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Home > Newsletters > October 2003

Preventing Breast Cancer

By Dr. Daoshing Ni

Each year in the United States, approximately 180,000 women will be told they have breast cancer. While there is ample information in the public about the medical aspects of treatment, by comparison, information on prevention is still lacking. This article will provide some current information on how Chinese women prevent breast cancer. While this article addresses women, breast cancer does occur in men (less than 2% of the cases each year).

Diet

Diet plays a major role in prevention of breast cancer. Breast cancer rates among Japanese and Chinese women are approximately one-tenth of those of American women. The typical Asian diet is lower in fat and dairy products and much higher in soy products, green vegetables and whole grains compared to Western societies. Breast cancer rates have increased for immigrant Japanese women and descendents in California who have gradually switched to a more western diet. Overweight females also have higher risk.

Eating more fish instead of red meat can reduce the intake of saturated fat. Asians also tend to eat fresher foods, which have fewer preservatives. Farming in Asia tends to use fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides due to the high cost of chemicals, though this has been changing rapidly as farming has increasingly become "westernized". Organic farming has become more popular of late and does provide a better source of produce.

Stress

Stress can stimulate excessive hormone secretion in the body, which can lead to higher rate of breast cancer. Evaluate your daily life. Being busy does not necessarily equal more stress. Worrying excessively can create tension in the body and should be reduced if possible. Try to have a more positive outlook in life. My mother always told me, "When you are angry, 10 million cells in your body die or become toxic; when you are happy, all your cells are happy and functioning."

Alcohol, smoking and coffee

Alcohol and coffee consumption and smoking have been directly linked to higher cancer rates. These habits tend to develop at a young age, so it is important to teach our daughters healthy lifestyle habits early in life. It's also important to avoid persistent second-hand smoke.

Meditation and energy exercises

Exercises such as Qigong, Taiji and Yoga can help reduce stress and tension in our bodies. Meditation can relax our minds and bring our bodies into balance. These exercises are not difficult to learn and can be incorporated into our lifestyles relatively easily. Since the 1970s, Chinese people have been experimenting with Qigong in treating breast cancer. While medical Qigong treatments have shown some effectiveness in controlling cancer, Qigong has also been shown to delay the both the onset and growth of cancerous cells.

Dr. Daoshing Ni is currently in general practice at the Tao of Wellness Clinic in Santa Monica, California. He has recently produced a DVD entitled “Crane Chi Gong.” The Tao of Wellness Clinic is one of the oldest in Los Angeles, established in 1976. (310) 917-2200

This Month's Articles

October 2003
Volume 1, Number 8

Preventing Breast Cancer

Philippine Church Turns to Traditional Cures

Acupuncture Students Receive Complementary Health Scholarships

Recent Research

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