Horner:Actually, it's the year anniversary right now. The book is doing great. In fact, it hit number 1 on Amazon.com amongst the breast cancer books last October. It's been doing well.
Mike:Fantastic. One of the reasons for the success of this book comes back to your philosophy on breast cancer. I'd like you to share your take on it with our readers, because you say that breast cancer is really not something that is out of the person's control; that it can be prevented. Give us a little bit of information about that.
Horner:I was a practicing plastic surgeon and I was a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. I was taught to tell people that we didn't know what caused breast cancer and that we didn't have any known cures for it; that the best things women could do were mammograms and breast exams to catch it early.
I had kind of a tragic personal experience with this because my mother followed that Western medicine advice. She was diagnosed with breast cancer, and they supposedly caught it early. Five years later she showed up with metastatic disease and died nine months after that.
I thought to myself, "You know what? I don't want this disease." To me just getting mammograms and breast exams felt like playing a game of Russian Roulette. When is it going to get me? I was completely disempowered. I looked through the medical literature to see if there was anything we already knew that could give us information about what's causing breast cancer, or the things that women could do to help protect themselves or lower the risk of it.
Surprisingly, I found thousands of studies that showed exactly why we have a breast cancer epidemic, what we're doing wrong and what we're not doing that could be highly protective. That's what my book is. It's everything that I could find.
There are about 40 different approaches, all of them with huge statistical data in support of them, and everything's natural. It's foods, supplements, herbs, activities and so forth that have tremendous effect either increasing the risk or protecting against it.
Mike:You talk about not only what people can do to prevent the progression of breast cancer, but how they can prevent it altogether. What are some of those things that people should be avoiding that will protect their health?
Horner:Not surprisingly, the American diet and lifestyle is a recipe for breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and heart disease. We know that because it's so prevalent. When the typical American is interviewed, what do they normally eat? They normally eat fast food. If you look at the burger, the white bun, the French fries, the milkshake, and pop, each one of those things is something that contributes to the initiation and progression of breast cancer. Women who eat red meat, particularly grilled and well-done, have a 400 percent increased risk of breast cancer.
There are carcinogens that are formed when meat is cooked, and red meat is also high in saturated animal fats, which act as a concentrated storehouse of environmental toxins. Saturated animal fats will make our cells more insulin-resistant, which puts us at risk for type 2 diabetes.
It also causes our insulin levels to go up. Insulin actually acts as a growth factor for not only breast cancer, but colon, prostate cancer and so forth. There are little receptors on the cell and when it hooks onto it, it causes cell division to increase.
Then we consume trans fats -- those horrible hydrogenated fats they cook things like french fries in. Studies found that's again something that will speed up the cell division that happens in the breast tissue in particular and causes inflammation. We know that inflammation is something that plays an essential role in all sorts of chronic disorders and definitely speeds up the growth of breast cancer.
If you take an anti-inflammatory, you can cut the risk in half. Sugar and refined carbohydrates are the preferred food for cancer. The more sugar you eat, the faster it grows, plus it's pro-inflammatory and knocks out your immune system right after you eat it. It also causes our insulin levels to go up and, again, insulin acts as a growth factor for cancer.
All of those things in the typical fast food meal are things that increase the risk. Another problem we have in this country is obesity. Most people think that only the ovaries produce estrogen, which is the hormone that actually speeds up the growth of breast cancer. That, in fact, is not true. Estrogen is also produced by the fat cells. After menopause, the fat cells become the primary site of estrogen production. In fact, they become factories for estrogen. The more fat a woman has around menopause, the higher her risk of breast cancer. That's because of the elevated amount of estrogen that she's producing.
Mike:Wow. That's fascinating. There are so many factors involved in this. Now, a lot of this comes as a surprise to people because many of our readers have been told that breast cancer is purely genetic and there is nothing you can do about it.
Horner:Exactly, and that's false. What they've found is only about 5 percent of breast cancers are genetic. The rest of them are brought about by diet and lifestyle, which is good news because that means we can have tremendous impact on whether we get this disease or not. Women can do many things to influence the risk of getting the disease.
