BREAST CANCER

Breast cancer Prevention

Breast is considered as a symbol of womanhood and is also important as it feeds our newborns. Therefore, facing any abnormality is a nightmare to all of us.  

I’m sure, you must have gone through this feeling, at least once in your lifetime. Can you recall, when? Yes, when you felt pain or found a lump in your breast or armpit.  

Don’t worry! About 50% of women face such symptoms in their reproductive phase.[1] Above this, 60-80% of these breast lumps are non-cancerous or benign.[2]  

In between this, I know you guys are also hearing a lot about Breast cancer, especially in the month of October- as it is celebrated as the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  

So the question comes, Do we need to be scared of this? NO! We need to be aware of this.  

Although 1 out of 11 females face the condition of breast cancer, it is still leading for causing most of the deaths due to cancer with a lifetime risk of 12%.[3] 

Hence, it is always the best option to choose its prevention with healthy lifestyle practices. As we all know, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Stay tuned with me, I am going to share my knowledge of this, in this blog itself.  

Before this lets know what breast cancer is? 

We all are made up of trillions and trillions of cells. From the day we are born till the present day, trillions of these cells are even dead and trillions new are formed. Now, if something wrong happens in this process, it creates a major issue.  

Cancer happens when the new cells are forming and the old and abnormal cells are not dying. Now this excessive and abnormal increase in the cells causes tumours which are cancerous.  

Breast cancer occurs when this abnormality happens in either of the breasts. This can happen either of the 3 parts of the breast- 

  • Lobules- These are the glands that produce the milk. 
  • Ducts- Carry milk from the glands to the nipples. 
  • Connective tissue- These hold these together as these are the fatty tissues.  

Interestingly, it not only happens in women. Men also face breast cancer, though that is very rare.   

Symptoms of Breast cancer 

Although lump in the breast is a common symptom which mostly occurs due to hormonal imbalance. Majority of the time it is non cancerous or benign and not a matter of concern. But still it is the first evidence to detect the upcoming or growing cancer.  

Apart from this, there are lot more things to keep a check on- 

  • Lump around collar bone or underarm 
  • Breast pain (Mastalgia) or nipple pain 
  • Irritated or dimpled breast 
  • Swelling in breast or in part of breast
  • Redness on breast or nipple area
  • Discharge from the nipple other than breast milk, especially if it contains blood 
  • Change in the shape or size of the breast  

Causes of Breast Cancer  

There are multiple factors which can cause breast cancers. Interestingly we can divide these multiple factors into 2 different categories- Less controlled factors and lifestyle factors.


     1. Less controlled factors

    • Exposure to estrogen - As we all are living in a chemically exposed environment, we are getting exposed to estrogen and also prone to adapting to them and get an increased level in the blood.  

    This increased level is responsible for the beginning of early menstrual cycle in girls below the age of 11-12 years and also causes early menopause. These increased levels are also one of the major causes for the risk of breast cancer.[4]  

    Do you know? Two out of three breast cancer is caused by these increased levels.[5] 

    • Family history of breast cancer - Surprisingly, 20% of cancer comes from the family history.[6] The risk is higher if your blood relative such as mother, sister or daughter is/ has suffered from breast cancer or any ovarian or uterine cancer. The risk is also high if you have seen multiple cases in your maternal or paternal family.  

    Even if any male member has gone through the cancer phase, the women of that family are somewhere at risk of breast cancer.  

    Don’t stress! It only gets triggered with your unhealthy lifestyle. If taken proper preventive measures, you can live a cancer free life. Stay tuned to know them. 

    • Increasing age- We all know that a woman goes through multiple hormonal ups and downs in her life. The last but not the least, she faces is during her menopause. After her menopause she also gets obese due to her hormonal imbalance which is a risk of breast cancer.[7] 
    • History of breast cancer- If a woman has a history of breast cancer or any ovarian, uterine, fallopian tube cancer then there is a high risk of having breast cancer.[8]   

         2. Lifestyle factors  

    • Consuming Sugar- Your cancer cells love sugar. And the worst thing is, you too love sugar.  

    Do you have an idea about the love of sugar to cancer cells?  

    They absorb the sugar 15 times more than the normal cells for their energy and growth. This is one of the major reasons that cancer patients always feel low in energy and fatigue.  

    Hence, cancer patients should always avoid taking sugars and similarly we should also avoid on precautionary basis. 

     

    • Consuming acidic food- Foods like non veg, pulses, paneer, roti, coffee and tea, etc. are acidic in nature. Even your nuts are also acidic in nature, except almonds and brazil nuts. Unfortunately, these all routine meal options are somewhere responsible for the risk of breast cancer.  

    Not only this, the water you drink contains 22 types of cancer causing substances (called carcinogens). 

    So what can you do to balance these? 

