What Do Skincare and Breast Cancer Have in Common? A Lot.
Cancer prevention and skincare have a surprising amount in common, especially when it comes to prevention of certain types of cancers. Here's what you need to know to cut your cancer risk while improving the health and integrity of your skin.
In 2012, one paper highlighted that regardless of gender, breast cancer (BRCA) was the second more frequently diagnosed cancer world wide. In women, it's the fist more commonly occurring cancer, comprising about 25.2% of all newly-diagnosed cancers worldwide. One in eight women in the world will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. It's also important to note that this study pointed out that 90-95% of cases are connected to environmental factors and lifestyle, leaving about 5-10% of breast cancer cases being connected to genetic factors. If you're a real research buff, the references for these statistics are listed at the bottom of this article.
So what can we do to cut our breast cancer risk? Well, it's very similar recommendations as to what we would do to improve our skin health.
This means cut out the crap. Trans-fatty acids, packaged foods with ingredients we can't pronounce, hydrogenated vegetable oil and industrial seed oils are all products that should be eradicated from your diet. Ditch high glycemic index foods like white breads and sugary treats and opt for lower glycemic index products instead. Not sure what any of this means? I have a TON of resources, education and recipes for your in the Refine Wellness Nutritional Skincare Plan, as well as in the 21 Day Tone Up program.
Lose That Excess Fat
Obesity is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. No surprise there - higher amounts of the fat in the body are correlated with higher levels of circulating estrogens. When our estrogen levels are out of whack, they can increase tissue proliferation in hormone-sensitive areas, like our breast tissue. Do yourself a favour and lose the weight. Need some resources on how to get you into fat-burning mode? Check out this other blog post I did to help get you started. If you're wanting a more intense plan to stay accountable with your weight loss goals, EMAIL ME! I'm happy to help find the right plan that will work for you.
Cut Alcohol Consumption
This one was a bit of a kicker for me. With all the promising research around MODERATE alcohol consumption for prevention of other chronic diseases, while I wasn't surprised to see alcohol listed as something we should diminish in our diets, what shocked me the AMOUNT of alcohol consumption that can contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer. In this study, just 5-14.9g of alcohol daily increased the risk of breast cancer by 10%! Not sure what that looks like? 14g of alcohol is equivalent to:
- 12 ounces of 5% beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits
Yeah, my jaw dropped too.
So why alcohol?
Alcohol gets converted into a toxic byproduct in your body called acetaldehyde. This product has been shown to increase circulating estrogens in the body - leading back to what we talked about with excess body fat. An increase in circulating estrogens has been linked to tissue proliferation in hormone-sensitive areas like breast tissue, which can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Fibrous veggies are great! Not only do they support our healthy gut bacteria in creating butyrate (helpful in anti-cancer processes in the body) but vegetable fibres can also help decrease circulating hormones like estrogen in the system. Antioxidants like carotenoids have also been shown to be preventative against breast cancer - they're abundant in produce like carrots, broccoli, green and fresh veggies.
The take-home here: HALF YOUR PLATE IN VEGGIES, PEOPLE!
The Right Kind of Exercise
What's key for breast cancer prevention when it comes to exercise - intensity and duration. The intensity of exercises can reduce the risk of breast cancer by about 10-25% compared to sedentary women. And further risk decrease is observed with the increase of workout length, in addition to intensity.
What to aim for: at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily, like brisk walking can be helpful, in addition to reducing sedentary activities like watching TV.
Need an exercise regime to help get you on track?
In the 21 Day Tone Up, we have a FULL 21 day exercise plan aimed at helping you create lasting fitness and movement changes in your life. We focus on consistent walking, cardio and yoga as our primary forms of fitness.
So. What do skincare and breast cancer have in common?
A heck of a lot!
The Refine Wellness Nutritional Skincare Plan as well as every component of the 21 Day Tone Up is exactly what you need to not only improve the appearance and health of your skin but also your entire body - and cut breast cancer risk along the way.
Cao Y, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL. Light to moderate intake of alcohol, drinking patterns, and risk of cancer: results from two prospective US cohort studies. BMJ. 2015; 351: 1–8.
Kolak A, Kamińska M, Sygit K, Budny A, Surdyka D, Kukiełka-Budny B, Burdan F. Primary and secondary prevention of breast cancer. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2017; 24(4): 549–553. doi: 10.26444/aaem/75943
Worldwide cancer statistics (WCRF) [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2015 November 5]. Available from: http://www.wcrf.org/cancer_statistics/ world_cancer_statistics.php.