Do You Have a Family History of Breast Cancer?

By Ron Hunninghake, M.D.

One in three Americans will get cancer in their lifetime; one in four will die from it. Just thirty years ago, one in twenty American women got breast cancer, but today one in eight women will experience this disease.

For women, especially those with a family history, breast cancer is the disease they fear the most. Superimposed on this fear are nagging questions:
• Should I get a regular mammogram or avoid the radiation?

• Should I give up HRT (hormone replacement therapy) but suffer the hot flashes, loss of sleep, mood swings, and physical changes?

• If I get cancer, will I lose my femininity and vitality to aggressive surgical techniques, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapies?

While answers to these questions must be pursued on an individual basis between patient and doctor, one answer is emerging as a common sense approach to those who may be at risk for breast cancer:


Fresh, colorful, whole foods are rich in phytonutrients which are now known to reduce the risk of all cancers, including breast cancer.

An exercise routine can be life saving, even something as simple as a walking plan can lower your risk. Obviously, cutting out tobacco and limiting alcohol to one or less drinks per day can further reduce your risks.

A pro-active attitude towards health enhancement helps you get these lifestyle changes going and growing.

Yet…in spite of many women’s best efforts at self care, we have all heard the story of that woman who took great care of herself, only to discover a breast lump that turned out to be malignant.

What is missing here? Is there anything else to be done to reduce one’s risks for breast cancer? Are there other SAFE WAYS TO LOWER CANCER RISK?

For the past 20 years, the Riordan Clinic has pioneered an innovative approach to cancer risk management. Dr. Hugh Riordan developed RECNAC (cancer spelled backwards) in an effort to find ways to reverse cancer trends.

His RECNAC research team looked at many promising methods of non-toxic cancer treatment.
Two research findings stood out:
1. Key nutrients have cancer protective properties.
2. Blood levels of these nutrients vary considerably.

These two findings gave rise to the idea that NUTRIENT BIOMARKERS could be a means of identifying breast cancer risk in women who were deficient in these key nutrients.

By using regular blood testing, these susceptible women could be identified and treated with the appropriate nutritional supplements, thereby reducing their cancer risk. Modern cancer research has borne out Dr. Riordan’s findings: vitamin D testing is becoming commonplace among traditional doctors as they recognize that adequate blood levels of 25-OH-D (vitamin D) can reduce the risk of ALL CANCERS by half!

The Riordan Clinic’s Breast Health Panel includes not only a vitamin D level, but also several other blood nutrient levels that research has identified as “cancer-protective.”

SELENIUM is a mineral necessary for the activation of glutathione peroxidase, your body’s most important antioxidant, detoxifier, and immune enhancer.

Pesticides and plastics that mimic estrogen are major contributors to breast cancer. Detoxifying these chemicals (which are primarily stored in fatty tissue, such as the breast) helps to reduce the risk of DNA damage and mutation, which sets the stages for cancer.

Higher selenium tissue reserves correlate significantly with breast cancer protection in many research papers.

COENZYME Q-10 (CoQ10) is present in every cell in your body. Your cells require oxygen to oxidize nutrients. CoQ10 enhances the movement of oxygen into the mitochondrial furnaces of the cell, thus restoring aerobic functioning. Cancer cells function in an anaerobic way, inefficiently metabolizing glucose to lactic acid.

The PET scan, used to detect malignant tumors, employees radio tagged glucose as its marker. Cancer cells rapidly take up the tagged glucose and glow on the scan. Drugs that lower CoQ10 increase cancer risk. One study showed that CoQ10 can help shrink tumor cells.

FOLIC ACID is a crucial B vitamin that is necessary for making and repairing chromosomes. Chromosomal damage is associated with the development and growth of cancer cells. Smokers with lower folic acid levels show more chromosomal damage than smokers with normal folic acid. Patients taking methotrexate, a folic acid inhibitor, are at a statistically higher risk for cancer. Cancers involving epithelial cells are most often associated with folic acid deficiency. Epithelial cells line the ducts that run through breasts.

Dysplasia is a term that means these epithelial cells have become precancerous. Dysplasia is responsive to folic acid supplementation… IF THE FOLIC ACID DEFICIENCY IS FIRST IDENTIFIED AND TREATED!

The Riordan Clinic Breast Health Panel also includes other antioxidants that have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer: LYCOPENE and VITAMINS C, A, & E.

When present in adequate amounts in our internal cellular environment, these nutrients help to maintain our natural immune surveillance system that normally protects us from cancer.

The key concept here is RESERVES. Dr. Riordan used to say, “All healthy systems maintain reserves.

Whether you are looking at a bank, a family financial plan, a lake, or an organism… the system with the best reserves stands the best chance of weathering a stressful challenge to its health and integrity.”

During this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I invite you to take one more PROACTIVE step towards maintaining good breast health – get your breast-protective nutrient levels checked.

In any good business plan, preventive maintenance is always cost effective. If a machine breaks down, it can be replaced…at a cost. However, the cost of a breast cancer diagnosis cannot adequately be measured in dollars.

Have you done everything you can to avoid those dreaded words: “I’m sorry…you have breast cancer”?

Call today to sign up for the Riordan Breast Health Panel.