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Breast Healthy Living

Breast Healthy Living

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How lifestyle choices can help shape your risk of breast cancer. It’s never too early to be proactive. Breast cancer ranks as the top health concern for women young and old. In Canada, 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Despite this staggering statistic, we have made little progress in advancing our understanding of how to treat never mind prevent breast cancer. “An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure”. The lack of progress is in part due to our underestimating the important role that lifestyle plays in shaping a woman’s risk. Eight of every ten women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history. Women living in the US have a greater risk of dying from breast cancer than do women living in Thailand. These facts underscore the important role lifestyle plays in shaping our risk. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. It is never too early to adopt a breast healthy lifestyle. What we choose to eat, drink, and apply to our skin are choices we make everyday. The following guide will help you to take proactive measures to reduce your risk through the decades: In your Twenties It’s easier to never start than to stop smoking. Most smokers pick up the habit before their 21st birthday. Starting early and smoking longer are linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. Instead, young women can adopt breast healthy diets adding cruciferous vegetables (i.e. broccoli, bok choy and kale) that enhance estrogen metabolism and reduce health problems caused by hormone imbalance. When we are young it is crucial to limit exposure to environmental hazards such as dioxins in pesticides and mercury in contaminated fish as maturing breast tissue is more vulnerable. We can do this by selecting organic produce (check out the dirty dozen list for the most heavily sprayed crops) and limiting fish intake to three servings a week. While a good diet should be the foundation of health, it may not be enough. From birth, it is recommended that we take the sunshine vitamin (D3) as a supplement as inadequate stores are linked with risk of breast cancer later on. In your Thirties Pregnancy and breastfeeding are protective to the breast. Becoming pregnant, especially having a baby before the age of 30 years, and breastfeeding are associated with a lower risk of acquiring breast cancer later in life. Skin and hair care products begin to be used and we must do so wisely. Carefully check labels and avoid those products that contain harmful ingredients such as parabens, hormone disruptors that may be linked to breast cancer. In your Forties Body shape changes commonly start at midlife. Being overweight is one of the most important predictors of breast cancer. The diagnosis of breast cancer often follows a stressful life event. In our forties, we face the...

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Vitamins and Supplements for Women

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How long does it take for vitamins and supplements for women to start working or be effective? It really depends on what supplement you are taking, the dosage, and your system (how your body processes the supplement). With certain supplements, such as multivitamins or fish oil, you may not necessarily feel any different, however taking these products helps correct deficiencies, ensures that your nutritional needs are met and may help to protect against certain chronic diseases. In comparison to pharmaceutical drugs, vitamins and supplements for women are typically very gentle on your system and as such require a longer period of consecutive use for optimal results. With herbal products that are taken therapeutically, such as Menopause Relief which contains Black cohosh, you may start to notice benefits (relief of menopause symptoms) in a few weeks. Since everyone is different and every herbal remedy is different there is no one answer to the amount of time a vitamin or herbal remedy will take for noticeable results.  With femMED products we recommend 3-4 weeks of consecutive use for best results. Sherry Torkos Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara area. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, Sherry has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad. Sherry has authored fourteen books & booklets, including The Glycemic Index Made Simple and Breaking the Age Barrier. Her most recent book, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine has become a national best-seller. For more information, visit:...

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