Sunday, June 27, 2010

Isn't It Romantic?

It's not you- it's society. Truly. Read this article by Camille Paglia. She touches on so many things we discuss in Intimacy After Breast Cancer. Even for people without cancer, the "thrill" is gone. Why? There is no effort, mystery, imagination or plain old romance anymore. Do yourself a favor. Turn off trash TV and turn on Turner Classic Movies. The stars of yesterday as well as the writers and directors of their films knew romance and sexuality. Compare these film clips with her examples.  You'll see. It isn't over. But it takes work and imagination and a dip into the past.

Op-Ed Contributor/New York Times
No Sex Please, We’re Middle Class
Published: June 25, 2010
WILL women soon have a Viagra of their own? Although a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recently rejected an application to market the drug flibanserin in the United States for women with low libido, it endorsed the potential benefits and urged further research. Several pharmaceutical companies are reported to be well along in the search for such a drug.

The implication is that a new pill, despite its unforeseen side effects, is necessary to cure the sexual malaise that appears to have sunk over the country. But to what extent do these complaints about sexual apathy reflect a medical reality, and how much do they actually emanate from the anxious, overachieving, white upper middle class?

In the 1950s, female “frigidity” was attributed to social conformism and religious puritanism. But since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, American society has become increasingly secular, with a media environment drenched in sex.

The real culprit, originating in the 19th century, is bourgeois propriety. As respectability became the central middle-class value, censorship and repression became the norm. Victorian prudery ended the humorous sexual candor of both men and women during the agrarian era, a ribaldry chronicled from Shakespeare’s plays to the 18th-century novel. The priggish 1950s, which erased the liberated flappers of the Jazz Age from cultural memory, were simply a return to the norm.

Only the diffuse New Age movement, inspired by nature-keyed Asian practices, has preserved the radical vision of the modern sexual revolution. But concrete power resides in America’s careerist technocracy, for which the elite schools, with their ideological view of gender as a social construct, are feeder cells.

In the discreet white-collar realm, men and women are interchangeable, doing the same, mind-based work. Physicality is suppressed; voices are lowered and gestures curtailed in sanitized office space. Men must neuter themselves, while ambitious women postpone procreation. Androgyny is bewitching in art, but in real life it can lead to stagnation and boredom, which no pill can cure.

Meanwhile, family life has put middle-class men in a bind; they are simply cogs in a domestic machine commanded by women. Contemporary moms have become virtuoso super-managers of a complex operation focused on the care and transport of children. But it’s not so easy to snap over from Apollonian control to Dionysian delirium.

Nor are husbands offering much stimulation in the male display department: visually, American men remain perpetual boys, as shown by the bulky T-shirts, loose shorts and sneakers they wear from preschool through midlife. The sexes, which used to occupy intriguingly separate worlds, are suffering from over-familiarity, a curse of the mundane. There’s no mystery left.

The elemental power of sexuality has also waned in American popular culture. Under the much-maligned studio production code, Hollywood made movies sizzling with flirtation and romance. But from the early ’70s on, nudity was in, and steamy build-up was out. A generation of filmmakers lost the skill of sophisticated innuendo. The situation worsened in the ’90s, when Hollywood pirated video games to turn women into cartoonishly pneumatic superheroines and sci-fi androids, fantasy figures without psychological complexity or the erotic needs of real women.

Furthermore, thanks to a bourgeois white culture that values efficient bodies over voluptuous ones, American actresses have desexualized themselves, confusing sterile athleticism with female power. Their current Pilates-honed look is taut and tense — a boy’s thin limbs and narrow hips combined with amplified breasts. Contrast that with Latino and African-American taste, which runs toward the healthy silhouette of the bootylicious BeyoncĂ©.

A class issue in sexual energy may be suggested by the apparent striking popularity of Victoria’s Secret and its racy lingerie among multiracial lower-middle-class and working-class patrons, even in suburban shopping malls, which otherwise trend toward the white middle class. Country music, with its history in the rural South and Southwest, is still filled with blazingly raunchy scenarios, where the sexes remain dynamically polarized in the old-fashioned way.

