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The Prevention of Breast Cancer

Each year in the United States, approximately 180,000 women will be told they have breast cancer. While there is ample information in the public about the medical aspects of treatment, by comparison, information on prevention is still lacking. This article will provide some current information on how Chinese women work toward prevention of breast cancer. While this article addresses women, breast cancer does rarely occur in men (less than 2% of the cases each year).

Diet

Diet plays a major role in prevention of breast cancer. Breast cancer rates among Japanese and Chinese women are approximately one-tenth of those of American women. The typical Asian diet is lower in fat and dairy products, and much higher in soy products, green vegetables, and whole grains compared to Western societies. Breast cancer rates have increased for immigrant Japanese women in California who have gradually switched to a more western diet. This also includes descendants. This does suggest that diet factors do play a big role especially while the body is still young and growing. An overweight female also has higher risk. Eating more fish instead of red meat can reduce the intake of saturated fat. Asians also tend to eat fresher foods, which have less preservatives. Farming in Asia tends to use less chemical fertilizers and pesticides due to the initial high cost of chemicals, though this has been changing rapidly as farming has increasingly become "westernized". Organic farming has become more popular of late and does provide a better source of produce.

Stress

Stress can stimulate excessive hormone secretion in the body, which can lead to higher rate of breast cancer. Evaluate your daily life. Busyness does not equal more stress. Worrying excessively can create tension in the body and should be reduced if possible. Look at having a more positive outlook in life. My mother always told me, "When you are angry, 10 million cells in your body die or become toxic; when you are happy, all your cells are happy and functioning."

Alcohol, smoking and coffee

Alcohol and coffee consumption and smoking have been directly linked to higher cancer rates. These habits tend to develop at a young age. It's important to teach our daughters very early on. It's also important to avoid persistent second-hand smoke.

Meditation and energy exercises

Exercises such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and Yoga can be a good benefit in reducing stress and tension in our body. Meditation can relax our mind and bring our body to a more balanced state. These exercises are not difficult to learn and can be incorporated into our life style relatively easily. Since the 1970's, Chinese people have been experimenting with Qi Gong in the treatment of breast cancer. While the medical Qi Gong treatments have shown some effectiveness in controlling the cancer, more importantly Qi Gong does help delay the growth and the onset of cancer.


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