By: Dr. Kina Khatri MD

I am a breast cancer THRIVER.  When it comes to October and Breast Cancer Awareness month its more than just buying pink and raising money for breast cancer research – it’s about what is within your control in your daily life to help prevent it.  Many studies show that there are things you can do to decrease your chance of cancer.

Before you pink, think of the following 7 tips you can implement to keep your cups more than half full:

  1. Get to know your breasts– Do your self breast exam so that you know what is your normal baseline. Do it multiple times a month around different parts of your monthly cycle.  Your breasts can have a different feel to them at different parts of your hormonal cycle.
    – Get regular breast exams done by your physician.
    – Thermography can be an important tool for early detection.
  2. Food is Medicine– It is helpful to think of your body as a garden. If the soil is healthy then your flowers and vegetables will grow and it will prevent the weeds from coming up.  Give your soil the nutrients it needs to make it difficult for cancer to grow.
    – Eat whole foods, that come from nature.
    – It’s best to avoid “food” prepackaged in boxes or bags.
    – “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” – Michael Pollan.
    – Eat the rainbow – get the most phytonutrients from your food!
    –  Plants use phytonutrients to help them thrive in nature and these phytonutrients can help your                      body thrive too!
    – Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli have sulforaphane which has cancer fighting properties.                  – Broccoli sprouts are even better because they have more densely packed nutrients.
    – Pomegranates have anti-cancer properties that can prevent tumor cell growth.
    – Phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) found in organic soy and flax seed have a protective effect                            against breast cancer.
    – Improve your gut health – The gut bacteria play an important in your body’s ability to get rid of  metabolized estrogens.
    – Start a low inflammatory diet.
    – Rebalance your gut bacteria (microbiome) with targeted probiotics.
    – Move your bowels everyday with the help of fiber and drinking enough water.
  3.  Reduce your total toxic load – Your body’s organs of detoxification include the liver, kidney, bowels and skin. The key to detoxification is the balance between toxins coming in and the body’s ability to detox.  You are what you eat and what you can’t get rid of.
    – Xenoestrogens – These compounds have estrogen like actions in your body.
    – Avoid plastics – use stainless steel or glass.
    – Don’t microwave plastic.
    – Household cleaners – Chemicals in cleaners can have cancer causing properties (carcinogens).
    – Check out the Environmental Working Group’s website for safe cleaning products for your home.         
    – Cosmetics – Women put on over 500 chemicals on their face through the use of moisturizers and makeup without knowing the effects of those chemicals on their body.
    – Look for safe cosmetic products such as Beauty Counter.
    – Clean Water – Buy water filters that take out heavy metals and other toxins.
    Avoid pesticides and herbicides.
  4. Movement– Sitting is the new smoking.  Studies show that you can decrease your chance of cancer through regular exercise.
    – Move throughout the day.
    – Get 250 steps an hour.
    – You can’t make up for a whole day’s worth of sitting by going to the gym in the evening. Move 5-10                 minutes every hour!
  5. Sleep– The sleep hormone melatonin has anti-cancer effects. Sleep helps with weight control and supports the immune system.
    – Get quality sleep.
  6. Limit Alcohol– Increased alcohol intake is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Alcohol can increase levels of estrogens.
    – No more than 1 drink (5oz of wine or 1.5oz of hard liquor) per day or 5 drinks per week.
  7. Stress management– Emotional and psychological stressors play a key role in illness. There are physical results of emotions.  This concept is not new, ancient Greek physicians noted an increased risk of cancer in women who were depressed.
    – Find a connection to something bigger than yourself – nature, universe, religion etc.
    – Practice gratitude by ending your day with 1 or more things you are grateful for.
    – Take deep diaphragmatic breaths throughout the day.
    – Practice mindfulness meditation for 5-20 minutes a day with guided apps such as Head Space.

Dr. Kina’s Top 7 Foods that help fight cancer:

  1. Broccoli sprouts
  2. Organic Green Tea or Matcha
  3. Organic sprouted and/or fermented soy
  4. Pomegranates
  5. Spices – turmeric
  6. Fatty fish – wild caught salmon
  7. Freshly ground organic flax seeds