Port Moody Health Breast Cancer Tests
At Port Moody Health, we offer a preventative and proactive approach to assessing breast health. To appreciate how breast cancer can be prevented, it is important to first understand how cancer develops and what occurs long before a tumor is actually detected by mammography or clinical and/or self-breast exam. Cancer is a very complex and multi-factorial disease and cancerous changes typically begin 10-20 years before a lesion is found and/or symptoms of malignancy arise.
Everyone is at risk of developing cancer, even those who may feel and appear to be very healthy because there are many factors for which we cannot control – namely, our environment. Having said that, there are many factors that will influence whether or not a woman will develop breast cancer and many are within our control.
Our physicians begin with a comprehensive evaluation to identify the factors that play a key role in the development of breast cancer. Breast cancer tests are something all women should perform regularly. This includes an assessment of family history (genetics), personal history, environmental exposures, diet, lifestyle behaviors, nutrition and hormones. Once we have an imprint of your health history and present health status, we can devise a personalized cancer prevention strategy that includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations, along with other interventions (such as nutritional supplementation, detoxification) as indicated.
Tests For Breast Health Assessment
Specific hormone testing (using urine, saliva and/or blood) evaluates hormone health and parameters associated with greater or lesser risk for hormone-driven cancers. For example, it is important to evaluate the level of progesterone to estrogen – a higher ratio is associated with lower risk of hormonal cancers such as breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate. The best way to assess estrogen and progesterone is with a saliva and/or urinary steroids assessment. These tests panels also determine your levels of testosterone, DHEAs and cortisol levels.
If indicated, evaluation of toxic heavy metals and vitamin D testing may be recommended. Nutritional and antioxidant status can be determined with comprehensive organic acids testing and help to identify the critical nutritional needs that are not being met by diet and assesses the individual’s detoxification capabilities. Such comprehensive and functional testing offers greater insight on the factors that contribute to an individual’s risk for disease and provides the data required to take the guess work out of prescribing treatments, thereby allowing your naturopath physician to make customize a personalized treatment plan.
There are many other benefits to early hormone evaluation and nutritional evaluation. Pre-menopausal women who have healthy hormone balance and higher nutritional status prior to becoming peri-menopausal, are far less likely to suffer the common symptoms of menopause (night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes, etc.) and tend to enjoy more calm during this transition.
When it comes to breast cancer screening, we provide you with screening recommendations on a personalized basis which includes a discussion on your personal preferences for screening, the harms and benefits of routine screening with mammography, and other options for screening that may be better suited to you.