In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, AND because every month should bring awareness to the importance of being proactive with our breast health, let’s continue the conversation…
The facts are the facts…
1 in 8 women have a chance of invasive breast cancer during their lifetime
85% of people with breast cancer have no genetic history
2.9 million breast cancer survivors live in the USA
If breast cancer is detected early and confined to breast, the 5 year survival rate is 99%
Early detection of breast cancer significantly increases your chances of survival. I lost a dear friend to breast cancer in November of 2019, and she left me with many important messages- including the importance of regular screenings for breast cancer. I need to honor and learn from her forever. She taught me not only how to die, but how to live.
As caregivers, lovers, and those that nurture and tend to the land, we literally and symbolically carry a lot of weight on our chests. We tend to hold on to things! Well, we also need to find time to release and let go! Managing stress is an important act of self care, and one that can be part of your proactive breast health practices.
While the recommended age for clinical breast cancer screening may not begin until 40, it’s best practice to perform a self-exam at home and become familiar with the way your breasts feel, especially during different times of the month when hormone fluctuations can cause changes.
As women age, breast tissue naturally becomes more “fibrous” which is why breast cancer screenings with a qualified integrative practitioner are of the utmost importance in detecting breast cancer early.
Additionally, you can reduce your risk factors for cancer- which significantly decreases your chances of getting cancer!
High risk factors for breast and other types of cancer can include:
- Family history/genetics
- High sugar/carbohydrate diet
- Use of plastic food and water containers
- Excess estrogen circulating in the body
- A sluggish liver and poor detoxification system
- High oxidative stress (cellular/DNA damage)
- Repeated exposures to hormone altering toxins, radiation, and other environmental factors
Contrary to popular belief, your genetics dictate ONLY 10% of your health outcomes, and your lifestyle drives the rest..
This is great news!
It means you have more control than you probably thought you did over whether you get cancer, autoimmune conditions, or a chronic illness.
Inflammation is what drives all dysfunction and disease in the body, so when you control inflammation it’s like containing wildfire. The more you contain it, the less devastation it can create.
Here are 6 things you can do to reduce inflammation, which can reduce your risk of cancer:
#1 – Eat Anti-Inflammatory & Pro-Antioxidant
You put food in your body every day that can either fuel the inflammatory fire or help to put it out. To drastically reduce inflammation every time you eat, avoid the top inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol. And then look to replace them with antioxidant-rich foods to reduce oxidative stress (aka cellular and DNA damage) such as goji berries, organic dark chocolate, artichokes, cilantro, elderberries, tart cherries and wild-caught salmon.
#2 – Rest, Recover, and Improve your Circadian Rhythm
From 10pm to 4am is when your body performs critical repair of all of your cells, flushing of toxins and restoration of all systems. It’s like taking your body in for a tune up every night! However, if you’re not sleeping during this timeframe your body can’t perform these duties which can lead to hormone imbalances, toxic back-ups and a multitude of other issues that can trigger inflammation leading to disease. Aim to be asleep by 10pm at least 5 nights per week- it can make all the difference.
Unplug from white and blue light a few hours before going to bed or make sure you’re using blue light blocking glasses after the sun goes down. This will support your melatonin production (your sleep hormone) which is a powerhouse antioxidant and has been studied and used to treat and prevent cancer.
#3- Lymphatic & Breast Massage
The lymphatic system is the body’s natural sewage system to eliminate toxins and excess estrogen that can drive cancer and disease. The problem is that it doesn’t move itself. When you move, the lymphatic system moves too. The more you move, the more inflammation and toxins can be released!
Whether you prefer professional or self massage, it just doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are regularly moving the lymph fluid and energy within the breast tissue. It is a great way to give yourself some love, bring fresh energy into the body, and move any stagnicities. I love using castor, warm hot packs, dry skin brushing, dancing, and rebounding to keep my breast and lymph happy and flowing.
#4 – Stop & Shift
Did you know that stress can cause inflammation and genetic alterations too? Stress is inevitable, but having a daily de-stress routine in place is a proactive way to prevent it from accumulating and contributing to chronic inflammation that can lead to disease. Try to fit in as little as 5 minutes of deep breathing or meditation in your daily routine. And at a minimum- when you feel stressed, stop and shift your mindset by inhaling for 5 seconds, holding your breath for 5 seconds and exhaling for 7. Repeat this 5-10 times to instantly get out of stress mode!
#5 – Tackle The Toxins
Prioritize minimizing your exposures to inflammatory and cancer-causing toxins by focusing on the things you put in and on your body that have the largest impact on your health. You can do this by eating organic food as much as possible, drinking and cooking with only filtered water and swapping out your personal care products such as lotions, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner for less toxic and more environmentally-friendly brands. Avoid plastic at all costs! I know that is a daunting task, so just try your best.
#6- Test your Hormones Yearly
I recommend testing your hormones on a yearly basis. The DUTCH Test allows us to check into some important markers that have been shown to correlate with breast cancer. Of course, this test would never be used to diagnose or treat, but instead to provide awareness of “healing opportunities” and give clear guidance on how to steer your health in the right direction. Some of these helpful markers are estrogen(s), estrogen detox (phase 1 and phase 2), androgens, melatonin, daily cortisol pattern, an oxidative stress marker, and a glutathione marker. This test contains a wealth of knowledge and an opportunity to optimize your hormones for years to come!
By taking action in these 6 areas not only will you drastically reduce your risk for cancer and other chronic diseases, but I can almost guarantee you’ll instantly notice an improvement in your energy, mindset and overall sense of wellbeing.
Let’s make a pact to make cancer prevention something we’re aware of all year long, not just during the month of October!
If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests so you can feel alive in your body again and finally find the solutions to unresolved symptoms, then schedule a complimentary Strategy Session with me today!