Mike:What did you think about the study that came out in the UK? A survey asked women who had a history of breast cancer in their family whether they would be willing to have a preventive double mastectomy just to prevent breast cancer, even if they had never been diagnosed with it. More than 20 percent of women said that they would do that to prevent breast cancer. Do you find that shocking?
Most women really, really fear it. That's not surprising that one out of five women would say, just take it out so I don't even have to deal with the risk of it.
Mike:Wow. Let's talk about some of the things that are in the Protective Breast Formula, which you formulated. I notice it contains not only some vitamins, but also more importantly some anticancer herbs and superfood elements.
Horner:Women can do many highly protective things. I always give the bad news first, and then everyone wants to know what you can do to stop this from happening. Actually, what the research shows is there is a tremendous amount of natural things that you can do.
Some of them are specific foods that you can consume like spices, herbs and supplements that have tremendous effect at either slowing down the growth of breast cancer or preventing it in the first place. This is actually good for people who have breast cancer and are undergoing treatment.
Turmeric, which is a bright yellow orange colored spice, is another helpful herb. It's a cousin of ginger and is found in curry. It has tremendous anticancer properties to it, and you can add one-quarter of a tablespoon at the end of cooking to almost any food.
Of course, it's tough if you look at things like green tea. You have to drink six to ten cups of green tea a day to help. I had a girlfriend in Santa Fe that was I was talking to about all these different ingredients. She said, "Christine, if you would just put these all into one pill, I'd take it."
I thought, "You know this is not a bad idea." There's this Wortle Statistic that states 90 percent of heart attack victims go back to their original diet and lifestyle within one year. Strangely, death is not a motivator for human beings on a daily basis. I'm really committed to ending the breast cancer epidemic, so I had to make it as easy as possible.
What I did was I work with enzymatic therapy to create the Protective Breast Formula. First I had to find out how many supplements we could get into one pill and have them all be compatible.
We were able to actually get seven different supplements into one pill. It gives a very broad spectrum of action. It contains turmeric, the anticancer spice I spoke about. Turmeric is something that has these tremendous properties in it that help to combat environmental estrogens on many different levels.
When I go through the list of all the different things that stimulate the growth of breast cancer, the one thing you can't do anything about are these environmental estrogens. They come in the form of pesticides, herbicides and a couple of different chemicals. When some of these chemicals get into your body, turmeric makes them behave less like estrogen. It blocks them from attaching to the estrogen receptor in the breast tissue.
Even if the environmental estrogens actually get through and attaches to the estrogen receptor -- which means it causes cell division to speed up and so forth -- turmeric turns the volume down, so the cells don't grow and divide as rapidly as they normally would. Then, when it goes to the liver to get broken down, it beefs up the liver enzymes and makes the body more effective at eliminating these toxins and excess estrogen.
We also put green tea in there, and green tea has tremendous anticancer properties. It's a very powerful anti-inflammatory with antioxidants just like turmeric. Green tea and turmeric actually have synergistic effects together, which means that each one makes the other more effective. Green tea will enhance the anticancer effects of turmeric by three times and turmeric will enhance the anticancer effects of green tea by eight times.
Mike:Of course, both are well represented in your formula. Turmeric is 3,000 milligrams per serving. There is 500 milligrams of green tea leaf extract. That's a potent combination.
Horner:It's the equivalent of drinking about six cups of green tea during the day. We also have a few different nutrients that are found in cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are a family of vegetables that include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and they're somewhat noteworthy because they have a natural hormone detoxifier in them.
They have tremendous heath benefits in addition to helping to protect against and fight breast cancer. In fact, women who eat the most cruciferous vegetables have a 40 percent lower incidence of breast cancer. We have two different elements in there from the cruciferous vegetables like indoplex and indole-3-carbinol.
When the body breaks down estrogen in the liver, it will produce either a good kind of estrogen breakdown product or a bad kind. Just like we have a good and bad kind of cholesterol, we have a good and bad kind of estrogen. The indole-3-carbinol or DIM helps promote the good kind.
