I think every woman should watch this video with the phenomenal Dr. Christiane Northrup giving her 10 Tips for Women’s Health.
Last week I was on yet another plane. About ten minutes after we took flight, the pilot asked us to donate to breast cancer awareness (October is the big month after all) by purchasing a pink Minute Maid or a pink martini. I chuckled as I often do. Well, that’s not true, sometimes I shout. Now before I continue, let me make one thing clear, I’m not bashing cancer research, it’s very important. It saves lives. We absolutely need it. I’m pointing out the insidious hypocrisy and mixed messages that pink washing sends. Pink high fructose corn syrup? Pink M&M’s? Pink carcinogenic cosmetics? Pink alcohol? Pink handguns (I shizzle you not)? I’m sure the pink movement started out with impeccable intentions, but it seems to lose its way the bigger it gets. Sadly, many of the pink products contribute to getting us sick in the first place. Offer me a pink grapefruit and I’m in! Offer me a product that will depress my immune system and I’m driven to write (my way of standing up for us). And where does that money actually go? Does it all go towards research? I think not. Pink is big business.
Read the rest of this at: http://kriscarr.com/vlog/prevention-rocks/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=110512%20NL&utm_content=110512%20NL%20CID_d4b50da537f5ecea34a8e5ad405278b1&utm_source=Email%20Campaign&utm_term=Read%20more%20at%20the%20blog
EPIGENETICS for Breast Cancer Prevention
by Alexander Johnson
Every year, nearly 250,000 women learn that they have invasive breast cancer. Roughly58,000 more will be diagnosed with early cases of the disease.1 And about 40,000 will die.2
Some women are so paralyzed by the fear of this disease that they undergo double mastectomies in a drastic attempt to prevent it from occurring.
Despite these dire numbers and drastic actions, there is hope for the prevention of breast cancer. And it doesn’t come in the form of risky surgical procedures—it comes from nature itself.
Up to 50% of breast cancer cases are now thought to be preventable through simple changes in diet and lifestyle.3,4 The use of specific agents to prevent cancer from developing is calledchemoprevention. Utilized properly, chemoprevention should be able to eliminate pre-malignant cells, block the progression of normal cells into invasive tumors, and ultimately stop a cancer before it ever reaches a size that could cause symptoms or be detected.5
Read the report here: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2012/nov2012_Epigenetics_Breast_Cancer_01.htm
Jim Seida / NBCNews.com
“You take a hit to your femininity,” says Diane Mapes, seen here wrapping her hands before working out at Axtion Club boxing gym in Seattle. “But your hair comes back, strength comes back, and my boobs will come back eventually.” Mapes had a double mastectomy in 2011.
There’s nothing like having cancer to make you appreciate the little things in life — like buying shampoo, running a few miles or being able to forget the address of the hospital where you were treated.
After I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2011, I felt like I lived at that hospital. Today — a year out from treatment — it’s in the rear view mirror, along with the double mastectomy and debilitating chemo and radiation I wrote about last October on TODAY.com.
Not that there aren’t still plenty of daily reminders regarding my year of living cancerously: chemo brain, adhesion pain, hot flashes (courtesy of my new BFF tamoxifen) and, oh yes, my board-flat Olive Oyl chest.
But there have been good, uh, developments, too.
The biggest one — for me — is that I now have hair. For those of you who think baseball is slow and tedious, all I can say is try watching hair grow sometime.
I disguised my bald head with a wig from mid-June until New Year’s Eve then gratefully ditched it, along with the tape, the itchiness, and the constant fear that I’d accidentally spin the thing around backwards while swing dancing like some character on Gilligan’s Island.
Passing as … French
Come January, I let my freak flag fly and began rocking a dark gray micro pixie.
“With the wig, I was trying to pass as a healthy, normal woman,” I joked to my friends about my super short ‘do. “Now, I’m trying to pass as French.”
