In her recent article, Covid: The Looming Breast Cancer Crisis, board-certified breast cancer surgeon and bestselling author Dr. Kristi Funk, who is well known for performing Angelina Jolie’s preventive double mastectomy, provides a grim outlook for women’s health as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Funk, who co-founded the Pink Lotus women’s health brand, which focuses predominantly on breast cancer, we will see an unavoidable increase in cancer cases in the coming years. Even worse, she feels certain that many of these additional cancer cases will be diagnosed as later-stage cancers – something that could have been prevented had the pandemic not gotten so out of hand.
Why are breast cancer cases going to be on the rise? Funk explains that we are looking at a multitude of factors that have created an almost “perfect storm” combining decreased detection with increased risk factors, including:
- An unprecedented 62 percent drop in breast cancer screening
- A dramatic 52 percent decrease in breast cancer diagnoses
- A 27 percent bump in alcohol purchases
- Less opportunity to exercise coupled with more sedentary at-home work conditions
- Poor dietary choices with caloric comfort foods and “stress baking”
- “Quarantine fifteen” weight gain
- Elevated stress, anxiety, depression, and isolation
Funk also provides a roadmap and variety of measures to help women counteract many of these issues, and hopes that women can utilize the current crisis not just to stay on top of their health, but to permanently elevate it. She pointedly asks, “If not now, then when will you take your health (and the health of those you love) into your own hands?”
As breast cancer awareness month descends upon us, Funk continues to use her Pink Lotus Power Up platform to educate women across the globe about the many options they have to reduce their breast cancer risk. She also spearheads the Let’s Beat Breast Cancer campaign in partnership with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, backed by an advisory board that includes big names like James Cameron, Jon Stewart, Alec Baldwin, and other celebs alongside seasoned physicians and scientists.
Funk and her rock star team challenge women to take a pledge during the month of October to adhere to a 4-pronged approach to reducing their breast cancer risk. Not surprisingly, the advice draws a clear parallel between nutritionally sound food choices, exercise, weight management and alcohol consumption – issues that have plagued many women for most of 2020.