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I was devastated when I heard those words…you’ve got breast cancer! I’d maintained a healthy weight, exercised and always eaten ‘healthy’, having been a Dietitian for over 20 years!
I had also breastfed my 4 children – another lifestyle factor that is supposed to reduce your risk. But I hear this a lot. Women who have supposedly ticked all the health boxes but still get a diagnosis.
Could there be other factors that we need to consider?
Enter your hormones.
About 80% of all breast cancers are ER-positive which means they grow according to estrogen supply.
Where is that estrogen supply coming from?
  • Our bodies make it
  • Our food contains it
  • Our liver processes it
  • Our environment can harbour it
  • Our lifestyle can exacerbate it
Let’s look at these one at a time.
Before menopause, our main estrogen supply comes from our ovaries, after menopause it’s our adrenal glands and our fat cells. Yes you got that right – the more fat cells you have, the more estrogen your body makes and the greater your risk of ER-positive cancers.
Some foods contain estrogen or estrogen-mimicking hormones like dairy, animal protein and processed foods, you can read about how to reduce your intake here. 
Our liver has the task of breaking down estrogen so it can be excreted from the body. Many factors can affect your liver’s ability to do its job, like a fatty liver, alcohol & over the counter & pharmaceutical drugs, as well as a lack of vital nutrients essential for estrogen metabolism. You can read how to assist your liver here.
Those pesky estrogen-mimicking hormones can also be found in the environment! They’re called endocrine disruptors and can be found everywhere from plastics, can linings, personal care fragrances, cleaning products and new car or carpet/furniture off-gassing. Yep we’re pretty much surrounded by them!
Lifestyle factors like exercise can reduce your estrogen levels while stress can increase your risk of cancer. 
Overwhelmed and think it’s all too hard?
Fear not – I’ve got you covered. By making small changes to reduce your estrogen exposure we can help to reduce your estrogen levels, balance your hormones and reduce your risk of cancer.
By working on one risk factor at a time we can create sustainable changes and make it a lifestyle.
Book a free chat with me today and let me help you get started.

 

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