By Patricia Bowden-Luccardi LMT, CNMT, CTT
October is the month that the focuses on Breast Cancer Awareness. Let’s focus instead on Breast Health Awareness and ways to prevent cancer at a cellular level and minimize our exposure to environmental toxins.
When it comes to breast cancer, the greatest concern is exposure to a group of toxins called endocrine disruptors. These are chemical and byproducts that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body or cause estrogen to act in a way that isn’t normal. Using these products in combination with hundreds of others chemicals that we regularly come in contact with on a daily basis many increase the risk of several cancers.
The average adult is exposed to 126 chemicals every day just in their personal care products alone. If you want to be healthy, being educated on the latest in toxins is a must! You need to know that your exposures comes from chemicals in household products, personal care, cosmetic and industrial products, food, plastics, air, water,and health care exposures of ionizing radiation.
These disruptors of the human hormone system are not just linked to high global rates of breast cancer, but ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid cancers, warns a report released February 2013 by the UN Environment Program and the World Health Organization.
One example is the hormone-mimicking chemicals such as parabens and phthalates found in cosmetics and body care products that increase the risk of breast cancer and cause a broad range of birth defects. A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology in 2012 detected paraben esters in 99 percent of breast cancer tissues sampled.
The connection between plastic and breast cancer was first discovered in 1987 at Tufts Medical School in Boston, by research scientists Dr.Ana Soto and Dr. Carlos Sonnenschein. In the midst of their experiments on cancer cell growth, endocrine-disrupting chemicals leached from plastic test tubes into the researcher’s laboratory experiment, causing a rampant proliferation of breast cancer cells.
Spanish researchers, Fatima and Nicolas Olea, tested metal food cans that were lined with plastic. The cans were also found to be leaching hormone disrupting chemicals in 50% of the cans tested. The levels of contamination were twenty-seven times more than the amount a Stanford team reported, was enough to make breast cancer cells proliferate. Reportedly, 85% of the food cans in the United States are lined with plastic. Both of these findings were published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
These studies support claims that plastics are simply not good for us – prior to 1940, breast cancer was relatively rare; today it affects 1 in 11 women.
Now let’s talk about bras and clothing. Polyester fabric is soft, smooth, supple – yet still a plastic. It contributes to our body burden in ways that we are just beginning to understand. Polyester is highly flammable. It is often treated with a flame retardant, increasing the toxic load. So if you think that you’ve lived this long being exposed to these chemicals and haven’t had a problem, remember that the human body can only withstand so much toxic load – and that the endocrine disrupting chemicals which don’t seem to bother you may be affecting you years down the road.
A healthy lifestyle and minimizing your exposure to toxins can help protect your breasts and lower your risk. Early-detection methods experts say are key. Did you know that thermography is the earliest and most effective way of detecting early breast cancer without radiation? Thermography identifies the levels of these environmental contaminants known as xeno- estrogens and Bisphenol-A that attach to the receptor sites of breasts and mimics our natural estrogens. This is an alarming and increasing common pattern seen in thermographic screenings.
These estrogens affect breast tissue with distinct heat patterns that can be seen on thermal imaging. The textbook appearance is one of “leopard spots” or hypervascularization. You need to know the health of your breasts and only thermography can provide you with a visual image and assesses the severity of this syndrome. It can be used as a preventative adjunctive screening for identifying signs of abnormal pathology years before a mammogram.
A critical difference between thermography and mammography is the ability to detect problems early enough to use preventive measures, rather than detecting disease at a stage where treatment is imminently required. Developing breast cancer can be detected before it has the density to be seen on a radiograph. As the growing tumor develops a renegade blood supply through a process called angioneogenesis, the increase in heat can be identified on a thermal image and compared to the opposite breast. Inflammation created in the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes is also easily identified on highly sensitive medical grade cameras.
With the recent mainstream medical opinion finally talking about the adverse health consequences of mammography, this non-invasive method of detecting cancer and other pathogenic conditions is more important than ever. It is safe, environmentally green, radiation -free and safe for pregnant or nursing mothers, young dense breasts, fibrocystic breasts and implants. Thermography can also screen for thyroid abnormalities, lymphatic congestion, nervous system disorders, abdominal inflammation, vascular system analysis, and neuromuscular disorders and over all systemic inflammation.
Get to know the chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer and take action to reduce your risk. Become an informed consumer. Look around your environment. Read product labels and don’t purchase a product that could harm you or your family. Work with a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner to detoxify your body burden. Evaluate and monitor your breast health on a cellular level with a thermographic screening.
Living in a sea of toxins is not to be ignored. Practice radical self- care.
Patricia Bowden-Luccardi LMT, CNMT. CTT is a Certified Thermographic Technician and member of Breast Thermography International and PACT; Professional Academy of Clinical Thermologists. She offers breast and full body imaging in Albany, Manhattan, and Queens, NY. Contact her at 518 929-7579 or visit www.btiscan.com to find a lab near you.