October is the breast Cancer awareness month. We can see everywhere pink ribbons flourishing and slogans asking you to free your boobs from the torture instruments that are supposed to be those bras. Yes, some studies claim that even wearing a bra would increase your risk of breast cancer. And we should certainly not forget those heavy campaigns begging women to book their potentially life-savings “screenings”! I used to campaign myself to support Pink October but this is not the case anymore. Let me explain, while I have already written here about the difference between “prevention” and “early detection” here, again, we are sending mixed messages! I surely want to see to figures of people dying from cancer or even suffering from cancer decreasing but I am convinced that we are barking at the wrong tree. 70% of all cancers are due to environmental factors (some claims put this number to 90% 1,2). This means that 7 cancers out of 10 diagnosed are due to external compounds that enter one’s body. It goes from chemical in the food to hazardous substances in household products, including bad lifestyle habits.
It has to be known, that, not only, are there still known dangerous chemicals allowed in processed foods, there are very little studies done in regards of the interaction of the different chemicals in those same foods. In other words, it means that there are strict laws established to limit the amount of specific chemicals in these foods and those limits are supposed to protect us, yet studies involving two or more of those chemicals and their impact on short term, medium term or long term are rare. I can only remind this study which has evaluated three chemicals, which separate had very little effect, but revealed high impact on sexual organs when combined together!
On top of this the limits are defined on average, it means that whether you are an average man/woman in height and weight or whether you are a toddler or an elderly person, or someone with a weak immune system, the limits are the same. Would you give the same dosage of any medicine you would take to your child? Certainly not, yet this logic is not applied to the harmful chemicals present in our environment.
Laws have been passed to oblige cigarettes manufacturers to label each and every pack of cigarettes with pictures and mention warning people of the danger of smoking. Have you ever seen a bottle of shampoo containing titanium dioxide (which is a nano particle widely used in foods and cosmetic products and has been proven to increase inflammations and particularly colitis when absorb via foods. It also has shown to go into the brain. Nano particle stays in one’s body forever and the consequences are not well known so far…) with a label “Nano particle increase inflammations and we have no idea of their effects on the long term”. Have you ever seen a shower gel with phenoxyethanol (again, widely used in cosmetic and is a hormone disruptor mimicking oestrogen and too much estrogen in your body can lead to cancers, especially breast cancer – which is not exclusive to women anymore…) with a label stating: ”too much phenoxyethanol can be cause of cancer.” And yet, we still allow all those chemicals and even combine them! What a cocktail.
And about those screenings, voices start to rise and awareness increases about the possible damages of mammography (3). This process is specific, badly squeezing one breast between two plaques before sending radioactive rays… The squeezing can potentially break any tumour already present and the number of false positive is non negligible… Thermography is recognized as much safer in every way, yet, as a woman you have to ask, beg and sometimes fight to have access to it!
So here we are, asking the population to mobilise to raise funds for research of better cure, yet we KEEP GOING spreading harmful ingredients widely!
We also know that many of the life habits, including stress (4,5), negative thinking patterns, lack of physical exercise and time spent outdoor are increasing the risks of cancer or its progression. Stress hormones increase inflammation through the production of inflammatory proteins (cytokines) which impairs the immune function and promotes cancer growth. Clinical and epidemiological studies over the last 30 years have identified psycho social factors including stress, chronic depression and lack of social support as risk factors for cancer progression.
Spending time outdoors (6,7) is proven to reduce inflammation (which can lead to autoimmune disorders and cancer in extreme case). In one study, students who spent time in the forest had lower levels of inflammation than those who spent time in the city. In another, elderly patients who had been sent on a week long trip into the forest showed reduced signs of inflammation as well as some indications that the woodsy jaunt had a positive effect on their hypertension.
So if you really want to PREVENT cancer, read the labels of your foods, (even when you buy organic), read the labels of every single of your cosmetic, including the ones you buy in “health” stores, change some of your life habits by getting more exercise, spending more time outdoors, engage in soothing activities such as Yoga, Reiki, meditation, consider Transformational Breath and/or Mindfulness and stop the glorification of busy. Once all the governments, food industry, pharmaceutical industry and beauty industry will send exclusive messages in this way, they will become credible about Pink October.