Important News About Breast Health for Women 40-50

Women in their 40s receive conflicting advise about the worth of screening mammograms, but that isn't the only way to take care of their breasts. Here are some easy, inexpensive ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer and promote breast health, excerpted from Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing, 1996) by Susun S. Weed, authority on alternative/complementary health care for women.

Exercise - Women who exercise regularly are 35% less likely to get breast cancer. Take Off Your Bra - Women who wear a bra for less than 12 hours a day are half as likely to get breast cancer. Eat Less Red Meat - Women who eat fish, poultry and dairy products daily are half as likely to get breast cancer as women who eat red meat once a day or more. Eat Your Vegetables - Women who eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables (whether cooked, canned, frozen, dried or raw) lower their breast cancer risk by 45%. Eat some Cabbage Every Day - Vegetables in the cabbage family (including broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, radishes, and turnips) contain special substances that actively counter cancer. Eat Carotene-Rich Foods Daily - Women who eat carotene-rich foods (even as little as half a cup of cooked carrots daily) are seven times less likely to develop cancer than those who don't. Choose Organic - Chlorine-based herbicides and pesticides (organochlorines) are believed to be a major factor in promoting breast cancer. Women with high levels of organochlorines in their blood are 4 to 10 times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with low levels.

Choose Unbleached Paper Products - Organochlorines enter water supplies after they are used to bleach paper products, including toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, facial tissues, and this paper. Use Less Sunscreen - Habitual sunscreen users have unusually low levels of vitamin D, an antioxidant which inhibits the initiation of breast cancer. Use Fewer Prescription Drugs - Several categories of prescription drugs are known to increase the risk of breast cancer. Most troublesome are estrogen supplements, beta-blockers, and anti-depressants.

Did You Know?
Most breast cancers are found by women themselves. Having a brother with prostate cancer increases your chances of developing breast cancer as much or more than having a sister with breast cancer. By the time cancer is visible on a mammogram, it has been in your breast for six years.

(Reprint, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients - June 1997 edition)

Copyright © 1996. The Light Party.

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