Tips for lowering your risk of breast cancer

Canadian naturopath Natasha Turner author of the book “The Hormone Diet” has an interesting list of 10 simple steps you can take to lower your risk of breast cancer. I agree with all except one. Here they are:

1. Don’t wear underwire bras because the underwire may compress lymphatic drainage from the breasts.

2. Sleep in pitch black. Any light inhibits production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which not only helps us go to sleep and stay asleep, but also has a balancing effect on estrogen and has been shown to protect from breast and other hormone-related forms of cancer.

3. Eat two cups of broccoli a week. Broccoli and related vegetables like cauliflower and kale contain compounds that help promote a healthy balance of estrogen.

4. Avoid excess alcohol. While small amounts of alcohol actually lower the risk of cancer, too much raises it quickly. Dr. Turner recommends not exceeding one drink per day for four days a week.

5. Exercise: in studies women who exercised for four hours per week had significantly less risk of breast cancer.

6. Avoid breast implants. Not only they may increase the risk of cancer, they also make it harder to detect.

7. Meditate. It was shown to raise immunity and benefit just about every aspect of health.

8. Cleanse your liver twice a year. (I recommend doing so every quarter if you have known risk factors or signs of congested liver.)

9. Brush your skin or jump on a rebounder (trampoline). Both improve lymphatic flow and the removal of toxins from the body. Many of these toxins can cause cancer.

10. Eat organic soy. Here is where I disagree with Dr. Turner. Conventional wisdom wants us to believe that soy contains weak forms of estrogen that crowd out stronger and more dangerous forms of this hormone. However

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, this is based more on belief than science and many animal studies show that the estrogen in soy is actually very strong and can disrupt hormone balance rather than help it. (For a thorough discussion of soy including a review of the research showing its benefits and potential dangers I recommend that you read the excellent book “The Whole Soy Story” by Kaayla Daniel.)

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