Highlighted in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2009
Early detection of breast cancer is critical and can be the difference in saving your mother’s life. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), when breast cancer is detected early, the five- year survival rate is 98%.
Breast Cancer Survival Tips
1. Every Woman Needs An Early Detection Plan (EDP)
The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) recently launched its Early Detection Plan (EDP?), an easy-to-use interactive tool that utilizes everyday technology such as emails, text messages, calendars, and RSS feeds to help remind women to schedule their mammograms, clinical breast exams, and breast self-exams. It just takes a few seconds to sign up at www.nbcf.org.
2. Know Your Family Tree
Every woman should consider her risk factors and family history. If your mother has had breast cancer or has a family history, such as a mother, sister, or daughter diagnosed with breast cancer, her risk of developing the disease may increase. NCI has an online tool designed for health professionals to help assess a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer: //www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/.
3. You Need Fat In Your Diet
If you look through your mother’s pantry, I’m sure you’ll find the shelves littered with oxymorons and manipulative diet jargon - “Fat Free Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies” or “Lose The Belly With Fat Free Jelly”. Many people forget that some fats are essential to a healthy diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to health, and it’s been suggested they may decrease the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in foods such as, fish, flaxseed, sunflower, eggs, and walnuts.
4. Is Your Workout Intense Enough?
No one can deny the benefits of exercise on the body. Besides its power to improve your overall well-being, research has suggested that it may also lower the risk of breast cancer. A recent NCI study suggested a decreased risk in women who vigorously exercised and were not overweight. Vigorous exercise includes running, cycling, heavy jogging, and gardening. If your mother is not already doing these activities, she should talk to her doctor about beginning her exercise program.
5. A Day Without Sunshine Is Like, You Know, Night
American Cancer Society (ACS) published a study suggesting that breast cancer patients may not recover as well if they have a deficient amount of Vitamin D, which is produced by the body when it is exposed to sunlight. NCI recommends about 15 minutes of sun exposure twice a week to build Vitamin D in the body. Take a walk around the block with your mother, but don’t stay out too long; otherwise, apply sunscreen to protect skin from overexposure to harmful UV radiation.
6. Sometimes The Most Urgent Thing You Can Possibly Do Is Take A Complete Rest
American novelist, E.W. Howe, once said, “There is only one thing people like that is good for them, a good night’s sleep.” We all know sleep is important, but it could have an impact on breast cancer as well. Results from a recent study in Japan showed that women who slept five hours a night were 62 percent more likely to have breast cancer than women who slept seven hours a night. Over a cup of chamomile tea, remind your mother she needs a good night’s rest.
About the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
NBCF was founded in 1991 by cancer survivor, Janelle Hail. NBCF’s mission is to save lives through early detection and to provide mammograms for those in need. NBCF provides Help for Today…Hope For Tomorrow® through an innovative online community, www.mynbcf.org, educational awareness programs, and free mammograms for women across the country.
For more information about NBCF, visit //www.nbcf.org.