Archive for screening & prevention

Pesticides & Food

This infographic was created by Garrick Dee of JuicingWithG, a blog that’s all about juicing. The information presented here was taken directly from the Environmental Working Group’s website.

For more information on when to buy organic produce vs. conventional produce, click HERE.

Dirty Dozen Infographic

 

When to Buy Organic: 2014 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15


 

Many people believe that the pesticides used to grow conventional or non-organic produce may have played a role in their cancer and that removing pesticides from our food may help re-build and strengthen their bodies.  Although there is no definitive research proving either belief, should we avoid buying some or all fruits or vegetables that are conventionally grown?  

 

To help answer this question, the Environmental Working Group (EWG)the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization, created the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.  This guide, which is updated each year, highlights the cleanest and dirtiest conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables. The EWG recommends that if a conventionally grown food tests high for pesticides, go for the organic version instead whenever possible.

 

The 12 most pesticide-laden foods are known as “The Dirty Dozen”. When choosing fruits & veggies included in the Dirty Dozen, the EWG suggests buying these foods as ORGANIC.

2014 Dirty Dozen includes: 

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines (imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

*When possible, the EWG suggests that hot peppers and leafy greens like kale and collard greens should also be purchased as organic as these veggies are often tainted with unusually hazardous pesticides.

 

The 15 least pesticide-laden foods are known as The Clean 15″.  If the fruit or veggie is listed on the Clean 15, it’s ok to buy it as non-organic or conventional.

2014 Clean 15 includes:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas – frozen
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes

 

*  Keep in mind that the information above is based on produce bought at supermarkets. If you shop at farmers markets, ask about their growing practices. Even if what they sell isn’t certified organic, many local farmers use as few pesticides as possible, making the foods on the Dirty Dozen become good choices, even if they aren’t certified organic.

 

*  The EWG maintains that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure So it’s better to eat conventionally-grown produce than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.

 

*  Download the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce App on your smart phone.  The App is available for an Android phonefor an iPhone or iPad; or for a Windows phone.   

 

 

Protect Yourself From Mesothelioma (aka Summer’s Silent Threat)

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Meet PATIENT ADVOCATE Susan Vento of The Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign (ACVRC) a national campaign dedicated to protecting the rights of asbestos victims, making sure they and their families are protected in seeking compensation, and opposing legislation that seeks to roll back their rights.  At the end of this article written by the ACVRC, I’ve listed some incredible resources to help anyone touched by mesothelioma, the cancer caused by asbestos exposure.  

 

“Now that summer is in full swing, people are jumping into their long-awaited plans, projects, and warm weather activities. Though this season is characteristically carefree, there is great risk of coming into contact with invisible carcinogenic hazards, asbestos specifically, that can severely compromise your long-term health.

As a result of the widespread and historical use of asbestos, many common summer hobbies and recreational activities come with an unforeseen risk of exposure. According to the World Health Organization, more than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases. Before you embark on any of the following summer activities, your awareness of how you could potentially expose yourself to asbestos is crucial.

DIY & DEMOLITION

Summer is the season when homeowners often decide to dust off their do-it-yourself gloves. Roughly three quarters of homeowners are planning to work on home improvement projects this year, and according to the EPA, over 35 million homes in the U.S. contain asbestos, making any of these projects potentially dangerous.

Within the home, asbestos may be found in places like attic and wall insulation, vinyl flooring, hot water pipes, and textured paint on walls and ceilings. When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or damaged, the microscopic fibers become airborne which can then be inhaled into the lungs, causing disease. If you drill, cut, saw, hammer, or move anything in your home that may contain asbestos without proper inspection, you’re putting you and your loved ones at great risk.

EXPLORING ABANDONED BUILDINGS

In the summer, children are known to explore abandoned or demolished properties including buildings, railroad tracks, factories, and vehicles. If your child rummages through these neglected and unregulated areas, they will be at great risk for coming into contact with and disturbing asbestos-laden materials, breathing in its lethal dust. Take the time to sit with your kids and educate them about these hidden dangers, while also providing suggestions for fun alternative adventures.

GARAGE SALES & ANTIQUING

In addition to the building materials already discussed, many household items and appliances were commonly manufactured with asbestos prior to the early 1980s. When on the hunt for garage sales, flea markets, and antique shops, avoid purchasing vintage-looking commodities such as heat-resistant fabrics, auto parts, and stove top ovens. There are even oven mitts, irons, and ironing boards that were once marketed specifically because they were made with asbestos. Consult a “Safe Antiques” guide before your next excursion to ensure you won’t mistakenly invite anything made with asbestos into your home.

