Jamie's Blog

Friday, March 9, 2012

Top 10 Things to Do to Prevent Breast Cancer

What can I do to prevent breast cancer? What is the best way to find my cancer early, before it has spread? These are two of the most common questions women have. 

Here's what we know:

There is nothing that you can do to ensure that you absolutely do not get breast cancer. However, studies suggest that some lifestyle choices may help reduce breast cancer risk.

These include:
  1. Eating a healthy diet that is low in animal fat and high in whole grains and fruits and vegetables. There is no data indicating that a specific diet, per se, can help reduce breast cancer risk.
  2. Taking a multivitamin and make sure it includes adequate folic acid.
  3.  Having your children before 35, if you have a choice.
  4.  Breastfeeding your children.
  5.  Avoiding unnecessary X-rays.
  6.  Drinking alcohol in moderation and make sure you take folic acid when you do drink.
  7.  Losing weight (if you are overweight).
  8.  Not gaining weight after menopause.
  9.  Getting regular exercise.
  10.  Using hormone therapy to treat menopausal symptoms for the shortest time period necessary, it at all.
    You should also be sure to:
·     Evaluate any breast symptoms or changes that develop.
·     Have mammograms when appropriate.
·     Consider raloxifene if you are postmenopausal and need to take a drug to prevent bone loss.
·     If you have a family history of breast cancer or for other reasons are at high risk of getting breast cancer,visit our section for High-Risk Women.

To help us learn more about breast cancer prevention, you can:
·         Join the Love/Avon Army of Women, revolutionary initiative that is changing the face of breast cancer research.
·         Participate in studies sponsored by the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
·         Become a breast cancer advocate, and work with us to insure that research on breast cancer prevention is   supported and funded.

This post is courtesy of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, dedicated to eradicating breast cancer and improving the quality of women's health through innovative research, education and advocacy.  To support this important cause and donate, visit www.dslrf.org.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Beyond Cancer.

A while ago I signed up to volunteer as one of Imerman's Angels, a 1-on-1 support program that connects cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers.  Within days they left a message on my phone welcoming me to the program.  That was months ago. I completely forgot about it until I saw a tweet by founder Jonny Imerman, and instantly tweeted an apology.  His reply stopped me in my tracks. Here it is:

     Jamie SO GLAD you are well! don't worry about a thing :) just keep well
     #1 ! just call the office back & WELCOME on board as an angel! THX:)

He assumed I dropped out because of a recurrence! 

Of course that is what he thought. That is what we always think once we have danced with cancer. The same thing happened when I absentmindedly tweeted and moaned about the kryptonite I had to drink for a CT scan. Friends contacted me in a panic, fearing the worst. 

This reminds me that cancer patients aren’t the only people suffering when we are sick, and we aren’t the only ones who need to move beyond cancer.  As miserable as the sickness can be, I think it is often tougher on those who must watch helplessly while we suffer.  And just as patients need to reclaim or remake our lives without cancer defining us, so do the dear ones who helped us through it.

In the future I will be more careful about mentioning aches and pains, remembering that I am not the only one who thinks, “What if it is cancer?”

And I will call Imerman's Angels today.