Breast health

February 24, 2012

Breast health, Cancer, Women

Toxins can accumulate in the body throughout your life and damage your health.

by Dr. Ann Lovick — 

Who is at risk for breast cancer? Everyone. Obviously, men and children are low-risk groups, but they are not risk-free. Less than one percent of all breast cancer occurs in men and children; women make up the rest. Aside from lung cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. And, as women get older, their risk for breast cancer increases.

Women need to be aware of two key factors that affect their breast cancer risk. The first is genetics. A blood test will determine if you have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic indicators that can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

If you test positive for BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, you have a greater susceptibility, but do not panic — it is not a guarantee that you will get breast cancer. If you test negative for these genes, it is not a guarantee that you will be breast cancer free, but you may have a lower risk. This test only assesses your risk.

The second factor is your environment. Exposure to toxins in your environment can trigger cancerous growth. You cannot change your genes, but there are many simple things you can do to minimize those toxins to reduce your overall cancer risk.

Ways to reduce breast cancer risk

Do the following:

  • Perform a monthly breast self-exam.
  • Have regular screenings by your health care provider, according to American Cancer Society guidelines.
  • Women 20 to 39 years old should get a clinical breast exam by a health professional every three years.
  • Women aged 40 and over should get a clinical exam by a health professional every year, and get a screening mammogram every year.
  • Exercise regularly: 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise five to six days a week.
  • Eat organic fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat hormone-free meat and dairy products.
  • Buy eco-friendly cleaning products and lawn and garden products.
  • Maintain an optimal body weight.
  • Supplement your healthy diet with a good multivitamin, B-complex and fish oil.

Avoid the following:

  • Food microwaved in plastic containers
  • Lawn and garden pesticides
  • Common household cleaning products
  • Long-term use of birth control pills
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

Toxins can accumulate in the body throughout your life and damage your health. Start protecting your children now; your entire family should follow these recommendations.

Based on your risk and health history, your health care provider may make further recommendations. But get back to the basics and focus on a healthy lifestyle and clean air, food and water. Prevention is the best defense.

 

Ann Lovick, N.M.D, is in practice at Integrative Health in Scottsdale, Ariz., along with Drs. Alan Christianson and Phil Wazny. 480-657-0003 or www.integrativehealthcare.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 2, April/May 2011.

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