Originally published August 7 2015
Breast Cancer Fund website catalogs chemical, environmental causes of breast cancer
by Jennifer Lea Reynolds
(NaturalNews) According to the National Cancer Institute's annual statistics report, a woman born today has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. While it's noted that family history, having dense breasts, giving birth for the first time after the age of 30 and increased alcohol use are contributing factors to developing this disease, several other reasons exist.(1)
A range of chemical and environmental causes for breast cancer exist, and in today's heavily populated, pollution-laden world, we're surrounded by harmful toxins. Everything from the food we eat to how we clean our house plays a role in breast health.
Thankfully, the Breast Cancer Fund has created an exhaustive list which outlines the various chemical and environmental causes of breast cancer. The list details the specific chemicals, their health concern classification (EDC refers to "Endocrine Disrupting Compound," for example), where they can be found and studies pertaining to its role in affecting breast health.
Here's a look at a few from this list.
Chemicals that harm breast health
DioxinsThe Breast Cancer Fund notes that dioxins enter the body typically by eating animal products and, in infants, by drinking breast milk; the chemicals enter the food chain due to vehicle exhaust that permeates crops or water that is then ingested by the animals which people eat. Dioxins, which are endocrine distruptors and known carcinogens, can also become part of the food chain when soot from incinerated chlorinated compounds enter the atmosphere, falling on farm areas or even water where fish is caught and eaten.(2)
Sadly, a "cross-section of Americans indicate that over 95 percent have measurable levels of dioxins in their bodies, and that older people have statistically higher body burdens of the chemicals than do younger people."(2)
Research has also shown that women who have worked in factories in close proximity to this chemical are more likely to experience a "significant increase in deaths from breast cancer."
AlkylphenolsUnfortunately, these industrial chemicals are likely running rampant in your house. Everything from spermicides and hair products to household cleaning items and even indoor dust have been found to contain this endocrine disruptor. One alkylphenol in particular, 4-nonylphenol (4-NP), has been linked to an increased risk in mammary cancer and changes in gene expression and cell signaling.(3)
It's in a great deal of homes too; in a study of household contaminants, alkylphenols were discovered in all samples of house air and in 80 percent of house dust samples. This was especially the case for 4-NP and its breakdown products in particular.(3)
Bisphenol A (BPA)Yet another very common chemical is likely to cause breast health problems.
Considered one of the most common chemicals that people come in contact with during their daily life, bisphenol A (BPA), it's often found in the lining of many plastic and metal containers. Utensils, food cans, microwave cookware, baby bottles (now banned by the FDA) and even eyeglasses may contain the harmful substance, which disrupts the endocrine system by basically leaching into people's bodies, especially upon heating.(4)
According to the Breast Cancer Fund site, exposure to BPA is linked to increased risk for breast cancer. "With regard to mammary development and increased risk for development of breast cancer," the site notes, "several studies using both rat and mouse models have demonstrated that even brief exposures to environmentally relevant doses of BPA during gestation or around the time of birth lead to changes in mammary tissue structure predictive of later development of tumors." The site also points out that "not only does early exposure to BPA lead to an increased risk for
development of breast tumors, but exposure to BPA during chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer may make the treatment less effective."(4)
How to keep breasts healthyTo keep your breasts healthy, avoid exposure to such chemicals as best you possibly can. For example, choose natural cleaning and personal care products. Many health stores sell shampoos and household cleaners that are environmentally responsible and void of the chemicals that destroy your body.
Also, consider storing foods in glassware instead of plastic containers, which can leach chemicals into your bloodstream.
Finally, eat fresh, organic foods which haven't been sitting in metal containers on store shelves. Fresh fruits and vegetables are best, as Janette Murray-Wakelin can attest to. Told she had six months to live after a breast cancer diagnosis, she turned to juicing vegetables and fruits such as Brussels sprouts, carrots and green apples. She attributes this way of eating to helping her heal; she's now a healthy woman who has run hundreds of marathons. You can read more about her here.(5)
Make sure to check out the Breast Cancer Fund and read about how they're exposing and eliminating the environmental causes of breast cancer here.
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