Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in woman and the second leading cause of death for them.
Right now, statistics say that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
We can assume that cancer happens for three reasons (or any combination of these reasons):
2: Environmental Factors (& bad luck)
3: Diet and Lifestyle
Many of us think that there’s nothing we can do about number #1. However, if we become aware of the toxins in our environment that we are breathing in, consuming, putting on our skin, or unwittingly introducing routinely (i.e. drinking from to-go cups with plastic), then we have a ton of power to change or diminish that exposure, fine tune our diet to one where cancer cannot thrive, and therefore harness the power of epigenetics to make sure certain genetics do not get switched on.
Thus, we can radically improve this 1-in-8 women statistic by taking our health into our own hands.
Our primary focus today is on natural ways to detox the breasts and keep them healthy.
Many of us go on annual or bi-annual cleanses. We cleanse our digestive system and our primary detoxification organs (the liver and the kidneys).
This contributes exponentially to whole body health, but for us women, especially those of us with breast cancer in our families, we should take it a step further and detoxify the breasts.
This is especially supportive for women planning to get pregnant or for pregnant women prior to nursing.
1 – LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials that, in this case, can cause or help flip on the genetic switches for breast cancer. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body in order to keep you healthy. You want lymph fluid freely flowing throughout your breast area (thus, please do not use antiperspirant and keep toxins trapped in there).
According to Dr. John Douillard, symptoms of lymph congestion Include:
- Rings get tight on fingers
- Soreness and/or stiffness in the morning
- Feeling tired
- Itchy skin
- Holding on to water
- Breast swelling or soreness with each cycle
- Dry skin
- Brain fog
- Cold hands and feet
Therefore, we need to add cleansing the lymphatic system to our routine cleansing of the body for the immune system to remain strong.
The heart is our major muscle to pump blood throughout the body, but we have no such muscle for our lymphatic system to keep it flowing. We must do the work “manually” to keep it flowing and cleansed in order to stay healthy.
5 Ways to Cleanse the Lymph System Manually
1: Lymphatic massage
This is a very gentle type of massage and encourages the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues and back toward the heart where the lymphatic system can empty toxins into the bowel channel to be released from the body. You can seek out a practitioner that specializes in lymphatic massage or you can perform self-massage. This YouTube video gives a nice demonstration on how to.
2: Electromagnetic Lymph Therapy
There is a machine called a Light Beam Generator that is used as lymph drainage equipment to assist the body in its natural process of moving stagnant lymph pathways.
I must share that my experience of this machine is anecdotal and not scientific, but I have found it quite effective in alleviating inflammation, pain, and for accelerating my own personal cleansing programs. Typically, I will get an electro-magnetic lymph treatment immediately prior to a colonic to move stagnant lymph fluid up toward the heart, which helps the toxins dump into the bowel channel, making a colonic that’s much more productive.
Proper lymphatic drainage removes debris and foreign proteins from the body (inhibiting their development in stagnant cells), helps remove steroids (which mimic hormones), and makes waste removal happen more rapidly. All of this helps create a protective inner barrier to health-related issues in a simple, effective way.
Note that laws are different state-by-state, so you will have to find a practitioner in your area to see if this procedure is an option for you.
3: Drinking small sips of hot water daily
The most simple and inexpensive way to dilate and hydrate the cells is to drink little sips of hot water (no tea, no lemon, just plain hot water heated up on the stove, not in the microwave) throughout the day.
Try drinking the hot water every 10-15 minutes for 14 days in a row to decongest your lymph.
4: Dry Skin Brushing
Another simple, inexpensive, and effective technique for aiding the lymphatic system in its daily detoxification is dry skin brushing. Pick one up at your local health food store or online and use it on dry skin in light, upward strokes toward the heart before jumping in the shower or soaking in the bath.
5: Don’t congest your lymph
Please don’t use toxic, conventional antiperspirant that prevents your body from removing stagnation and congestion. Allow yourself to sweat and simply clean your body often. The cleaner you are, the less you will sweat and the less body odor you’ll experience. An excellent natural deodorant that actually works is Stank Stop by Fatco.
