With October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve been inundated with information and resources “for the cure.”
Problem is, I don’t see nearly enough empowering information being shared about cancer prevention – which to my mind is the best medicine! So that’s the perspective I’d like to take in offering you some tips for self-protection: how can you stop cancer before it starts?
Let’s face it: as Busy, Professional, On The Go Women we don’t always pay attention to what is going on with our bodies, inside and out, until there is a major problem. For example, how many of us really take the time to look at our breasts in the shower, beyond a quick once-over? I’m not even referring to self-examination – just simple appreciation. Looking at our breasts and thanking them for their beauty, for their richness, for the sustenance they may have given, for the pleasure they offer ourselves and our lovers…
Of course, this goes for every part of our bodies: how many of us make bath and shower time a ritual of love and appreciation for the forms in which our spirits exist on this earth – all their curves and edges and innie-outtie bits?
To my mind, that gives a whole new perspective to self-exams. When they become a ritual of self-love and self nurturing, there isn’t the fear: I’m looking for something wrong. In fact, when you’re lavishing your body with love, appreciation, and gratitude, you’re actually boosting your immune system and your body’s ability to fight off destructive changes!
And when you’re doing this ritual every time you wash, you’re more likely to see the natural (or not) changes that your breasts undergo with your hormonal cycles. Christine Northrup advises that you make a practice of massaging the whole breast area, especially up into the armpits, to support the flow of lymph.
If you do see something unusual during this ritual, you have options! Mammograms (mashograms, as one of my friends calls them) aren’t the only option available to you. Some studies indicate that breast ultrasound and thermography are more accurate, and comprehensive (not to mention much easier, less painful and radiation-free!) than mammograms. The idea here is that if you take a baseline image of both breasts, then come back for regular updates, you can catch potential problems long before conventional screening method would find them. Options worth exploring.
But beyond loving your body and using healthy screening options, how can you keep the big C away from your girls? With all the toxins present in our environment, the best solution is to choose the cleanest possible products to put in and on our bodies. Here are just a few tips:
Personal Care Recommendations:
- Surround yourself with love and positive connections – reducing stress, fear, and conflict and increasing the love, pleasure and laughter in our lives helps to support our emotional immune system and boost our overall health.
- Avoid dry cleaning or use a “green” dry cleaner. Yes, they cost more, but aren’t your breasts and health worth it?
- Many commercial bath and body products have a lot of chemicals in them that contribute to cancer. To avoid the worst of these dangerous ingredients, look for the “EWG Verified” sign on personal care products before you buy.
- Deodorants – these are of particular concern as they’re applied directly to the area of the lymph nodes next to your breast tissue. I actually use and recommend Herbal Magic Roll-On Deodorant, available at Vitamin Shoppe and online. You can also make your own, very effective deodorant, using this recipe.
- Stay away from fried starchy foods – Acrylamide is a chemical that is formed when starchy foods, such as French fries, are cooked at high temperatures. It’s also found in potatoes chips, crackers and other starchy snack foods. Worse, these foods also contain oxidized polyunsaturated fats – a known contributor to breast and colorectal cancers.
- Avoid GMOs – There are so many reasons to avoid GMOs…and one of the biggest reasons is that there is conclusive evidence that glyphosate, the pesticide used on GMO crops, is a carcinogen …and it is being applied in massive amounts to GM crops including soy, wheat, corn, and many more.
- Reduce your sugar intake – Aside from the fact that sweets – common sugar, chocolate, candy, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, soft drinks, and processed and packaged foods – may contain GM cane or beet sugar, the industrial byproduct called high-fructose corn syrup (now called “fructose”) or other toxins, high levels of glucose in the blood can ramp up cancer risks dramatically.
- Eat your greens – From kale to broccoli to cabbage and Brussels sprouts, the dark green “cruciferous” leafies are rich in natural anti-cancer properties. But be sure to check the EWG’s Dirty Dozen to know which ones you should buy only from organic farms – some can be doused with pesticides!
- Heal your gut – Naturally-fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir and kombucha help to foster healthy bacteria to support complete digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and elimination of waste. There’s also documented evidence that gut bacteria can mount an immune response against developing cancer cells.
- Add cancer-fighting spices to your foods – Spices such as Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Pepper, Oregano, and Cayenne contain immune-boosting, cancer-fighting properties.
You can find more tips for living cancer-free HERE.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, remember – you are not alone! There are more resources today than ever to support you in navigating this difficult journey. Here are just a few tips that can help:
- Get support, whether it’s a therapist, coach, doctor, or support group.
- Meditate and visualize your breast being healed.
- Decrease stress – stress causes inflammation and weakens your immune system.
- Acupuncture can both reduce pain and help to speed the healing process.
- Follow the dietary advice above: no GMOs; reduce or eliminate sweets; increase greens, anti-inflammatory foods, naturally fermented foods, and cancer-fighting spices.
Above all – whether you are cancer-free or on a cancer journey, remember – love your body! The more love, acceptance, compassion, and positive energy you lavish on your body, the more your immune system will be strengthened and the greater your chances of healing will be.