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Breast Health Awareness

October is Breast Health Awareness Month — the perfect time to take your breast health seriously. Research shows that, for men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 833. Women are at an even greater risk with statistics showing that 1 in 7 women will get breast cancer at some point in their life. Doing self-breast exams, physician exams and thermography will provide you with the earliest detection system available.

Most people have no idea that inflammation is the culprit for many chronic diseases, but we are learning more about how inflammation is the precursor to many types of cancers, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Early detection may help prevent these negative health conditions from developing so finding out if you have inflammation before it becomes a major problem is imperative.

Our goal at Functional Wellness and Imaging is to support prevention; We encourage our clients to reduce inflammation with dietary changes, detoxification strategies, stress reduction techniques, and implementing supplemental antioxidants. Those techniques, combined with everyday practices like staying active, limiting alcohol and aiming for a healthy weight will also reduce your risk of disease.

We often get calls from women asking us about yearly mammograms. Mammography supports detection of lumps, bumps, cysts, and tumors that have been festering for 8-10 years. While this is certainly a tool to have in your toolbox, we believe that people should work to prevent cancer rather than simply detect it. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a revised recommendation in 2009 stating that women in their 40s should NOT necessarily have yearly mammograms and need to carefully weigh the risks considering based on their personal situations. Be sure to ask your functional wellness provider what is best for you!

I love what Christiane Northrup, M.D. said, “I understand that most doctors are more familiar with mammography, and many still believe that a mammogram is the best test for detecting breast cancer early. But it’s not. Studies show that a thermogram identifies precancerous or cancerous cells earlier, produces unambiguous results which cuts down on additional testing, and doesn’t hurt the body. With thermography as your regular screening tool, it’s likely that you would have the opportunity to make adjustments to your diet, beliefs, and lifestyle to transform your cells before they became cancerous. Talk about true prevention.”

So what can you do starting today for your breast health? Get rid of your deodorant and ditch your underwire bra (and ditch it completely at night!). We see so many women restricting their lymphatic flow because of wearing an underwire. Clean up your diet–food is medicine. Once you dial in what’s best for your body type you won’t need deodorant anymore, you’ll sleep better, have more energy and feel amazing! And most importantly – dry brush! Start dry brushing every day and if you need more information on this topic I’ll write a column on it next month!

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