On the other hand, rock music, once sexually pioneering, is in the dumps. Black rhythm and blues, born in the Mississippi Delta, was the driving force behind the great hard rock bands of the ’60s, whose cover versions of blues songs were filled with electrifying sexual imagery. The Rolling Stones’ hypnotic recording of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster,” with its titillating phallic exhibitionism, throbs and shimmers with sultry heat.

But with the huge commercial success of rock, the blues receded as a direct influence on young musicians, who simply imitated the white guitar gods without exploring their roots. Step by step, rock lost its visceral rawness and seductive sensuality. Big-ticket rock, with its well-heeled middle-class audience, is now all superego and no id.

In the 1980s, commercial music boasted a beguiling host of sexy pop chicks like Deborah Harry, Belinda Carlisle, Pat Benatar, and a charmingly ripe Madonna. Late Madonna, in contrast, went bourgeois and turned scrawny. Madonna’s dance-track acolyte, Lady Gaga, with her compulsive overkill, is a high-concept fabrication without an ounce of genuine eroticism.

Pharmaceutical companies will never find the holy grail of a female Viagra — not in this culture driven and drained by middle-class values. Inhibitions are stubbornly internal. And lust is too fiery to be left to the pharmacist.

Camille Paglia, a professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts, is the author of “Sexual Personae.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Help Us Save Lives

There is now proof that the US Task Force has done damage. This group of people announced in the fall that women under 50 years of age do not need mammograms. The No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation is vehemently against this decision and has made our opinion known.

Our Before Forty Initiative is  working hard to get the word out to all women that Early Detection is your BEST defense. If you want the highest chance of beating cancer: find it while it is still small. That is why we are educating women about the importance of baseline screenings BEFORE the age of Forty and follow-up care that involves not only mammography, but ultra sound and breast MRI.

We need your help to help us save the lives of women.


Please DONATE to our foundation to help us. We need funding.

Read today's news, and you will find more proof why it is our duty to protect the women who come after us.

Mammogram screening down 13 percent since 'flawed' recommendations

By Aimee Heckel Camera Staff Writer

Terry Stiven, of Lafayette, almost didn't get the test.
She had no family history of breast cancer. She'd had mammograms in the past, and she had no signs of cancer.

Then, this fall, the United States Preventative Service Task Force released new recommendations: Women between 40 and 49 years old don't need mammograms. The benefits of testing don't outweigh the risks, the task force said.

Now, it seemed there was no reason to get the 10-minute, slightly uncomfortable screening. In February, Stiven, 46, went ahead and got tested anyway, expecting nothing.
She had cancer.

Not invasive breast cancer, though. Doctors removed the lump, and she had four weeks of radiation. The experience was frightening, but not damaging.

Today -- just four months later -- Stiven is cancer-free, with extremely low chances of it returning. She still has both breasts, she runs triathlons and her life expectancy has not been shortened.

"If I'd waited four years, I don't know if I would have been alive," she says.
Stiven is one reason of many that local doctors have launched an aggressive campaign to counter the U.S. Preventative Task Force's advisory.

"Getting a mammogram is one of the most important things a woman can do to live a long, healthy life," says David Oppenheimer, the chief physician of the mammography department of the Boulder Community Hospital.

And he's not just talking about women older than 50.

One third of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Boulder County are between 40 and 49 years old, according to the Boulder Community Hospital. More than 40 percent are younger than 50 -- the task force's "arbitrary" age cut-off, Oppenheimer says.

Since the task force's recommendation, the hospital's imaging department reports a 13 percent decline in mammograms -- the majority among women in their 40s and 50s.

Nanna Bo Christensen, the Boulder Community Hospital's Breast Health Navigator, attributes this drop at least in part to the national recommendation.

