Breast Cancer Prevention, Naturally
As I am sure you are well aware, October is breast cancer awareness month. You can't hardly miss it--there is pink everywhere! Awareness is always the first step in solving any issue and breast cancer is certainly a challenging issue to solve.
Most of the focus is around prevention, which is the area of health that naturopathic doctors are best at. There is so much more that can be done to actually prevent breast cancer--along with an annual mammogram (which, unfortunately, has not shown to decrease the mortality rate from breast cancer at all).
Breast self exams--This is by far the most common way of finding issues. Unfortunately, most women do not do them regularly out of fear of finding an issue. If you can remind yourself that the point behind finding an issue early is so you can quickly and easily gain access to much-needed tools to solve it, then the fear will fade. When you ask most women what "early detection" means, they will say, "Finding a lump, then having the lump or breast removed, then starting chemotherapy and radiation treatments." If this is the answer, no wonder women are scared to touch their breasts! If a woman can become familiar with how their breast tissue feels each month, then she will be more aware of subtle changes when they occur. Often, these changes may be resolved simply with gentle massage with castor oil, certain lymph-moving herbs, visualization, etc.
Breast massage-- Place a quarter-sized amount of castor oil in the palm of one hand, rub your palms together, then massage down the center of both breasts, come out along the bottoms, then up the sides. Use the whole palm and heels of your hands. Repeat until all of the oil is massaged into your skin. This is best done after a shower while skin is still moist. If you have a lot of lymph congestion, you may also add 1-2 drops of Phytolacca (Poke root) to the oil to increase the lymph circulation in the breasts.
Avoid plastics-- Plastics are made up of chemicals that look like certain toxic hormones in the body. The production of plastic products has been 100% correlated with breast cancer. Avoid drinking out of plastic water bottles, storing food in plastic containers, and never cook foods in plastic in the microwave.
Avoid sugar-- Cancer lives on simple sugars. If you avoid its favorite food source, you decrease its ability to grow and thrive.
Eat lots of veggies-- Eat organic vegetables as much as possible. Vegetables not only give you lots of phytonutrients (plant food) but also provide high amounts of fiber for toxins to bind to in the colon to be carried out of the body safely.
Regular exercise-- Research has found that just 30 minutes of exercise (even light exercise) decreases the occurrence of all cancers by 50%. Doing something fun and mobile is great for your spirit as well, and helps release pleasure-producing endorphins.
Decrease stress-- No, you probably can't get away from every stressor, but do your best to say no to them if you can. Learn stress-relieving techniques like prayer, meditation, yoga, Pilates, Heart Math and mindfullness practices. A little something every day can make a huge difference.
Thermal imagining-- This type of imaging uses no radiation or squeezing, and has been around for a couple of decades now. It has not been adopted as the allopathic medical answer for detecting breast cancer, due to the definition of "early detection." Modern medicine wants us to wait until cancer forms a "tumor" that can be detected by mammography, then have it cut out, "preventing" the cancer from getting worse or spreading.
In contrast, the naturopathic definition of prevention is, "Tell us if the tissue has a higher likelihood of creating cancer, so we can circumventing the problem altogether and avoid cancer from ever forming in the first place." Our approach to prevention is to treat the underlying cause and heal the whole person.
Dr. Susan Godman