Thursday, October 28, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - What is a "Previvor"?

"The term previvor is a relatively new one, and sources so far haven’t determined a consistent spelling of the word. It may alternately be spelled pre-vivor, or an entirely different word that more closely matches its definition, presurvivor, may be used instead. Previvor tends to refer to those people who are predisposed to certain types of cancer. They glean this knowledge either through direct family history or by finding out they have genes that may be potential cancer indicators. The two largest groups that make up most previvors today are those women at high risk for ovarian cancer, or who have the breast cancer gene."
Thanks in part to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (a previvor/survivor herself) and the efforts of FORCE, awareness for previvors is increasing.  This year the week of September 26 - October 2nd was designated National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week; with Wednesday, September 29th being designated as "Previvor Day".

Being a previvor is something I know a little bit about; I am one. I am happy to see that more awareness efforts are being focused on previvors because early diagnosis is key to survivorship not only with breast and ovarian cancer, but with all cancers.  I feel very strongly that everyone should know their cancer risk, but I know that many fear repercussions from insurance companies, etc.  The efforts such as those being made by FORCE help us all "face our risk" and make educated decisions, with out fear.

See also: What is a "Previvor"? -- msnbc @vodpod
Know your risk!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Team Ra-Ras Kicks Breast Cancer - Susan G. Komen for the Cure Philadelph...

Let's all help them reach a goal of 1 million views of this video; United Healthcare will donate $100,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure , so please click often and spread the link.

Alexandra Mudry with her innovative New Red Velvet Cake Recipe

For the American Cancer Society's 50th Anniversay, ACS and Duff Goldmen (as in Duff from Ace of Cakes) along with the Culinary Institute of America held the More Birthdays contest challenging culinary students to come up with a new, “healthy living” cake. The winner was Alexandra Mudry with her innovative New Red Velvet Cake Recipe.

I had learned of this winning recipe while attending the ACS summit for Relay for Life volunteers back in 2009.  It has taken me more than a year to finally try it out, so of course, I figured I would share the recipe here with all of you.  I don't have pictures of the final result (of my interpretaion that is), but I will try to do a follow-up post with pictures.  I am making mine for a bake sale at work ~ hope they like it!

Visit "A healthier take on cake" on the ACS website for more information.

Red Velvet Cake: Yield one 9×14″ cake, two 8″ rounds, or 24 cupcakes
2 Cups Roasted Beet Puree (Approx. 3 Large Beets)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
2 Each Large Eggs
2 Each Egg Whites
3 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate (Melted)
1 tsp. Instant Espresso Powder or Instant Coffee
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Quinoa Flour (if you can't find, use 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Dried Cherries

Note: You may substitute canned beets as long as they are stored in their own juices and not seasoned. If using canned beets, add 1 ore more tablespoons of water until puree is smooth. (This was my way to go for this go around).

Roasted Beet Puree:
  1. Preheat oven to 375ΒΊ
  2. Trim ends of beets and place on Parchment or foil lined baking pan.
  3. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. canola oil.
  4. Roast until fork tender (about 2 hours).
  5. When cool, peel then place in blender or food processor with 1-2 tbsp. water. Puree until smooth. Can be made several days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  1. Preheat oven to 375ΒΊ.
  2. Spray baking pan(s) with canola oil spray and dust with flour. If making cupcakes, line tins with baking cups.
  3. Combine oil, eggs, egg whites, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed with a paddle attachment until smooth and light colored.
  4. In a separate bowl, add espresso powder to melted chocolate.
  5. Slowly drizzle chocolate mixture into batter on low speed, and stir until combined. Once all chocolate is added, stop the machine, and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. In another bowl, combine cocoa powder, applesauce, and beet puree, and then add to egg mixture. Mix on medium speed until incorporated.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add dried cherries.
  8. Sift remaining dry ingredients and fold into mixture. Be careful not to over mix. **A variation that I would do for this procedure is instead of adding the cherries to the egg mixture; I would instead combine the cherries with the dry ingredients. When you add the cherries/dry ingredients to the egg mixture, the cherries will help incorporate the dry ingredients faster, and prevent lumps.
  9. Pour batter into pans and bake for 40-45 minutes (20-25 minutes for cupcakes), or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What's for dinner tonight? A Publix Apron's simple meal of course!

