Thankfully, due to loads of media coverage, it is now common knowledge that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many people also know that, above a certain age, it’s a good idea to get a mammogram every 2 years. Also, recently Angelina Jolie told the press that she had made the very extreme decision to have a double mastectomy. These two approaches are the two ends of the spectrum: at one end, a check in every two years. At the other end, a major surgery to have what was perfectly normal and healthy tissue at the time removed. Is there a better way to manage and lower the risk for breast cancer? Here are a few things to consider…
Are there toxins in your local environment? It can be surprising to learn that common household products can have chemicals in them that are considered to be toxic and very unhealthy for the human body. Get educated about the products that are in use in the home and work environments that time is spent in. Also, what products are being kept in the home and used on the body? Are there more natural, alternatives with less chemicals that can be substituted? What kinds of products are being used on the body, and can they also be switched out for products that have less chemicals, and are more natural? Although, be aware that there are plenty of natural substances that can also have negative health effects. Being a conscious consumer can be complicated.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver organ rules the breast area. There are many different aspects to good liver care that could also be added to create a more holistic approach to breast cancer prevention. In Western medicine, one of the functions of the liver is to break down estrogen that is to be excreted from the body. Since 80% of breast cancers are found to be breast cancer responsive (ref http://theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/content/11/7/704.full), maintaining proper estrogen levels in the body is an important part of breast cancer prevention. The liver also has the job of filtering out various toxins in the body, so the benefit of minimizing exposure to toxins is two-fold. Some toxins are carcinogenic on their own, and reducing the load on the liver allows for more focus on removing existing toxins more effectively.
Nutrition can also be a very effective form of medicine. Of course, consuming more healthy, whole foods is general advice that most people can benefit from. Eating more produce can mean that the body receives more antioxidants, which the body uses to fight cancer and prevent aging. In order for the highest efficacy, professional guidance is key. Experimenting on the self can be a frustrating process that may be a waste of willpower, time, and money. Professional guidance can save all three in the long run.
Also of great importance from a Chinese Medicine standpoint is maintaining mental-emotional wellness. According to Chinese Medicine, when great emotions are experienced, these emotions can tax the body system and throw it out of balance. Therefore having an effective means to handle and manage incoming stress is very important to overall health. Stress management can come in many different forms, and the key is consistency. Finding a healthy method of stress management is essential for maintaining great health.
While it is of course important to get mammograms as scheduled, or perhaps thermo grams depending upon the individual, there are many things that can be done on a daily basis at home to promote a healthy body, one that will be more effective in fighting off cancer and other disease imbalances.