Breast Cancer Causes (?)

Today, the most prevalent types of cancer in Canada are lung, breast in females, prostate in males, and colorectal/colon cancer (Source). So, let's chat about breast cancer for a second or two. While no one can pinpoint exactly what causes this type of cancer, there are several hypotheses behind the increased incidence of of breast cancer as of late: 

Plastics: plastics contain synthetic estrogens (xenoestrogns) which are endocrine distruptors, causing all kinds of endocrine disruption in the body (affecting not just the breast, but also the thyroid, adrenals, prostate, and more).
- Not breast feeding: not using the breast the way it was physiologically intended). Source.
Genetics: the BRCA1 and 2 genes. Source.
Shift work: Due to low melatonin levels due to odd nighttime light exposure (i.e. working at night) has recently be linked to breast cancer. Shift working nurses, in particular, are at risk of developing breast cancer. Source.
- Anti-perspirants: by applying these to the armpit, where is very close to the breast tissue. These products contain aluminum (a heavy metals), synthetic chemicals, and toxins. They stop sweating, but sweating is one of the body's mechanisms of detoxification. As we are not able to sweat wearing these products, the toxins that would normally leave the body through sweat, need to go somewhere... and since the breast is near by and fatty tissue to deposit in, toxins accumulate in the breast. We talked about this in one of my classes (Men's and Women's Health), but here is another source. By the way, "deodorants" don't really exist anymore. Almost all "deodorants" on the market are actually anti-perspirants; blocking perspiration.
- Bras: we didn't always wear bras, that's a new societal development, especially those with metal underwire. While there isn't any research to support this claim, there is a lingering hypothesis that bras compress the breast and that their underwire doesn't allow the lymphatics of the breast to properly drain. Whether or not this is true and is linked to breast cancer, tight clothes is not normally good for your body. For all my female readers: tonight, when you undress, take off your bra in front of a mirror. If there are bra indents/red marks on your skin after the bra is off, then it is too tight! When choosing bras, try to get ones without metal underwire if you can and make sure your bra is properly fitted (i.e. not too tight but still supporting you well to prevent sore necks/traps/back).
- Lastly, all those other cancer risk factors, like smoking, lack of exercise, obesity, stress, etc, etc, etc... 

Now that we've got the risks out of the way, here are some ways to improve your breast health!

- Massages: massage the breast, moving upwards, towards the clavicle to drain the breast lymphatics
- Consuming phytoestrogens, like soy and flaxseeds, on a regular basis
- Avoiding plastics as much as possible
- Wear a properly fitting bra and try for bra-free days if possible (weekends?)
- And all those other health promoting practices, like not smoking, exercising, getting enough sleep, maintaining a health weight, managing stress, eating well ...yadda, yadda, yadda!
- Talk to your doctor to learn more ways to keep your breasts healthy. This blog post was not meant to scare anyone into thinking that they are going to get (or got) breast cancer due to behavior X, Y, or Z, instead it was meant  to getting my readers thinking more about their overall breast health!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!