Thursday, February 13, 2014

Can radiation therapy have an effect on your heart?

As with any medications and medical treatments, adverse effects are often involved.  According to a recent study, breast cancer patients who have undergone radiation therapy have a slightly higher risk of developing ischemic heart disease.  Of course, the researchers from Oxford University, England, The Karolinska Institute, Sweden and Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark, involved 2,200 female patients between 1958 and 2001 but did not include any men. 


Ischemic heart disease is characterized when there is restriction in the blood supply to tissue of the heart muscle.  Of the general population, ischemia is more common among men, people with close relatives with ischemic heart disease, individuals with high cholesterol levels, regular smokers, diabetes, and/or hypertension (high blood pressure).  The risk of developing ischemic heart disease is higher with receiving radiation therapy when these other health factors exist.

The researchers used data from radiotherapy charts and medical records to approximate the mean radiation dosage to the heart.  In addition, they examined data of each woman’s heart disease risk factors as well as their medical histories. 

The team found a clear association between the radiation dose and ischemic heart disease later in life, although they feel that it is still small.  If you received or need to receive radiation therapy and your risks include angina, chronic obstructive lung disorder, diabetes, obesity, smoker or other heart disease, speak with your doctor to see how you can support or make changes to your overall health.

The researchers agree the risk peaked during the first ten years after therapy and then dropped but did still remain higher than normal for at least twenty years.  This information does not mean that every breast cancer patient has a higher risk of heart disease.   A 50-year-old patient who received a 3 Gy heart dose during radiotherapy has a 2.4% chance of dying from ischemic heart disease before she is 80, compared to 1.9% among breast cancer patients of the same age who had no radiation.

This study will hopefully help doctors determine the best ways to treat breast cancer patients for radiation therapy.  The International Journal of Radiation Oncology/Biology/Physics in May of 2007 published a study finding that older breast cancer patients with early stage disease who underwent radiation therapy had no increased risk of a heart attack. 

As in any treatment, it’s important to determine if the risk outweigh the benefits. Hopefully this information will assist all genders.

Happy Valentine’s Day! If you love someone, you’ll check their breast (yes men do have breast) or remind them to do a self-breast exam (see our brochure on the web site for details on how to perform a self breast examination)

Modah Ani- I Am Thankful

Editor; Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-founder

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gift Giving and Save Lives

There’s a day for Mother’s, Father’s, and your boss, a day for honoring our flag, our veterans and our freedom.  There is Black Friday to go shopping, Cyber Monday to shop on line and so why not have a day for giving?  Welcome Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday that follows Thanksgiving!

There are so many ways that you can help HIS Breast Cancer Awareness with your donations so let us share some suggestions from  donations HIS BCA will receive when you shop on line, sending your holiday wishes, or just meeting your end of the year charitable tax deductions.

First, if you’re shopping on amazon this holiday or all year long, first go to smile.amazon.com and choose from the list or search to select HIS Breast Cancer Awareness as your charity of choice.  Every time you shop on smile.amazon.com a donation will be made to us- it’s that easy! You shop, save and HIS BCA is rewarded.

If you’re out of ideas on what to get or even IF you should be buying someone a present, donation cards with your wishes makes the perfect and most thoughtful gift. You can order one that we’ll mail for you or purchase a pack of 10 cards. In addition to the holidays, you can keep them on hand all year long to honor a birthday, send get well wishes, or offer a note of congratulations. You make the acknowledgement, and the receiver appreciates your kindness and learns that male breast cancer does exist; you might just even save a life with awareness! To order one or purchase a pack, visit the SHOP page on the web site as well as view other awareness products here; http://hisbreastcancer.org/shop.html 


If you like to wait to the end of the year to choose your charities and make your donations then please consider a donation to HIS Breast Cancer Awareness.  Your donations no matter how big or small assist with offering insight, education and awareness of Male Breast Cancer and can be made directly on the web site.  