Other women may be afraid they can't afford it -- even though it is illegal in Colorado for insurance companies not to cover screenings for women age 40 and older. The Women's Wellness Connection offers financial support for women who need it, too, says Christensen.

"Mammography saves lives," she says. "The key to survival is early detecting."

In fact, the younger the woman, the faster the breast cancer grows, doctors say, due to higher levels of estrogen, which feeds the cancer cells.

And if you find cancer before it spreads to the lymph nodes, Oppenheimer says, doctors have a 97 percent chance of curing it. Once it hits the lymphs, the cure rate plunges.

The number of women who die from breast cancer is down since 1990, and experts say that's primarily due to increases in the number of women being screened.

So why would a government panel recommend against something that statistics show helps save lives?
The task force looked at false-positive tests and the related anxiety, unnecessary biopsies and exposure to radiation.

Oppenheimer asserts data used for the recommendation was scientifically flawed, and that the task force left out several important studies to skew the numbers in favor of its recommendation. As to the radiation question, he says about 1 in 3 million mammograms actually causes cancer.

"However, we know that one in eight women are going to get breast cancer in their lives, so the advantages far outweigh the tiny risk," he says.

Mammograms detect cancer 90 percent of the time, the hospital says, making them the most effective screening tool.

A slew of organizations have since denounced the recommendation, including the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Avon Foundation, the Obama Administration, American College of Radiology, American Society of Breast Imaging, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"Now we as physicians and a health care community have a huge job on our hands to re-educate the community," Oppenheimer says. "Once people stop getting tested, it's a huge effort to convince people to start again."

The U.S. task force also said women older than 50 only need to get a mammogram every two years instead of annually.

When Jill Kamon, of Boulder, heard that, she says she was horrified.

Kamon was diagnosed at age 51 with breast cancer. If she had followed the recommendations, she would have skipped the mammogram that found the small lump in the back of her breast. The cancer would have had a year to grow before her next mammogram. She couldn't feel it with a self-exam.

"To me, the mammogram and radiologist who read the mammogram completely saved my life. There is no question," says Kamon, who had a double mastectomy in the summer of 2007. The lump was only 6 millimeters big, but it was growing aggressively.

"I'd had a mammogram exactly one year earlier that was clear," she says. "That dot was not there."

By the numbers

13 percent -- Decrease in mammograms at the Boulder Community Hospital since the U.S. 
Preventative Service Task Force recommendation in the fall. The majority of these women are in their 40s and 50s.
30 percent -- Decrease in breast cancer's death rate since 1990, nationally.
42 percent -- Of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the Boulder Community Hospital were younger than 50; 32 percent were in their 40s.
More than 30 percent -- Decreased death rate, due to mammography screenings for women in their 40s.
One in eight -- American women are affected by breast cancer.
97 percent -- Chance of curing breast cancer if it's caught before spreading to the lymph nodes.
About 1 in 3 million -- Chance of the radiation from a mammogram causing breast cancer.
Sources: Boulder Community Hospital, Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Open letter to Warren Buffett and Bill Gates

Dear Mr. Buffett and Gates,

I read with great interest your new initiative, "Billionaires Should Give Half Their Wealth to Charity," HERE.

I would very much like to help you get started in your new endeavor.

The No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation is helping thousands of women across the world with breast cancer. We are a 501 c3, not for profit organization and can work with both of you very closely.

Many breast cancer survivors would like to give as much as possible to help other women through this disease and to find better treatments, more advanced diagnostics and, someday, a cure. However, after a woman completes treatment, which usually consists of several surgeries, months of chemotherapy followed by weeks of radiation, she is faced with mountains of medical bills, co-pays and never ending drug expenses. There is a lot of catching up to do financially after your life has been turned upside down by this wretched disease. As a result, there is little left over to donate to a cause that is so close to your heart.

The No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation was founded by a survivor and managed by survivors, so we are aware that the women we help are not in a financial position to support all of our needs. That is why we need help from outside sources. That is why we need you.