It has been a while since I blogged about what was for dinner.  It seems that I don't cook often enough these days; take out is becoming all too common, and I know that is NOT good.  

When I do cook, I love to try new recipes, especially ones that are easy AND delicious!  The other day while grocery shopping with the hubby at our local Publix, we were able to try "Sweet Chile Pineapple Fish With Asian Corn Stir-Fry", it was the Apron's Simple Meal being prepared.  These meals are great, the recipe cards list the step by step directions and the shopping list tells you everything you need to buy.  Now I know that not everyone has a local publix, that's why I am sharing the link to the recipe.  The items can be found at most local grocery stores, or your local super Walmart.

Like I said it was quick, easy and delicious!!!  Let me know if you try it!

Sweet Chillie Pineapple Fish (Salmon)

Asian Corn Stir-Fry

Finished product... YUMMY!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The smallest survivor ~ Four year old battles breast cancer

I saw a reference to The Stir a Cafemom Blog on Facebook today.  It is a blog post regarding the story of Aleisha Hunter (photo), a 4 year-old from Cambridge, Ontario who is Canada's youngest breast cancer survivor.

Like Catherine Crawford who wrot the post, I too am having a hard time grasping the idea of a 'Four year old breast cancer survivor'.  Clearly this disease knows no boundries, that even our babies need to be gurarded from it at such an early age.  I cannot begin to imagine what her mom was feeling and going through when her little girl was having a mastectomy at the age of 4.  This situation however is very rare.

It is good to be aware that it has happened, and if Aleisha's story serves to educate just one mom in the event they find themselves in the same place, then it has served a greater purpose and we can all learn inspiration from this young survivor!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Test Your Breast Health Knowledge

If you have been following my posts this month, this one will be EASY!  Here is a quick quiz to test your breast health knowledge!
@komenforthecure: Know the simple steps to take charge of your breast health? #fightbreastcancer and take our quiz to find out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Dannon and NBCF Team Up!

Here is another great way to have a healthy snack and support the cause of breast cancer research/awareness at the same time!

Visit Cups of Hope for more information!

Dannon® and the National Breast Cancer Foundation are Teaming Up!

Dannon® and the National Breast Cancer Foundation are teaming up to Give Hope With Every Cup in the fight against breast cancer.

Dannon and the National Breast Cancer Foundation are united to carry out a mission of giving hope. It is the long standing mission of the National Breast Cancer Foundation to increase awareness through education, provide diagnostic breast care services for those in need, and provide nurturing support services to save lives through early detection.

Dannon is committed to helping people lead a healthy lifestyle through our line of fresh cultured dairy products and the support we provide to organizations like the National Breast Cancer Foundation. We are putting forth our efforts to rally a community around this cause and ultimately, give up to $1.5 million to the National Breast Cancer Foundation with a guaranteed minimum donation of 500,000, including retailer-specific programs.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ZUMBA® - Party in Pink Zumbathon fundraiser for breast Cancer

Through the years I have participated in MANY breast cancer fundraising events.  Today my sister Carmen and I participated in what I believe will go down in memory as one of the most fun to date.  I participated in a ZUMBA® Party in Pink Zumbathon. 

Signing in was quick and easy

They had a wonderful turn out

Here we are ready to go!

Betty was our wonderful instructor

Betty started with some basic instructions...

...then it was time to get started.

One of Carmen's "Bosom Buddy's" was there
Betty had help from more instructors...

...and they definitely got the heart rate up!

An hour and a half later, it was time to cool down.

And it was time for prizes!

I think the instructors agree
it was a great time for all

Our wonderful Instructors!
They did a great job!

ZUMBA® is one of the most fun "workouts", it makes you forget you are exercising. It is just so much fun!  If you haven't tried it I encourage you to find a class near you and Join the Party!  Visit the ZUMBA® website to find a class near you.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Current Breast Cancer Statistics

Below are the current key statistics for breast cancer as listed on the American Cancer Society's website.

