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Protect Yourself From Breast Cancer by Avoiding Environmental Toxins!

Most women fear a breast cancer diagnosis, yet we’ve been told there’s not much we can do to prevent this dreaded disease. The generally agreed upon risk factors include your age at first menstrual cycle, late menopause, having a close relative with breast cancer and having your first child late in life or not at all. Still, those factors only account for only 10-40 percent of breast cancers. What accounts for the rest?

“Environmental factors must be considered. The International Agency for Research in Cancer has identified 415 known or suspected carcinogens. We may not be able to pinpoint the cause of breast cancer, but we can act on what we do know and avoid exposure to carcinogens that contribute to breast cancer,” explains Dr. Marianne Marchese, a leader in environmental medicine who has released 8 Weeks to Women’s Wellness.  “We know through research that chemicals in the environment can act like estrogen in the body, and more than half of breast tumors depend on estrogen.”

The hidden toxins that may contribute to breast cancer

Cancer is a multi-factorial process influenced by genetic, immune and environmental factors. “Part of what leads to cancer is damage to the genes that regulate normal cell growth. This damage can be caused in part by exposure to chemicals in the environment,” Dr. Marchese explains.

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She reveals that women exposed to Polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs) used until the 1970s in electrical equipment (and which remain in our soil, water and food supply) may have a two to four-fold increased risk of breast cancer. A high risk of breast cancer is also associated with exposure to auto exhaust, air pollution and tobacco smoke.

She also references lab studies using human breast cancer cells that show that BPA – a chemical used in plastics – stimulates breast cancer cell growth just like human estrogen. “This makes sense considering it was originally developed as a synthetic estrogen,” she says adding, “Pesticides, herbicides and insecticides also may act like estrogen and stimulate breast cancer to grow and divide.”

How do you like your steak? “Women who ate well-done meat had 4.6-fold increased risk of breast cancer compared to women who ate rare or medium meat. This risk correlated to levels of heterocyclic amines, which numerous studies have linked to breast cancer.”

Other toxins that may potentially lead to breast cancer include phthalates, chemicals added to plastic, that are often called estrogen mimickers and that directly stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells in the lab. Parabens, found in cosmetics, shampoos, lotions, soaps and many other grooming products, have also been found in breast cancer tumors.

“Just because a chemical is present in your body doesn’t necessarily mean it has, or will cause, disease or illness,” Dr. Marchese confirms. “But it is important to know how you are exposed in order to make healthy lifestyle decisions.”

Chemicals: a little of this, a little of that could equal trouble  

The unfortunate fact is that we are all carrying a body burden of chemical toxins that we acquire, first from our time inside of mother, then from the air, food and water we intake. “We’re exposed every day to a little of this and a little of that, and over time, these chemicals can build up in our body,” explains Dr. Marchese. “These chemicals also may react with each other once in our bodies. Some people are good at clearing these chemicals through their liver while others are genetically set up to hang on to them.”

In theory, our bodies are set up to remove unwanted toxins. Once you are exposed, toxins enter the bloodstream and go to the liver, where they get metabolized and broken down. The broken-down byproducts are then eliminated through the kidney, stool and skin. “However we now know that your body stores toxins in your fat tissue, organs, bones and cells,” says Dr. Marchese. “Most toxins can remain there for years, affecting your hormonal system, immune system and neurological system.”

Top 5 things to do to clean out the toxins in your life

In 8 Weeks to Women’s Wellness, Dr.Marchese includes steps to reduce the burden of toxins we carry, as well as a complete body detoxification plan, plus product resources and research references.  Her tips include:

  1. Detoxify your diet: eat organic fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products. Get rid of plastic food storage containers and plastic wrap.
  2. Clean up your air. Get a room HEPA air filter.
  3. Get a water filter for your home and avoid plastic water bottles.
  4. Get rid of the chemicals in your home. Avoid chemicals in your cleaning, grooming and beauty products.
  5. Get into the sauna. This is an easy place to begin to remove chemicals from the body.

She concludes that, “There is no magic pill, prescription or supplement that can help us avoid the toxins that surround us. It starts with educating ourselves so that we can make changes that will lead to cleaner, healthier lives.”

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