We are working hard to improve and grow. We need financial support to help achieve our mission.

Our Website

The main website was designed for a woman who needs to learn everything she can about her disease so she can make the best medical decisions for her care. When first diagnosed, there is a flurry of confusion and an information overload that makes a woman feel like she is drowning. When she comes to our website, she finds a lifeline, because all of her questions are answered in a clear way that is easy to understand, not bogged down with outdated stats and incomprehensible doctor-speak.

Instead, she learns about her cancer, how to read her pathology report, and she understands her options. These include surgical and reconstruction options, chemotherapy options, hormonal choices, etc. Then with a click of the mouse, she learns how to cope with the side effects of treatment and all the little details her doctor doesn’t have time tell her about, but a fellow survivor does. Then we go one step further, we offer a twenty four hour, seven day a week Support Forum.

Our Support Forum is one of the warmest place on the internet. A woman can ask any question and her fellow sisters gather around to help her with the best answers based on their own personal experiences. Then, if even more information is needed, there is a medical researcher on board to offer the latest in treatment options, clinical trials and complimentary therapy.

Our Website and Support Forum are a vital resource to women who need true support any time of the day or night. We need financial support to upgrade the site, keep it current and to moderate the forum so women feel safe posting there, free from spam and unsavory internet intruders that unfortunately target breast cancer websites. Your support will help us reach more women through the financing of educational pamphlets which will be distributed in doctor’s offices all over the world, leading a newly diagnosed woman to hope - our Website and Support Forum.

The Before Forty Initiative

There is a crime being committed every day. Women are dying because they are being diagnosed too late. Following the gold standard of getting your first mammogram at age forty is deadly. Especially if a woman is African American or carries the BRCA gene, commonly found in women from Ashkenazi heritage. We want to change this forever.

There is a subtype of breast cancer that these groups are more prone to develop, it is known as Triple Negative Breast Cancer. It is very aggressive, grows extremely fast, and if it is not found early and treated early, it is much harder to fight. The NSBCF is dedicated to education all young women to get their first mammogram by the age of 35 and if she is African American or from a high risk group, she should begin screening at the age of 30.

It doesn’t stop there. Mammography does not always pick up abnormalities when women are young because they have dense breasts. We want to change insurance companies coverage plans so they automatically cover breast ultra sounds and breast MRIs, particularly if a suspicious finding is present. It should be automatic, and not how it is now: not covered unless a lump is extremely large and/or a woman has a doctor who has the time and inclination to fight for these tests.

What’s more, it is imperative that we get the word out to every single woman on this planet to never, ever “watch and wait.” For any woman,  watching a waiting gives a deadly cancer a chance to grow so it could spread to her lymphatic system and other organs.

To get the Before Forty Initiative on the map, we have to raise money for:

Publicity, public service announcements, educational pamphlets, lobbying the government, lobbying insurance companies and changing doctor’s practices on how they treat young women. We are basically forming a No Surrender Army to save women's lives.

We are well aware of the tremendous undertaking this program entails. But we know, first hand, what the alternative is. We do not want to bury another sister. We will do whatever it takes to save the lives of women.

You can see why we need to raise money, and raise it quickly. We know we have big ambitions, but we think big because we know how much we can accomplish. With your help, we can make sure our slogan lives up to its promise: Hope Happens Here.

So, gentlemen, if you would like to start with the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation, please let me know... we need your help and would like to help you, too.

Thank you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Important Discussion for Tamoxifen Users

OncologySTAT has released this very important discussion about CYP2D6 enzyme and tamoxifen. Be aware that there are drugs you may be taking that could render Tamoxifen powerless, leaving you vulnerable for breast cancer recurrence.

Please go to this link to read the full text.

Exercise After Breast Cancer Surgery

Exercise Preserves Freedom of Movement After Breast Cancer Surgery*

Washington, June 16 (ANI): A study has found that exercise can help patients maintain shoulder movement and minimize loss of arm or shoulder function after breast cancer surgery.

