When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer I was 13 years old. It was before the internet, so the information and resources we had as a family were limited: library books and magazine articles, materials from the doctor’s office, and various community support groups. Oftentimes the information was outdated or didn’t apply to us. So much has changed since then! Even in the 15 years since I lost my mom to breast cancer the improvements in resources and information have been remarkable.
October marks a time for raising awareness for Breast Cancer, and as female with an immediate family history of breast cancer, I am a huge proponent of early detection and being educated on risk factors, prevention tactics, and the latest research. Knowledge is power!
Finding trustworthy resources for education on these topics is important. Scientists, physicians, and community partners in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), study the effects of environmental exposures on breast cancer risk later in life. They created a mother-daughter toolkit mothers can use to talk to daughters about steps to take together to reduce risk.
Even with myself being at a higher #breastcancerrisk, more important to me is empowering my own two daughters to be aware of their own risk and be mindful of the choices they make for their health. My heart breaks to learn of the growing number of young girls experiencing early onset puberty. Research shows that this can be a result of chemicals, such as BPA and Phthalates, found in certain plastics, as well as pesticides and hormones used in growing produce and meat. With the research provided by BCERP, families can be empowered to make choices that can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
In fact, BCERP lays out four easy steps you can take NOW. It’s never to early to start!
These steps are fairly simple! Remember to read labels of both food and beauty products, be a more mindful of the food you eat and where it comes from, and get your body moving. I’m grateful to say we practice all of these points, although we definitely have room for improvement on Step 4!
The more research and information groups like #BCERP can gather, the closer society can come to understanding Breast Cancer, its contributing factors, further prevention methods, and hopefully one day, a cure. To help this important work, and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, please consider taking a few moments of your time to fill out this survey to help further these efforts.
Learn more about BCERP and discover a wealth of resources on Breast Cancer education and research at https://bcerp.org/.
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