By Dr. Daoshing Ni
Each year in the United States, approximately 180,000 women will
be told they have breast cancer. While there is ample information in the public
about the medical aspects of treatment, by comparison, information on prevention
is still lacking. This article will provide some current information on how
Chinese women prevent breast cancer. While this article addresses women, breast
cancer does occur in men (less than 2% of the cases each year).
Diet plays a major role in prevention of breast cancer. Breast
cancer rates among Japanese and Chinese women are approximately one-tenth of
those of American women. The typical Asian diet is lower in fat and dairy
products and much higher in soy products, green vegetables and whole grains
compared to Western societies. Breast cancer rates have increased for immigrant
Japanese women and descendents in California who have gradually switched to a
more western diet. Overweight females also have higher risk.
Eating more fish instead of red meat can reduce the intake of
saturated fat. Asians also tend to eat fresher foods, which have fewer
preservatives. Farming in Asia tends to use fewer chemical fertilizers and
pesticides due to the high cost of chemicals, though this has been changing
rapidly as farming has increasingly become "westernized". Organic farming has
become more popular of late and does provide a better source of produce.
Stress can stimulate excessive hormone secretion in the body,
which can lead to higher rate of breast cancer. Evaluate your daily life. Being
busy does not necessarily equal more stress. Worrying excessively can create
tension in the body and should be reduced if possible. Try to have a more
positive outlook in life. My mother always told me, "When you are angry, 10
million cells in your body die or become toxic; when you are happy, all your
cells are happy and functioning."
Alcohol, smoking and coffee
Alcohol and coffee consumption and smoking have been directly
linked to higher cancer rates. These habits tend to develop at a young age, so
it is important to teach our daughters healthy lifestyle habits early in life.
It's also important to avoid persistent second-hand smoke.
Meditation and energy exercises
Exercises such as Qigong, Taiji and Yoga can help reduce
stress and tension in our bodies. Meditation can relax our minds and bring our
bodies into balance. These exercises are not difficult to learn and can be
incorporated into our lifestyles relatively easily. Since the 1970s, Chinese
people have been experimenting with Qigong in treating breast cancer. While
medical Qigong treatments have shown some effectiveness in controlling cancer,
Qigong has also been shown to delay the both the onset and growth of cancerous
Dr. Daoshing Ni is currently in general practice at the
Tao of Wellness Clinic in Santa Monica, California. He has recently produced a
DVD entitled “Crane Chi Gong.” The Tao of Wellness Clinic is one of the oldest
in Los Angeles, established in 1976. (310) 917-2200