As the leaves fall and the weather starts to get a little chiller, we have to remember one special thing about October. With the beautiful hues of October comes breast cancer awareness month. Every October I am reminded of the women that are brave, courageous and strong. Every day I am reminded that breast cancer can happen to every woman I know including myself and even my daughter.
*This is a sponsored post in partnership with Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program.
Now that my daughter is a teenager it is important to help her understand the importance of self-care, breast exams, and the risks of breast cancer. I want to provide her with every opportunity to be healthy and well-informed. We eat healthily, she is physically active and she understands the risks of different chemicals that make our environment toxic, but even with this, there are still environmental factors that could impact her life.
Educating Your Daughter About Breast Cancer
Scientists, physicians, and community partners in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), study the effects of environmental exposures on breast cancer risk later in life. They created a mother-daughter toolkit mothers can use to talk to daughters about steps to take together to reduce risk.
The most important step to educating your daughter about the risks of breast cancer is setting a good example. When a child sees a mother avoiding the risk that can cause breast cancer, chances are she will avoid those same risk. To help protect daughters from developing breast cancer later in life, it is never too early to begin taking steps. BCERP has a number of resources for parents and families on how to reduce risk. The infographic below helps parents start the conversation.
Remember that you are the vessel to health for your child from the moment of conception and moving forward so you are the role model for how they perceive healthy living. If you as a mother are able to take the steps along with your daughter you are giving her the best head start to a bright future. Here are a few tips I incorporated with my daughter:
- Start young (children only have the choices they are given, if we feed them healthy foods from start it may make it a little easier to transition to healthier food choices as they get older)
- Getting Active: Make exercise fun, (long walks are great, we love playing the “Just Dance” on the Wii, for teenage girls Beachbody On Demand has great videos you can do together)
- Let your child be a part of the purchasing processing (when girls are a part of reading labels and understanding what is going in their bodies at a young age, they are likely to make better purchasing decisions when they are older)
My cousin is a breast cancer survivor, that it is why it is so important for me to help bring awareness and encourage you to take the survey. The survey will only take a few minutes of your time and it will help continue with the research. Researchers are exploring whether exposure to certain chemicals and foods may change how girls’ bodies mature and impact breast cancer risk.