Like your main supply, the good kind is something that does not promote the growth of breast cancer and is protective. The bad kind is something that does promote the growth of it. If you eat cruciferous vegetables or take the supplement, you can actually measure these breakdown products in your urine and see a positive change in it in 24 to 48 hours.
Mike: Many women who are about to undergo breast cancer treatment protocol hear the same thing from their oncologist: Don't take antioxidants. It'll ruin the chemotherapy.
Horner:Yes. That's totally not true. It's such a problem. I always hate to tell people their doctor doesn't have time to read and that traditionally, the doctor gets their information from -- and I mean this is bad, bad news -- the media and from drug companies. They actually don't know if they don't hear it there.
If you go through medical literature like I have and read literally hundreds of studies, you'd find the vast majority of the studies show that people who take antioxidants actually get an enhanced effect from the chemotherapy while receiving protection against the organ damage. Our understanding of how chemotherapy works is too primitive.
The research is showing there are obviously other mechanisms in place. So, here's a cool thing about green tea: There are the pump mechanisms that will pump things into the cells and also pump things out of the cells, and green tea can affect those mechanisms.
They've found that if women are undergoing chemotherapy and drinking green tea, that it pumps more chemotherapy inside the tumor cells. They were finding three times the concentration of Adrimyacin, which is a common chemotherapeutic drug used for treating breast cancer, inside the tumor cells in the presence of green tea. And the green tea pumps it out of the normal cells.
So, you get enhanced effectiveness while protecting against the organ damage. I think that every oncologist should know this. Every woman should be taking it because you get those protective effects with it. Turmeric will shut off the blood supply to tumors and so does green tea. Without new blood vessels growing in and bringing nutrients and oxygen, tumors can't grow any bigger.
Mike: Why don't mainstream oncologists grasp this information about green tea and use it to the benefit of their patients? What could possibly be the reason?
Horner:I think that part of it is they don't have time to read, like I said, and secondly we have such an incredibly litigious environment. When you're dealing with cancer patients it's life or death. It's almost like they're forced to do mainstream because of the possibility of getting sued and they're concerned about doing anything that would be considered a little bit abnormal because of that.
Mike:But you aren't sued if the patient dies from the chemotherapy. I don't mean to be so blunt but maybe that's what's needed.
Horner:It's so sad. Fortunately, most people who are undergoing chemotherapy or cancer treatments are trying to figure out alternatives on their own. And there are some integrative oncologists who are popping up around the country and using all of this together to get much better results than what you get with traditional treatment.
Mike: Thank goodness for people like you who bring this message to the public. Again, the book is called "Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner's Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer." It's available everywhere, bookstores and online. Do you have a website that you'd like to give out?
Horner:I do, yes. My website is DrChristineHorner.com.
My website has information about my book and there are all sorts of breast health tips, which are kind of summaries of some of the things that I talk about in my book. Another website that you should know about, is ProtectiveBreast.com. You'll find the information about Protective Breast Formula and all the ingredients in more detail. You'll also be able to order it from the website.
Mike:You can order the supplement from ProtectiveBreast.com?
Horner:Yes. You can have it shipped to your home monthly, and then you don't even have to think about it. It's much cheaper that way, too.
Mike:For those reading, I have to add that I've personally known Christine for a year, and if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, educate yourself. I can't urge you enough. Check out your options, read this book, find out what else is available, and don't let fear be your primary motivating factor in deciding what to do. Educate yourself. Get that information and confidence, and make an informed decision.
Horner:Exactly. There are just so many things that you can do that will enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy, even the radiation. It will protect you against the organ damage and significantly increase your chances of successfully fighting your disease. Having information about the things that accelerate the growth of breast cancer and the things that can help to protect against it can make a giant difference.
Mike:Dr. Horner, it's been a real pleasure to speak with you.
Horner:Thank you. It's been my pleasure.
Mike:I wish you the best with getting this message out there with your book and product line.