From the Pink and Green Ribbon Campaign
The known risk factors for breast cancer development (including family history, genetics, and prolonged exposure to estrogen.) account for only 30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer. The factors affecting the rest appear to be related to lifestyle choices that we individually have the power to change. Reducing the negative effects of chronic stress and optimizing immune function are powerful tools in minimizing the chances of developing cancer. Effective strategies include:
- If You're Sedentary, Learn to Exercise! - 4r hrs/wk can result in a 37% reduction in risk for breast cancer. Start with 20 minutes of motion a day!
- If You Smoke - You Must Quit!
- Increase Your Veggies - 5-8 servings/day. Include green, red, yellow and orange ones to increase your consumption of anti-oxidant compounds.
- Eat More Broccoli - And other brassica veggies including cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, and collard greens. These are high in a plant compound that makes estrogen less dangerous to breast tissue.
- Choose Organics- certain herbicides and pesticides on produce as well as hormones found in conventional meats have been implicated in breast cancer.
- Eliminate hydrogenated fats - Choose organic butter instead of margarine, and use olive oil and flax oil instead of refined oils.
- Decrease Sugar- Sugar depresses the immune system.
- Take Multivitamins- A high-quality multivitamin for healthy immune, adrenal and thyroid function.
- Improve lymphatic circulation - dry skin brushing and rebounder exercises help your body to eliminate toxins.
- Take off your Bra - wearing a bra for more than 12 hours a day increases breast cancer risk by a factor of 6. Cotton stretchy bras without underwire allow more movement of the breasts, allowing better removal of toxins from the breasts by the lymphatic system.
- Know your Breasts - get to know your breasts with gentle massage when you apply body lotion after a daily bath or shower. Even better is applying castor oil externally on the breasts to increase lymphatic circulation, break down adhesions and increase immune cell activity in the tissues.) Being familiar with the feel of your breast tissue will help you be more comfortable and effective when you perform breast self-exams.
- Limit radiation exposure - Repeated X-ray exposures may increase the risk of breast cancer. Using Infrared Thermography as a screening tool is particularly useful for women in their 20's to 40's since mammography is not seen as being accurate in detecting breast cancer in this age group.
- Practice Self-Nurturance - The breasts symbolize nurturance. Women can be so busy taking care of others that they forget to listen to their own needs. So, breathe deeply and take the time to go for a walk.
Written By Dr. Patricia J. Wales, ND *with a few minor changes