Today, I don’t worry so much about passing. I finally have my old color back and a somewhat normal-looking hairstyle. Although the word “style” may be pushing it. My new hair is a mass of unruly chemo curls, the type of curls I used to spend long hours (and big bucks) trying to achieve with body perms and hot rollers.
That’s the good news.
Well, that, and the fact I’m no longer a chemo invalid, hobbling around my apartment hanging onto chairs and using pliers to open a bottle of water (although my new hobby, boxing, sometimes leaves me feeling this way). Nor am I getting zapped by radiation every day, then coming home to slather greasy ointment all over my lobster red chest in an attempt to keep the skin from peeling off.
I’ve been running for months; ditto for boxing and swing dancing. I have my strength, my appetite, my healthy skin and my hair back (well, most of it, anyway – RIP, dear eyebrows).
I’ve finally kicked treatment to the curb.
But being done with cancer treatment and being done with cancer are two very different things. That’s the bad news.
I remember feeling almost giddy as I waltzed into my oncologist’s office last November, finally done with five grueling months of chemo and radiation. Surely, there was a certificate waiting for me with a huge “CANCER-FREE!” stamp beside my name.
Unfortunately, that’s not exactly how things work in the cancer club.
“I’m sorry,” my oncologist told me when I asked her point blank if I was cured. “But we don’t really use the C-word.”
Instead, they do quarterly blood tests to look for tumor markers. They do physical exams to make sure I haven’t developed a persistent pain or nagging cough. They do a scan now and then to check up on weird anomalies like lung nodules and liver cysts and to make sure my uterus is still “unremarkable” (a backhanded pathological compliment I’ve come to appreciate).
Life in Limbo Land
In a nutshell, they wait and see if the cancer comes back.
And I wait with them, living my life with one foot firmly planted in the real world and one foot shakily set in what I call Limbo Land.
Am I cured? They don’t know. Am I going to have to go through the whole bloody mess again? They don’t know.
“It’s after treatment that some people have the hardest time coping,” Mindy Greenstein, psycho-oncologist, author and former breast cancer patient, told me when we chatted about this strange new terrain. “You’re dumped back into your regular life but it’s very different. You don’t feel like you’re actively fighting something. You just have to live with it.”
But living with a cancerous question mark hanging over your head isn’t easy. Your friends and family are sick of hearing about it. Sick of worrying about it. And even simple questions like “How … uh … are you?” are fraught with dark nuances.
“I’m fine — as far as I know,” I usually tell people, going into what I call myChuckles, the Cancer Clown routine. “I’ve forgotten how to spell, I’ve eaten so many cruciferous vegetables I’ve practically got cauliflower ear and my chest still looks like one of the talking trees from Wizard of Oz. But I’m not dead!”
Diane Mapes boxes three times a week for fitness and to strengthen her body for her upcoming reconstructive surgery. “Boxing is my way to hit back,” she says. “Literally.”
When I asked Greenstein how she copes with the fear of recurrence, of mets (not the baseball team but the metastatic spread of breast cancer), of someharsh new disease brought on by treatment, of her own mortality, she said she uses different approaches.
“Sometimes I think of all the worst things that can happen and how I would handle them,” she said. “Other times, I’m a positive thinker. Whatever works in the moment, that’s what you go for.”
I guess that’s where the boxing comes in.
For me, it’s a healthy way to work off the rage I still feel over my diagnosis and treatment, which is sometimes hard to distinguish from the tortures they used to inflict on suspected witches back in the day. Knowing how to throw a punch is also an effective way to keep people from telling me how “lucky” I am I had breast cancer because now I can get big new beautiful boobs.
Yes, distractions like running, boxing, blogging, swing dancing and even dating have worked well for me.
Not that there aren’t the occasional grating moments.
“So when are you going to get your new tits?” one guy asked a while back over drinks.
“Excuse me?” I said, laser beams shooting out of my eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he quickly apologized. “When are you going to get your new breasts?”
