Health essentials in your fight against breast cancer

Afra Naushad

Published — Wednesday 24 October 2012

Last update 24 October 2012 4:55 am

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Come October and the month is abuzz with pink ribbons, pink candies, pink tees, pink social media pages and pink… well, you get the drift: It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
All the camaraderie and community spirit seen at bazaars, departmental stores and charity dinners hosting these “pink events” is fine with me, but pause for a moment and take a deep breath. Are you really taking home the real message? Are you doing your bit other than regularly checking for lumps and bumps (which I hope you are) on your two b(r)est friends who have always been by your side – your prime glory you wouldn’t trade for none in the world?
It’s been cause for worry when experts recently predicted that over 1.2 million women would be battling out breast cancer in less than three decades. That’s a staggering stat to even think about!
Fret not, and remember that good health comes only from living healthy and adopting smart lifestyle choices. Here is a list of must-do’s to help you take that step toward ensuring your good health.
Ladies, get your groove on — which roughly translates into one word: locomotion.
Obesity has been tested as a contributing factor in the development of breast cancer. A study performed by Italian researches at the European Institute of Oncology inferred that being overweight accounted for over 10.2 percent of breast cancer cases in postmenopausal women.
If you are working indoors doing the 9 to 5, take frequent breaks to fetch water, coffee, or say hi to your colleague or friend. Walk the stairs instead of elevators. Pace around the office every once in a while and don’t sit continuously in chair for more than 2-3 hours. Ditch the car; walk for small grocery shopping to your local store.
Exercising is known to increase oxygen supply at the cellular level by increasing your lung capacity, which cuts down your risk of cancer. Get rid of big bellies, ladies, as they are known to pump estrogen into the bloodstream, which can contribute toward hormone-fueled breast cancer.
Make time for an engaging physical activity, whether it’s running you like, water sports, spinning, hiking, yoga, or even dancing. You’ll thank us for it.

Milk them
Tried and tested research has proven that breast-feeding your child reduces your risk of premenopausal breast cancer. The longer the feeding duration, the more benefits the mother earns against breast cancer. We all know that breast-feeding not only cements love and mutual bonding between mother and child, but also helps build immunity against infections for babies. Breast-feeding not only helps mothers shed off excess postpartum weight more quickly, but also lowers cancer-related hormone levels in the mother’s body, including ridding off of DNA-damaged cells from the breast that lower the breast cancer risk.

Catch a colorful
basket of veggies
Remember to include these names the next time you have your grocery list prepared: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, salmon, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. These foods scream breast protection!
I can image an entire meal course whipped out of these ingredients: scrumptious and healthy. Just cut on the high-fat diets, please. It’s crassly.

Time to detox!
Keep high-radiation gadgets like laptops, phones and other radiation-emitting devices away from body surface when not in use. Scientific evidence claims that exposure to electrical radiation contributes to upping chances of developing breast cancer. Expecting mothers should especially take care during pregnancies toward the health of their unborn children when breast tissue of babies is being formed in the womb, which is extremely sensitive to environmental factors that can manifest into breast cancer later in life.

Underarm woes
Some research data has suggested that underarm antiperspirants that include aluminum to mask off body odors when absorbed into the skin can mimic estrogen-like hormones that promote growth of breast cancer cells. Aluminum-based utensils used for cooking have also fallen under the health official’s red radar. Other chemicals include parabens, which are frequently found in sunblock, foods and other cosmetics.
Further research needs to be conducted to support these claims. Until further data proves otherwise, check for aluminum and paraben labeling before purchasing products.

Say no to passive smoking
Nitrosamines and other carcinogens found in tobacco appear to be more concentrated in passive smoke, which gives you the perfect defense to excuse yourself from unhealthy company. Associations have been proven between passive smoking over longer periods of time with increased risk of breast cancer. We suppose this bit of news is perfect bait for you to encourage that close family member to ditch the habit at least for your own health. To those who smoke first-hand, well… you know it’s bad news. We hope the above is encouraging enough to stub the butt.

Wear the green badge
and breathe
Get outdoors (which does not mean the mall). Find some time and solitude in nature, amidst trees and fresh air, away from the arid and choking pollution of the city.
Or just roll a mat in your backyard garden, pose, breathe deeply, and meditate. Plant an indoor house garden if you’re crammed for space. You’ll be benefitted by having even a wee bit of purified oxygen around you, which battles out cancer naturally.
Stay fit, stay healthy, and smile.

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