Breast cancer is very personal for me. My best friend since childhood’s mom lost her battle to breast cancer seven years ago last month. It’s hard to believe she has been gone for that long. She played a huge role in my life, taking my friend and I to horseback riding lessons, homeschool events, cooking me countless meals (which she always made sure were things I liked and I was picky), and being an amazing second mom.
Watching her battle is something I don’t want to go through ever again. She was an amazingly strong woman to the end! Some of my last memories with her are of her cracking jokes, I will cherish them forever.
While I wish there had been a cure for her, I wish even more she had never gotten sick. A breast cancer cure would be amazing but cures often still come with massive side effects. We must also reduce breast cancer rates in the first place.
“After climbing steadily in the United States and other industrialized countries since the 1940s, amounting to more than one million cases per year worldwide, breast cancer rates have started to level off, although it is unclear whether this is a true trend.
During the past half-century, the lifetime risk of breast cancer more than tripled in the United States. In the 1940s, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer was one in 22. In 2004, it was one in seven. In 2007, it decreased to one in eight.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in American women ages 34 to 44. Once a disease almost exclusively of postmenopausal women, breast cancer now strikes women in their 20s and 30s. Of the estimated 241,000 women in the United States diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, approximately 24,000 were women under 45.” – Breast Cancer Action
There are some proactive things we can all do to help reduce our breast cancer rates. These are five simple ways that you can start today.
Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk
1 ) Get in shape. A healthy body weight reduces cancer risks and is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. This is especially true for postmenopausal women.
“The risk for breast cancer among the most obese women in the study was up to 58 percent higher than for normal-weight women.” – WebMD
2 ) Choose safer cosmetics. Many cosmetics contain a lot of hormone-disrupting ingredients like phthalates.
“The endocrine-disrupting properties of this class of chemicals have been well established in the offspring of mother rats who were treated with phthalates while pregnant.” – Breast Cancer Fund
Changes in our endocrine system can raise our risk for cancer, including breast cancer. They have also been shown to cause early breast development, which is associated with an increased breast cancer risk.
3 ) Use non-toxic cleaning products. Cleaners are another source of possible cancer causing ingredients. Going to non-toxic cleaners is a quick and easy way to reduce your risk of breast cancer and other illnesses.
4 ) Avoid chemical flame retardants. Many of these chemicals, found in furniture and electronics, have been shown to disrupt hormones. They also haven’t been shown to prevent fires. Many furniture companies are removing the most harmful flame retardants and the Breast Cancer Fund has some other ways you can reduce your exposure, like using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
5 ) Reduce pesticide exposure. Use of pesticides around your home can cause a number of health problems, including cancer. Use natural pest prevention instead. Food-grade diatmation earth is great for a lot of insects and cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil will help keep mice away!
Breast cancer awareness is everywhere this month! From the NFL to the department stores everything is pink. And when I say everything, I mean everything! Many of those products are linked to the very illness they are bringing awareness to. So think before you pink this year. Let’s be proactive this Breast Cancer Awareness month and work together to reduce our risk of the terrible illness.
Linked up with Motivation Monday.
Original Photo- John-Morgan