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Don’t Get Breast Cancer (Again)

By Expert Blogger
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May is Women’s Health month. Last week I had the honor of speaking on a panel of medical experts at the premiere of Breast Cancer: The Path of Wellness & Healing at Creative Artist Agency in Los Angeles. The film, which was produced by Nina Karp and Joyce Osten—a two-time breast cancer survivor--is an incredible resource for anyone either with the diagnosis or is concerned about the disease. It features interviews with many top medical experts including Drs. Susan Love, Dean Ornish, and Dennis Slamon as well as celebrity cancer survivors like Sheryl Crow, Olivia Newton-John, and Jaclyn Smith.

Despite billions of dollars spent on research that has resulted in advances in detection and treatment of breast cancer today one out of eight women will develop breast cancer compared to one out of 14 in 1960. It is likely that any woman you ask will know somebody who has or know someone else who has had breast cancer. Its prevalence begs the question: why hasn’t there been more focus and resources devoted to prevention of the disease in the first place? Unfortunately that just hasn’t been the priority. But it should be.

We have known from studies over the years that environmental factors contribute to many cases of cancers in general and in particular breast cancer. A majority of breast cancers in North America are due to excess hormones—estrogen in particular. There are over 10,000 registered chemicals that have estrogen-like effects, in addition to being toxic and carcinogenic. These environmental estrogens are called xenoestrogens. It is common sense that a dramatic reduction in exposure to xenoestrogens in our environment can correspondingly lower the risk of breast cancer.

Take the case of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in molding plastics into shapes like a water bottle or baby bottle. For years scientists have known that BPA is an endocrine disruptor—an agent that causes hormonal imbalance that acts like estrogen in the body. However it took the EPA and the FDA until recently to ban it from use in baby bottles.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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