25% of all recorded female cancer cases are Breast Cancer.
1 in every 200 women is predisposed to the risk of Breast Cancer.
48% of the women diagnosed with Breast Cancer are below the age of 50.
More than 50% patients diagnosed are already in stages 3 and 4.
Ignorance is not bliss, it’s a slow poison! We often love to believe the storm won’t hit us but the reality is, it might. With an alarming hike in breast cancer cases over the last few decades and substantially high mortality rate, it clearly underlines the dire need for Breast Cancer Awareness and proactiveness on an individual level. It is about time we take matters in our hands.
While the root cause is unclear, some factors have been surfaced as probable causes of breast cancer. Age, genetics, history of breast cancer or breast lumps, dense breast tissue, estrogen exposure, body weight, alcohol consumption, hormone treatments and radiation exposure are major risk factors of Breast Cancer. Although, we may not be able to rectify the inner bodily functions to circumvent Breast Cancer, we can certainly make some substantial lifestyle changes to bypass this deadly disease.
Estrogen exposure is one of the major external determinants and has been established by various studies. Higher a woman’s exposure to the hormone Estrogen, the more susceptible she would be to breast cancer. Estrogen guides cell division and the more this activity takes place, the probability of cells turning cancerous becomes higher and stronger. Estrogen is not just refrained to female bodily processes and can be inherited through external sources too. What if we tell you that your everyday usage products have been empirically related to breast cancer? Yes, most of the products that we come in contact with on a daily basis are known to have ingredients that are capable of mimicking estrogen activity inside our body. So, something that goes on the outside can create a havoc on the inside. Does that ring a bell? Well, it should!
Many cosmetics and skincare products such as lotions, sunscreens and deodorants contain chemicals like Parabens and Phthalates. Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone function. Phthalates are also known to be hormone-mimicking chemicals, many of which disrupt normal hormonal processes, raising concern about their implications for increased breast cancer risk. Since testing is voluntary and controlled by the cosmetic manufacturers, 89% of the ingredients in such personal care products are not tested for safety. That is why we say, it is time to take matters in our hands and choose wisely.
Here are few tips that will help you pick the right products –
Avoid products with parabens –
Look on the label for the following ingredients to avoid: Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Isoparaben and Butylparaben. You may also visit the manufacturing company website to check if the ingredient list is available. In case the information can’t be sourced, email or call the company and ask them if the products contain parabens.
Avoid products with phthalates (or frangrance) –
It is comparatively difficult to identify phthalates in the products since they are frequent components of fragrances, which often contain dozens of chemicals. The entire mixture simply appears as “fragrance” on the ingredient list. Thus, a product may include phthalates that are not listed on its label.
Opt for certified products –
Look for products with ECOCERT/COSMOS label. Products carrying reputed certifications undergo performance tests, quality assurance tests and ingredients are tested to be safe for use. A certified product reduces your exposure to breast cancer and other illnesses considerably.
Don’t be fooled by natural and organic claims –
These words have little meaning in the largely unregulated personal care products industry. Natural doesn’t always mean safe (for example, lead) and not all synthetic ingredients are harmful.
While the above preventions and substantial lifestyle changes will help us prevent this disease, Breast Cancer screening at regular intervals will make sure that it is diagnosed at early stages thereby increasing the chances of survival and early recovery. Click here to learn how to self – examine yourself for breast cancer.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s join hands to battle breast cancer together and keep the lumps out of our cups. 😊