7 Ways to Keep Your Breasts Healthy

During Breast Cancer Awareness month this October I thought I would share an important article I found on the Women’s Health Magazine website on 7 ways to keep your breasts healthy. I’m trying to abide by all of these tips (although I’m not happy about number 3) and I’ve even recently applied for genetic testing as my mother had an aggressive breast cancer 15 years ago. She is a survivor thankfully. I had opted to not be tested when she was first diagnosed but genetic testing has advanced since then and now I want to know. These tips work for men as well. Don’t forget, men are not immune to breast cancer!

1. Stay at a healthy weight
Being heavy can increase your risk of developing the disease as well as reduce your risk of surviving it, says Harold Freeman, M.D., president and founder of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer and Prevention in New York City.

 

 

2. Break a sweat
Aim to exercise for 45 minutes to an hour five days a week. Regular fitness workouts may help prevent the disease by boosting immune function, warding off obesity, and lowering levels of estrogen and insulin.

 

 

3. Drink less alcohol
Research has shown that two drinks a day could increase breast cancer risk by 21 percent. Instead, try swapping wine for fresh grapes. Resveratrol, found in the skin of grapes, may help reduce your estrogen levels, which in turn may reduce your risk.

 

 

4. Eat your veggies
A low-fat diet can do a lot to reduce your risk, but for even more protection, add some cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, to your plate. They contain sulforaphane, which is believed to help prevent cancer cells from multiplying. For an extra dose of cancer-fighting power, eat them raw.

 

5. Know your family history
“In about 15 percent of breast cancer cases, there is a family history of the disease,” Freeman says. If you have one first-degree relative who had breast cancer, your lifetime risk doubles, and if you have two your risk increases five-fold.

 

 

6. Get checked
All women should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years and annual exams and mammograms starting at age 40. Women with a family history should begin screening 10 years prior to the family member’s age of diagnosis. Ask if the facility offers digital mammography–it allows for adjustments in contrast so the image can be easier to see. Young women at increased risk may also want to ask for either an MRI or a sonogram in addition to the mammogram.

7. Consider genetic testing
“When cancer strikes young women, it’s more likely to be connected to a BRCA mutation,” Mangino says. Two red flags for being a BRCA carrier: being of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish descent or having a family history of both breast and ovarian cancer. “If you have either of these factors, see a genetic counselor to talk about getting tested,” she says.

 

Stay healthy everybody and let’s kick cancer off the planet! Svaha!

 

 

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Svaha Spirit Series ~ Rachael Chatoor

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is October as you all know. I wanted to share with you Rachael Chatoor’s Video of Inspiration! Rachael and I have never met…yet! She is a girlfriend who inspires me when I go see her via her Facebook page. I stop in often to have my girl-power musical interlude or read some heart felt words, she always has both on her page. Rachael is a woman whose beauty is deep and voice is one I could listen to all day! Thanks for sharing YOU Rachael with me. I wanted to share Rachael with YOU today!

Svaha~

Standing all the Way (Pink Ribbon) I’m going to fight it!! 

For more information please visit ~

Fuck Cancer.com

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation 

Breast Cancer Awareness via Facebook 

rachaelpachelwasmyname.blog

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Step One


She wasn’t sure what made her touch it that evening, maybe the fabric of her pajamas tickled her skin, maybe it was instinct. She brushed her fingers over the side of her breast and felt it immediately.  It was wrong.  Everything about it was wrong.

Her first reaction was to pull her hand away.  She clenched and unclenched her fists. This can’t be right. She felt it again.  Her stomach knotted.  It was big. They always ask you to describe how big you think it is compared to various nuts.  Nuts of all things! Is it the size of an almond, a peanut…?  This was a walnut. Definitely a walnut. “What the hell is a walnut doing inside my breast?” she thought.

She couldn’t hide this discovery from him.  He happened to have been watching her when she first felt it.

“What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know… I…I feel something weird.”

“Let me feel.”

She guided his fingers to the spot. The gesture was unnecessary.  He could have found it easily on his own.

“Hmm.” He frowned. She was searching his face for reassurance and he knew it so he quickly softened his eyes and smiled at her.

“Probably just another cyst. Since you’ve lost a little weight it’s probably just easier to feel a cyst when you get one now.”

“Yeah. Probably.”

She didn’t look convinced though and he pulled her towards him and wrapped his arms around her.

“It’s time to take your own advice,” he said, “you are always telling everyone else that there is no sense worrying about things when there may be nothing at all to worry about. Don’t go there until you really have something to worry about. Put it right out of your mind.”