Another great place to make a donation this year is a documentary in the makings that we are involved with. Please visit the kickstarter.com web site here and support the documentary Pink&Blue.  They need your help by Tuesday December 17th to make this happen! View more details and make your donation here; http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/77350478/pink-and-blue-0/posts

In 2014 it is projected that over 2,240 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed and over 400 men will die from the disease.  The percentage fatality rate is often higher for men diagnosed with breast cancer as usually no one is checking and men don’t notice the symptoms as they are not even aware they can be diagnosed with breast cancer.  Men also do not have the options women may with breast conserving surgery and so mastectomy is most often performed due to the limited amount of tissue.  Just imagine hearing the words as a man, or a woman about her father, husband, son or any loved one; Sir, You Have BreastCancer!  Breast cancer doesn’t just affect sisters and daughter’s, breast cancer affects sons and brothers. In addition with the current awareness of the BRCA gene mutation thanks to Angelina Jolie, it’s important to note that 50% of the worlds BRCA (breast cancer susceptibility gene) carriers are male.

HIS BreastCancer Awareness was formed in 2010 as a fully credited nonprofit 501©3 organization to bring education, awareness, prevention and lifestyle assistance to anyone dealing with Male Breast Cancer or having a family member with a history of Breast Cancer.  Vicki and Harvey (co-founders) are both Breast Cancer Survivors and carry the BRCA gene mutation.  Between them they have 5 sons, all who have a 50/50% to be BRCA positive which are also known factors in the cause of Prostate, Pancreatic, Melanoma and Ovarian as well as many other cancers.

We know that we have already saved men’s lives, and with your support we can reach so many more!
Please consider choosing HIS Breast Cancer Awareness as your charity to give and support this #givingtuesday and through the holidays.
PinkandBlue; $10,000, SIR; $5,000, Prevention; $2500, Insight; $1000,
Lifestyle; $500, Education; $250, Awareness; $100,   MBC(other) $___
Any amount is gratefully accepted and appreciated.

Modah Ani- I am Thankful

Editor; Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-founder

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgivukkah- Thankful For You!

Together we are making a difference with awareness and savings lives and we hope you all feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude. For all of you, we are very thankful.

Often we are on the receiving line of the “thank you”; contacted by men or family members who have found us, found an outlet to share and to know they are not alone with a breast cancer diagnosis. Today however we’d like to take some time to thank those who have helped us to spread awareness of Male Breast Cancer and save lives.

HIS Breast Cancer Awareness was Co-founded in 2009 by Harvey I. Singer and Vicki Singer Wolf because we learned the hard way there is not a great deal of information available on Male Breast Cancer.  When Harvey was diagnosed, the humiliation and stigmas that went along with his diagnosis made dealing with breast cancer as a man, even that much more challenging than the diagnosis alone.  As a three time breast cancer survivor myself, I could guide him, as his sister I was there to support him, however being a male with breast cancer took a whole different level of support and that’s when we vowed to help others.
This year we are thankful for so many people and organizations that have assisted and supported HIS Breast Cancer Awareness, Harvey and myself.  Without them, this organization could not have accomplished all that it has and continues to do.  HIS BCA has been featured in many publications this year including TV, Radio, Internet sites, Newspapers, Print supplements and more and because of this, has helped educate so many. Thank you to;
WHAM 13 Rochester-
WHAM 13 Rochester on Male Mammogram -
Everyday Health Video 1-
Everyday Health Video 2-
The Pottstown Mercury (and their family of newspapers)
Tampa Live Fox 13-
KCAL-CBS LA
Rochester 10NBC News WHEC
aol.com-
Chef Works-
Alan Blassberg, Pink & Blue Documentary-
Championship  LLC- http://www.champbilliards.com/
LuckyVitamin.com - http://www.luckyvitamin.com/
Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey - http://www.jewishsouthjersey.org/
Homer Group Printing - http://www.homergroup.com/
Alan Bassman- Bassman, Laserow, Adelman  Weiss, P.C. - http://www.bassman.com/
Nixon Peabody Law Firm-Jeans for BCA - http://www.nixonpeabody.com/
Wegman's Food Market- http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/HomepageView?storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&langId=-1&clear=true

We also want to thank those of you have been our guest writers, who have journaled of your experiences and shared them with our readers so others can gain knowledge from you. We welcome others to share their story or join our Forum for more conversations as these greatly assist so many.  Along with the social media groups we want to thank our facebook and twitter followers who not only ‘like’ what they read but “share” it as well which expands our reach of information. Please continue to share our post. 

