Author: Dr. Gary Huber
What can I do to reduce my breast cancer risk? Daily decisions determine who gets breast cancer and who navigates away from it.
So there I am watching the Cincinnati Bengals take on the New England Patriots and I see 300 pound hulking lineman and their lean lightning fast teammates all dressed in PINK ! The sidelines is a vision of coaches wearing pink hats and players with pink gloves and pink wrist bands. Hey, welcome to October and Breast Cancer awareness month. I thought it was awesome that the NFL across the country was proudly displaying the pink color to remind us of this important agenda. But now that we have been made AWARE . . . what are you going to DO. Yes you. Awareness means nothing if you don’t take action. What are you going to actively do to reduce your personal, and your families, risk of breast cancer?
Do you realize that you make dozens of decisions each and every day that either walk you toward a diagnosis of breast cancer or away from it? Are you aware that breast cancer grows for years, between 5 to 10 years, before it is discovered and anywhere along that path you can actively influence whether your body kills it or promotes it? Your immune system has within it’s power the ability to kill and remove cancer cells IF and only if you support your immune system and feed it what it needs to be strong. So lets take a casual look at your typical day and see what you can do to put the balance of power in your favor.
Lets say you get up each morning and like many of us you head straight for that first cup of coffee. Do you stop at two cups or do you go for a third or even a fourth? Caffeine can stimulate the development of fibrocystic breast changes and this will increase risk for eventual breast cancer. Caffeine also interferes with your body’s natural ability to slow the growth of cancer cells. If your caffeine consumption is over 250 mg per day then you may be asking for breast changes that you don’t want.
Did you have a muffin, pastry or other sweet morsel with your coffee? Bakery goods in general contain good amounts of omega 6 fats, which are inflammatory and of all the fats they are the most likely to promote cancer growth. That muffin also contained a heaping helping of sugar and high glycemic carbohydrate that will raise blood sugar and insulin. Studies have demonstrated that sugar and insulin greatly promote the growth and expansion of cancer cells. They also serve to weaken your immune system, so it’s a double whammy. Score two more points in favor of breast cancer growth.
Ok, so now you’re off to the grocery store to restock the pantry. You are about to make dozens of decisions as you fill your grocery cart that will be either be a vote for or against cancer. This is the most treacherous territory there is when it comes to breast health. Did you select a cart full of organic fruits and vegetables? I hope so. Or perhaps did you select a lot of processed foods, wrapped in plastic, that contain chemicals that act as xeno-estrogens (foreign estrogen-like compounds) in your body. Processed foods also tend to be loaded with lots of omega 6 inflammatory fats. Did you buy organic dairy or did you choose the traditional stuff loaded with hormones and antibiotics? Is there enough fiber in your selections to help pull used estrogens out of your body? Is there any flax seed meal in your cart, which helps balance hormone levels? How about the cruciferous vegetables? Can you even name the cruciferous vegetables? Feeling confused? Well don’t panic. There are simple answers to these questions and good science to show that a healthy diet pays huge dividends in its ability to squash cancer and send it packing.
How about your general lifestyle? Are you sleeping every night or do you struggle with poor sleep patterns that leave you tired each morning. This is having an effect on your melatonin levels and melatonin is a good cancer fighter. Do you exercise each day? Evan something as simple as a brisk walk at lunchtime will increase cell oxygenation. Guess what . . . cancer cells HATE oxygen. If you go a bit harder and actually work up a good sweat then that sweat is carrying toxins out of your body. Less toxin = less inflammation = less cancer promotion. Have you ever measured you vitamin D level? Vitamin D actually turns off cancer genes. Gee, that might influence your risk just a tad. So there is a lot of simply, easy, daily habits that can have a tremendous impact on your overall, cumulative cancer risk if you know what to do and practice some simple daily habits.
So . . . are you ready to take action? That cancer cell is already at work and if your not defending yourself then all the “awareness” in the world is not going to help you. Do you need a helping hand? We are here for you. Start by reviewing the article on our website, “Breast Health- Taking Control”. http://huberpm.com/articledetails.aspx?id=1002&catId=9&bck=1
This article reviews all of the dietary and lifestyle choices that affect your risk on a daily basis. We can also discuss hormones and genetics and learn how to bend these issues to our favor. So be more than simply “aware” of Octobers breast cancer awareness month. Be proactive and DO something that will influence your life forever.