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Prevention IS the Cure

While October is officially breast cancer awareness month, breast health is something that needs year-round attention. Although most people focus on the cure, which is vital for the 1 in 8 women who face an invasive breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, not enough attention goes to the role of breast cancer prevention.

That’s where the pioneering non-profit Keep a Breast Foundation™ comes into play. KAB’s mission is to educate and empower people about breast health, and the role prevention has in living a healthy, cancer-free life.

It’s a philosophy that aligns perfectly with Touchstone Essentials’ commitment to clean ingredients, organic practices, and superfood goodness. So, this year, Touchstone Essentials and Keep A Breast (KAB) have teamed up to fight breast cancer with a focus on fitness and wellness.

Throughout October, the KAB #Fit4Prevention campaign will work with hundreds of studios, gyms and individuals to raise funds through donation-based workout classes across the nation.

Ready to get involved? You can host a donation-based workout class either on your own or with a gym or studio, and Touchstone Essentials will match each fitness class for up to $100, for a total match of $5,000! Let’s get moving.

1). There are numerous ways exercise benefits the body and helps to prevent breast cancer.

One critical factor is that exercise can lower hormone levels (2). Higher estrogen levels are a risk factor for breast cancer. One study of post-menopausal women, for example, showed that the group who exercised regularly had a 9% drop in levels of free estradiol (a type of estrogen) (3).

Physical activity also shrinks body mass index, reducing body fat percentage (4). This is important because fat cells in the body can produce estrogen, so the leaner you are, the better.

Exercise also strengthens immunity (5). Creating a hostile environment for tumor cells is one of the most effective ways to prevent cancer. Your immune system is your first line of defense.

And exercise is a natural stress reducer, which can lift your mood, alleviate anxiety, and strengthen your immunity (6). This is vital because according to Dr.  Anil Sood at MD Anderson, “Chronic stress also can help cancer grow and spread in a number of ways.” (7)

What’s important here is not the type of exercise, but that you simply get moving to see the benefits. That’s why the #Fit4Prevention program is perfect for everyone—you can participate in any type of gym class and make a difference in your health, and in the lives of others.

Fitness + Wellness Work Better Together

According to the American Cancer Society, up to 90% of breast cancer cases are likely caused by a combination of lifestyle and environmental factors (8). While every factor can’t be controlled, taking even small steps toward reducing your risk can make a difference.

This includes reducing your exposure to environmental toxins, such as the heavy metals commonly found in homes. Avoid bad air days when possible since the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified outdoor air pollution as a cancer-causing agent (9).

Good nutrition is another vital factor for your well-being. New research shows that switching to organic foods can reduce the risk of certain cancers by up to 25%. Further research shows that having adequate vitamin D can reduce the risk of breast cancer and increase the odds of survival.

Another essential factor for survival is performing monthly self-exams. Since 40% of breast cancers are self-detected, a monthly self-check is a must. During the month of October, Touchstone Essentials is including a Keep A Breast Foundation guide to self-exams inside all orders to encourage and empower women and men (guys get breast cancer too) to check themselves. You can also download the Keep A Breast self-check app for monthly reminders. 

The point is there are so many things people can do to reduce their risk. That’s why it’s critical to get the word out far, wide, and fast.

How to Get Involved to Fight Breast Cancer

When you host a donation class, you are helping KAB empower women around the world with knowledge that could save lives. Funds raised from events like #Fit4Prevention are used to support unique programs using art, creative expression and grassroots action to inform young people about methods of prevention, early detection, coping and support.

It’s easy to host a class or participate in an existing class. Simply register online, and then host your event (or join a class). There’s even a marketing toolkit with everything you need to promote your class, from email announcements to social media posts. And you get your own fundraiser page so you can collect donations online. Here’s how it’s done:

REGISTER: Just toolkit to promote your participation. No gym? No problem. Gather anywhere to get it done!

HOST: In October, host your donation-based class(es) any day and time that works for you. Collect donations from class attendees and don’t forget to share on social mediawith hashtags:

#fit4prevention #keepabreast #TouchstoneEssentials #thegoodinside #preventbreastcancer #breastcancerawarenessmonth

DONATE: After your class, log back in to donate what your workout raised, and feel good knowing that 100% of all proceeds go to the Keep A Breast Foundation. Additional donations are also welcome. They can come from anyone, not just a class participant!

The Bottom Line

The more you exercise, the more you can reduce your risk of breast cancer. Even the smallest changes make a difference, like parking farther away, taking the stairs, walking at lunchtime and even doing squats while brushing your teeth. What matters is to get moving and keep moving.

And now, you can combine a love of fitness with making a difference. This year, an estimated 268,600 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer. By supporting prevention efforts, we can make that number smaller. Let’s do it together.