October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and during this time, I urge women to re-evaluate the stress in their lives. Learn how stress compromises your immune response, affects cancer and other serious diseases.
Studies continually support the theory that stress may promote cancer development. Evidence is accumulating that chronic stress is linked with developing certain kinds of cancer. Some studies show that women who have experienced chronic stress had higher rates of breast cancer.
Regular self-breast exams and mammograms are standard tools to fight breast cancer. Practicing stress reduction can not only reduce the risk of cancer but improve health on multiple levels and make life worth living.
Self Care for Women During Breast Cancer Month
Women’s S.E.L.F. Care
- Meditation. Research shows that meditation produces antibodies, boosts the immune system and helps your mood. Additional research demonstrates the positive effects meditation has on your brain and immune function.
- Take a Class. This month enroll in a meditation class, buy a meditation CD, find a teacher or group online. Learn guided imagery to boost your immune system and your mood.
- Exercise. Do some kind of moderate exercise three-five times a week. Studies show us that during moderate exercise immune cells circulate through the body more quickly and are better able to kill viruses and bacteria. Research also tells us that too much exercise can reduce immunity as it stresses the body. Research shows women with breast cancer who exercise regularly report lower depression, weight loss and increased satisfaction with their lives.
- Walk. Get out and walk a few days a week for 20-30 minutes. Put your treadmill in front of your television and when your favorite show is over you will have given yourself an immune boost.
- Check out breast cancer support groups. Group support helps. Joining breast cancer support groups decreases stress, provides group support and gives you an immune boost.
- Join a Group. Join some type of group that meets regularly. Start a reading club, card playing group, study group or any group that interests you. It doesn’t matter what kind of group, just get together with others and share your life.
- Food is medicine!
- Tomatoes. Studies underway now, reveal lycopene may reduce the risk of breast and cervical cancer.
- Green tea. Research tells us there is evidence tea consumption decreases the risk of most cancers, including breast cancer. Many studies show tea can inhibit the formation and growth of tumors.
- Broccoli. John Hopkins discovered a compound found in broccoli that not only prevents the development of tumors by 60 percent in the studied group, it also reduced the size of tumors that did develop by 75 percent. Broccoli is among the most powerful weapons in our dietary arsenal against cancer. Eighty-seven studies confirm that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables lower the risk of cancer.
- Orange juice. The National Cancer Institute calls oranges a complete package of anticancer power. The soluble fiber, or pectin, which is so effective for heart health, is also an anticancer agent.