Posts Tagged ‘awareness’

Take-Aways from Breast Cancer Chat with Heather Pinkerton, BSN

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthWe recently held a live web chat with Heather Pinkerton, RN, BSN, OCN and Nurse Navigator for the Emory Breast Center. During the discussion Heather Pinkerton answered questions about Breast Cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Below you’ll find heather’s main highlights from the chat discussion.

The American Cancer Society estimated that for 2012, a total of 229,060 new cases of breast cancer would be diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. In honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, participants joined Heather Pinkerton for a live web chat on the topic of breast cancer.

Heather recommended that the general population of women begin screening mammograms at age 40. It should also be noted that if a person has a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, screening mammograms can and should start sooner. Potentially high-risk patients are advised to speak with their personal physician about what age is right for them to begin screening. For those concerned about being a potential high risk patient, The Emory Breast Center at the Winship Cancer Institute has a High Risk Assessment Clinic available. The clinic provides a comprehensive consultation that will include visits with a genetic counselor and breast surgical oncologist. At the end of each consultation, an individual care plan will be provided to each patient including recommendations for regular screenings and follow-up appointments.

Genetic tests are available to identify individual breast and ovarian cancer risk levels. These genetic mutation tests are known as BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. Anyone interested in undergoing these tests should speak with a genetic counselor regarding cost and specifics on coverage.

We also learned from Heather’s discussion in the chat that studies have shown that the relationship between taking birth control pills and developing breast cancer is insufficient to establish a cause-effect link between the two.

If you or someone you know is in need of support through their cancer journey, the Winship Cancer Institute has a several support groups pertaining to breast cancer, monthly at various locations. You can check out the event calendar here.

If you would like more information about breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and support contact 404-778-PINK (7465) or visit the Emory Breast Center at the Winship Cancer Institute.

You may also review the web chat transcript here with Heather Pinkerton, RN, BSN, OCN.

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The Winship Win the Fight 5K – Why Did We Run?

For loved ones, the future, survival, or for camaraderie—these are just a few of the reasons over 2,900 participants chose to participate in the 2nd annual Winship Win the Fight 5K run this past Saturday, October 13, 2012. With perfect weather and a motivated crowd at McDonough Park in Atlanta, it could not have been a better day for participants to join the fun in support of the fight against cancer. Those in attendance agreed, you could feel the energy in the air of the motivated participants who’s individual answers to the thematic question of the race, “Why do I run?” may have been very different, but together, were all moving forward in support of the health of cancer patients and survivors alike.

The Winship Win the Fight 5K supports advances in cancer research, treatment, and patient care at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, GA.  Winship is Georgia’s only National Center Institute-Designated Cancer Center.

This year, a running total of $375,000 was raised, but the fight’s not over! If you would like to join the 2,900 supporters who ran for a cause last Saturday, you can still donate today. Let’s make that number grow and play our own role in helping others win the fight against cancer.

You can check out some shots from this year’s Winship 5K race at McDonough Park below, and if you were there with us, tell us in the comments below why you decided to run and what you enjoyed most about the event!

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Top 8 FAQs: Nutrition’s Role in Fighting Cancer

Nutrition to Fight CancerWe had a great discussion on April 11th about nutrition with Tiffany Barrett, MS, RD, CSO, LD. She answered some great questions about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet to fight off cancer and enhance treatment. If you missed out on our live chat, the transcript is available here. Also, see below for highlights from the discussion.

Q: What are some good foods to eat during cancer treatment or to prevent cancer from reoccurring?

A: When it comes to reducing the likelihood of recurrence, reducing saturated fat intake is very important. This includes eliminating animal fat, butter, lard, etc. It is important to increase your intake of plant foods and grains while incorporating a variety of produce into your diet (i.e. leafy greens, berries, etc.).

Q: Is there a role that sugar plays in cancer?

A: First, it’s important to note there’s a difference between natural and refined/processed sugars. Unlike naturally occurring sugars found in fruit and dairy, processed sugars are significantly correlated with elevated bad cholesterol and triglycerides (fat in blood) and low good cholesterol. Eating too much added sugars can also result in excess body weight, which can increase the risk of cancer. It is best to limit your intake of sugar and sugary foods to protect your health, limit excess calories and make room for nutrient-dense foods that contain naturally occurring sugars (fruit, low-fat dairy).

Q: What is a good substitute for sugar?

A: There always are options like stevia, honey and agave nectar, but all of these are a bit sweeter than real sugar, so using less of them is advised. It’s important to understand that using moderation in any sort of sweetener is key. If you are having sugar cravings, focus on natural sources of sugar.

Q: Is there a connection between soy products and cancer?

A: There is evidence that soy intake (whole soy foods, rather than processed) prior to cancer diagnosis can have preventive effects. This has been found specifically with breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Whole soy food includes tofu, soy milk, edamame, and soy beans, whereas processed soy is found in things like soy hot dogs, soy burgers, soy powders, etc.

