Breast Cancer Dream Awareness

Dense breast tissue makes cancer harder to find. Photo credit: Shutterstock

This October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month do yourself a favor and start keeping a dream diary as it may save your life. That was the experience of the 18 women in my breast cancer dreams research project which was published in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing in 2015. They had dreams warning about breast cancer prior to any symptoms or tests, and all are alive years later after having their cancers diagnosed and treated. Most had their cancers confirmed with mammography, ultrasound or MRI, but a few had biopsies based on their dreams even when the studies failed to show the cancer.

Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos was one of the women who had such a dream-guided biopsy for her initial diagnosis at age 43 after a normal mammogram report. With the current controversy regarding starting screening mammograms every year from age 40 versus every other year starting at age 50, if you decide to start at 50 and have a cancer warning dream in your forties, it would be a good idea to start your mammograms earlier. If you do start at 40 and have dense breasts which make cancers harder find, a warning dream might guide you to request an ultrasound or MRI in addition.

The October 1, 2018 issue of Women’s World Magazine features Kathleen’s story on page 21 along with some useful tips on keeping a dream diary from Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Dodging Energy Vampires. O’Keefe-Kanavos provides more details about her amazing dreams in the book that she co-authored with me in April 2018, Dreams that Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases. The stories of another 9 women from my research project dream team are recounted in the book including how they used their dreams to guide their healing during intense medical treatments.

I recently completed another pilot study of dreams in women undergoing breast biopsies at Duke University Medical Center, but the data has not been analyzed or published yet. Since we don’t know from the original research project how many women with breast cancer actually have such warning dreams, 163 women filled out surveys about whether they remember their dreams, whether they keep a dream diary and if they had dreams warning them about cancer. The surveys are anonymous, so we won’t know which of the women actually have cancer on their biopsies.

The information we gathered will be used to design a more comprehensive study of women undergoing breast biopsies which will require informed consent to obtain the results of the biopsies. In most breast imaging centers about a third of the biopsies show cancer, so it will mean the other two thirds will have benign disease and can serve as a control group. That way we will begin to understand whether we can differentiate a benign dream from a malignant one. Funding support will be needed to perform this study that will answer important questions about the value of dreams in cancer diagnosis.

In the meantime, keeping a dream diary is a simple self-care practice that may also yield guidance about other areas of your life such as relationships and career paths. You can use a simple notebook or your smart phone with an app from the sponsor of my original research project, DreamsCloud. I recommend writing down a question every night about whatever pressing concern you have on your mind as a prompt to the dreamworld that you are ready and open for dream guidance. Record any dreams you have immediately before they slip away. Here is my simple guide to dream interpretation.

If you want more direct information from me about dreams, I’ll be giving a special evening talk and book signing open to the public on Cancer Dreams from 7:30 to 9:30 PM on Friday, 10/19/2018, at the Canadian Energy Psychology Conference in Toronto. At the same conference I’ll also be doing a preconference workshop on EFT for Serious Physical Illnesses, moderating a panel on Intuitive and Energetic Aspects of Healing and giving another talk on Near-Death Experiences. For anyone who wants to do dream analysis with me, I offer dreamwork and tapping online at Let Magic Happen Coaching.