But she couldn’t put it out of her mind.  She cuddled up to him in the pitch black of their bedroom and allowed her mind to go there.  Her mother had survived breast cancer.  Maybe it was her turn to battle the demon.  She could feel tears threatening to spill onto his chest but she willed them away.  She didn’t want him to know how scared she was because then he would be scared and she really needed him to believe it was all going to be fine, and then convince her of it too.

They laid wide eyed in the dark and allowed their imaginations to take them through various scenarios, each one scaring them both wider and wider awake.

The next morning she was up early and made herself busy around the house.  She caught herself checking her watch every five minutes until finally she knew the office would be open.  She called her doctor and made an appointment. Step one.

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‘Humiliation week’ all in the name of preventative Healthcare!

After Jacquie published her post on Mammography I thought I would share with you what I personally go through on a yearly basis all in the name of preventative health care.  I have named it  ‘Humiliation week‘, because it is just that.  But worth it!!

mamogramI start with my yearly Mammogram and as Jacquie said it’s not as bad as you think, unless of course the technician isn’t having a good day.  If I am lucky I get a Mom friend who just happens to be a Mammography tech.  When we first met I thought I recognised her but couldn’t remember from where.  I think I was blocking it out and then one day it clicked, she was the one who flattens my boob each year, which is sort of awkward I know, but she is far more sensitive than the other tech.  I would sooner have my boob manipulated by someone I see everyday at school than a tech who is unhappy!  I mentioned to my friend how much it hurt when she didn’t do it and she looked up the pressure the other tech used.  She told me  it was not necessary to use that much, so I am convinced she was trying to pop my boobs for some unknown reason.  I sure hope she’s not reading this!  I always feel really relieved once it’s done and my boobs go back to their natural shape.  The best feeling is when the letter comes in the mail that your clear, the summer just seems that much sweeter!  For many the letter comes with news that none of us want to hear and that is why we NEED to continue to have our Mammograms each year as a preventative measure to help detect any abnormalities early!  Early detection of breast cancer is key!  If you haven’t had your mammogram you need to make your appointment and go.  I haven’t heard yet of a case of a boob actually popping.

Pap smearThe yearly Pap Smear (test) is always next, and this year should be liberating because although I know your doctor does this all day long, well maybe not all day long, but he has seen a lot of vajaja’s and mine is no different than the others I am sure.  (I’d like to think that’s debatable)  But it’s still something I have to psych myself up for.  I have had a women Doctor do my pap for the last 15 years but this year I am not going to be silly and I am just booking it with my South African Doc whom I think is just awesome.  How bad could it be, he has a great sense of humour and he is a fantastic Doctor.  I’m over it, yet another positive for being in your 40’s!  I don’t know a women who looks forward to her pap test, but cervical cancer can be detected in the early stages  too.  After you have your pap there is a sense of relief that makes it all worth while.  The alternative is not worth it!  Get your Pap ladies!

dermatologistNext  into the Dermatologists office to have every square inch of my epidermis looked at with scrutiny!  Skin cancer runs in my family so I am aware of the consequences of having a nice summer glow.  I try to plan it right before the summer so I am reminded of what the sun is capable of.  You don’t want to look like your related to George Hamilton before walking into the Dermatologist office for a Skin Cancer screening. (I’ve been know to resemble him on occasion)

The first time I walked into the office I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was mortified that a stranger, yes I know he’s a Doctor, but I had never even talked to him before and he was looking at my naked body in detail.  What’s worse is that because I was a ‘new patient‘ he had the receptionist stand in the room.  Uggh, now she was looking too!  I wanted to say “it’s okay I trust you, now nice hot young girl, you can leave, I am sure you have a ton of work to do”.  All I could think was does my ass look fat in these panties, actually worse, does my ass look fat in this g-string?  I didn’t know he was going to look at my butt cheeks individually, in bright light!  Why don’t they tell you this kind of stuff so you can wear monster gonch!  They are extremely thorough with even looking between your toes.

In all honesty they let you keep your gown on and remove each sleeve or lift it up as needed.  They are very sensitive, understanding and discreet.  My first visit I was told the average person with sun exposure similar to what I have had has approximately 40 moles.  I had well over 200!  Tanning lathered in baby oil all summer in my twenties really paid off.

I felt sick leaving the office and wore a hat and 60 sunblock after being educated on what the end result would surely be if I didn’t take this seriously.  I do take it more seriously but I believe in Moderation.  I am sitting indoors right now writing this post and the sun is shinning so I have come along way.  The week passes by and I feel good, being vigilant about my health.  My week of Humiliation is a small price to pay and I feel fortunate to have the health care needed to help me live a happy healthy life. Tracy

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