It is October which means Halloween, Fall, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The fall colors are shades of orange, yellow, and red. But we associate breast cancer awareness with pink. Go Pink, the marketers say. Run, walk, and donate for a cure. The awareness is all centered around early detection. It seems logical that if we detect cancers when they are small, that the prognosis will be better. Sure, detection seems good, but does that equal longer survival or a better quality of life? It turns out when it comes to breast cancer that is not so. We are detecting many more cancers, but they do not correlate with tumors that are more aggressive. In fact, many of the abnormalities or stage 0 cancers will never turn into invasive cancers. We are subsequently treating more people, but we are not prolonging more lives or making them better. In fact, we are doing harm to some of the people that are misdiagnosed that undergo treatments that may even shorten their lives.
Why not Cancer Beware! Let’s decrease the risk of cancer in the first place. Let’s place offense instead of waiting to be stricken with fear from a scary diagnosis of cancer that carries the same psychological stress at Stage 0 or Stage 4. There is a tremendous amount you can do to prevent breast cancer , but it requires action and attention.
Nutrition is paramount. We are taking in food multiple times a day. It is either going to enhance health or take it away. Just say no to JUNK. The candies of Halloween are cancer promoting to all of us. A sugary, dairy derived yogurt is cancer promoting even if the label is pink. Milk contains very high concentrations of growth hormones and estrogen. After all, mother’s milk is designed to make a baby grow quickly. If you are drinking cow’s milk, it was designed to make a small calf grow into a large cow in a short period of time. Apply all that estrogen and growth factors to abnormal cells, and you will be stimulating tumor growth. Concentrate that dairy into cheese and you get even a greater amount of tumor growing hormones. Add some saturated fat to the diet stimulating inflammation and you will get tumor promotion. Substitute soy milk that contains phytoestrogens or estrogen receptor blockers and you will decrease your risk of cancer or prevent recurrences. Start soy milk at a young age to get the maximum benefit.
Instead of pink, focus let’s focus on green. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage will decrease the risk of cancer and recurrences. Make sure your plate contains the colors of the rainbow. If you want to up your game even more, try growing some sprouts or micro-greens. They have tremendous nutrient density in just a small volume. If you have breast cancer, nutrition can greatly enhance chemotherapy if needed. Stay in the drivers seat.
Remember the old saying, you are what you eat? Those toxins and chemical additives are stored mainly in fatty tissue. Guess what the breast contains? Being lean lowers your risk of cancer. Adipose or fat cells make inflammatory proteins, estrogens and growth factors that promote cancer. Maintain or achieve a BMI less than 25 to keep that fat mass low. Unfortunately, women tend to carry more fat than muscle as we age. This translates into a higher percentage of fat despite a normal BMI. Resistance or weight training is the way to more muscle mass and less fat mass rather than loading up on protein powders and meat.
Exercise burns both glucose and fat. The more you exercise the less metabolic waste you accumulate. Don’t fall prey to exercise so you can eat. The focus of exercise is to maintain a healthy functioning body, decrease the storage of toxic metabolites, and develop a strong positive mental attitude.
We all have stress. It is unavoidable. But we get to choose how we respond to it. Stress can increase inflammatory proteins. Having a strong positive mental attitude is not easy and has to be practiced daily. It is hard to win the game if you feel defeated from the start. Surround yourself with positive people and be positive for those around you. Having a strong support system is best to keep you positive when the stress comes rolling in.
Challenge yourself. Keep reaching out of your comfort zone. Setting goals and achieving them will make you stronger to face other challenges. Stay on offense. Be a role model for good life choices.