October is a National Breast Health Awareness Month
We all have someone in our lives that has been effected with this devastating disease called breast cancer. Breast health begins with awareness and by empowering ourselves with knowledge & actively taking charge of our own health. It’s a lifestyle & daily practices that will allow you to live a healthy & happy life.
Even though it’s very rare but man also develop breast cancer. It’s worth checking from time to time, generally it will appear as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola.
Here are few tips that can be incorporated into your daily routines:
- Keep Healthy Weight – Your fat cells produce estrogen which can accumulate in your body. Some research shows a difference in cancer risk between visceral & subcutaneous fats. Check out this article in Breastcancer.org site
- Genetics – When it comes to breast cancer we should also consider the genetic component of it. Some genes, genetic variants, and their place in a specific pathways may make the person more predisposed to breast cancer. The good news is, even if you have those genes it doesn’t automatically mean you are going to get breast cancer. Your lifestyle, your daily habits play a huge role in turning those genes ON or keeping them OFF.
- Exercise Regularly – Regular exercise strengthens your immune system; it also helps promote lymph drainage. And if you are unable to exercise do “Dry Skin Brushing”
- Drink Less Alcohol – Research shows that by drinking alcohol on a regular basis increases the risk of breast cancer approximately 40%.
- Improve Your Liver Function – Liver performs many very important functions in the body, such us producing cholesterol and as you know our sex hormones are made from cholesterol. Liver also metabolizes hormones, cholesterol, alcohol & other chemicals. To keep your liver happy make a point of eating foods that improve liver function and increase detoxification: cruciferous vegetables, fresh herbs such as celery & parsley, vegetables in onion family, etc.
- Eat Proper Fats – According to Dr. Enig avoiding phony fats like margarine and vegetable shortening, as well as processed vegetable oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats is a must for any woman wanting to prevent breast cancer. Taking extra care to include organic sources of healthy fats like olive oil, butter, and coconut oil, as well as CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) rich foods from grass-fed cattle, will help prevent breast cancer and other diseases.
- Learn How to Handle Stress – Studies show that there’s a strong connection between stress & cancer. It’s unrealistic to say stay away from stress but it’s very important to learn how to handle stress. There’s no one method that works for everyone but several practices such as yoga, meditation, exercise, etc. has shown to lower stress levels in individuals. Here are couple of meditations to try: Stress Relief & Healing Meditation
- Get Tested – American Cancer Society recommends women in their 20s start self breast exam, women in their 20-30s have clinical breast exam by a professional every 3 years, and women ages 40 & older have mammogram screening.
My personal favorite screening tool is Thermography, which is not designed to replace mammogram but is a wonderful prevention tool that is radiation free, FDA registered & gives earliest detection of breast disease. They use highly sensitive infrared camera specifically designed for medical use and your report gets interpreted by certified Thermologist Medical Doctors.
To learn more about Thermography please check out Dr. Hillary Smith’s website www.pictureinside.com or contact her office 818.769.4045. She has several location, Sherman Oaks, Santa Monica, Redlands, and other satellite locations.
This case was one of the most interesting cases I’ve gotten in my career, a patient was referred to me after a partial mastectomy, when she lost her balance and wasn’t able to walk straight or drive.
- Stop using hormone disruptors – Although we can’t control the toxins in the air we breathe that can affect our hormone levels, we can all be proactive in keeping our hormones in balance, we can control the toxins, chemicals, and hormone disruptors that can get in our bodies when it comes to choosing cosmetics, face and body creams, as well as soap and bath products.Several commonly used ingredients found in personal care products that are known endocrine disruptors. Hormones, especially estrogens, are regularly added to topical anti-aging creams, because of their effectiveness in raising collagen count, as well as skin hydration. Placental extracts, probably with high concentrations of progesterone and estrogenic chemicals, are sometimes used in cosmetics and hair care products, particularly products marketed to women of color.These substances alter our hormones in couple of different ways:
- They can increase the circulation of certain hormones by mimicking their activity in the body
- Block hormones activity which will decrease their level in the body
Here are some of the ingredients & the names that you will see on the labels:
- Phthalates – this are stabilizing agents used in artificially scented products such as fresheners, perfumes, hair sprays, nail polish, etc. They contribute to early menopause. On the labels you may see DBP- di-n-butyl phthalate & DEHP- di(2 ehthylhexyl) phthalate. On the label when you see fragrance it may contain any of 3,163 different chemicals none of which are required to be listed on labels.
- Nonyphenol or Nonylphenol ethoxylates – they can be found in hair colors, laundry detergents. They act like female estrogen in the body. On the label you may see: 4-nonylphenol, alkylphenol
- Parabens – they mimic estrogen in the body. On the label anything with the prefixes: ethyl, methyl, propyl, butyl
- Amine Family – on the labels you may see DEA, TEA, MEA; they are used as foaming agents in soaps, shampoos. That is why when you switch to all organic shampoos they never foam like your regular shampoo did & at the beginning it can be annoying until you get used to it. They are also used as preservatives to prolong products shelf life. They are not only hormone disruptors but also linked to kidney & liver cancer.
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