cancer? let’s start with prevention…

Main sites of metastases for some common cance...
Main sites of metastases for some common cancer types. Primary cancers are denoted by “…cancer” and their main metastasis sites are denoted by “…metastases”. List of included entries and references is found on main image page in Commons: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cancer.  It’s here.  It doesn’t surface overnight, but is a long process that can take years to raise it’s ugly head.

Prevention is all about making sure we are eating as healthy as possible and staying away from cancer landmines.

Here are a few landmines that have the potential to make cancer cells grow and multiply:

  • SMOKING:  According to the National Cancer Institute, there are over 7000 chemicals in cigarette smoke with 250 being harmful.  Do you smoke? STOP.
  • ALCOHOL:  Excessive alcohol intake (more than 2 servings/day for men and 1 serving/day for women) has been linked to an increased risk of cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, rectum and liver.  Medical News Today says 15% of all breast cancer deaths may be linked to alcohol.  Drink AND smoke?  STOP.
  • RADIATION:  Not just limited to x-rays, microwaves and nuclear reactors, radiation is also the light that comes from the sun and the heat that comes off our bodies.  Leukemia, a type of cancer that is centered in bone marrow, is the most common radiation induced cancer.  Severe sunburns also increase the risk of developing cancer.  Still tanning? STOP.
  • HORMONES:  Some hormones help cancer to grow and spread, such as breast and prostate cancers.  The longer women are exposed to high levels of estrogen, the greater the risk of developing breast cancer.  Your physician can recommend a hormone receptor test to see if cancer cells are sensitive to hormones.

There are other factors that contribute to cancer such as processed and red meats, salty foods, or meats cooked at dangerously high temperatures.

REDUCE YOUR RISK OF CANCER

Mayo Clinic says try these 7 tips to reduce your risk of cancer!

  1. Don’t use tobacco

    Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, bladder, cervix and kidney. And chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.

  2. Eat a healthy diet

    Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might help reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines:

    • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
    • Limit fat. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-fat foods, particularly those from animal sources. High-fat diets tend to be higher in calories and might increase the risk of overweight or obesity — which can, in turn, increase cancer risk.
    • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active

Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.

Physical activity counts, too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.

Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. But for substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — and if you can do more, even better.

4.  Protect yourself from the sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable. Try these tips:

  • Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Stay in the shade. When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-rimmed hat help, too.
  • Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loosefitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colors, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels or bleached cotton.
  • Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Use generous amounts of sunscreen when you’re outdoors, and reapply often.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.

5.  Get immunized

Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about immunization against:

  • Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk adults — such as adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.

Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is available to both men and women age 26 or younger who didn’t have the vaccine as adolescents.

6.  Avoid risky behaviorsAnother effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. For example:

  • Practice safe sex. Limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom when you have sex. The more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the more likely you are to contract a sexually transmitted infection — such as HIV or HPV. People who have HIV or AIDS have a higher risk of cancer of the anus, liver and lung. HPV is most often associated with cervical cancer, but it might also increase the risk of cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva and vagina.
  • Don’t share needles. Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C — which can increase the risk of liver cancer. If you’re concerned about drug abuse or addiction, seek professional help.

7.   Get regular medical care

Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.

Take cancer prevention into your own hands, starting today. The rewards will last a lifetime.

source:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-prevention/CA00024/NSECTIONGROUP=2

living with labels….

organic 

 

There’s a difference???

So are “natural” and “organic” synonymous with each other?  Well, I’m hopefully going to shed a little light in the label war and you can judge for yourself.  Let’s start…

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ORGANIC:  Products bearing this label are required to contain no less than 95% certified organic ingredients.  The remaining 5% are non-organic and synthetic ingredients.

100% ORGANIC:  By law, these products have to be made entirely of certified organic ingredients, produced in accordance with federal organic standards and include no  synthetics.

MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS:  These products have a 70/30 split of organic and non-organic ingredients that have been approved by the USDA.

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NATURAL:  Concerning meat, it means the manufacturer claims to have used no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.   “Naturally raised means  no growth promoters, antibiotics, animal by-products, or fish by-products.