He’s hardly the first person — or the first date — to ask about the girls. Lots of people do, probably because I was so adamant — and so public — about not wanting to lose them in the first place.
Now, at nearly a year post-radiation, it’s time for me to figure out what I want to do about reconstruction, a process far more complicated than your run-of-the-mill boob job. But more surgery? More recovery? More pain? More drains? Once again, my body’s due for a transformation my mind’s not quite ready to embrace.
“If you’ve been out having a normal life, the thought of making yourself a patient again is very difficult,” Greenstein told me when I confessed my hesitation about going back under the knife. “One way of coping is to look at this as the next thing on the way to getting your full life back.”
And I do want my full life back. Not to mention my full bra back.
I’m tired of wearing my V-necks backwards, of misplacing my gummi, department store boobs on top of the dresser, of experiencing yet another wardrobe malfunction at the gym (“Ricky” has a tendency to migrate over to “Lucy’s” place if you know what I mean).
I miss my old carefree self, my old carefree life, where a bad headache or weird leg pain didn’t routinely morph into metastatic breast cancer at 3 a.m. I’m just not sure if new girls are going to help me get it back. I’m not sure what, exactly, is going to help me get it back. To put those fears — irrational and otherwise — to bed for good.
And so I box. And run. And offer advice to newly diagnosed women. I fret about lymphedema and send out tweets about the latest research on this sleeping beast that inexplicably comes to life in our breasts.
I read. I write. I kick myself when I forget to put sun block on my irradiated chest. I laugh with my sisters until I nearly pee my pants and flirt with inappropriately young men. I listen to inspiring stories from survivors and try to spin a few myself.
I sing loudly but listen for dark whispers. Like the rest of us in this lousy club, I keep slogging ahead.
More from TODAY.com contributor Diane Mapes:
Wow! Watch these and see what Dr. McDougall says about Breast Self Exams and Treatment for Breast Cancer. You may be shocked! Laura
Women’s Health: BREAST CANCER PREVENTION: Research has shown that two drinks a day could increase breast cancer risk by 21 percent. Instead, try swapping wine for fresh grapes. Resveratrol, found in the skin of grapes, may help reduce your estrogen levels, which in turn may reduce your risk.
By Michelle RobertsHealth reporter, BBC News
Nearly half of cancers diagnosed in the UK each year – over 130,000 in total – are caused by avoidable life choices including smoking, drinking and eating the wrong things, a review reveals.
Tobacco is the biggest culprit, causing 23% of cases in men and 15.6% in women, says the Cancer Research UK report.
Next comes a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in men’s diets, while for women it is being overweight.
The report is published in the British Journal of Cancer.
Its authors claim it is the most comprehensive analysis to date on the subject.
Lead author Prof Max Parkin said: “Many people believe cancer is down to fate or ‘in the genes’ and that it is the luck of the draw whether they get it.
“Looking at all the evidence, it’s clear that around 40% of all cancers are caused by things we mostly have the power to change.”
“We didn’t expect to find that eating fruit and vegetables would prove to be so important in protecting men against cancer”
Prof Max Parkin
For men, the best advice appears to be: stop smoking, eat more fruit and veg and cut down on how much alcohol you drink.
For women, again, the reviews says the best advice is to stop smoking, but also watch your weight.
Prof Parkin said: “We didn’t expect to find that eating fruit and vegetables would prove to be so important in protecting men against cancer. And among women we didn’t expect being overweight to be more of a risk factor than alcohol.”
In total, 14 lifestyle and environmental factors, such as where you live and the job you do, combine to cause 134,000 cancers in the UK each year.
Former cancer patient Jackie Gledhill: “My lifestyle had really gone downhill – I did go out for walks but it wasn’t enough”
About 100,000 (34%) of the cancers are linked to smoking, diet, alcohol and excess weight.
