We all know that October is breast cancer awareness month. Awareness is important but I would like to change the conversation to prevention. Lifestyle plays an enormous role in our health and longevity. In fact, your lifestyle habits dictate up to 75% of how you age, how you feel and how healthy you are. When it comes to cancer, lifestyle is 90%; only 10% of cancers have a genetic component.
Yes, you read that correctly, only 10% of all cancers are genetic. Does that shock you? It sure surprised the hell out of me. It also surprised the author of Breasts: The Owner’s Manual, Dr. Kristi Funk. Even breast cancer is not usually caused by a genetic predisposition. A mere 15% of breast cancer patients actually have a family history yet it is the second most common cancer in women. Second only to skin cancer. 5-10% come from an inherited mutation such as BRCA and only 13% of those diagnosed have a first degree relative with the disease.
Are you realizing just how important lifestyle is when it comes to living well and preventing disease? A healthy lifestyle certainly doesn’t guarantee no illness but it absolutely gives you an advantage. One of the most important lifestyle changes you can make is reducing your toxic load. A key step is transitioning to clean beauty, personal care, and household products.
Approximately 20 – 30% of breast cancers recur. The most common places it metastasizes are the bone, lungs, liver and brain. Holley Kitchen worked hard educating people about metastatic breast cancer. May she rest in peace. You can watch her moving video here.
Two out of three cases of breast cancer are estrogen receptor positive meaning the cancer cells attach to estrogen receptors. This is a huge reason that I am such an enormous advocate for non-toxic living and probably sound like a broken record advising people to use stop using products that contain endocrine disruptors.
Your Endocrine System is a network of glands secreting hormones that help the majority of the processes in your body function properly including
Growth & Metabolism
Endocrine glands release more than 20 major hormones into the bloodstream so they can be transported to cells in the body. Major endocrine glands include: Hypothalamus. Pituitary, Thyroid, Parathyroids, Adrenals, Pineal body, Reproductive, Pancreas.
Endocrine disruptors in everyday products that you use are dangerous because they can mess with any of these glands in your body. Endocrine disruptors known as Xenoestrogens mimic estrogen causing estrogen dominance in the body increasing the total amount estrogen. They are linked to breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, infertility, prostate and testicular cancer, endometriosis, early onset puberty, miscarriages.
I’ve been passionate about helping people avoid harmful toxins like Xenoestrogens for years. A few months ago I got a call from my best friend with news that 10 Xed that passion. She was diagnosed with estrogen dominant breast cancer. She has since undergone a radical double mastectomy and will start chemotherapy in just a few weeks followed by radiation treatment.
Her breast cancer was detected during her mammogram. Please, ladies, do not skip your yearly mammogram. And if you have dense breasts, I hope your doctor is recommending a breast ultrasound as well. If they don’t, ask for one. We must be our own health advocates.
*Please share this info with the women and men in your life. It’s rare, but men can get breast cancer too*
Along with awareness comes Pinkwashing every October and it pisses me off. It is the height of hypocrisy when companies sell products swirling with ingredients that have been shown to CAUSE BREAST CANCER!
“Pinkwashing – verb 1. the sale of items containing known carcinogens, while marketing these products in support of breast cancer awareness 2. also, capitalizing on the promotion of breast cancer prevention when only concerned about bottom line profit margin.”
Companies Pinkwashing us by claiming to be in support of breast cancer research while using ingredients that are mammary carcinogens, or carcinogenic contaminants that behave as endocrine disrupting compounds in our bodies, causing hormonal imbalance is disgracful. As the Gerson Institute calls it, ‘carcinogens for the cure.’ Yep.
It’s said that Evelyn Lauder’s dream was to end breast cancer. Why doesn’t the company jump off the breast cancer awareness bandwagon and honor her memory by reformulating their products WITHOUT harmful cancer causing ingredients?! L’Oreal, Proctor & Gamble and many others do it too. How do they sleep at night?!
According to Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, which is doing amazing work in the name of prevention, “thousands of chemicals linked to breast cancer in scientific studies.”
Avon’s part in all of this is perplexing. They raise millions with their walk, have created a “Center of Excellence” in breast care and claim the mission of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Program at San Francisco General Hospital is to ‘provide comprehensive breast care, education and research in a compassionate and culturally sensitive environment.’ Yet, many of Avon’s products contain toxins. Ludacris.
Women’s Voices For The Earth offers good tips on how to avoid being pinkwashed. Breatcancerfreebies.com, created by breast cancer survivor Bethany Kandell, is a site that truly helps patients.
Even small lifestyle changes can improve our health and increase longevity. Protect your health and those beautiful bodacious tatas of yours. These tips help prevent other cancers and illnesses as well as breast cancer.
