Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday's health links

I've been quiet for a while - sorry about that! Some weeks I just get so tired of thinking about cancer. But, here we go, back at it!
  1. This morning, an interesting conversation about breast cancer on the Today Show was ended quickly so they could make time for the really important news...the addition of two new cast members to Beverly Hills Housewives. People suck. Anyway, before this ridiculousness, Dr. Susan Love beats the prevention drum some more. Something we all need to hear in this month of "awareness." NBC.
  2. Speaking of Dr. Love, if you have a moment, the website for the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is worth a look. It's a great place to read current breast cancer news stories and hear about the latest research findings. For example, this recent article consolidates current knowledge about the value of bone building drugs as part of adjuvant therapy. After two rounds of Zometa, I asked my oncologist if he had been following research that said it didn't make much of a difference. He concurred and I stopped. Well, this article reinforces that there is a very small survival gain, especially when given to premenopausal women. Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
  3. Got time for another? Almost every breast cancer patient I know has questions about soy. This article does a great job of summarizing current knowledge. The takeaway? We should feel safe about eating whole soy foods, like cooked soybeans, edamame, tofu, miso and soy milk. A 2009 study found that after 4 years, the higher a woman's soy protein or isoflavone intake, the lower her risk was of having a recurrence or dying. This applied across the board, for both ER+ and ER-, and pre and postmenopausal women, as well as for women on tamoxifen. Isn't soy a phytoestrogen? Doesn't it make life harder for my tamoxifen? "The soy story also shows us why we can't over simplify the science. Soy is not a phytoestrogen but rather a "phytoSERM," more like tamoxifen than estrogen. It also reinforces that we cannot automatically extrapolate from studies on cells and rats to women. We need to do studies on women so that we know what happens in women's bodies." This is a great website.
  4.  The economic fallout of cancer, here for women in the UK. WebMD.
  5. The breast cancer story as told by both a nurse and a pathologist struck by the disease. CNN.
  6. Drs. Oz and Roizen summarizing the main things we know about breast cancer prevention. Put down that merlot and pick up your sneakers. The Star.
  7. Carving up some Jack-o'-lanterns this month? Save and roast those pumpkin seeds because they are really good for you! Just remember to limit yourself - they pack fat. Empowher.
  8. BPA consumed in pregnancy is linked to behavioural problems in daughters. MSNBC.
  9. Today is the first ever Food Day. Dr. David Katz wants us to make every day Food Day. Huffington Post.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday' Tuesday's health links

Sorry - I've got kids home sick this week...clearly somebody didn't read last week's post about washing their hands.
  1. Breast cancer death rates declining more slowly for lower income women. Bloomberg.
  2. It wasn't until I learned that the guy whose life inspired 50/50 lived that I decided I'd be able to see this film. Wimp! Calgary Herald.
  3. It's a's a's SUPER BROCCOLI! British scientists have developed a version of the much-maligned veg that contains three-times the normal levels of glucoraphanin, a compound thought to protect the body against heart disease and some types of cancer. Look for it first at Marks and Spencers in the UK (no joke) before it is rolled out to other grocery stores. No word on when it may hop the pond. Fodors.
  4. A Quebec cancer coalition calls for changes in the way many chemotherapy drugs are funded, saying the province's treatment of the disease is second-rate. CTV.
  5. Another reminder on ways to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. Vancouver Province.
  6. A good, succinct article about sex after cancer. Livewell Nebraska.
  7. The challenges of facing breast cancer as a young woman. USA Today.
  8. While the US federal government recommends eating more fruits and vegetables through their MyPlate nutritional guidelines, it continues to focus most food production subsidies on meat. From this article, "By one estimate, if Americans followed the new USDA diet guidelines, an additional 13 million acres of fruit and vegetable crops would have to be planted each year to provide the food."  Are we on the cusp of big change for food production and consumption norms? Washington Post.
  9. Finally, it's day 4 of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I am already sick to death of the "cute" side of this ridiculous disease.  For example, apparently hot men want me to touch my boobs this month. Seriously - there's an app for that. In my world - breast cancer has been a terrifying, body scarring, life changing, bloated f'ing BASTARD. There isn't a bloody thing about it that is sweet. But every October, the bachelorette-party-game themes persist - boobies, titties, lingerie and cupcakes. Women aren't idiots. Stop treating us like we learn better when the message is wrapped in cotton candy.