Risk factors for breast cancer

Breast cancer is a very real and terrifying disease. No one is immune. Through out Western cultures it is becoming ever more prevalent when compared to under developed countries. Is it stress? Bad genes? Alcohol? Well yes, it could be any of these, but recent studies have shown that there may also be a link between environmental factors and the incidence of breast cancer. In industrialised countries we are subjected to chemicals, hormones, pesticides and a wide variety of other toxins that could make us more susceptible to developing tumours. Certainly when Japanese women have moved to the USA there is a noticeable increase in the number of women developing breast cancer, compared to those who remained in Japan.

When it comes to health, every single one of us has our own opinion on what is good for us and what’s not. In fact it is almost impossible to avoid the sensationalist headlines about the root of health problems. One minute the latest food supplement is supposed to beat off any pathogens, the next it’s as good as taking a placebo! Recently there has been building scientific evidence that some synthetic chemicals may increase the risk of breast cancer. There have been calls for big corporations, such as Estee Lauder, to review the ingredients used in their products after it was highlighted that several were on a list of chemicals linked to cancer. Whilst these companies have public profiles that actively support cancer charities, they apparently continue to use potentially harmful ingredients. So what’s the truth behind this?

Some evidence has indicated that exposure to certain chemicals during the maturation of the mammary glands, may lead to a greater susceptibility to developing breast cancer in later life. At the University of Cincinnati Center tests have shown that childhood obesity and exposure to oestrogen like compounds in early life can lead to an early menstruation and increased susceptibility of the mammary gland to carcinogens. Exposure to certain chemicals in adolescence may keep the mammary gland in an immature state for longer periods, possibly increasing its vulnerability to carcinogenic compounds.
Environmental compounds that increase breast cancer risk have been found to be acting like hormones, in particular oestrogen. Parabens, commonly used in lotions, shampoos and other cosmetics are similar to oestrogen and have been found to disrupt hormone function. There have also been rumors circulating that antiperspirants can interfere with lymph circulation, cause toxins to build up in the breast and may eventually lead to breast cancer.
Similarly some substances found in plastics, pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) display oestrogen like qualities, that could in theory be linked to breast cancer.

Whilst these stories are all alarming and could present serious health risks, it is important to remember that these are still undergoing scientific research. As of yet there are still very few confirmed links between breast cancer and exposure to these compounds. So far only a few associations have been made and under questionable methodologies!

Whilst there might only be tenuous links between chemical compounds and breast cancer, the evidence still stands that there is a clear difference in the rate of incidence between industrialised and under developed countries. So regardless of proven scientific trials, there must be some truth behind the claims that these synthetic compounds have detrimental effects on our health, but to what extent it is still unclear. After all in countries with well established health care systems the number of cases left undiagnosed will be substantially lower than in countries without. So the verdict is out for now, but there is certainly no harm in avoiding these synthetic compounds.

Author: Steven Chasen

Here at Eco Hip we have a simple philosophyTo offer you the best natural products around, so that you can maintain a chemical-free home, body and spirit.For 15 years we have been striving to give people the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from this lifestyle, using our knowledge and experience to guide you through the process from start to finish. We believe that there is a complete synergy between what is best for you and what is best for the environment.Do you ever stop and think about what goes into the products that we use on a daily basis?Did you know that everyday products such as toiletries and cosmetics are filled with harmful petro-chemicals, parabens, GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), DEAs, MEAs, TEAs, artificial colours, fragrances and fillers. The list goes on…Why aren’t there stricter regulations concerning these products?Are the waste products of industry being dumped and sold in our personal care and cleaning products?Who is stopping this and telling it how it is?We feel that we have a responsibility to both our customers and to the world around us to ask ourselves these questions every day. That is why we only sell the most responsible and sustainable products.Responsibility to ourselves – All our products are free of toxic chemicals wherever possible and endorsed by Ecocert and the Soil Association.Responsibility to others – We promote Fairtrade produce to stop exploitation and benefit those communities.Responsibility to local communities – We use local suppliers and products wherever possible in order to support the local economy and reduce our carbon footprintResponsibility to the environment – All our products use minimal packaging and recyclable materials. Responsibility to the future – We use sustainable materials and ingredients wherever possible.Responsibility to animals – We do not use any products that have animal ingredients or are tested on animals. Our products are certified as cruelty-free and are endorsed by BUAV and PETA.There doesn’t have to be a trade off between affordability and healthy living either. The choices we make now will impact our future, and we want to ensure that the investments you make now will save you money in the long-term.Sustainability doesn’t just have to connote the environment, but your own household too.In the age of information overload that we live in, we know that shopping online can sometimes be overwhelming, so we carefully source our products, selecting only the highest quality ingredients and most innovative designs, so that you don’t have to.Ecohip is more than just another online shopping website. The Ecohip mindset is all about challenging conventional thinking and finding a new way of looking at the world, believing that smalls steps can gradually add up to make a big difference.

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