Rock superstar Melissa Etheridge got a lot of flack for something she had said in an interview with AARP magazine.
Normally, Melissa is a symbol of strength and inspiration for advocates and survivors alike. However, a comment she had made in the interview has got survivors, advocates and health care professionals off their seats. You see, Melissa said that breast cancer genes can be turned off or on depending on the kind of food you eat.
“I have the BRCA2 gene but don’t encourage women to get tested. Genes can be turned on and off. I turned my gene on with my very poor diet.”
Now a lot of people think that Melissa is sadly misinformed and that because her popularity, a lot of women may think that what she said was the truth. Experts argue that although diet may play a role in increasing cancer risk, it is not the only factor. Genetic testing has also proven itself to be especially helpful to women who are in the “high-risk” category because knowing you have the mutation will encourage them to get tested more frequently than those who are considered low risk.
FORCE, a support group for BRCA positive women as well as The National Society of Genetic Counselors have issued letters to the magazine expressing their dissatisfaction with the story. A lot of survivors also feel that the comments made by Etheridge could be pointing fingers at the survivors themselves, blaming heir bad food choices for their suffering.
Melissa has released a statement saying that she had simply been misunderstood by readers and that she didn’t mean anything negative with the comment.
What do you guys think? Do you think Melissa or the magazine should have clarified the issue further?
According to an Oxford University Research, 15 minutes of vigorous exercise can reduce breast cancer risk by one fifth.
For three years, the study followed the lifestyle of 125,000 post-menopausal women 1,000 of whom were breast cancer survivors. It was revealed that participants who engaged in 15 to 30 minutes if vigorous exercise everyday were one fifth less likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetime compared to those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, women with 55% or more body fat percentage are also more prone to developing the disease.
Perhaps the most important piece of information we can take from this study is that no matter what your current weight is, regular physical activity can still reduce your risk. This finding serves as a ray of hope for millions of overweight women who fear that they are just waiting to be diagnosed with cancer.
“We’ve known for some time that exercise may help to reduce breast cancer risk after the menopause, but what’s really interesting about this study is that this does not appear to be solely due to the most active women being slimmer, suggesting that there may be some more direct benefits of exercise for women of all sizes.” said lead professor Tim Key.
Examples of vigorous exercises include running or any activity that causes a person to run out of breath. You can also try circuit training or repetitive exercises such as jumping rope.
Aside from helping maintain a healthy weight, exercise also protects us from disease like heart disease and cancer. It seems there really is no downside to incorporating exercise into our lives.
The incidence of breast cancer is on the rise worldwide and most women feel that they are powerless against such a mighty foe. However, we are here to tell you that it is possible to reduce your breast cancer risk just by making small changes in your lifestyle. Here’s how!
Control your weight. Obesity increases the chance of breast cancer as there is a large amount of estrogen stored in fat tissue. Losing a couple of pounds by making smarter choices about your diet and adapting an exercise program can dramatically lessen your risk. You’ve always wanted to try that zumba class right? Now is the time to do it!
Cut Back on Alcohol. If you are prone to having more than 2 drinks a day to get the edge off, you may be putting yourself at danger! Studies have shown that women who drink often have 1 and ½ times the risk of more than those who load up on good old water. Cut back, your heart and liver will thank you too!
Heed on Hormone Therapy. Prolonged combination hormone therapy has been linked to an increased breast cancer risk. Ladies who require the use of hormone therapy to control menstrual problems or as birth control should talk to their doctor about non-hormonal options or getting a lower dose.
Engage in Physical Activity. Exercise doesn’t have to require a gym membership or fancy equipment; it just means you need to engage in heart pumping activity every week. Try gardening, walking around your neighborhood every afternoon or using a bike to run errands.