Let the sea of pink ribbons begin! It’s officially October, and we all know what that means…pink ribbons on clothing items, food items, accessories, social media posts and profile pictures, etc. We use this symbol annually to increase awareness of breast cancer and its impact on those around us. We also use it to celebrate those who have battled the cancer and won; as well as to remember those who have battled the cancer and are no longer with us. We also use it to encourage those in the midst of the breast cancer fight right now; as well as to educate those who have never encountered it on preventive measures to take to continue avoiding it. Such a massive message delivered through the display of such a simple symbol!
Breast cancer’s current impact…
According to BreastCancer.org, about 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Also, this year an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. The good news is that survival rates have been increasing due to the increased education, awareness and screenings! When detected at an early stage, the five-year relative rate of survival for localized breast cancer has increased from 72% to 96% over the past few years.
Breast cancer prevention…
There are definitely a few things that you can tweak within your own lifestyle to help you reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in the first place; and for those who have a past medical history of breast cancer, these tweaks can also help you to prevent recurrences post treatment. For instance, maintaining a healthy weight and increasing your physical activity is a big one because the more fat tissue you have in your body, the higher your estrogen levels are likely to be, thus increasing your risk of the cancer. Also, removing certain things from your lifestyle can help too, like alcohol, meat (to avoid residues of hormones used as growth promoters in the animals), xenoestrogens (a large number of synthetic chemical compounds that we all encounter having estrogen-like activity), long term external hormone use like birth control or estrogen hormone replacement therapy, etc. Finally, incorporating certain things into your lifestyle can help too, like healthy fats, cruciferous vegetables, healthy fiber sources, a potent multivitamin and antioxidants, etc.
Cancer as a whole….
Have a beautiful day, and be sure to stay tuned for more holistic wellness blog posts!
Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA
Returning to Nature, LLC. | www.returningtonature.com
Mind Body Spirit Wellness, Inc. | www.mbswellness.org
Balance U, LLC. | www.abalanceu.com