This is a sponsored post in partnership with Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program.I was recently talking to my friend, who had breast cancer. She said that she never thought she’d get it. I’m the opposite. I fully expect to get it someday. One in 8 women gets breast cancer. And I feel like I am part of the generation where modifications, chemicals and all kinds of stuff was added to our foods, body products, and world as a whole. That, coupled with my family history, makes me think I am at a pretty high risk. I’ll deal with that if it comes, but it also makes me think about the world my kids are living in and if there are things we can do for breast cancer prevention.
As parents, we all want our kids to grow up healthy. There are things we can control (but just might not know enough about), and things we can’t control that all have an effect on how our kid’s bodies are developing. It’s too soon to say for sure that avoiding certain chemicals or foods lowers the risk of breast cancer. But it’s never too early to begin taking steps to protect ourselves and our daughters. While I don’t have a daughter, I do have sisters, nieces and friends with daughters and think it is super important to talk and share information that could save lives. My grandmother had breast cancer. This is my favorite picture of us at my wedding. When she had cancer, my sister and I didn’t know about it. I don’t know if they chose not to tell us on purpose or if they did tell us, and as a way to deal with it, I blocked it from my mind. I didn’t know that she had it until my mom decided to do a fundraising walk for breast cancer and her donation request letter said my grandmother was a 12 year cancer survivor.
I felt sad that I hadn’t been there for her. And then I was worried about my own health. I was in college when I read that letter. Although I was still young, I was a little annoyed that I had no idea about something that could be a profound occurence in my own life. I decided to participate in this blog post campaign to help encourage families to open up about their health history, specifically breast cancer. Scientists, physicians, and community partners in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), study the effects of environmental exposures on breast cancer risk later in life. They created a mother-daughter toolkit (http://bit.ly/BCERPtoolkit) mothers can use to talk to daughters about steps to take together to reduce risk.
I think this is so important. Although I just turned 40, I had a baseline mammogram years ago due to my family history with the disease. I also know the drill about checking yourself every month for lumps. But as I read through the tool kit, there were several things I didn’t know I could be doing! And while they can’t confirm that avoiding these environmental things will absolutely keep you from getting breast cancer, these are definitely things we can change in our lives that will add to our overall health. I just changed out the plastic storage containers for glass ones. I’m about to check all the ingredients in my beauty products. And I now know how to read the recycling information on the package to clue me in on if I want to steer clear of that product or not. The toolkit includes even more information.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I’m sure you’ve seen all the pink merchandise online and in stores. All of that is great. But we can do more than help raise money to keep ourselves healthier and potentially give ourselves less chance of getting the disease.
This information is important to my family of boys too. We’ve already starting talking about the changes that we can make to the foods we eat and products we are using.
The BCERP is on a mission to keep you informed about how breast cancer prevention and find correlations between the disease and environmental factors. You can help in their research project by taking this short survey. It takes just a few minutes and will help with the important work the researchers are doing.
Thank you for supporting the companies, who enable me to create important content, for you and your family, through partnerships and/or compensation!
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