Let’s Talk About Prevention
While breast cancer is a leading cause of death for women across the globe, there are things you can do right now to bring greater health to your body and reduce your chances of disease and illness. Cancer is characterized by uncontrollable growth of excess cells within the tissue, and can create widespread repercussions for an individual’s general health. While some medical occurrences are indeed out of our control, here are some recommendations for placing yourself in a position for preventing, delaying, or reducing the risk of developing disease:
1. Watch What You Eat
Just like mom always said, “eat your vegetables.” While a good start, by now you already know there’s more to it that just that.
According to Prevention.com, more than 600 active chemicals are registered for agricultural use in America, many of which have not been tested for long-term health effects before being deemed “safe.” Conventional meat and dairy are the highest-risk foods for contamination by harmful substances. More than 90% of the pesticides Americans consume are found in the fat and tissue of meat and dairy products. This can be avoided by opting for organic foods, which are free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and drugs.
Next, let’s look at the benefits of consuming disease-fighting, alkaline foods such as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, beetroot, and ginger among many others. Alkalinity, by simple definition, is a chemical measurement of the ability to neutralize acids. What does pH balance have to do with the health of your body, and more importantly, what does it have to do with staving off the development of cancer? The link between pH and cancer began to take on wide appeal in the early 1930's when German scientist Otto Warburg, won the Nobel Prize for his findings on cancer cells not being able to thrive in an alkaline-rich environment. Since that time, numerous lab studies have corroborated this finding. While there continues to be widespread debates about the possibility of maintaining a completely alkaline body, favoring consumption of more fruits and vegetables on a regular basis will have a significant impact on how your body thrives as it navigates the world you live in.
Another alkaline superfood is beetroot, which has numerous nutrient-rich properties and a history of being used as a treatment for cancer. Containing significant amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and free-radical fighting beta-carotene, raw beetroot juice was used by Hungarian physician, Dr. Ferenczi, as a treatment for cancer patients who were in the final stages of cancer after undergoing more conventional treatments in the 1950’s. He supplemented his patients’ diets with raw beetroot juice, and found that tumor-regression was a significant result. While there continues to be widespread debate about the effects of beetroot in cancer-fighting, numerous studies have corroborated similar results, and there have been continued recommendations for more studies to be conducted in the future.
2. Develop an Early-Detection Plan
It is important to take into consideration that not only is prevention better than fighting for a cure, as the old adage goes, but making it a habit to check-in with risk factors, signs, and symptoms, can go very far in making sure that you are in the best health possible. For breast cancer risk, it is advised that women, beginning around twenty years old, should conduct a simple self-examination of both breasts at least once a month. Studies and other reviews of the impact of breast cancer over the decades have made it clear that early detection can greatly impact the probability of receiving swift, efficient treatment. Being able to recognize an unusual lump, or change in breast tissue or skin, can be the difference between quickly assessing the issue at hand, and feeling overwhelmed by a feeling of hopelessness if found at a later stage.
Know all of your options when it comes to early detection and treatment. We recommend exploring alternative options such as breast thermography, which is the infrared imaging of vascular changes in the breast. While not meant to be a replacement for more traditional methods, breast thermography has the ability to indicate pre-cancerous cell growth, allowing for the earliest detection possible.
3. Deep Breath... and Relax
This item may come last on the list, but it is just as important as any other recommendation. When we think about healthy habits, physical changes or activities are usually the first to come to mind. However, studies show that mental and emotional wellness management is just as important. Chronic stress, for example, can greatly impact our body’s physiological and endocrine responses. Significant mental, emotional, and physical pressure, which continues at a high level for a long period of time, inevitably leads to a poor quality of life.
Don't Hate, Meditate
The basis of meditation is being mindful and present within your current state which, with practice, will allow you to interact with your stressors in a more controlled manner. Luckily, finding a way to meditate in our busy, technology-heavy lifestyles is easier than ever thanks to smartphone apps, such as Calm. Encouraging peace of mind and clear thinking as a tool for de-stressing, the Calm app allows you to take as little as five minutes being guided by a soothing voice, or a variety of gentle ambient sounds, to incorporate this mindfulness technique into your regular routine, no matter how busy you are.
Three Simple Things
Eat right, have a plan, and put your mind in check. These three simple things not only help with disease prevention but they improve the overall quality of your life. You will feel better when you eat healthfully, you'll have peace of mind knowing you are educated about early detection, and controlling your stress will make you a happier person. What else do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease? Tell us in the comments below.