Every October, the media and product companies jump on the bandwagon in promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the world suddenly turns pink. Although it is good to raise awareness of this all-too-common disease in women (and some men, too), I, and many other practitioners, believe the emphasis should be on breast “health” awareness rather than breast “cancer” awareness.
Cancer rarely develops in healthy breasts, so surely helping women understand what they can do to keep their breasts healthy is the best possible way to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer? Sadly, this information is hard to find in the media and many of the “pink ribbon” promotion products and services offered by manufacturers and retailers during this month actually increase breast cancer risk!
For example, many cosmetics, toiletries and perfumes contain hormone-disrupting chemicals, similar to oestrogen, which is known to feed cancer cells. Another example is breast-enhancing lingerie which squashes the breasts, allowing toxins to build up in the lymph ducts, potentially leading to congestion and inflammation, known to be at the root of cancer development. And there are many more examples.
Retailers often use the pink ribbon symbol to market their products in October with the incentive of promising to donate a percentage of the price to a cancer charity. Although I have nothing against helping charities in this way, many of the charities which receive these donations do little in promoting prevention. That is why I only support charities like Cancer Active and Breast Cancer UK because they do raise awareness of the potential causes of breast cancer and ways to reduce that risk.
If you want to know more about what increases breast cancer risk, safe ways to check for it, and diet and lifestyle measures to help reduce your risk, you may find my ebook helpful, called How to Keep Your Breasts Healthy. It contains a wealth of information on breast health in an easy-to-read and concise way. It is available for only £3 and £1 of that is donated to Breast Cancer UK (of course!).
The book can be purchased here.
Sue Bedford, RGN