As we all know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the disease.
2020 has been a difficult year for us all and a reminder that we need the support of our family, friends and community to make it through now more than ever. Here are some recourses you can use to help you detect breast cancer, stay healthy, and stay educated on the subject.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. The exact cause of breast cancer is not known though estrogen hormones have been implicated in many cases since estrogen promotes cellular growth in breasts and reproductive organs and cancer is a disorder of unstrained cellular growth. Healthy dietary changes, lifestyle changes and regular examination are essential for prevention and to support treatment.
Detecting Breast Cancer
It is recommended that woman do self-checks every month. The best way to check your breasts is to first pick-a-motion (PAM) you will use:
- Wedge: Going from the center outwards then back to the middle, creating a U shape all around.
- Circular: In a spiral motion starting from the center and going clockwise around
- Up and Down: starting from one side and going up and down until you reach the opposite side
Once you select which PAM motion you like best, the inner pads of the three middle fingers and press into your breast using light, medium and firm pressure. Be sure to use the same method each month as this will help you detect any changes. Experts recommend checking from two positions: lying down or standing up.
Now that you are ready, get checking!
One great way to decrease your risk of breast cancer is by staying healthy and fit! This means eating non-toxic foods by sticking to wholefoods and fresh foods. Cook more meals at home and make your meals as colorful as possible with veggies and fruits!
Here are some of our suggestions:
Consume juices made from organic produce such as carrots, broccoli, Dark green leafy vegetables and apples. These provide essential Phytochemicals such as indole-3-carbinol which helps to fight breast cancer. Also, broccoli stimulates the body to produce detoxification hormones that helps to eliminate xenoestrogens through the liver.
Choose non-dairy products e.g. dairy free milk, non-dairy cheese and non-dairy yogurt – This avoids any estrogenic hormone residues that may be fed to animals to promote growth. Also, some studies have indicated that excessive consumption of red meat may cause breast cancer.
Consume berries, apples, cherries and prunes since they are rich in protective Phytochemicals e.g. which neutralizes free radicals in the body as well as supporting the elimination of carcinogens from the body.
The composite curcumin found in turmeric is a vigorous ingredient. Studies have shown that curcumin has anticancer and chemopreventive effects on breast cancer. Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties.
Superfoods such as Spirulina, Baobab Powder and Moringa Powder are great ways to strengthen your immune system and overall health. Add them to your morning smoothies for a powerful way to start your day.
Ginger and Green tea have great benefits to the body. Ginger helps minimize the severity of nausea associated with chemotherapy while green tea provides strong antioxidant properties.
In addition, make sure to keep a regular workout schedule. From daily walks to yoga to strength training. Staying active is key to reducing your risk of cancer.
There are also several natural supplements that may help reduce your risk of cancer by strengthening your immune system. These supplements have antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals and improve cell oxygenation.
Staying educated on Breast Cancer is an important way for you to help yourself and others. However, with endless resources online it can be hard to know where to get your information from. We recommend sticking to recourses from doctors, hospitals and reputable organizations like Faraja Cancer Support: https://farajacancersupport.org/
You can also walk into any of our Healthy U branches and speak to our in-house certified nutritionists on supplements and overall diets that may help lower the risk of breast cancer.
Our nutritionists can help to formulate suitable nutrition plans (diet and supplements) for clients looking to prevent the development of breast cancer, undergoing chemotherapy, recovery after chemo or to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. In addition, our nutritionists can help in weight management as obesity has been linked to the development of the disease.