- Get screened. Early detection is the key. Be sure to conduct monthly self exams and seek proper screening based on your age group and family history. You may need an ultrasound or sonogram in addition to a mammogram. The most effective type of mammography is the Genius 3D which has been found to detect 41% more invasive cancers and is proven to detect cancer 15 months earlier. Tell your doctor you’d like that one, it’s available in every state.
- You are what you eat. The food you feed your body become the cells & fluid inside you. A whole food, plant based diet feed your your cells are able to fight off cancer
- Eat the right type of soy. Funk says non GMO soy acts as an anti-estrogen in your body, soy consumers have 60% less breast cancer and those who have 30% less rec and 29% less death
- Avoid parabens, BPA, dioxans, phathaltes & flame retardants. You know how I feel about these nasty endocrine disrupting substances if you’ve been reading my blog or watching my livestreams for a while. Use household products, cosmetics and sunscreen that are formulated WITHOUT them because they are linked to many cancer, not just breast. Parabens and other endocrine disruptors mimic the body’s natural hormones increasing the risk of breast and other cancers. They are found in 99% of breast cancer tissue samples.
- Eat less red meat. A study published in the BMJ that followed 89, over a 20 year period revealed that women who had an average of 1.5 servings of red meat each day had a 22% higher chance of breast cancer over women who limited their red meat intake to once a week. With each addition daily serving of red meat, the risk appeared to increase by 13%. If you choose to have meat, eat organic grass fed to avoid the GMOs and Zeranol, the most potent synthetic estrogen. They give it to conventionally raised cows to fatten up them up. Poor Cows.
- Move your bod. Hit the gym, lace up those running shoes, pop in a work out DVD, power walk with a friend– choose some type of physical activity because just 30 minutes of exercise each day reduces your chance of getting breast cancer. Plus exercise boosts t-cells that help your immune system work at full capacity
- Stay at a healthy weight. Exercise also helps keep your body fat percentage in check. Too much fat on our bodies creates hormones, particularly estrogen, which has been found to stimulate cancer. Balancing nutrition and blood sugar levels are two of the vital keys to losing and maintaining. I help clients do that will ease. I’m happy to give you a free consultation, you can book it here
- Garlic, turmeric and cruciferous vegetables including brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and bok choy are good breast cancer fighters because they bind estrogen in your GI tract
- A study showed that drinking 3 cups of green tea a day can reduce risk of breast cancer by 50%
Fortunately, survival rates are at an all-time high for those with breast cancer. In the last 20 years, there has been a 30% reduction in mortality and over 90% of breast cancer patients survive after 5 years with early diagnosis.
- Steer clear of Bisphenol A. I have written about the dangers of BPA in several posts. It’s found in everything from plastic containers to the lining of canned foods to cash register reciepts. BPA is problematic because it imitates estrogen so it disrupts our endocrine system and messes with hormones. It’s been associated with many cancers including breast cancer
- Choose lean protein. Replace those red meat meals with nuts, beans, organic chicken and low mercury fish such as wild caught salmon. Sufficient protein and fiber are 2 other vital keys to losing and maintaining weight, you can read why and how here
- Know your family history. While only 15% of breast cancer patients have a family history, if you do, your risk is higher so you need to know and take precautions and get genetic testing if your physician recommends it
- Stay away from pesticides. They can also affect the way your hormones react so buy organic when possible, use green cleaning products and stay away from hand sanitizers & soaps containing the endocrine disruptor triclosan. This cousin to agent orange is classified as a pesticide
- Ask your doctor about taking the active form of vitamin D3 with K, 1000 iu’s a day may slash your risk of breast cancer up to 50%. Taking D with vitamin K is important for helping prevent calcification
- HER-2 is a rare but aggressive form of the disease. Another study found that eating lots of raw salad veggies dropped the risk of developing it by close to 35%
- Curb your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day. Studies show that over imbibing on a regular basis increases the risk factor. I love my wine, I’m not suggesting anyone stop enjoying it but, as with most things, moderation.
- Breastfeed. It’s been shown to lower risk and it boosts infants health and immune system
- This is a bonus tip but perhaps one of the most important: DITCH THE TOXIC DEODORANT & ANTIPERSPIRANT! Seriously, that shit is toxic. Parabens and Aluminum have been found in breast cancer tissue. Aluminum is also associated with Alzheimer’s. A new brain develops Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds and two thirds of those people are women. It’s in your brain for about 20 years before you even shows signs. Want a safe, healthy alternative that actually works? Try Schmidt’s, Pure Haven (my favorite) or Ursa Major.
A votre sante!
xo ~ Kelly