This is a sponsored post in partnership with Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program.
As a mother, I want to protect my kids and keep them healthy. Up until recently, I didn’t think there was much I could do to protect myself or my daughter from breast cancer. I found out that there are steps we can take and I want to share this important information with you too! There are 4 ways mothers and daughters can reduce the risk of breast cancer and it is too important to ignore!
4 Ways Mothers and Daughters Can Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this is a great time to start a conversation with your daughter about breast cancer. It is NEVER too early to take steps to avoid this horrendous disease.
The Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) is working hard exploring whether exposure to certain chemicals and foods may change how girls bodies mature and how it all impacts breast cancer risks.
The BCERP is made up of scientists, physicians, and community partners. The program is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They even created a mother-daughter toolkit that mothers can use to talk to daughters about steps to take together to reduce risk.
Step One: Reduce Your Use of Products that Contain Phthalates
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make certain plastics more flexible. They are used in food and beverage containers, toys, detergents, food packaging, and personal care products such as fragrance, nail polish, deodorant, hair care, and body lotion. Basically, phthalates are all around us!! The exposure can happen through ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption.
Some common items that may be causing extra exposure for your daughter are in personal care products like fragrances, nail polishes, deodorant, hair care products and even body lotion. You can tell if the item contains phthalates by looking for a number 3 in the recycling triangle.
A simple step to take is to buy items that are fragrance-free as a way to reduce this exposure.
Step Two: Reduce Your Use of Products that Contain BPA
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a clear plastic chemical with estrogenic effects that is widely used in certain hard-plastic containers. These are often used for food and beverages. Sometimes the material that lines the insides of many metal cans used for foods also contains BPA.
BPA can be released from plastics in concentrations high enough to change gene expression patterns. That is a really scary thing!! Heating plastic containers made with BPA in microwaves releases small amounts into the food or beverage and then we ingest it.
BPA has even been found in some cash register receipts!!
Simple ways to reduce our exposure to BPA is to use glass containers instead of plastic. Buy more fresh fruits and vegetables instead of using canned. Have receipts emailed to you instead of printed or wash your hands after you touch receipts.
Step Three: Make Healthy Life Choices
Start teaching your daughter when she is young how to make healthy life choices. Show her how to read labels to avoid phthalates and BPA.
Talk to her about the REASONS you are making these choices and how important it can be to her future health.
Teach her to never microwave plastic food containers. Instead, use glass containers to heat food in the microwave.
Step Four: Live a Healthy, Active Life Together
Our kids follow in our footsteps in so many ways. It is really important that I model a healthy lifestyle for my daughter. If she sees me living a healthy life it will be natural for her to follow in that same path.
Some ways we can live a healthy, life together are to stay active. We can exercise as a family. Eating whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies is another way we can live a healthy life together.
You Can Help Too
BCERP would love your help with their important research. They have a survey available and would love if you took a few minutes to take it! Click HERE to take the survey!
Has your family been affected by breast cancer? What steps do you take to reduce your risks? Be sure to check out all the great resources BCERP has available today and stay informed about this important topic! It is never too early to start trying to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
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