I can’t wait til the evangelicals get their hands on this. At first I thought this article was at the very least a joke, or at worst a conspiracy on the part of the patriarchy to send women back to the dark ages of household drudgery:
The researchers analysed data on work, leisure and housework activity levels among 218,169 women aged 20 to 80 from nine European countries including the UK.
They followed the women for an average of 6.4 years, during which time 3,423 developed breast cancers. When all forms of activity were combined, being active appeared to offer a protective effect only to post-menopausal women.
However when the results were examined in more detail it was found that women who did the most housework had significantly reduced risks while work- and recreation-based activity had less effect.
From a psychospiritual viewpoint, the breasts represent nurturing and caring for children and loved ones. In astrological symbolism the Moon represents both the way that we nurture others as well as the way we were nurtured ourselves, there is no separation between the two. In my work with clients I have seen women with breast cancer history who have a stressed Moon in their chart, although I have seen a greater number of women with stressed Moons that do not have breast cancer.
Metaphysicians like Louise Hay have suggested that breast cancer is connected to care of others and neglect of the self but I wonder in light of this study whether the connection may have more to do with an imbalance in the nurturing process rather than simple self-neglect. The fact that it was housework in particular and not just physical activity or exercise that reduced the risk seems significant and shows a connection between the act of caring for the home and a healthier physical ecosystem.
At times I have had people clean my house, and although I love the ease that comes from having others do the cleaning I don’t feel the same connection to my home as I do when I am the one who actually cares for it. However, until they study the relationship between housework and cancer for men, I am not letting Rich off the hook for his share of the chores!