Wellness Wednesday: A healthy diet may trim breast cancer risk

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A woman may not be able to change her family history of breast cancer, but she can typically control what she eats and drinks. And consuming more vegetables and whole grains — and less alcohol — just might trim her chances of getting the disease, according to an analysis of published studies.


“As the incidence of breast cancer continues to rise, with many of the risk factors for the disease non-modifiable, potentially modifiable risk factors such as diet are of interest,” Dr. Sarah Brennan of Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, who led the analysis, noted in an email to Reuters Health.

It’s estimated that more than 120 out of every 100,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, yielding a lifetime risk of about 1 in 8. The idea that diet might influence these numbers is not new; yet solid evidence for such a link has remained elusive.

“Even though we have hypothesized a relationship between diet and the risk of breast cancer, showing it has been very hard to do,” Dr. Michelle Holmes, an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston who was not involved in the study, told Reuters Health. Individual studies are often too small to uncover modest relationships; combining them, however, offers a better chance of detecting a diet’s true effects.

After carefully reviewing the relevant research to date, Brennan and her colleagues pooled the results of 18 studies that enrolled a total of more than 400,000 people. Each study aimed to associate breast cancer risks with at least one common dietary pattern: the “unhealthy” Western diet (high in red meats and refined grains), a more prudent “healthy” diet (high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains), or varying levels of alcohol drinking.

Since foods and beverages are never consumed in isolation, this more holistic view of intake better reflects a person’s diet than looking at particular nutrients, Brennan and her colleagues explain in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The team found an 11 percent lower risk of breast cancer among women in the highest versus lowest categories of the prudent diet, while those consuming larger amounts of wine, beer and spirits had a 21 percent increased risk — a relationship that has been highlighted in many previous studies. Surprisingly, no overall risk difference was seen between high and low categories of the Western diet.

Just how a healthy diet might lower breast cancer risk is not well understood. Alcohol’s link, on the other hand, is generally known: Estrogen levels are higher in postmenopausal women who drink alcohol, noted Holmes. And a higher lifetime exposure to estrogen has been tentatively linked to the disease.

Brennan stressed that these findings need to be interpreted cautiously, noting that there are inherent statistical problems in combining the results of multiple studies, in addition to the limitations of each included study, such as recall bias. She pointed to the need for more carefully designed studies in the future to further examine the diet-breast cancer link.

In the meantime, Holmes said: “Consuming a prudent, healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a wise idea, because there is lots of scientific evidence that it prevents heart disease and diabetes. This study shows that an additional benefit might be a small decrease in breast cancer risk.”

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 10, 2010

Donate Your Car to Support The Breast Cancer Charities of America

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Donate Your Car to Support The Breast Cancer Charities of America

The Breast Cancer Charities of America (BCCA) exists to eliminate breast cancer as a life-threatening illness. They are committed to establishing new and unprecedented levels of effectiveness in research, education, advocacy and support by bringing together organizations that represent all health and social service disciplines.

BCCA is the leading the quest to provide research funding into non-traditional cancer prevention and treatment options. They have a particular interest in researching and understanding the link between nutrition and breast cancer with a hope of bringing about change in the American diet.

Cars 4 Causes® has partnered with The Breast Cancer Charities of America. Cars 4 Causes® specializes in car donations and your donation through Cars 4 Causes® will help raise money for The Breast Cancer Charities of America.

Complete the form below to have your donation benefit the Breast Cancer Charities of America, or call 800-766-2273 to speak with a donation representative. Make sure to tell them you want your donation to benefit the Breast Cancer Charities of America.

For more information, please be sure to check out http://bcca.cars4causes.net/

Tasty Tuesday: Strawberries-and-Cream Parfaits

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1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
3 cups low-fat milk or unsweetened plain soymilk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup whipping cream
6 sprigs fresh mint for garnish
Grind tapioca in a blender or coffee grinder until it is a fine granular powder.

Whisk milk (or soymilk), maple syrup, egg and the tapioca in a small heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla and transfer to a medium bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours or overnight.

Whip cream using an electric mixer or whisk in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the tapioca mixture using a rubber spatula.

Spoon 1/4 cup strawberries into each of six 8-ounce parfait glasses or wineglasses. Top each with 1/3 cup tapioca cream. Repeat with another layer of strawberries and tapioca cream. Garnish with the remaining berries and a sprig of mint.

This yummy recipe is provided by: food network.com.

Think Pink Tip of the Week: Experts: One-third of breast cancer is avoidable.

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BARCELONA, Spain – Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a breast cancer conference said Thursday — comments that could ignite heated discussions among victims and advocates.

While better treatments, early diagnosis and mammogram screenings have dramatically slowed the disease, experts said the focus should now shift to changing behaviors like diet and physical activity.
“What can be achieved with screening has been achieved. We can’t do much more,” Carlo La Vecchia, head of epidemiology at the University of Milan, told The Associated Press. “It’s time to move onto other things.”
La Vecchia spoke Thursday on the influence of lifestyle factors at a European breast cancer conference in Barcelona.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. In Europe, there were about 421,000 new cases and nearly 90,000 deaths in 2008, the latest available figures. The United States last year saw more than 190,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths. A woman’s lifetime chance of getting breast cancer is about one in eight.
Many breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue. So experts suspect that the fatter a woman is, the more estrogen she’s likely to produce, which could in turn spark breast cancer. Even in slim women, exercise can help reduce the cancer risk by converting more of the body’s fat into muscle.
Any discussion of weight and breast cancer is a politically sensitive topic, for some may misconstrue that as the medical establishment blaming victims for getting breast cancer. Victims themselves could also feel guilty, wondering just how much a factor weight played in their getting the disease.
Ian Manley, a spokesman for Breast Cancer Care, a British charity, said his agency has always been very careful about issuing similar lifestyle advice.
“We would never want women to feel responsible for their breast cancer,” he said. “It’s a complex disease and there are so many factors responsible that it’s difficult to blame it on one specific issue.”
La Vecchia cited figures from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which estimated that 25 to 30 percent of breast cancer cases could be avoided if women were thinner and exercised more.
That means staying slim and never becoming overweight in the first place. Robert Baan, an IARC cancer expert, said it wasn’t clear if women who lose weight have a lower cancer risk or if the damage was already done from when they were heavy.
Drinking less alcohol could also help. Experts estimate that having more than a couple of drinks a day can boost a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer by four to 10 percent.
After studies several years ago linked hormone replacement therapy to cancer, millions of women abandoned the treatment, leading to a sharp drop in breast cancer rates. Experts said a similar reduction might be seen if women ate better — consuming less fat and more vegetables — and exercised more.
Michelle Holmes, a cancer expert at Harvard University, said changing things like diet and nutrition is arguably easier than tackling other breast cancer risk factors.
“Women who have early pregnancies are protected against breast cancer, but teenage pregnancy is a social disaster so it’s not something we want to encourage,” she said in a phone interview from Cambridge, Massachusetts. “But there’s no downside to reducing obesity and increasing physical activity.”
She also said people may mistakenly think their chances of getting cancer are more dependent on their genes than their lifestyle.
“The genes have been there for thousands of years, but if cancer rates are changing in a lifetime, that doesn’t have much to do with genes,” she said.
In the 1980s and 1990s, breast cancer rates steadily increased, in parallel with the rise in obesity and the use of hormone replacement therapy, which involves estrogen.
La Vecchia said countries like Italy and France — where obesity rates have been stable for the past two decades — show that weight can be controlled at a population level.
“It’s hard to lose weight, but it’s not impossible,” he said. “The potential benefit of preventing cancer is worth it.”

Provided by: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100325/ap_on_he_me/eu_med_avoiding_breast_cancer

Fitness Friday: Fitness Training: 5 Elements of a Rounded Routine!!!

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Fitness training balances five elements of good health. Make sure your routine includes aerobic fitness, muscular fitness, stretching, core exercise and balance training.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Whether you’re a novice taking the first steps toward fitness or an exercise fanatic hoping to optimize your results, a well-rounded fitness training program is essential. Use the five primary elements of fitness training to create a balanced routine.

1. Aerobic fitness
Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio or endurance activity, is the cornerstone of most fitness training programs. Aerobic exercise causes you to breathe faster and more deeply, which maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood. The better your aerobic fitness, the more efficiently your heart, lungs and blood vessels transport oxygen throughout your body — and the easier it is to complete routine physical tasks and rise to unexpected challenges, such as running to your car in the pouring rain.

Aerobic exercise includes any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and increases your heart rate. Try walking, jogging, biking, swimming, dancing, water aerobics — even leaf raking, snow shoveling and vacuuming. Aim for at least two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week.

2. Muscular fitness
Muscular fitness is another key component of a fitness training program. Strength training at least twice a week can help you increase bone strength and muscular fitness. It can also help you maintain muscle mass during a weight-loss program.

Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines, free weights and other tools for strength training. But you don’t need to invest in a gym membership or expensive equipment to reap the benefits of strength training. Hand-held weights or homemade weights — such as plastic soft drink bottles filled with water or sand — may work just as well. Resistance bands are another inexpensive option. Your own body weight counts, too. Try push-ups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.

3. Stretching
Most aerobic and strength training activities cause your muscles to contract and flex. For balance in your fitness training program, it’s important to stretch those muscles, too. Stretching improves the range of motion of your joints and promotes better posture. Regular stretching can even help relieve stress.

Before you stretch, warm up by walking or doing a favorite exercise at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Better yet, stretch after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and receptive to stretching. Ideally, you’ll stretch whenever you exercise. If you don’t exercise regularly, you might want to stretch at least three times a week after warming up to maintain flexibility. Activities such as yoga promote flexibility, too.

4. Core stability
The muscles in your abdomen, lower back and pelvis — known as your core muscles — help protect your back and connect upper and lower body movements. Core strength is a key element of a well-rounded fitness training program.

Core exercises help train your muscles to brace the spine and enable you to use your upper and lower body muscles more effectively. So what counts as a core exercise? Any exercise that uses the trunk of your body without support, including abdominal crunches. You can also try various core exercises with a fitness ball.

5. Balance training
You can be strong, flexible and aerobically fit, yet still have poor balance. Training can help you maintain and improve balance. This is important since balance tends to deteriorate with age, which can lead to falls and fractures. Try standing on one leg for increasing periods of time to improve your overall stability. Activities such as tai chi can promote balance, too.

Cover all five elements
Whether you create your own fitness training program or enlist the help of a personal trainer, make aerobic fitness, muscular fitness, stretching, core exercise and balance training part of your overall exercise plan. It isn’t necessary to fit each of the five elements into every fitness session, but factoring them into your regular routine can help you promote fitness for life.

Spa Tip Thursday: Hair Treatment Recipes!!!

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Here are some great hair treatment recipes provided by : http://www.beautyden.com/hair_recipes.shtml


Protein Hair Treatment Recipe

What you need:
1 ounce soy sauce
1 cup warm water

After you shampoo, pour this over your hair. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse out.

Super Body Hair Treatment Recipe

What you need:
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatine
1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon stale beer

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Comb or brush into your hair.
Cover your hair with a plaster shower cap or wrap with a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with a thick terrycloth towel.
Leave this hair treatment on for 30 minutes, then rinse in warm water.
Shampoo your hair.

Avocado Scalp Soother Recipe

What you need:
1 egg
1/2 avocado, peeled and mashed
2 tablespoons wheat germ oil

Process egg in a blender until frothy. Add the avocado and oil, blending until smooth. Use right away.

If you have long hair, divide your hair into several sections and apply the paste first to the scalp and then work outward, massaging the paste along the hair shaft.

Cover your head with a plastic cap and leave on for 30 minutes.

To cleanse your hair, rinse first with warm water for 5 minutes and then use any mild shampoo.

Wellness Wednesday: 7 Ways To Prevent Breast Cancer

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By Brandi Koskie and Jason Knapfel – DietsInReview.com

Provided by www.shine.com

There are a number of ways you can be an active part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, including wearing a pink ribbon, participating in events, or making a donation to a related organization. However, it can be an even better idea to take steps that allow you to prevent the disease that will affect one in eight women. There are several steps you can take to avoid being a statistic, and instead a survivor, or someone who has never had to face it. The most obvious of which is minding your diet. We all know that a balanced and nutritious diet has a wealth of benefits, and counting breast cancer prevention as one is pretty positive. Here are 7 strategies for preventing breast cancer that you can start implementing today.

1. Eat more produce. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that help protect against all forms of cancer.

2. Reduce fat consumption. Studies on dietary fat have been conflicting, but most experts say it’s still wise to steer clear of saturated fat.

3. Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D. A 10-year Harvard study found that pre-menopausal women who got 1,366 milligrams of calcium and 548 IU of vitamin D daily slashed their risk of breast cancer by one-third, and their odds of getting invasive breast cancer by up to 69 percent.

4. Add flaxseed to cereal. Flaxseed is a good source of lignans, compounds that may play a role in preventing estrogen-dependent cancers by inhibiting the development of tumors or slowing their growth rate.

5. Keep barbecue to a minimum. A recent study showed that post-menopausal women who had consumed a lot of barbecued and smoked red meat or chicken over their lifetimes had a greater risk of developing breast cancer.

6. Moderate alcohol intake. More than one drink each day increases your odds of developing breast cancer.

7. Fill up on fiber. A diet that’s rich in fiber (30-plus grams a day) can reduce the risk of breast cancer among pre-menopausal women in half. It’s also important to live an active lifestyle. Yoga, moderate weight lifting, walking, and running are all ways to keep your body moving, your heart rate up, and fend-off this pesky disease.

One of the most important behaviors you can start practicing for yourself is regular breast self-exams and annual visits with your doctor for manual exams. You should also learn, based on your history and risk factors, when the right time is to begin regular mammograms.

Think Pink:The Continuing Story of: A Survivor’s Story: 25 Years of Victory!!!

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Courtesy of Theo Cox

While still recovering in the hospital I had one special visitor. My pastor’s wife, Arvella Schuller, who had had the same surgery just one year earlier. She brought me a gift… a beautiful bottle of perfume and said, “I brought you this because you’re going to want to feel pretty sooner than you think.”

When Arvella was later asked about this she said, “I did it for Tedi because someone did the same for me a few years earlier when I had my mastectomy.” Those encouraging words at that important time meant the world to me –– “You’re going to want to feel pretty sooner than you think.”

Another important step in my healing process was the visits I received from women who’d been through mastectomies a few months earlier. It was so reassuring to meet these women and see that they were now leading lives that were alive and vital. Many were young mothers with families to care for just as I was.

What did I learn from this life changing experience?

I learned that I had greater strength, a stronger faith and a more positive attitude. These strengths will help make my future even better.

I learned that it took body, mind and spirit to recover. I continue yearly mammograms, a healthy living lifestyle with lots of exercise and positive thinking.

I committed to help other women who had breast cancer. The Cancer Recovery Foundation International invited me to be a member of their board of trustees. Some years later I related the story of Arvella Schuller and the gift of perfume to my fellow board members.

We made a decision to launch a new breast cancer out reach and formed a partnership with Hour of Power. We call it “Pass It On.” We gave Arvella an award for endorsing our program and presented her with the “Extraordinary Woman Award” for giving hope to breast cancer survivors everywhere.

Today I have the privilege to be a board member of “The Breast Cancer Charities of America” a spin-off of Cancer Recovery Foundation. It’s very satisfying to know I am helping to eliminate breast cancer as a life-threatening illness.

Two life-changing quotes that I continue to live by:

“Tough times never last but tough people do.”
Dr. Robert H. Schuller (Arvella’s husband.)

“At every moment, our bodies are continually responding to the messages from our minds.” Margo Adair

So now I ask you, “What messages should your mind be sending to your body?

If you are facing cancer challenges, I say to you, “You’re going to want to feel pretty sooner than you think.”

Tasty Tuesday: Tom Selleck Chicken…Yum!!!!

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Courtesy of  Theo Cox


6 – 8 boneless chicken breasts – roll in flour and brown in olive oil with chopped onion.

Add 2 cans of artichoke quarters in water (drained).

Add –
2 cups orange juice
1 cup ginger ale
1 cup marsala wine
juice of 2 large lemons
` salt and pepper to taste

Simmer at 200 degrees all day.

Serve on rice

Serve bread with it to soak up the yummy sauce.

Think Pink Tip of the Week: A Survivor’s Story: 25 Years of Victory

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By Tedi Cox

The day I discovered the lump in my right breast was the day that changed my life! With great trepidation I made an appointment with my doctor. After he examined me he sent me to have a mammogram and then to a surgeon who recommended I have a biopsy as soon as possible.

After the biopsy, while still in the operating room I heard the technician come into the room and whisper to the surgeon, “It’s malignant.” By the way, I also heard him get a reprimand for reporting the news so that I could hear it. That wasn’t normal procedure.

I was devastated. I was in my early 40’s. There was no breast cancer in my family. The diagnosis was shocking. I had always tried to eat healthy and exercise was a big part of my life.

When I recovered from the initial shock, I decided to work on my attitude and put the rest in God’s hands. I had a wonderful, supportive and loving family and friends. My husband, Danny, and three daughters, Lisa, Kendra and Darcie were members of my recovery team. We all worked together. I knew that with hope, faith and love I’d get through this.

My doctor recommended that I have a modified radical mastectomy as I had a very fast growing kind of cancer. Surgery was set up for the next week and within two weeks of discovering the lump I was in the operating room.

I was aware the surgery would leave a scar. My surgeon encouraged me to have reconstruction a few months later. The mastectomy surgery went well and that night I was sitting up reading a mystery novel when my anesthesiologist came to check on me. He was surprised to see how fast I was recovering from the anesthesia.

The following morning my surgeon awakened me. He said, “I have great news. Your lymph nodes are completely clear and you’ll need no radiation or chemo.” Then he went on to say that because I had discovered the lump early and had the mammogram, biopsy and surgery soon the outcome was excellent. Let’s hear it for early detection!! With that morale boosting, good news all I had to do was to work on a full recovery. So that I would have something to look forward to, my husband and I planned a cruise through Scandinavia, which we took six months later. Also, I planned my reconstructive surgery a week after returning from the cruise.

Stay Tuned till Tomorrow to hear the rest of this amazing survival story!!