Wrapping Up Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Let’s Proceed with Prevention – Paul’s Periscopes
After a full month of concentrating on breast cancer awareness, I've learned a lot.
One of the best parts of it is that I've realized that what women should consider doing to keep from contracting this disease is the same thing all of us should be doing to avoid cancer, or otherwise ill health.
This is how I'm going to proceed.
With the increasing amount of people getting cancer, breast and otherwise, it's time to move beyond just screening as our strategy to stay healthy.
When we are sick and diseased, we go the hospital or doctor. That's an appropriate action.
When we are afraid of getting a disease, and we ask our hospital or doctor what to do to avoid it, that's not an appropriate action.
Hospitals and doctors are there to treat sickness, disease and injury. That's their job and we are so lucky to have them. Their job isn't prevention. It is treatment. They have the best screening technology and will probably implement a great plan for you if you have the disease. But their thing isn't prevention, so it is up to us to find the things to do so that we can lower the number of people getting cancer in America.
That's not saying that we shouldn't listen to them or that screening isn't important. It is. I'm not convinced that mammography is as good an idea as thermography, especially given the changes in the recommendation released this month by the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Screening is still important. But, just like I'll recommend for food, it's time to start being really curious about the best screening methods, when we should start, and how much percentage of emphasis we put on this versus other methods of potential prevention.
We don't know why so many people are getting cancer, but there is a good chance that it is coming from our environment.
When I say environment, I mean everything that we experience, eat, breathe and drink.
It's coming from somewhere, and that somewhere might be the food we are eating. That is, if you have eliminated other risk factors like alcohol and tobacco, which we know will give you cancer.
Look at the numbers of people diagnosed per year (I'm moving beyond the pink, and just referring to women. I know it's breast cancer awareness month, but this applies to everyone and many other cancers) now compared to 40 to 50 years ago. It's staggering. It's gone up almost exponentially since the 1960's.
Has our food changed since the 1960's? Yes. Dramatically. How we grow, heat and eat it has transformed. Maybe that's part of the problem.
When there is a big difference in the results, maybe it comes from the huge difference in the whole process.
I really believe our best bet is to start by looking at our what we eat.
It should be pretty obvious which foods are really bad for you.
Yeah, it's science, but you don't have to be a scientist to know what to eat. So if you are on a diet that is high in the horrendously horrible foods, start to cut back as soon as you can. Those horrendously horrible foods include:
- Greasy, fast food
- Foods high in sugar
- Foods with a lot of ingredients that you can't pronounce or have no Earthly clue what they could be
- Highly processed foods
- Foods with high fructose corn syrup as one of the main ingredients
- soda, especially diet soda
- Energy drinks of pretty much any kind
- Microwaved food - Why are microwaves bad?
Many of these foods may have advertising that makes them seem healthy. Your average yogurt looks like it should be really good for you, but it actually contains as much or more sugar than a soda. All is not as it seems.
You have to be curious about what you are eating, at least a majority of the time.
What should we be eating?
I'll send you to a Facebook page with a title that says just what it is. Just eat real food. That is a great start.
Other logical things to consider.
We are so much more stressed. This, for me, is much more difficult to deal with than changing what I eat. It's true that my meals aren't always a chocolaty delight, but at least I can physically decide to eat this and not that. I can't always control my thoughts and emotions. However, it is something to consider, and can be vitally important.
There just isn't enough in most of our lives. Bodily strength, balance and flexibility is a use it or lose it proposition. The less use, the more we lose. It's a direct ratio.
The main thing I learned is that I don't want to sit on the sideline of the championship game of my health. Even if it doesn't do me any good to watch what I eat, exercise and rest, I'm going to anyway, because if the other philosophy is sit, wait and hope I don't get sick, I'm out!