There is a history of breast cancer in my family. Thankfully, I do not have the BRCA gene, but I am still concerned. What precautions can I take?
Dr. Whimsy: Currently, cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, with approximately 1 in 3 Americans contracting the disease in her/his lifetime. Several factors are thought to be responsible for the development of cancer, beyond just genetics, that include exposure to environmental toxins, disrupted sleep patterns, and chronic stress. The good news is that there are several simple and inexpensive things we all can do to minimize our risk of developing this tragic disease. Many of these changes are affordable and require very little planning.
One of the first things I advise people to consider, when looking for ways to improve their health, is a calorie restricted diet. By simply reducing our over-all consumption of calories, we can dramatically improve our health and reduce our risk of chronic disease. Furthermore, by adopting a nutrient rich diet that is plant based and high in antioxidants we can slow down cell-aging, cell-damage and chronic inflammation – all precursors to chronic disease. A diet that is rich in anti-inflammatory foods, like turmeric, ginger, and flax seeds may also help. Other foods that are currently being researched for their possible anti-cancer properties include green tea, various mushroom varieties like Shitaki (Lentinula edodes), Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor), and Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), and the herbs Astragalus, Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), and many others.
Lastly, engage in a consistent exercise regimen that incorporates 30 minutes or more of cardio a day. In addition, a proper night’s sleep and stress-reduction exercises, like breathing exercises or a consistent meditation practice, have been associated with reduced risk of chronic disease and improved over-all health.
Great question. Thanks for asking.
Dr. Whimsy is the available for free consultations at our store, Sunday – Thursday 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.