Preventing Cancer: What You Can Do

Your body comes into contact with toxic chemicals every day. When our toxic loads become too much for our body to handle, things get out of whack and, unfortunately, cancer is often a by-product. So, commit to reducing your toxicity load and taking simple steps to reduce your chances of getting cancer.

Tip #1:  Replace Plastic Water Bottles

In general, it is best to avoid plastic whenever possible because it leeches phthalates and bisphenol-A, which are estrogen mimickers linked to breast cancer and reproductive system damage. Plus, it is made from non-renewable petroleum. Start by replacing plastic water bottles with a sustainable and healthy alternative, like the Klean Kanteen and Sigg metal bottles.

Tip #2:  Choose Safe Personal Care Products

Skin, our body’s biggest organ, absorbs more toxins from showering than from drinking that same water. So we better take care of what we are putting on our bodies, right? Today, only 10 chemicals in cosmetics have been banned in the U.S., whereas Europe has banned 1,500 toxic chemicals that we know of.

About 1/3 of personal care products contain cancer-causing chemicals. 60% harm reproductive health and are linked to breast cancer. Only 11% of cosmetic chemicals have even been tested!

Find great alternatives at natural food stores and holistic pharmacies.

Tip #3:  Wear Sunscreen

To prevent skin cancer, make sure to apply sunscreen from 10 am to 4 pm (when UV rays are the strongest).
Make sure to choose a non-toxic sunscreen. For great protection, try California Baby Everyday lotion. For easy application, try Lavera’s Sun Spray. For face protection, zinc is all you need, so try Solar Sense Clear Zinc.

Tip #4:  Choose Pesticide-Free Clothing

By choosing an organic t-shirt over a conventional cotton t-shirt, 1/2 pound of pesticides stay out of the earth and off your skin!
Try to buy pesticide-free staples like organic cotton tees from the totally affordable American Apparel Organic line or trendy organic denim from Good Society.

Tip #5:  Eat the Right Foods

Avoid pesticides whenever possible. Made from petroleum, pesticides were invented as weapons of destruction during World War II. Do we really want to consume deadly neurotoxins on a regular basis?

Take a trip to the farmer’s market (find one near you at www.localharvest.org) to scout out local and organic produce. It is especially important to choose organic for thin-skinned produce like peaches, apples, peppers, and berries. There are a lot of power foods to prevent cancer, rich in antioxidants (which repair free radical damage and lower cancer risk) and other anti-cancer properties. Eat a diet full of vibrant colors, like dark berries, pomegranates, cruciferous veggies, apples, beans, chocolate with high cocoa content, sweet potatoes, nuts, and dried fruit.

Tip #6:  Rid Your Room of Toxins

Toss out mainstream air fresheners, which coat our noses with an oil film that deadens the nerves so we can’t smell as well (not super helpful). They also spray a cocktail of toxic chemicals that pollute the air we breathe every day and night. Choose those of the non-toxic variety, like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, Fresh Wave, or Method, or burn soy, beeswax, or vegetable-based candles (like Pacifica, Nature’s Essence, or Bliss Soy Candles). Most importantly, open up windows and get some airflow, as outside air is about 1/30th as toxic as indoor air. Toxins can be absorbed with indoor plants, like Gerber daisies, peace lilies, orchids, ferns, philodendrons, dracaenas, and palms.

Email Kylie at kylie@familyflanagan.com for questions and comments.