By Catherine Kolonko
A Del Mar doctor who has practiced integrative medicine for decades hopes the internet will help him spread his message on the importance of prevention in fighting breast cancer.
Breast cancer prevention is just as important as finding a cure for the disease, said Barnet Meltzer, M.D., who plans to hold a webinar on the subject Nov. 17 via
, a website dedicated to his wellness and weight loss clinic. Too often emphasis is placed solely on how to treat the disease when the real solution is to stop it before it starts, he said.
Meltzer plans to cover a whole gamut of topics surrounding breast cancer with an emphasis on prevention and integrative medicine that takes into account the whole person, not just the condition. Integrative techniques such as stress management, fitness and meditation complements traditional medicine and gives women better long-term result, said Meltzer. The talk will also provide information about Save the Ta-Tas foundation, which supports independent research on breast cancer.
Meltzer said he wants to promote discussion on breast cancer prevention, which gets the short shrift compared to the millions of dollars raised in recent years for detection and treatment. Part of the problem, as he see is it, is that society does not recognize or properly encourage the value of a healthy lifestyle and how it can help prevent disease.
“We need to make wellness a value, “said Meltzer and that’s where integrative medicine can help because it combines traditional western medicine with a medical philosophy of prevention, what Meltzer calls the best of both worlds.
“When you’re talking about preventive medicine, you’re really talking about how you empower people to stay well and be well. You kind of get to it before it gets to you.
“Don’t leave your health to chance,” adds Meltzer. “It’s too important.”
Food choice and physical fitness can go a long way to reduce the risk of cancer and chronic illness. However, many people mistakenly believe that getting breast cancer happens by chance or because of genetics and therefore nothing can be done to prevent it, said Meltzer. Mental and emotional fitness also are important components of prevention because stress is another risk factor that leads to ill health and disease, including breast cancer, according to Meltzer.
In today’s world, the average person walks around feeling stressed, tired and “burned out,” yet traditional medicine rarely offers a solution, said Meltzer. Part of his discussion will address how to identify “burn out” and what to do to improve a person’s well being.
What we eat and drink can turn toxic in the body, said Meltzer, who will discuss specific foods to avoid as well as which top three cancer- fighting food groups can decrease the risk for breast cancer.
Those who tune into the webinar can also learn how a high acidic diet causes inflammation within the body. Meltzer said his own research, as well as other studies, have shown that cancer grows in a more acidic environment. To explain the reason he said to picture a bicycle left outdoors that eventually starts to rust. An acidic diet is similarly corrosive over time to mechanisms and organs of the body.
“Your body gets acidic from three things — environmental, stress factors and nutritional factors,” said Meltzer. Of those three factors, the simplest process to change is making a decision to change how you eat, he said.
Meltzer plans to discuss ways to balance the body’s chemistry of acidic and alkaline levels by paying close attention to what you eat. Foods that generate high acidity include those high in unsaturated fats like red meat, chicken, and, he adds, even fish. The foods that Meltzer recommends to women who want to reduce their breast cancer risk through nutrition are more alkaline-based. They include fresh fruit, vegetables, and plant-based proteins such as nuts, beans and legumes.
“I think the most important thing for women to realize is that they play a role in this, that they have a big hand in how things turn out” by deciding whether to choose a high- or low-risk life style, said Meltzer.
Meltzer points out that there are not a lot of fit, healthy and well-adjusted people who get breast cancer. That doesn’t mean that someone who looks slim and fit is safe from the disease. Appearances sometime deceive, said Meltzer. While obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer, a slender person with a diagnosis may have other less visible risk factors such as high stress levels or poor nutrition. That’s why prevention is best achieved through all aspects of wellness, from nutritional food to a healthy mind, body and spirit, said Meltzer.
Today’s world is full of emotional, financial and spiritual minefields that can throw our bodies off balance, said Meltzer. Few people can escape these stresses and without proper intervention, they chip away at the body’s immune system, rendering its defense mechanisms too weak to fight off germs, toxins and disease.
The breast cancer awareness webinar will last about an hour and include a question and answer period at the end, Meltzer said. It can be accessed via the internet or by phone.
This is the first of a series of webinars that Meltzer and his son are planning to promote integrative medicine. Future plans include presentations on preventive health measures for people over 40.
“Our main purpose is to get people interested in health and to get them to get their families interested in health and try to get more and more accurate information out there,” said Meltzer. “That’s why we are launching this part of these webinars on breast cancer.”
The webinar is free with registration of an email address on Meltzer’s website at