In a follow up to last months blog on Debating Chemicals in our environment, I wanted to share with you more info on that topic. In 1995, as a Clinical Specialist for Women’s Health in Stamford, CT, one of my roles was co-leading a very active and vibrant Breast Cancer Support Group. On one particular evening, I will never forget when one of the members of the group spoke up and said, “Look at all the young faces in this room, there has got to be something in the environment”. I wasn’t sure how to respond at the time except to say that yes, that did seem to be true. That night however, I went home and thought a lot more about what that young woman and mother said. At the time, our Medical and Nursing backgrounds taught us that although we were not sure what caused breast cancer, that it was associated with women who got their periods earlier, went through menopause later, and had their kids later but we never spoke about the environment. It was our patients with their personal experiences who would shed greater insight into the nature of breast cancer. I thought about what she said and intuitively knew she was right. There WAS something in the environment even if we were not sure what that was. That woman’s statement changed the direction of my career and life; I am grateful to that woman for having the courage to share her insights because even though I was the breast cancer specialist, at that time, I was not even aware of environmental factors contributing to this disease.
In the 22 years since then, what we have learned is that environment does impact breast cancer, some we have control over and some we need to be aware of. Smoking, alcohol, ionizing radiation to the chest, DES, or workplace exposures like gasoline, petroleum products and soldering materials can impact the development of breast cancer. So what can we do about this-be aware, avoid cancer causing environments, foods and products, set healthful standards for our families that will go a long way towards potentially improving lifelong health for ourselves and our kids, and keep up with the new info!! Anticancer A new way of life is the resource I wanted to share with you above and I hope you have a chance to read it because it has so much valuable info for Cancer Survivors, those who are in the midst of their cancer treatments and parents who are working to give their kids a better life!!
With that in mind, I have come to firmly believe that it is the Moms of this world who will help direct our knowledge of how our changing environment and food is impacting our health; it is the Mothers and Cancer Survivors of this world who will Lead the Movement to Change it, and who will Make a Difference. Women are the Hope and the Promise for our health, our environment, our kids health and our grandkids health. Moms Across America, Mothers Out Front, and Savvy Woman’s Alliance are some of the other groups led by Moms who have become a collective Force for Good as we join forces to spread knowledge, resources and tips for our kids and families. Hope you can join in to help spread the message of how important our environment is to our health now and always! To Your Good,Better, Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S. and of course, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who make a difference in their kids lives!! : )