Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cancer in a Glass: That Relaxing Drink After Work

BBC NEWS Health Women 'unaware of alcohol threat'. Alcohol raises your cancer risk, not just liver cancer, but breast cancer ladies and gentlemen (men get breast cancer too). This article points to a myth that I believed until my diagnosis - breast cancer is a genetic illness that doesn't generally affect black women. Well that is far from the case. No one in my immediate family including parents, grandparents, great grandparent, cousins and second cousins had breast cancer. Cancer was the last disease on my mind. It turns out that it does impact black women, at younger ages and often in a more aggressive manner. In my research over the last year, I found that there are so many factors within your control that can reduce your risk of cancers in general. Check them out below:

1. Eat a plant based diet - at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day
2. Consume at least 30 grams of fiber - fiber helps flush excess toxins and hormones from your body
3. Exercise daily - at least 30 minutes a day, ideally 6 hours a week. Reduces fat and stress
4. Eat a low fat diet - fat breeds excess estrogen and testosterone, which can lead to cancer
5. Don't drink alcohol - if you can't do this, consume only for special occasions. Alcohol fuels estrogen
6. Use chemical free products - many common products contain carcinogens or hormonal disruptors
7. Avoid plastics - especially anything with recycling no. 7, may contain bpa, linked to cancer/diabetes
8. Avoid lined canned products - many canned products, especially tomatoes contain bpa
9. Use a headpiece or speaker with cell phone - claims of cancer causing radiation are not going away
10. Be positive person - maintain a positive attitude and a healthy social life, laugh and have fun

There is still so much research that needs to be conducted on this disease, there are so many unanswered questions (believe me I've asked), one being the role environmental pollutants and chemicals. Having grown up in Los Angeles, Cleveland and Detroit in the toxic smog, lead and asbestos laden seventies, on the cusp environmental regulation, I often question the role of these toxins on my diagnosis. Anyway, if you love a good glass of wine after work to chill, try yoga or a good run/walk instead, chased with a cold glass of red grape juice. You will be doing your body good and look great too!

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