The new Cochrane review found exercise programs needed to be created to help patients who have just had surgery, as most survivors develop pain, shoulder stiffness and arm swelling after treatment.

Physicians usually prescribe arm and shoulder exercises after surgery to prevent pain and stiffness in those areas on the side of the cancer, but the problems often persist for years.

"There has been some concern that too much aggressive movement soon after surgery might cause pain, delay healing, and increase the risk of arm swelling," said lead review author Margaret McNeely, an assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of Alberta and clinical researcher at the Cross Cancer Institute, in Canada.

McNeely's team examined 24 research studies comprising 2,132 women with a confirmed breast cancer diagnosis and who had undergone surgery such as a radical mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, or a local wide excision or lumpectomy.

They had also all had surgery removing lymph nodes from the axilla, or armpit, to determine the extent of the cancer.

Specially designed programs included range-of-motion movements for the shoulders and stretching exercises.

The review showed that starting exercise early after surgery, within the first to third day, might result in better shoulder movement in the early weeks following surgery.

"However, starting exercise that soon after surgery may cause more wound drainage and require drains to remain in place longer than if exercise is delayed by about one week," McNeely said.

The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research, published the review.

Fourteen studies compared the effect of structured exercise to usual care, in which women received an exercise pamphlet or no exercise instruction at all.

Of these, structured programs including physical therapy regimens in the early postoperative period led to a significant improvement in shoulder range of motion over the short and long term.

"Several persistent complications can greatly diminish a patient's quality of life," said Douglas Blayney, M.D., medical director at the University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Blayney said that although current surgical treatment is attempting to move away from disturbing the axilla, more women, especially younger women, are choosing mastectomy over breast conserving surgery.

"Combined, these trends in primary treatment of breast cancer make this review highly relevant," said Blayney, who has no affiliation with the review.

Nevertheless, he noted that making suitable exercise programs widely available to breast cancer patients in a timely manner would be a challenge.

He said optimal breast cancer care now involves a team with a wide range of health specialists: surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, reconstructive surgeons and others.

"This review demonstrates that early involvement of a new team member who manages exercise or physical therapy is also useful for the best outcome," he said.

"Implementation of modern primary treatment strategies - - including early intervention with suitable exercises - should reduce the incidence of these heartbreaking complications," Blayney added. (ANI)

* Please see our post surgical exercise tips on our website HERE

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Catch-up with Ketchup

While you wait for your tomato crop to bear fruit, pass the ketchup!

Could tomato ketchup help cut breast cancer risk?
by JAMES CHAPMAN, Daily Mail

You can't yet get it on prescription, but researchers are again proclaiming the unlikely health benefits of a dietary favourite.

Both breast cancer and the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis could be prevented by eating tomato ketchup, they suggest.

The secret is a substance called lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red colour.

In recent years, several studies have suggested that consumption of tomato products rich in lycopene may protect against prostate cancer in men. But two new studies suggest lycopene may also be beneficial to women's health.

In the first, Dr Joseph Levy, of the Ben-Gurion University in Israel, tested the effects of lycopene and two other tomato nutrients, phytoene and phytofluene, on breast cancer cells.

When the cells were exposed to low levels of the nutrients, they continued to grow dramatically.
But when they were treated with higher levels of the natural combination of tomato lycopene, phytoene and phytofluene, the proliferation of cancer cells was stopped.

The second study, by Dr Leticia Rao, of the University of Toronto, suggested a diet rich in tomatoes can also help prevent osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease. A third of older women suffer from the condition, leaving them vulnerable to fractures.

Dr Rao tested the impact of lycopene on two different kinds of body cells - osteoblasts, which maintain bone mass, and osteoclasts, which destroy bone. In osteoporosis, osteoclasts are overactive.

'What we found was that lycopene prevents the activity of the "bad" cells,' said Dr Rao. 'We think it is a very important finding.

