Breast cancer is NOT your fault. About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
Sometimes, even if we do everything "right", we still have to face the diagnosis.
However, there are a few easy measures you can implement to put all the chances on your side.
In this article, we will list a few self-care tips to love your boobs.
Chinese Medicine's point of view on breast cancer
In Chinese medicine, there are four factors that contribute to cancer in general, including breast cancer.
Stagnation or stasis: When Qi and blood don't flow properly, waste accumulates and tissue can become denser, forming nodules.
Heat and Toxicity: Pent up Qi can turn to heat (think of a pressure cooker) which sometimes becomes toxic. There are also external and environmental toxins, such as cigarette smoke, or chemical estrogens.
Dampness and phlegm: You could equate that to excess fat cells
Deficiency: When our body's resources are low, the immune system has a harder time getting rid of the abnormal precancerous or cancerous cells.
1. Limit Estrogen exposure
Unless your doctor considers it imperative, it is wise to avoid estrogen replacement therapy as a means of addressing menopausal symptoms.
One study found that women with breast cancer had elevated levels of pesticide residue in their breast tissue.
Avoid exposure to pesticides. Their molecular structure is close to estrogen, and can bind to the same receptors.
Avoid hormonally treated meat and dairy
Eat as much organic produce as you can
Avoid refined and trans-fats. A study found higher levels of trans fats doubles the risk of breast cancer.
2. Help your liver detox out the excess estrogen
Your liver is a super detox organ, filtering out excess hormones from the body.
Drink lemon juice, and add bitter greens such as dandelion greens, endive, and radicchio in your salad.
Drink dandelion root, milk thistle, burdock, artichoke, and turmeric teas, or add these as supplements.
Vitamin B6 enhances the breakdown and removal of estrogen from the body.
Flaxseed oil improves liver function. Flaxseed is particularly high in a phytoestrogen called lignan, which appears to decrease estrogen production and which may inhibit the growth of some breast cancers.
Support your natural estrogen detox system, by eating cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts. They contain diindolylmethane (DIM) which improves estrogen metabolism.
3. Exercise and Manage your weight
Maintain a healthy weight
The link between obesity and breast cancer is clear. Researchers have found that even with only 22 lbs of extra weight you increase your breast cancer risk by 18% (link)
Exercise is considered to be the best way of moving qi and blood and prevent stasis. Research shows that women who exercise regularly can reduce their risk of breast cancer by 20%.
4. Quit smoking and drinking alcohol
Is there still a need to convince you? Quitting alcohol and cigarettes is the best thing you can do for. yourself, far beyond breast cancer prevention!
If you need help, acupuncture can accompany you on the journey.
5. Get your check-ups!
Prevention is the best cure. Start having mammograms every year after the age of 40 and examine your breasts once a month, preferably in the week after your period. If you notice any breast changes, such as a lump or skin changes contact your doctor.
6. Massage your breasts once a month
Look for any changes in
breast or nipple position
skin appearance (puckering, dimpling, sores, or skin color)
Pay attention to your nipples, looking for sores or a change in the direction.
Don't forget to lift your breasts with your hand to inspect the area underneath as well.
Finally, know that acupuncture and herbs are always a good partner for prevention and healing.
No matter where you are in your
women's health, fertility, pregnancy & mothering journey,
if you need support, we can help.
In addition to our own team of fertility & women's health acupuncturists, we are well-connected within the Los Angeles- Pasadena area community to help you
find the right integrative and holistic care for you.
If you have more questions please call our front desk, at 626-841-2991, or email us.