Breasts, Bras, Toxins, Cancer, Stress

A woman in Boulder Colorado, Florence Williams, has written a new book, titled, Breasts. In this book she covers everything from the physiology of the mammary glands to various social implications and fascinations thereof. In an NPR interview, Ms. Williams shared how a recent sample of her breast milk revealed, through various tests, traces of flame retardant, jet fuel, various pesticides and the carcinogen dioxin.  Not good! Since breasts are composed primarily of fatty tissue, and fatty tissue often becomes the depository for toxins, she (cautiously) makes the link to breast cancer quite easily. She also addresses the topic of early onset puberty with girls, ages 8-9 developing breasts at a much earlier age than a generation ago (this is thought to be related now to the increase in non-inert chemicals associated with plastics that affect sex hormones, as well as a diet high in fat calories). Perhaps, as no surprise with the obesity epidemic, the fashion industry notes that cup sizes, on average, have increased in the past decade as well.  Men, like women, are also prone for breast cancer (the US Military is now studying this due to radical increases in Marines (men) diagnosed with breast cancer at Camp Lejune, N.C., known recently for significant toxins dumps on/near the base). Many home healthcare products are ladened with chemicals that activate various hormones in the body. Williams stated that scientists still don’t know what causes breast cancer (too many variables, they say). You don’t have to be a Nobel prize winner, however to connect the dots.  Cancer of any type is most definitely a stressor, yet knowledge is power. Please stay informed.
Stress Tip for the Day:
At the risk of personal sharing (a lump was found in the breast of a former girlfriend of mine). Turns out it was just a fibrous lump, thought to be associated with a high intake of caffeine (she would drink up to 10 cups of coffee a day).  She was lucky. Breast exams should be a regular routine for both women… and men. To decrease the risk of breast cancer it is suggested to decrease your exposure to petrochemical toxins, including synthetic fertilizers that contain synthetic estrogens.  Organic foods are highly recommended, and ladies, if you wear a wired bra, please consider some alternatives, (including simply “removing” the wire). Tight bras cause congestion in the lymph glands located near the breasts, opening up the opportunity for problems in this area, as toxins that are not flushed out tend to accumulate near the closest fatty tissue.
Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
I haven’t read Ms. Williams book, but from what I heard on the NPR radio show, I highly recommend it.
Here is a link to the radio interview Terry Gross did with the author on Fresh Air:
 I would also like to once again recommend the book, Plastic; A toxic love story.
Quote for the Day:
“It turns out that our breasts are almost like sponges, the way they can soak up some of these chemicals, especially the ones that tend to accumulate in fat tissue.” — Florence Williams
Photo for the Day:
Paying tribute to the work of my friend and colleague, Donna Eden, I often talk about the problems associated with wired bras and breast cancer. During a workshop, one of my attendees excused herself, only to come back minutes later bra in hand. Point well taken.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website:
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.
Brian Luke Seaward

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  • audreygeddes says:

    I would love to read Ms. Williams’s book – thanks for sharing her insights and for the great photo :}. I just finished another good book on breast cancer by Judith L. Pearson entitled, It’s Just Hair: 20 Essential Life Lessons. The author is a survivor and the stories in her book tickle your funny bone and touch your heart in just the right way. I highly recommend this one. You can find her website here:

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