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FREE RANGE:  This label does NOT mean that the animals have spent most of the time outdoors.  To use this label means the producers have to only offer the animals outdoor access as little as 5 minutes per dayBut “allowing access” doesn’t mean much. A small door in a barn with thousands  of chickens technically gives chickens an opportunity to go outside, but that  doesn’t mean that they’ll have access to grass (it may only be a concrete slab). (via)

Bottom line:  Eat fresh.  Eat local.  Do it.

Eat-Local

Grape Seed Extract….making chemo look silly…

images  Grape seed extract is produced from ground up red grape seeds.  Not only beneficial for it’s antioxidant properties, but it can also work for circulation and bad cholesterol!  It’s also sweet for reducing swelling and for eye disease, secondary to diabetes.

Grape Seed Extract!  You rock!

At least according to Molly Derry of the University of Colorado.  She and her associates tested the effects of grape seed extract in patients with colorectal cancer.  They found that the more aggressive the cancer cells are, the more the extract works at targeting and stopping the growth.  How cool is that?

This information is compelling because many of the patients that have an advanced stage of cancer produced better results!  So conventional cancer treatments destroy all of the cells in an attempt to stop the spread of cancer yet the grape seed extract is attacking the cancer cells and leaving the healthy cells unaffectedWoo hoo!!

According to truththeory.com, “The bioactive compounds in grape seed extract selectively target many types of cancer cells. With an increase in colorectal cancer, the findings of this study are timely. By the time most people are diagnosed with the disease, it is in the advanced stages. But thankfully, as mentioned, researchers found that it required less grape seed extract to kill advanced cancer cells than it did cells in the early stage. It is thought that the extract kills cancer cells by a process of oxidative stress.”

Here’s what WebMD says:

How much grape seed extract should you take?

There is no firmly established dose of grape seed extract. Doses of between 100-300 milligrams/day have been used in studies and are prescribed in some European countries. No one knows what the highest safe dose is.

Can you get grape seed extract naturally from foods?

Grape seed extract comes from grapes. There are no other food sources.

What are the risks of taking grape seed extract?

  • Side effects. Grape seed extract is generally considered safe. Side effects may include headache, itchy scalp, dizziness, and nausea.
  • Risks. People allergic to grapes should not use grape seed extract. If you have a bleeding disorder or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before you start using grape seed extract.
  • Interactions. If you take any medicines regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using grape seed extract. It could interact with drugs like blood thinners, NSAID painkillers (like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve), certain heart medicines, cancer treatments, and others.

Given the lack of evidence about its safety, grape seed extract is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

So there you go!  More natural born cancer killers!!!

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dropping acid? acid vs alkaline foods…

ph-scale

Ahh…..ye old pH Scale…. so what is it? 

The pH scale (p standing for potenz or power, and h standing for hydrogen) measures the level of acid vs alkaline.  The scale starts at 1 (which is the most acidic) and ends at 14 (which is the most alkaline).  Obviously the 7 is in the middle of the road and is neutral.

  • Who cares?  Well, apparently your body does.  Everything you eat or drink will have a pH above or below 7.  This means that your body has to work harder to maintain a proper blood pH.

Did you know that EVERY DISEASE KNOWN TO MAN can only exist in an acidic environment Yikes!  So you can safely assume that an acid/alkaline balance can affect a plethora of health concerns!

Most Americans on the standard American diet, are most likely to going to be too acidic (too low in pH) with a level below 7.  So even if you want to achieve or maintain healthy weight loss you need to UP your pH!  Go Alkaline!

  • How?  First you can request a ph blood test so you can see if you are low on the scale.  Dr. Robert O. Young has authored several books and has a very helpful website, http://www.phmiracleliving.com/.  He says it takes about 3 to 4 months for the body to recycle all its blood cells, so you get a whole slew of new blood cells every 3-4 months.  So a mere 12 weeks out of your life, you can jump on his pH program so you will be at the peak of health!

Here are a few of his recommendations:

  1. Hydrate
  2. Eat right
  3. Exercise
  4. Take proper supplements
  5. Take care of your heart, mind and soul
  6. Set goals
  7. Clean yourself from the inside out

It’s all about good choices….make the right ones and start living NOW!

woman choosing between pizza and orange

He Shu Wu….who?

images What the???

