We hear so much about breast cancer these days. The incidence is increasing day by day and many younger women are being diagnosed with this problem. Much effort is placed on trying to detect cancer at an earlier stage with inexpensive and semi invasive procedures like mammography. The research now shows that it has its own set of risks. Is there a better way? Yes there is which I am going to tell you now as prevention is always better than cure.
We all know that ESTROGEN, the female hormone is implicated in breast cancer. Research shows that how you metabolise estrogen can be one of the causes of cancer.
TYPES OF ESTROGEN- GOOD & BAD
The question comes up that when all of us have estrogen, why do only some people develop a breast cancer? Well it's because there are two kinds of estrogens, good and bad and they make more bad estrogens than good ones.
When estrogen is processed for elimination, the hormones are sent to the liver where they are metabolized, a process also called detoxification. During the estrogen detox process, you can end up with “bad” estrogens or “good” estrogens. The bad ones are toxic and damage DNA, as opposed to the “good” estrogen metabolites that behave safely and are preferable. Although our genetics influence how easily we make the good and bad estrogens, it turns out that food and other lifestyle factors have a major effect on the kinds of metabolites the liver will make. That's why I like to say that food is the most powerful medicine.
IMPROVE YOUR RATIO OF GOOD: BAD ESTROGENS
The best way to reduce your cancer risk is to increase your good estrogens, and decrease the bad. Here are some tips.
- Eat lots of food that supports estrogen detoxification pathways: cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, fiber from fruits and vegetables, beans, flax seeds etc.
- Consider taking the supplement Diindolylmethane, which can increase good estrogen and reduce bad ones. Hence decrease the risk of breast cancer.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels. Get your vitamin D level checked. Ideally, you’ll want your levels within the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml.
- Practice healthy lifestyle and avoid over exposure to chemicals (plastics), and pesticides.
Breast cancer can be prevented with some simple dietary and lifestyle changes.