Tuesday, October 22, 2013
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and an extra reason to celebrate great women survivors and families and friends who support them. I celebrate seven years of ”surviving,” having found cancer on my first mammogram. Every year, I want to share that blessing with others in several different forums, this column being only one.
This October, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act pending, my pleas for preventive care may allow more to schedule a screening exam. But honestly, whether you have great health insurance or none, no one can afford to get any cancer. Let this fact lead you to learn more and read a partial list of breast cancer (or almost any cancer) prevention points.
Avoid obesity. Keep your weight under control and ask your doctor about your BMI. Foods like tomatoes, colorful fruits, food rich in folate (eggs, fortified cereals, whole grains) can be eaten to help decrease your weight and your risks. Avoid unnecessary hormone use especially if you are postmenopausal. Avoid unnecessary chest radiation (X-ray/CT) at every age. Limit alcohol intake, which has been linked to increased risk and recurrence. Know your family cancer history. Many cancers are related, and be aware that males can get breast cancer as well.
You can’t change one significant risk, which is advancing age, but you can certainly make an effort to diminish other risks. Remember that one in eight women will develop breast cancer and that 75 percent are women with no family history. So while heart disease is the greatest killer of women (and another topic all could learn more about), this month’s health emphasis about women has the opportunity to benefit many who will be survivors and also their supporters.
CLAUDIA H. DALY
via The Daily Reflector.