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

sick and tired of being sick and tired?

tired1

Most of the foods we eat are obviously not good for you……no matter how good they taste.  Especially all these fun treats we have around the holidays!  These foods include sugar, trans fats, dairy products, fried foods, junk foods, carbonated drinks….oh the list goes on and on.

Turns out, when we eat these foods, we can’t stop – and that’s when we overeat and just never feel fully satisfied.

Why?

The reason  we feel tired, sluggish and bloated (but not satisfied) is because we are not getting enough nutrients from the foods we are eating!  We are filling ourselves with low-nutrient food and lots of chemicals.  Our digestive system is working overtime to process these foods and in the meantime, they have decided to stick around….for days…..undigested.  Ick.

Sugar, put down the sugar!!!

sugar-addiction

Says Dr. Oz, in his book, You on a Diet, “Simple sugars create a rebounding effect.  You’re feeling blah, so you eat a 3 Musketeers.  That sugar surge works like an electrical jolt, and you instantly feel more energy.  But less than two hours later, that energy surge (in the form of elevated blood sugar levels ) plummets, and then you feel blah again.  Your conclusion?  You must need another Musketeer!  That rebound effect can put your body in biological turmoil, where you eat to feel better, though what you’re eating is actually making you feel sluggish, so you swirl and swirl around, always feeling like you need to eat.”

What’s a person to do???

  • Eat a little fat 20 minutes before your meal (70 calories or so like 6 walnuts, or 12 almonds)
  • Fill up on fiber in the A.M. (think oatmeal, cereal, whole grains and fruit)
  • Change your plate (try using a smaller or kid’s version of a plate for smaller portions)
  • Slow down, turbo (take your time, put down your fork and chew, chew, chew)
  • Get spicy (add a little hot pepper or salsa to your food to increase your metabolism)

Start simple by eating a large salad.  Nix the croutons, heavy dressing and cheese.  Have fruit for a pick-me-up snack.  Add more veggies to your dinner, drink lots of water and YOU, my friend, are on your way to a healthier, happier YOU!

VegetableMyths_Spinach

Even pastry chef’s know that old age can crepe up on you….

Did you know that according to the United Nations World Population Prospects,  the average lifespan of a woman  is 80.8 years?  The “point 8” is interesting to me.  I need to know if that is hours or days, mainly because of my blog.  Someone is going to have to either shut ‘er down, or take the wheel.

Aging happens to all of us and usually much quicker than we would prefer.  The key is to age gracefully. 

Our cells, on the other hand, don’t age.  They are just sloughed off as their efficency diminishes and are replaced by new ones.  So many, many years of chemical-laced foods, pollutants, overuse of prescription drugs and antibiotics all seem to weigh down our bodies and show up on our skin.  If you add stress to the mix, then our minds and spirit will suffer also.

So what’s a middle-aged gal supposed to do?  Give in?  No, my friend! 

AGE IS NOT THE ENEMY….ILLNESS IS.

We can increase our lifespan, boost our metabolism and enhance our immune response!  According to Dr. Linda Page, we can start our anti-aging campaing by examining which lifestyle factors affect aging the most.

  • Take a long hard look at the prescription drugs you use: Many drugs lead to serious body imbalances by impairing your nutrient uptake.  They also tent to interact, especially drugs that affect hormones, like Viagra or Andro or Propecia.
  • Take another look at your diet:  You’ve probably already cut the fat and fried food.  But the chemicals in foods like lunch meats and pre-prepared meals are the culprits for early aging.  They can create an over-acid condition in the blood, trigger many allergies and like drugs, set up a free-radical cascade favorable to disease.
  • If you eat a lot of sweets or have hard alcohol drinks regularly, your diet is probably high in sugar:  Sugar is also a hidden ingredient in most processed foods.  A high sugar diet wipes out immunity and reduces tissue elasticity.  Artificial sweetners with aspartame are linked to degenerative nerve disorders.
  • Take a look at your teeth and gums:  almost nothing shows age faster than discolored teeth, lost teeth or red, receding gums.  Consider taking CoQ-10 for gum problems, about 200 mg daily at least for the first month and see a good holistic dentist to solve the discoloration problems.
  • Take a look in the mirror: If your neck is no longer straight, but at a slight angle, or if your shoulders are hunching, you may be losing bone density.  Start a strengthening exercise program right away.  Exercise can rapidly reverse this aging sign.

We’re all trying to look for that “magic bullet” to slow down the aging process, and adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, adequate rest, avoiding tobacco, and a diet full of healthy foods and beverages can be the best defense against aging.

“Dietary choices are critical to delay the onset of aging and age-related diseases, and the sooner you start, the greater the benefit,” says Susan Moores, RD, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association.

Remember….. smart lifestyle choices are within your control, and are among the best things you can do to help prevent disease and retard aging.