Dec 30 2010

Breast Cancer Prevention

Last week I was listening to Terry Gross on NPR and felt grateful I had.

She was interviewing Dr. Marisa Weiss, the go-to breast cancer doctor and founder of the website . After a routine mammogram, Dr. Weiss was diagnosed with a breast tumor.

She is doing very well now, and she had a lot of great, simple tips for lowering our chances of developing breast cancer.

First, we need to tell our daughters that what they put in, and on, their bodies while they are developing greatly effects their breast cancer risk later in life. While the breast tissue is forming and growing is the time you need to keep it healthy. That means no McDonald’s, no toxic beauty products and obviously smoking and drinking are big no, no’s for many other reasons as well.

Keeping our weight down is key because breast cancer loves to grow in fatty tissue.

Eating organic fruits and vegetables is also crucial. Breast tissue recognizes pesticides as hormones which can increase your risk.

Cutting out, or at least cutting down, on meat and dairy products is a big help as well. There have been many studies (including The China Study) showing the link between meat and dairy consumption, and cancer.

She does not eat genetically modified corn (nor do I – check out the DVD ‘The Future of Food’ and you won’t either). She also keeps soy to a minimum, as do I, because most of it is genetically modified, and too much soy acts as estrogen in our bodies.

We need to make sure the beauty products we are using are organic, as well as the products we use to clean our homes. Check out the home cleaning product recipes on my site.

Keep the stress down as much as possible. Yoga does it for me, but just do whatever works for you; taking a bath, running, reading.

Most of us have been affected by breast cancer in one way or another. We are scared and sad at the moment and then shortly after we are back to our crazy schedules and garbage food.

We need to take care of ourselves EVERY day and get regular mammograms. I’m in my 30s and I get them regularly.

Weiss says without a routine mammogram, she might not have been so fortunate. In 2009, a report issued by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force said that mammograms were unnecessary for women under 50 — and women over 50 only needed mammograms every other year.

“I’m 51 now and it was my mammograms in my 40s, as opposed to my mammogram when I turned 50, that revealed a change that ended up being early signs of breast cancer,” she says. “So I am a direct beneficiary of early detection. And so I feel very grateful to have a high-quality mammogram, a digital mammogram. … I believe strongly that women should get their first mammogram starting at age 40 and have it each year after that — and start even earlier if they’re at higher risk.”

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