Link between environmental toxins and cancer

We have known from studies over the years that environmental factors contribute to many cases of cancers in general and in particular breast cancer. A majority of breast cancers are due to excess hormones–estrogen in particular. There are over 10,000 registered chemicals that have estrogen-like effects, in addition to being toxic and carcinogenic. These environmental estrogens are called xenoestrogens. It is common sense that a dramatic reduction in exposure to xenoestrogens in our environment can correspondingly lower the risk of breast cancer.

The importance of environmental toxins and cancer was highlighted by a report released last week in the USA by the President’s Panel on Cancer. Here is what the panel recommended to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer:

  • Choose foods, house and garden products, play spaces, toys, medicines and medical tests that will minimize children’s exposure to toxics.
  • Reduce exposure to occupational chemicals by removing shoes before entering the home and washing clothes separate from other family laundry.
  • Filter home tap or well water to reduce exposure to known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Use filtered tap water rather than commercial bottled water.
  • Store and carry water in stainless steel, glass or BPA- and phthalate-free containers.
  • Microwave food and beverages in ceramic or glass — not plastic — containers.
  • Choose food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers and wash conventionally grown produce to remove residues.
  • Eat meat produced without antibiotics and added growth hormones.
  • Avoid or minimize consumption of processed, charred, and well-done meats.
  • Wear a headset when using a cell phone and keep calls brief.
  • Check home radon levels.
  • Reduce or eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Discuss the need for tests or procedures that involve radiation exposure with your doctor.
  • Create a record of all imaging or nuclear medicine tests received and if known, the estimated radiation dose for each test.
  • Avoid overexposure to UV-rays by wearing protective clothing and sunscreens and avoiding the sun when it’s most intense.
  • Become an advocate by strongly supporting environmental cancer research and measures to remove toxins from the environment.

Source: Huffington Post

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