'Osteoporosis is called the silent disease, because by the time it's detected a lot of the damage is done. 'Though it is thought of as a disease of old age, peak bone mass is reached by the age of about 35 and it's downhill from there.

'If you have a better bone mass then, you will be protected against osteoporosis in later life.

'So I think it is important that people get enough tomato lycopene all the way through their lives.'
She and her husband, Dr Venket Rao, another expert on lycopene, plan to test the impact of pills containing tomato extract on 100 patients with osteoporosis.

'From our studies so far, we think that 8oz of tomato juice, 150gm of pasta sauce, or one lycopene tablet a day are sufficient to maintain the right lycopene levels in the body,' he said. 'Unfortunately, many people are not getting enough from their diet.'

Unusually, lycopene becomes more readily absorbed by the body after tomatoes have been processed. So lycopene in a tomato pasta sauce or even tomato ketchup is more potent than that in fresh tomatoes.
Alternatively, experts say that Lyc-O-Mato, a natural supplement containing 15mg of tomato lycopene, the equivalent of six tomatoes, is a good way to enhance the protective effect.

Other studies have suggested that tomato supplements or a tomatorich diet can help ward off prostate cancer. One of the biggest, involving almost 50,000 men, showed that eating tomato sauce twice a week could reduce the risk by up to a third.

Dr Edward Giovannucci, a nutrition expert at Harvard Medical School who led the 12-year study, said ketchup is an ideal source of lycopene because it contains high concentrations of the compound due to the thermal processing used in its manufacture.

'Tomato sauce captures most of the lycopene,' he said.

Although lycopene is found in foods such as shellfish, watermelon and pink grapefruit, tomatoes are the richest source.

Read more:

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Fennel- that delicious, licorice-y, refreshing herb satisfies as well as heals.

Studies have shown that fennel reduces inflammation, helps digestion and there is now research into its ability to help fight cancer.

Healthy and delicious, low calorie and low glycemic....

It's time to take a look at Fennel - either buy it at your green market or plant some and enjoy it all season long. Remember to pick the bulb from the ground before the plant goes to seed, or it will grow too large and become tough.

You can grill it, roast it, slice it thin and put on a crudite plate. So many ways to enjoy this healthy treat- here are some further recipes for you to explore...

Singing the Praises of Fennel 

By Tara Parker-Pope,  Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

 In 1824, the writer Thomas Appleton sent his friend Thomas Jefferson a batch of garden seeds from Naples. The broccoli and cauliflower from the region were beyond compare, he wrote, but he saved his highest praise for the fennel.

The fennel is beyond every other vegetable, delicious. It greatly resembles in appearance the largest size celery, perfectly white, and there is no vegetable equals it in flavor. It is eaten at dessert, crude, and with, or without dry salt. Indeed I preferred it to every other vegetable or to any fruit.

Although Mr. Jefferson was an avid gardener, fennel has never gained much popularity in American cooking. This week, Martha Rose Shulman also sings the praises of this unusual vegetable, herb and spice, offering five new reasons why we should all start cooking with fennel.

Fennel and Leek Gratin With Feta: The gratin is simple and gluten-free. Serve it as a side dish or main course.

Couscous With Fennel, Chickpeas and Chard: Like many Tunisian stews, this one is fragrant with spices and loaded with beans and vegetables.

Farfalle With Stewed Fennel, Artichokes and Peas: Fennel gives this pasta, inspired by a signature Sicilian dish, a wonderfully sweet flavor.

Fennel and Red Pepper Salad: This salad never gets soggy — the longer the vegetables marinate, the tastier the salad is.

Oven-Roasted Fish With Fennel: This dish is a simplified version of a classic seafood entree from the French Riviera.

Copyright 2010 The New York Times

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Heed this call... it is so true

Relaxation 'can cut risk of breast cancer death'

UK Daily Mail Reporter

Stress-busting psychological help can increase a woman's chances of surviving a recurrence of breast cancer, say researchers.

A psychological intervention programme devised by US researchers reduced the risk of women dying after the disease returned by 59 per cent.