    You can manage the food acidity by adding vegetables or soaking them. Let's take some examples: 

    • You can add veggies to non veg as it is acidic. 
    • Add veggies in paneer as well. 
    • Soak pulses and take it with an equal amount of veggies and equal amount of salad.
    • In the case of roti, coffee and tea you should take supergreens in your mid meals for balance. 
    • Most importantly, insead of refrigerated and RO water we should use Matke ka paani (Earthen pot water) 
    • Choose seeds over nuts, except almonds and brazil nuts, as seeds are not acidic.  
    • Cigarette smoking and alcohol- Are you among those who are addicted to alcohol or smoking? If yes! Then you need to know this. Drinking any type of alcoholic drink from beer to red or white wine, all are linked to cause cancer. How? Because it disturbs the functioning of your cell. It damages your DNA and interferes in its repair as well.[9] And as we have already discussed, cancer is caused by abnormal cells only.

     

     

    Cigarette smoking is the worst addiction you can ever have. You not only risk your life, but also the people surrounding you. Whether you are an active smoker or a passive one, you are an equal sufferer. Do you know? Cigarettes have almost 70 carcinogens [10] and many more poisonous chemicals. Now what do you expect in return? A miracle to give you a healthy life even after smoking?  

    These poisons in cigarettes weaken your immune system which will further damage your DNA as in the case of alcohol, resulting in cancer.  

    Now I hope you will never even dream about alcohol and cigarettes.

     

    breast cancer

    Preventions of Breast Cancer

    • Avoid getting overweight- Not only the post-menopausal women gain weight (as discussed above), all of the age groups have starting gaining excessive weight due to poor lifestyle. Most of the people are couch potatoes and always settled in front of Netflix. This way you are making our body lethargic, and not more than that, attracting a lot of diseases and ofcourse breast cancer is one among them. Therefore, you should always maintain their ideal weight by adding vegetables and fruit in your diet and lowering sugary drinks, refined carbohydrates and fatty foods. For weight reduction you can follow my intermittent fasting diet plan. 
    • Essential Oil- Essential oils always help us in our diseases, as I always guide you to add at least one in your lifestyle. Guess what? It has been found that essential oil helps in breast cancer as well.  

    Essential oils such as thyme, clove, chamomile, jasmine and frankincense oil have shown positive results in preventing breast cancer. 

    You know, thyme is able to kill up to 97% of the breast cancer cells. Whereas, chamomile is able to kill 93% of these cells. [11] 

     

    Breast Cancer 

    • Choosing the right herbs and spices- Adding even a pinch of these powders can do a magic to your food, not just in taste but with the positive energy it gives to your body. This is because these herbs and spices, which I am going to disclose soon, will boost your immune system and help your body to fight even a disease like breast cancer. [12]  

    Excited to know the magical herbs and spices? These are none other than your garlic, olive leaf extract, grapefruit extract, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, oregano and cayenne pepper. These all have good antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, to protect you from diseases. 

    • Adding probiotics to your diet- We must have heard that 96% of the health issues begin from the gut. Probiotics may be useful in the prevention or treatment of breast cancer by modifying your gut bacteria with good bacterias. 

    Therefore add probiotic foods in your diet such as yoghourt or curd, kefir, green peas, pickles, buttermilk and idlis, etc.  

    Not just this, it is always important to add prebiotics with probiotics for its high bioavailability. Your prebiotics are nothing, but the feed to your probiotics so that it can grow efficiently. Therefore choose them together by taking Probiotics & Prebiotic Fiber.

    • Avoid Hormonal Replacement Therapy- Hormonal replacement therapy or HRT is chosen by women to reduce their menopausal symptoms. This HRT is sometimes responsible for causing breast cancer. Therefore you should always choose lifestyle management over HRT. You can even choose menopause caps, which has no such side effects and help you naturally. 

      And if you are on HRT, don’t panic! Leave HRT for approximately 5 years and you can reduce the risk of breast cancer.[13] 

      • Choose physical activity- As you know, I have always promoted physical activity and glad that a lot of my ladies have started working out with me daily.  

        Breast cancer Symptoms

        It always helps to reduce the risk of any disease. Even if you have started late in your age, it will still show you the results. Trust me! It just needs 30 minutes from your 24 hours. [14] 

        References: 

        [1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31554551/ 

        [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279/#:~:text=Of%20all%20breast%20lumps%2C%2060,out%20of%20every%2011%20women.

        [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560757/

        [4] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/37136#risk-factors 

        [5] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/everyday-chemicals-hormones-and-breast-cancer-what-is-the-link#Limitations

        [6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16998504/

        [7] https://whttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5319297/ 

        [8] ww.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/37136#risk-factors  

        [9] https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/alcohol/ 

        [10] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes- prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet

        [11] https://www.keyaseth.com/blogs/blog/breast-cancer-and-essential-oils

        [12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7460502/ 

        [13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10213546/

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