Most of us know women who have fought breast cancer - mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, friends, neighbours... Perhaps you're even fighting the disease yourself.
It goes without saying that breast cancer is an epidemic. One in every eight woman will develop the disease, and close to 40,000 women die from it each year. According to science, common chemicals like Bisphenol-A, phthalates and parabens, which are found in food, cleaning products and personal care items, play a major role in breast cancer incidence by disrupting your hormones.
The good news is that it's easy to avoid your exposure to these three breast cancer-causing chemicals by simply reading labels and making smart choics when you're shopping. Here are some tips...
Three chemicals that cause breat cancer
#1: Bisphenol-A (BPA)
BPA is found pretty much everywhere, from canned foods to plastic water bottles. Studies have shown that it’s link to early puberty, a big risk factor for later-life breast cancer
, and that it can make healthy breast cells grow and survive like cancer cells. What’s more, some research suggests that BPA can even make breast cancer
drugs less effective!
To reduce your exposure of BPA, avoid buying canned foods, choose glass or stainless steel instead of plastic to store water and food and ensure that your children’s toys are BPA-free.
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Most commonly used to make plastics pliable and soft, phthalates are a class of chemicals found in a number of products. They’re most commonly found in cosmetics, air fresheners, detergents and common cleaning products. You can avoid phthalates by opting for products that are labelled “phthalate-free” and using unscented products or those scented with natural essential oils instead of scented candles, air fresheners and household cleaners.
You’ll also want to stop buying vinyl products, which are usually softened with phthalates. Instead of a shower curtain made with PVC, choose one made with cloth or nylon. Your children’s toys should also always be PVC-free!
Found in most cosmetics, including deodorants and lotions, parabens are widely used as preservatives. Your skin quickly absorbs this chemical, which has been strongly associated with breast cancer
incidence. In fact, a particular study found parabens in a whopping 99% of breast tissue samples. Sixty percent of the samples contained at least five parabens!
Your best bet to eliminate parabens from your beauty routine is to only use products that are labelled “paraben-free”. You should also read product labels thoroughly and avoid ones that list ingredients that end with “paraben”, such as methylparaben.
This list is by no means exhaustive and there are, of course, many other chemicals associated with breast cancer incidence. There are also lots of other ways that you can cut your risk of breast cancer, but avoiding these three common carcinogenic chemicals is a very good starting point.