October marks National Breast Cancer awareness month, the time of year when women can learn all about breast health. It is a month filled with fundraising walks, outings, and luncheons, all aimed to benefit research to find a cure and empower women to fight the fight.
According to the American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2011, there are about 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women, and about 39,520 deaths from breast cancer in women.
About 85% of women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
The American Cancer Society states that breast cancer death rates have been going down, probably due to the result of finding the cancer earlier and getting better treatment. Today, there are more than 2 1/2 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
While researchers do not yet know exactly what causes breast cancer, they do know that certain risk factors are linked to the disease. Even though many risk factors may increase your chance of having breast cancer, it is not yet known how some of these risk factors causes cells to become cancer.
According to the Silent Spring Institute, chemicals that mimic estrogen are known risk factors for breast cancer. Take precautionary steps now to reduce exposure to suspect chemicals that are found in products we use everyday:
Use glass containers in the microwave. Plastic containers contain chemicals that mimic or disrupt hormones.
Do not use PERC dry cleaning, opt for wet cleaning. Solvents such as PERC are under study for breast cancer.
Avoid phthalates and frgrance in products. Phthalates have been associated with cancer and are often an ingredient in fragrance. Look for phthalate-free on labels.
Reduce heat level when grilling foods. This minimizes char, which is known to cause mammory tumors in animals.
Buy organic foods. Buying organic reduces your exposure to pesticides and protects your family.
Choose non-toxic cleaning products and pesticides. Baking soda is a great alternative to toxic household cleaners. Most pesticides are endocrine disruptors that are tracked into the house on shoes and by pets.
Use a HEPA filter vacuum. Carpets harbor pesticides, mold, allergens, chemicals, and flame retardants. HEPA filter vacuums avoid recycling dust back into the air.
Avoid PBDE in furniture and electronic equipment. PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) are endocrine disruptors that affect thyroid hormones. Choose carpet pads, bedding, cushions, and upholstered furniture made from natural fibers like wool, hemp, and cotton.
Avoid exposure to second-hand smoke. According to a new study conducted by the California Environmental Protection Agency, there is a link between second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer in premenopausal women.
Lower your risk of breast cancer by changing those risk factors under your control.
For more information on cleaning products and breast cancer, please watch our video at blog.maidbrigade.com.
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