GARDENING

As a result of geological processes, naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) can be found in soil and rock which can then be disturbed by natural weathering and human activity. When digging and tilling gardens in areas potentially containing NOA, asbestos mineral fibers can be released into the air and inhaled, or tracked into the home on clothing and shoes. To locate NOA areas and ensure your gardening project is a safe endeavor, start by consulting the U.S. Geological Survey reports and contact a state geologist.

CAMPING & BONFIRES

Many people use camp and bonfires for discarding old cabin or household scraps, or they simply enjoy finding nearby, useless materials to burn. However, what you may not realize is that the materials you choose to burn could contain toxic asbestos, which again, becomes lethal when broken down and inhaled. For example, in the UK last year, a group of young people unknowingly built a bonfire using asbestos-laden roofing sheets. Rather than risking your health, keep to using organic materials such as sticks or paper.

PROTECT YOURSELF

Your greatest form of protection this summer is knowledge. Educating yourself and your family on the dangers of asbestos exposure and spreading awareness is your greatest tool at reducing your risk. For many, however, taking these precautions and becoming aware is, tragically, no longer an option. However, there are ways you can help to lessen and prevent further pain for the individuals and families affected. The FACT Act, allegedly intended to promote transparency and prevent fraudulent asbestos claims, in reality invades the privacy of victims and their families, while the companies that victimized them in the first place are left untouched. Ultimately, the FACT Act protects asbestos companies while further victimizing those already suffering. Help support those who have suffered from asbestos by signing our petition. Together, we can help ensure everyone has the safest summer possible and prevent the furthered suffering of asbestos victims.”

If you or anyone you know has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, consider connecting with these organizations dedicated to assisting mesothelioma victims and their families.  These organizations can help you find the best doctors, treatments and information about mesothelioma.

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

The Mesothelioma Center

Mesthelioma HELP

Mesthelioma.Net

MesoCare

Mesothelioma Survivors

April Awareness in May & Beyond….

This guest post was written by my very favorite Dental Oncologist Dr. Dennis Abbott of Dental Oncology Professionals of North Texas.   Thank you Dr. Abbott for all you do.  YOU are a rockstar Dr. Abbott! xox***

 

Yesterday marked the end of Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. It was, perhaps, one of the most active awareness months I have been a part of thus far in my career. There were walks, recipe tastings, free oral cancer screenings, and national media attention for great national and local organizations to raise awareness about the sixth most common cancer. But for those with oral or head and neck cancer, every month is April.

People touched by oral or head and neck cancer must learn to live life with a “new normal.” Things that most of us take for granted like eating, speaking, brushing our teeth, or even smiling become challenging and serve as daily reminders of a disease that forever changes normalcy. A new face or a new voice may greet family, friends, and strangers. Eating out at a favorite restaurant may be embarrassing or even worse, impossible. When once upon a time, leaving home without a watch or a cell phone may have prompted a quick return to the house, now that return visit is necessitated to retrieve the water bottle that sits on the kitchen counter.

Those affected by oral and head & neck cancer do not need stares because surgery has changed their outward appearance. They do not need need prejudice from those who try to deduce why they “got cancer.” And trust me when I tell you, those affected by oral and head & neck cancer do not need sympathy. They are survivors! They are adapters! They are inspirations!

What oral and head and neck cancer survivors need is understanding… understanding from those around them how their world has been forever changed by disease; understanding how we can increase health and quality of life for those who met cancer head on, literally, and won; and understanding how all of us can prevent oral and head and neck cancer from happening to others. This is what April was all about…raising awareness, increasing understanding, and coming together to make a difference!

So, although the calendar may say May…it is always April in my heart…because I choose to make a difference in the lives of those who have been touched by oral and head and neck cancer!

Dennis M. Abbott, D.D.S. is the founder and CEO of Dental Oncology Professionals of North Texas, an oral medicine practice dedicated to meeting the unique dental and oral health needs of patients battling cancer. In addition to private practice, he is a member of the dental oncology medical staff at Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center and Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Abbott is a nationally recognized leader in oral health care associated with cancer care. He regularly publishes articles on the subjects of dental oncology and oral medicine and presents lectures to professionals and patients throughout the North America. 

Organic or Conventional: the 2013 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

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Exposure to pesticides in foods has been linked to many health conditions including cancer.  After all, it makes sense that we put both into our bodies and on our bodies affect our bodies.  To help guide consumers on what produce they should really try to buy organic (grown without the use of pesticides), the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization, has released its annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.  This guide does change slightly from year to year.

