As breast cancer rates continue to soar nationwide year after year, new scientific evidence is finding that environmental toxins are a major contributing factor to the development of breast cancer. Regular exposure to radiation and toxic chemicals can interfere and alter our normal biological processes, and lead to the development of abnormal cells that eventually cause breast cancer. But knowing about the types of toxins linked to breast cancer can help you and other women take action to reduce the risk for this disease.
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; in honor of this event, we’re sharing a list of harmful environmental toxins that can increase your risk for breast cancer.
Meats and dairy disrupt hormone balance
Steer clear of meats and dairy products that come from animals treated with hormones and antibiotics, since these toxins can disrupt your natural hormone balance and increase your estrogen levels. Higher estrogen levels can increase your risk for breast cancer, along with weight gain and other health problems. Whenever possible, choose organic or free-range meats and dairy that lack hormones and chemicals.
Certain deodorants and antiperspirants increase risk for breast cancer
Much controversy remains over whether certain deodorants and antiperspirants can increase the risk for breast cancer. The FDA and healthcare organizations including the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society say there is no evidence that shows deodorants can increase the risk for breast cancer; however, other organizations say certain deodorant ingredients can clog your lymph nodes and increase the risk for breast tumors. Just to be on the safe side, consider using natural deodorant brands that lack harmful toxins, which are available at most health food stores.
Chemical pesticides and insecticides
Avoid using these toxic products around your home and yard, and avoid buying fresh produce that has been exposed to pesticides and insecticides — especially produce with skin you can eat such as apples, pears, and tomatoes. Chemical pesticides and insecticides contain toxins that mimic estrogen and bind to receptors in the breasts that increase the risk for abnormal cell growth and cancer.
Plastic products release chemicals
Plastic wrap, plastic food storage containers, and other products made from plastic can release chemicals when heated or scratched that increase the risk for breast cancer. Many plastics contain a toxin known as bisphenol A (BPA), a form of synthetic estrogen that binds to hormone receptors in the body and contributes to abnormal cell growth. Stop using plastic products whenever possible, or stick to using BPA-free plastics that won’t release chemicals when scratched or heated.
Talk to your healthcare provider about other environmental toxins you can avoid to lower your risk for breast cancer. The more natural and chemical-free your environment, the lower your risk will be for developing breast cancer.
Are you or is someone you know at risk for breast cancer? Prevention and preparation start with you. If you’d like to learn more about breast cancer and how to move on after a mastectomy, download our free e-book, The Basics of Breast Reconstruction.