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!




Is Fidelity Obsolete?

I was reading Women’s Health and came across an article by Meghan Rabbitt questioning whether fidelity is becoming obsolete. I cracked up at the picture that was attached to it of a bride standing alone on her wedding cake, on her phone, groom hanging from a helicopter trying desperately to get away…it read “To have and hold from this day forward…or until someone hotter comes along.”

Everyone has the right to change their minds I suppose, and better before you tie the knot than after, when it just keeps getting more complicated as time goes by. What’s not so funny is the stats about cheating.

40% of people who do cheat do so with a friend.

35% cheated with a co-worker.

23% of men cheated with someone they met in a bar. Alcohol and or drugs have always been an excuse for why men and women loses their inhibitions and acts inappropriately while under the influence. I’ve always believed those who use alcohol or drugs as their excuse had it in them before their lips even touched the glass or reefer. When the effects wear off, they sober up and need to blame something for their actions, because they weren’t honest with themselves to begin with. I say do what you want without the drug of choice and take precautions. Just be honest about what you’re doing! Don’t sugar coat it and keep it real!

22% of women cheated with an ex-boyfriend. I understand why this would appeal to some, familiarity and comfort of knowing this person. But I personally am not a big fan of friends with benefits, so for me when its over, its over.

I think cheating is the way out in most cases, not always a mistake though. You wouldn’t be even considering cheating if you were happy in your marriage or relationship in the first place. And if your not happy why not move forward to find happiness! Most men and women don’t move forward because of fear. They don’t want to gamble and be alone, or take the chance of not meeting someone who is better suited to them than the previous one. Does that really matter if you’re not happy in the first place. At least if your alone you are doing what you like and not compromising who you are for someone you’re not 100% happy with. Being a romantic I wouldn’t want to compromise this part of my existence.

I understand that for most men and women it’s not as easy as it sounds, because of children, property, commitments and vows but ultimately we all want to be happy and if you’re not, change and compromise can be made to get you in the right direction. Infidelity is not the answer. I don’t agree with staying together unless you’re still passionate with your partner. Having said that not everyone needs passion or love to make their world go round! Love and passion need to be present for me to want to continue a relationship. If love and passion are not reciprocated then there is no point in continuing down a path of mediocrity. I understand passion gets lost in our day to day lives but there needs to be a spark that both are willing to work at igniting together for love and passion to not get lost. If somewhere down the road the flame goes out, move forward and remain friends so you avoid infidelity and avoid being a statistic. Be true to yourself.

Did you know that the average ‘romp’ lasts 3 to 7 minutes, yet both male and female desire 13 minutes. If we can’t put at most 13 minutes away for our partner, no wonder the stats I quoted earlier are so high! You can also look at this stat as, if you are really just looking for a 7 minute romp, is it really worth ending what you do have with your spouse for that, probably not.

Here are a few tips I found online to help prevent yourself from becoming part of a growing statistic ~

1. Be each other’s number one confidant. You shouldn’t be sharing private thoughts with others that you’re not sharing with your mate.
2. Make time to connect on a regular basis. Daily moments of connection help you build a sense of togetherness and shared purpose.
3. Don’t let family time squeeze out just-the-two-of-you time. Relationships that are too child-centered are at high risk for an affair.
4. Recognize when you’re temporarily attracted to someone else. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your relationship — or that you have to act on it.
5. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your relationship. If you’re ever tempted and don’t feel like you can tell your mate, you’ll have someone else to confide in who will steer you straight. And if one of you does stray, you’ll have a strong support network to help you put your relationship back together.

Every relationship is unique and needs work, I know mine is very unorthodox but it works. I have been able to move on and keep my best friend without having become a statistic because of honesty and hard work on both sides. My advice to not becoming a statistic is be honest no matter how hard it can sometimes be, have good intention, stay in the room and lose your ego. Don’t sweat the small stuff and accept your partner’s flaws and they will accept yours. If you can do that you will ‘at least’ have a best friend in what was your partner or spouse!