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Stress and Breast Cancer

Your cell phone is broken, your child has the flu, and you received a negative review from your supervisor. Stress seems to be a constant part of a women’s life. However, can stress harm your body? New research indicates that women who frequently suffer from stress are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.1 Researchers believe that episodes of stress can lead to changes in hormone levels and a decline in the body’s immune system. Hormones, like oestrogen, are widely recognized by healthcare professionals as a contributing cause of breast cancer. 1 Stress is more than just a nuisance, as it can have dramatic implications to your health.

Accept that your Stress is a Problem
There are issues that women have to overcome on a daily basis that make life challenging. However, when something causes stress it’s worth taking note. The common symptoms of stress are sleepiness, anxiety, teeth grinding, gastrointestinal discomfort, and constant worrying. If you recognize one or more of these signs, it can mean that you’re dealing with stress. When stress becomes a daily part of your life, it needs to be acknowledged as a health problem that must to be addressed.

Identify Causes
Determining the causes of stress in your life is important to reducing it. As you age, the sources of stress will change. In your 20s and 30s, dating may have been source of stress, but it’s not likely to be relevant in your 40s and 50s. Rather, you’re more likely concerned about your health and your family’s health. When a friend or family member is fighting cancer, it may be hard for you to shake the constant thoughts in your mind that you may have to confront the disease. For women who are 40 and over, breast cancer becomes a real concern. Writing down your thoughts on a notepad is an easy way to identify your sources of stress.

Seek Remedies
Once you’ve figured out what causes stress in your life, you need to take action to eliminate it. There are issues in life that you can’t resolve immediately, but look for things that you change within a few weeks to reduce stress. This could mean that you need to consistently schedule your required annual health tests, like breast exams, in order to be confident that they’re healthy. If work is negatively impacting your life, you may need to switch jobs to one that is less demanding. Determining your non-essential responsibilities and then eliminating them is also a direct way to reduce stress. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your support network.

Stress is more than just a minor nuisance. It’s a legitimate health concern that every women should seek to reduce. There are difficult issues in our lives that lead to stress, and they can’t be fixed quickly. It’s important to recognize the affect they have on our bodies as a result of stress. Reducing stress is essential to our health and must not be ignored. Outline what steps will work for you to reduce it and then implement them into your daily life.

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Radiation Causes Cancer

We all know “radiation causes cancer”, right? And that no one wants to get cancer, right? Then we should make choices that keep us from as much radiation as possible.

In case you don’t already know this about radiation, it’s effects are cumulative. That means it is not like having a glass of wine at night. Next morning the effects are gone. Each exposure to radiation causes genetic changes inside our cellular DNA. Enough radiation all at once or over a period of multiple smaller exposures produces enough damage to cause cancer.

In a well respected online medical site called Medscape. Dr. Topol has a must see video called Runaway Use of Radiation Harming Patients

He says a percentage of cancer is caused by medical radiation and patients should be told exactly how much radiation exists in the imaging that we are exposed.

This Radiation Chart is very valuable.
You can see that one chest x-ray equal 20= uSv and one mammogram film =400uSv. Therefore one mammogram picture is equal to having 20 chest x-rays. The chest x-ray is spread out over the entire chest area. The mammogram x-ray is condensed and focused through that small 2 inch nozzle directly into the breast tissue. But wait, who has just one mammogram picture?

How many mammogram films do you have at each visit, 2, 4, 8? Do the math!

OC Breast Wellness – painless, radiation-free breast exams

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What Happens When Dad Doesn’t Talk?

The other night, my wife and I watched “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” a perfectly entertaining, somewhat ordinary movie, with a great cast having a great time. At one point, two characters faced off and argued over who was the alpha person in their relationship. It’s quite clear who is the alpha personality in our home, even though my wife thinks she runs the show. And, I have the bigger mouth.

So, what happens when said “big mouth” doesn’t talk? That is what took place at our dinner table recently. Our family has recently undergone a pretty big change in the family dynamic when we “lost” a family member – my oldest son – to Boston and the beginning of his college journey. We also lost two of our three dogs in the past year, so the Sallan household is a heckuva lot quieter.

I had had a pretty good day for a Monday. I went golfing with my wife. The weather was gorgeous and we were both in a good mood. I was in my 4th month of learning golf and was still using my son’s clubs. I borrowed a 3-wood from the pro shop that I was advised would be good for me.

On the 7th hole, I used that club to hit the ball to within five feet or so of the pin. WOW! Sadly, I two-putted and missed my first chance for a birdie. The rest of my game was equally hit-and-miss until we got to the 14th hole, considered the most difficult 3-par on our course. It’s 185 yards to the tee from the white pumpkins, where most of the men tee off. Our club is in and named after Calabasas, which is evidently somewhere defined as pumpkin and, in fact, there are pumpkins growing all over the course.

Anyway, I used this new club and whacked the ball hopefully in the direction of the pin. It seemed to go straight there, but we couldn’t see it land since it was over 500 feet away. I remarked to my wife, “Hey, that might have run right into the hole.” She gave me a “dream on” look and went ahead and set up her tee shot.

Right after she hit a great shot right into the trap just before the pin, a greens-man rolled up in his cart and over-heard our continuing debate on the chances of my shot going in the hole. He laughs and says; “I was right there and saw it land, roll, and drop right into the hole! Congratulations on a Hole-in-One!”

My wife displayed a big grin and together we let out a huge “WOW.” Going up to the hole and actually seeing my ball in the hole was a kick almost beyond description. We took the proverbial photos with my lousy iPhone camera (something is wrong with it though I do love the phone) and went on to finish our round of golf.

Afterward, we “registered” the hole-in-one with the pro shop, I thanked the head pro for the club recommendation, and we headed on home.

Quite jazzed by my good fortune, I edited the photos, tweeted about it, and then did what I love to do when I’m happy – write. I wrote three quick scripts for our Because I Said So comic strips. I thought they were pretty good and pretty funny.

So, when our reduced family sat down to dinner, we talked a bit about my hole-in-one and then I shared that I had just written three new comic scripts. I proceeded to tell the stories I just wrote, to a double blank-look from my wife and younger son. I wasn’t pleased with their non-reaction and said so. They made a snide comment about me always talking and that they didn’t ask to hear them.

Acting like the mature alpha-male that I am I poutingly said, “Well, if you feel that way, I’ll just be quiet the rest of the meal.” They both laughed and said, “Impossible.” I kept quiet the rest of the meal and what happened? We ate in silence. My wife asked my son what happened at school that day to which she got the standard reply, “Nothing.”

I felt vindicated, unless my wife and son really enjoy sitting and eating in silence. It was so revealing of how the dynamic in our family works. I am the loudmouth, often annoying, but equally entertaining if not at least stimulating. My wife has the role of keeping peace, teaching the kids and me manners, running the home, my son has his own teenage life, and I am the Dad.

This spontaneous experiment was fun to do. Hard as it was for me to be quiet for those 10-15 minutes, I found it amusing to watch the significant difference when I wasn’t talking.

Maybe I was vindicated, maybe not. But, it was fun to “experiment” and always interesting to see how our family evolves…