October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. It’s mission is to help those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services. It’s a time when the public is made more aware of preventions, early diagnosis, stories by survivors, fundraisers, and new medical updates. National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor, Janelle Hail. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1980 at the age of 34. At the time of her diagnosis, there was little information about the disease, and she was forced to make a decision about her health with few options. After her treatment, Janelle made a commitment to help women around the world by educating them about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
The TODAY show featured guest, Alice Bender (head of nutrition for The American Institute of Cancer Research). Bender informed the public of lifestyle changes that can lessen one’s chances of getting breast cancer and possibly eliminate 1/3 of the breast cancer cases in America:
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight. Excess body fat can cause cancer thriving environments: inflammation, increased blood insulin & hormone levels where cancer can grow. Eat plant based foods and eliminate high calorie foods.
- Exercise at least 30 min. a day. Moving your body improves your immunity and keeps your weight down.
- Avoid alcohol. “Alcohol is a recognized carcinogen,” Bender said. “It can damage DNA; it can increase hormones in your body, like estrogen, that can fuel cancer.”
Special correspondent, Joan Lunden was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Lunden is now cancer-free and an advocate for women struggling with the disease. On TODAY, she shared things she wished she had known before she was diagnosed and wanted to share these things with others:
Things you need to know if diagnosed
- Every breast cancer is different-going forward with treatment: You have to decide: Just because it’s protocol, or just because it’s good for your friend, does that necessarily mean it’s right for you?
- Don’t worry about losing your hair. It will grow back and right now the priority is “life.”
- You have to become a “warrior.” Lunden believes mental attitude-being positive and believing is the main power of healing.
- Diet is so important to anyone taking chemo. Lunden ate no processed or refined foods. To build her immunity, she focused on lots of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, as well as dark purple fruits and vegetables, like red cabbage, eggplant, beets, blueberries and blackberries.
- Start reading all the labels on your foods. Almost everything contains sugar. Avoiding these will boost your immunity as well.
- Making chemotherapy a little easier: talk to his or her doctor about getting a port to avoid needles, avoid infections by getting a white cell booster, and stay hydrated to flush the chemo from your body.
- Stay active–for your body and mind.
- Give yourself TLC: learn to stop pushing through and rest when you need it.
- Support system: Always take someone with you to support you but also to retain information. Keep a journal.
- A mammogram is not enough–ask for an ultrasound if you have dense tissue–be your own advocate.
TUESDAY, Oct. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) — New research finds the number of American women who’ve lost their lives to breast cancer has fallen precipitously in the past 25 years, with more than 322,000 lives saved in that time.
Overall, advances in care have led to a 39 percent drop in breast cancer deaths of between 1989 and 2015, according to new research from the American Cancer Society (ACS).
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