Women enrolled into the programme were taught relaxation and problem-solving techniques, and given guidance on how to find support from family and friends.

Health benefits: A psychological intervention programme reduced the risk of women dying after their breast cancer returned by 59 per cent.

They were also offered advice on exercise and diet, and ways of coping with treatment side-effects.
Previous research by the same group found that psychological intervention after a breast cancer diagnosis reduced the risk of death by 56 per cent over an average of 11 years.

It also led to a 45 per cent reduced risk of breast cancer recurring after initial treatment.

Study leader Professor Barbara Andersen, from Ohio State University, said: 'Women who took part in the intervention programme do better across the board than do others, even if they have a recurrence.
'They learned how to cope with a cancer diagnosis when they were first diagnosed, and those lessons likely helped them deal with recurrence.'

Co-author Professor William Carson said the research highlighted the importance of stress in cancer.
'Stress may have an impact on the outcome of breast cancer patients,' he said. 'We're finding that reducing stress may be another powerful therapy to fight the disease.'

The latest study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, is part of the long-running Stress and Immunity Breast Cancer Project at Ohio State University.

Launched in 1995, the study has monitored the progress of 227 women who were surgically treated for Stage II or Stage III breast cancer.

Half the patients were enrolled into the intervention programme while the rest were routinely assessed at regular intervals.

To begin with, members of the intervention programme met weekly with a clinical psychologist in groups of eight to 12. After four months of weekly sessions the meetings were held monthly for eight months.

'The intervention was intense and longer than most. Women who participated learned tangible ways to deal with their cancer, to make changes in their lives and solve problems,' said Prof Andersen.
'This study showed that those lessons stayed with them.'

Read more:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jennifer, the Victor

My friend Jennifer, still in the midst of radiation, ran for the cure this weekend... a truly victorious moment. I love when survivors show The Beast their incredible, beautiful strength!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sunscreen Danger

Check the label on that bottle of sunscreen before you slather it on today...

Some sunscreens contain dangerous chemicals

We all know it's important to use sunscreen. But it's also important to check the label for ingredients that are safe for you and the environment.

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit public health and environmental research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., studied nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreens in 2009. Three in five did not adequately protect skin from the sun or contained harmful chemicals.

One controversial sunscreen ingredient is oxybenzone. It absorbs ultraviolet light, but research shows it also can be absorbed through the skin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study in 2008 showing that 97 percent of Americans it tested were contaminated with oxybenzone.
Oxybenzone is allowed in sunscreens, but recent research has linked it to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage that can lead to skin cancer. It's bad for the environment, too. Researchers believe oxybenzone, once washed down the drain or off swimmers' bodies, contributes to the feminizing of certain species of male fish in our oceans, rivers and lakes.

So why is oxybenzone still considered "safe" in sunscreens? Unfortunately, the Federal Drug and Food Administration, which regulates sunscreen safety, has not updated mandatory sunscreen standards in more than 30 years.

What should you do? Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays but does not contain oxybenzone.
Sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide are recommended by the Environmental Working Group.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Olive Oil Works

As a TNBC survivor and an ER+ survivor, I am very careful with my diet. I started on a low fat diet in 2002 to fight off recurrence. I kept my fat intake to under thirty grams a day, and the fat I consumed was extra virgin olive oil. I have been able to lose weight and keep it off and it helps fight off future cancers.

Emerging studies show that we are out of balance with too much Omega 6 verses the healthy Omega 3s. Extra virgin olive oil helps us regain that balance. Stay away from other fats and processed foods and you will not only feel the difference, but you will see it, too.

Breast Cancer Survivors Lose More Weight On Olive-Oil Enriched Diet

04 Jun 2010  

Researchers from The Miriam Hospital have found that olive oil may offer another potential health benefit - it produces greater weight loss in breast cancer survivors compared to a more traditional low-fat diet.

