Something scary happened last year: my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, it was caught super early and the treatment plan that her doctors put her on totally knocked that cancer out. I’m so grateful for all the research and advancements made around treating breast cancer, because I’ve got my mom around right now, and she’s got her health back.
But suddenly, this too-common diagnosis became something very real for my family and myself, something that is on my health radar in a fresh and honestly? In a terrifying new way.
But truly, I realized my new breast cancer awareness is a good thing, because awareness causes you to...
A) Pay attention to your body and
B) Realize that there are things you can do to help with your cancer risk
One great resource for breast cancer awareness is Dr. Kristi Funk’s Breasts: The Owner’s Manual. It’s truly a holistic approach to dispelling myths about breast cancer and how to go forward and give your body the best chance of defending itself against cancer.
Since we are currently in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I would share a couple things I learned from Dr. Funk's book, and that blew my mind about breast cancer:
1. Less than 20% of Breast Cancer diagnoses occur in women who have a family history of breast cancer
Even if no one in your family has breast cancer, your risk could still be really high. Meaning, there’s many more factors than genetics that contribute to breast cancer (in fact, only 5-10% of breast cancer patients have the BRCA gene that is directly linked to breast cancer). Many of those factors are things we can control, including be environmental, dietary, and other external choices and options. Truly, breast cancer awareness is important for everyone, not just those who have a family history of it.
2. Your body is a soil where cancer can either grow… or die
Dr. Funk pitches this idea: cancer cells often do run through our body, but our body is equipped to destroy these cells with our immunity, liver, and various other chemicals. So, think of what you put as the place where good things can grow and where bad things won’t be able to take root.
3. Broccoli could help you kill cancer
Dr. Funk mentions broccoli a lot (and other superfoods) because it packs a cancer-fighting punch by containing phytonutrients, sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol, and other science-y things that mean: broccoli has your back when it comes to battling cancer-causing cells in your body. There’s a ton of other dietary plans within the book that help you understand that what you put into your body actually AFFECTS YOUR BODY (amazingly simple, I know, but somehow I manage to still love cheese fries 🤷). Dr. Funk’s guide in the book really shows how you can eat delicious food while also optimizing your chances of killing cancerous cells before they have a chance to replicate.
4. Exercise is more than just losing love handles
I mean, yes, who doesn’t want to find a way to get rid of the post-baby body (this is not a pointed question to myself at all)? But exercise does several miraculous things, including decreasing estrogen. Decrease estrogen, and you can decrease your cancer risk. It’s kind of a win-win.
5. Cancer changes your relationships
Help and fellowship are super important for those who are going through cancer. It helps to talk about what you’re going through and maybe find someone who can guide you through it, whether they are a professional or have had a similar life experience. Make sure that you or your loved ones get the support they need: not only can it help with the initial cancer battle, but it can also help with life after cancer and help keep the cancer from coming back. Breast cancer awareness is a continuing process that goes long after remission.
Want to listen to more of Dr. Kristi Funk’s Breasts: The Owner’s Manual? We’ve got a whole chapter available for you listen to from the Breasts: The Owner’s Manual audiobook:
Looking for other books that might help with health and wellness? Check out these Page Chaser posts: