Overlooking risk factors for breast cancer can be avoided with a few simple changes to your daily routines.
Lifestyle factors can be a part of up to 90 percent of breast cancer diagnoses. So, it’s important to make some little tweaks in life that can lower your risk factors!
I’m starting with the number one thing that I think a lot of people are doing that needs to stop ASAP. That is purchasing and using Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals on a regular basis. Get rid of everything that smells great. Just kidding, well, not really. That fragrance you smell, it’s doubling your risk of breast cancer according to a study in Environmental Health. Phthalates trigger the growth of cancer cells. Many fragrance products loaded with terpenes, benzene, and styrene which are all carcinogens.
So, swap out those plug-in wall fresheners, sprays, and fabric softeners! I show you how to accomplish this in my laundry room video. Let me say it again simply:
Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic estrogen in your body. Xeno=Foreign so Xenoestrogen = a foreign source of estrogen. From perfumes filled with phthalates to hand sanitizers with triclosan to shampoos, bath bubbles, lotions, perfumes, and household cleaners, many contain xenoestrogens.
These xenoestrogens disrupt the endocrine system’s natural functioning process. They can wreak havoc on your hormonal balance and create a snowball effect of problems going wrong in your body.
Xenoestrogens have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer in women. Investigate your beauty products. Be wary of products that have excessive suds because they probably contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
Look for products scented with natural, 100% pure essential oils and/or made with olive oil based soaps and castile soap. These do not lather like most soap but they get you clean without the increased risk of breast cancer.
If you can't give up your favorite grease cutting dish soap, at least use gloves when washing dishes. Ok?
Some other risk-reducing habits to start:
Walk for an hour a day and pump iron three times a week to burn fat and rid your body of excess estrogen, a hormone that can help cancer cells grow. You don’t have to be a runner to get the benefits of hitting the trail.
Start doing yoga. Doing yoga can reduce inflammatory molecules associated with tumor growth. Studies show that women who practice yoga have a 41% lower levels of inflammatory markers.
Please consider discontinuing the habit of carrying your cell phone in your bra, shirt, or shirt pocket near your breasts! Yes, I understand Snopes has this listed as “unproven” currently. So if those of us who think this is dangerous are wrong, you just carried your phone in your purse for no good reason, but if we're right, then you just reduced your risk of breast cancer. Why take the chance?
Sip tea with your meals and in between too! Cancer-fighting polyphenols are found in black and green teas, but only stay in your body for about eight hours. So drink teas frequently, or at least with meals to keep the fighting team in good shape.
Eat organic foods, especially celery, tomatoes and broccoli. Better yet, eat the rainbow, and I’m not talking about candy! Remember, brightly colored fruits and vegetables are packed with compounds that protect your DNA from free radicals. So eat your oranges, tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, pumpkin and all those colorful berries.
Although, recently pink-washing foundations have come out with reports saying that organic foods do not reduce the risk of breast cancer citing Max Gerson, MD as the person who started encouraging cancer patients to eat organic in the 1920’s. This foundation also states that “The USDA does not claim that organically produced food is safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food.”
Due to lobbying, I don’t feel like I can depend on the government to tell me whether I should eat organic or Genetically Modified foods since the government lags far behind other industrialized nations in food labeling laws. Considering this, and common sense, I feel like why take the risk with pesticides, herbicides, and genetically engineered foods?
Install blackout shades in your bedroom. Artificial lights coming in your bedroom window or emitted from your tv, night lights, etc. can suppress your body’s melatonin production. Sufficient melatonin means better sleep as well as healthier DNA.
Get your sleep. Six won’t do, seven hours is good, but eight is better. I avoid coffee after breakfast, but I like to drink a good bedtime tea to help me slip off into a peaceful nights sleep. I have written several articles on the importance of sleep and how to get a better night’s sleep, including upgrading your mattress.
Speaking of mattresses, yours doesn’t need to be flame retardant unless you regularly smoke in bed. Seriously though, some fire retardants contain tetrabromobisphenol A, which is an endocrine disruptor related to bisphenol A.
Replace those plastic water bottles and food containers with glass. The toxins in BPA (bisphenol A) which is found in many plastic water bottles mimics estrogen and increases the potential for growth of breast cancer cells. Drinking from a glass water bottle not only helps to avoid this chemical, but it’s better for the environment.
Stop fighting for the closest parking spot and using the elevator. Get more activity during the day by climbing the stairs, or parking in the last spot and getting in a few more steps on your way to shop.
Raising your awareness of these risk factors is the first step in reducing your risk!