October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month - by Dr. Kenneth Rose - Wallowa County Healthcare District
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month — by Dr. Kenneth Rose

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month — by Dr. Kenneth Rose

The risk of breast cancer is the fear of every woman. It is the second most common cancer in women and affects one out of every eight females.  In 2017 alone, nearly 250,000 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis, and more than 40,000 will die in the United States from the disease.  While many consider breast cancer a risk just for older women, it occurs at all ages.

That’s why we are especially fortunate in our community to have the latest in breast imaging technology:  a new Genius 3D Mammography System, which not only reduces false positives by up to 40% but also catches breast cancer at its earliest stages — where survival rates are nearly 100%.

More and more research is showing that while there are no guarantees, women can take steps to reduce their risk of breast and other cancers by changing lifestyle habits.  Diets high in plant foods and low in saturated fats have proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer, and even help those diagnosed with the disease to improve their outcomes.  Consuming crushed flaxseeds, just a teaspoon a day, can reduce your risk of breast cancer by 20-30%.  Maintaining a healthy weight is critical, as obesity leads to increased risk, as does having diabetes, which is also often prevented with healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and a healthy weight.

It is increasingly recognized that the real issue in health care is our lifestyle, and making positive, healthy lifestyle changes should become the primary prescription for the leading causes of many of our most common and most terrifying diseases including breast cancer.  Hippocrates, considered the Father of Medicine, had it right when he said, sometime around 460 BC, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Again, while there are no guarantees, stack the odds in your favor with smart, healthy lifestyle choices that include daily physical activity, a plant-based diet low in saturated fats, and regular mammography screenings.

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