, but because I had no other risk factors. If you do have a first-degree blood relative with breast cancer, you may want to ask your doctor to do genetic testing.
Implementing a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of breast cancer.
According to research and breastcancer.org, your diet is responsible for 30-40 percent of all cancers. In fact, all plants God created help prevent cancer. However, certain plants such as cruciferous vegetables, green tea, turmeric, blueberries, etc. are powerhouses for the prevention of cancer. Keeping your body at a healthy weight for your height and bone structure and daily exercise are important in the fight against cancer. Smoking and too much alcohol are known risk factors for all cancers.
One in eight women will get breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, and it is the second leading cause of death among women. Most women are diagnosed with breast cancer over 50, but unfortunately, cases are increasing in younger women. About 9% of all new cases are found in women less than age 45. 80% of breast cancers are due to high levels of estrogen in the body. These numbers encourage me to recommend to all women that they put a plan for cancer prevention in place. My book “Unleash Your God-given Healing” shows you how to do this as well as suggestions for lowering your estrogen levels.
Men are being diagnosed with breast cancer.
This may be hard to believe, but even men can get breast cancer and 90% of them are estrogen-fed. Men are created by God to produce only a small amount of estrogen—so what’s happening here? My journey taught me that estrogenic chemicals called xenoestrogens are helping to drive up estrogen levels in both men and women.
Dense breasts are now considered a risk factor for breast cancer.
At the time I was diagnosed, this was not considered a risk factor. The cancer field changes daily. 40–50% of women have dense breasts and I am one of them. In fact, my breasts are so dense, my oncologist says that mammograms are useless for me. Dense breast tissue makes it hard to detect a tumor when both the tumor and dense tissue appear white. As a result, I now alternate between thermograms, ultrasounds, and MRIs. The newer 3-D mammograms are better, but not good enough for me.
For all these reasons, I recommend yearly screenings (and vary the screenings if you have dense breasts), healthy lifestyle changes, and monthly self-examinations. If I had not found my lump by the providence of God, my yearly exam 9 months later might have been too late. Research reveals that 25% or more of women find their lumps by self-examination or by accident like me. Knowing these five facts can help you prevent breast cancer and catch it early.
For Your Health,
Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs, and Second Place in both Selah Awards for Memoirs and Director’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It recently received the Christian Authors Network’s (CAN) Gold Award for Excellence in Marketing for reaching 62.5 million people with a message of cancer prevention and survival. It was written with commentary from an oncologist and was featured on CBN’s Healthy Living Show, Atlanta Live, and CTN’s Homekeepers along with over 75 media outlets. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.