How Can We Prevent Breast Cancer?
October 3, 2012
By Honorary Board Member, Nina Montée Karp
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month again and we’re in the midst of a huge information blitz. About 13 percent of U.S. women (one in seven) will develop breast cancer over the course of a lifetime so being informed is very important. But, with all the stacks of facts you’ll be hearing about cancer, you probably won’t hear too many people answering this simple (and crucial) question, “How can we prevent breast cancer?”
Cancer can be beaten! Here are five tips on prevention, protection, and perfecting your pink awareness – all year-round – that may save your life:
1. Tweak Your Lifestyle. Some lifestyle changes can change your life. For example, women who consume two or more alcoholic drinks per day are 25 percent more likely to develop breast cancer. On the other hand, just by losing weight, stopping smoking, cutting out charred meats and getting regular exercise you can substantially lower your risk!
2. Steer Clear of Chemicals. The President’s Panel on Cancer underscored the importance of avoiding toxins. To reduce chemical exposure they recommend that you: don’t microwave plastics; stay away from second-hand smoke; use natural house/garden products; eat food without pesticides; decline unnecessary x-ray tests; drink from stainless steel or glass instead of plastic.
3. Hone In On Hormones. Many women have tiny cancer cells – living for years – quietly dormant within the breast. But, these cells can be awakened by hormonal jolts. So, if you’re menopausal and only feel comfortable when you are on hormones, try to limit their use to less than three years. “Bioidentical” hormonal creams and gels are no safer than prescription hormones and should also be avoided. If you’re young enough, breastfeed your babies if you can (women who nurse are more protected). And, since farm animals are often treated with hormones, try to buy organic milk and meat products.
4. Nip It In The Bud. Prevent serious problems by doing regular self-examinations, getting regular mammograms after the age of 40 and ask your family if there is a history of breast or ovarian cancer on either your mom’s or dad’s side. (There are two genes – BRCA1 and 2 – that greatly raise your risk of serious cancer at a younger age).
5. Become an advocate. Blog and talk to friends about how they can cut the exposure they – and their kids – have to deal with. Vote for politicians that put our health ahead of politics. And, support a breast cancer or environmental non-profit (like Healthychild.org) to eliminate toxins from work, school, parks and homes.
And, if you – or someone you love – does become one of the unlucky 13%, you’ll find inspiration and guidance in a landmark 2-DVD set, Breast Cancer: The Path of Wellness and Healing. It weaves stories of hope and triumph of celebrities and everyday heroic women (like, Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge) PLUS leading tips from America’s leading cancer and wellness experts (like, Susan Love, Dean Ornish and Deepak Chopra). This DVD is the key the healing of body, mind and spirit that can make all the difference between survival…and struggle. (All profits from DVD sales are donated to charities, including BreastCancer.org, the world’s #1 source for free breast cancer advice).
Nina Montée Karp is a founding Board Member of Healthy Child Healthy World. Nina wrote, produced and directed the 2-DVD set, Breast Cancer: “The Path of Wellness and Healing.” This comprehensive visual guide seeks to inform and inspire breast cancer patients and their loved ones through the entire arc of breast cancer, from diagnosis to treatment to full healing through the integrated healing of traditional medicine plus the use of meditation, exercise, optimal diet and spiritual practices. Participants in this DVD include leading breast cancer specialists (e.g. Susan Love, Marisa Weiss, Dennis Slamon), top wellness experts (e.g. Dean Ornish, Deepak Chopra, Maoshing Ni) and numerous celebrities breast cancer survivors (e.g. Olivia Newton-John, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Christina Applegate). Nina is married to nationally renowned pediatrician and author Dr. Harvey Karp. Their daughter Lexi lives in New York.