A deeper look into breast cancer and woman’s health

by | Oct 4, 2021 | Wellness | 0 comments

Canva Pro | Breast Cancer

Did you know that 9 out of 10 breast lumps are not cancer?

Feel better? While this can provide some peace of mind, it’s still crucial to have your breasts checked regularly to ensure that you are cancer free.

In aid of breast cancer awareness month, we thought it only fitting to share some tips on how a holistic lifestyle can help you prevent cancer. Whether or not you have a family history of cancer, it’s incredibly vital that you do everything you can to keep your body cancer free.

Most commonly occurring in women over the age of 50, breast cancer is treatable when found at its early stages.

The Breast Cancer Foundation of NZ (BC) defines breast cancer as an “uncontrolled growth of abnormal breast cells. Breast cancer is not caused by a bacteria or a virus and is not contagious. Normally cells are created, grow and die in a controlled way. However, when abnormal changes occur in the genes which usually regulate this orderly process, normal gene function can be turned on or off. Damaged cells are then able to keep growing and dividing and a tumor is formed.” They note that “these abnormal gene changes, or mutations, are usually acquired over time as we age. 85 – 90% of breast cancers are caused by this process and only 5 – 10% are due to an inherited gene mutation.”

When checking your breasts for any changes, it is important to remember that over one’s life, the feel and size of one’s breast can change due to menopause, pregnancy, weight gain and weight loss. Ageing also plays a role in how your breasts feel and it should not cause panic or concern when your breasts go through any changes.

Signs to look out for

According to the BC, “early detection of breast cancer, when the tumor is still small, results in better outcomes,” Due to this, they share a few signs to look out for to detect cancer:

1. Watch out for a new lump or thickening or changes in nipple size and breast texture. If you do notice any changes, then be sure to show your doctor to rule out any cancer. You could feel a lump in the breast tissue, collarbone and under the arm. While the BC notes that it won’t move around, the lump will continue to grow and usually not be painful.

2. An inverted nipple is a possible sign of tumor in the breast and the BC note that “Even a partial retraction or deviation should be reported to your doctor.” They also note that it is imperative to visit your doctor as soon as you can as this might mean that cancer is growing in a duct behind the nipple.

3. If you notice crustiness around the nipple that is not caused by skincare products, eczema, or breastfeeding, then chances are that it could be a rare breast cancer called Paget’s Disease of the Breast. This can also be experienced as a rash or flakiness of the skin around the nipple.

4. The BC note that a change in breast colour with “progressive reddening or inflammation needs to be checked out to exclude a rare but fast-growing type of cancer – inflammatory breast cancer”. Signs of this include thickened skin that looks like orange peel, inflammation, heaviness, and swollen breasts. However, it is important to remember that these are symptoms often associated with breast infection so seeing your doctor as soon as possible is imperative.

Signs to look out for

According to the BC, “early detection of breast cancer, when the tumor is still small, results in better outcomes,” Due to this, they share a few signs to look out for to detect cancer:

1. Watch out for a new lump or thickening or changes in nipple size and breast texture. If you do notice any changes, then be sure to show your doctor to rule out any cancer. You could feel a lump in the breast tissue, collarbone and under the arm. While the BC notes that it won’t move around, the lump will continue to grow and usually not be painful.

2. An inverted nipple is a possible sign of tumor in the breast and the BC note that “Even a partial retraction or deviation should be reported to your doctor.” They also note that it is imperative to visit your doctor as soon as you can as this might mean that cancer is growing in a duct behind the nipple.

3. If you notice crustiness around the nipple that is not caused by skincare products, eczema, or breastfeeding, then chances are that it could be a rare breast cancer called Paget’s Disease of the Breast. This can also be experienced as a rash or flakiness of the skin around the nipple.

4. The BC note that a change in breast colour with “progressive reddening or inflammation needs to be checked out to exclude a rare but fast-growing type of cancer – inflammatory breast cancer”. Signs of this include thickened skin that looks like orange peel, inflammation, heaviness, and swollen breasts. However, it is important to remember that these are symptoms often associated with breast infection so seeing your doctor as soon as possible is imperative.

Reducing your risk

While breast cancer can occur due to inherited risks, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Taking preventative measures can not only improve your quality of life but may serve as a catalyst to heal your body from any other hidden illnesses and diseases that you may be experiencing. In true Avalife style and keeping in the ethos of the brand, we recommend following a holistic approach when aiming to reduce your breast cancer risk.

Visit your GP to figure out your ideal weight, especially after menopause. It is recommended to lose any excess tummy fat or any weight that you are carrying on your body which could be making you feel tired, sluggish and affecting your sleep. Along with weight, it is also important to take care of your stress levels as this could affect how your body carries and loses weight. If you often feel stressed and anxious, then we recommend using Avalife™ STRESS FREE. Specifically formulated by Ayurvedic experts this product effortlessly helps to relieve you from daily stress. Avalife™ STRESS FREE not only supports daily stress relief by reducing the level of cortisol in the body but helps bring calmness and maintains mental wellbeing. It also decreases tension and helps the body cope with stress by boosting adrenal function.

Exercising is one of the highest recommended ways to help prevent illness such as cancer and helps to reduce blood sugar levels, lose and maintain weight and give an overall sense of wellbeing. However, if you struggle with fatigue, then exercising is often not an easy thing to do. If this is something that you struggle with, then Avalife™ ENERGY BOOST is a great product to integrate into your lifestyle as it contains an invigorating blend of herbs that help the body adapt to stress and support healthy energy levels. This product comes highly recommended as it contains a blend of adaptogenic herbs that help to balance and support the body’s natural ability to handle fatigue. It also supports stamina and helps you maintain high energy levels all day.

Getting a good night’s rest is imperative for prevention of many diseases, including cancer. If this is something that you struggle with then Avalife™ SLEEP is highly recommended. It contains a rich blend of Ocibest® which is specially formulated with Holy Basil, and other sedating and soothing herbs to help your mind and body feel calm and ready for rest. We love that it is all natural and non-habit forming, improving your quality and duration of sleep without leaving you feeling groggy in the morning.

Other things that you can do to support your body and prevent cancer is to cut out or limit alcohol consumption and heavily processed foods. Visit your doctor about the chronic medication you may be taking that could worsen the risk factor for cancer. As a whole, living a healthy balanced lifestyle is at the core of cancer prevention and overall women’s health. Ensure you do your annual screenings, get enough rest and exercise and consider taking natural supplements for extra support where needed.

References

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, https://www.breastcancerfoundation.org.nz. Date Accessed 18 Sept. 2021.

Image: Canva Pro | Breast Cancer

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