Archive for screening & prevention

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

Things You Need to Know About Colorectal Cancer

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.

Kale & Butternut Squash Saute

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Kale & Butternut Squash Saute… DELISH!

 

WedMD writes this about kale… “Move over Popeye and make room for the “queen of greens,” kale. Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor.  Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.”

 

Now most people who know me know that I’m obsessed with kale and am in constant search of new ways to prepare it.  Thanks to Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, Kale & Chocolate and Pink Kitchen, I’ve made some delicious, nutritious, cancer-fighting meals using my favorite green superfood.  I’d like to share a new yummy recipe using kale I just made from Fitness Magazine.

Kale & Butternut Squash Saute  *Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons of high quality olive oil
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 1/2 cups chopped fresh kale
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt AND pepper
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
4 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

 

METHOD 

1.  In a large skillet,heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add squash, onion & garlic and cook, stirring constantly until squash is slightly tender, about 7 minutes.  (** Next time I prepare this dish, I instead will lightly toss the squash with olive oil and then roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until brown and then add it to the sauteed onion & garlic.  I prefer that consistency for the squash.)

2.  Add kale, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook until kale is wilted and tender, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.

3.  Add cranberries and nuts; toss to combine.  Sprinkle with goat cheese.  And enjoy!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Ask Your GYN About Cervical Cancer Prescreening…

Image credit: 123RF Stock Photo

 

Occasionally I come across information that might be able to help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place and when I do, I just have to write about it.  After all, prevention and early detection are key to beating cancer.

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

The American Cancer Society estimates that over 12,000 new cases of invasive cervical cancer (where the cancer has spread into adjacent tissues) will be diagnosed this year in the US.  And the most important risk factor for developing cervical cancer in the first place is having had the human papillomavirus or HPV.  This means that HPV can actually cause cervical cancer.

 

Although Gardasil is a vaccine that is now being given to many girls to help guard against HPV and cervical cancer, what about older women who have never received the vaccine?  Is there a prescreening test for HPV and cervical cancer?  YES!  Check out the Digene HPV Test, an FDA-approved  test to be used in combination with the Pap test in women over 30 years old.

 

Why age 30 and older?  In women over 30 years of age, HPV infections are more likely to be persistent and potentially cancer-causing as opposed to HPV infections in women under 30, which are relatively common and usually go away on their own before they cause problems.  

 

THE BOTTOMLINE:  To reduce their risk of cervical cancer, women over the age of 30 should request (actually demand) this in addition to their annual PAP Test.  BTW most insurance companies cover this screening.

To learn more about the digene HPV Test, check out www.theHPVtest.com.  To find a Healthcare Provider in your area that utilizes this test, click HERE.  To see how often you should have the HPV Test, click HERE.

Many, many thanks to @Jayferro & Priscilla’s Promise for helping raise awareness and fund research to cure cervical cancer.  Join me in making Priscilla’s Promise “I promise to have an annual OB-GYN visit and ask my doctor about cervical cancer prescreening tests.”  Be proactive…. get tested.  It could save your life!

 

 

 

GR8 Resources to Help with Testicular Cancer…

Did you know that although testicular cancer is “rare” (accounting for about 1% of all male cancers), it is the most common form of cancer in men ages 15-35?

If you’ve been diagnosed with testicular cancer and would like some help figuring out next steps, or if you want to learn how to do a monthly self-check of “the boyz”, you’ve got to check out these AMAZING organizations:

 

Testicular Cancer Society  

The Testicular Cancer Society will help you find the best doctors for your particular situation.  They will help you evaluate your treatment options.  They will literally hold your hand and help you in any way they can.  Just contact their founder Mike Craycroft at mike@testicularcancersociety.org.  BTW, I LOVE the “Just Diagnosed. Now What?” section of their website.

 

 Single Jingles

Single Jingles has a network of testicular cancer survivors and partnerships with other survivor groups across the country.  They help make support possible from almost anywhere.  Regardless of where you are in your journey, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact them and they will hook you up or point you in the right direction.  Single Jingles has created a FREE App showing men how to do a Monthly Self Check of their testicles- that’s right boys, you should be checkin’ your boyz every month when your in the shower. Download Single Jingles’ FREE App HERE