Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in women; it is estimated that around 1-in-8 women in the US develop invasive breast cancer at least once in their lifetime. Breast cancer is most diagnosed in women over the age of 50; it occurs when the cells in the breast mutate and grow out of control to form a malignant tumor. The common risk factors causing breast cancer may include alcohol consumption, obesity, absence of breastfeeding or pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy after menopause, or exposure to radiation and diethylstilbestrol (DES).
From the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective, cancer is thought to be a result of toxin build up in the organ tissues over time. In a healthy body, the influent Qi (energy) flow clears out the toxins regularly; breast cancer occurs when the Qi meridians are blocked, and excessive toxins accumulate in the breast tissue. Qi meridians running through the breasts are mainly the Liver, Spleen, and Stomach meridians. The most common causes of Qi blockage in these meridians include prolonged and high levels of stress, overeating processed and other unhealthy foods, side effects of drugs, and being overweight.
It is always better to prevent cancer rather than wait for it to happen and deal with the consequences. The prevention for breast cancer starts with awareness of the risk factors, eating a
healthier diet, exercising regularly, and managing your stress. Acupuncture can be a natural and effective way in preventing the formation of cancer cells by keeping the Qi meridians open and
maintaining a smooth Qi flow.
Stress management is essential in breast cancer prevention. Emotional stress from anger, anxiety, sadness, and depression is considered a large contributing factor to the blockage of Qi and the
accumulation of toxins and cancer cells. Most breast cancer patients in this clinic have shown a history of significant emotional stress in the years leading up to their cancer diagnosis. Everyone experiences stress in life, but the ways of handling stress vary greatly. Individuals may find it easy while others find it complicated to manage a similar stressor in their life. It is important to understand that nothing is bigger than your health, so try to view and interpret the world, people, and things around you in a new way that makes you smile and feel good.