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Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is here and that means our wellness theme for this month is breast cancer awareness!  We discuss useful information on the facts, and risk factors .  We have also included insight on healthy eating for risk reduction and 7 things to know about getting a mammogram.  

The Facts
  • Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease.
  • Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.
  • Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 10% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.

Risk Factors
  • Aging. The risk for breast cancer increases with age; most breast cancers are diagnosed after age 50.
  • Early menarche. Women who start their periods before age 12 are exposed to  hormones longer, raising the risk for breast cancer by a small amount.
  • Late or no pregnancy. Having the first pregnancy after age 30 and never having a full-term pregnancy can raise breast cancer risk.
  • Starting menopause after age 55. Like starting one's period early, being exposed to estrogen hormones for a longer time later in life also raises the risk of breast cancer.
  • Inactivity. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Being overweight or obese after menopause. Older women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than those of a normal weight.
  • Having dense breasts. Dense breasts have more connective tissue than fatty tissue, which can sometimes make it hard to see tumors on a mammogram. Women with dense breasts are more likely to get breast cancer.
  • Using combination hormone therapy. Taking hormones to replace missing estrogen and progesterone in menopause for more than five years raises the risk for breast cancer.
  • Taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills). Certain forms of oral contraceptive pills have been found to raise breast cancer risk.
  • Personal history of certain non-cancerous breast diseases. Some non-cancerous breast diseases such as atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ are associated with a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Family history of breast cancer. A woman's risk for breast cancer is higher if she has a mother, sister, or daughter or multiple family members on either her mother's or father's side of the family who have had breast cancer.
  • Women who took the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), which was given to some pregnant women in the United States between 1940 and 1971 to prevent miscarriage, have a higher risk. Women whose mothers took DES while pregnant with them are also at risk.
  • Drinking alcohol. Studies show that a woman's risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she drinks.

7 Things To Know About Getting A Mammogram


Exercise & Breast Cancer
The ideal exercise program contains cardiovascular exercise, strength training and stretching . That may sound like a lot, but after you have your doctor's approval to start exercising, you can start slowly and gently and then gradually extend the time you work out .

Benefits of Exercise
  • Live longer
  • More energy
  • Better mobility
  • More strength
  • Healthy bones and joints
  • Greater self confidence
  • Better sleep
  • Less stress
  • Symptoms of treatment will be fewer and more mild
Healthy Eating for Risk Reduction
There are no food or dietary supplements that will act as "magic bullets" to prevent breast cancer from returning. National Cancer Institute guidelines for cancer prevention can be used to decrease the chance of a breast cancer recurrence. These guidelines include:

  • Increase intake of fruits and vegetables- these foods contain phytochemicals with antioxidant, antiestrogen and chemopreventive properties that may prevent cancer. Five or more servings of fruit and vegetables are recommended daily.
  • Decrease fat intake to less than 30 percent of your total calories
  • Increase intake of whole grains - whole grains are unprocessed foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. High fiber intakes may have a positive benefit by altering hormonal actions of breast cancer and other hormonal-dependent cancers. 
  • Minimize intake of cured, pickled and smoked foods
  • Limit the intake of food high in saturated fats such as beef, lamb, organ meats, cheeses, cream, butter, ice cream
  • Decrease food containing trans fatty acids, such as commercially prepared baked goods, crackers and margarine
  • Increase your intake of poultry, fish and vegetarian proteins (legumes and lentils) - increasing your intake of fish to 3 times per week will increase omega-3-polyunsaturated fat intake.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight - Many studies have shown an association between body mass size and breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
  • Alcohol consumption should be done in moderation, if at all - Several studies have shown an association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. Dietary guidelines suggest that a woman consume no more than one drink per day. Women diagnosed with breast cancer may want to consider avoiding alcohol.

Eat Your Health
Food can play an important role in health.  As part of Synergy's nutrition planning, we offer meal plans that are geared towards breast cancer prevention.  Below is a sample day for an individual on this meal plan.

Oatmeal, made with milk, and strawberries with a cup of black tea and a cup of orange juice

A.M. Snack
Kiwi fruit and decaf black tea
Bean burrito with salsa, spinach, tomato and cheese, with a cup of vegetable juice

P.M. Snack
Walnuts  and a cup of decaf black tea

Cooked salmon with Brussel sprouts, eggplant, sweet potato and a green salad with oil/vinegar dressing

Evening Snack
Wheat germ cereal in light plain yogurt

Contact Us For More Information
1777 Hamburg Turnpike, Suite 303 
Wayne, NJ 07470

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