October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Chances are, you know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. When we hear the word cancer – especially breast cancer, it can feel hopeless, frightening, and out of control. But there is hope, and you can take control of your health. Find out what you can do today to lower your cancer risk and to support your health, no matter the diagnosis.
Who Is At Risk?
Both men and women are at risk for breast cancer. Occurring in 1 out of every 8 women, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. As many as 2,600 men are also diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Family history, prior history of breast cancer, how your body metabolizes hormones, and certain lifestyle factors including this list below, all affect your chances.
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Diets high in processed foods
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- Hormone sensitivity
- Environmental toxins (especially BPA)
How Is Cancer Diagnosed?
Mammograms remain controversial in terms of diagnosing breast cancer, but for now, they are still accepted as the main screening practice. Ultrasound and MRI are also being used more and more as accepted ways of screening for breast cancer. Thermography is the practice of scanning the breasts looking for areas where there is more heat. Heat indicates a higher chance of getting cancer. If it turns out positive, you will still have to go through the conventional medical diagnostic techniques to see if there is a need for a biopsy. Practice monthly self breast exams to familiarize yourself with the normal changes in your breast tissue. This is really important!!! NO ONE knows your body better than you. If you feel your breasts regularly, you will know when they feel different. Many women I’ve worked with were the first to feel a change in their breasts, which led them to find out what was going on, leading to an early and life-saving diagnosis.
A Naturally Cancer-Preventing Lifestyle
The best way to lower your risk is to take control of both your diet and lifestyle today. Commit to eating fresh, in-season, organic vegetables and fruit. Incorporate physical movement into your day. Avoid sugar and foods that act like sugar in your body, such as white processed flours and grains. Your immune system shuts down when you eat sugar. Environmental toxins play a role in all cancers but especially breast cancer because there are so many chemicals that are estrogenic. Plastics and BPA are a MAJOR factor. Did you know there is BPA on the sales receipts you get at every store? Learn to listen to your body. If something causes you pain or discomfort, find a practitioner you can trust who can help. By making these small changes, you set yourself up for a brighter, healthier future.
Natural Treatments for Cancer
Luckily, with more awareness and healthier lifestyles, cancer is detected earlier and can be targeted in its first stages. Create a team of people you trust to help you and work closely with them to find the right treatments for you. There are more and more integrative cancer treatment centers who offer solid scientifically-proven ways to support you if you need surgery, chemo, or radiation. These are recommended in addition to, not instead of, conventional treatments. Here are just a few examples of natural substances that can help support your body in the fight against cancer:
- Vitamin D
- Fish Oil
- Red Clover