October is an important time of year. Many people associate this month with ghouls and goblins in preparation for Halloween. However, there is a much more important aspect of October that should not be overlooked; breast cancer awareness. The entirety of October is spent observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The purpose of this time is to raise awareness, support cancer prevention groups, and give individuals the opportunity to become more informed of breast cancer and its associated treatments.
Cancer of any variety is a challenge and often debilitating or life-threatening. Every year, over one million people in the U.S. alone are diagnosed with cancer. Breast cancer is one of the leading forms of cancer diagnosed. Identifying the signs and symptoms early is critical to getting proper treatment. Symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Discomfort within the breast
- Inverted nipple or pain in nipple
- Lump or mass on breast
- Nipple discharge
- Redness or swollen lymph nodes
- Lump in the underarm area
- Skin irritation or dimpling
Unfortunately, even if there are not symptoms, breast cancer may be many be present. Women may not experience symptoms of breast cancer, making it critical that they attend regularly scheduled mammograms and check-ups. Recognition and proper diagnosis is only part of the solution.
A primary difficulty associated with cancer is effective treatment. Perhaps the most effective means is preventing it before it develops. By supporting one’s body through healthy supplementation, one may be able to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. There are multiple substances that inhibit cancer development but recent research is finding that treatment with Indole-3-Carbinol may be one of the best methods for reducing breast cancer risk.
Indole-3-Carbinol, also known as I3C, is a naturally occurring substance that is found in many cruciferous vegetables. Multiple studies have found that treatment with I3C has a positive effect regarding breast cancer prevention and treatment.
In 1997 a study was done that examined the relationship between I3C and breast cancer. The study was composed of sixty women with increased risk of developing cancer. Participants were treated with different amounts of I3C. Those given a minimum daily dosage of 300 mg showed notable chemo-preventative action against multiple forms of cancer. Interestingly, study participants showed consistent positive results regarding regression analysis regardless of other risk factors such as age and menopausal status. Since this early study, other more recent studies have been conducted that provide greater understanding of the positive impact I3C has on breast cancer.
Research has found that appropriate treatment with I3C reduces the risk of developing cervical, endometrial, and breast cancers in women while lowering the risk of prostate cancer in men. These impressive findings are further supported by another study that found treatment with I3C effectively halted growth of human cancer cells by upwards of 60%. In addition to this powerful action, I3C also promoted the destruction of cancerous cells, further reducing the chance of relapse. Indole-3-Carbinol influences the body in multiple ways but perhaps its most notable and cancer-preventing function involves estrogen metabolization.
Estrogen, I3C, and Breast Cancer
Hormones in general play powerful roles in maintaining healthy bodily function. More specifically, estrogen metabolization has recently been found to have notable influence on breast cancer development. Estrogen can be metabolized in two different ways that produce two different results. These two outcomes are 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone (16-OH-estrone), which is a known carcinogenic promoting breast and cervical cancer, and 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OH-estrone), which combats the occurrence of cancer. Appropriately increasing 2-OH-Estrone output can significantly reduce cancer risk.
Estrogen metabolization is specific to the individual and will vary from person to person. A primary cause of greater output of 16-OH-estrone is a genetic predisposition to produce it. As with other conditions such as heart disease it is important to be aware of one’s family medical history. It may be possible to uncover indicators of genetic predisposition by investigating the past. If multiple instances of estrogen imbalance and various forms of cancer appear in one’s family history, they are likely at greater risk of developing breast cancer.
If one has concerns of their current estrogen balance and activity they can acquire an accurate gauge of their 16-OH-estrone/2-OH-estrone ratio through a urine test. Once an accurate analysis of one’s estrogenic function has been acquired they can pursue proper treatment with I3C.
Where Does One Find Indole-3-Carbinol?
Because Indole-3-Carbinol is derived from naturally occurring cruciferous vegetables one may already be exposed to this helpful substance without even knowing it. Some of the most common foods that contain I3C include:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Mustard Greens
These cruciferous vegetables are known to help reduce the risk of cancer when taken at high doses. It was not until recently that scientists were able to identify Indole-3-Carbinol as a major contributing factor to this effect. Sadly, to have a truly meaningful impact regarding cancer prevention, one would have to eat an exorbitant amount of these veggies. Fortunately, one doesn’t have to devote a significant amount of their diet to eating multiple heads of cabbage every day to reduce their risk of cancer. It is possible to acquire Indole-3-Carbinol in more efficient ways.
Supplementing with Indole-3-Carbinol
One of the best methods to stabilize one’s hormones and support cancer prevention is through healthy supplementation. Using a high-quality supplement such as HoltraCeuticals’ Cellular Support can bolster the body’s ability to better prevent breast cancer. This supplement is designed specifically to optimize estrogen metabolization and may help reduce one’s risk of developing breast cancer.
Because Indole-3-Carbinol promotes the conversion of estrogen into 2-OH-estrone, the non-carcinogenic form of estrogen, rather than the cancer-causing 16-OH-estrone, this powerful substance is the primary ingredient of Cellular Support. Other positive effects that come with improved estrogen metabolization provided by this supplement include greater resiliency against and treatment of fibroids, lowered PMS symptoms, fewer mood swings, and reduced risk of developing other forms of cancers including cervical and endometrial.
Beating Back Breast Cancer
Because breast cancer is such a prominent blight on health at a global scale it is important we all become well-informed of methods to effectively treat and prevent it. Raising awareness of the various benefits and protections provided by Indole-3-Carbinol may lead to improved wellness at an impressive scale. Take the time this October to utilize all the tools and information offered by Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help end breast cancer for all.