October - November 2020
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. According to the US Dept of Health & Human Services, breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in American women. Although breast cancer rates have gone down in recent years, they remain higher in some racial/ethnic groups. Interventions to increase breast cancer screening, personalized treatments, and community-based cancer control efforts are important to reducing breast cancer deaths.
Regarding mammograms, the American Cancer Society guidelines for women of average risk are: women ages 40-44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so; ages 45-54 should get a mammogram every year; ages 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue with yearly screening.
There is very little evidence that doing self breast exams or clinical (provider) breast exams are helpful to women at average risk of breast cancer. However, women at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors (positive family history, BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation, etc) should get a breast MRI and a mammogram every year, typically starting at age 30. Please check with your healthcare provider.
November is American Diabetes month. According to Healthline, Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Uncontrolled cases can cause blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and other serious conditions. Although there are certain factors you can't change-such as your genes, age or past behaviors- there are many actions you can take to reduce the risk of diabetes:
(1) Cut sugar refined carbs from your diet, (2) Work out regularly, (3) Drink water as your primary beverage (at least 8 cups/8 ounces daily, that's 64 ounces total), (4) Lose weight if you're overweight *very important*, (5) Quit smoking, (6) Follow very-low-carb diet, (7) Watch portion sizes of your food, (8) Avoid sedentary behavior, (9) Eat a high-fiber diet (almonds, oats, apples, pears, lentils, legumes, avocado, etc), (10) Optimize Vitamin D levels (supplements, salmon, sun, etc), (11) Minimize intake of processed foods (processed foods high in vegetable oil, refined grains, additives),(12) Drink coffee or tea, (13) Consider taking these natural herbs - Curcumin and Berberine.
Wishing you health in mind, body and spirit, and a wonderful, safe holiday and holyday season just ahead.
~Lyn Florio, RN