Stop Treating! Start Preventing!
Breast cancer is preventable. Read on for three simple ways to get started now.
You may have noticed all the pink in the air this month. Organizations are cashing in on a wide variety of products based on their intent to contribute a portion of the proceeds, however small, to a breast cancer charity. In case you didn't know why you were seeing all the pink products, it is because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
With an alarming one in eight American women now diagnosed with breast cancer, it is certainly a cause that demands attention. Yet, despite the claims to raise awareness, surprisingly little is being said about how to AVOID this calamity.
Some organizations are spreading the word about diet, exercise, and other preventive measures, but there are other factors that, if addressed, would dramatically improve the odds that a woman can live her life breast cancer free.
Estrogen is one of the most well known causes of breast cancer. This is why anti-estrogen medications are a mainstay of breast cancer treatment (in women who have estrogen responsive breast cancer). This is also the reason that having children, which causes a reduction in estrogen levels, decreases a woman’s breast cancer risk.
Unfortunately, our homes are now overloaded with products that contain chemicals that behave like estrogen; thereby, placing all women at an alarmingly high risk of developing cancer, with or without having had children. This is why the following 3 steps are vital for all women to protect themselves from cancer. Please tell all the women you care about to follow these steps; it could save their life:
1. Avoid bisphenol A, which is a hormone disruptor that is found in many common household products. It leaches out of polycarbonate plastic containers into the food within. Polycarbonate plastic is used to make 5 gallon jugs of water, reusable water bottles (not the disposable ones), and many baby bottles. Turn over your plastic products and look for the #7 inside the recycling triangle, which indicates it is polycarbonate. If you are unsure, call the manufacturer. Bisphenol A is also used to line the inside of paper containers that hold liquids and cans that contain food or beverages. Whenever possible, rinse canned foods before consuming them and avoid buying acidic food, like tomato sauce, in a can.
2. Avoid plasticizers (called phthalates with a silent p), which are also hormone disruptors. These plasticizers are everywhere. They are in cosmetics, baby shampoo, baby chew toys, perfume, cleaning products, plastic containers, pest and lawn care products, etc. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) contains these harmful plasticizers and is a common route of exposure for many women because PVC is the component of many plastic wraps used for food. Look for the #3 inside the recycling triangle, which indicates it is PVC. If you are unsure, call the manufacturer. Go to www.cosmeticdatabase.com to find out if your personal care products may increase your odds of breast cancer. Check out www.thegreenguide.com to find safer cleaning products. If you purchase fatty foods such as cheese that is wrapped in commercial plastic wrap, remove it, slice off the outer layer, and rewrap it in unbleached parchment paper and place it inside a Ziploc baggie or a glass storage container.
3. Get a daily dose of brassica vegetables, which include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage. Brassica vegetables bind to estrogens in your body and convert them to a form that is easily eliminated so they have less time to cause cancer. Broccoli sprouts are an excellent form of brassica and you can grow them right on your windowsill without having a green thumb. Go to www.brassica.com for more information.
By avoiding #3 and #7 plastic products, choosing safer cleaning, personal care, lawn, and pest control products, your risk of breast cancer can be dramatically reduced. Because it is impossible, in this day and age, to completely eliminate your exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, remember to eat your daily dose of brassica vegetables.
While “a race for the cure” is beneficial, it is not good enough. It is time we stop treating and start preventing breast cancer in the first place. For more information about preventing chronic illnesses, cancer, autism, ADD, Alzheimer’s disease, etc, visit www.holler4health.com. You will be able to follow the links described above and many others to find your path to health. While there, reserve a copy of “Holler for Your Health: Be the Key to a Healthy Family”, which provides a 10 Step Action Plan to preserve or reclaim health.
Teresa Holler is a physician assistant, assistant professor of medicine, author of "Cardiology Essentials" (Jones and Bartlett, 2007) and "Holler for Your Health! Be the Key to a Healthy Family".
Ms. Holler is also an engaging professional speaker endorsed by the President of the National Speakers Association. She can be reached through her website at http://www.holler4health.com