Did you know you can help prevent breast cancer by avoiding certain environmental triggers?
A study released in May 2014 lists 17 groups of chemicals women should avoid if trying to minimize their risk of breast cancer. Published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the study notes that environment is a key factor,
“Only 5-10 percent of breast cancers are due to high-risk inherited genes, and 80 percent of women diagnosed are the first in their family to get it. These statistics are just part of the abundant evidence that breast cancer is not written into inherited genes, so finding additional causes can lead to prevention.“
This is good news for those of us genetically predisposed to breast cancer. Both my grandmothers and my mother were diagnosed with breast cancer. Because of this family history and my exposure to high levels of toxic mold, I have been proactively fighting breast cancer for the last 5 years. (Read more about my breast cancer approach in the post “Angelina and Me.”)
I believe this will prove to be a landmark study. The implications are far reaching.
What are these 17 groups?
Gasoline and chemicals formed by combustion – includes exhaust from diesel and gasoline engines, tobacco smoke and fumes from cooking stoves.
Chemicals found in charred food – includes polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitroPAHs, acrylamide, and styrene.
Chemicals found in hair and textile dyes – includes dyes used in the production of paints, printing inks, inkjet and laser printers.
Ochratoxin A (OTA) found in moldy environments – also found in grains, nuts and pork.
Styrene – includes building materials and consumer products made from polystyrene, indoor air and cigarette smoke.
Pharmaceuticals (non-hormonal) – includes a number of over-the-counter, veterinary, and prescription medicines.
The study encourages women to filter their water using a carbon block drinking water filter, (our family uses Berkey,) remove shoes at the door to reduce exposure to chemicals in the home, vacuum with a HEPA filter, limit consumption of charred foods and more.
I would add: minimize exposure to toxic mold indoors. Our family tested positive for ochratoxins in 2009 and have been actively pursuing a healing lifestyle ever since. (Read our story here.)
See the complete list of action steps at Silent Spring’s Study Fact Sheet: Exposure Biomarkers for Suspected Breast Carcinogens.
I applaud the work of the Silent Spring Institute, an organization dedicated to women’s health as it relates to the environment. The Institute is founded on the vision of Rachel Carson, who brought to light the hazards of chemicals in her book, Silent Spring, published in 1962. Ironically, Carson died two years later of breast cancer.
I believe she would be the first to applaud the conclusions of this study, and would heartily encourage women to unabashedly alter their lifestyle accordingly.