Breast Health for the Black Woman

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I wanted to create a special page where Black Women could receive tips and advice beyond the limited recommendations from Western Modern Medicine which end at breast self-exams and mammography.

“When women take care of their health, they become their best friend”

Maya Angelou

Black women are the consummate nurturers. The quintessential core of the Black woman encompasses an unending love and devotion to the Black man, the Black child and the Black community. The breast symbolizes nourishment, nurturing, motherhood, and responsibility to the family. Intimately connected to the womb, a woman’s breasts are a part of her life force. Given the Black woman’s sociohistorical role in American society, she has often been neglected, cast off and forgotten. This means she must do for herself what no one else can do.

Breast cancer is a glandular cancer, similar to prostate cancer. This means the exit point of the cells are clogged with tumor cells. The lymphatic system plays an important role in breast health. The lymphatic system is described as a natural cleansing and watering system. It is responsible for the clearing and removal of manmade toxins and foreign agents away from cells. There are lymph glands located in the armpits and the close to the breast- bone. Keeping the lymph glands in and near the breast free from toxins is very important to maintain optimal breast health.

The Black woman must take her rightful place as self-healer. She can no longer pour from an empty cup. Here are some ways the Black woman can protect, heal, and regenerate the health of her breasts.

beverage bubble citrus close up

Natural Deodorant

My favorite deodorant is…LIMES! Yes, limes and sometimes I use lemons. I simply cut a slice of lime and rub it on my arm pits and VIOLA! I am fresh all day. But be careful with limes if you have just shaved. It will burn. If you haven’t tried it, you must!

Some people have experienced dryness when using limes and to combat this you can add some shea butter or coconut oil before applying the limes.

In the event that I don’t have any limes I use a natural deodorant with no parabens or aluminum added. I honestly don’t have any I would recommend as none have worked as well as limes.

To watch a fb video where I discuss the dangers of convention deodorants click HERE

Dry Brush/Massaging

Dry brushing is a practice that greatly helps to stimulate the drainage of the lymphatic system. Dry brushing and massaging the breasts helps to remove toxins, waste, and excess estrogen (a risk factor for breast cancer) from the cells and to the lymph nodes for drainage.

If your breasts aren’t too sensitive, dry brush the breasts in an outward motion toward the armpit. Also dry brush the chest, just beneath the collar bone outward, toward the left and then right shoulder.

In fact, don’t stop at the breasts. Dry brush the entire body. It is best to dry brush before showering. For an added touch, you can add jojoba oil mixed with one of your favorite essential oils.

You too can enjoy your breasts, not just your children (breastfeeding) our your partner (sexual stimulation).

Wireless Bras

Whenever possible, do not wear a bra. And if you must, a wireless or sports bra would be best. Bras constrict the draining of toxins from the lymphatic system. They also cause pain, tenderness, cysts and possibly breast cancer.

I know this may be difficult, because we want the “girls” at attention, but its best if they are free of any constricting undergarments.

Worried about sagging boobs? Massaging, dry brushing, push-ups and other chest exercises (if you like going to the gym) will bring contour and shape to your upper body.

assorted sliced fruits

Eliminate Excess Estrogen from the Diet

Excess estrogen in the body may increase breast cancer risk. the body produces estrogen as needed. Much of the food we eat can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance of a woman’s body. The meat supply is often tainted with artificial growth hormones, sulfates, and genetically modified ingredients which produces an excess of estrogen in the body. You especially want to avoid

  • Cow’s milk
  • Yogurt (from Cow’s milk)
  • Eggs
  • Red Meat
  • Processed meat (hot dogs, luncheon meat)
  • Pork
  • Soy

Avoiding these foods and/or eliminating them from your diet will greatly increase not only the health of your breasts, but of your overall body. A plant based diet is the most beneficial for our physical, mental and spiritual health.

The Black woman must take her rightful place as self-healer. She must tap into the wisdom that is inherent in her DNA. Self-love and self-care must be the priority. She must understand that if she is not well, her family and community will not be well. She cannot nurture her children or loved ones if she does not first nurture herself. The airline industry has summed it up best, “secure your own mask first before assisting others”. And as Audre Lorde said, “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival”.

No one will love you more than you love yourself. No one knows you like you know yourself. No one knows your body like you. Ultimately, we know what is best for us. Because of this, we can never allow someone other than ourselves to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to our healing. That is not to say we don’t allow others to have input and be a part of our healing journey. But we allow our internal guiding light to have the final say on the decisions we make.  

We must learn to rebuild the confidence that we have in ourselves. There is no outside authority that should trump what we inherently know to be true. We cannot safely rely on western modern medicine or the US healthcare system. We remain sick, ignored, and are more likely to undergo unnecessary surgeries or die prematurely. We cannot place our trust in a system that is built on the pain of our ancestors. Our only hope of healing is to turn inward, drown out the noise from the outside world and go in search of the wisdom and knowledge of our ancestral mothers. When this mindset and perspective is adopted, and you decide to become your own healer, it sets in motion a beautiful sequence of events, encounters, and synchronicities to allow you to reach your desired goal.

“At the center of your healing is you, has always been you, will always be you. You are the mender.”

Upile Chisala

Let’s Heal Together