Along with the many opportunities we have been presented with this year, we are very excited about the opportunity to be involved with a documentary on BRCA 1&2 mutation and how it contributes to breast cancer in both men and women. Pink& Blue is a documentary in the making that needs your support. Please visit Kickstarter to help fund this project and bring it to fruition. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/77350478/pink-and-blue-0

Of course we could not have accomplished any of this without the support of our wonderful Medical Advisory Board,  families and friends. Harvey has been married for 34 years to his amazing wife Donna and has two wonderful sons (my nephews) Matthew and Jameson. Extra thanks to Matt for choosing HIS BCA as his sports team charity of choice- they took first place and HIS was a receiver of a nice check!  I have been married for 34 years to my husband Gary and have been blessed with 3 sons Samuel (his wife Melissa), Sean and Jeremy along with my future daughter in Melissa (yes I’ll have two Melissa’s!). All of them are not only understanding of our health needs, but have all added to the development and growth of HIS Breast Cancer Awareness in one way or another.  I want to thank my son Sam who is the creator of our informative web site and for all he does to help maintain it.  I can’t thank him enough for his guidance as without him, HIS could not reach so many people in such an informative way.
Our mother Libby (now 88 years old) and our Aunt Ruth (no 98) both are breast cancer survivors and the foundation for our being.  We are very thankful for their good health, their great support (plus their baking!) and are our biggest advocates! I also want to thank my daughter in law’s mother Janie (MJ) who has been a great help for HIS this year assisting us on projects and our accomplishments. We truly appreciate the donations made and the emotional support by our friends and family!

HIS Breast Cancer Awareness relies on donations to help with education and awareness.  Before this year comes to a close, please consider making a donation or purchasing donation cards in honor, in memory of someone you care about or a great way to send your Happy Holiday wishes. You can also purchase a gift for the holidays of our just released book by co-founder Harvey called Sir,You Have Breast Cancer!  As well as other great awareness products. Click here to SHOP or Donate; http://hisbreastcancer.org/shop.html
HIS Breast Cancer Awareness is a registered 501©3 organization and all donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.  HIS Breast Cancer Awareness acknowledges all donations by email or mail, with a tax receipt to the provided address.

This is a very special Thanksgiving as it also combines the Chanukah holiday. This event only takes places once every 100 years so it is likely most of us will never experience this again.
Especially during this Thanksgivukkah holiday; Modah Ani – I/We are VERY THANKFUL

Editor, Co-founder; Vicki Singer Wolf

Monday, November 4, 2013

Movember for Men's Health

“Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there, hair, shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there, momma, everywhere, daddy, daddy...”

During November each year, “Movember“is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world to bring awareness and funds for men’s health issues. Most of the funding is for the promotion and awareness of Prostate and Testicular Cancers however this is another way we can help spread the awareness for Male Breast Cancer!

Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne, Australia, Movember has grown to become a truly global movement inspiring more than 1.9 Million “Mo Bros and Mo Sistas” to participate with formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Czech Republic. No matter the country or city, Movember will continue to work to change established habits and attitudes men have about their health, to educate men about the health risks they face, and to act on that knowledge, thereby increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment.

Movember works to change and improve the habits and attitudes men have about their health in addition to educating them about their health risk; education like the recent findings related to the benefits of men taking a multi vitamin daily being diagnosed with 8% fewer cancers.   Without education, we cannot act on the knowledge and especially regarding Male Breast Cancer as most men are not aware they can be diagnosed with this disease, unlike Prostate and Testicular cancers.

So take that clean shaven face, or semi started facial hair and now’s your chance (excuse) to try out that mustache for a great cause!  When asked why you are “changing your look”, you can explain your cause for education, awareness and survivorship. In 2011, over 854,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world got on board, raising $126.3 million USD.  In addition to educating others, they can also make a donation in honor of your month long growth to either Movember or directly to HIS Breast Cancer Awareness. For HIS donation information visit us on line at; http://hisbreastcancer.org/donate.html This month- show your face for the cause and all men's health issues.
“Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow, my hair”

Modah Ani- I Am Thankful
Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-Founder, Editor

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkins abound- and they’re healthy!


