From heavy metals to industrial accidents to conventional medicine, your body is being exposed to and storing these endocrine disruptors. Studies have shown the heavy metal cadmium (Cd) mimics the effects of estradiol in estrogen-responsive breast cancer cell lines. Cadmium is found in cigarette smoke, certain art supplies, and is usually a component of air pollution produced by traffic. A study of 981 Italian women who were exposed to dioxin, from an industrial explosion in 1976, showed a significantly increased risk of breast cancer when evaluated. Antibiotics have been instrumental in our health, in certain situations, yet when over prescribed they stress the liver, create dysbiosis (imbalance of bowel flora) and leave residues or metabolites that can add to the toxic mixture in your body. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “When they analyzed all the information they were able to gather, the researchers found that the more antibiotics women used, the greater their breast cancer risk was.”
With all of this information and research helping us to understand how our environment can be increasing our risk of breast cancer, among other diseases, it seems only logical to take steps to protect your loved ones and ourselves. The environmental medicine movement is picking up momentum and people are beginning to understand that we really do live in a toxic world. “The world that surrounds us; including the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink; is full of toxins. Many of these toxins are known carcinogens (cancer causing), and the vast majority have never been studied for their effects on humans,” says the site breastcancer.org. The effects on the body are complex and are influenced by many factors, including the route and site of exposure (skin, oral, injection, inhalation etc), the timing, the duration and frequency of exposure, and the susceptibility of the individual exposed. Although, some of the pieces are still unclear, we do know that there are many chemicals in our environment that cause cancer. We also know that everyone has these toxins, to some degree, stored in their body. “Our findings revealed that under the current regulatory system, toxic chemicals from consumer products and industrial pollution contaminate each of us and threaten our health,” writes Erika Schreder of the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition.
We need to start the movement of prevention in the breast cancer world, and I don’t mean things like preventive mastectomies. Find a physician who is trained in preventative medicine because breast exams and mammograms only detect, they do not prevent breast cancer. Detection without prevention is like standing on the train tracks, watching a train roll towards you, and being content that after you get hit the medical community will try to put you back together. When possible, use prevention, and step off the tracks.
CONTACTS: Breastcancer.org; Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition