Cancer Prevention – 5 Types of Cancer Causing Chemicals to Avoid
One of the biggest fears when cancer treatment ends is the fear of recurrence. I want to share some information that I found interesting. For me information is powerful. The more knowledge you have, the more you can empower yourself to make some wise choices.
There is a growing body of many research studies linking toxins to cancer. At times this can seem overwhelming, they are everywhere- what can we do?
I believe we can all take some power into your own hands, some things, we can't control, but many things that we can.
Cancer prevention might sound a bit ironic after a cancer diagnosis, we can’t always pinpoint the exact cause of our illness, for most people it can be a cocktail of lifestyle factors.
I'm going to share the five top things that you can avoid, or just to be mindful of, and make some wiser choices.
A research study from University of Massachusetts, concluded that as many as 35% of all cancers are driven by environmental toxins, and that's quite a worrying statistic. So if you're interested in the science, you can find out more about what the scientists are saying and what they're learning about where cancers come from. But there's a recurring theme here that toxins, chemicals that are in in our environment, are related to some types of cancer. And some of these toxins may be coming from the workplace, they may be coming from, you know, the air around us, they may be coming from pollution in the air and from traffic. But some of those chemicals come from things in our homes. And that's really what I want to talk about today. Because I think if you're mindful of this, and you've got some information about this, you can make some wiser choices. cancer active.com. is a great website. They say ‘environmental toxins are a modern plague, and cancer, especially hormone driven cancer, is the resultant epidemic’.
And if you think about the way we're living now, we've almost become to accept that statistically one in two people in their lifetime, are going to get cancer, as if that's a natural thing. I don't believe it is, I think there's a lot we can do personally, there's a lot we can do a lot of power we can take into our own hands. And one of them for me, I'm very mindful now of toxins. Do I live in a bubble? Am I perfect? No, absolutely not. But certain things that I do every day that have become my habits, and I'm going to share those with you.
What is a carcinogen, and where are they?
Well, basically is any type of agent or substance that is known to cause cancer. And other studies have shown that up to 90% of cancer is environment and lifestyle related. That constant exposure to chemicals may disrupt your hormones, and it may increase your breast cancer risk. Our homes are the place where we spend the most time, so what can we do to make our homes safe? I know we cannot control everything in the environment, what we can control is what comes into our homes.
Cancer causing chemicals can lurk in almost any everyday products you can imagine sweets, food, toys, clothes, pet food, and more. So reducing your exposure to items that have potentially harmful ingredients is a great way to safeguard your health.
We know there's no guarantee with any of this, you can't follow this letter and assume that you are never going to get cancer. But what you can do is to reduce your risk of cancer. It’s a simple choice for me. There's a lot of information out there and it might seem like a daunting task when you make your choices or when you're out shopping.
And you can just avoid the things that are known to be high risk.
The highly toxic ‘forever chemicals’ (so called because they do not break down in the environment) are also known as PFAS can be found in a wide vast array of consumer products and industrial applications.
Uses of just two of the substances – PFOS and PFOA – have been banned or restricted because of their toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative effects, but there are concerns about others on which there is less toxicity evidence available because they have been less studied.
Even very low doses of PFAS in drinking water have been linked to an increased risk of testicular and kidney cancer in addition to other health harms. So what can you do? They are commonly used to ‘improve’ products. They are in anything that is ‘stain resistant’ or wrinkle or water resistant. They may be helpful to reduce stains on your furniture, but what's in those chemicals? And if you're sitting in your sofa or your chair every day and you're ingesting those chemicals, why are they doing to you?
The other thing that they are in as well is nonstick pans, and some children's products and toys. So a lot of these things are in children's clothes, rainproof outerwear and other things to make them waterproof. And also, long lasting cosmetics. I don't need lipstick that stays on all day. I'm quite happy to be able to reapply my lipstick.
You may like the convenience of lipstick that you don't have to reapply. But just consider what’s in those chemicals? It's just something to be mindful of. I'm not here to tell you what you should do and what not to do. I'm saying just be mindful of the choices that you're making. And how would it feel to make wiser choices, Safer Choices for you.
What is in your drinking water? Depending on which part of the world you're in, water quality varies so much. Yours may be contaminated with contaminants linked to cancer including nitrates, arsenic, PFS, and uranium. So what can you do about that? Well, the simple thing is to just buy a really good home water filter, a low cost jug that you keep in your fridge, or if your budget allows you can get a high quality plumbed in filter tap, if this is something that you're really concerned about. But a water filter is always a good thing to do. We all know we should be drinking more water – but make it good quality water. One of the big things that came out of my nutritional healing training that I did, was to understand that most disease starts with dehydration.
Artificial food colorings.
Two in five food products, according to the research contains artificial chemicals that could possibly harm your health. Red three, has been linked to cancer, but it's allowed in 1000s of foods marketed to children, the brightly coloured sweets and candies. It can also be in some types of popcorn, hot chocolate, sweet snack mixes, plus many strawberry or cherry flavoured things. So for foods, think about the things that are really vividly coloured. So just be mindful. You can study labels, and stay away from ingredients with names like red three, and blue one. These chemicals may also appear with names such as like alert red. When you are looking at packaging, look at the ingredients that's in your food. If you can't recognise the name of what's in your food, it's a chemical and it's probably not doing you a lot of good. If that's in a food that you love then enjoy it, but enjoy it occasionally. But just be mindful that you're not eating processed foods all day every day. It's not going to do yourself any good.
You may be thinking while I'm eating really healthily, eating fruit and veg, but what's it been sprayed with? More and more people are going organic, as more people are becoming more aware of this. But lowering exposures to pesticides also reduces a person's mortality risk from cancer, according to research published by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health. I'm not a scientist. I'm not a doctor, and I've not read all of these studies. you can look at the science and look at the research, so much of it is online. You don’t have to read the research to just be mindful of what you're eating and drinking. A diet that includes fruits and vegetables is essential for health and lowering your cancer risk. But a lot of products produce that is sold in the US and in the UK contains residue of potentially harmful pesticides. And that doesn't include pesticides found on other foods such as oats, rice, wheat, and beans. So choose organic fruit vegetables wherever possible.
Hair colorants and relaxers.
I started to think about this a few years ago. When you get up in the morning, if you are like most people you have a shower, brush your teeth and get ready for work or get ready for your day. How many products are you using in that process? You may use a shower gel or soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products, and then there's a whole array of stuff that's in your makeup bag. And all of those things may contain harmful chemicals. I'm not saying don't wear makeup, I love skincare and make up, just make some safe choices. Again, there's great websites, you can go on where the products are natural, or they've got lower lists of chemical ingredients.
There are some usually small, independent shops that sell homemade soaps that are not commercially produced, they're not full of additives, so you can choose them. There are a lot of studies pointing to a connection between hair treatments and cancer. And I know personally, I know quite a few friends now who have allergies to hair dyes.
Other tips for reducing exposure to toxins:
Always take outdoor shoes off when you get home, just leave them at the front door. Don't bring the dirt or the chemicals or whatever else you've attracted onto your shoes into your home.
Always wash your hands before eating. It amazed me that during the pandemic hand washing became such a revelation to so many people. Good hygiene always accompanies good health. Think about it, especially think about it if you're on public transport, how many surfaces you touch that other people have touched? You won’t know if they've coughed, sneezed, or what chemicals you may coming into contact with, just regular hand washing is a great thing. And I know a lot of people are using hand sanitising gels now, but I am wary of the amount of harmful chemicals in some of them as well. Regular and thorough hand washing is the best thing
Try and find a good local shop that sells organic produce. If you are lucky enough to live near a farm shop, I know they can be more expensive than supermarkets. But you know where that food has come from, and the quality is usually much higher. Remember you are what you eat (so don’t eat rubbish) And hopefully you're supporting a small business as well which is always a feel good factor.
Don’t live in fear
Although some of this stuff sounds scary, and of course it is it's worrying that chemicals can cause cancer, I'm not encouraging you to live in fear.
Living in fear will lower your immunity and literally make you sick, if you let it.
I'm encouraging you to be mindful of these things, make some wise choices and just becoming aware of what you can do for yourself is very empowering.
No one can live in a bubble, and there are no guarantees with any of this. I cannot say for certain that I am never going to get cancer again, but I can tell you I'm doing a lot of things that are reducing my risk of that happening. And that mentally for me, is a huge positive, it gives me a boost. I've spent 15 years studying this, now I want to do everything that I can to stop my cancer coming back. And whatever I'm learning, happy to share with you as well.
I now have a guide that covers this subject and you can download it here.
Stay safe, stay sane and keep smiling.