Q: Is food the best source for receiving nutrients? What about supplements and vitamins?

A: Our body best digests and absorbs nutrients through food consumption. There’s actually no hard evidence to demonstrate benefit from a standard multivitamin or other supplement use. Consuming nutrients through food allows for a wider variety of vitamins.

Q: Are meal replacement drinks a feasible option to getting proper nutrition during cancer treatment?

A: Meal replacement drinks certainly can be and often are helpful in combating or overcoming some of the side effects of treatment, such as loss of appetite. There are a wide variety of meal replacement drinks that provide a full balance of necessary nutrition, and also ways that people can make their own protein and meal replacement drinks at home to suit their taste.

Q: Is there any connection between physical activity and cancer prevention?

A: Absolutely. Regular, moderate physical activity: 4-5 times per week for 30-45 minutes each time, has been shown to have preventive effects.

Q: How important is it to start early with good nutrition to receive preventive benefits?

A: Starting young as far as introducing good eating habits to children is imperative. It’s also important to educate at a young age about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. Good nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight are important in reducing not only your risk for cancer, but for a whole host of other conditions that are largely preventable.

For more information on diet and nutrition, please visit Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University.  To make an appointment, please call 404-778-7777.

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Raising Lymphedema Awareness in Honor of “D” Day

Lymphedema Web ChatMarch 6 marks the official awareness day around one of the least understood but most commonly faced conditions among cancer patients—Lymphedema. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, you’re not alone. Essentially, Lymphedema is a condition that occurs when the lymph system is blocked or impeded, which results in the build up of fluid in the body’s soft tissue. This fluid buildup results in swelling–usually in the arms and legs–which is the most common symptom of Lymphedema. Lymphedema can be genetic, but it is often caused as a result of some cancers and their respective treatments. In regards to the latter, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “Lymphedema is one of the most poorly understood, relatively underestimated, and least researched complications of cancer or its treatment.”

Because of the relatively high frequency of Lymphedema among cancer patients and its implications for potential decline in patients’ quality of life, Lymphedema is a condition that clinicians and survivorship programs have begun to place a larger emphasis on.  In the spirit of raising awareness around Lymphedema and helping those who suffer from it and the family members supporting them better understand it, Lymphedema therapist, Stephanie Kirkpatrick, of the Winship Cancer Institute will be holding an online chat on the topic of Lymphedema on “D” Day*.

Stephanie will cover Lymphedema causes, types, treatments, and coping strategies and answer questions from participants during the chat, which takes place on Tuesday, March 6 at noon EST.

*UPDATE: View the Lymphedema chat transcript.

 

 

Cervical Cancer & HPV 101 – Part I

Cervical Cancer & HPV MD ChatJanuary is Cervical Health Awareness Month. To help raise awareness around cervical health and cervical cancer, this is the first of a two-part blog post series on the topic. Before we dig deeper into cervical cancer types and risk factors, here a few cervical health-related statistics you should be aware of:

  • Cervical cancer was previously the leading cancer-related cause of death for women in the U.S. In the last 40 years, however, the number of deaths from cervical cancer has dropped. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) & CDC, the decline is largely “the result of many women getting regular Pap tests, which can find cervical precancer before it turns into cancer.”
  • Approximately 10,800 new cases of HPV-related cervical cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
  • Greater than 70% of all cervical cancers (carcinomas) were squamous cell type, and nearly 20% were adenocarcinomas, between 1998-2003.

Cervical Cancer Types

Squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma are the two types of cervical cancer. Each type is distinguished based on its appearance under a microscope. Both squamous cell and adenocarcinoma begin in the cells that line hollow organs, but squamous cells have a thin, flat appearance while adenocarcinomas involve cells with secretory functions. As is noted in the statistic above, the squamous cell carcinoma type of cervical cancer is far more common and currently makes up approximately 90% of cervical carcinoma cases. Both types have similar risk factors, prognoses, and treatments.

Cervical Cancer Risk Factors

HPV

According to the CDC, “almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV),” which is why it is so important that parents and young women understand their options for getting vaccinated to protect themselves from typically symptomless HPV. Emory Healthcare will be hosting an online chat on the topic of cervical cancer and HPV. The chat will cover everything from cervical cancer prevention and diagnosis to treatment options, along with information on the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer.

Smoking

As is the case the with all cancers, smoking increases your risk. Take steps to quit smoking today.

Birth Control

Having given birth to three or more children or having been on birth control pills for over 5 years can increase your risk for cervical cancer.

In our next post on cervical cancer, we’ll cover its connection to the HPV virus, including more information on the HPV vaccine and its effectiveness and the relationship between various HPV strains and cervical cancer. In the meantime, if you have questions on the topic of cervical cancer, or something you want to see covered in our next post, let us know in the comments section below!

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