Think about other ways you can congest your lymph with the litany of personal care products we use and upgrade to better versions. I wrote a blog and shot a video for you on that topic here.
Be mindful about how much plastic you are drinking out of, be it plastic water bottles or hot drinks with plastic sip lids. Changes in temperature can trigger the release of dioxins in certain plastic and/or parabens (tiny plastic compounds that have been found inside breast cancer tumors) that we do not want inside our bodies. Use glass water bottles whenever possible and your own takeaway coffee cups with silicon lids.
2 – CASTOR OIL PACKS
Castor oil’s healing properties go all the way back to ancient Egypt. Castor oil packs have a remarkable ability to reduce inflammation and to help the organs communicate and work better together as a team.
They also improve elimination and circulation (especially of the lymphatic system) and help rejuvenate the immune system.
In addition, castor oil has long been revered as an inexpensive, yet highly effective, home remedy for rebooting the liver, detoxing the gastrointestinal tract, healing the skin, and calming the emotions. It is also helpful for sleep, which makes a castor oil pack a good nighttime self-care technique.
Castor oil packs are made with several layers of flannel and cold-pressed castor oil (both of which can be purchased online or from a local health food store).
If you are a visual learner, I like this video from the 70’s teaching you how to administer a castor oil pack directly on the breasts. Since the space is wider, you may consider using two different flannels and two heating pads so that you can make sure to cover the lymph node area by the armpits.
3 – PROTEOLYTIC ENZYMES
Often used in natural cancer treatment and prevention, these powerful enzymes are whole-body enzymes that digest or break down foreign proteins in the body and process them via the bowels.
They’ve shown to block the invasiveness of tumor cells and to inhibit the spread of cancer while enhancing immune response.
How proteolytic enzymes work:
Proteo means protein and lytic is the actual enzyme part of it. Thus proteolytic enzymes sever the bonds between amino acids that make up the foreign proteins that make us sick (i.e. fungus, bacteria, etc). They also break down immune complexes that are formed between antibodies produced by the immune system and the compounds they bind to like antigens (specifically antibodies produced in response to consuming a food we are sensitive to).
It’s helpful to get guidance from your health practitioner prior to taking proteolytic enzymes, because those with leaky gut or gastritis can have a burning reaction to them when the protective mucosal lining is not intact. They are also contraindicated for pregnancy and nursing.
These are my favorite brand of vegan, high quality proteolytic enzymes. Typical dose is either 3 per day at least 45 minutes away from food for 4-6 weeks or 2 upon waking and 2 mid-morning, away from food for 4-6 weeks.
4 – FOOD AS MEDICINE
Diet is perhaps the most powerful part of the entire equation when trying to avoid breast cancer through lifestyle. You will want to adhere to these simple strategies to enhance your food as medicine prevention factor.
- Balance your pH – get familiar with Acid-Alkaline Balance and alkalize. We have a detailed blog on that here.
- Use 1 teaspoon daily of dried ginger to kill cancer stem cells. Watch our blog with Immunologist Dr. Grover explaining the science of this magical substance here.
- Consume grapefruit regularly. It is the best fruit to cleanse the lymph system.
- Add organic broccoli to your diet several times a week. It is clinically proven to block tumor growth.
- Get enough fiber, which can help pull excess estrogen out of the system. You can find out more about fiber here.
- Consume beets several times a week. They are high in iron to keep your cells oxygenated and cancer cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment.
- Take fish oil daily to keep inflammation at bay.
- Artichokes boost liver function and contain enzymes that ward off the replication of cancer cells. Click here for our artichoke smoothie recipe
What About Breast Implants?
My clients with breast implants often ask me if they should do anything special to protect themselves given they have a foreign object inside their body. While there are currently no strong links between breast implants and increased risk of breast cancer (although depending on the implant, there have been links to breast implants contributing to autoimmune conditions), routine lymphatic attention is necessary, because the implants can structurally impair the lymphatic vessel pathways. Using the advice in this blog will serve you well if you have breast implants.