Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Expanded Viewpoint

Ok, who isn't aware of breast cancer? The better question is, who is aware of what you can do to confidently avoid this preventable disease? Yes, according to the National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, Cancer is a Preventable Disease.

But very few are aware of HOW to prevent cancer.
Prevention is the cure.
Unfortunately, very little of our health care dollar is focused on prevention.

No, I am not talking about the annual or bi-annual mammograms that add fear, pain and radiation to our sensitive breasts. You can empower yourself through understanding your root cause of dis-ease, via self assessment through functional diagnostic nutritional testing.

First, a story about a client of mine that I saw this week.  Let’s call her Susie.

Susie is a dear colleague who attended my "Holy Hormones" workshop in August. She then chose to have lab work done and a follow-up consultation with me.  I was so grateful to her for making this investment in herself. What we discovered is that she could be heading straight down the path of breast or ovarian cancer!  

I told her this NOT to enlist fear or the nocebo affect.  I shared this to give her blessings that this is something we do for prevention with a few supplements, dietary and lifestyle changes. I told her this to give her confidence that she could rest peacefully, that she is in complete control to reverse this dynamic, and to know that she will NOT be the 1 in 2.5 women predicted to get cancer. Hallelujah! 

Doing these tests now, can allow her to change the negative direction her body is heading.

What is significant about this remarkable woman is that from the outside, one would never suspect she is at risk. She is trim, has a strong regular yoga practice, eats very well, and works to help others relax.  However, her body has been giving her loving messages of which she had previously sought treatment for. She had heavy painful periods. Unfortunately, insurance reimbursement, nor conventional medicine, had yet to include functional nutrition testing that may intercept this freight train.

So I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to help her create the environment to heal from within.  You see, I cannot diagnose, treat or cure anything. Not just because I am not a physician, but because no one can. Your body heals itself, if you give it what it is asking for. Remember:

MAXIMIZE, MINIMIZE & PRIORITIZE What your unique body needs.

All physical symptoms are just loving messages. Our medical system is designed to palliate these symptoms with medication, which is effective in giving short term relief, but too often ignores the root cause underneath. Like this picture of an iceberg: 

Notice that what is underneath is often deeper

Our health care dollars are spent attempting to shrink the iceberg without working on changing the root cause, or what is underneath. I want to do more. I want to empower you to look beneath the surface and make small simple changes to heal from within.

So what did we discover that was so powerful? Simply that her estradiol was super high, especially in relationship to progesterone and testosterone. Her cortisol and DHEA showed dysregulation. Also she has thyroid and other stress markers confirming hidden stressors that need to be addressed. Her sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) was high indicating hidden stressors that can lead to estrogen dominance. Excess estrogen can feed estrogen dominant cancers. SHBG is influenced by stress.

Susie is peri-menopausal, a time when many are thinking about taking hormone replacement (sometimes falsely assuming there is a need for more estrogen.) By the way, hot flashes do not necessarily mean you need more estrogen. Hot flashes are simply a sign of fluctuating estrogen levels. Many breast cancer survivors are on aromatase inhibitors like Tamoxifen or Arimidex that can keep estrogen levels rock bottom. This can affect libido, mood, and the things that estrogen does to help you feel like a woman. A healthy balance is key.

What most people don’t realize is that estrogen is made in the adrenal glands (anyone feeling stressed out?). Fat cells are also estrogen making factories. If you have extra fat and/or stress, and use common personal care products, your body is likely full of estrogens that can become toxic in the body. Over time, this may fuel estrogen dominant cancers like breast, ovarian, and YES men, prostate cancers. 

Hormones, like medication and toxins need to be broken down by the liver and excreted via the gastrointestinal tract. Gut issues, food sensitivities or blocked detox pathways will also then contribute to estrogen dominance.

So, what’s the plan? Heal the gut, address her nutritional insufficiencies (which we also tested, and discovered healing opportunities related to estrogen dominance). We identified a genetic snp interfering with her ability to detox, easily supported through supplementation. Susie also decided to take supplements to support her clearance of excess estrogen. She committed to addressing her love of sugar (aren’t we all addicted to sugar?), and her cardio metabolic profile showed low anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats and elevated inflammatory omega 6 fats. Another hidden source of inflammation that can contribute to estrogen dominance. All of this is easily addressed with diet and supplementation.

She will make these changes over the next couple of months and then we will do another test to assess improvement, detox pathways and inflammatory level, to be sure everything is functioning optimally.  This is the power of functional diagnostic nutrition and functional medicine testing. This is how you can empower your own self-healing.

Interested in learning more about women's health? 

Dr. Susan Brady and myself have had so much fun preparing this series just for you!

Carpe Diem,


PS Real practitioners, real solutions, presented with you in mind. 

About Lisa

Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker, and a functional medicine coach with a mission to inspire others to feel and look their best at any age.

Lisa's book 
Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think and Thrive outlines her seven-step system towards optimal health that is fun and transformational.

Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance.
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