Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Today kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You'll be seeing lots of pink in the next few weeks: on t-shirts, on food products, even on the hands and heads of NFL players.

Most of us know someone who has battled breast cancer. Unfortunately, many of us know those who have lost. But more and more people are winning, which should give all of us hope that not as many of our children or grandchildren will have to face this disease or other forms of cancer.

But while we can't control some risk factors for the disease (such as our genes), according to leading medical information providers such as the Mayo Clinic, there are things we can control that might help reduce our risk and help us to improve our overall health. Get your kids started young on maintaining a healthier lifestyle by adhering to the following tips:

Exercise - That's right! Good for the body, mind and spirit. Even a 30-minute walk a day can provide significant benefits.

Maintain a Healthy Weight - Studies have shown a link between obesity and breast cancer. Find the right weight for your height and try to get closer to it. Check out this free height/weight calculator.

Limit Alcohol - Of course, kids never should drink. But to reduce your cancer risk, adults should limit consumption to no more than one drink a day or avoid drinking altogether

Don't Smoke - Good advice for everyone and for reasons in addition to preventing cancer. If you need help quitting, check out the resources available at

Reduce Fat in Your Diet - Some studies suggest there may be a link between breast cancer and diets that are higher in fat. However, diets low in fat do help reduce the risk of other problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Self-Screening - Get in the habit of doing a self breast exam once a month. Inform your daughters of the benefits of early detection to get them in the habit doing self-exams.

For more info on breast cancer, check out the following links: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk.

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