The findings may be of significance to women with breast cancer, since excess weight at the time of diagnosis, or even moderate weight gain during cancer treatment, is associated with an increased risk of cancer recurrence, particularly in post-menopausal women.

In this pilot study, women followed two 1,500-calorie diets - a conventional low-fat diet recommended by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and a plant-based olive oil diet similar to the Mediterranean diet. After eight weeks on each diet, participants selected one diet to follow for an additional six months of continued weight loss or weight management.

According to the findings, published in the June issue of the Journal of Women's Health, 80 percent of women who started with the plant-based olive oil diet lost more than 5 percent of their baseline weight, compared to 31 percent who started with the NCI diet. But researchers were most surprised to find that after trying both diets, most women chose to stick with the less conventional, higher fat olive oil diet, saying they found the food more appetizing, accessible and affordable.

Mary Flynn, PhD, RD, LDN, the study's lead author and a research dietitian at The Miriam Hospital, says many breast cancer patients don't realize there is a link between weight and cancer recurrence.

"That's why it was important for us to compare these two diets and determine which one the women not only enjoyed following, but also produced the best weight loss, because that's the diet they're more likely to stick with," says Flynn. "In this case, it was a diet enriched with extra virgin olive oil, which is a source of healthy fats, and includes foods associated with improving one's health, such as vegetables, beans and other plant products."

Extra virgin olive oil has been associated with decreasing breast cancer risk in Greece, Spain and Italy, where it is consumed in great quantities. Many studies have also demonstrated the cancer protective properties of carotenoids, a phytonutrient found in the red, orange and yellow pigments of fruits and vegetables. The NCI lists obesity as a risk factor for disease recurrence but does not recommend a specific diet for weight loss, although it has consistently recommended lowering dietary fat to prevent breast cancer.

Flynn developed the olive oil diet used in the study, which included at least three tablespoons of olive oil per day, with nuts at breakfast. Women also ate three servings of fruit and unlimited vegetables daily, and whole grains were also emphasized. Women could eat limited amounts of poultry and fish per week but red meat and polysaturated fats, like vegetable oils, were prohibited.

Because the NCI-recommended low-fat diet is not as specific, women had a less restrictive meal plan. Their diet consisted of at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, approximately 25 to 50 grams of fat (including canola oil) and six to seven ounces of lean meat (not red meat) daily.

The study included 44 overweight women (BMI of at least 25) diagnosed with invasive breast cancer after the age of 50 who were within four years after completing treatment. The order of the diets was randomly assigned, and participants followed each diet for eight weeks. Women were provided with meal plans and recipes for each diet and were asked to keep three-day food diaries at weeks four and eight of each diet and during months three and six of the follow-up period. Weight was measured and blood samples were taken at the end of each study period.

Overall, 28 of the 44 women completed both diets and 19 of the 22 eligible for the six months of follow-up chose to follow the plant-based olive oil diet. All 19 women either maintained their weight loss or lost additional weight during this time.

"I found this surprising, particularly since the low-fat diet is more commercial and more recognizable to women, so I thought the preference would be more evenly split," says Flynn, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. "But the women who enjoyed the olive oil diet said not only were they losing weight but they weren't as hungry. That's because they were advised to include fat in the form of olive oil or nuts at each meal, so they weren't as likely to snack between meals, which can cause weight gain."

As researchers expected, the plant-based olive oil diet also resulted in lower triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood) and higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, or "good" cholesterol). High triglycerides and low levels of HDL have both been linked with increased cancer risk.

The study was supported by a grant from The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Steven E. Reinert, MS, from Lifespan Information Services, was co-author on the study.

Source: Lifespan

Copyright: Medical News Today

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Team Julie

We would like to wish No Surrender Support Forum Member, Julie GOOD LUCK!!!!
A recent breast cancer survivor who happens to be participating in her very first TRIATHLON this weekend.
Think that there is no life after a breast cancer diagnosis?
Think Again!!!

We are SO PROUD of YOU!!!!!!!

From All of us at No Surrender!