Re-Examining Breast Health
More studies will be needed before science can firmly weigh in on the value of yoga and other holistic strategies for preventing breast cancer. But even though research so far has provided far more answers about early detection of breast cancer than about actual prevention, many people believe enough evidence already exists to encourage us to adopt such measures. At the same time, we need to keep in mind that there's a difference between advocating personal responsibility and ascribing blame. Saying that "eating a plant-based diet may help to prevent cancer" is a very different statement than saying "She developed cancer because she ate too much meat." For one thing, there's just not enough evidence to indicate the latter claim. Perhaps even more important, blame—and that includes blaming yourself—can only add to stress and interfere with healing.
It would be wonderful if we could be assured that by practicing yoga and otherwise following a breast-healthy lifestyle, we will never develop breast cancer. But we know all too well that many otherwise strong, healthy women have been diagnosed with this disease. Young, incredibly fit athletes have developed breast cancer, as have vegetarian yoginis.
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