By Sarah A LoBisco, ND

One of the scariest diagnoses for a woman to receive is breast cancer. As an integrative practitioner, the labels that are placed on people serve as a guidepost which explains how their body has been led off the track of optimal health. With the emergence of nutrigenomics, the healing power of food, functional diagnosis, and the Naturopathic philosophy of the body’s own innate wisdom, there exists powerful, holistic tools that can provide the body with support when pathology seems to be winning. This is even true with cancer.

Dr. Mercola recently interviewed Dr. Horner, a board certified plastic surgeon regarding the topic of breast cancer. Dr. Horner discussed how her journey of treating breast cancer shifted from conventional surgery to a more integrative focus. As Dr. Horner found herself operating on younger and younger women, she made the realization that environmental risk factors had to be at play. Below I highlight some key points she discussed in this 90 minute interview:

1. Studies have demonstrated that breast cancer risk is related to lifestyle. One study showed how the relatively low risk of Japanese women to breast cancer was reversed once Japanese population exposed to American diet.

2. Two factors exist that tell how useful a screening tool is:

  • Sensitivity (does the test pick the pathology up?)
  • Specificity (a factor that determines if the test diagnoses the correct disease or gives too high false positive or negative results). High false positive rates led many people to be improperly diagnosed with cancer when the condition is benign. False negative rates miss the diagnosis.

3. Mammograms:

[M]ammography produces radiation, which has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. It’s like, “Why are you doing the test to look at a disease when it’s actually causing the disease, too?”  … It does pick things up at earlier stages, but the problem is that it’s not very specific. So when it looks and it sees something… that looks suspicious, it is wrong 80 percent of the time. In the United States, there’s roughly a million breast biopsies done per year, and 800,000 of them are unnecessary.”

  • Are not recommended yearly for women not at risk. Every 2 years is now recommended by the American Cancer Society.
  • Chronic radiation exposure can be a risk factor in itself.
  • Mammograms are not a good sensitive marker for screening dense breast tissue.
  • Younger tissue is more sensitive to radiation.

4. Other options screening options include thermography, electrography, MRIs, and Ultrasounds.

“Now there’s a relatively new ultrasound that uses a color mode,” Dr. Horner says. “It’s called elastography. But there aren’t very many centers in the United States that use it. I go to the Center of the Hoxsey Clinic, to Dr. Arturo Rodriguez at Tijuana. It has a color scale that measures the elasticity of the cell membranes. Cancer cells are very stiff, whereas normal cells have more fluidity to them. It’ll show up as red if it has a lot of stiffness to it, as a cancer cell, or blue if it has elasticity… It’s a very good tool.”

5. A note for your men: PSA levels can be helpful, but are only one screening tool, as discussed below for women.

6. Thermography:

  • Has the potential to find cancer at an early stage.
  • It has good sensitivity and is safer than mammography in that it uses infrared images vs. radiation.
  • It is not fully standardized, creating confusion and controversy and mixed trial results.
  • The best way to check for standardized and trained thermographers  is to find a practitioner certified by a third party: To ensure you’re getting the highest standard of care, Dr. Horner recommends using a practitioner certified by the International Academy of Clinical Thermography, an independent non-profit organization that provides objective, third-party certifications. Their website lists qualified thermography centers across the US, Canada, and some other countries, such as France, Trinidad, and Zambia.

7. The most effective thing you can do for cancer prevention is choosing the food you eat. Whatever you consume is what your body is made out of. Dr. Hornor discusses that Vitamin D cuts cancer risk in half, but so do many other things.
Certain foods affect cell growth by how they turn up or down cellular functions. They affect the volume of the response at the cellular receptor. (AKA Nutrigenomics!)

8. Foods to avoid:

  • Non-organic red meat (contains high amounts of toxins and a high iron level, leading to increased oxidative stress)
  • Sugar (glucose is cancers favorite food and suppress immune system by up to 90% for five hours)
  • Trans fats such as hydrogenated oils make cellular communication less effective.
  • Alcohol stimulates prolactin, estrogen, and inhibits liver enzymes to process out extra estrogens and toxins. It also disrupts folic acid (needed for the repair of DNA). (For a different viewpoint, check out Naturopathic Fun Facts this week)

9. What to Eat:

  • Flax seeds which contain: healthy fats for cell membrane structure, fiber to bind excess estrogen, and lignans that give structure to the cell wall and are anti-cancer. Concerned about estrogenic effects? Dr. Horner puts this question to rest:

There are all sorts of different strengths to estrogens. Let’s say estradiol, which is the strongest, most abundant form– if it hooks on to the estrogen receptor, it may cause a thousand cell divisions. But if a plant estrogen hooks on, it may cause one. When you flood your system with these plant estrogens, I’d say it’s kind of like a game of musical chairs. There are only certain numbers of receptors, and whoever gets their first, gets it. They’re blocking the strong estrogens from getting on, so that’s why it has an inhibitory effect.

  • Combo Meals! The combination of healthy foods together is multiple. One study found that combining broccoli with various foods boosted its cancer fighting enzyme: “Researchers found that myrosinase from the young sprouts enhances the levels of sulforaphane formed and absorbed from the broccoli when the two are eaten together. Eating broccoli with mustard, radishes, rocket or wasabi can boost its benefits further. Professor Jeffery said: “To get broccoli’s benefits, the enzyme myrosinase has to be present. If it’s not there, sulforaphane, broccoli’s cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory component, doesn’t form.” She said foods containing sulforaphane which can be teamed with broccoli to boost its benefits are mustard, radishes, rocket and wasabi.”