Well, here’s a new one to me!  He Shu Wu.  (pronounced huh show woo)

He Shu Wu is is one of the most popular and highly revered tonic herbs in Asian herbalism.  It is said to possess almost magical properties and the ‘elderly’ love it the most, believing it can maintain hair color, preserve youthfulness and restore fertility.  What’s not to love?

According to dragonherbs.com,

He Shou Wu is widely used in Chinese tonic herbalism as a tonic to prevent premature aging by tonifying the Kidney and Liver functions, toning up Jing (vital essence), nourishing the blood, and fortifying the muscles, tendons and bones. It strengthens and stabilizes the lower back and knees. He Shou Wu is used to enhance sexual drive, increase sperm count and to strengthen sperm and ova. It is also widely used in Asia to maintain the youthful condition and color of the hair. This is one of its most popular attributes. Because it is a very mild sedative, it will calm the nervous system, and because it has components that are potent antioxidants with gentle anti-inflammatory action in the liver, it can clear the eyes.”

Well…….there you go! 

images  Pretty, no?  No. 

But, let’s summarize:

  • liver and kidney tonic
  • relieves constipation (with Dang Gui and Hemp Seed)
  • helps with insomnia
  • clears skin problems
  • elevated serum cholesterol
  • weakness
  • excessive sweating
  • pain

But before you get all giggly about this herb, there are some side effects you might want to investigate first……Read more about side effects HERE.  And ALWAYS consult your healthcare practitioner before starting any new program…

  • loose stools
  • skin rash
  • numbness
  • liver dysfunction
  • estrogenic effects

It can be purchased HERE in tablet form.  According to Natural News, William Rudolph, “Potency and quality are keys when consuming He Shou Wu. It should have been  growing for at least 4 years and it needs to be properly prepared (by a  qualified herbalist) to experience the full tonic effects. This is done by  slicing the root shortly after harvesting and then boiling it in a soup of black  beans. It can then be made into a powder suitable for mixing in smoothies, or it  can also be taken in capsule or tincture form.”

Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/028709_gray_hair_He_Shou_Wu.html

check your blood pressure HERE…

images  What’s normal?  Who’s normal? 

After a recent doctor’s appointment, where I was told I have normal-low blood pressure, I realized that I don’t really know what that meant.

So…..I decided to surf the web and find out what a healthy blood pressure should be….here’s what I found (via)

blood-pressure-chart

Or how about this chart? (via)

blood pressure chart

Make more sense?  It does to me!  Now I know where I should be….and where I shouldn’t be!   

You’re welcome!

I’m a little too tense to be stressed….

stressedLittle tense, are ya?

What the heck is stressStress is your body’s reaction to anything your brain finds upsetting.  Period.

Stress is a part of life, whether it be, gasp! bathing suit season, whiney kids, or how about a blow out with your spouse?  In fact, 75 – 90% of all visits to a primary care physician’s office are related to stress disorders, according to Dr. Don Colbert.

Doesn’t matter where it came from, stress can do a number on your emotional and your physical well-being.  Some common stress symptoms can include sleeplessness, fuzzy thinking, body aches, acne, abdominal pain…and much, much more.

So what’s a gal to do?  Well, first I would suggest you read, Stress Less by Dr. Don Colbert, MD.  He can tell you how it starts, how it affects you and how you can overcome it.

I, on the other hand, say, “Hey…..calm down….take a bath.”

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In fact, throw in some lavender, sandalwood, some Epsom salts and a little ylang ylang essential oils to make bath time a soothing time.  Relax for about 20 minutes and feel the tension go down the drain.

The adrenal glands are an integral part of the endocrine system of hormones.  Those little bad boys play a key roll in regulating the body’s response to stress, so your diet is also very important.  Avoid foods that are taxing on your system like caffeine, sugar and alcohol.   Include some avocados, eggs, chicken, mushrooms and salmon for some excellent sources of pantothenic acid.

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Include some supplements to fortify the body against emotional stress.  Vitamin B complex (50mg twice/day), which supports the adrenal glands; and magnesium (500 mg once/day) and calcium (1000 mg once/day) have natural tranquilizing effects, so you might take those two in the evenings.