Happy Halloween! Let’s make great use of all those pumpkins!
What a wonderful time of year it is- Fall! With Halloween in the air and Thanksgiving on the way we are surrounded by pumpkins everywhere! From carved pumpkins that are scary, funny, pretty or relay messages (i.e. my son and future daughter in law's countdown and wedding date) we love seeing them all!


In addition to the emotional side –going to the pumpkin patch, the fun of carving or the family working on it together that pumpkins offer, it’s most important to note pumpkin is healthy for you too! Pumpkin as an anti-cancer food is often forgotten about most of the rest of the year.  So what makes pumpkin help fight breast cancer?

First, pumpkin seeds contains Phytoestrogens; a plant compound that acts like the human estrogen. These can help prevent breast cancer by binding to estrogen receptors to assist by inhibiting the estrogen effects according to a study.  Many breast cancers are caused by and feed from estrogen, even male breast cancer.

The Beta-carotene content of pumpkin is converted in the body into Vitamin A which is another form of Antioxidant. These antioxidants help to protect the body against free radicals which can cause cancer. One cup of pumpkin can deliver 17mg of beta carotene, making it one of the highest sources.

Fiber has been shown to be a necessary component for lowering the risk of developing breast cancer when comparing those who consume the most to those who ate the least. Pumpkin is considered a good source of fiber.

Pumpkin is also considered to be low calorie. There are several studies out that do support a lower calorie diet with a lower incidence of breast cancer.  Most of us know already that obesity plays on a large concern of overall good health. It’s important to not “feed” the cancer cells, which is why a diet higher in vegetables, fruits and low glycemic foods are so important. “Contrary to normal cells, most malignant cells depend on steady glucose availability in the blood for their energy.” “Cancer cells thrive on glucose and starve on fats and ketones, which are food-derived energy units that are plentiful in low-carbohydrate diets.”


Whatever your recipe of choice is, fresh pumpkin can have enormous benefits! So if you choose to make your grandmother’s famous pie, add it to your smoothie (yummy!), or puree it and freeze it for a host of different recipes, pumpkins are more than just fun, they’re scary good for you too

Modah Ani- I Am Thankful
Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-Founder, Editor

Monday, October 14, 2013

Blog Action Day- Human Rights

Cancer Doesn’t Discriminate, Neither Should Anyone Else! #HumanRights, #Oct16
It’s expected over 2,000 new cases of Male Breast Cancer will be diagnosed with almost 500 men who will die from this disease. Yet, men may be denied insurance coverage for treatment and preventative measures simply because they are not women. Equality for breast cancer prevention and treatment is essential!

In relation to human rights #BAD13 regarding one’s health, we would hope that we are all eligible and have the opportunity to receive the highest level of physical and mental health standards that exist. Unfortunately when it comes to Male Breast Cancer, this is not always the case. To deny coverage on the grounds of gender is outright cruel.

So how would you feel as a man if you didn’t even know you were at risk for developing breast cancer? Should it matter to men if their mother, sister, aunts had breast cancer? Do men even have breast?  Yes they do! And who is checking for prevention or worse, a diagnosis? When you visit your doctor for your yearly physical (which hopefully you are and have some insurance to assist with this) and they are aware of your family history and risks, and they don’t check you for breast cancer, how does this make you feel? As a male especially if you are at a higher risk, you have the right to receive examinations and even mammograms or breast MRI’s. But most insurance companies don’t see it that way.

To date, there are still arguments over what age a female should begin to receive a mammogram, even if she is at a higher risk due to family genetics, etc. Should women receive routine mammograms starting at 50 years of age? 40? 35? I had my first baseline mammogram at 35 because I have a maternal aunt that had breast cancer. Fortunately for me, my annual mammogram a year later, assisted with early detection of breast cancer. If I had waited till I was 40 or 50- who knows if I would even be alive today!

Having sons with a family history of BRCA, breast and prostate cancer diagnosis, I don’t want them to have to wait until they feel something to get their first mammogram, however, insurance companies don’t necessarily feel the way I do.

