Years ago, when the idea for such campaign first started, I was invited along with some other pharmacists and health professionals for a 2-days training by two of the biggest companies ‘in the business’. The purpose of the training –or at least this was what I thought- was to provide us with all necessary information to start contacting the public in malls, health and sports clubs, organizations… and spread the awareness to protect women against this terrible disease. During the whole training, not a single word was mentioned about causes and risk factors, breast self-examination, healthy life style, supportive diet, or emotional patterns... NOT A SINGLE WORD!!! None!!! Really! So, what was the training all about? It was simply about asking women to insist on having yearly breast mammograms so that all hospitals will eventually install it and insurance companies will be forced to pay for it. In case of cancer detection, they taught us, let them take the amazing chemotherapy treatment offered by one of the famous companies giving the training and generously supporting the campaign of course!
In case you do not know, mammograms are kind of X-ray examination that reveal a picture of the breast for early detection of any abnormal growth. Even though mammograms are ‘milder’ than regular X-ray pictures, they still emit a dose of ionizing radiation that actually increases the risk of breast cancer and statistics even show that their error rate is still high.
After the brief training, I apologized that I could not be part of the ‘awareness’ campaign. And of course, I was given ‘the look’! “How selfish of you, not wanting to spare few hours of your time for this noble cause”
Ya, right! How selfish of me!
Breast cancer awareness, in my humble opinion, should take a whole different form. We should first ask why is the disease spreading so viciously? Why statistics are on the rise? The first answer that comes to mind is: We are swimming in a pool of man-made estrogens! Synthetic estrogen-like compounds (called Xenoestrogens) are man-made chemicals structurally related to estrogen. They can saturate or block estrogen receptors in our bodies. These chemicals are fat soluble, and since they are totally foreign to our system (and to all other natural systems), our body has no means of getting rid of them. They are simply stored in fatty and hormone-sensitive tissues (including breast and uterine lining) where they are left to accumulate over the years. Xenoestrogens are everywhere, literally. They have invaded our world, every part of it. You can find them in artificial air fresheners, food additives and preservatives, household cleaning products, laundry detergents and fabric softeners, car exhaust, cheap cosmetics (and some expensive ones too), shampoos and deodorants, pesticides and fertilizers regularly sprayed on our food, plastic containers and Styrofoam wrappings, food cans…
Xenoestrogens do not pause risk only on women's health. Statistics show a high rise of men's infertility, impotence, and hormone-related dysfunctions.
With a contaminated environment and a weak body system that is fed on over- processed, high sugar and fat, low vitamin and mineral and highly depleted food, we are progressively losing our ability to fight in the ferocious battle against breast cancer. We are further exhausted by our stressful modern life, sedentary lifestyle, and total disconnection from nature and everything natural. We lack a nurturing support system and fail to deliver compassion, love and forgiveness even to our own selves.
A friend of mine related to me this touching incidence: A group of women once approached mother Teresa asking her to join them in their Walk for breast cancer campaign. Mother Teresa answered: “No! I do not walk for cancer, I walk for HEALTH!”
What A wise thing to say!
Our breast cancer awareness campaign should focus on restoring health and wellness rather than aimlessly fighting in a fruitless battle!
Have a Great day!
In health and wellness!