Tips to Prevent Breast Cancer for October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Every October we celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) as an international health campaign to support those affected by breast cancer. In order to raise the awareness of this disease, major breast cancer charities and fundraisers raise funds to support research, diagnostic tools, preventions, treatments and cures.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded in 1985 between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstrZeneca, producer of several anti-breast cancer drugs). The goal of the NBCAM from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer. Since its development, a variety of events including walks and runs have been organized to help spread breast cancer awareness.
Breast cancer (although much less of an occurrence) can also happen in men. Even though the phenomenon occurs much less in men, it is becoming more and more prevalent; along with the escalation of breast cancer in women. The question is, in this day and age, why is there an increase in breast cancer patients, when there is more and more research being done to support a greater knowledge of the disease, along with more medical support to help fight it? Breast cancer cases should be decreasing, not increasing! To find the reason for this, don’t look at your genetic DNA for the answer… The keys and knowledge to PREVENT breast cancer is already known. So rather than focusing on “finding a cure”, in this article we will focus on preventing it altogether.
Preventing breast cancer means raising your awareness. Many factors can contribute to breast cancer so it is important to be conscious of these influences to deter your body from being susceptible to this disease. A list of preventative measures include:
*Eat a healthy diet
*Nourish your well-being
*Get optimal sleep
*Nurture your skin
*Avoid environmental toxins
*Know your family history
Below we will look further into these preventative measures, along with providing additional guidance on how to implement them into your everyday life.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eat as much of a whole food, unprocessed diet as possible. Try to stay away from anything refined and eat foods as close to how nature created them as possible. Eat a healthy diet abundant with a full spectrum of organic fruits and vegetables. Include every color of the rainbow and try to eat locally sourced ingredients as much as possible by shopping at farmers markets and growing your own food if you are able. Locally sourced food will have a higher nutritional value than those picked before they are ripe and shipped across the country to get to you.
Avoid or keep to a minimum caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea, while instead drinking water as well as beverages such as fresh fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies is a great way to maintain good hydration levels throughout the day.
Additionally, vegetable foods and beverages contain high amounts of chlorophyll which has potent antioxidant properties and naturally inhibits and prevents cancer growth. Green vegetables both whole and juiced are also alkaline foods which help to balance acidity in the body and aid in cancer treatment. Cancer does not thrive well in an alkaline environment so restore balance to your body’s PH by incorporating more greens into your diet.
Get at Least 30 Minutes of Exercise a Day
Exercise is not just important to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise is proven to be effective in contributing to better brain health by stimulating the brain neurons for optimal functioning, memory and also releasing endorphins which help our overall mood and well-being. Additionally, exercise activates blood flow and the body’s lymphatic drainage system (responsible for proper organ functioning and clearing cellular waste products, such as cancer cells, and toxins out of the body). A combination of weight resistance and cardiovascular exercise should be incorporated into your daily routine. Rebounding (bouncing on a trampoline/rebounder) is one of the most effective exercises for activating the body’s lymph and the cardiovascular system and for just 10 minutes a day can be a highly effective preventative measure for combating cancer.
Nourish Your Well-being
Having at least a weekly or monthly plan of wellness modalities is a valuable tool to help clear the body of toxins and assist your body’s lymphatic drainage. Wellness modalities include: Sauna, steam room, massage, ozone therapy, foot bath, colonic, rife therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and modalities of the like; which can restore and maintain optimal health and well-being. I encourage you to do an online search to learn more about the above treatments and see if there is a health center near you that offers any of them.
Get at Least 8 Hours of Sleep a Day
A minimum of 8 hours of sleep a day is recommended. Sleep allows our bodies to recover and renew. Our bodies manage billions (yes BILLIONS) of functions a day and along with the wear and tear from our daily activities they need that time to rest and recover.
Nurture the Skin You’re In
Our skin is the largest organ and largest detoxification system in our body. Over 1 pound of toxins are released from our skin each day. Our skin contains millions of pores which absorb and expel substances into and out of the body. Make sure you are only using natural skin care products, free of heavy metals, toxic chemicals, petroleum, parabens, dyes, etc. Research your makeup, sunscreen, hair care, and all skin care products to refrain from using goods that contain these harmful additives. For instance, most antiperspirant/deodorants contain aluminum; a metal which mimics the female hormone estrogen in the body. Aluminum can also cause direct damage to DNA in the body’s systems. Although aluminum and breast cancer have not been directly linked, a concentration of aluminum has been found in breast tissue in the highest levels in the area of the breast near the underarm region where most breast cancers are originally diagnosed. Choose natural alternatives such as coconut oil with essential oil, a diluted aluminum free baking soda, or lime, are all good replacements. Research natural deodorant remedies online and you will find many possibilities that will work for you.