And what happens when you’re a man and you might have breast cancer? You fill out the forms as if you were a woman; could you be pregnant? , when was your last menstrual cycle?  How old were you when you began to menstruate? Men with breast cancer should not be made to feel as though they have a stigma. Unfortunately there is not enough research for men with breast cancer and so they are treated "like a woman". Breast Cancer is a disease that affects both men and women, and for human health rights, they should be treated respectively as their bodies do have breast and they both have hormones that have an affect and are affected with the diagnosis. 

Changes need to be made, updates need to happen. Let’s begin recognizing that breast cancer is not just a women’s disease so we can all be treated equally. 
WHO Constitution: "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being..."

Please, share this with your physicians and care takers so we can all be treated equally, preventatively and continue in good health. Visit HIS Breast Cancer Awareness at www.hisbreastcancer.org for more detailed information on male breast cancer

Modah Ani- I Am Thankful
Editor: Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-founder


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

National Previvor Day-for Men!

You’re a guy, with a family history of breast cancer, you become educated and decide to have genetic testing done and you test positive- do you have a prophylactic double mastectomy?

In today’s news it’s everywhere- Angelina Jolie tested positive for the BRCA gene, her mother died from breast cancer and she has chosen at 37 years of age to have both Breast removed as a preventive measure. What if you’re a guy? What about Angelina’s son?  What if you’re Grandmother, mother, aunt, sister had breast cancer or were tested positive for the BRCA mutation?  Well guess what- this is not just a woman’s disease and men need to be educated just as much!

Let’s talk about the specifics on testing for the genetic mutation, BRCA. Diagnosing if you have the BRCA mutation is accomplished by a blood test. Testing may or may not be covered by insurance depending on individual coverage as well as your family history risk factors. In addition, being a male, will add its additional challenges.   It is recommended you obtain all of the detailed information and receive genetic counseling prior to testing regarding the risks in case you receive a positive diagnosis so you are emotionally prepared for the changes in your life that will need to occur.

There are two types of mutation; BRCA1 and BRCA2, each with their own higher risk factors. The names BRCA1 and BRCA2 stand for breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 and breast cancer susceptibility gene 2. When there is a mutation of the gene, there is difficulty with prevention of uncontrolled cell growth and they can grow cancer. In women, there is a higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer and depending on whether it’s BRCA1 or 2 other cancers are at an increased risk as well. When a male is diagnosed with the BRCA1 mutation, there are increased risk of Breast, Pancreatic, Testicular and Prostate cancers. A BRCA2 mutation has an increased risk of Male Breast Cancer, Pancreatic and Prostate Cancers. Additional cancers such as colon, stomach, gallbladder and melanoma are also at a higher risk however there are more statistics for women (pre and post menopausal) than for men. 

So you’re a guy, with a family history of cancers; maybe a mom withbreast or ovarian, an uncle with prostate or pancreatic. You didn’t really think that the two were related but now you’re thinking twice about it (hopefully!).  You thought, my mom had breast cancer and maybe her sister (your aunt) did too, but that’s not important to me, only maybe a sister if you have one. Now you know more! You can be at risk for breast or other cancers too! What should you do?

First, get educated. Information can be a great tool. I had several bouts with breast cancer and that’s why I had BRCA testing done. Although I have 3 sons (no daughters) and two brothers, I had an aunt and my mother who both had breast cancer as well as uncles who died at a young age from other forms of cancer. I wanted my family to be educated.  Now after having my brother Harvey diagnosed with breast cancer as well as prostate cancer, we know that he and other members of our family also carry the BRCA gene mutation. Our sons are at a higher risk of carrying the gene and developing cancer. None of us to date have elected to have a prophylactic mastectomy however we do believe strongly in surveillance and have made many life style changes to help in prevention and fight our odds.  My sons and nephews have not been tested yet, however there will be a day when they will need more information and most likely will be.  If so, they may choose a preventive method such as mastectomy; each person needs to do what works for them, what puts their minds at some ease.  Until then, we choose to eat healthy, exercise, take nutritional supplementation and have a positive mental attitude but most importantly, we watch and listen to our bodies. Men can perform a self breast examination and learn their breast so they know if there is a change-just like a woman.  For men, an inversion at the nipple as well as any lump or discharge is a warning, so don’t wait, get it checked because men do get Breast Cancer.  Know your family history; think about having genetic testing and you may choose the “Jolie” way for prevention. Also, men can have cosmetic surgeryfollowing a mastectomy, just like a woman.

