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This is NOT new advice on how to minimize breast cancer

Posted Mar 26 2010 3:25am

Before I check my yahoo email account, I quickly check out their latest headline news.   “New Breast Cancer Advice–Experts make bold breast cancer claim” caught my attention.  The piece is actually titled “ Up to a third of breast cancers could be avoided.

As an old saying goes, “I consider myself to be a reasonable person.”  This article really angered me and I’m not one to anger easily.  I’m really more frustrated and sad.  What is this new advice?

Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a conference said Thursday, renewing a sensitive debate about how lifestyle factors affect the disease.

What?!!!  Eat better and exercise more is a surprising find?  Why is it a sensitive debate??  The facts are clear.  People may not like to hear them, but come on, what we eat three to six times a day is completely relevant to how our bodies are responding?  How we move (or don’t move) to expend energy and help our bodies function is clear.

Why am I annoyed?

  1. The ‘It’s okay to be fat’ movement.   As our society continues to GROW, there are more and more efforts to say it’s Okay.  I see examples in a variety of ways and it’s becoming more accepted to not confront the reality that adding extra weight to our bodies and not moving is causing an increase in many diseases.  Heart disease is the number one killer in women.  Why?  Mostly due to poor lifestyle choices.
  2. No one is blaming a person for all the factors that may contribute to breast cancer.  It may not have been preventable, however, most people ignore the doctor’s advice to lose weight.  Everyone (and I am making this generalized statement because I believe it is true!) knows that being overweight is not good for the body.  A positive point stated in the article shows that genetics are not the main culprit in cancer. However the article follows that paragraph with this,  “Yet any discussion of weight and breast cancer is considered sensitive because some may misconstrue that as the medical establishment blaming women for their disease.”  Unfortunately, people CHOOSE not to change poor habits.  This hard line stance needs to be taken and the article does address this point ’sensitively’.  We can greatly reduce (not guarantee) the development of cancer in our bodies by making healthy lifestyle choices.  Move, eat moderately whole foods, limit alcohol intake, and more.
  3. Not taking personal responsibility for how we treat our bodies.  The reality is that there is an overabundance of yummy, not good for us foods.   There’s an abundance of vegetables, fruits, and healthy alternatives that people choose not to eat because of time, convenience, laziness,  money, (insert any excuse here).
  4. The professional communities (medical, health, media, government, professors, scientists, etc) constantly adding confusing and misleading information.  This is NOT NEW ADVICE!!!  Why is it surprising?

Okay, the rant is over.  I am a  truth seeker.  Even as I try to become more and more knowledgeable about what is healthy and how to better serve clients, I find myself facing a deluge of poor leadership, bad information, and sensationalized reporting at the detriment of our health.

Books are overwhelmingly contradicting themselves.  Finding the “experts” that are not misconstruing the information for their purpose has been extremely challenging.  Finding the “primary resources” are difficult and then trying to determine the backers of the “study” just as important.

To capture the reader, these sensationalized headlines, quick spouting of a ‘reliable’ source are more confusing than ever and people soak this stuff up looking for the quick answers.  Ladies, I’m the first to say, that healthy eating is one of my biggest challenges.  I love food!  I like fast food.  I’m a sucker for shakes.  The more I learn about what’s in the products the more I cringe, but I still find myself running through a drive thru once a week or so for a quick meal, tasty treat or to quiet a backseat passenger.

Is it healthy? No.  Am I setting in motion poor habits?  Yes.  Do I feel guilty?  Yes.  How do I change?  Slowly.  We used to eat fast food every day.  We’ve made progress.  It’s been slow.  I say no to candies, ice creams, and more on a daily basis.


It is up to us to find ways to make healthy choices.  We must make our bodies a priority to be here for our children as role models and to love life.

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