Doesn’t it seem like everyone you know knows someone with cancer?  Total incidences of cancer per year in the US is over 28 million!   It’s truly an epidemic.

We’re a product of our environment.  Some of it we have control over; some of it we don’t.  The breast cancer clusters in California indicate there are environmental factors we need to consider.  What’s in the water?  What’s being pumped into the air from the surrounding factories?  What are the area’s farming practices?  

My belief is that cancer is a dis-ease of toxicity.  Your body can become overloaded with toxins, and your Liver, intestines, or Kidneys get overwhelmed.   Then your Qi stagnates, toxic heat ensues, and mutation occurs.

Some of the environmental toxins we don’t have much direct control over.  But some factors we do have control over:  

  • our diet
  • the products we choose to clean our bodies, homes and clothes, etc.
  • the chemicals we add into the picture (or not)
  • our lifestyle — exercise, stress management, healthcare

Here are my top 10 suggestions to do the best you can to prevent the c-word:

1.  Buy local and organic food.  If you really are curious as to why, see the documentary “Food Inc.”  or read The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food.  

2.  Read labels on all products and packaged foods.  If I can’t pronounce it or don’t know where it came from, I don’t use it.

3.  Use natural cleaners.  To clean my hardwood floors and mirrors at home I use plain white vinegar.  You can also combine vinegar with water in a spray bottle and use it to kill mold and mildew.  The smell goes away in a few minutes.  Plain baking soda can scour bathtubs and sinks.  For the rest I try to find products that are free from:  bleach, phosphates, xylene, 2-butoxyethanol / ethylene glycol butyl ether, diethylene glycol (window cleaners), methylene chloride, ammonia, ethoxylated nonyl phenols (NPEs) (laundry detergents and multi-purpose cleaners – currently banned in Europe), chlorinated phenols (toilet bowl cleaners), phenols (disinfectants), formaldehyde (deodorizers), perchloroethylene (most dry-cleaners use this – causes Liver and Kidney damage) and naphthalene.  Basically, if the label says “DANGER” or “POISONOUS” – proceed with caution.  If the label says “biodegradable” or “nontoxic” – it’s probably much safer.  

4.  Filter your water.   I’m sure you’ve seen the film Erin Brockovich?  It’s a true story about a woman who found – and proved in court – that chromium-6 in the water supply of the town was making them sick.  Just a few of the lovely things found in our water supply:  chlorine (to kill bacteria); fluoride; rusty water pipes could lead to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, or cadmium; chemicals, bacteria, and viruses not filtered at water treatments plants (this could include pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, e-coli, and giardia.  Yummy.

5.  Re-consider your beauty routine.  I love beauty products, but I’m very picky about which ones I use.  Most of them contain these toxins:  petroleum (listed as mineral oil, liquid paraffin, or toluene); 1,4 dioxane (found in hair relaxers, hair dyes, baby soap (!), and moisturizers — may be listed as PEG, xynol, ceterareth, or oleth); artificial fragrance; talc; parabens (shown to cause cancer — may be listed as methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl parabens); formaldehyde (found in some nail polish and nail polish removers); phthalates (found in hair sprays, nail polish, and perfumes — may be listed as “DBP,” “DEP,” “DEHP,” “BzBP,” or “DMP.”).  

  • When using a sunscreen, choose one that filters light with zinc oxide; avoid ones with benzophenones (oxybenzone), PABA, and Octyl Methoxycinnamate.  All of these are known carcinogens, “endocrine disruptors” and “mutagenic.”  
  • Skin care products (cleansers, toners, masks, moisturizers, etc.) should be edible, if you ask me.  Yes, you read that correctly, edible.  You should be able to eat what you put on your skin.  It should be that safe.  Plus, it makes your skin look great!
  • Non-toxic makeup, nail polish, and shampoo are important as well.  Your skin breathes all that stuff in!
  • There are some interesting facts about deodorants and antiperspirants as well.  Consider this:  over 75% of all breast cancers happen in one of the five quadrants of the breast.  Guess which one?  The one closest to the armpit!  In short:  find a natural deodorant that works for you (I like “Thai Stick” or “Queen Helene’s” which you can find at natural food markets) and avoid the anti-perspirants which block the toxins in your sweat from leaving your body.
  • Lipstick especially should be toxin-free.  Think about it — by the end of a few hours, your lipstick or gloss is gone.  Maybe a little of it went on someone’s cheek or the edge of a glass, but mostly…you ate it.  I use W3ll People’s lip glosses.  Burt’s Bees also makes some decent lip glosses.  More and more brands are coming out with safe ingredients, thank Goddess.

6.  Keep a positive frame of mind.  Use mantras such as “I am healthy and happy.”  Your mind has unbelievable power over your body.  

7.  Avoid unnecessary medications.  As with everything else, avoiding unknown and known carcinogens is the key.  Try the natural method of healing first, not as a last resort.

8.  Sweat at least once per day.  A hot bath, a good workout, or just dancing or gardening may be enough to get a light or heavy sweat that will help toxins leave your body.

9.  Use natural pesticides whenever possible.  To get rid of fleas, try Diatomaceous Earth.  For ant, roach, or other unsavory infestations, I use a bit of honey covered in borax 🙂 left in small containers around my house.  It’s not too poisonous for dogs and cats (and kids) if they find them, but it’ll kill bugs.

10.  Stop smoking.  I used to smoke, until one day I had this revelation:  this costs me money, it smells, it’s terrible for my health, and it doesn’t even give me a high or a buzz of any sort.  Forget about it!  I threw that last cig out the window (looking back now I’m so ashamed to have been a smoker AND a litterer!) and never looked back.