What are the key statistics about breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman's life is a little less than 1 in 8 (12%).

The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2010:
  • About 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 54,010 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 39,840 women will die from breast cancer
After increasing for more than 2 decades, female breast cancer incidence rates decreased by about 2% per year from 1998 to 2007. This decrease was seen only in women aged 50 or older, and may be due at least in part to the decline in use of hormone therapy after menopause that occurred after the results of the Women's Health Initiative were published in 2002. This study linked the use of hormone therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart diseases.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about 1 in 35 (about 3%). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.

At this time there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.) Survival rates are discussed in the section "How is breast cancer staged?"

Last Medical Review: 09/17/2010
Last Revised: 09/17/2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Male Breast Cancer

Did you know that Peter Criss founding drummer of the band KISS is a male breast cancer survivor???

Breast Cancer is thought of as a woman’s disease; however men do get breast cancer too! For this reason during this month of Breast Cancer Awareness I would like to bring awareness to it. The Mayo Clinic defines Male Breast cancer as “cancer that forms in the breast tissue of men”.

In researching this subject I learned that male breast cancer is rare and it is most common in older men (between the ages of 60 – 70 years of age). Risk factors include (but are not limited to) a family history of breast cancer and exposure to radiation.

Below are the current estimates for male breast cancer from the ACS:

While only about 1% of breast cancer cases are male breast cancer, awareness needs to be increased to so that more people know it is not just a woman’s disease. When walking, running or biking for a the cause, don’t forget to cheer on the male survivors too!
The most recent American Cancer Society estimates for male breast cancer in the United States are for 2010:
  • About 1,970 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men 
  • About 390 men will die from breast cancer
Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. The number of breast cancer cases in men relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years.

The prognosis (outlook) for men with breast cancer was once thought to be worse than that for women, but recent studies have not found this to be true. In fact, men and women with the same stage of breast cancer have a fairly similar outlook for survival.

Last Medical Review: 09/17/2010
Last Revised: 09/17/2010

Just to note, Peter Criss and his wife also actively participate in awareness events like Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  Visit the MSABC website to find an event in your area.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Images of Health

In researching information to share with you all in observance of Breast Cancer Awarness Month I came across this website which was created out of a partnership between FujiFilm and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.  "Images of Health" is a website providing public awareness and education on the importance of early detection.  It is also a place to encourage women (their families and friends as well) who may be going through the process of being newly diagnosed, continuing treatment, or at high risk for breast cancer.

I looked over the site and found it informative and easy to navigate.  I read through some of the stories and found them inspirational and encouraging.  Hope you do too!

Have you been touched by breast cancer personally or through a family member or friend, share your story, it may provide inspiration and encouragement someone else who is coping with their story of breast cancer.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Awareness and Self-Exam

Today it is time to review the importance of self-awareness and self-exams (BSE).  The information below once again comes directly from American Cancer Society's website.

The recommendations brought up earlier this year recommended against self-exams "because evidence does not show that they have helped lower breast cancer death rates".  Well, I personally know, and have been told of, women who found their lumps because they did their BSEs regularly.  So I will keep doing mine, and I will continue to recommend them in my promotion of breast cancer awareness.

Breast awareness and self-exam

Beginning in their 20s, women should be told about the benefits and limitations of breast self-exam (BSE). Women should be aware of how their breasts normally look and feel and report any new breast changes to a health professional as soon as they are found. Finding a breast change does not necessarily mean there is a cancer.

A woman can notice changes by knowing how her breasts normally look and feel and feeling her breasts for changes (breast awareness), or by choosing to use a step-by-step approach and using a specific schedule to examine her breasts.

Women with breast implants can do BSE. It may be useful to have the surgeon help identify the edges of the implant so that you know what you are feeling. There is some thought that the implants push out the breast tissue and may make it easier to examine. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding can also choose to examine their breasts regularly.

