3 Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

3 Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Unfortunately one in nine women will develop Breast Cancer, and it is important that women screen themselves weekly for changes in their breasts. Most women will find a lump at some time, but these are usually lumps of fibrous tissue, and are generally not harmful. Any unusual changes in your breasts should be mentioned to a doctor.

Breast Cancer has been linked to 3 factors:

1. Exposure to natural (produced by the body) and synthetic (chemicals in the environment) Oestrogen (a hormone).

2. The way your liver breaks down and deals with both of these.

3. The speed at which these breakdown products are removed from the gut.

We can reduce or risk of developing Breast cancer in three ways linked to this:

1. Minimizing exposure to synthetic oestrogen.

2. Keeping our liver healthy and in good working order.

3. Keeping our intestines and colon (gut) healthy and working well.

3 Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

How can we do these things? Well, synthetic Oestrogen’s are found in plastic food wrapping; punnets, cling film, plastic trays, and in soft plastic containers such as food storage containers, in un-filtered tap water, household cleaners and meat, among other things. Synthetic Oestrogen can have up to 100 times more effect on breast tissue than natural Oestrogen. We can help ourselves and our family by trying to cut down on plastic wrapping- buy a basket or a material shopping bag and buy your food from local vegetable shops and fishmongers/markets, requesting that food is put directly into your basket, or a box or shopping bag. You must notice how half the dustbin is full of plastic bottles, punnets and wrapping stuff. By cutting down on these plastics you can help the environment at the same time. When making lunch to take to work or children’s lunch boxes, pack food in grease-proof paper and paper bags, you can also save little glass jars for your work lunch box. (There are now glass baby bottles available if this issue worries you). Exposure to synthetic Oestrogen can also be limited by using a water filter, using more eco-friendly cleaning products such as Ecover, by eating less red meat and by choosing Organic foods (which also often use less plastic in wrapping)- especially organic meat which will contain less hormones and chemicals. The bad effects of Oestrogen are also thought to be counteracted by eating plenty of soya products, so supplement your diet with soya milk, soya yoghurts and puddings, Tofu and tofu sausages, and soya beans.

The second way to reduce our chances of developing breast cancer is to support our liver, so that it can efficiently break down the Oestrogen in our body. To do this we should cut right down on alcohol. The government guideline for safe alcohol limits is 14 units for a woman per week and 21 units for men, but the Breast Cancer awareness organization recommend that we drop our consumption to several units per week. Lowering your alcohol intake will keep you healthier for longer. Some drugs used to help support the livers of Breast Cancer patients are made from an extract of broccoli, and it is well known that cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, and sprouts) can guard against cancer. So boost for liver health by eating plenty of fresh steamed broccoli. We can also promote liver health by drinking plenty of water, cutting down our salt intake, avoiding smoked and cured meats and foods, and also by exercising frequently and avoiding recreational drugs, and unnecessary medication. The liver can also be put under stress by environmental toxins such as paint fumes, aerosols and household chemicals, so use masks when decorating, and protect children from fumes. When cleaning, limit use of chemicals and choose gentler products such as Ecover. Try traditional methods such as using bicarbonate of soda to clean the fridge, and vinegar to clean glass- ask your mum and grandma for hot tips!

3 Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

The third way that you can limit your risk factors is to promote bowel or gut health, and move unhealthy substances quickly from the body (stay regular). There are several ways that we can do this; eating fiber rich foods- lots of complex carbohydrates, lots of fruit and vegetables including the skin where possible, drinking plenty of water, and exercising. All of these things will keep the waste products in the gut moving through the body and quickly out again, reducing the chances of the Oestrogen breakdown products from the liver causing damage to the body. Keeping our gut healthy also involves keeping the gut flora healthy (friendly bacteria). This can largely be done by eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, drinking water, eating natural yoghurt and avoiding excessive alcohol.

Some of you reading this will already have developed breast cancer, and there are many changes to diet and activity levels which can improve recovery and reduce chances of developing cancer again. Recent research has found that women who have previously done several hours of exercise a week are likely to recover better from breast cancer, and women with breast cancer who perform gentle exercise for half an hour three times a week are more likely to recover faster and survive breast cancer. Eating complex carbohydrates, lots of fruit and vegetables and soya products will also aid recovery, and balanced diets may help with the fatigue endured by many women undergoing treatment. Gentle exercise helps to reduce the stress associated with living with cancer and undergoing treatment, and sufferers and non-sufferers may benefit from releasing stress and tension and unburdening the mind though relaxation, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, or prayer. People with breast cancer and those who wish to avoid it will benefit from a diet rich in anti-oxidants (cancer-busting chemicals) these can be found in colourful fruit and vegetables such as; broccoli, red, yellow and orange peppers, apricots, beetroot, spinach and chard, mango and papaya, cherries and carrots, blueberries and strawberries. Another super food containing a powerful anti-oxidant called selenium is Brazil Nuts- eat a few every day. Healthy eating and sensible activity levels worked in around cancer treatments will aid recovery and support the body through chemotherapy, and recovery from surgery. For more information and support on nutrition contact the Bristol Cancer Help Center- a world-famous organization devoted to helping people recover.

3 Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

To finish, here are some ways in which you can help your body, (and the bodies of those that you care for) ward off breast cancer or recover from it:

o Give up smoking.

o Self-monitor and check breasts weekly, reporting any unusual changes to doctor.

o Cut down on plastic packaging, plastic bags, and cleaning chemicals.

o Eat less meat, and choose organic meat. Swap meat for soya products which is a good protein source, and rebalances the harmful effects of synthetic protein.

o Cut down on your alcohol intake.

o Eat complex carbohydrates, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables of many different colours.

o Take regular exercise- 3x30minutes for people recovering from breast cancer, and 3-4 hours per week for everyone else. This exercise does not need to be strenuous or structured, and can be broken into small manageable chunks; 20 minute walk to the park, 10 minutes gardening, vacuuming enthusiastically to loud music for fifteen minutes!

o Maintain a healthy weight.

o Reduce the stress in your life where possible. Try and be organised as this can help. Find time to look after yourself and to relax. Try yoga, meditation and Tai chi- there are many classes, books and videos on offer. Release stress through gentle exercise, having a candle-lit bath or watching a weepy or funny film- whatever works for you. Remember that you are important and you deserve time to relax your body and mind.

o Breastfeeding your babies for as long as possible reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.
If you can live this way as much as possible you will reduce your chances of developing many other cancers, and other chronic conditions such as heart disease. Setting a good example of healthy living to children and grandchildren will reduce their chances of suffering from chronic disease in later life.

3 Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

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