One in 25 of cancers is linked to a person’s job, such as being exposed to chemicals or asbestos.
Some risk factors are well established, such as smoking’s link with lung cancer.
But others are less recognised.
For example, for breast cancer, nearly a 10th of the risk comes from being overweight or obese, far outweighing the impact of whether or not the woman breastfeeds or drinks alcohol.
And for oesophageal or gullet cancer, half of the risk comes from eating too little fruit and veg, while only a fifth of the risk is from alcohol, the report shows.
For stomach cancer, a fifth of the risk comes from having too much salt in the diet, data suggests.
Some cancers, like mouth and throat cancer, are caused almost entirely by lifestyle choices.
But others, like gall bladder cancer, are largely unrelated to lifestyle.
The researchers base their calculations on predicted numbers of cases for 18 different types of cancer in 2010, using UK incidence figures for the 15-year period from 1993 to 2007.
“By making small changes we can cut our risk of serious health problems ”
Public Health Minister Anne Milton
In men, 6.1% (9,600) of cancer cases were linked to a lack of fruit and vegetables, 4.9% (7,800) to occupation, 4.6% (7,300) to alcohol, 4.1% (6,500) to overweight and obesity and 3.5% (5,500) to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds.
In women, 6.9% (10,800) were linked to overweight and obesity, 3.7% (5,800) to infections such as HPV (which causes most cases of cervical cancer), 3.6% (5,600) to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds, 3.4% (5,300) to lack of fruit and vegetables and 3.3% (5,100) to alcohol.
Dr Rachel Thompson, of the World Cancer Research Fund, said the report added to the “now overwhelmingly strong evidence that our cancer risk is affected by our lifestyles”.
Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said leading a healthy lifestyle did not guarantee a person would not get cancer but the study showed “we can significantly stack the odds in our favour”.
“If there are things we can do to reduce our risk of cancer we should do as much as we possibly can,” he said.
Glyn Berwick, of Penny Brohn Cancer Care, which specialises in offering nutrition and exercise advice, agreed.
“We know from years of experience the positive impact that changing lifetsyles can have.”
The president of the Royal College of Physicians, Sir Richard Thompson, said the findings were a wake-up call to the government to take stronger action on public health.
“The rising incidence of preventable cancers shows that the ‘carrot’ approach of voluntary agreements with industry is not enough to prompt healthy behaviours, and needs to be replaced by the ‘stick’ approach of legislative solutions,” he said
The government said it was intending to begin a consultation on plain packaging by the end of this year.
Diane Abbott, Shadow Public Health Minister, said: “The government is failing on all the main public health issues.
“And the message from Labour, the Tory-led Public Health Committee, campaigners like Jamie Oliver and even some the government’s own policy panels is clear: the government’s approach to tackling lifestyle-related health problems is completely inadequate.”
Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: “We all know that around 23,000 cases of lung cancer could be stopped each year in England if people didn’t smoke.
“By making small changes we can cut our risk of serious health problems – give up smoking, watch what you drink, get more exercise and keep an eye on your weight.”
Do you know the signs and symptoms that might indicate breast cancer? While personal and family histories of breast cancer and lifestyle habits (including diet, exercise and how you handle stress) can all affect breast cancer risk, learning to recognize the signs of breast cancer may save your life – early diagnosis is key to treatment and recovery. Many health professionals still recommend performing a monthly self-examination, and having a yearly exam performed by your doctor. In addition, the National Cancer Institute suggests keeping an eye out for the following signs:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor for evaluation. If you are over 40, talk to your doctor about mammograms.
Dr. Andrew Weil Women’s Interest Newsletter
Wow. This is powerful. This is why I eat vegan and this is why I share this blog. We need to get this info out to everyone. Laura
Two weeks on a plant-based diet appears to significantly enhance cancer defenses against breast cancer and colon cancer cells. The blood of those eating a vegan diet for a year suppresses cancer cell growth nearly eight times better.