There’s so much more information available than I can fit into this so please view the links below to learn more about BRCA Genetic testing and Male Breast Cancer; then you can make an educated decision, learn your risks and take the right preventive measures for you whether that includes a ProphylacticMastectomy is up to you.

HIS Breast Cancer Awareness

FORCE- Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

Cancer.gov
Or

Moffitt Cancer Center

Best of Health,
Modah Ani- I Am Thankful
Editor; Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-Founder

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Learn More About Prostate and Breast Health

Most men are already aware of the risk of developing Prostate Cancer so let’s talk about some things you may not know as well for September’s National Prostate Awareness Month.
First, in addition to prostate cancer, if you have a family history of breast (female or male) pancreatic, melanoma or other cancers, you may be at an increased risk due to your genetic background. If your family is from the Ashkenazi European Jewish decent, there is a higher risk that you are a carrier of the BRCA genetic mutation which could increase your risk for any of these types of cancers.  Men with a BRCA genetic mutation may be twice as likely to develop prostate cancer.   It’s important to note that both Male BreastCancer and Female Breast Cancer within the family may warrant genetic testing to be completed to determine if you have an increased risk of also receiving a Prostate Cancer diagnosis.
Prostate cancer is a malignancy of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Often there are not many symptoms that occur so an early diagnosis is not often the case. This allows for the cancer cells to spread to other areas such as the lymph nodes, bones and the lungs. Prostate cancer may be found from a doctor’s examination as well as by a blood test for the PSA level.  The prostate – specific antigen is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. When the PSA level in the blood is elevated it may be a signal of prostate cancer but it is not always the case and additional testing may be needed. When Prostate cancer is found in its early stages while contained in the prostate gland, it can be treated with very good chances of survival. Approximately 85% of American men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are in an early stage and it is usually found to be slow growing.
In addition to genetics, there are a few job hazards that have been associated with a higher diagnosis of prostate cancer such as welders, battery manufacturers, and others often exposed to metal cadmium.
So besides your genetics, and your occupation, what can you do to help with some preventive measures? Because hormones play a role in the cause, choosing a diet lower in fat, especially from red meat, assist with the amount of testosterone in the body which can speed the growth of prostate cancer.  Add cruciferous foods to your daily intake such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage as well as tomato sauce to help reduce your risk. As in most cases, keeping a healthy body-weight along with an exercise regimen are helpful.  In addition some of  the following supplements are suggested to assist with the prevention of prostate cancer; Green Tea, Lycopene, Vitamin D, Selenium, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), Melatonin and Cruciferous supplementation.
Remember, if you have a family history of breast and/or prostate cancer, please make sure to let you doctor know and discuss if genetic testing should be considered.  Know your risk, take charge of your own body and your health and in addition to your yearly physical, check up and blood work for prostate cancer, please check your breast for Male BreastCancer too! Both, when found early can make all the difference in saving lives.

Modah Ani- I Am Thankful

Editor; Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-founder

Friday, June 28, 2013

GRILLING HEALTHY

Starting to think about what you’re going to cook on that grill? Can you smell that barbecue in your mind? Should you be concerned about the risk of grilling?

You may have heard that cooking foods on a grill, broil or frying at high heat can be carcinogenic? There are two primary types of carcinogens that can form on the meat: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines(HCAs).  Studies suggest that HCA’s may damage DNA and can enhance tumor cells of the breast, prostate, colon and lymph system.  Cooking at temps of 350 degrees and higher can cause amino acids and creatine which is a natural compound for supplying energy to muscles react to form HCAs.  While grilling, PAHs form when the fat (if grilling fatty foods) drips onto hot coals, the smoke that is created settles on the foods which are the compounds that have been associated with increased risk of breast cancer.

