Wellness Warrior Week #5 Overview:
During last week's webinar, Dr. Blanche presented her PhD research. Below you will find the webinar powerpoint and a copy of Dr. Blanche's PhD paper. The objective of her research was to evaluate the effect of the Breast Cancer Prevention Protocol (BCPP) in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Prior to implementation of the BCPP, genetic testing for MTHFR gene mutations, thermography, and vitamin D levels were determined to assess breast cancer risk. The BCPP included diet, exercise & stress educational programs as well as supplementation of iodine, methylated B12, folate & Sacred Frankincense oil. Results after one year of the protocol showed improved breast density, suspicious thermography images, decrease fibrocystic density & improved
vitamin D levels.
Webinar #5 PowerPoint:
Join us for Wellness Warrior Week #6 :
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Jun 9, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
An important tool used in this study is Medical Thermography, which is an infrared imaging technique used to identify inflammation, especially in areas like the digestive system, lymphatic system, teeth, thyroid and lungs. This tool is vital to our practice and an important puzzle piece when identifying the root cause of disease or health problems.
Interested in booking Thermography? We are offering Thermography every Thursday at our Mineola location. Book today!
Deep Dive: Dr. Blanche's PhD Research:
"Digital infrared imaging, nutrient levels, and genetic testing as a tool to stratify risk, implement and monitor impact of The Breast Prevention Protocol"
Objective: To evaluate the risk reduction for breast cancer among woman using the Breast Cancer Prevention Protocol (BCPP). Methods: Digital infrared imaging, vitamin D levels, and genetic testing for MTHFR gene mutations were used as a tool to stratify risk for breast cancer. Once risk was assessed, the BCPP was implemented. The BCPP incorporated diet/exercise/stress education programs, supplementation of Lugol's iodine, methylated B12, folate, Boswellia sacra oil (sacred frankincense oil). Patients were monitored over one year period. Another group was evaluated without the implementation of BCPP, for methodological control. Results: There were significant improvements in thermographically suspicious findings, fibrocystic breast density, neo-vascularity, and vitamin D3 levels. The control showed no change in neo-vascularity or fibrocystic patterns. Conclusion: BCPP may reduce risks of breast cancer in women. Additional long-term studies to further evaluate the long term risk reduction.
Keywords (MeSH): Breast Neoplasms, Boswellia, prevention and control, Thermography.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, second only to skin cancers. About 1 in 8, 12 percent, of women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. The American Cancer Society’s estimated that in 2013 approximately 232,340 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in women in the United States and approximately 39,620 women will die from breast cancer. (Nelson, 2009)
There are nutritional, genetic and lifestyle risk factors to develop breast cancer. Medicine should be focused on the mitigation and prevention of these factors more than in the treatment or cure of the disease. As a strategy to a early diagnostic of breast cancer its recommended that women get mammograms annually starting at 35 or 40 years old. This practice also exposes woman to radiation, which is another risk factor for cancer, but it is still considered the gold standard. An alternative could be thermography, which detects the infrared energy emitted from the body surface to measure the physiological changes occurring within the breasts. Thermography has the advantage of detecting physiological changes that may be associated with future cancer growth up to ten years earlier than with can be detected with a mammogram. (Nyirjesy, M.D, 1986) When thermography and mammography are used together the detection of breast cancer increases by 10%. Ideally we would use thermography to monitor physiological changes in women’s breasts allowing for preventative treatment and resort to mammography to confirm significant findings and guide diagnosis of significant disease. (Head, J.F, 1995).
These techniques could help us to identify and stratify risk for cancer, and implement preventive protocols. The BCPP has been developed over the course of nearly a decade of research determining various risk factors associated with breast cancer that could be modified adjusting woman's diet, adding nutrients, and changing her lifestyle by adding exercise and reducing stress.
