Breast cancer has become a potentially survivable disease, but it remains the second leading cause of death for women (heart disease is slightly higher) and the leading cause of death for Hispanic women. Breast cancer can occur at any age, but prevalence increases with age. Breast cancer rates increase starting at age 30 and then again at age 40.
Breast Cancer in Men. It is important to remember that men also have small amount of breast tissue under the nipples, including fatty tissue, ducts, and lymph nodes. Male breast tissue can increase during adolescence and adulthood, especially for men over 50. 1 out of 100 diagnosed breast cancers occur in men. (https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/men/index.htm)
Reducing cancer risks
The Center for Disease control has suggestions to reduce the risks of breast cancer including:
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercising regularly.
- Avoid or limit alcohol.
- If taking oral hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, consult with your doctor about your level of risk factors
- Learn about the BRCA gene risk factors.[ii] This is important for both women and men.
Additional Proactive Lifestyle Choices
Chose plastic alternatives as much as possible. Plastic compounds such as phthalates are linked to hormone disruption and may be linked to breast cancer. Plastic containers or plastic wrap may leach chemicals into food and liquids. The more flexible the plastic, the more leaching occurs.
Apply Healthy. Know what is in your personal care products. Click HERE to learn more about common toxic chemicals and how to avoid them. Skin applications of cosmetics, lotions, and perfumes can contain chemicals that are absorbed through the skin. Repetitive application of products containing chemicals may cause cellular toxicity over time.
- Reusable silicone bags: sandwich bags
- Pyrex-like glass containers: Leftover food storage:
- Glass or stainless-steel bottles: water bottles
- Dr. Rodgers does not endorse any specific products or companies, but This Article is helpful to see what the market has to offer in plastic product alternatives.
Relaxation. Constant stress can cause an increase in inflammation and blood sugars. Laughter, relaxation, meditation, yoga, and healthy sleep patterns can help reduce cortisol levels and maintain a healthier you.
Avoid synthetic Fragrance. A full ingredient list is usually not included under the term “Fragrance”. There may be dozens of chemicals not listed on the label. Some products do disclose when referring fragrance as essential oils. If you are not sure what is in the product, leave the product on the shelf, or see the next point below.
Know your ingredients. The Breast Cancer Prevention Partners has a great page to help you decipher what those chemical names are. Click HERE to learn more about common toxic chemicals and how to avoid them.
Choose organic foods and Be vigilant of other daily exposures to chemicals. Simple solutions can be found at Easy ways to maintain a healthy home and reduce your exposure to chemicals
Move daily. You may already be doing more exercise than you think. The key to exercise is to move in any way you can. Cleaning the house, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, or chopping wood may not be part of a hard-core exercise program, but they do contribute to moving. The key to exercise is to move your whole body daily. If you don’t like to exercise, consider the concept of moving and figure out what activities you can do in your day that make you move more.
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends breast cancer screening.
- Women 50-74 years old with average risk for cancer: mammogram every 2 years.
- Women less than 40-49 or those with higher risk of cancer should discuss screening schedules with their primary physician.
- Other medical organizations have different but similar guidelines. Click HERE to see guidelines.