As we’ve mentioned before, there are always better choices that can be made so you can still enjoy yourself and make healthier decisions; risk of grilling foods is just one tiny piece of the greater picture for your overall health. First you are hopefully aware of your family health history and genetics to know what some of your risks are. Also, being of good physical health (appropriate weight, exercise 3-5 times a week, etc) are some key factors of taking care of your body. So here are a few helpful food suggestions to make this summer holiday an enjoyable time with friends and family.
·         Choose less fatty foods such as fish or seafood which seem to form less HCAs than beef, pork and poultry.
·         If you are going to choose “organic” meat or poultry, trim as much fat as possible
·         Rub it on!  Marinate your foods with a beer or wine base for a minimum of 30 minutes before cooking. Use rubs that include herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano, turmeric, etc. which appears to reduce HCAs.  Ingredients with an antioxidant effect reduce HCA levels by up to 100 percent.
·         Cook your meats over a low flame and do your best to keep fat and juices out of the fire.
·         Enjoy a nice “organic” salad with lots of fresh fixings added in
·         Pile on the fresh “organic” veggies, especially those cruciferous ones such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts which are rich in nutrients, including carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin), Vitamins C, E, and K and minerals for their anticancer effects.  A study shows “men who ate about 2 ½ cups of Brussels sprouts every day for three weeks reduced their DNA damage significantly”.
·         Add fresh “organic” fruits to your meal for flavor and their anti cancer properties.
·         Look at your plate! Your plate should consist of mostly veggies and grains with protein being the smaller amount -about the size of a playing card in your hand. 

With the many great options of foods to add to your cook out this holiday weekend there’s no reason you can’t enjoy and satisfy your taste buds and your stomach. Remember to drink responsibly, drive safely, enjoy your time with family and friends and most of all have fun! I know I will! Happy 4th of July!!

Modah Ani- I Am Thankful

Editor; Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-founder

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Teach Your Children Well

A little boy grows up, often looking up to his father in so many ways. A father teaches his son how to do many things; play hard, drive a car or truck, learn about sports, fix things, learn a trade, educate, teach financial responsibilities, treat others well and so on….
This is a new time, and it’s important to also teach our sons how to be responsible for their health; Exercise, eating healthy, making better choices and doing a self breast/peck exam just like a mother would teach their daughters as they mature. I know this sounds crazy, but times have changed and we are becoming more educated.
 With genetic testing available, knowing your family history has never been more important. As a man, if you have a family history of breast cancer (male or female), ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic, melanoma, stomach or colon cancers, it’s possible you are a carrier of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation. If you are a carrier which is determined by a blood draw, you or your family are at a higher risk of developing one of these cancers but that does not mean it will happen! Learning about your genetic background provides you with an education to assist with the choices you make, your lifestyle and to teach your children the same.  With Angelina Jolie’s choice for prophylactic mastectomy in the spotlight because she is a carrier of the BRCA gene, she will also have to provide even more education for her birth daughter and son as it does effect each of them.  You can visit the HIS Breast Cancer Awareness web site for links to learn more about the BRCA gene mutation.
This Father’s Day we are reminding you to take a few minutes to perform a self breast/peck exam. Male Breast Cancer- MBC (or male peckcancer-mpc) no matter what you want to call it, is the same for men as it is for women. Although there is a lower percentage of diagnosis, it is often found after it has progressed too far, sometimes not even knowing it started in the breast by the time it is diagnosed.  We urge each person to ask their family doctor to include a male breast exam with each yearly physical, then doctors and their patients will begin to understand and accept that this isn’t just a woman’s disease.
Unfortunately many men are aware of mothers, aunts, sisters who have been diagnosed or have died from breast or ovarian cancer and don’t realize this can also have an effect on their breast too.  This week alone I have listened to two public announcements by prominent hospitals regarding mammography for women, nothing even mentioned about men! I have sons who have a family history of breast andprostate cancers and BRCA2 and men need to know they too can be diagnosed and should be checked. Read previous blogs by men on the HIS web site who have been diagnosed with MBC and how they discovered it, always in shock to hear, as most men don’t even think they have breast!
See our  “how to perform a self exam”  at www.hisbreastcancer.org and print out a pdf of the brochure with more detailed information to share with your physician and loved ones.  Teach your children (or anyone) to know their family history/risk and take the time to check.
Remember to take care of your breast/pecks and teach your children well.


Happy and Healthy Father’s Day!

Modah Ani- I Am Thankful
Editor; Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-founder