This research had as objective to evaluate the risk reduction for breast cancer among woman using the Breast Cancer Prevention Protocol (BCPP)
The first step is to identify and place women into an appropriate zone on the scale of fibrocystic breasts. The categories, loosely defined, will place women into one of four zones: none, mild, moderate, or severe categories. Identifying and placing a woman into an appropriate category is done using thermography, a risk assessment questionnaire, blood tests, and genetic testing for a genetic mutation MTRFR that is connected to increased breast cancer risk. (Langsenlehner, T., 2008) After determining the patient’s risk level, a prevention protocol was incorporated, which included a combination of the following: education on diet, exercise, and preventing exposure to environmental toxins; education on identifying stress and how to relieve stress; Education on self-breast exam; Detoxifying for a period of time to cleanse the body of harmful toxins; Iodine intake; Vitamin D3 intake; Frankincense oil (Boswellia Sacra).
The initial exam included: Questionnaire, breast thermography, vitamin D 25 OH level, MTRFR gene mutation blood test. Each patient had a following exam that included: questionnaire and thermography exam, re-education document, a vitamin D test. The purpose of the follow-up study was to monitor the benefits of the protocol.
Thermography by Digital infrared imaging (DII)
On January 29, 1982, the FDA approved thermography for the detection of breast cancer as an adjuvant diagnostic tool. Despite FDA approval, breast thermography in the United States has not yet been universally accepted as an effective diagnostic tool for preventing breast cancer. (Nelson, 2009) This is because, apparently, the traditional medical model is focused on early detection and treatment of disease, as opposed to prevention. (Gros, 1980)
The use of digital infrared imaging is based on the principle that metabolic activity and vascular circulation in both pre-cancerous tissue and the area surrounding a developing breast cancer is almost always higher than in normal breast tissue. In an ever increasing need for nutrients, cancerous tumors increase circulation to their cells by holding open existing blood vessels, opening dormant vessels, and creating new ones (neo-angiogenesis). (P. Gamigami, 1996) This process frequently results in an increase in regional surface temperatures of the breast. DII uses ultra-sensitive medical infrared cameras and sophisticated computers to detect, analyze, and produce high-resolution images of these temperature variations. Because of DII’s extreme sensitivity, these temperature variations may be among the earliest signs of breast cancer and/or a precancerous state of the breast. (M. Gautherie, 1983, Jones, 1983)
Thermographic examinations must be performed in a controlled environment. The primary reason for this is the nature of human physiology. Changes from a different external (non-clinical controlled room) environment such as clothing produce thermal artifacts. Refraining from sun exposure, stimulation or treatment of the breasts, and cosmetics and lotions before the exam, along with 15 minutes of nude acclimation in a florescent lit, draft and sunlight-free, temperature and humidity-controlled room maintained between 18-23 degree C, and kept to within 1 degree C of change during the examination, is necessary to produce a physiologically neutral image free from artifact
Methylene Tetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR mutation)
The genetic testing component to this research is very important and exciting. The BRACA gene testing is well known and documented in literature, but many treating professionals have wondered why so many women who have breast cancer patients are BRACA gene negative. One obvious answer is that there are other, as-yet-unknown genetic markers that could indicate that a woman is at risk for breast cancer. The MTHFR gene has been linked to breast cancer in various studies. Currently, however, women are only screened for MTHFR gene mutation if they suffer from numerous (more than 4) miscarriages. As this gene is not only linked to an increased risk of cancer, but also to heart disease, fetal abnormalities, and clotting disorders, this should be a more routine test.
Vitamin D 25 OH level Assay
Vitamin D deficiency is report to be very common in all age groups. Even young children and young and middle-aged adults are at significantly increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. (McGrath, 2002,Tangpricha, 2003) This is in part due to the fact that there is very little vitamin D in the diet, and increased use of sunscreens and diminished outdoor activity also contribute to this problem.
