Come on ladies, they go everywhere we go. The girls, the tatas, boobs, or the more genteel terminology, breasts.
What are breasts?
Your breasts are mammary glands, whose role it is to produce milk to nourish a newborn baby. Shocking as this may be to some in the audience, they are actually only biologically important after “the deed” is done (trying to keep it family friendly folks).
Breasts are actually modified sweat glands that are part of the skin. If they had not been stimulated by female sex hormones, they never would have gotten bigger during puberty.
Each breast consists of 15 to 25 apartments (lobes) that radiate around the nipple. Each lobe is separated and sound proofed (padded walls) from their neighbor. As most apartments, each one has rooms (lobules) which contain the glands that produce the milk in lactating women.
Yeah, Yeah I know we have all heard it, we all know we’re supposed to do it.
Why is it so important?
“Breast cancer is often signaled by a change in skin texture, puckering, or leakage from the nipple.” Marieb.
So, how would you know if there was a change if you do not self-exam on a regular basis? Early detection has been proven to be the best way to increase chances of surviving breast cancer.
(More info on learning how to do a self-exam)
Breast cancer most commonly starts in the duct tissue (the hallways that connect the apartments) but it is not the only place it can start, it can also move into the lobes or lobules (the apartments).
- Exposure to radiation
- Early onset of menstruation
- Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for menopause symptoms
- Eating charred red meat on a regular basis
- Exposure to pesticides, PCBs, and other pollutants
- Diet high in processed sugar
Diet and Lifestyle
Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables (at least 5 servings daily) is instrumental in breast cancer prevention and treatment. A high vegetable, high fiber, healthy fat diet filled with cruciferous vegetables and antioxidant rich foods and low in processed sugar, will help reduce the risk of recurrence in breast cancer survivors and improved survival of previously diagnosed postmenopausal women.
Studies have shown that exercising at least 30 minutes a day 6 days a week, combined with a healthy diet cut the risk of dying of breast cancer in half among early stage breast cancer patients.
For more information go to:
Marieb, Elaine N., Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Tenth Ed., 2006.
Fabno, Lise N., ND, Gazella, Karolyn A., The Definitive Guide to Cancer: an integrative approach to prevention, treatment, and healing, third edition, 2010.