Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Does long-term cell phone use lead to brain tumors?

I'm sharing this link - something to think about as we all rely more and more on our cell phones - not just for a quick call, but email, web searches, twitter....  constant interaction.

ScienceDaily (2011-01-19) -- Research suggests that long-term exposure to microwaves from cellular phones may lead to an increased risk of brain tumors. Although debate continues, independent studies with long-term follow-up strongly suggest an increased risk of brain tumors related to the use of cellular or cordless phones. more

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer

"Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer"... and I would add "Why You Should Not Put Too Much Faith in the Advice of Your Doctor." This is a must read for anyone trying to navigate the medical industry these days.

I write this blog because I am a cancer survivor and I have learned firsthand how important it is to be in charge of your own health.  But this book is important even if you don't think you are sick, or like everyone who hasn't had cancer, you may assume that is something that happens to other people.  It is not a book about cancer, it is a book about the medical industry and how it works, and how information is getting to the consumer.

Yes - consumer.  Not patient.

Think about drug ads on tv.  Think about how there's a quick message about some woman who isn't sure whether she should take this drug because she sometimes has some anxiety.  Then they proceed to quickly go through a lengthy list of side effects: dry mouth, depression, intestinal bleeding, death...  Then it says "Ask you doctor if this drug is right for you."

It is not just cases like cancer where we need to worry about the treatments that are prescribed to us.  And after reading this book, I also think it is not just about reading the list of side effects.

Think about the recent FDA recall of Avastin.  This became an incredibly political topic.  It was a dangerous drug, with "a number of serious and life-threatening side effects" with very little benefit.  But, the drug company stands to lose a lot of money, so they create a campaign to scare people into keeping the drug.  Among the group fighting to keep the drug are doctors, doctors who want their patients to stay on the drug - that is scary to me.  

This book explains how things like this happen.  It is far more involved that I can possibly get into here, but it affects EVERYONE.  One example is a college student who is convinced he needs drugs to sleep better, and after a series of events eventually commits suicide (a side effect on an anti-depressant taken for a side effect of the sleep drugs).

There are some parts of the book that I think are dismissive.  For example, in the discussion of unnecessary back surgeries, I was someone who had a very-much necessary back surgery, some of the language seems as though most procedures can be avoided.  There should be a bit more in there to help someone determine when is it necessary or not...  but that is not really the point of the book - and everything else is very eye opening, and when you begin to see how the system operates, then it does empower you to make these decisions for yourself.

If you haven't read this, you should.  The healthcare system is getting more and more complicated.  For your survival (really) it is important that you read this book, and not assume your doctor, or specialist are recommending the best treatment for you.  

They want to treat the symptom - You want to live.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not Just a Beautiful Flower: The Marigold Brings Natural Health

This is a really interesting article from Natural News - now I'm excited to learn more about edible flowers :)

Not Just a Beautiful Flower: The Marigold Brings Natural Health

(NaturalNews) Marigold (also known as Calendula officinalis) is not just a beautiful flower, but a natural medicine for many conditions. The marigold has now been placed in the books of cancer and anti-cancer cures, because it has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The marigold is also able to help in the treatment of wounds.

Learn more:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

When Do You Stop Thinking That the Cancer Coming Back?

It's Sunday morning.  Time to relax from the busy week, I can't remember the last time I let myself just sit and relax.  I need a job, so I'm always thinking about that...  and one thing I've been thinking about lately:

Do cancer survivors ALWAYS worry that a pain in their body is the cancer coming back?  When does that stop?

I still have pain, after 4 years, from the radiation, particularly around the scar tissue, but sometimes in the other breast.  I try to tell myself that we are watching it, so it must just be some residual pain, but once in a while, if I'm feeling weak, it can be scary.

Pains in other parts of the body are scary too.  Breast cancer often recurs in the bones, so every time I have a pain in my chest (probably indigestion), it feels like cancer in my chest.  An ache in my leg will feel like a tumor.

What do I do?

I take a few deep breaths.

Amazing, but most of the time, I seem to be able to make this work.  The holidays were stressful.  If I stop, and rest, and let myself breathe a little, some nice long deep breaths, often the pain will subside.

The breathing seems to help me in two ways:

- oxygen in your blood is good for fighting cancer, deep breathing helps give your body what it needs to fight cancer

- if the pain goes away when I breath deep and let myself relax a little, then I begin to feel more confident that the pain is really stress-related, and NOT another tumor growing somewhere else.

I'm not young.  My body will get aches and pains.  That doesn't mean the cancer is going to return.

So this Sunday, I am going to relax, and enjoy my health.  Live this beautiful moment in time.

Life is Good :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D., Cancer Advisor: A Phone Consultee Comments

Follow this link to the testimonial.  There are many others like this, but I think for anyone going through such stress in having to make decisions about how to treat their cancer - especially if you are hesitant about putting your body through toxic treatments when you are already feeling weak - having an unbiased person walk you through your options can be incredibly comforting and reassuring.

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is a very emotional experience.  If you feel like you can't think straight enough to make decisions (very important decisions that affect your survival), then consider calling Ralph Moss.  I know if/when my cancer recurs I will call him: I'm a single mother - I can't afford to die, and I also can't afford to be a wreck through treatment - I need to be a mom, I need to do everything I can to be there for my children.

Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D., Cancer Advisor: A Phone Consultee Comments: " We recently received this comment on our phone consultation service: 'My telephone conversation with Ralph Moss was most helpful in h..."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fighting Cancer with Coffee

Since my cancer diagnosis, I have always worried about drinking coffee.

Both my Oncologist, and Radiologist have said drinking coffee is okay.  When I read articles that talk about what I should do to help my survival, they mention quitting smoking (no problem for me, I never smoked), or drinking less alcohol (high consumption is associated with recurrence, again, not a problem for me).  But nobody mentions coffee. 

I have seen that drinking tea helps fight cancer.  Many teas, especially green tea, have cancer fighting properties, but it is the antioxidants in the tea, not the caffeine that fights cancer.  I enjoy a cup of tea, but that is an afternoon drink for me...

Oh, but I LOVE my morning cup of coffee.  It is my only weakness.  

As I start my New Year trying to improve my health,  I decide to look into any connection between cancer and coffee consumption.  I was surprised and overjoyed to discover that there are more studies showing coffee preventing cancer, than coffee causing cancer.

The distinction that I found was this:

- There seems to be Acrylamide in coffee with medium and lighter roasts that cause cancer (luckily, I prefer a darker roast): see this article: Cancer Chemical Found in Coffee.

But this seems to be the only bit of information that I can find, and that coming from a country that likes to promote tea consumption ;)

Beyond that, I found study after study showing not only that coffee is not harmful, but that it seems to prevent cancer.  The best article I found was this: 

""If we had a drug for any disease that could demonstrate a risk reduction of 34%, that would be considered a great drug. That degree of risk reduction is very strong," he said.""

But to be clear, as this next article states: 
Coffee and Cancer Risk
"The study was associative, which means although researchers found a strong link between coffee drinking and reduced cancer risk, they can't say for sure that it's the coffee doing the trick."

I will keep my mind open.  I'm not going to think that I am fighting my cancer as I drink my morning coffee, but I will also stop feeling guilty for enjoying it.

Life is Good!

Monday, January 3, 2011

NUTRITION ADVICE: Top Antioxidant Foods

Ralph Moss (Cancer Decisions) Blog Has Moved

 By now you probably all know I'm a huge fan of Ralph Moss, author of several books, all of which are inspiring and helpful to a cancer patient wanting to improve their odds of survival.  I want to forward along the message that his blog has moved to:

I encourage all of you to subscribe to his blog, I have found not only his insights, but also the feedback from his other readers very comforting (in ways I was not comforted by my own physicians...).  If you haven't read any of his books, see below for some of my favorites, but all of them are good.  He also does personal consultations, which can be helpful when you are confused by conflicting information, and emotional overload.

FYI - I do not represent Ralph Moss, I'm just a fan of unbiased and honest information.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Starting 2011 With a Plan to Fight Cancer From Every Angle

In my most recent readings, I am finding that there are so many things to consider in my fight against cancer.

My first line of attack has always been diet - but this has two parts that I must evaluate at each meal:

1 - am I reducing the foods that might encourage cancer growth: synthetic/processed foods, refined sugar?

2 - am I eating cancer fighting foods at every meal?

But there's also a connection between cancer and regular fitness, even if it's just walking.  So my second line of attack is to make sure I do some sort of movement, if not every day, several times a week.

I'm done, right?  I did the treatment with my doctors, I'm eating better, trying to exercise more..  I'm fighting cancer!!!

Yes.  But I can do more :)

Every day we are bombarded with chemicals in our environment.  For the most part, these are government regulated, and we should assume they are safe.  But the government is concerned that chemicals not exceed amounts that could cause cancer (meaning cancer causing effects may be present, just at low levels), and often it is after a product has been on the market for a while that we find that it causes cancer: for example, the connection between breast cancer and plastic.  So, my goal is to use more natural products in my home.

There - now I am fighting cancer completely.  Fight, fight, fight!!!

Hmmm, but there's something I'm missing.  All this fighting goes against my nature.  There are studies that show a connection between survival and emotions.  Perhaps the most important thing I can do to survive is to simply enjoy a beautiful sunset, play with my children, and laugh with my friends.  

So this year, I am resolving to survive cancer, not just with what I put inside my body, but with what I will allow into my home, and how I live my life.  I will either buy less toxic cleansers, or make my own.  I will stock my kitchen with antioxidants for meals and snacking.  I will get out and enjoy nature walks. But most importantly, the key to my survival will be to live each day to its fullest.

As they say: Live, Laugh, Love - now a prescription for living longer!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Slow Death by Rubber Duck

...The Secret Danger of Everyday Things.

The title of this book may seem a bit like a prophecy of doom, but the message is more hopeful.  Instead of making us feel guilty for all the plastic, man-made things that surround us, they provide excellent information and research to help us move toward a less toxic environment.

The most important points they make, and this is why you need to read this book, is how seemingly innocent plastics in our homes can directly affect our health.  This is not just a book about trying to reduce landfills, or asking us to recycle, but that living with these plastics can cause disease.  There have already been studies linking plastics to breast cancer (see the link): What Is the Connection Between Plastic and Breast Cancer. 

The book has a wonderful style, quite readable and entertaining, and I feel the way the information is presented makes it easier for us to make decisions to create a less toxic environment at home.

If you are fighting cancer, as I am, this information is critical.  If you want to prevent cancer, this information is critical.  If you want to do everything you can to provide a safe and healthy environment for your family - this book will be invaluable.

Enjoy - may you have a healthy and happy 2011!!