Boswellia Sacra essential Oil (Sacred Frankinscence)
Boswellia Sacra is a gum resin that is withdrawn from trees of the Burseraceae family (Boswellia sp.) are used most commonly used in incense. Dr Suhail y Dr. HK Lin have done the most extensive research on the extracts prepared from Boswellia sp. Gum resins they have demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic effects. Essential oil prepared by distillation of the gum resin traditionally used for aromatic therapy has also been shown to have tumor cell-specific anti-proliferative and proapoptotic activities. (Suhail MM1, 2011) Dr. Suhail has demonstrated in numerous studies the anti-neoplastic effects on breast, bladder, and pancreatic cancer. The studies evaluated the activity in both cultured human pancreatic cancer cells and a xenograft mouse cancer models.
After learning of Dr. H.K.Lin research at the University Of Oklahoma Health Science Center, with successful animal model treatment of mammary cancer in mice with the use of Boswellia Sacra, I noticed significant clinical improvements in advanced started breast cancer; decrease pain, decreased fatigue, decrease tumor size. This was the reason for inclusion in the Breast Prevention Protocol with consistent result in our practice in hundreds of women since 2011.
The data in graph below demonstrates that Dr. Suhail was able to successfully show that Boswellia sacra essential oil-mediated cell viability and death (Suhail, 2011).
We followed a total of eleven cases over at least a 12-month period if not more. Two of the eleven case studies opted out of the full protocol, choosing to only come for the digital infrared imaging and comply with only the vitamin D 5000iu standard dose, they opted out of all surveillance blood draws and thus served as a control group. The nine full protocol cases were extremely compliant with the protocol both educational information as well as active participation with the application of the 4 drops of lugol’s oral iodine in water and topical lugol’s iodine applied to breast 2 times per week, boswellia sacra topical application daily, vitamin D 3 5000 iu daily. They all welcomed the education and action of breast self-exam, toxin education, stress relief and subjectively reported complete resolution of any peri-menstral symptoms (where appropriate).
In Table # 1 we can see the data of the patients prior to the BPP implementation. The Figure # 1 shows the variation on Vitamin D levels (1.A) and the total increase in one year of follow up (1.B)
The nine clinical case studies that we followed all showed dramatic improvement in quantitative data points such as; decreased fibrocystic breast tissue, resolution of neovascularity, increased vitamin D 25OH levels, subjecting quantitative measures such as less pain y tenderness and menstrual cycle dysmenorrhea and premenstrual syndrome. Even though there were only two control cases, both took the recommended vitamin D 5000iu, they did not wish to participate in the inclusive prevention protocol, and we did not check levels nor see any resolution yet increase neo vascularity and fibrocystic density patterns on the thermography. Both control cases thermography demonstrated increase patterns that were thermographically suspicious.
Table 1 presents the initial findings for each case study; age, date of initial study, fibrocystic nature of breasts at baseline, presence of neovascularity of right and left breast, presence of self reported frequency of breast self exam, number of biopsies, subjective symptoms (pain and tenderness in breast, cycle related tenderness, PMS), use of OCP’s, Breast feeding, number of children, age at fist child, and MTHFR genotype.
Table 2 presents the follow up data; fibrocystic nature of breast tissue, neovascularity,
serum vitamin D 25 OH, self reported frequency of breast self exam, lymphatic congestion, number of breast Biopsies, and subjective symptoms (pain and tenderness in breast, cycle related tenderness, PMS).
The data shows 100% improvement in the study cases for subjective symptoms (pain and tenderness in breast, cycle related tenderness, PMS). The addition of Vitamin D, iodine, and awareness of toxins and inflammatory foods obviously contributed to the decrease in symptoms. The subject also all reported beginning to do monthly breast exams. The improved subjective symptoms in my opinion are significant, if you agree with the idea that the body gives us symptoms like pain to identify imbalance, then the resolution of these symptoms is positive. The significance of these findings are theoretical, the following are possible: The anti inflammatory nature of the Boswellia Sacra reduced inflammation enough to decrease the pain.
The nutritional optimization with vitamin D, Iodine, methylcobalamin, and folate increased methylation and natural detoxification pathways, thus lowering estrogen dominance. (Zhang, 2011) The optimization of iodine reduced fibrocystic density diminishing the subjective symptoms.