10. Factors that are increasing early puberty and resultant heightened breast cancer risks include:

  • Hormones in meats
  • Chemicals in our personal care products and household products
  • Early radiation and toxin exposure
  • Exercise reduces the risk of cancer, even during chemotherapy!

11. Sleep is crucial:

  • Most recuperative sleep hours are between 10pm-6am related to the healing and hormonal fluctuations between cortisol and melatonin (a peak occurs between 12-1am).
  • Melatonin helps build the immune system, is an antioxidant, and decreases inflammatory estradiol. Optimize endogenous melatonin by contrasting sunlight in AM and creating a very dark sleeping environment.
  • Sleep is also preventative for obesity, diabetes, weight loss, and all chronic diseases

12. Stress management:

  • There is an increased risk of breast cancer within 5 years of major stressor raises.
  • The risk increases twelve times!Ways to manage stress include prayer, meditation, tai-chi, yoga, deep breathing, and social support (see fun fact #1)

13. Integrative treatment has the best survival and outcomes in some comparative studies

  • Dr. Block’s patients utilize a combination of chemotherapy at lower doses because he optimizes chemo doses with natural means that also decrease its side effects of nausea, weight loss, and fatigue.
  • Saunas have been found to kill tumor cells and to help detoxify
  • Infrared adds energy into cells to help expel toxins by affecting their frequency. The physics of the energy and wavelengths combine to kill off unhealthy cells of a different frequency than healthy cells.

13. Life Vessel  Technique: A new technique Dr. Horner utilizes to balance the Autonomic Nervous System. It is said to decrease the fight and flight system by providing electrical signals that stimulate cells to secrete messenger chemicals to reprogram DNA.

14. Breast Implants:

  • No increased risk has been found for saline and new materials according to literature
  • Polyurthane implants did pose risk in past.

For more information on how to mitigate your risk for cancer, keep empowering yourself by listening to interviews like this, reading holistic blogs, and surrounding yourself with healthy relationships!


Dr. Mercola. How to Starve Cancer Out of Your Body – Avoid These Top 4 Cancer-Feeding Foods January 14, 2012.

Jo Willey. SERVE BROCCOLI WITH MUSTARD TO BEAT CANCER . UK News (online). January 29,2011.

Visit my blog on for:

1. Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight… Fun Facts:

  1. The most important determination of health and Longevity Revealed!
  2. Healthy Aging Foods
  3. The Good and Bad of Wine and Breast Cancer
  4. Your Diet woos….Gluten Free, Dairy Free, & Sugar Free. Yet, you still have symptoms!!?? Watch this Video.

2. Happenings:

Upcoming Essential Oils Workshops with Terry Quigley at the Healing Garden. Learn tidbits such as what is mentioned below:

The Miracle of Onycha
by David Stewart, PhD, DNM

Onycha is an oil mentioned in the Bible, Exodus 30:34, as an ingredient in the Holy Incense to be diffused in temples of worship. Onycha oil (Styrax benzoin) is also a powerful antiseptic and facilitator of rapid healing. It goes by several common names including Friar’s Balm and Javanese Frankincense. It is extracted from the resin of a tree that grows in the Far East, specifically in Indonesia.

For more than 200 years, hospitals have used an alcohol solution of this oil as their primary antiseptic. Dissolved in ethyl alcohol, it is called Benzoin or Tincture of Benzoin. It is the smell of this tincture that used to give hospitals their peculiar “hospital smell.”

Following World War II, hospitals started to employ other antiseptics derived from petroleum that were less expensive. They are now discovering that bacteria can become resistant to these synthetic antiseptics, but do not become resistant to Tincture of Benzoin. Hence, many of today’s hospitals are returning to the natural antiseptic of Benzoin realizing it is more effective and does not contribute toward the creation of resistant strains of virulent pathogens.

Resistant strains of bacteria are a major and growing problem in hospitals today resulting in thousands of deaths every year. Even visitors to hospitals can pick up these pathogens, which can be fatal. Even the most powerful antibiotics, such as vancomycin and methycillin, do not kill these germs. The answer is to be found in natural products such as essential oils.

Contact Terry at 518-831-9469 for more information.

Next Health Forum is February 9th at 6:15pm. Learn more.

PATIENTS: Please review follow ups and cancellation policy on my website

Time for a symptom re-evaluation?

All patients can now download the symptom survey done at the original visit online. If you haven’t re-evaluated your symptoms in a year or more, it may be a good time to fill out the form again and bring it in to your next visit. (Please add the numbers in every section when you return it)

3. Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul: Resonance with Joyce Whiteley Hawkes, Ph.D.

Joyce Hawkes, Ph.D., joins Diane Ray to discuss her new book Resonance: Nine Practices for Harmonious Health and Vitality. Dr. Hawkes explores the uncharted interfaces between science and spirit in relation to health and well-being. Discover how to enhance your health at the cell level, your spirit at the soul level, and your consciousness at the mystery level.

4. Book of the week:

Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner’s Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer

“[W]e have the answers to the breast cancer epidemic,” she says. “We truly do- and it’s very simple. If you have a terrible diet and lifestyle and you do just one thing, you cut your risk in half. You do more than one thing and they will multiply up together. They don’t add up together. They multiply up together, so it becomes extremely easy to dramatically lower your risk of breast cancer.”

5. Don’t miss out:

The Rest of Fun Facts on my blog.

Listen to my colleagues and other experts as they discuss solutions to menopausal issues on a show dedicated just for women in mid-life! Here is a link from my interview on 360menopause Radio Show on Panic Attacks and Menopause and a list of archived shows.

Check out my latest answer on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare: Learn about holistic treatments for Alzheimer’s, HPV vaccination side effects, and more.

View the Updated Link Resources on my homepage