If you choose to do BSE, the following information provides a step-by-step approach for the exam. The best time for a woman to examine her breasts is when the breasts are not tender or swollen. Women who examine their breasts should have their technique reviewed during their periodic health exams by their health care professional.

It is acceptable for women to choose not to do BSE or to do BSE occasionally. Women who choose not to do BSE should still know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to their doctor right away.

How to examine your breasts

Lie down on your back and place your right arm behind your head. The exam is done while lying down, not standing up. This is because when lying down the breast tissue spreads evenly over the chest wall and is as thin as possible, making it much easier to feel all the breast tissue.

Use the finger pads of the 3 middle fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps in the right breast. Use overlapping dime-sized circular motions of the finger pads to feel the breast tissue.

Use 3 different levels of pressure to feel all the breast tissue. Light pressure is needed to feel the tissue closest to the skin; medium pressure to feel a little deeper; and firm pressure to feel the tissue closest to the chest and ribs. It is normal to feel a firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast, but you should tell your doctor if you feel anything else out of the ordinary. If you're not sure how hard to press, talk with your doctor or nurse. Use each pressure level to feel the breast tissue before moving on to the next spot.

 Move around the breast in an up and down pattern starting at an imaginary line drawn straight down your side from the underarm and moving across the breast to the middle of the chest bone (sternum or breastbone). Be sure to check the entire breast area going down until you feel only ribs and up to the neck or collar bone (clavicle).

There is some evidence to suggest that the up-and-down pattern (sometimes called the vertical pattern) is the most effective pattern for covering the entire breast without missing any breast tissue.

Repeat the exam on your left breast, putting your left arm behind your head and using the finger pads of your right hand to do the exam.

While standing in front of a mirror with your hands pressing firmly down on your hips, look at your breasts for any changes of size, shape, contour, or dimpling, or redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin. (The pressing down on the hips position contracts the chest wall muscles and enhances any breast changes.)

Examine each underarm while sitting up or standing and with your arm only slightly raised so you can easily feel in this area. Raising your arm straight up tightens the tissue in this area and makes it harder to examine.

This procedure for doing breast self-exam is different from previous recommendations. These changes represent an extensive review of the medical literature and input from an expert advisory group. There is evidence that this position (lying down), the area felt, pattern of coverage of the breast, and use of different amounts of pressure increase a woman's ability to find abnormal areas.

Last Medical Review: 09/15/2010
Last Revised: 09/15/2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Importance of Early Detection & Risk Factors

Now it is time to start sharing some "good to know" information for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Today is information on the importance of early detection and what are the risk factors for breast cancer.

This information can be found on various websites.  I got my information for this post from the American Cancer Society's website.  I hope that you will feel free to look up this information on your own, but if not, I am going to do my best to provide as much of it as I can this month. 

Hope you enjoy ~ I would love to hear your feed back, feel free to leave a comment.

The importance of finding breast cancer early

The goal of screening exams for early breast cancer detection is to find cancers before they start to cause symptoms. Screening refers to tests and exams used to find a disease, such as cancer, in people who do not have any symptoms. Early detection means using an approach that allows earlier diagnosis of breast cancer than otherwise might have occurred.

Breast cancers that are found because they are causing symptoms tend to be larger and are more likely to have already spread beyond the breast. In contrast, breast cancers found during screening exams are more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast. The size of a breast cancer and how far it has spread are some of the most important factors in predicting the prognosis (outlook) of a woman with this disease.

Most doctors feel that early detection tests for breast cancer save many thousands of lives each year, and that many more lives could be saved if even more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests. Following the American Cancer Society's guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer improves the chances that breast cancer can be diagnosed at an early stage and treated successfully.

Last Medical Review: 09/15/2010
Last Revised: 09/15/2010

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease, such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. For example, exposing skin to strong sunlight is a risk factor for skin cancer. Smoking is a risk factor for cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx (voice box), bladder, kidney, and several other organs.

But risk factors don't tell us everything. Having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. Most women who have one or more breast cancer risk factors never develop the disease, while many women with breast cancer have no apparent risk factors (other than being a woman and growing older). Even when a woman with risk factors develops breast cancer, it is hard to know just how much these factors may have contributed to her cancer.

