If the months had a hierarchy, October would probably reign near the top for its near-perfect temperatures, pumpkin spice, turn-of-fall festivities, and candy-hunt night — but there’s something equal. bigger importance and phantasmagoria: breast cancer.
This month marks nearly 40 years of breast cancer awareness. In recognition of the beloved pink ribbon movement, we wanted to help raise awareness of breast cancer risk factors, detection and prevention.
In Part 2 of this series, we use our voice to raise awareness about carcinogenic ingredients in skin care products and cosmetics. We stand up to support breast cancer and how to make our breasts – and our skin health’s number one priority.
Who is most likely to get breast cancer?
If there was ever a time when we were striving to find out, it would be to discover a crystal ball that could tell us about anyone who might have cancer, especially when it affects the breasts. Breast cancer is of paramount importance because it is the second leading cause of death from cancer in women overall and the main cause of cancer deaths in Hispanic women. And it affects men too.
Since breast cancer does not isolate anyone, who is most at risk of contracting the disease? This is due to a combination of factors; the first two being a woman and getting older – those risk factors representing 70% only cases of breast cancer. But for the other percentage, the following other higher to lower risk factors for the disease include:
Genetics: Definite genes or changes in other genes; greatest risk.
Radiotherapy: exposure to large and excessive amounts of radiation; greatest risk.
Previous breast cancer: a previous diagnosis of breast cancer; moderate risk.
Family history: if a direct family member (mother, sister or daughter) has been diagnosed; moderate risk.
Breast lesions: History of certain non-cancerous (benign) conditions or changes in breast cells; moderate risk
Weight: being overweight, especially after menopause; moderate risk.
Other lesser risk factors include: distant family members with the disease; long-term use of hormone replacement therapy; early periods and late menopause; having children later in life or not; heavy drinking; dense breast tissue; Diabetes; and inactive lifestyle. The breed is more at risk with Caucasian women being at a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer. However, women of color under 40 are more likely to develop breast cancer than Caucasian women under 40.
Having one or more risk factors does not guarantee the occurrence of breast cancer, and not all risk factors have the same effect. Unfortunately, some women will get breast cancer even without any other risk factors that they know.
What personal care products are linked to breast cancer?
Did you know that potentially carcinogenic ingredients lurk in your skincare, cosmetics, and hair products? That’s right! These are sneaky little preservatives called parabens, which are used to prevent bacteria from forming in products. These culprits get even sneakier by hiding behind the names methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or isobutylparaben.
Alarmingly, the American Chemical Society estimates that parabens are in 85% personal care products. These are products you use daily, dozens of times a day, 365 days a year. As you can imagine, the effects of parabens can build up when used frequently. OK, so why are parabens bad for us? Anything we inhale, ingest or put on our skin can be absorbed by the body and potentially cause damage over time.
Studies show that parabens artificially mimic estrogen in the body, leading to a host of problems including various cancers, including and more particularly, breast cancer. Estrogen is a female hormone known to cause normal and cancerous breast cells to grow and divide.
Over the past decade, research has concluded that parabens are present in 99% of breast cancer tissue samples. The breast cancer tumors contained measurable amounts of six parabens, found in relative concentrations that closely match their use in the synthesis of cosmetics and skin care products. the EWG suggests that repeated exposure to paraben over time (and across the many items that contain it) could cause serious harm.
Any personal care product with an ingredient ending in –parabens should be on your list of things to avoid. Besides parabens, there are other potentially carcinogenic ingredients that you should avoid. The good news about these culprits is that they can easily be avoided and replaced with safer alternatives. Read on to find out – it’s easier than you think!
Which foods reduce the risk of breast cancer?
Improving your diet can improve your overall health, which could lower your risk of breast cancer. Although no food or diet can prevent you from getting breast cancer, certain foods can make your body as healthy as possible and help keep your risk of breast cancer as low as possible.
You will need a diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants to help increase your protection against breast cancer. Some of these nutritious foods include:
#1. Dark leafy greens
Leafy greens, like kale, spinach, and collard greens, are loaded with antioxidants that can destroy cancer-causing free radicals. In a 2012 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Instituteresearchers learned that women who ate dark leafy greens had a much lower risk of breast cancer than women who did not eat these vegetables.
Berries contain antioxidants and vitamins that can protect cells, repair damaged cells, and slow the spread of cancer cells. Darker berries contain 50% more antioxidants than lighter berries. So stock up on blackberries and blueberries.
#3. citrus fruits
Citrus fruits contain vitamin C, folate, calcium and many other nutrients that can prevent and fight breast cancer. In a 2013 study published in the breast cancer diaryresearchers found that women who ate a lot of citrus fruits were 10% less likely to get breast cancer.
#4. fermented foods
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics (as well as antioxidants and nutrients), which are “healthy” live bacteria and yeast. They can help prevent your body from absorbing harmful toxins that cause breast cancer. Apple cider vinegar, kimchi, and sauerkraut are great sources.
#5. oily fish
Certain types of fish contain healthy fats and antioxidants that may reduce inflammation associated with breast cancer. Oily fish is best cooked or smoked, and includes salmon, tuna, and trout.
#6. Allium Vegetables
“Allium” is the Latin word for garlic. In a 2016 study published in the breast cancer diary, researchers found that women who ate a lot of raw garlic had a lower risk of breast cancer. It can be hard to wear a sporty garlic breath all over, so feel free to mix it up with chives or leeks.
Beans, beans, good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you help prevent breast cancer. The vitamins and minerals in beans can boost the immune system to make you less susceptible to breast cancer. In a 2018 study published in cancer medicinewomen who ate lots of beans reduced their risk of breast cancer by 20%.
Other foods and beverages that may help reduce your risk of breast cancer, but are not guaranteed and not limited to; spices and herbs, such as turmeric, ginger, and black pepper; cruciferous vegetables, such as arugula, bok choy and broccoli. Some beverages known to help reduce the risk of breast cancer include drinking fermented pomegranate juice, which contains compounds called ellagitannins that may help breast cancer cell growth.
Green tea is another beverage that may help reduce the occurrence of breast cancer. It contains compounds and various antioxidants that reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. According to a 2014 study published in the World Journal of Clinical Oncologywomen who drink at least 10 cups of green tea may be able to prevent breast cancer.
PRO TIP: Parabens also hide in food; the nerve! They are instead identified by “E” numbers, such as methylparaben (E218). Be on the lookout for typical food products that contain these preservative culprits!
How can I keep my breasts healthy?
As described above, if you have risk factors for breast cancer, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk And about screening for breast cancer. Screening involves checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before there are any signs or symptoms of the disease. This could be my way of mammograms or MRIs, as well as clinical exams by a health care provider and breast self-exams that you can do.
Other ways to keep your breasts healthy are to be physically active, eat a balanced diet with plenty of nutrients and antioxidants, avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, reframe smoking and avoid prolonged exposure to chemicals. Toxic ingredients and chemicals include those in personal care products that have the potential to cause breast cancer. At 100% PURE, we are committed to formulating safe, cruelty-free and natural makeup and skincare products.
October can feel different for each of us – many wear pink in celebration, some quietly observe the month, some feel grief, and others feel invisible or misunderstood. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity for all Americans to take time, recognize and support the women and men whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.
Let’s do our part to help raise breast cancer awareness and promote regular screening, early detection and treatment of breast cancer. We all want to stay as healthy as possible and help keep our risk of breast cancer as low as possible.