source: casamelo
Mention breast cancer and everything comes up pink!  I get a little cranky when I see this, not because pink toasters aren’t fun, or pink dump trucks are not cool!  It’s because of the mindset that we must find a cure for breast cancer because that is our only hope.  The message is still “more research.” As the leading cancer in women, statistics say that 1 out of every 8 women will experience this disease in Canada. Some major advancements have been made in conventional treatments for breast cancer, but discouragingly, I notice that very little of the focus is on prevention.

Many factors contribute to the development of breast cancer.   Too much estrogen has been indicated as a major factor.  Nasty substances included in everyday products like cosmetics, bleached tampons, dry-cleaning solvents, hair supplies and even low cal foods to promote weight loss are often loaded with the very substances that can have been linked to breast cancer.  Yet, manufacturers of these products are sponsoring and participating in research efforts to find a cure.  This is one step forward two steps back if you ask me.

Prevention being swept under the carpet

Why is prevention swept under the carpet – often getting nothing more than a marginal mention?  As a nutritionist, I offered to participate in a local charity event for cancer, offering my knowledge and services to the public for treatment options of cancer.  I was shocked and well… offended when the coordinator of the event rep told me that the organization did not allow people like me, with holistic nutritional and dietary counsel to participate because they had dieticians in hospitals who can do that if cancer patients want to know about their diet.  (Have you tried eating hospital food?)

Future challenges

Society has become complacent and almost accepting of the statistics, as reported in Health Service Journal July 2003 which stated: 

The acceptance of breast cancer as a disease we have to put up with is affirmed in a survey conducted by the charity Breast Cancer Care.  Asked about the challenges for breast cancer over the next 30 years, the majority of the 80 breast cancer experts participating predicted that 30 years from now breast cancer will still be incurable but it will be a disease women live with, like diabetes or asthma, rather than die from, and that the biggest problem will be the sheer number requiring care.

What can you do

Prevention starts with healthy fuel for the body that provide defenses such as:
  • Cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage). They are very high in a plant nutrient called Indole-3-Carbinol which has been shown to break down the bad, cancer-promoting estrogens in the body to non-toxic forms.  
  • Antioxidants – if it’s colored, eat it! That is, naturally colored, as in berries and richly colored fruits and veggies.  They’re brightly colored like that for a reason.  The have strong antioxidant properties within those pigments.
  • Low Fat Dairy and Meat – We love our dairy products and thick slices of meat, but they aren’t doing anything for prevention.  Keep dairy and meat to a minimum of servings and keep it low in fat.
An ounce of prevention is worth pounds and pounds of cure.  And isn’t that why everything is turning pink?

Erin Bell

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