Breast Cancer Awareness: Do you know what your environmental risks are?
Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 5, 2007
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Breast Cancer Awareness: The Environmental Risks — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)
I was honored to be asked and participate in a phone conference this week on breast cancer, sponsored by LUNA and the Breast Cancer Fund, together they have established Pure Prevention. The call brought two nationally recognized environmental health experts, Dr. Janet Gray and the Executive Director of the Breast Cancer Fund, Jeanne Rizzo, to answer questions from a selected group of health bloggers. It was an hour conference that anyone can listen to here.
The focus of this conference and Pure Prevention, is to look at ways a woman can lower her risk of breast cancer by lowering her environmental risks. Many of these risks I was not even aware of, so I am grateful to have been a part of this discussion. My thanks to Cynthia Samuels for inviting me to participate.
Because only 1 out of 10 women who have breast cancer have a genetic history of the disease, what women put on and in their bodies can make the difference. Pure Prevention is a new campaign that seeks to expand on the “cure-centered” breast cancer conversation by helping women identify the environmental causes of the disease and inspiring them to make smart choices about the products they use every day.
One of the questions I asked, was about environmental risks that might not be getting enough attention, and that many women might be unaware of. Several were brought to my attention, including “ionizing radiation” and “electromagnetic fields“. However, the one I found most disturbing, was about the chemicals that are known to be dangerous but are still being used in the packaging of our foods. So even when you are eating a healthy diet, you could still be ingesting many chemicals that could be harmful your health. Frustrating isn’t it?
For instance, there is a chemical called Bisphenol A that is a known carcinogenic used in many plastics, it even can be found in the lining of lids on canned foods. Since we don’t normally ingest plastic you may think this isn’t such a big deal…However, these chemical do not stay in the plastic, they leach out into the beverages and foods we are consuming each day (such as water in plastic bottles and canned soups, just to name a few). Efforts have been underway in California to discontinue the use of this chemical, but so far have been unsuccessful.
An estimated 100,000 synthetic chemicals have been registered for use in the United States in the last 40 years, but fewer than 10 percent of them have been fully tested for their effects on our health. Because many of these chemicals accumulate in body fat and remain in breast tissue for decades, every woman, man and child now carries synthetic chemicals in their bodies—including some that have been found to cause mammary tumors.
I know when I put a Twinkee in my mouth it’s not good for me, but when I drink bottled water, or eat some chicken noodle soup from a can (or give it to my kids for that matter), I’m not expecting to get slowly poisoned. We are so worried about what China is putting in the toys we buy…But our own government is not protecting us from known toxins being used here, and that we are allowing our children to ingest on a daily basis. Something is wrong with this picture.
But, it’s not hopeless. And thanks to the folks at Pure Prevention we can educate ourselves on these risks, and take steps to evoke change in our government’s blatant disregard for human life and health. See what you can do here.
We also talked a little bit about the increase in the most deadly form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, where environmental causes are also suspected to be part for the increase of cases being seen.
There was a lot more discussion on this issue, if you would like to hear more you can go to Pure Prevention and listen to the audio.
And since it is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I wanted to highlight some of the courageous women blogging about breast cancer…
Thank you for taking the time and care to comment. Your visits honestly mean much more to than you might imagine. Jump in, comment anywhere on any of the posts.
Your input inspires me to write more and connect with you, the readers. Your words mean so much to me and truly do help me keep on keepin’ on.
I am an outgoing, extroverted person. I enjoy meeting and working with different types of people. I have three children of whom I adore. I am happily married to a great guy. One thing about me is I find laughter to be the best medicine for anything! I am currently batteling breast cancer.
Life With Breast Cancer — A personal take
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I resisted the thoughts that it would change my life and me. I didn’t want it to have that power over me. However, I have found that having breast cancer is like joining a club with a lifelong membership. Even after you have finished treatment and even though it may have been five or 10 years since diagnosis, you never quite get over the fact that you had breast cancer. It leaves scars, emotional and physical, and drives so many decisions about your health and well-being. You are always called a breast cancer survivor.
I am the mother of two beautiful boys who are a source of endless joy and amusement, as well as being quite different from each other. Great blog fodder. My spouse T. and I have been together for 16 years. I adore him. I am fortunate to have wonderful friends and family and a pretty good life. I also have metastatic breast cancer that has spread to my liver.
This blog is about my journey through cancer as well as all the other aspects of my life. I live in London, a mother, a teacher, a daughter and a sister but here I have charted my emotional journey through the maze of breast cancer. I was unlucky enough to have it twice through eighteen months and whilst there is plenty of resources on the factual side of cancer and its treatment, I found emotional knowledge lacking. Here, then, is my story.
ChangeStatistics.com – For each woman who makes an online pledge to get their mammogram, they will donate $1 to the American Cancer Society up to $100,000.