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There are many different ways to deal with stress, but the important thing is to maintain the right attitude when the going gets rough.  No matter what happens to you, make up your mind that you are going to go through it with the right attitude.  If you meditate on this principle when things are going good, then when a stressful situation arises you will be prepared to maintain a good attitude.  Discipline yourself to stand strong with your positive attitude in every circumstance!

Philippians 4:19, “And my God will liberally supply your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

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oh those pesky age spots!

age-spots%20(260%20x%20260) Oh those pesky age spots!   Most of them show up on our face, neck and hands but they can appear anywhere on the body as we age.

They are also called liver spots, however they have nothing to do with the liver or liver function….so who named them liver spots?  Silly.

Quite common after the age of 40, age spots are changes in skin color that occur in older skin. The increased color may be due to aging, exposure to the sun or other forms of ultraviolet light.

According to the Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” age spots are the result of a buildup of wastes known as lipofusion accumulation, a byproduct of free radical damage in skin cells.” 

So what does that mean?  Well, exposure to the sun causes the development of free radicals that can damage the skin.  So what’s a girl to do?

Protect your skin from the sun by taking the following precautions:

  • Wear protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, long skirts, or pants.
  • Use sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Try to avoid sun exposure at midday, when sunlight is most intense.
  • Use high-quality sunscreens, preferably with sun protection factor (SPF) ratings of at least 30. Apply sunscreen at least a half hour before exposure, and reapply often. Use sunscreen in the winter, too.
  • Eat a diet high in vegetable protein and that consists of 50% raw fruits and vegetables, plush fresh grains, seeds and nuts.
  • Omit all animal protein from the diet for one month.
  • Brown or yellow spots can usually be eliminated by freezing them off.  During a painless in office procedure, the doctor brushes liquid nitrogen on the spots with a cotton swab.  In about 2 seconds the cells freeze and within 5 days the cells flake away.

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another headache? try something natural…

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Did you know that about 28 million Americans have migraine headaches?  And that’s just migraines!  There are all sorts of headaches that can give you horrendous pain such as, tension headaches, sinus headaches or cluster headaches.  And you know what comes with the headache…anxiety, stiff neck and shoulder muscles, eyestrain…I can go on and on.

Bottom line?  They hurt. 

Maybe you are tired of popping pills and would like to try a ‘natural’ solution.   Hopefully you will be able to relax away some of the pain with deep breathing, meditation or even visualization (although I do tend to visualize me smacking someone if they dare even look at me during one of my migraines)

Try some of these remedies next time and see if you get any relief…(via)

  • Herbal tea for tension headacheGinger decreases the production of pain-causing chemicals in the body.  Chamomile and linden are mild relaxants that can help ease emotional and physical tension.

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  • Ease headaches with an aromatherapy compress Lavender eases physical and mental stress and marjoram has deeply relaxing properties.  Add 5 drops each of lavender and marjoram essential oils to a basin of cool water.  Soak two washcloths in the water and lightly wring out.  Lie down and apply one cloth to your forehead and one to the back of your neck.  Rest for about 30 minutes.

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  • Lavender massage:  To ease a tension headache, massage your temples with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil.

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  • Take Valerian for painValerian helps relieve the pain of tension or migraine headaches.  Take half a teaspoon of valerian extract diluted in warm water every 30 minutes until the pain has abated.  (Up to 3 teaspoons a day)

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  • Footbath for headache relief:  Try immersing your feet in a bucket of wateras hot as you can stand it – for 15 minutes.  At the same time, wring out a cloth in ice water and place the cold compress on your forehead, temples, back of the neck or where ever the pain is concentrated.  Hot water dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the feet, while the cold compress constricts blood vessels in the head, reducing the volume of blood flow and thereby reducing pain.

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  • Loosen mucus:  Spicy foods, such as horseradish and hot peppers, increase the flow of blood and loosen the secretions of mucus in the sinuses.  This has the effect of relieving the congestion that causes sinus headaches.

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American Council for Headache Education:  www.achenet.org

American Headache Society:  www.ahsnet.org

National Headache Foundation:  www.headaches.org

The National Migraine Association:  www.migraines.org

World Headache Alliance:  www.w-h-a.org

Caution:  Always consult with your doctor before starting any new remedy.  Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and women trying to conceive should also consult a healthcare practitioner before taking any herbal medicine.