Many of us know someonea mother, a daughter, a friendwho has faced breast cancer. Considering that one out of nine Canadian women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime, its no wonder so many of us have been affected by this disease.
Many of us know someone–a mother, a daughter, a friend–who has faced breast cancer. Considering that one out of nine Canadian women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime, it’s no wonder so many of us have been affected by this disease.
Despite the so-called war on breast cancer, a woman’s risk for it has increased threefold in the last 40 years. So have the number of environmental chemicals we are exposed to. Coincidence? Not according to a 2006 report entitled State of the Evidence: What is the Connection Between the Environment and Breast Cancer?
The report, sponsored and published jointly by the Breast Cancer Fund and Breast Cancer Action, states that every year in the US at least 1,000 more synthetic chemicals are added to the estimated 100,000 existing ones and that more than 90 percent have never been tested to determine their effects on human health.
Increasing evidence shows that many of these chemicals accumulate in body fat and remain in breast tissue for decades, internally contaminating our bodies with known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances).
Exposure to at least some of these many chemicals over the course of a woman’s life is certain. What is not certain is at what dose and at what point in development the cancer-causing damage may occur.
It’s not instantaneous, according to researchers Linda Birnbaum and Suzanne Fenton, who reviewed a broad selection of animal and human studies. They concluded that early exposure to industrial chemicals that mimic natural sex hormones (xenoestrogens) can “cause cancer and/or increase sensitivity to cancer-causing agents later in life.” Over the years, repeated exposure adds to the body’s accumulated burden of toxins and increases risk of breast cancer.
Clean It Up
Engaging regularly in a well-designed internal cleansing program can be especially helpful in supporting the body’s constant job of daily detoxification. A healthy diet of organic foods, antioxidant supplements, and omega-3 fats can support the body’s ability to neutralize cancer-causing compounds and protect healthy cells.
Environmental Risk Factors
Being aware of and avoiding the many environmental factors we may come in contact with every day is a critical step in reducing our risk for breast cancer. Many scientists consider the following sources to be the most dangerous environmental risk factors contributing to breast cancer.
Source: State of the Evidence: What is the Connection Between the Environment and Breast Cancer? (Breast Cancer Fund and Breast Cancer Action, 2006)
Seventeen Breast-Friendly Foods
Research shows that eating breast-friendly, antioxidant-rich foods are protective against breast cancer. Be sure to regularly include these foods–organically grown–in your daily diet.