Girls and Breast Cancer (updated)

Exercise and lower fat can make a liftetime of difference.
Breast cancer prevention may start as early as age nine or ten. Two simple factors appear to affect the future health and longevity of girls, beginning as early as their pre-teens.

Estrogen and progesterone cause breast cancer to develop and progress faster. The levels of these hormones rise dramatically when girls begin menstruating. And the higher a girl’s percentage of body fat, the higher levels of hormones she makes. The study reveals:

1. Early onset of menstruation (more and more common in America) is associated with higher risk of breast cancer later in life. Young girls can delay the onset of puberty and menstruation BY AN ENTIRE YEAR just by exercising four (4) hours a week. The study also showed that by continuing to exercise regularly throughout puberty, hormone levels remain reduced and are better regulated than without exercise. Preventing early onset of menstruation by even a year makes a difference in risk for the woman’s entire life.

2. Young girls who reduced their fat intake by only 6% had decreases in estrogen and progesterone levels of 30%!!! Researchers believe this could significantly affect how likely it is that a girl may get breast cancer later in her life, since breast cancer is estrogenic.

Our Comments:
This study suggests that the increasing rate of girls beginning menstruation at younger and younger ages may be caused in large part by lack of exercise and too much fat in the diet. Sound familiar? These two problems are affecting both sexes of children in America, but females are much more likely to develop breast cancer than males (though men can and do develop breast cancer).

Related to the two points above…

1. We support a routine of regular exercise for youth of both sexes. Parents are the most important example in a child?s life. Take regular walks with your children or find other activities you can share on a regular basis. Explain how important it is and that you are making an effort, too ? for your own health and for theirs. Walking, hiking, swimming and bicycling are all easy and affordable. If your neighborhood isn?t the best for walking, drive to a park and walk. Have a plan for what you do during each season. In winter, consider swimming, indoor tennis, indoor cycling and treadmills — at home or at a gym. Get active with your children and find ways for them to be active with their friends.

2. We support keeping fat intake modest rather than high or low. We ought to avoid hydrogenated fats and be cautious about the amount of saturated animal fats we eat, even from free range and organic meats. However, fat is necessary for a healthy diet, and the quality of fat matters a great deal. Choose organic if you can afford to do it. Limit or avoid soy and canola. Use mostly olive, safflower, flaxseed, coconut or safflower. Choose real butter, not margarine or spreads. Consider the whole range of olive oils, from extra virgin to light, for different flavor needs.

Reduce fat intake by reducing the least nutritious fats: those found in fries and other deep-fried foods, chips, crackers, muffins and other baked bread items; fatty meats of any kind (trim the fat or use another cut); and commercial sweets of nearly every kind.

To protect the liver, where a great deal of hormone activity takes place, avoid hydrogenated fats. Note that the government allows food companies to put up to 1/2 gram (0.5 g) of hydrogenated or trans fats PER SERVING in any food and show this anywhere on the label, so avoiding any type of fat in most packaged foods is a good idea.

Pleases share this information with all parents and health care providers. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *