Monday, August 21, 2006

New Advances In Early Breast Cancer Detection by: Brenda Witt


In November 2003, the American Cancer Society stated that breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 44. In the United States, there are approximately 200,000 new cases of breast cancer and more than 40,000 deaths; making the U.S. one of the countries with the highest death rate due to breast cancer. Perhaps the most alarming statistic is 1: 8 women will eventually develop breast cancer over their lifetime.
One of the most powerful steps a woman can take to reduce her risk for developing breast cancer is to educate herself about the petrochemicals, or xenoestrogens that are in her environment and work to eliminate or reduce them. Petrochemicals are “hormone disruptors” and it is through the unbalancing of your hormone system that can lead to problems. These xenoestrogens are found in cosmetics, lotions and fingernail polish and polish remover. They are obviously found in pesticides and insecticides. What you may not be aware of is that petrochemicals are found in plastics. If food is placed in a plastic container and reheated in the microwave, the plastic melts into your food and you ingest it. The harder the plastic, the more resistant it is to this process but the potential for accidental xenoestrogen ingestion is still present. Simply put, do not reheat food in plastic containers in the microwave.
Conventional screening methods all examine structure. For example, mammography uses X-ray to examine breast tissue. Any structure that has grown large enough to be seen by X-ray could be detected by mammography. However, mammography can have a high false positive rate. In fact, only 1 in 6 biopsies are found to be positive for cancer when found by mammography or clinical breast exam. This leads to increased psychological stress, physical trauma and financial concerns.
Other risks of mammography include the radiation exposure, although this has been debated by doctors for many years. Recently published in Radiation Research, 2004 the author suggests that the risks associated with mammography screening may be FIVE times higher than previously assumed and the risk-benefit relationship of mammography needs to be re-examined.
There exists a technology that can detect a breast issue YEARS before a tumor can be seen on X-ray or palpated during an exam. This technology has been approved by the FDA as an adjunctive screening tool since 1982 and offers NO RADIATION, NO COMPRESSION AND NO PAIN. For women who are refusing to have a mammogram or those who want clinical correlation for an existing problem, digital infrared thermal imaging may be of interest.
Thermal cameras detect heat emitted from the body and display it as a picture on a computer monitor. These images are unique to the person and remain stable over time. It is because of these characteristics that thermal imaging is a valuable and effective screening tool.
Breast thermography has undergone extensive research since the 1950s. There are over 800 peer-reviewed studies on breast thermography with more than 300,000 women included in large clinical trials. An abnormal thermogram is 10 times more significant as a future risk indicator for breast cancer than a first order family history of the disease. A persistently abnormal thermogram carries a 22-fold higher risk of future breast cancer.
Medical doctors who interpret the breast scans are board certified and endure an additional two years of training to qualify as a thermologist. Thermography is not limited by breast density and is ideal for women who have had cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. It is recommended that since cancer typically has a 15 year life span from onset to death, that women begin thermographic screenings at age 25.
Thermographic screening is not covered by most insurance companies but is surprisingly affordable for most people. For more information or to find a certified clinic in your area, go to
www.proactivehealthonline.com.

Exercise And Breast Cancer by: Sherri L Dodd

Taking every opportunity to distribute my marketing material for my new book, I stopped by a children’s clothing store one Sunday afternoon. Upon leaving the parking lot, my six year old son caught a glimpse of “those ribbons with two lines”. In my half-engaged attention, I acknowledged his observation that there were “more than three” on this one particular car. From his persistence to gain my feedback, I began to focus on our conversation. I informed him that I was not exactly clear of what he meant by the description of this two-lined ribbon. “You know…the red one…the boob problem…and the…”. Ground zero! I realized that he was speaking of the Awareness Ribbons that so emphatically adorn various vehicles these days. I started to chuckle at his innocence in remembering my recent 15-minute explanation of breast cancer as “the boob problem”. After we enjoyed the moment, I struck a more serious note to remember that the disease is far from funny and can leave heartache and devastation in its vicious path. In fact, according to Dr. Susan Love, breast cancer affects 110 women every day.
My first encounter as a Personal Trainer with a recovering breast cancer client came quite a few years ago and meeting her was quite an experience. If you have ever met a breast cancer victor you will notice that their eyes reflect a beautiful understanding of life. My encounter with my client came while I worked at a swim and racquet club. Even the way she approached me was filled with grace. Wanting to strengthen her body after the illness, she inquired about a weight training routine. She had a beaming, yet subtle smile with each simple question that she asked of me. To look at her would never disclose of her recent pain. Her hair was a typical short style of a middle-aged woman and her legs still presented the years of tennis that kept her fit. I was honored to take the position as her trainer and we worked together on a program toward rebuilding her body for not only the purpose of strength and endurance, but to attain a touch of inner peace as well.
Recovery from breast cancer is not so different a program than simply exercising to avoid such a catastrophic event in a woman’s life. If you have followed fitness for any amount of time, visited your doctor or taken a class in school, the informative path to righteous living is well paved with getting the blood flowing and the heart pounding. In turn, you increase your chances of avoiding disease (heart-related, cancer, diabetes). Likewise, if you have successfully battled the disease and yearn for a method of attack against it recurring or simply want to lessen the unpleasant after affects, the all-knowing finger will be pointing in the same direction…the local gym. Even as early as the 1980’s, research was proving that aerobic exercise improved fatigue levels and nausea in post cancer patients. Fast forward to present and the benefits have multiplied over the years. Subsequent studies indicate that weight training, aerobic exercise, and fitness emphasizing mind and body (i.e., yoga) all have a substantial impact of up to 25-50% improvement on pain, fatigue, overall optimism, the general fitness level of the individual and how much a person can improve their quality of daily life, complete with energy-draining tasks.
It is clear that exercise plays a tremendous role in helping breast cancer survivors feel better. So what are the details of program design? First and foremost, you want to stay clear of stress on the surgical or stitched area. Next, and just as important, begin with the usual 10-15 minute warm-up, no matter if you are doing weight training sets, a cardio routine or a number of yoga poses. It is after this warm-up that variety begins. For resistance/weight training exercises, you will want to start the initial phase of your program with a lowered weight volume but with up to double the repetitions. Elastic tubing and bands are also a good start for the first phase. Though you may not be directly working the muscle tissue in your surgical area, many muscles work together in stabilizing another muscle’s contraction. The lesser weight will insure that your wound is not overexerted to soon. The standard 2-3 sets are appropriate with 15-20 repetitions.
Another area of exercise is that of cardiovascular training. Cardio machines such as the treadmill or elliptical machines are acceptable and can be used for 3-4 days per week. In your initial phase of a recovery fitness routine, you may want to follow an interval program where you begin the session with a higher-intensity minute followed by a low-intensity minute totaling up to thirty minutes. As your condition improves, you can reduce your low intensity minute to 30 seconds and eventually eliminate it all together.
Finally, mind and body exercises such as yoga go a step further in fitness. Not only are you strengthening your body, you are also tapping into inner peace with each slow and controlled breath. Ideal for achieving relaxation, this type of training can be utilized for as little as 5-15 minute a day and still present positive results.
While breast cancer awareness has reached far heights as that of former president, Bill Clinton, who signed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000, it does not stop the fact that the disease continues to take more and more lives. While a cure is currently elusive, preventative measures are not. Engaging in a fitness program that includes healthy eating, routine exercise and positive mental development is a safe bet of increasing longevity.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Identifying the Signs of Breast Cancer

by: Anne Wolski

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and the leading cause of cancer deaths.

Every woman's breasts are different so it is important for each individual woman to be familiar with her breasts in order to recognize any peculiarities.

Unfortunately, the early stages of breast cancer may not have any symptoms. This is why it is important to follow screening recommendations. As a tumor grows in size, it can produce a variety of symptoms including:

* lump or thickening in the breast or underarm * change in size or shape of the breast * nipple discharge or nipple turning inward * redness or scaling of the skin or nipple * ridges or pitting of the breast skin

If you experience these symptoms, it doesn't necessarily mean you have breast cancer, but you need to be examined by a doctor.

Breast cancer is very rare before age 20 and is rarely diagnosed in women younger than age 25. Past that age, the incidence rises steadily to reach a peak around the age of menopause. The rate of increase is lessened after menopause, but older women are still at increasing risk over time.

Although a specific cause for breast cancer has not been identified, there are risk factors that increase the likelihood that a woman will develop a breast cancer. These risks include:

* Maternal relative with breast cancer. * Women who start their menstruation early and/or go into early menopause, increasing the length of reproductive years, are at greater risk. * Obesity. Women who are overweight are at increased risk * Women who have never had children are at greater risk. * Women who had their first child over age 30 are at greater risk. * Previous breast cancer. * Previous endometrial cancer.

Aside from the genetic predisposition, the common factor in many of these risks is increased endogenous estrogen exposure over a long time.

It is recommended that women over 35 check their breasts monthly. However, it is also important that all women do regular breast checks. Your doctor can show you how to effectively check your breasts. Any lump, regardless of size, should be reported to your doctor. Many of these lumps are simply fatty lumps or cysts but it is far better to be safe than sorry.

Catching breast cancer early makes a big difference in the type of treatment needed as well as the overall prognosis.

Breast Cancer – Problem Faced By Women

by: Sharon Hopkins

There was a time when Breast Cancer was termed to be as a dreaded disease. But things have changed now. If detected earlier, this could be easily treated. Removal of your breast during the treatment of breast cancer can be one of the painful things you would have to go through. It may not be the same case for all patients. With the increasing knowledge about the cures and treatment breast cancer can be treated very easily.

Breast cancer occurs when cell in our breasts known as tumor grow out of control causing damage to the nearby tissues and spreads throughout. These tumors which are cancerous are known as malignant tumors and cause lot of damage to your body. As it takes lot of time for a tumor to grow, it may not be easy to detect the tumor during self exam. But these can be detected with mammograms.

Breast cancers best treatment - early detection. Once, cancer is detected it becomes easier for the doctors and yourself to fight it out. By the age of 20 all women should start doing Breast Self Examination (BSE) it is one of most easiest and earliest ways of detecting cancer. These check ups should be done few days after your periods. You should do this check up at least once a month. A clinical breast exam should be done at least once a year.

Some of the signs to look for, while doing BSE
-A lump found in and around the nipple or underarm
-Change in size or shape
-Nipple discharge or nipple turning inward
-Redness of skin or warmth
-Formation of dimple or change in skin texture

Some of the causes of having breast cancer

Gender: Being a woman is one of the common reasons for suffering from breast cancer. Event though men suffer from this disease too, just being a woman puts you in lot of danger.

Age: As you grow older your chances of having breast cancer increases.

Family history: If somebody in the family has suffered from breast cancer your chances of having breast cancer increases.

Being overweight or obese: If you are an overweight women your chances of breast cancer increases after menopause.

Lack of exercise: Being lethargic and lack of any physical activity leads you towards increasing weight and chances of breast cancer

Alcohol: Drinking alcohol becomes very risky as it increases your chances of breast cancer

Methods to Prevent Breast Cancer

-Turn into a vegetarian
-Have plenty of organic food and vegetables
-Avoid red meat and any processed foods
-Avoid alcohol and colas
-You can have something sweet by having Stevia, an herb which is a substitute to any other toxic artificial sweetener
-Having whole grains is very good such as Oatmeal, Kamut and Psyllium, which are a good source of fiber and enters directly into your bloodstream
-Your diet must include wheat, bran and Cabbage as they are very nutritious food which helps to prevent breast cancer
-Garlic, Ginger, carrots, celery, cilantro, parsley and parsnip has some of the highest cancer fighting nutrients. Include them in your daily diet.

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