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Irsfeld: 5 simple tools to decrease breast cancer risk

October is Breast Cancer awareness month, so I felt compelled to write an article about prevention.

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 175,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each and every year. The following information is designed to provide you with five simple tools to decrease your risk and hopefully you won't become one of those being diagnosed.

Vitamin D

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who reported taking at least 400 international units of Vitamin D every day were at a 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.

The study was performed by evaluating the food intake and the supplements taken by 3,101 breast cancer patients and 3,471 healthy controls. This study falls in line with countless others studies supporting the benefits of Vitamin D in reducing risk factors of other cancers, hypertension, heart failure, kidney, autoimmune diseases and chronic infections.

Obesity

Carlo La Vecchia of Milan University told members at the European Breast Cancer Conference, that they believe up to a third of breast cancers could be avoided by simply adapting a healthier lifestyle which promoted healthy weight.

It is unclear why obese women are at more risk, although, it is believed to be related to hormones. Since estrogen is created in fat tissue, the more fat, the more estrogen, which has shown when not balanced to be a contributor to certain cancers.

Hormonal balance

Hormonal balance is a key factor to health. Female dominant hormones such as estrogen and progesterone work in balance. Estrogens job is to promote tissue growth, where progesterone's job is to guide the tissue to grow healthy, and then die healthy. When there is too much estrogen (found in fat tissue and external toxins) compared to progesterone, risk factors of estrogen dependent cancers can increase.

Xeno-estrogens and external toxins

Through cleaning products, air fresheners, insect repellants and pesticides, it is believed that external toxins are acting as hormone mimickers. Hormone mimickers such as xeno-estrogens, can tend to over stimulate estrogen receptors in the body. As mentioned above, imbalanced hormone levels and stimulation leading to estrogen dominance are risk factor for cancer.

A diet rich in cancer-fighting foods

As the father of modern medicine has said, "Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food." Food sources have shown a tremendous ability to support factors that may prevent breast cancer.

Many studies have shown the ability of green tea to have anti-cancer effects, with the ability to reverse a stage I to a stage II as well as reduce absolute lymphocyte counts and reduced palpable adenopathy's.

Green leafy vegetables and foods of the cruciferous vegetable category have shown to be able to influence how hormones such as estrogen are metabolized. Vegetables like seaweed, kelp, and cruciferous vegetables such as kale and Brussels sprouts are estrogen binders and contain a natural ingredient called indole 3 carbinol, which supports healthy estrogen metabolism.

Small changes can yield big results. By incorporating one of these ideas for decreasing the risk of developing breast cancer, you are going in the direction towards better health.

Until next time, be vigilant about your health!

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