There are different kinds of risk factors. Some factors, like a person's age or race, can't be changed. Some are related to personal behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and diet. Still others are linked to cancer-causing factors in the environment. Some factors influence risk more than others, and your risk for breast cancer can change over time, due to factors such as aging or lifestyle changes.

Last Medical Review: 09/15/2010
Last Revised: 09/15/2010

Yoplait Coupon link via

This morning I asked you to "Save Lids to Save Lives", visit so that while you are saving lids and lives, you can save some money too! — Consumer Queen Bringing Consumers the best Bargains on and off the net!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Save Lids to Save Lives

Eat a healthy snack and help support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. For the 12th year in a row, Yoplait continues its commitment to support Komen by donating $0.10 per lid mailed in.

Be sure to mail your lids!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Be sure to sign this petition!

Lifetime Television Network breast cancer petition:

Protect breast cancer patients from "drive-through mastectomies," and learn more about the disease and how you can help raise breast cancer awareness.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - ACS recommendations for early breast cancer detection

Earlier this year there was a lot of news regarding the recommended time frames for screenings for early breast cancer detection.  As someone who knows her personal risk for breast cancer I personally took the updated information "with a grain of salt"; I will continue to my screening schedule as I have been doing for over 10 years now.

However, I do know that many women who are unfamiliar with their personal risk were confused as to when should they start, etc.  For this reason, in today's post I am providing you with the American Cancer Society's recommendations for early screenings.  It is my understanding that these are the recommendations currently followed by most healthcare providers and insurers.

As with every post, I hope you find this information helpful!

American Cancer Society recommendations for early breast cancer detection in women without breast symptoms

Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
  • Current evidence supporting mammograms is even stronger than in the past. In particular, recent evidence has confirmed that mammograms offer substantial benefit for women in their 40s. Women can feel confident about the benefits associated with regular mammograms for finding cancer early. However, mammograms also have limitations. A mammogram can miss some cancers, and it may lead to follow up of findings that are not cancer.
  • Women should be told about the benefits and limitations linked with yearly mammograms. But despite their limitations, mammograms are still a very effective and valuable tool for decreasing suffering and death from breast cancer. 
  • Mammograms should be continued regardless of a woman's age, as long as she does not have serious, chronic health problems such as congestive heart failure, end-stage renal disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and moderate to severe dementia. Age alone should not be the reason to stop having regular mammograms. Women with serious health problems or short life expectancies should discuss with their doctors whether to continue having mammograms. 
Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic (regular) health exam by a health professional preferably every 3 years. Starting at age 40, women should have a CBE by a health professional every year.
  • CBE is done along with mammograms and offers a chance for women and their doctor or nurse to discuss changes in their breasts, early detection testing, and factors in the woman's history that might make her more likely to have breast cancer.  
  • There may be some benefit in having the CBE shortly before the mammogram. The exam should include instruction for the purpose of getting more familiar with your own breasts. Women should also be given information about the benefits and limitations of CBE and breast self-examination (BSE). The chance of breast cancer occurring is very low for women in their 20s and gradually increases with age. Women should be told to promptly report any new breast symptoms to a health professional.
Breast self-examination (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should be told about the benefits and limitations of BSE. Women should report any breast changes to their health professional right away.
  • Research has shown that BSE plays a small role in finding breast cancer compared with finding a breast lump by chance or simply being aware of what is normal for each woman. Some women feel very comfortable doing BSE regularly (usually monthly after their period) which involves a systematic step-by-step approach to examining the look and feel of one's breasts. Other women are more comfortable simply feeling their breasts in a less systematic approach, such as while showering or getting dressed or doing an occasional thorough exam. Sometimes, women are so concerned about "doing it right" that they become stressed over the technique. Doing BSE regularly is one way for women to know how their breasts normally look and feel and to notice any changes. The goal, with or without BSE, is to report any breast changes to a doctor or nurse right away.  
  • Women who choose to use a step-by-step approach to BSE should have their BSE technique reviewed during their physical exam by a health professional. It is okay for women to choose not to do BSE or not to do it on a regular schedule such as once every month. However, by doing the exam regularly, you get to know how your breasts normally look and feel and you can more readily find any changes. If a change occurs, such as development of a lump or swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, nipple pain or retraction (turning inward), redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin, or a discharge other than breast milk (such as staining of your sheets or bra), you should see your health care professional as soon as possible for evaluation. Remember that most of the time, however, these breast changes are not cancer.

