In a guest column for the Canadian Women’s Health Network Dr Verna Hunt discusses the pink coloured fantasy that guides females into trying to live the perfect life where nothing bad will happen to them. This is not reality.
Our culture does not teach coping strategies to deal with diseases like breast cancer, but perpetuates the myth that there will be a cure for every disease, when there is enough money and time. In their struggle to cope, many people launch campaigns to increase awareness and fundraise for these cures.
But are they asking the right questions? Dr Hunt challenges this. “Is the point to find the cure for breast cancer, or is the point to find the cause for lack of breast health?” There is often an underlying assumption that one cure will work for all. We already know there are many types of breast cancer so how can one cure fix all?
People don’t die of breast cancer. They die when the disease spreads to other parts of the body and vitals organs stop working. What causes it to spread? Can people live with breast cancer but still have a healthy life? Does that mean we should be looking at the health of the whole body and not just the breasts?
While research confirms that genetics is one of the factors of breast cancer, when we look at global statistics, the highest incidences of the disease occur in industrialised areas. “We need to look at the many factors that contribute to cancer because we live in a multifactorial environment.”
The human body has abnormal or cancer cells in it all the time. The immune system provides the function to identify these cells and kill them off, as well as clean up viruses, bacteria, pollution and other unwanted debris, which is then moved from the body via microcirculation out through the filters, such as the liver and kidneys. These “filters break down the debris that the immune system has delivered but these organs can get clogged up just like the vacuum cleaner filter when you forget to clean it out.”
What happens when the immune and filter systems get interfered with or over loaded with unwanted debris?
“Throughout recorded history every indigenous culture that existed for any length of time developed some sort of cyclical cleansing or detoxification method.” It would also be agreed that during this history “we now live in a time of the greatest load of physical and non-physical toxins”.
These unwanted toxins must be affecting our bodies. Maybe there is “just too much sorting to do for all of our physical, emotional, cognitive and, some would say, energetic bodies”. For working women, there is not only a greater quantity of hormones to sort out, but the demands of multiples roles within the modern family adds to the overload on the body. Sometimes it can feel like chaos, with no space to inhale and exhale, and listen to the silence.
Research is showing that toxins can be avoided to some degree by lifestyle choices. Some of these choices are more affordable than others, but the evidence suggests that even making small changes can make a difference.
While research continues to find a cure for breast cancer, there is also outstanding research happening to uncover the specific factors that can reduce the risk of breast cancer occurring. Many of these factors relate to the toxins that we are putting into our bodies – both physically and mentally. Making changes can often seem like common sense, but as it is easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, we forget and need reminding.
Breast Cancer Network NZ is focussed on bringing you proactive breast health care choices. We want the people of Aotearoa to be informed about the information that is already available about how they can improve their breast health, which supports their overall health. With the focus on health, the benefit is the reduction of the risk of breast cancer, either from occurring, recurring or spreading.
Reference: Canadian Women’s Health Network – Guest Column with Dr Verna Hunt