Tips to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

By: Dr. Christine Horner

As a plastic surgeon, I witnessed the horrors of breast cancer almost everyday while taking care of my breast reconstruction patients. Then, this disease became too personal-it claimed the life of my own mother in 1994. At that moment I vowed to go after her killer. My goal was to see if this disease could be stopped before it ever started. What caused it to start growing and threw fuel on its flames?

So, I searched through the collection of medical research and found the answers. There, I discovered thousands of studies that point out exactly why we have a breast cancer epidemic-what we are doing and not doing that contributes this devastating and deadly disease. My book, Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr Christine Horner’s Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer, winner of the IPPY award for Best Book in Health, Medicine and Nutrition 2006 describes all the natural approaches that science shows significantly lower the risk of developing this disease. For those who have breast cancer, these same approaches increase the likelihood that they will survive and go on to live a long healthy life.

Here are 22 tips to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer:

    Tip #1: Eat fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables--every day.

    These plants- particularly those in the cruciferous family, for example, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale are filled with a variety nutrients, vitamins, and plant chemicals that act as powerful natural medicines against breast cancer.

    Tip #2: Nix red meat.

    Woman who eat the most red meat have up to a 400 percent higher risk of breast cancer.

    Tip #3: Avoid all health-destroying fats. Consume health-promoting fats every day.

    Saturated animal fats, trans fats, partially hydrogenated fats, and hydrogenated fats fuel breast cancer, whereas healthy fats-especially omega-3 fatty acids-offer protection. Supplemental flax seed oil or fish oils are crucial for good health.

    Tip #4: Eat 2???3 tablespoons of ground organic flaxseeds every day.

    Flaxseeds are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty, are high fiber, and contain one hundred times more cancer-fighting lignans than any other known edible plant. Lignans can also be taken in supplemental form.

    Tip #5: Drink green tea every day or take it as a supplement

    Women who drink green tea have a much lower risk of breast cancer-and if they get breast cancer, their chances of surviving are much greater.

    Tip #6: Consume turmeric every day.

    Over 5,500 studies have documented turmeric’s potent anticancer properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Inhibiting the growth of over 17 different kinds of cancer, turmeric is considered the “#1 Anticancer Spice.”

    Tip #7: Eat at least one clove of garlic several times a week

    . Garlic is extremely high in antioxidants and selenium, boosts the immune system, lessens the formation of carcinogens in the breast, prevents toxins from damaging our DNA, and stops breast tumors from growing and dividing.

    Tip #8: Include Wakame or Mekabu seaweed in your diet.

    Wakame and Mekabu seaweeds are high in the mineral iodine, which research shows is more effective at killing breast cancer cells than many common chemo-therapeutic drugs.

    Tip #9: Take a vitamin supplement every day.

    Certain vitamins-especially vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, and vitamin E-help to crush the growth of breast cancer.

    Tip #10: Get adequate amounts of selenium every day.

    As little as 200 micrograms (mcg) a day of this antioxidant lowers your risk of breast cancer-and most other types of cancer-by 50 percent. Brazil nuts are an excellent source. You can also take it as a supplement.

    Tip #11: Avoid refined sugar--use a natural sweetener such as Stevia instead.

    Sugar is cancer’s favorite food. The more of it you eat, the faster cancer will grow.

    Tip #12: Keep your body-fat low.

    Fat cells manufacture estrogen, notably after menopause. That’s why obesity is thought to be responsible for 20 to 30 percent of all post-menopausal breast cancers.

    Tip #13: Rarely, if ever, drink alcohol.

    Even half a glass of alcohol a day increases your risk of breast cancer, so it’s best to avoid this dangerous beverage completely. Folic acid supplements diminish many of the ill effects, so if you have a glass of wine now and again, take 200-400mcg of folic acid.

    Tip #14: Never smoke tobacco products.

    Research shows that women who smoke or inhale passive smoke; have as much as a 60 percent increased risk of breast cancer.

    Tip #15: Keep your home as toxin-free as possible.

    Toxins are everywhere--in your water, clothing, furnishings, construction materials, dry cleaning, personal-care products, lawn and garden products, insect repellant, flea collars, paints, wallpaper, carpet, tile, particleboard. Assume that everything is toxic unless it is labeled otherwise and choose its nontoxic solution instead.

    Tip #16: Take a week or two, once or twice a year, to purify your body.

    Detoxing works! Just one five-day series of the Ayurvedic purification procedures known as panchakarma has been shown to cut your load of toxins in half.

    Tip #17: Go to bed by 10:00 P.M. and get up before 6:00 A.M.

    Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is a powerful antioxidant that arrests and deters breast cancer in many ways. Staying up past 10 PM significantly decreases melatonin.

    Tip #18: Minimize your exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

    All electrical appliances and wires produce breast cancer-promoting EMFs-all you have to do is stand just a few feet away from them to avoid them. Hair dryers produce more EMFs than any other household appliance-use a low EMF dryer instead.

    Tip #19: Embrace thirty minutes of aerobic activity every day.

    Just thirty minutes of aerobic activity three to five times a week can lower your risk of breast cancer by 30 to 50 percent.

    Tip #20: Practice a stress-reducing technique every day.

    Stress has been found to contribute to about 90 percent of all illnesses, including breast cancer. Research shows that the daily practice of a type of meditation, called Transcendental Meditation or TM, can lower your risk of all diseases by as much as 50 percent. Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and yoga are great stress-busters too. The regular practice of special breathing exercises called pranayama improves stress-hormone balance, blood pressure, and heart rate, and lowers cholesterol.

    Tip #21: Take care of your needs.

    Research shows that women with breast cancer tend to give too much at the expense of their own needs. So take of your needs first, stay healthy and then you’ll have more to offer others.

    Tip #22: Nurture your relationships

    According to numerous studies, our relationships have more of an effect on us than our diet, smoking, and even our genetics. Loving supportive relationships are the best medicine. If you have people in your life who are toxic, bid them adieu!

Each tip can have a big impact on your risk. I recommend starting with one-the easiest for you to do-and then add another every week. The more you do, the lower your risk will be and the healthier you will become and feel. Finding a partner or buddy to help support you to incorporate these tips into your daily life will add greatly to your success. Breast cancer is a largely preventable disease, as are most other chronic diseases. By following many of these simple tips, you can easily tip the odds in your favor of living a long healthy life.

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