Breast Cancer Awareness Apology

In my earlier post I made some brief comments, downloaded a video clip with a tribute to breast cancer survivors, memorial to those who did not survive and an encouragement to support breast cancer research for the cure; and I offered a perfunctory mention of prevention with a link for additional information.  However, my conscience will not allow me to let it sit there in a half-hearted, incomplete state.  Please forgive me for being less than passionate about a topic that deserves excessive, abundant passion, if there is such a thing.  I was feeling a little smug that I had made my contribution.  Not so.  And now I must eat humble pie and correct my mistakes and my attitude.

I realized after posting that article that in general there is a great disconnect.  It’s wonderful to honor breast cancer survivors and to give to causes in memory of someone who struggled and lost.  It’s awesome to support research to find a cure.  And it’s great to encourage women to pay attention to their bodies, to do self exams and mammograms; but what is lacking is how we live life between mammograms.   What are we doing during those 365 days between mammograms to prevent breast cancer?  That is not a question that most women hear.  We mistakenly think that a mammogram is prevention–it is a diagnostic tool.  Here is what I would offer you and what I do for prevention:

1.  Strive to eat 25 grams of fiber every day.  Why? Because fiber helps move toxins out of the body.  It also helps the liver move excess estrogen out so that it does not recycle. Unopposed estrogen stimulates cellular growth.  Breast tissue is sensitive to the affects of estrogen.  FiberSources

2.  Avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks.  Caffeine affects breast health–such as causing fibrocystic breast tissue to swell and become tender or painful.  Medical literature I looked at seems to indicate that drinking caffeine does not significantly raise breast cancer risks–but for me one more woman who has to go through that devastating diagnosis,  one  is too many.  Drink decaf instead and/ or green tea.  Also, avoiding caffeine can reverse fibrocystic changes, according to one natural health MD I spoke with.

3.  Try to keep your weight within range for your age/height.  Fat cells make estrogen.  As we have already discussed, excess estrogen causes havoc in your body.

4.  Add iodine to your diet.  Many think that iodized salt is enough.  It is not, because most people limit their salt intake for various reasons.  Various studies on both animals and humans have shown a link between low iodine levels and fibrocystic breast disease. There also seems to be links between low levels of iodine and breast cancer.  Iodine inhibits cancer promotion through modulation of the estrogen pathway.  Wikipedia  I add iodine to my diet by supplementing with Kelp  which is a seaweed rich in a natural source of  iodine and other minerals.

This is a proactive approach to breast cancer prevention so that by the time you get to your mammogram, you will go with more confidence and less breath-holding or finger crossing.

 

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