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30 Tips to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

by Christine Horner, MD

As a plastic surgeon, I witnessed the horrors of breast cancer almost everyday while taking care of my breast reconstruction patients. Then, the disease became too personal – it claimed the lift of my own mother in 1994. At that moment, I vowed to go after her killer. My goal was to see if this disease could be stopped before it ever started. What cause it to start growing and threw fuel on its flames? So, I searched through the collection of medical research– and found the answers. There, I discovered thousands of studies that pointed out exactly why we have a breast cancer epidemic- what we are doing and not doing that contributes to birthing and feeding this monster beast. My new book, Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr Christine Horner’s Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer, describes every natural approach that science shows helps to drastically lower a woman’s risk of developing this disease and for women who have breast cancer, increases the likelihood that they will love a long healthy life.

Tip # 1: Eat fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables- especially cruciferous vegetables every day. These plants, particularly those in the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale) are filled with a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and plant chemicals that act as powerful medicines against breast cancer.

Tip # 2: Eat organic whole grains every day. Whole grains are rich in cancerfighting antioxidants, vitamins, trace minerals, fiber, and lignans.

Tip # 3: Avoid all health-destroying fats. Consumer health-promoting fats every day. Saturated animal fats, trans fats, partially hydrogenated fats, and hydrogenated fats fuel breast cancer, wheras healthy fats- especially omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseeds- offer protection.

Tip #4: Eat 2-3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds every day. Flaxseeds are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, are high fiber, and contain one hundred more cancer-fighting lignans than any other known edible plant.

Tip #5: Eat soy-based whole-food products several times a week. Women who eat the most whole soy foods, such as tofu, tempeh, and miso have a 30 to 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer.

Tip #6: Eat Maitake mushrooms or take them as a supplement. Maitake mushrooms stimulate the immune system, and stop tumors from growing, cause them to shrink, and prevent them from spreading to other areas of the body.

Tip #7: Drink green tea every day or take it as a supplement. Women who drink green tea have a much lower risk of breast cancer and if they get breast cancer, their chances of surviving are much greater.

Tip #8: Consume turmeric every day. Turmeric, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory is considered the #1 anti-cancer spice.

Tip #9: Eat at least one clove of garlic several times a week. Garlic is extremely high in antioxidants and selenium, boosts the immune system, lessens the formation of carcinogens in the breast, prevents toxins from damaging our DNA, and stops breast tumors from growing and dividing.

Tip #10: Include Wakame or Mekabu seaweed in your diet. Wakame and Mekabu seaweeds are high in the mineral iodine, which research shows is more effective at killing breast cancer cells than many common chemotherapeutic drugs.

Tip #11: Take a vitamin supplement every day. Certain vitamins, especially vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D and vitamin E, help to crush the growth of breast cancer.

Tip #12: Get adequate amounts of selenium every day. As little as 200 micrograms (mcg) a day of this antioxidant lowers your risk of breast cancer and most other types of cancer by 50 percent.

Tip #13: If you are over age thirty-five, take supplemental coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) every day. CoQ10 is a natural vitamin-like substance and powerful antioxidant that is essential for the production of energy in our cells. It also stops the growth of breast cancer and dramatically shrinks tumors.

Tip #14: Take an herbal anti-inflammatory several times a week. Research shows that women who take an anti-inflammatory an average of three times a week, especially one that inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, have a 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer.

Tip #15: Nix red meat. Women who eat the most red meat have an 88 to 330 percent higher risk of breast cancer.

Tip #16: Avoid refined sugar- use a natural sweetener such as Stevia instead. Sugar is cancer’s favorite food. The more of it you eat, the faster the cancer will grow.

Tip #17: Keep your body-fat low. Fat cells manufacture estrogen, notably after menopause. That’s why obesity is thought to be responsible for 20 to 30 percent of post-menopausal breast cancers.

Tip #18: Rarely, if ever, drink alcohol. Even half a glass of alcohol a day increases your risk of breast cancer, so it’s best to avoid this dangerous beverage completely.

Tip #19: Never smoke tobacco products. Research shows that women who smoke or inhale passive smoke have as much as a 60 percent increased risk of breast cancer.

Tip #20: Don’t take birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), except in rare circumstances determined by your doctor and only for a brief time. Long-term use of birth control pills has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. HRT increases the risk of heart disease, strokes, blood clots, gallbladder disease, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and invasive breast cancer.

Tip #21: Use only nontoxic cleaning products in your home and office. Cleaning supplies are almost always filed with health-damaging chemicals, so use nontoxic cleaning instead.

Tip # 22: Toxins are everywhere–in your water, clothing, furnishings, construction materials, dry cleaning, personal care products, lawn and garden products, insect repellant, flea collars, paints, wallpaper, tile, particleboard. Assume that everything is toxic unless it is labeled otherwise and choose its nontoxic solution instead.

Tip #23: Take a week or two, once or twice a year, to purify your body. Detoxing works! Just one five-day series of the Ayurvedic purification procedures known as panchakarma has been shown to cut your load of toxins in half.

Tip # 24: Go to bed by 10:00 p.m. and get up before 6:00 a.m. Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is a powerful antioxidant that arrests and deters breast cancer in many ways. Staying up past 10:00 p.m., alcohol and electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) cause melatonin levels to drop.

Tip #25: Minimize your exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF’s). All electrical appliances and wires produce breast cancer-promoting EMF’s – all you have to do is stand just a few feet away from them to avoid them. Hair dyers produce more EMF’s than any other household appliance, so use a low EMF hairdryer instead (

Tip # 26: Embrace thirty minutes of aerobic activity every day. Just thirty minutes of aerobic activity three to five times a week can lower your risk of breast cancer by 30 to 50 percent.

Tip #27: Practice a stress-reducing meditation every day. Stress has been found to contribute to about 90% of all illnesses, including breast cancer. Research shows that the daily practice of meditation, called Transcendental Meditation or TM can lower your risk of all diseases by as much as 50 percent.

Tip #28: Practice stress-reducing breathing techniques every day. The regular practice of special breathing exercises called pranayama improves stress-hormone balance, blood pressure, and heart rate, and lowers cholesterol.

Tip #29: Take an herbal adaptagen every day to lower your body’s response to stress. Certain herbs called adaptogens, for example ginseng, ashwagandha and holy basil lower your body’s response to stress.

Tip #30: Take care of your needs: Research shows that women with breast cancer tend to give too much at the expense of their own needs. So take care of your needs first, stay healthy, and then you’ll have more to offer others.

30 Tips to Lower Your Risk of Breast CancerChristine Horner, MD
Christine Horner, MD is a board certified and nationally recognized surgeon, author, expert in natural medicine, professional speaker and a relentless champion for women’s health. She is the author of Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner’s Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer, winner of the Independent Book Publishers Award 2006 for “Best Book in Health, Medicine, and Nutrition.” For more information go to