Are you at Risk of getting Breast Cancer? Check out These 5 Chemical Exposures.

Today 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer...let that statistic sink in. 
How many women do you know? Of those women, 1 in 8 will be diagnosed and 1 out of 38 of those women diagnosed, will die. 

My most vivid memory of Breast Cancer was when I was 7 in 1971. Very little was known about cancer or how to fight it. Chemotherapies were barbaric and a cancer diagnosis was a sure death sentence.

My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at age 50 in 1971, after a radical mastectomy, she was in and out of the hospital with chemotherapy for 2 years until she passed at 52.

The Breast Cancer diagnosis repeated itself with my mom, also at age 50. Medical advancements had significantly improved and after her surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, she was clear of cancer. She was prescribed a chemotherapy drug, Tamoxifen, that she took daily until she was 59 when she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, which took her life at 61.

Because of my familial relationship with Breast and Ovarian cancer my risks are extremely high that I will get Breast Cancer. After having Thyroid cancer I was determined to lower my odds by avoiding the high risk toxins in my life and radically changing my diet. At 56, I’m happy to say that I’m in better health now since my teenage years.

What causes breast cancer? 
How can I lower my risks of getting Breast cancer?

I made the decision a while ago, that the best possible outcome would be to just not get breast cancer...sound easy enough?  If only it were that simple.  However, there ARE factors that will drastically reduce your chance of getting a breast cancer diagnosis and for this info I turned to the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) for some answers.

Turns out there are chemical exposures that are directly linked to Breast Cancer, and some of these exposures you have total control over. 

Talk about taking your health into your own hands, you can reduce your risk just by reducing or eliminating your direct exposure to certain chemicals and radiation. Woohoo, now this is exciting news!

Let’s talk about what a carcinogen is. The American Cancer Society defines a carcinogen this way; “When a substance or exposure has been labeled a carcinogen, it means it has been studied extensively by researchers, and one or more agencies have evaluated the evidence and determined it to be a cause of cancer.” 

There are two different agencies that by and large determine whether a chemical gets listed as a carcinogen:

I’m sharing a list from the American Cancer Society of  “known carcinogens” and “probable carcinogens” for you to read and review for yourself. The lists are lengthy and my suggestion is to put on some spa music, grab a hot tea, and spray yourself with some calming lavender before diving in.

Let’s stop here and clear up two things before we continue. 
1. Just because something is listed as a carcinogen, that doesn't mean you'll 100% get cancer if you’re exposed. There are many factors to consider such as: your own body's ability to process certain chemicals, the amount of exposure, how often are you exposed, the combination of different chemical exposures at the same time and, the timing of those exposures (i.e. at key developmental times in your life).

2. There will always be exposures that are out of your control. The best thing you can do is reduce the exposure in your home where you are the authority. 

According to the BCPP, “EDCs are agents that disrupt the normal function of the body’s own hormones. Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers that regulate everything from breast development to pregnancy and metabolism. They include estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, thyroid hormone and more. Hormone disruption is especially relevant for breast cancer, because breast development in different life stages is guided by hormones. Exposures to chemicals that disrupt these normal processes can alter normal breast development in ways that lead to increased risk of breast cancer in later life.”

Each chemical listed links to an entire post with detailed information on where you find them in your home and how to eliminate them.

Alkylphenols are used in making surfactants, which make soaps and detergents foamy, and in the production of plastics. 
Alkylphenols mimic and disrupt estrogen. Estrogen’s main job is to communicate to other cells and for protein production. Alkylphenols prevent this important communication from occurring properly.

Atrazine is an herbicide used to kill weeds on farms, in parks, on highway medians, golf courses, and by home lawn maintenance companies. 
Atrazine disrupts the endocrine-signaling-pathways and the conversion of hormones to enzymes and specifically the aromatase pathway. 
This not only throws the balance of hormones off, increasing the likelihood of breast cancer, but it also creates a situation that counteracts chemotherapy drugs and makes them less effective. 

BPA is used in the linings of canned food, in the production of plastics, linings of disposable cups, and carryout food packaging.

BPA is a synthetic estrogen, endocrine-disrupting compound (EDC) and a reproductive toxicant. 

BPA is found in the placenta, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord, and urine of premature infants. It’s also present in the mother’s blood, urine, and breast milk. There is so much data documenting the harmful effects that BPA has on a developing fetus, both male and female. 

In females it causes abnormal mammary tissue development that lasts into adulthood as a predictor of tumor growth. 

Used as a preservative in personal care items, makeup, cleaners, liquid processed foods, sodas, and beer.

Parabens mimic estrogen and have been shown to affect cell tissue development by increasing cell development and growth. Since parabens are not true estrogen, the new cells that are growing have a greater risk of developing abnormally. 

An additive to plastics to make it softer, also as a carrier for the chemicals that make up fragrances.

Phthalates disrupt the estrogen and androgen systems, increase infertility in both males and females, and causes early onset of puberty. 
Pregnant women, male fetuses, infants, and young children are most susceptible to long term damages from phthalate exposure.

Each of these chemicals not only has a direct link to Breast Cancer but other cancers and illnesses as well, in general these chemicals are slowly harming your body without your knowledge, and in completely different ways, attacking individual hormone pathways and cell development, and they all accumulate and damage...It's like the perfect storm.

Don’t let this list scare you, rather use it as a wake up call or as needed to know information. Take your health into your own hands, take action to eliminate these from your life and home. 

For more information check out these websites:

If you know someone who plans to become pregnant, is pregnant, has small children or has/had Breast Cancer, please pass this information on to them. Together we can support each other in health and there is no better way of showing love and concern, then by sharing this important information.

Bookmark this page for future reference so you can keep coming back.

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