Women at high risk (greater than 20% lifetime risk) should get an MRI and a mammogram every year. Women at moderately increased risk (15% to 20% lifetime risk) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram. Yearly MRI screening is not recommended for women whose lifetime risk of breast cancer is less than 15%.
Women at high risk include those who:
  • Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation 
  • Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, and have not had genetic testing themselves 
  • Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of 20% to 25% or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history (see below) 
  • Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years
  • Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome, or have one of these syndromes in first-degree relatives

Women at moderately increased risk include those who:
  • Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of 15% to 20%, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history (see below) 
  • Have a personal history of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), or atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH) 
  • Have extremely dense breasts or unevenly dense breasts when viewed by mammograms
If MRI is used, it should be in addition to, not instead of, a screening mammogram. This is because although an MRI is a more sensitive test (it's more likely to detect cancer than a mammogram), it may still miss some cancers that a mammogram would detect.

For most women at high risk, screening with MRI and mammograms should begin at age 30 years and continue for as long as a woman is in good health. But because the evidence is limited regarding the best age at which to start screening, this decision should be based on shared decision-making between patients and their health care providers, taking into account personal circumstances and preferences.

Several risk assessment tools, with names such as the Gail model, the Claus model, and the Tyrer-Cuzick model, are available to help health professionals estimate a woman's breast cancer risk. These tools give approximate, rather than precise, estimates of breast cancer risk based on different combinations of risk factors and different data sets. As a result, they may give different risk estimates for the same woman. Their results should be discussed by a woman and her doctor when being used to decide whether to start MRI screening.

It is recommended that women who get a screening MRI do so at a facility that can do an MRI-guided breast biopsy at the same time if needed. Otherwise, the woman will have to have a second MRI exam at another facility when she has the biopsy.

There is no evidence right now that MRI will be an effective screening tool for women at average risk. While MRI is more sensitive than mammograms, it also has a higher false-positive rate (it is more likely to find something that turns out not to be cancer). This would lead to unneeded biopsies and other tests in many of the women screened.

The American Cancer Society believes the use of mammograms, MRI (in women at high risk), clinical breast exams, and finding and reporting breast changes early, according to the recommendations outlined above, offers women the best chance to reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer. This approach is clearly better than any one exam or test alone. Without question, a physical exam of the breast without a mammogram would miss the opportunity to detect many breast cancers that are too small for a woman or her doctor to feel but can be seen on mammograms. Mammograms are a sensitive screening method, but a small percentage of breast cancers do not show up on mammograms but can be felt by a woman or her doctors. For women at high risk of breast cancer, such as those with BRCA gene mutations or a strong family history, both MRI and mammogram exams of the breast are recommended.

Last Medical Review: 09/15/2010

Last Revised: 09/15/2010

AdoramaPix Photobook Review & Giveaway

Here is a product review from Nicole's Nickels, check out her website for more information and a chance to win.

AdoramaPix Photobook Review & Giveaway

by nicolesnickels on September 29, 2010

Name of Product: AdoramaPix Photobook

Price of Product: up to $130

Where can the product be purchased: online from AdoramaPix

Description of Product: “AdoramaPix photobooks are professional quality photobooks printed on real photo paper! This paper, developed by Fujifilm specifically for photobooks, produces vibrant, rich colors that last a lifetime. The books’ unique binding ensures that no part of your images are lost to the gutter and that every page opens and lays flat.”

