October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so I figure we should chat about it. Breasts, boobs, boobys, knockers, peepers. Whatever you call them, let’s chat about our ‘ladies’ and breast health awareness.
Breast health is so important and being preventative in any way will help us to lessen our chances of any breast disease including cancer.
This blog post is to remind you of the things to do for preventative health. Hopefully most of them you are already aware of and practice daily.
Reduce your Risk
First of all, when it comes to our bodies, self examination and knowing our bodies is always number one. Self breast exams and listen to what our body is saying to us.
- Eating clean and maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise daily (ie. walk, run, weight training, yoga)
- Limit alcohol
- Do not smoke
- Limit dose and length of hormone therapy
- Reduce exposure to radiation and chemical
- Optimize your Vitamin D
- Avoid wearing underwire bras
- Get enough sleep and manage stress
I could really go into a lot more detail on some of these bullet points but we will save that for another time, another post.
Of course we all know of the most well known screening method, mammograms. But there are a couple of not so well known methods that I believe should be considered when talking about Breast Health.
Hormone testing – As we age and certain times throughout our lives, for whatever reason, our hormones become out of balance. This happens mainly in our pre-menopausal or menopausal years. Hormone imbalance can contribute to abnormal breast activity. We can test hormone levels through blood testing or through my favourite, saliva hormone testing. Check out the link here for more information. Once you have results, you can then work with your health care professional to develop a plan to balance those hormones.
Thermography/Thermology – Breast thermology is a screening technique that shows structural changes in the breast before something serious evolves. It uses a digital infrared sensing camera and high speed computer to measure heat radiated from the breast. Two different scans are taken, one in normal room temperature and the next after the cold water challenge. Normal cells will show a decrease in heat production while cells with increased cellular activity will maintain or increase their heat production. This is where you see changes that can happen possible years before the potential of something major. Again results to be discussed with your health care practitioner. This type of screening technique is just another tool that we should have in our toolbox. For more information, click here.
Cold water challenge – hands are immersed in 10C water for 60 secs. Should also mention there is not squeezing, compressing, needles or radiation to the breast. Just really cold water.
Balancing your hormones
Keeping our hormones in check is a sensitive balancing act. Just when you think that all is good, stress might hit you and then WHAM!! you are unbalanced again. Especially during the years of pre-menopause and full blown menopause, checking the hormone balance is essential ( I think).
There are certain foods that can help you balance your hormones. Seeds.
It has been documented that flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflowers seed eaten at different times of the month can help to balance certain hormones at certain times. Ground flax and pumpkin seeds (1 tbsp each) during the first 13-14 days of the month for estrogen balance. Ground sesame and sunflower seeds (1 tbsp each) for the second half of the month for progesterone balance. Sprinkle them in your morning smoothie, throw them into your yogurt, or add them to your favourite chocolate energy balls.
And well, who doesn’t need the extra fibre as well!
So ladies, keep those ‘ladies’ healthy. Being preventative is always our best defence.
**For an extra boost in health check out how keeping our adrenals healthy also matters. Click here.**
And as a side note for any questions on your health, always talk with your health care practitioner.