Tapau-ing food is one of the norms in our lives and often when we tapau things with hot soup, it usually comes in a plastic bag. Now, this may not exactly be the best practice as tapau-ing things like that can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer. Nooo, what?
According to Oriental Daily, the Ministry of Health and Welfare In Taiwan said that in 2014, breast cancer was the disease that had the highest number of patients. There were more than 10,000 breast cancer patients in one year alone and the director of the breast cancer centre in Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Zheng, said that Taiwanese generally suffer from breast cancer after menopause or before the age of 40.
He said that for those who suffer from breast cancer before 40 years old, one of the main causes may be due to the habit of buying hot food to be taken away in flimsy plastic bags or containers which is a habit of Taiwanese people (and Malaysians for that matter). The heat from the food in the plastic bag can lead to the release of dangerous chemicals which are absorbed by the food and consumed by us.
There have been concerns about the use of plastic in our daily life and whether the chemicals in plastic are harmful to use. One of the concerning chemicals is Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a weak synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the body’s hormones and make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow at certain levels of exposure.
Multiple research has been done on this but research is not conclusive as some studies say it can promote breast cancer while some say that BPA is not a carcinogen. Zheng said that in the West, breast cancer usually occurs after menopause but in Taiwan, women younger than 35 years old make up 6% to 9% of breast cancer patients.
He added that Asian people like their skin to be fair and always wear thick sunscreen when they go out. This causes them to have insufficient absorption of vitamin D, which has anti-tumour properties. Zheng said that 15 minutes of sunlight every day is already sufficient for the body.
He explained that it’s very important to do self-examination on the breasts every month and go for regular mammograms every year. If they are wary of mixing plastic with hot food then it is better to bring their own containers if they want to take away any food items. Otherwise, ensure that the plastic packaging used by the eatery is heat-resistant and safe for food usage.
Stay healthy peeps!
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