Review of Product: I loved the finished product of the AdoramaPix photo book but found their site slightly more difficult to navigate than the other online photo sites. There was a lot of customization available which I like and after some time at it the site became more familiar to me. The learning curve is steeper but the finished product was well worth it. The lay flat pages make a really nice book and it’ll be treasured for years to come!

For Giveaway information and entry visit: Nicoles Nickels - AdoramaPix Photobook Review & Giveaway

Sunday, October 3, 2010

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Presidential Proclaimation

Just wanted to share with you the Presidential Proclaimation for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Ok, so I know I should have shared this first...
...but better late than never.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 01, 2010

Presidential Proclamation--National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

While considerable progress has been made in the fight against breast cancer, it remains the most frequently diagnosed type of non skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in our country. This year alone, over 200,000 Americans will be diagnosed and nearly 40,000 lives will be claimed. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting breast cancer research, and to educating all Americans about its risk factors, detection, and treatment. As we display pink ribbons on our lapels, offices, and storefronts, we also support those courageously fighting breast cancer and honor the lives lost to this devastating disease.

Thanks to earlier detection and better treatments, mortality rates for breast cancer have steadily decreased in the last decade. To advance the life saving research that has breathed promise into countless lives, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense are investing hundreds of millions of dollars annually in breast cancer research and related programs. Through funding from the Recovery Act, the National Cancer Institute is also conducting and supporting research and training projects, as well as distributing health information, to help Americans with breast cancer and health care providers face this disease.

Knowing what may contribute to breast cancer is an important part of its prevention. Risk factors for breast cancer include family and personal history, radiation therapy to the chest for previous cancers, obesity, and certain genetic changes. Being cognizant of these possible risk factors, as well as maintaining a healthy body weight and balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting regular screenings, may help lower the chances of developing breast cancer. I encourage all women and men to talk with their health care provider about their risks and what they can do to mitigate them, and to visit to learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of breast and other cancers.

Screenings and early detection are also essential components in the fight against breast cancer. For women ages 40 and over, regular mammograms and clinical breast exams by health care providers every one to two years are the most effective ways to find breast cancer early, when it may be easier to treat. Women at higher risk of breast cancer should discuss with their health care providers whether they need mammograms before age 40, as well as how often to have them. Regular mammograms, followed by timely treatment when breast cancer is diagnosed, can help improve the chances of surviving this disease.

In order to detect breast cancer early, we must ensure all women can access these important screenings. The Affordable Care Act, which I was proud to sign into law earlier this year, requires all new health insurance policies to cover recommended preventive services without any additional cost, including annual mammography screenings for women over age 40. The Affordable Care Act will also ensure that people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer cannot be excluded from coverage for a pre-existing condition or charged higher premiums.

During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we stand with our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, and we recognize all who have joined their loved ones in fighting their battle, as well as the advocates, researchers, and health care providers whose care and hard work gives hope to those living with breast cancer. By educating ourselves and supporting innovative research, we will improve the quality of life for all Americans affected by breast cancer and, one day, defeat this terrible disease.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2010 as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I encourage citizens, Government agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and all other interested groups to join in activities that will increase awareness of what Americans can do to prevent and control breast cancer.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

10 Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

Here is an article from PRNewswire I found on Breast Cancer Prevention.  I thought it was worthy of sharing.  Looks like this article will be the first in a series, the text is below and I provided the link so that you can revisit for the future articles:

10 Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

SEATTLE, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Throughout October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, experts from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and its clinical care partner, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, are offering a series of weekly research-based tip sheets regarding a variety of topics related to breast cancer, including breast cancer prevention, screening and early detection, treatment, and survivorship.

The series launches today with "10 Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention" provided by Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Hutchinson Center's Prevention Center, a member of the Center's Public Health Sciences Division, and author of "Breast Fitness" (St. Martin's Press).

Other upcoming tip sheets will include:

•Oct. 8 - "10 Tips for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection" by Constance Lehman, M.D., Ph.D., director of Breast Imaging and medical director of Radiology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

•Oct. 15 - "10 Tips for Breast Cancer Patients During Treatment" by Julie Gralow, M.D., director of Breast Medical Oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and co-author of "Breast Fitness" (St. Martin's Press).

