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Dr. Liz’s Blog

Medical Practice Speaking


True Risk of Breast Cancer

03/   October, 2019

RIGHT NOW, YOU *DO NOT* HAVE A ONE IN EIGHT CHANCE OF BREAST CANCER

Have you heard that the average woman’s risk of breast cancer is 1 in 8? This is the risk as understood by most doctors and that I have often quoted to others.

One in eight sounds pretty scary, and I am passionate about dispelling unnecessary fear.

My mind was recently blown when I learned that this risk of 1 in 8, or about 12%, is NOT your risk right now. 

It is actually your total risk over your entire lifetime if you live to be 85 years old.

Your Actual Risk

Broken down by decade, your actual risk looks like this:

Age Decade Absolute Risk of Breast Cancer Percentage
30’s 1 in 227 0.4%
40’s 1 in 68 1.5%
50’s 1 in 42 2.4%
60’s 1 in 28 3.6%
Over 70 1 in 26 4%

Source: Patricia R. Kelly, PhD, Assess Your True Risk of Breast Cancer

Add up the percentages to get 11.9, or about 12% total lifetime risk.

Even if no one in your family has had breast cancer, now with social media, everyone knows or has heard of someone who has had breast cancer. The stories range from scary to inspirational.

My Mom’s Story

My mom had early-stage breast cancer when she was 68 years young. It was found on a mammogram (it’s a good story – watch the video at the top☺), treated and cured. I know the word “cure” is tricky to use, but another fact is that more than 90% of women diagnosed with early breast cancer are cured and need no further treatment. 

Even so, with my family history, I wait in suspense every year between my mammogram and the letter saying the results are normal (the letter I have gotten every year so far, thank goodness).

This October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m going to spend the month sharing information with you about the benefits of (the right kind of) hormone replenishment to lower your risk of breast cancer (both initial and recurrent breast cancer).

Make sure your friends are on this e-newsletter list or connected with me on social media for all the pearls I want to share with you, this month and in the future.

Estrogen prevents Breast Cancer?

I’ll leave you for now with one more shocker: the scientific data shows less breast cancer in women who use estrogen.

Stay tuned for more!

Please leave your comments and questions below.


5 Health Benefits of Coffee

23/   October, 2018

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, it also seems to be quite healthy. Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases.

Here are the top 5 health benefits of coffee.

1. Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, which causes a stimulant effect. This improves energy levels, mood and various aspects of brain function.

2. Several studies show that caffeine can increase fat burning and boost your metabolic rate.


Detecting Breast Cancer: Mammography Vs Thermography

27/   September, 2018

First of all, let me be clear that when I say I still “like” mammograms I am not saying that I “enjoy” mammograms.

MammographyNobody relishes the idea of getting their breast squished between two cold plates of a giant machine.

I don’t feel nervous on my way to a mammogram because of the technique or method of doing the test, but for the same reason that any woman would feel nervous. I’m worried about the test finding a problem. The nervousness that accompanies the drive to the mammography center lasts all the way until the letter arrives with the results.


Is Testosterone A Cause of Prostate Cancer?

25/   May, 2018

Here’s a trick question: who mostly get prostate cancer: young men or old men?

 

The answer is of course that, as with most cancers, older men are much more likely than young men to get prostate cancer.

Then why is it that testosterone has been feared as a cause of prostate cancer?

If testosterone caused prostate cancer, we should see it much more often in young men, who have levels of testosterone peaking around age 30.

Testosterone levels in men peak around age 30, then decline 1 to 3% per year from then on. As a man gets older, and his testosterone level goes down, his risk of prostate cancer increases.


Epigenetics and Your Family History

08/   May, 2018

I am 53 years young. My mom and dad are both alive and well. That makes me lucky.

 

As Mother’s Day and Father’s Day season approaches, I wanted to share with you some latest thinking about a topic most of us take for granted: the concept in medicine of “family history”.

If you have “good genes”, then that means you have longevity and low rates of illness among your family members. If you have “bad genes” you might not be so lucky with your own health.

Well, I have good news: epigenetics has arrived on the medical scene.


This is how Vitamin D kills cancer

10/   March, 2017

It’s important to know when to die. Especially if you are a cell.

You’re going to learn a new word today, a word which I’m not sure you really need to remember, and you can’t really use at a cocktail party unless it’s a party full of cancer doctors or geneticists.

The word is apoptosis (“ay-pop-toe’-sis”).

Dr. Liz has authored and co-authored several books, with a fourth book to be released soon. Be the first to know!