Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
As many of you may know, it is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst women and cancer as a whole, is the second leading cause of death amongst women. (second only to heart disease)
Several months ago, my OBGYN suggested that my mother who is a breast cancer survivor, take the BRCA test to determine whether or not she carried the gene. If she did, then it was likely that my sisters and I did too. My mother was reluctant to take the test, afraid to know the "fate" of her daughters, but after some coaxing, she agreed.
Several days after the test, my sisters, mother, grandmother (who is an ovarian cancer survivor) and I, received the good news that my mother did not carry the gene, and therefore it was highly unlikely that my sisters and I would.
Although the news may have seemed good at the time, it did not mean that my sisters and I were in the clear. My mother had breast cancer without the gene, proving that there is more behind breast cancer than simple genetics.
Even though symptoms may seem to come on abruptly, getting sick is not something that just happens suddenly. It is a gradual process, which is why it is important to take preventative measures now. The best part about taking preventative measures is that while they reduce our risk of disease, they also help us to feel better on a daily basis.
Below I list 13 foods that if consumed regularly can reduce our risk of not only breast cancer, but other cancers as well. As Hippocrates once said "let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." And the best kind of medicine in my opinion, happens to be preventative medicine.
13 foods to eat regularly
6.Green tea (Decaf is best)
7.Flaxseed ( sprinkle over your cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies)
8.Broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables
9. Foods with beta carotene such as oranges, carrots, and sweet potatoes
13.Red wine.(without going overboard kinda like I made the mistake of doing a few weeks back at a wine and jazz festival) It has polyphenols that may protect against various types of cancer.
With the list of foods to consume, always comes a list to avoid:
5 foods to reduce/avoid
1. Alcohol (does not include red wine mentioned above. However, everything should be done in moderation.)
2. High glycemic starches (white rice, white bread, white potatoes,refined sugar, and sugary products.)
3. Residual hormones found in non-organic dairy products, meat and poultry.
4. Processed meats and bacon
5. Foods made with hydrogenated oils such as french fries and donuts
**Exercising regularly, keeping a positive outlook, minimizing stress, and taking a multi vitamin will also help to reduce risk. Women 40 years and older should get a mammogram every 1-2 years.
Women who have had breast cancer or other breast problems or who have a family history of breast cancer might need to start getting mammograms before the age 40. Talk to your doctor about when to start and how often you should have a mammogram.
Please share this post with friends and loved ones. You could end up saving a life!
And for those of you keeping up with the facebook breast cancer awareness frenzy, I like "it" on the night stand. :)