 

The Dirty Dozen includes the 12 most pesticide-laden foods.  When choosing fruits & veggies listed on the Dirty Dozen (see below for list), try to buy ORGANIC.

2013 Dirty Dozen List

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Hot peppers

*Kale, collard greens and summer squash should also be purchased as organic.  Click here for more info on why EWG recommends this*

 

The Clean 15 include the 15 least pesticide-laden foods.  If the fruit or veggie is listed on the Clean 15, it’s ok to buy it as non-organic or conventional.

2013 Clean 15 list

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Sweet potatoes
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Grapefruit
  5. Kiwi
  6. Eggplant
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Sweet peas – frozen
  11. Cabbage
  12. Avocados
  13. Pineapple
  14. Onions
  15. Corn

 

*  Keep in mind that the information above is based on produce bought at supermarkets. If you shop at farmers markets, ask about their growing practices. Even if what they sell isn’t certified organic, many local farmers use as few pesticides as possible, making the foods on the Dirty Dozen become good choices, even if they aren’t certified organic.

 

*  The EWG also maintains that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.  So it’s better to eat conventionally-grown produce than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.

 

*  You can download the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce app on your smart phone using these links:  for Android phone; for iPhone or iPad; for Windows phone.   

 

 

Things You Need to Know About Colorectal Cancer

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Source: Uploaded by user via C21 on Pinterest

 

Colorectal cancer or colon cancer (CRC) is the one of the most common, most deadly and most preventable cancers. This cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests like colonoscopies can stop colon cancer before it even starts, or it can find the cancer in it’s early stages which increases the chances of successful treatment.

THE BOTTOMLINE:  Get screened starting at age 50.  However, if you or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer or if you have inflammatory bowel disease, get screened earlier.  

Today is World Cancer Day…

http://www.worldcancerday.org

http://www.worldcancerday.org

World Cancer Day is a chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease. This year the focus is on dispelling 4 common myths about cancer.  Get the facts straight… Learn the truth and supporting evidence, by clicking on the myths below.

Myth 1: Cancer is just a health issue

Myth 2: Cancer is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries

Myth 3: Cancer is a death sentence

Myth 4: Cancer is my fate

 

For more information or to show your support for a cancer-free world, visit www.worldcancerday.org.

WTF is “Digital Breast Tomosynthesis”?

3D-Mammography-Alaska

 

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis or “3-D Mammography” is the latest advance in digital mammography.  Now FDA-approved, this imaging tool yields a more accurate mammogram and can help detect breast cancer earlier.

 

Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…

A conventional mammogram creates a 2-dimensional, flat picture of breast tissue.  As a result, normal overlapping breast tissue can often hide tiny spots and other subtle signs of early stage breast cancer.  Digital Breast Tomosynthesis combines conventional 2-D mammography with 3-D images of the breast.  It allows radiologists to examine breast tissue in one millimeter layers.  Fine details are more clearly visible.  And the earlier cancer is detected, the more curable it is.

Tomosynthesis is a great option for women with dense breast tissue and one or more risk factors like family history.  However, Tomosynthesis may or may not be covered by your insurance so ask when scheduling your mammogram.  To find a facility that offers Tomosynthesis, check out this “Find a Facility Locator”.

 

 

 

 

The Dealio on Ovarian Cancer

Mount Sinai Hospital has put together this fantastic info on Ovarian Cancer…  the 3 main types of ovarian cancer; the risk factors; symptoms; treatment options & ways to minimize the risk of getting it.  Knowledge is power… Many thanks Mount Sinai Hospital for sharing the power!

 

Learn about the three main types of ovarian cancer, the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment.
Source: Mount Sinai Medical Center

Check Your Balls Boyz…

Did you know that….

* Testicular Cancer is the most common form of cancer in men age 15-35.

* 1 guy every day dies from testicular cancer.

*  Men themselves, not doctors, find most testicular cancers as a painless lump or an enlargement or hardening of the testicle- which is why regular self-exams are so important.

*  Testicular cancer is one of the easiest to treat cancers… when it’s caught early.

If you do notice any lumps or changes it is important to see a doctor or better yet, a urologist immediately.

(source: SingleJingles.org)

Other warning signs may include:

  • Any enlargement of a testicle
  • A significant loss of size in one of the testicles
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen, back or in the groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
For more information on testicular cancer, check out www.singlejingles.org and www.testicularcancersociety.org- these guys will literally help you every step of the way- from learning how to self-check to what to do should you be diagnosed… they ROCK!