DIY Breast Health Tips
Oct 01, 2019 12:05AM
● By Zach Davey
by Katie Ainsley
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there are several things you can do in your everyday life to support your breast health and to reduce your risk of disease.
● Wax it, don’t shave it. Shaving the underarms daily can cause irritation and skin sensitivity and can contribute to congested lymph nodes. Waxing is a quick and easy alternative and it is usually only necessary to have it done once a month, as opposed to shaving daily.
● Throw out the antiperspirant. Many antiperspirant deodorants contain harmful ingredients including aluminum, parabens, steareths (PEG), triclosan, propylene glycol and even artificial colors. These toxic ingredients are linked to cancer, endocrine issues, neurological issues and autoimmune disorders. When deodorant is applied to your freshly shaved underarms those chemicals will go straight into your skin and into your bloodstream. Switching to a natural deodorant will reduce your risk for breast disease, thyroid dysfunction and autoimmune disease. Look for deodorants that are free from: aluminum, parabens, PEG, triclosan and propylene glycol.
● Watch what you put on your skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body and everything applied on the skin is absorbed into the blood. Many soaps and lotions contain harmful ingredients that can disrupt the endocrine system, cause neurological damage and can even cause cancer. Use soaps and lotions that are free of fragrances, parabens, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone, cocamidopropyl betaine, and triclosan butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA).
● Ditch the underwire. Avoid underwire bras, as they constrict and inhibit the lymphatic system and also can damage the breast tissue. A better option is to wear bras without underwires and that do not push up or constrict the breasts.
● Use essential oils. There are many essential oils that support the lymphatic system. The citrus oils such as orange, lemon and grapefruit help stimulate the lymph glands while peppermint, ginger and rosemary are helpful for circulation and help drain the lymph nodes. Frankincense, lemongrass and turmeric have properties that reduce tumors and are good for breast health. Using essential oils can help reduce the risk for breast disease by decreasing inflammation and supporting the immune system. When applied to the underarms and breast area, essential oils can be helpful to supporting overall breast health.
● Try lymphatic draining massage. The fluid in the lymphatic system helps remove waste and toxins from the bodily tissues. Congested lymph nodes can cause tenderness, lumps, irritation and can even increase the risk of breast disease. The lymph nodes under the arms can become congested from shaving, wearing deodorant and from underarm rubbing. Lymphatic draining massage is an easy way to get the fluid moving and unclog the lymph nodes. Lymphatic draining massage is a light, gentle touch that you can do yourself – or for more concerning conditions see a licensed massage therapist.
● Use dry skin brushing techniques. Use a brush with stiff bristles against the skin to help exfoliate dead cells from the skin surface and enhance blood flow. Dry skin brushing the underarm and breast area can be beneficial in keeping the lymphatic system flowing and removing harmful toxins and waste.
● Perform self-checks. This is such an easy yet important part of your breast health. Doing regular monthly self-checks will help you know your normal so that you can detect any small changes in your breast tissue at the earliest stages.
● Monitor breast changes with technology. Mammograms have become the standard breast care in America and they can detect cancerous tumors – but they use radiation to do so. Breast ultrasounds are another option for looking at a specific area of concern. Thermograms are a radiation-free, pain-free, proactive way to monitor breast health. A breast thermography scan can detect inflammation, physiological changes and neovascularity in the breast tissue and show your risk for developing breast disease. Thermography can detect changes in the breast 8 to 10 years before the cells would form a tumor.
You can monitor breast health with these at-home techniques. Be sure to contact a healthcare professional if you notice any changes in your breasts. Early detection offers the best opportunity for beating breast cancer.
Katie Ainsley is a Certified Clinical Thermographer and owner of Thermography of Brevard LLC in Melbourne and Indian River Thermography in Vero Beach. As a breast cancer survivor, she has worked to help patients take preventive steps toward improved health through radiation-free thermography scans. 321-312-0363. Learn more at ThermographyofBrevard.com.