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How we can all help to limit breast cancer

It’s impossible not to be moved by the gutsy life and death of Connie Johnson, sister of Gold Logie winner, actor Samuel Johnson. She died from breast cancer earlier this month, and we can all honour her cause. Daily.

Through their Love Your Sister campaign, Connie and Sam raised millions of dollars for cancer research to stop people dying from it. Let’s hope that their efforts contribute to that.

But let’s also not forget that there’s a lot each of us can do to ensure that we’re living the kinds of lifestyles that keep breast cancer at bay, and supporting other women in doing the same.

Not smoking is an obvious one, and thankfully most of us now don’t. 
Keeping our weight in a healthy range is another. 

Ditto going easy on alcohol. An occasional drink isn’t a problem, but everyday drinking may be.

Eating healthily and keeping a healthy gut are important too. That means plenty of vegetables and fruit, and avoiding processed food, including ‘vegetable’ oils and refined sugar. I think it’s also sensible to make sure that the meat, eggs and dairy we eat are as close to organic as possible. 

Exercising regularly gets a tick too. Many studies show a connection between being active and having a lower risk of breast cancer.

Sara Gottfried, author of The Hormone Cure, says that chronic stress is the root cause of hormonal imbalance in most of the people she sees. So do what you need to do to keep it down: take breaks, walk on the beach, pat your dog, deep breathe, meditate, do what you love, and so on.

Unfortunately, these are the kinds of things that everyone ‘knows’ to do. Trouble is that on the whole a lot of us aren’t doing them. 

If we did, we’d possibly take a massive chunk out of the incidence of breast cancer.

Who knows why a young woman like Connie Johnson got breast cancer, or why she got a tumour on her leg decades earlier as a girl? There’s an aspect of cancer that seems way too random.

When it comes to breast cancer specifically, there are also risk factors such as age that we can’t do much about.

But there’s much we can do to keep our breasts healthy, and we honour the legacy of people like Connie Johnson when we do them. 

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017 | Rhonda Anderson