The fibrocystic density is described as none, mild, moderate, or severe in the radiology reports this data was categorized as 1-4 for purposes of table presentation. All of the case studies on full Breast Prevention Protocol had a reduction of fibrocystic nature, whereas the control group that only took only vitamin D had no change or increased fibrocystic thermography findings. This result is significant, the medical community is concerned regarding the decreased effectiveness of mammography in the presence of fibrocystic breast density.
The issue has resulted in costly addition of additional tests like ultrasound and breast MRI. As well as need for increased frequency of mammogram, thus exposing high-risk women to additional radiation exposure. If we can use thermography earlier in a women’s life, at 25 when the breast are fully developed, and implemented the breast prevention protocol, could we reduce or resolve the fibrocystic density before women start their annual mammogram? Would the mammogram be more effective at early detection, thus decreasing the need for additional expensive tests, and additional radiation exposure? This data would suggest just that. All of the cases and controls had thermographically suspicious findings on initial exam as per radiology reading. At the twelve-month follow up the data shows 100% reversal of the thermographically suspicious findings in all nine case studies, with no resolution in the control case and one increase area of concern.
Neovascularity simply means new blood vessels going to an area of tissue that is evident on thermography. This pattern indicates that tissue has future potential or high risk for tumor growth. Each of the case studies presented with some degree of neovascularity describe on tables 1 and 2 as 1-5. Once again the findings were promising 100% reversal of those suspicious high-risk findings in the Breast Prevention Protocol participants and no change in the control participants. The 100% reduction of neovascularity and thermographically suspicious patterns in all cases following the Breast Prevention Protocol is very promising. There is a desperate need for a larger scale study, at least 100 cases and 100 controls. Data
collected in a larger scale study would be ground breaking and have the potential to change the breast cancer surveillance model in this country. I think it also worth discussing the significance of the control group’s findings. There are several clinics around the country simply providing the thermography breast screenings; with no offer of a preventative strategy. As we can gather from the controls that only took the recommended Vitamin D3 5000iu there was no improvement and increased concern in one case. Thus the finding of this study once solidified in a larger scale study could provide the evidenced based knowledge that primary care physicians and thermography centers around the world could use to recommend the Breast Prevention Protocol.
Serum vitamin D3 25OH levels are shown in figure 1, all cases both active protocol and control cases took the recommended vitamin D3 5000iu daily, as you can see all study participants repeat levels showed a nice improvement in vitamin D 25 OH levels between 50-80mg/dl. None of the cases where found to be at toxic levels of vitamin D over 100mg/dl.
Vitamin D levels should be routinely checked in patients of all ages the recent change observed in my practice over the last two years, in the need for increased vitamin D3 supplementation to keep patients in the breast protective range of 50-80 mg/dl is important information. There is a need for more studies to be done on vitamin D today in the ever-changing environment that will educate physicians to the need and change.
All of the nine cases tested were detected to have at least one heterozygous MTHFR mutation; three participants were found to be compound heterozygous for both MTHFR C677 and MTHFR A116, three cases studies were detected as heterozygous for MTHFR C677, and three case studies detected heterozygous for MTHFR A116, one cases was undetectable for either gene mutation. These results are consistent with the testing for MTHFR mutations in my larger group of New York patients in my practice whereas, 90% of the patients tested in my practice are detected for at least one heterozygous mutation; of that group 20% are detected to be homozygous for on mutation.
There are many BRACA negative women getting breast cancer in the US. One theory is there are other gene mutations that can predispose toward increased risk for breast cancer. As we have solidified in the data the connection of breast cancer risk to toxin exposure is well documented. Then is it possible that this gene that controls our “detox” pathways could be relevant. If you are; “an impaired detoxifier” then would your breast tissue be at bigger risk?
BCPP may reduce risks of breast cancer in women. Additional long-term studies to further evaluate the long term risk reduction.
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