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Tag Archive | "alcohol"

Breast Cancer in 2013: What you need to know


 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features) Thirty years ago, a diagnosis of breast cancer was thought of as a virtual death sentence for many women, but since that time significant progress has been made in the fight against breast cancer. Reduced mortality, less invasive treatments, an increased number of survivors and other advancements have their roots in breast cancer research—more than $790 million of it funded by Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization.

However, the reality is that breast cancer is still a serious disease. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, held each October, brings awareness to the disease and empowers women to take charge of their own breast health.

This year, about 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women in the U.S. and nearly 40,000 women will die from it. Globally, 1.6 million people will be diagnosed, and 400,000 will die. Despite the increased awareness of breast cancer, major myths still abound. Women must remain vigilant against this disease by learning the facts and understanding how they may be able to reduce their risk.

The Myths and Facts on Breast Cancer

Myth: I’m only 35. Breast cancer happens only in older women.

Fact: While the risk increases with age, all women are at risk for getting breast cancer.

Myth: Only women with a family history of breast cancer get the disease.

Fact: Most women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease. However, a woman whose mother, sister or daughter had breast cancer has an increased risk.

Myth: If I don’t have a mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, I won’t get breast cancer.

Fact: You can still get breast cancer, even without a gene mutation. About 90 to 95 percent of women who get breast cancer do not have this mutation.

Myth: Women with more than one known risk factor get breast cancer.

Fact: Most women with breast cancer have no known risk factors except being a woman and getting older. All women are at risk.

Myth: You can prevent breast cancer.

Fact: Because the causes of breast cancer are not yet fully known, there is no way to prevent it.

Actions to Reduce Your Risk

Breast cancer can’t be prevented; however, research has shown that there are actions women can take to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

*Maintain a Healthy Weight – Postmenopausal women who are overweight have a 30 to 60 percent higher breast cancer risk than those who are lean.

*Add Exercise into Your Routine – Women who get regular physical activity may have a lower risk of breast cancer by about 10 to 20 percent, particularly in postmenopausal women.

*Limit Alcohol Intake – Research has found that women who had two to three alcoholic drinks per day had a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer.

*Breastfeed, if you can – Research has shown that mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total of one year (combined duration of breastfeeding for all children) were slightly less likely to get breast cancer than those who never breastfed.

For more information on the facts about breast cancer and what you need to reduce your risk, or to find resources in your community, visit Komen.org or call 1-877-GO-KOMEN.

 

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Women’s Health


A Toast to Your Health

By James N. Martin, Jr, MD
President, the American Congress
of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

For many Americans, having a couple of drinks to unwind at the end of the day or to connect socially with  friends is a fun and occasional indulgence. But for a growing number of women who drink, these occasions have gone from few-and-far-between to routine.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause a slew of negative physical, social, and mental consequences in women such as decreased fertility, menstrual disorders, heart and liver problems, injuries, seizures, malnutrition, and an increased risk of breast, liver, rectal, and head and neck cancers. Loss of income, child neglect or abuse, altered judgment, driving under the influence, and depression may also occur.

So how much is too much? Moderate drinking is defined as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two per day for men. It’s recommended that women drink less because, pound for pound, they have less water in their bodies to help dilute alcohol and its toxic by-products than men, making them more vulnerable to alcohol-related health problems at lower levels of alcohol intake.

Serving size also matters. One drink equals five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of  beer, eight to nine ounces of malt liquor, or 1.5 ounces (one shot glass) of 80-proof spirits. The large drinks commonly served at bars and restaurants can easily pack three or more servings of alcohol, not to mention hundreds of empty calories.

Thirteen percent of women in the US consume more than seven alcoholic drinks each week. More than one-quarter of women aged 18–25 binge drink, meaning they consume more than three drinks per occasion. Binge drinking causes a sudden peak in the blood alcohol, which can lead to unsafe behavior and a higher risk of reproductive and organ damage.

Many of us don’t realize that we drink too much. Understanding what a reasonable level of consumption is may be enough to encourage some people to cut back. However, others may find that it is hard to curb their drinking or may not stop drinking even though it threatens their health, safety, or relationships. These are signs of alcohol dependence. Women are often more reluctant than men to admit that they need help or have an addiction, fearing repercussions at work or with the police, social isolation, or the loss of their children. But the sooner the problem is addressed, the better.

If you think you may have a drinking problem, talk to your doctor. He or she can be an excellent resource for advice and information and can refer you to support groups that can help.

For more information, the Patient Education Pamphlet “Alcohol and Women” is available at www.acog.org/publications/ patient_education/.

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Crash sends two to hospital


A head-on accident near Sparta sent two people to the hospital last Thursday.

Kent County Sheriff Deputies believe alcohol was involved in a head-on crash that sent two Sparta residents to the hospital last week.

Police were dispatched to an accident on 13 Mile Road, east of N. Division, just after 7 p.m., on Thursday, March 3. According to a witness at the scene, a black Pontiac Grand Prix, driven by Jesus Junior Gonzalez, 24, of Sparta, crossed the centerline while traveling eastbound on 13 Mile Rd. The witness was traveling westbound on 13 Mile and swerved to avoid the Pontiac. Gonzalez continued traveling westbound in the eastbound lane, and collided head-on with a westbound 2007 Toyota Camry, driven by Frances Marie Blake, 64, of Sparta.

Both drivers were pinned in their vehicles and extricated by Sparta Fire and Rescue and both suffered multiple fractures. Gonzalez was transported to Butterworth Hospital by Aeromed, and Blake was transported to Butterworth by Rockford Ambulance.

Police believe Gonzalez been drinking prior to the accident.

The Sparta Police Department also assisted at the scene.

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