As women, we are all exposed to a cancer risk that is very common, yet most of us have done very little effort to prevent it. Still in the theme of women's health, this week we will be discussing factors that trigger breast cancer and the steps you can take to prevent it; consider it an investment for a healthier future!
1. Self-examine yourself to detect early cancer signs
It's important to perform a breast self-examination once a month. If you find any abnormalities, consult your doctor immediately. Early detection is vital to successful treatment. Massaging your breasts daily is also helpful, as massages stimulates blood flow and oxygen, increasing lymphatic drainage.
2. Watch your food intake
We know how unhealthy the range of food being offered at your local grocery stores are. However, you can learn to regulate yourself by choosing not to consume processed foods that are often packed with additives, preservatives, artificial colorings and chemicals. Research shows processed meats, such as hot dogs, ham, sausage, and bacon, may cause development of cancer.
On the other hand, it is helpful to eat various colored vegetables and fruits. Flavonoids contained in these plants have anticancer properties, and people who consume more of them seem to enjoy a reduced risk of breast cancer. Foods containing these flavonoids include onions, broccoli, eggplant, celery, lettuce, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, apples, oranges, melons, green tea, coffee, chamomile tea, and many other aromatic herbs.
3. Exercise regularly
Aerobic exercises, yoga and other exercises elevates oxygen productions to empower our cells. This is essential to good health. Research have shown that physical inactivity contributes to at least 9% of breast cancer cases. People who are more physically active have a reduced risk of breast cancer, as well as other cancers and diseases like heart disease and osteoporosis. Moreover, exercise stimulates the movement of lymph thus facilitating drainage in the breast. Get yourself moving, even if it means to walk or bike to your workplace!
4. Avoid smoking & alcohol as much as you can
Tobacco has long been linked to a variety of cancers, including breast cancer. A study found that women smokers faced a much greater risk of breast cancer. The same goes to drinking alcohol, as it is tightly linked with breast cancer. The more you drink, the greater your risk as light-to-moderate drinking increased cancer risk (mainly breast cancer) in women by about 13 percent.
5. Wear properly fitting undergarments & be aware of the clothing material you wear
If you can, do not wear tight bras with under wires. Remind yourself to take your bra off whenever you can, especially before sleep as well. Bras cut off the lymph drainage allowing breast to experience longer exposure to toxins and may cause breast cancer in the long run.
Also, it's important to wear natural fabrics like cotton and linen. As the skin is your largest organ of elimination and detoxification, natural fabrics allow the skin to breathe, thus not blocking skin's ability to sweat and flush toxins out of your body.
6. Perform detoxification to get rid of toxins from your body
In continuation of the previous pointer, it's important to detox whenevr you get the chance to. Equally, you should also minimize the consumption of over the counter and prescription drugs and substituting them with herbs whenever possible. This is recommended as chemical drugs clog the liver and have adverse effects on detoxification. Secondly, minimize the usage of chemically loaded anti-perspirants, deodorants, soaps, detergents, lotion, make-up, hair dye, etc. Realize what you put topically on the skin enters your body through the pores, thus increasing detoxification requirements on your liver.
Don't forget to drink 8 glasses of pure water daily to help flush toxins off the body, as well as taking saunas and steam baths to assist detoxification.
7. Reduce stress
Last but not least, this pointer is often times overlooked as we go through our daily lives. Many disregard stress as one of the culprit of many illnesses, but we need to remember that the pressure we put on ourselves through stress can be the trigger to an unhealthy life, including inducing cancer cells to activate inside our system.
Find healthy ways to relax and express yourself to eliminate stress. Like food and overall physical health, emotional and mental health are large factors in attaining wellness. Learn to manage and express our emotions, both good and bad, as well as developing connections with others. Help yourself to release stress and take a stride forward towards a better livelihood.