•Oct. 22 - "10 Tips for Breast Cancer Survivors" by Karen Syrjala, Ph.D., director of Biobehavioral Sciences and co-director of the Survivorship Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

The first of four tip sheets in the series follows:

  1. Avoid becoming overweight. Obesity raises the risk of breast cancer after menopause, the time of life when breast cancer most often occurs. Avoid gaining weight over time, and try to maintain a body-mass index under 25 (calculators can be found online).
  2. Eat healthy to avoid tipping the scale. Embrace a diet high in vegetables and fruit and low in sugared drinks, refined carbohydrates and fatty foods. Eat lean protein such as fish or chicken breast and eat red meat in moderation, if at all. Eat whole grains. Choose vegetable oils over animal fats.
  3. Keep physically active. Research suggests that increased physical activity, even when begun later in life, reduces overall breast-cancer risk by about 10 percent to 30 percent. All it takes is moderate exercise like a 30-minute walk five days a week to get this protective effect.
  4. Drink little or no alcohol. Alcohol use is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Women should limit intake to no more than one drink per day, regardless of the type of alcohol.
  5. Avoid hormone replacement therapy. Menopausal hormone therapy increases risk for breast cancer. If you must take hormones to manage menopausal symptoms, avoid those that contain progesterone and limit their use to less than three years. "Bioidentical hormones" and hormonal creams and gels are no safer than prescription hormones and should also be avoided.
  6. Consider taking an estrogen-blocking drug. Women with a family history of breast cancer or who are over age 60 should talk to their doctor about the pros and cons of estrogen-blocking drugs such as tamoxifen and raloxifene.
  7. Don't smoke. Research suggests that long-term smoking is associated with increased risk of breast cancer in some women. Need help quitting? Consider participating in WebQuit, the Hutchinson Center's online smoking-cessation study.
  8. Breast-feed your babies for as long as possible. Women who breast-feed their babies for at least a year in total have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer later.
  9. Participate in a research study. The Hutchinson Center is home to several studies that are looking at ways to reduce the risk for breast cancer. Check our website periodically for studies that might be appropriate for you. Just go to and click on "How You Can Help."
  10. Get fit and support breast cancer research at the same time. Regular physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Ascend some of the world's most breathtaking peaks while raising vital funds for and awareness of breast cancer research by participating in the Hutchinson Center's annual Climb to Fight Breast Cancer. For more information, visit

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world.

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Dean Forbes

Friday, October 1, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2010

October 1, 2010 marks the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2010; this year marks the 25th year of this observance. Breast Cancer Awareness Month was first established in 1985 by the American Academy of Family Physicians and AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation and CancerCare, Inc.; the month has since grown to be a national event promoting educational events and various programs which encourage and empower women to take control of their own breast health. While October is the month dedicated to increasing awareness world wide, I personally feel that breast cancer awareness should be a 365 day/year (366 in leap years) mission, and for some it is.

This month there are lots of ways to show your support for breast cancer awareness. The first and (IMHO) the easiest way to show your support is to wear a pink ribbon everyday. But when you wear it, wear it with purpose. Use it as a way to remind women to get regular checkups and mammograms (if they’re over 40), do their self-exams, and to continue to support this cause by raising funds to continue the fight.

Be sure to check your local event listings participate in events in your area that are supporting the cause. There are a wide variety of events during the month from walks/runs to restaurant nights; everyone can find an event that fits their personal tastes.  Now if your are stumped for an event to participate in, or if you need an easier way to go about showing your support, please visit my Cousin Millie’s page at the Susan G. Komen 3-day for the Cure website.  She will be participating in this event as a 10 year breast cancer survivor, celebrating 10 years of being breast cancer free!  She is also walking in memory of my beautiful sister Edna who fought until the end in February, 2009.  Feel free to support her efforts by giving a donation to the cause.

Millie celebrating 10 years being breast cancer free!

Whatever you do to make this month significant, I thank you in advance for your support of the cause.
Looking forward to seeing all those pink ribbons out there!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...