Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Breast cancer -- how about a dose of prevention?

As you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The whole idea of pinkwashing everything disturbs me. The campaign to go bra-less to promote awareness bothers me. Companies spending obscene amounts of money to turn everything pink dumbfounds me. You see, everyone is already aware of breast cancer. We don't need more awareness. What we need is prevention and awareness of what that entails. 

I wish Terry, a woman I met tonight, had known about prevention. I saw her sitting at the bar while my husband and I were having dinner. She looked lonely and distraught. I asked our server to put her tab on our bill and I paid it. A few minutes later, Terry approached our table. She was near tears. She thanked me and I stood up and hugged her. She explained she was going through radiation for breast cancer. She'd already had her left breast removed. "I wish they'd done a bilateral mastectomy," she said. But they hadn't and now she's facing radiation, chemo, another mastectomy, and radiation again. She was aware of breast cancer... intimately aware. But maybe, just maybe, being aware of ways to eliminate risks could have prevented this re-occurrence. My heart was heavy for Terry as we hugged again. I paid a simple bar tab. I wish I could have done more.

The EWG (Environmental Working Group) just published a guide called Reducing Exposures at Home: Choosing Healthy Cleaners. Do you want to limit your risk of developing breast cancer? Then you need to start paying attention to the toxic substances in your home, workplace, and personal care products. 

The EWG guide offers a good place to start. And, of course, if you follow Vinegar Fridays (first Friday of every month) or search the archives, you'll find more ways to limit your risk. And by all means, stay away from some of the toxic products dressed in pink... they just might kill you.

Keeping it green and healthy,

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