Protecting our girls from cancer

"...the risk that a 50-year-old white woman will develop breast cancer has soared to 12 percent today, from 1 percent in 1975. (Some of that is probably a result of better detection.) Younger people also seem to be developing breast cancer: This year a 10-year-old in California, Hannah, is fighting breast cancer and recording her struggle on a blog."  NY Times

With two young girls at home this article speaks loudly to me.  My wife and I certainly have put a strong focus on whole foods nutrtition and fitness as a foundation for health, but have we paid enough attention to the chemicals they are exposed to?

There are a number of books on my reading list covering this topic (The Hundred Year Lie is at the top). I have heard talks at conferences and read articles about the polar bears shrinking genitals and how toxic breast milk is (although still world's better than store-bought formula, I pray).

We are finally getting some data to show that there is a real problem here. This NY Times article  reports:  "...more than 200 other studies have shown links between low doses of  BPA and adverse health effects, according to the Breast Cancer Fund, which is trying to ban the chemical from food and beverage containers."

Certainly in our society, I will never be able to completely eliminate their exposure, but I can clean up my home. We have been very conscious already of the leaching of chemicals from the plastic during microwaving, but we use a plastic cover to prevent the food from exploding all over the microwave, I will find a glass one this week.

Speaking of microwaving, is that a problem? Maybe, but a recent study showed that microwaving vegetables is the best way to preserve their antioxidants.

We are getting rid of all plastic dishes and "silver"ware this week. We only use this stuff for the kids, while I eat on ceramic, wow that seems backwards. I will find metal forks and spoons that fit kid's mouths and ceramic or glass dishes for the kids. No more plastic tupperware.  We have some glass pieces, but now we will have all glass pieces. Cups as well will be glass or ceramic. And we will be more intense about keeping plastic out of the dishwasher, but I think just getting rid of the plastic is what we'll do.

We have previously removed lauryl components and parabens from our shampoos, soaps and lotions.

We are going to bring more houseplants into our home. Houseplants have been shown to help keep the air you breathe clean, this is much needed assistance. An old NASA study supports this.

I will continue to serve whole soy foods to my girls, organic soy that is. Soy foods have been shown to lower the risk of female cancers when consumed early on in life. So we will keep drinking soy milk, making foods with tofu and serving edamame regularly.

We cannot completely remove the exposure to chemicals, but we can certainly lessen the burden, especially at home. For the uncontrollable exposures, I will have to hope that high quality, clean food, regular exercise, low stress environment, a spiritual connection to God and healthy relationships will give the body the fuel it needs to detoxify the body. That is a detox program, not a tea or a bottle of expensive supplement or foot baths.

Contributed by:

Dr. Jeffrey Gladd


Dr. Jeffrey Gladd graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2001. He then went on to train in family medicine...

View Full Bio »
Dr. Jeffrey Gladd
comments powered by Disqus