I have a tough time with my thinking every October when I start to see the pink ribbon campaigns come around again. I know I wrote about this last year but it's something I feel very strongly about, so I'm blogging about it again this year with some added information on the importance of iodine for breast health.
Every 23 seconds somewhere in the world a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst women with a shocking 1 in 8 being diagnosed with it at some point in their lives. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death amongst women after lung cancer. If you are also carrying extra pounds then your risk goes up even further, with obese women carrying an extra 60% risk.
October has become a month of the year synonymous with the pink ribbon and what it represents - the ‘fight against breast cancer’. Every year it gets bigger and bigger and, with more fundraising events and ever increasing media coverage and advertising, it’s hard to get away from the pink ribbon. It may shock you to hear me write that I do not support buying pink ribbons, nor do I support ‘breast cancer awareness’.
Let’s take a look at what ‘breast cancer awareness’ has shaped into being. We are all aware of breast cancer, but is it something we really need to ‘fight’? If we put as much effort into increasing awareness around the risks of breast cancer and encouraging women on how to best care for themselves to prevent it, then we would be better placed to save so many more lives than we currently do. The answer is not to be found in funding the big pharmaceutical companies to find yet another treatment drug - which is effectively what all these campaigns are doing- but to look at actually preventing breast cancer. But then of course the cancer treatment industry is worth around a £60 billion per annum.
If you step outside of mainstream thinking and treatment, you will find that a great deal of research is covered up and many potential cures and known preventative care is ignored and discredited, because there is far more money in treating or ‘fighting’ the illness than in preventing or curing it.
Let’s take a step back from the media and the thousands of messages we get around the ‘pink ribbon’ and take some facts down to put things into perspective. Here are some ways you can really make a difference to reducing your risk, massively:
You thought smoking was bad for your health? Bras are to breast cancer FOUR TIMES what cigarettes are to lung cancer. Seriously ladies, ditch the underwire bra. Popular bra styles have never been so uplifting. The aesthetics that bra designers want to achieve squeeze and mould the breast into such an unnatural shape that they risk seriously cutting off the role of the lymph. Wearing a bra for more than 12 hours a day may increase your risk of getting cancer 125 fold.
Iodine is a little known mineral that we all need in our diet to stay healthy. Other than the thyroid, the highest concentration of iodine is found in womens’ breast tissue. When levels of iodine are low, the risk of acquiring breast cancer is far greater. Added to that the development of a growing girl’s breasts, iodine is needed for them to develop properly, and those with congested, lumpy, cyst prone breasts are often found to be low in iodine.
Iodine has a tough time on 2 levels. 1. Because modern farming methods mean it is very difficult to get it from our diet and 2. Because iodine has to fight for its place in the body against all the other toxic halogens like fluoride, chloride and bromide, which we are inadvertently exposed to, and that steal the iodine receptors in the thyroid.
You would do well to avoid the other halogens as much as possible. Fluoride is found in most toothpastes, fluoridated water and many medications, especially anti-depressants like Prozac. Bromide is used in flours (where once iodine was used), to make baked goods, in pesticides that non-organic fruit are sprayed with, in lots of fizzy drinks, in medications like asthma inhalers, fire retardants, carpets, mattresses, upholstery and plastics used to make TV sets and computers.
Chloride is found in hot tubs and swimming pools to keep the water bacteria free, but there are healthier alternatives out there like oxygenated water. There are some that use an ozone purification system instead which is preferable and of course much of our tap water has chlorine added so a good filtration system is essential for drinking water. We are exposed to even more through inhaling chlorine in steam when showering than drinking so a shower filter is equally essential.
If you have excessively smelly armpits then your body is struggling with toxicity and is trying to detox through sweating. Rather than covering the smell by using an anti-perspirant, which stops the toxins coming out of the skin all together, consider addressing your toxicity levels instead. The armpit is very close to the breast and is a key area for the lymph. Your lymph is responsible for removing debris and toxins from the body but can only work where there is good lymph flow. Chemicals and other scary substances like aluminium are in a prime area next to the breast and lymph nodes.
I would dispute that mammograms are very safe, and greatly reduce breast cancer mortality. There is a large body of evidence that has been dismissed by the medical profession showing quite the opposite. A mammogram exposes women to a 1000 times more radiation than a chest x-ray. Of course radiation causes cancer and misdiagnosis of cancer through mammogram use and invasive procedures including biopsies and lumpectomies leaves a large percentage of women with the wrong or misleading diagnosis.
What if you went through testing, false diagnosis and a mastectomy, only to discover your diagnosis was false? Sounds too disturbing to be true? This is entirely possible with these forms of diagnosis. The now commonly termed “DCIS” form, (ductal carcinoma in situ) comes into question. Pathologists class even the smallest of lesions in the breast as DCIS and opinions differ widely on this classification. Dr. Shahla Massood, the Head of Pathology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Jacksonville, USA says that the diagnosis of D.C.I.S. "is a 30-year history of confusion, differences of opinion and under-and over-treatment. There are studies that show that diagnosing these borderline breast lesions occasionally comes down to the flip of a coin." As many as 17 % of D.C.I.S. cases in the USA identified by a commonly used needle biopsy may have been misdiagnosed.
Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition! Clear out processed, chemical ladened foods. Eat a balanced diet of whole foods and cut out completely or reduce sugar. Cancer loves sugar and other simple carbs. If you need to, supplement. Vitamin D, nature’s most potent cancer fighter enters cancer cells and triggers apoptosis otherwise known as cancer cell death. So if you live in a dark climate or get very little sun in the winter months this really is worth supplementing.
Exercise and movement is key. Lymph doesn’t have a pump like our blood circulatory system so get moving ladies to get that lymph flowing well. It is the job of the lymph to remove debris and toxins from the body and it likes no better place to build up than in the fatty tissues, i.e. the breast.
Beauty Products & Toiletries
A study performed at the University of Reading, UK showed that nearly all women they assessed with breast cancer had parabens in their breast tissue. It makes me seethe when I see the likes of Estee Lauder and other big cosmetic companies headline on their advertising “Let’s defeat breast cancer, WE’RE STRONGER TOGETHER” along with a pretty picture of a pink ribbon. Cosmetics and toiletries are prime carriers of dangerous chemicals into the body. So do yourself a favour and stop using chemical laden products. There are many horrors in make up ingredients but here are 4 very dangerous common ones:
Parabens: Studies implicate their connection with cancer because their hormone-disrupting qualities mimic estrogen and could disrupt your body’s endocrine system.
Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum. These petroleum products coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They can also slow cellular development (creating earlier signs of ageing and are implicated as a suspected cause of cancer, and additional can disrupt hormonal activity. When you think about black oil pumped from deep underground, ask yourself why you’d want to put that kind of stuff on your skin? (Yes, this does include Vaseline)
Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS): Also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) Found in over 90% of personal care products including many toothpastes. They break down your skin’s moisture barrier, potentially leading to dry skin with premature ageing. And because they easily penetrate your skin, they can allow other chemicals easy access. SLS combined with other chemicals may become a “nitrosamine” – a potent carcinogen.
Acrylamide: Found in many facial creams. Linked to mammary tumors.
Ladies I urge you to ‘untie your pink ribbon’ this month and start looking at preventing and reducing your risk of breast cancer. I support women empowering themselves with the knowledge to look after their own bodies.
If you feel you need help with improving your breast health or lymph function or just feel that your health is out of balance then I would love to have an enlightening conversation with you.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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