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'Cancer Prevention & Screening' posts

Cook food right to fight cancer (and other health problems)

After exercise, nutrition is the top factor in prevention of disease, including cancer. Eating the right foods, in general, and the right specific foods during illness can have a profound effect on quality of life and also recovery.

The question is, however, which foods and spices are the most beneficial during cancer treatment and beyond.

The standard American diet is a bit heavy on simple carbohydrates. In addition, because it is also high in processed foods, nutrient deficiencies, like magnesium, Vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids, are quite common. In general, a shift towards diets containing ample portions of protein, complex carbohydrates, good fats and low simple carbohydrates (25 grams for women and 35 grams for men per the American Dietetic Association) and five servings of leafy greens and fruit is beneficial. Diets should include minimal soda as well as minimal artificial sweeteners. Whenever possible use high burning oils, like coconut oil, to cook with if you are frying foods. Using whole, unprocessed foods containing minimal preservatives are also a good bet. An example of this would be using real butter instead of margarine as a condiment.

Conventional cancer treatment ...

Swedish Presents SummeRun & Walk for Ovarian Cancer

Although ovarian cancer comprises only 3% of all women’s cancers, it is the fifth leading cause of women’s cancer deaths. Women who are diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer have a long-term survival rate of only 10%.

When detected in its earliest stages, ovarian cancer survival rates can be as high as 90%. However, early stage symptoms are usually difficult to diagnose, are often misdiagnosed, or go undetected, which leads to nearly 75% of all ovarian cancer patients being diagnosed in advanced stages.

Through innovative research and scientific community collaboration, we can work together to reduce and prevent this disease that disproportionately affects women. We are working to support ovarian cancer research in honor of our wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends.

The Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research has been working to save lives and reduce suffering through the prevention of ovarian cancer, early detection, and improved treatment. Through community donations, the Marsha Rivkin Center works to advance research related to ovarian cancer nationwide, and improve outcomes for women facing ovarian cancer. The annual SummeRun, presented by Swedish, is a particularly unique community event and fundraising opportunity that supports ovarian cancer research and the Marsha Rivkin Center’s mission.

 

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SummeRun 2013 Race Details

Thrive Through Cancer Presents Chemo-Con at Swedish Cancer Institute

Thrive Through Cancer is a non-profit organization that helps young adults with cancer and their caregivers find hope and thrive. Through support groups, social events and community forums, Thrive Through Cancer aims to engage young adult community members by providing support and resources during their fight against cancer.

On June 20, 2013 Thrive Through Cancer will host a social event for young adults, their families, friends and caregivers at the Swedish Cancer Institute: Chemo-Con!

Come meet Rose Egge, founder of Thrive Through Cancer, and join us for two educational and interactive workshops focused on issues commonly experienced by young adults affected by cancer.

  • Join Registered Dietician Julie Herbst for a conversation about healthy eating, maximizing nutritional intake and managing symptoms with foods. Recipe and sampling provided.
  • Jacci Thompson-Dodd, MA, MSSS will host a discussion about intimacy and cancer, and can help answer any questions you may have. 

You will also have the opportunity to learn more about community partners, resources and services available in areas near you from the following organizations:

BRCA Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

In today’s New York Times, actress and director Angelina Jolie bravely and openly discusses her experience with BRCA genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer:

The 37 year old Ms. Jolie – who has not had cancer – underwent genetic testing because of her family history of cancer. She was found to carry a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which puts her at significant risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. Ms. Jolie, the mother of 3 adopted and 3 biological children, elected to undergo a risk-reducing double mastectomy, and plans to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed soon to lower her risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Ms. Jolie’s story opens a public conversation about the importance of genetic testing in helping to reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. This very personal decision about mastectomy by someone widely regarded as one of the most beautiful women in the movies also helps women recognize that their body image and sexuality does not have to be defined by their breasts. Not every woman will make the decision to have major surgery, but genetic test results can also make sure that your breast cancer screening is appropriate for your level of risk; women who carry a BRCA gene mutation need ...

Misconceptions & Misunderstandings About Genetic Testing For Hereditary Cancer: My family history of cancer almost guarantees that one day I will develop cancer

Many people who have a family history of cancer often assume that they are at high risk of developing cancer and do not see the value of genetic counseling and genetic testing. The reasoning often goes like this:

“My mother, my cousin, and my grandmother all had breast cancer. I know there is a very high chance that I will develop it too. I would never have a mastectomy, so I am extra good about getting mammograms and my doctor checks my breasts every time I see her. I have a healthy diet, exercise regularly, rarely drink alcohol, and I have never put a cigarette to my lips. Since I am already doing everything I can possibly do, I don’t see how genetic counseling and genetic testing can help me.”

Of course, it is a good idea to be conscientious about your medical care, and everyone should maintain a healthy lifestyle, regardless of family history. The questions that genetic testing may answer for you are:

Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations Revisited

Are you confused about breast cancer screening recommendations? If you are, you are not alone.

Multiple organizations have come out with conflicting studies, data, and recommendations. Those advocating for reduced screening argue that screening does not improve the death rate from breast cancer; that women who have biopsies that are found to be benign suffer significant psychological harm; and that cancers are found that would never cause death.

Significant flaws have been found in these arguments by physicians who have committed their careers to understanding and treating breast cancer. There are multiple problems with the scientific methodology, assumptions, endpoints and analyses used in these critiques of mammogram screening recommendations. One problem is that medical science currently does not have the ability to distinguish between lethal cancers and those that will not cause death. Based on rigorous scientific data, we do know that the best way to improve survival from breast cancer is to detect it before it becomes clinically obvious and to treat it early.

None of the major oncology organizations support the guidelines calling for reduced screening. A letter to the New England Journal of Medicine ....

Misconceptions & Misunderstandings About Genetic Testing For Hereditary Cancer: Don’t Test Me, Test My Family!

As a genetic counselor with 30 years of experience, I have met with many families who have been concerned about their hereditary risks to develop cancer and other disorders. I have found that the complexity of genetics can sometimes cause misunderstandings about some critical information.

A common question that patients ask is this: I already have cancer, it makes no sense for me to have genetic testing, so why don’t you test my family instead?

As it turns out, the best strategy for most families is to for genetic testing to start with a relative who has already been diagnosed with cancer.

  1. If that person has a normal genetic test result, there is usually no need to test any other healthy family members.
  2. Because of the complicated nature of cancer genetics, accurate interpretation of a negative result usually requires an affected relative to have a positive genetic test.
  3. If a patient has a positive genetic test, the cost of testing all other family members will usually be considerably less expensive and increases the likelihood that health insurers will cover the test.

Let’s clarify this with a specific example.

Three sisters, all in their 30s, want to undergo genetic testing because their mother is a breast cancer survivor, and ...

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