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Breast Cancer Prevention & Micronutrients

breast cancer awareness

Breast Cancer Prevention & Micronutrients

Hidden Risks of Mammograms

Though the media and medical community focus on mammograms as the primary means of screening for breast cancer, I would like to also consider the risks. Important to note is that mammograms don’t prevent cancer – they detect it. And in some cases, they actually may cause more harm. Consider the following known issues with mammograms:

  1. Increased exposure to radiation, which increases the risk of cancer
  2. Mammograms cannot distinguish between fatal and harmless breast cancer, often leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of breast cancer.
  3. For women with dense breast tissue, ultrasound is effective in detecting cancer in cases where mammogram cannot. Ultrasound also does not expose you to radiation.
  4. Compressing a cancerous breast may rupture the encapsulation of a cancerous tumor and cause metastasis.

My goal is for patients to be informed about what is being done to their bodies, so they can be informed about whether conventional medicine or alternative methods are right for them.

For example, ultrasounds are used in detecting breast cancer but is not typically a conventional first step. Many times, especially for women with dense breast tissue, doctors will send patients to get an ultrasound after the mammogram. Why not just skip the mammogram altogether and do the ultrasound?

The Truth About Breast Cancer’s Root Cause

The true root cause of breast cancer is estrogen toxicity, which affects both men and women. Instead of only promoting mammograms, I wish the medical community would encourage people to understand how their bodies metabolize estrogen and genetic mutations. Two gene mutations, MTHFR and BRCA1 in particular, can be addressed with micronutrient supplementation. Dr. Wang sees the importance of nutrition to balance certain behaviors in the body.

Determine your Optimal Balance with Dr. Wang Now

MTHFR Gene Mutation

It looks like a curse word, but MTHFR is actually an important acronym to know as it relates to your health. In recent breast cancer research, scientists found a high incidence of breast cancer patients with a mutation of the MTHFR gene, which helps neutralize the metabolites (metabolism byproducts) that can be harmful to us. This can be corrected by taking 5-MTHF (5 methyltetrahydrofolic acid), which is a form of folate.

BRCA1 Gene Mutation and Breast Cancer

Another gene mutation found in breast cancer patients is the BRCA1 gene. For these cases, it is important to ensure adequate selenium levels to prevent cellular damage that lead to breast cancer.

Other Vitamin Deficiencies and Breast Cancer

Another study published last year suggested that Vitamin D plays an important role in breast cancer prevention. In this study of more than 5,000 women aged 55 and older, those with Vitamin D levels of 60ng/ml or greater had an 80% lower risk of breast cancer than those who were deficient. Additionally it was found:

  • If vitamin D was initiated within 6 months of diagnosis, breast cancer mortality was reduced 49%
  • Even when initiated more than 6 months after diagnosis, patients’ mortality was reduced 20%

Patients with breast cancer were also found to be deficient in Vitamin A, B1, B2, B12, C and selenium. Having adequate Vitamin B6 is vital because it detoxifies estrogen and lowers risk of invasive breast cancer especially in postmenopausal women.

Minimize your Breast Cancer Risk

Breast Cancer Preventative Foods

Preventative foods are those high in carotenoids (squash, carrots, grapefruit, oranges and apricots), cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts), onions and garlic, and lignan-rich foods ( flax, whole grains, berries). These foods reduce risk by 15%. Other preventive nutrients with aromatase-inhibiting effects are

  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Turmeric
  • Resveratrol
  • Chrysin
  • Passionflower
  • Ashwagandha

Bottom Line: Measure your Micronutrient Levels

Breast cancer awareness is not about getting your mammogram, but about proactively checking your micronutrient level. Did you know that micronutrients:

  1. assist the body in repairing cellular damage that leads to cancer,
  2. prevent genetic mutations, and
  3. maintain a healthy hormonal balance.

It is incredible that just one nutrient deficiency may compromise your ability to fight cancer at the cellular level. Several nutrients are critical in maintaining healthy breast tissue, in addition to overall health and energy.

Test, Don’t Guess

One of my mantras is “test, don’t guess”. Do you know your micronutrient levels? Please come and see me especially if you have a higher risk for breast cancer so we can balance your diet with the nutrition that is right for you.

Schedule a Wellness Consultation with Dr. Wang Now

Known Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Many risk factors for breast cancer are completely within your control. Knowing these risks factors and taking active measures to reduce those risks will help you live a long life with vitality. These known factors include:

  1. Overweight
  2. Diet poor in fruits and vegetables
  3. Diet high in fat
  4. Lack of physical activity
  5. Alcohol consumption
  6. Smoking
  7. Stress
  8. Age over 50
  9. Genetic mutation
  10. Menstruation before age 12
  11. Menopause after 55
  12. Dense breast tissue
  13. History of breast cancer
  14. Family history of breast cancer
  15. Previous radiation therapy
  16. Exposure to estrogen 10+ years
  17. No childbirth or later aged childbirth
  18. Having taken diethylstilbestrol (synthetic estrogen for miscarriage prevention) or women whose mothers took it while pregnant


  • McDonnell SL, et al. PLoS One. 2018;doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199265 – PLoS One
  • Study involved 5417 women Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018 Jul 23 – nih.gov
  • The Role of Ultrasound in Screening Dense Breasts – nih.gov
  • Overdiagnosis in Breast Cancer Screening: Time to Tackle an Underappreciated Harm – nih.gov
  • Radiation-Induced Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality from Digital Mammography Screening: A Modeling Study – nih.gov
  • The Downside of Mammograms – kresserinstitute.com
  • Could More Vitamin D Help Prevent Breast Cancer? – webmd.com
  • MTHFR 677C>T Polymorphism and the Risk of Breast Cancer: Evidence from an Original Study and Pooled Data for 28031 Cases and 31880 Controls – plos.org

Ready to Finally Feel Better?

Anita Wang, MD, FACEP, is a board-certified medical doctor of 30 years

Feel better, look better, naturally without harsh prescriptions or complicated surgeries. Practicing Functional and Integrative Medicine allows her to help patients find optimal health and vitality through comprehensive health profiling and rebalancing. She has practiced at UCLA Medical, Eisenhower Medical Center, and as a team lead in China during the 2003 SARS outbreak with Doctors without Borders (MSF). As the founder and lead practitioner of Wellness, Longevity and Aesthetics, Dr. Wang speaks globally, advocating for natural preventive health, pelvic and muscular strengthening, and minimally invasive aesthetics skin tightening.