Other skin care ingredients such as oxybenzone (found in many sunscreens), is an endocrine disruptor linked to increases in breast cancer. Sunscreen also contains many other chemicals that mimic estrogen such as 3-(4-methyl benzylidene)-camphor (4-MBC) and octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC). Chemicals such as these accumulate in the body’s tissues and disrupt the endocrine system, increasing your rate for breast cancer. To avoid these chemicals, look for sunscreens with the active ingredients being zinc and other natural ingredients.
Additionally, to further nurture your skin, wear organic and naturally fibered clothing as much as possible. Synthetic materials such as polyester are petroleum based which is toxic to the skin and do not allow it to breathe and detoxify. Also, natural fibered clothing is usually best laundered rather than dry cleaned which is best for avoiding the poisonous dry cleaning chemical PERC (a chemical known as perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene). This solvent is used by about 85% of U.S. conventional dry cleaners, and also used as a metal degreaser and in the production of many other chemicals. To avoid these types of chemicals as well as added fabric processing chemicals, buy clothing free of treatments to steer clear of chemicals added for fire resistance, wrinkle free, stain free, etc.
Beware of External Toxins
Being knowledgeable of all the external toxins that can be harmful to your health is significant as well. Chemicals found in air pollution, cleaners, pesticides and herbicides, household furniture and more can accumulate in the bodies tissues so it is important to surround yourself with a clean environment and chemical free furnishings.
Stay away from using aluminum and teflon cookware. Instead use pots and pans made out of stainless steel or ceramic. It is also recommended to remove old foam mattresses and furniture containing PBDEs (flame retardants) that may be a risk factor for breast cancer. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were used in a wide variety of consumer products such as furniture stuffing, mattresses, foam products, carpet backings, non-clothing textiles, electrical insulation, computers, and televisions. PBDEs have also been shown to exhibit estrogenic properties and have been found in indoor and outdoor air, household dust, and food. They are also present in human breast milk, blood, and fat tissue and scientific evidence indicates that exposure over time to environmental estrogens can increase risk for breast cancer.
To replace these pollutants, use natural household cleaners, pesticides and herbicides, and household furniture made with natural materials and free of synthetic treatments. Refrain from using household cleaners such as chlorine bleach. You can make a lot of household cleaners with ingredients you buy in your local grocery market as well as natural solutions for pesticides and herbicides.
Maintain Minimal Stress Levels
Exercises such as Yoga, Thai-Chi, and Qigong are great practices to add to your program. These practices help to clear the mind and can be meditative and calming. Meditation is a good way to relax the body and balance the nervous system. Stress is one of the largest factors contributing to disease so it is important to keep stress levels to a minimum. Look at all areas in your life and do your best to remove all worries, anxieties, troubles, difficulties, pressures, and tensions.
All of the above measures are preemptive in preventing breast and other types of cancers. By incorporating them into your lifestyle you will strongly reduce your risk of contracting the disease. Although this may seem like a long list, do not stress to include them all into your daily routine. Maintaining optimal health and stress levels also involves staying balanced. Do the best you can to have great health each day and you will find that you will naturally incorporate the above preventative measures into your regimen as much as you can.
Know Your Family History
It is important to know that having a family history of cancer or certain diseases does not mean you are susceptible to those illnesses. If you carry a certain gene that is more susceptible to a certain condition, it just means that you may have more cells that may contribute to the sickness. Therefore, you must do your best to protect your body’s cells and incorporate healthy lifestyle practices that contribute to your optimal health and well-being.
In conclusion, rather than focusing on how we can treat breast cancer (and other diseases), we should figure out how to prevent it. You can prevent and treat breast cancer with many natural health remedies. These remedies are often not heard about because the pharmaceutical industries are working to “find a cure” and only work with chemical compounds that can be patented into drugs which they make money off of.
Therefore, prevention is the cure… Focus on your bodies overall health and wellness along with your external environment for better awareness on how you can achieve an optimal physical state. Make sure to eat nutritious food, stay hydrated, exercise, stay balanced, have minimal stress, get enough sleep, take care of your skin, know your family history, and beware of external toxins.
Furthermore, we all intuitively know the most important of all of these preventative measures is to have some FUN in this amazing life!! Our cells respond directly to our behaviors and feelings, from that acid feeling in your stomach during stress to that floating feeling of being in love. We owe it to ourselves to find out what makes us tick and go after an extra dose of the things that make us happy. Laughter is after all the best medicine!
Nurture your body and soul as best you can every day and your body will thank you!