Posts filed under "cancer"

Studies have recently found that a healthy diet, exercising and not smoking are known to reduce the risk of cancer.  These findings are nothing new.  As stated in an earlier blog, only 31% of American's are physically active and I am talking about putting in 30 minutes a day of exercise (from walking to running).  For many years science has suggested eating a certain way to prevent cancer, high blood pressure and even heart disease but the truth is exercise can lower the risk for various diseases all at the same time.  

The following healthy habits to reducing your risk of cancer are listed below:
1) Being physically active: According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine getting at least 2.7 hours of exercise a week will improve your overall health.  That is only 30 minutes a day for 5 days.  Runners, you already have a great advantage if you are on a training schedule for your next event. 
2) Maintaining a healthy weight:  Getting a yearly physical and check with your doctor will help determine your ideal weight.  What's important to watch is your waist to hip ratio, listening to your doctor and making sure you are maintaining your weight in the healthiest way possible.
3) Eating a healthy diet:  Yes, those chips and cookies will have to go "bye-bye".  Eating more fruit and vegetables rich in color will help not only prevent various cancers but also help with high cholesterol and blood pressure.  
4) Keeping cholesterol under control: Again, talk to your doctor about your cholesterol levels.  Learn what is good cholesterol and what is bad. . .get educated and stick to your doctor's plan.  
5) Lowering blood pressure:  Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries and with high blood pressure, it is moving through your arteries higher than normal.  Many times, high blood pressure is silent, which means you may not feel the symptoms.  Get regular check up s with your doctor because this is a common health problem.  
6) Keeping blood sugar in check:  Checking your blood pressure helps you see how food, physical activity and medicine affect your blood sugar levels.  Your doctor can determine how often you need to check it and what your target blood sugar levels should be.  
7) Do not smoke.  I want to say more about this but just saying "Just DON'T SMOKE" is enough!  If I list reasons why "NOT to SMOKE" this blog entry would be WAY too long.

There are so many new studies out on how to prevent cancer. Scientists are getting closer and closer every day on fighting this deadly disease.  I am always reading about what needs to be done to prevent cancer since it has run in my family.  So, in the meantime, let's try and prevent future cases, get involved in a sport that you thoroughly enjoy doing and get your heart rate up 2-3 times a week to get you on the right track to a healthier you!

"Special Edition"
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I want to dedicate this Friday Featured Friend to my Aunt Brenda Burton who lost her fight over 17 years ago at the age of 44.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to blog about her but I thought about the influence she had on me growing up and even through her fight, she continued to amaze me.

My Aunt Brenda was born and raised in St. Louis Missouri and was the youngest of (I think) 6 children.  To me, she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen and she reminded me of a lighter version of Diana Ross.  She loved to go bowling and hang out with her girlfriends.  Aunt Brenda just seemed to always have so much fun! When I was around her, she was always smiling, fixing her long, flowing hair and joking around with everyone.  She took me to my first Janet Jackson concert and fed into my Michael Jackson craziness by recording all the videos and shows that my dad would not. . .LOL!

What's frustrating about writing this blog. . .I really didn't know what happened with her and why she had to leave us so soon.  When I found out that she was diagnosed, I just figured. . .oh, she's sick and she will fight through it.  We would go visit her in the hospital, the doctors will fix her and she will just go home.  That was the extent of what I knew about breast cancer.  Later, I learned I knew nothing!  When I would come home from college to visit from time to time there were days where she was just "Aunt Brenda" and other days when I finally realized, it was more than just being sick.  She had lost her hair and my dad, along with my Uncle would visit her frequently to make sure she would eat.  It was hard to see her sad, weak and, at times, frustrated.  After her passing, I personally was devastated and later angry because I did not know what was really going on with her.  I didn't know that this "cancer" could effect anyone in our family and if it did, how could we prevent another loss?

After returning back to MIZZOU during the winter semester, that is when I decided to learn more about breast cancer.  I would read anything I could get my hands on when it came to breast cancer and even did a presentation on the disease.  It was very hard to get through but educating myself was the best thing I had ever done.  One thing that I did learn is that I had to stay active, eat right and not smoke.  The information that we have today surpasses what we had back in 1992 and 1993.

Today, there are SO MANY tools, support groups, systems and specialized doctors in the fight against breast cancer.  Women are taking the bull by it's horn and fighting it head on because of the information given to them.  Hey, do not go down without a FIGHT. . .make sure you are doing self breast exams every month, visit your doctor every year and get your breast exams, mammograms and ask questions.  Exercise and eating right is the first step in preventing breast cancer, as well as other diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Per Susan G. Komen fact sheet new cases reported among white women are approximately 125 per 100,000 cases.  African american women, 116 per 100,000 and remember, african american women make up less than 10% of the national population.  Other ethnicities like Asian, Hawaiian and hispanic women  around 85 per 100,000 cases are reported and these are new cases.   Understand the big picture and get involved with preventing this disease through organizations like LIVESTRONG, SUSAN G. KOMEN and the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY just to name a few.  There are local chapters in your state that could always use your help OR that can help you!

Understand that today, I know so many more survivors.  There is hope and it is a fight that you or someone you know can and will get through!

To Aunt Brenda, I love you and miss you but I will keep going!
Happy Running!