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Archive for the ‘breast cancer’ Category

Avon Foundation’s Breast Cancer Forum: Interview With Dr. Laura Esserman

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 1, 2010

I was honored to be asked to attend the Avon Foundation’s Breast Cancer Forum last week in San Francisco.  And I have a lot of information to share with everyone.  I’m going to start with an interview I did with Dr. Laura Esserman.  If the name doesn’t sound familiar, she was one of the researchers behind the controversial change in mammogram recommendations.  I wrote about it for BlogHer back in November in a post titled…

Breast Cancer Screening:  Are women just too emotional for mammograms before 50?

I guess the title of the post speaks to where I stand on the issue.

Although my feelings on this topic are contrary to Dr. Esserman’s point of view, I do think that she believes she has a woman’s best interest at heart.

This is from Dr. Laura Esserman’s bio

Dr. Laura Esserman, a nationally known breast surgeon, is the director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the Mount Zion campus. Her work is devoted to developing new, more effective ways to care for and empower breast cancer patients during treatment and to tailor treatments using biology, personal preference and constant feedback regarding outcomes of care.

Shortly after Dr. Esserman spoke about her study to the attendees of the breast cancer forum, I had an opportunity to interview her.

See three part interview with Dr. Laura Esserman here.

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Posted in breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, daughters, Health, life, news, Women, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Series of Posts on Breast Cancer from the Avon Breast Cancer Forum

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 26, 2010

I was honored to be asked to attend the Avon Foundation’s Breast Cancer Forum earlier this week in San Francisco.  And I have so much to share with everyone about all that I learned there.  I decided to do that in a series of posts rather than just one big one.

Here is some of what I’ll be sharing over the next several days…

–  Video interviews with Dr. Laura Esserman on new mammogram recommendations.

–  Video reactions of attendees to Dr. Esserman’s discussion on new mammogram recommendations.

–  Advances in Imaging Technologies to help improve early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.

–  Is fear of unnecessary biopsies having an impact on early breast cancer detection?

–  Results of survey on the early impact of the new breast cancer screening guidelines.

–  The latest research on Inflammatory Breast Cancer…Signs and symptoms for early diagnosis, new treatment recommendations, understanding why this type of breast cancer can be so deadly.

–  Reaching the medically under-served, uninsured, and under-insured.

–  Nutrition and physical activity in breast cancer.

–  Most effective ways to explain risk factors in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

As I post on these topics, I will also include links to them on this post.

Posted in awareness, breast cancer, Care2, daughters, Health, life, mothers, news, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Breast Cancer Screening Controversy: Are women just too emotional for mammograms before 50?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 22, 2009

Unless you’ve been under a rock all week, you have probably heard about the government task force that has recommended new guidelines for breast cancer prevention.  It goes something like this…

If you’re younger than 50 or older than 75, you no longer have to worry your pretty little head about breast cancer, or getting those pesky boob squishing mammograms.

Hallelujah!  I wonder how long it will be before we go back to giving women Valium for chest pain?  Who needs preventative care when it’s not 100% effective anyway?  Hell, just go ahead and give us anti-anxiety meds for all of our ills…I’ll betcha we save a bundle on healthcare costs. Women already outlive men by a bunch of years, maybe this will even things out a bit…Isn’t equality what we’ve been cryin about all these years?

OK, I know, I went a little too far with my analogy.  But seriously, this is what’s going on…

*Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, Health, life, mothers, news, opinion, political, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bloggers For More Birthdays – My Friend Becky

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 15, 2009

I’m honored to be a member of the American Cancer Society’s Blogger Advisory Council, a small group of volunteers that advises the Society on its social media strategy. Part of our mission is to help spread the word that we have power in the fight against cancer. And our first step is to build awareness and encourage women to get involved. Visibility equals power! So we have started a blog “chain” to spread the word among women bloggers. We call it Bloggers for More Birthdays.

You can help me…Join Bloggers for More Birthdays by dedicating a blog post to someone you love who’s been affected by cancer. It’s a simple way to celebrate those you love. Just write a post (like I’ve done here), host our badge, and know that whatever you write, you are helping to raise awareness and inspiring others to join American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer.

Here is my contribution to the Bloggers for More Birthdays Campaign…

Becky was my best friend.  A wonderful mother.  And a great mom-mom.  Even though she’s been gone for over seven years, a day rarely goes by that I don’t think of her and wish she were here.  Time has helped to replace some of my grief with many lovely memories, but it hasn’t healed my anger towards the disease that took her from us.  Cancer.

I hate cancer, and I hate that my friend didn’t get a chance to be a survivor.  Why her?  She deserved to be a survivor, she deserved to have more birthdays.  She fought this disease with every ounce of strength she had, but in the end cancer took away every ounce of strength she had.

Although I’m angry, I’m also grateful for the time I did have Becky in my life.  She was there for me during some very tough times.  I know I’m who I am today, partly because of her influence in my life.  I only wish I was able to thank her for that.

No matter how much time goes by, I will never forget the angel she was…and still is.

Becky

If you’ve posted, let The American Cancer Society know so they can feature it! Just put a link to your post in the comments section here, or email your post to bloggersubmit@officialbirthdayblog.com.  You’ll be showing your support for More Birthdays and bring visibility to your blog.

Posted in awareness, bloggers, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, current events, friends, grief, Health, life, motherhood, my life, parenting, personal, reflections, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Breast Cancer Survivors Share Their Stories In Words & Video

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 15, 2009

This is a post in honor of breast cancer survivors.  They are women sharing their stories of hope, struggle, determination, and survival.  Some are in words and some are in video.

*Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, empowerment, family, feminism, Health, inspirational, life, motherhood, opinion, parenting, personal, reflections, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are You Afraid of Breast Cancer?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 11, 2009

Let’s talk about fear.  Are You Afraid of Breast Cancer?  If so, you’re not alone.  Cancer is a scary thing…And all the pink in the world can’t change that.  Sure, pink ribbons may be pretty, but breast cancer is ugly and scary.   Here are some facts about breast cancer…

  • An estimated 182,800 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2000.
  • Approximately 42,200 deaths will occur in women from breast cancer in 2000.
  • One in eight women or 12.6% of all women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Breast cancer risk increases with age and every woman is at risk.
  • Every 13 minutes a woman dies of breast cancer.
  • Seventy-seven percent of women with breast cancer are over 50.

Many women are blogging about their breast cancer fears.  From little fears to big fears.  They have fears of mammograms, fears of treatments, fears or recurrences, fears of dying…and on and on.  What are your breast cancer fears?

READ FULL POST AT catherine-morgan.com

Posted in awareness, BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, Health, life, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Breast Cancer Awareness: What if you can’t afford a mammogram?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 3, 2009

I’m sure you’ve heard that October is breast cancer awareness month.  The problem with breast cancer awareness is that being aware is only helpful if you can actually do something about it.  And in the case of breast cancer, that something is getting a mammogram.  Sadly, not every woman can afford to get a mammogram.

READ FULL POST AT CATHERINE-MORGAN.COM

Posted in breast cancer, cancer, Health, life, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Women Need To Know About Environmental Causes of Cancer

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 25, 2008

What Women Need To Know About Environmental Causes of Cancer — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Last week the Breast Cancer Fund released it’s State of the Evidence Report for 2008. The 2008 report, provides the most comprehensive listing to-date of chemicals linked to breast cancer. It also provides a much more complex picture of breast cancer causation than traditionally accepted, one in which timing, mixtures and dose of environmental exposures interact with genes and lifestyle factors.

In conjunction with the release of this report, they also held a blogger-only telephone conference to discuss the report. The informative conference featured Janet Gray, Ph.D., and Breast Cancer Fund Executive Director Jeanne Rizzo, R.N., and for an hour they took questions from bloggers on the latest studies linking environmental exposures to breast cancer.

Findings…

While each study, chemical and exposure source alone doesn’t tell the whole story, looking at them together allows us to better understand how to prevent the disease. Learn more about major emerging themes in breast cancer causation through the links below.

Sources of Exposure…

Learn more about where and how we come into contact with chemicals and radiation linked to increased breast cancer risk. Then learn what can be done to reduce those exposures.

Chemicals of Concern by Type…

The evidence is divided into three main sections, examining the scientific links to breast cancer within each category. Click on each category for an overview and list of chemical fact sheets.

There is also a Moving Forward section that outlines state and federal policy recommendations…

Together with other breast cancer prevention, women’s health, environmental health and environmental justice advocates, the Breast Cancer Fund seeks to make policy changes—in states and nationally—that will mean less breast cancer for our children and grandchildren.

If you would like to listen to the one hour conference call discussing these new findings, it was made into a podcast at Ready Talk.

Here is some of what other participants in the conference are blogging about…

From Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog

According to Dr. Gray and Ms. Rizzo, two themes emerged in examining the evidence related to environmental risks and breast cancer:

  • Mixtures: In real life, we are not exposed to single chemicals but chemical cocktails. There is growing evidence that supports the need to further study the interaction between chemicals, radiation, and genes.
  • Timing of exposure. Scientists now know that the timing, duration, and pattern of exposure are at least as important as the dose. Mammary cells are more susceptible to the carcinogenic effects of hormones, chemicals, and radiation during early stages of development, from the prenatal period through puberty and adolescence, and on until the first full-term pregnancy.

From Frances Ellen SpeaksAt Your Own Risk

A good place to start would be to throw away those plastic containers you use for warming up foods in the microwave. Switch to glass containers. It’s a proven fact that toxic chemicals contained in plastic leach into food during the warming process.

And if you’ve been using plastic baby bottles–STOP.

Following is a small section of the report regarding plastics.

The three plastics that have been shown to leach toxic chemicals when heated, worn or put under pressure are polycarbonate (leaches bisphenol A), polystyrene (leaches styrene) and PVC (leaches phthalates).

Bisphenol A is used in the linings of cans, baby bottles, sports water bottles and dental sealants. The evidence about bisphenol A and its many effects on human health is convincing and growing. Studies funded by the chemical industry say it’s harmless; non-industry studies show it’s a powerful hormone-disruptor linked to breast cancer.

From The Breast Cancer Fund Blog

Equipped with this strong foundation of science, together we have much work to do. This release is really a beginning, not an end. We’ll keep you posted on the reach and impact of State of the Evidence 2008.

Also See:

Nina’s Interview with Dr. Susan Love

When Olivia’s “Cruise for Our Cause” heads to the Caribbean on March 30, 2008 it will be the first cruise experience dedicated to breast cancer, women’s health awareness and research funding. So it’s timely that we catch up with Dr. Susan Love, President and Medical Director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Her name and life work is synonymous with the breast cancer advocacy movement and it’s an absolute honor to have her participate in our money talk.

And, my previous post on environmental causes of breast cancer.

Posted in BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, Health, life, news, opinion, parenting, political, thoughts, Women, women's health | 1 Comment »

Health News: Autism, Mastectomies, and HPV Vaccine

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 8, 2008

In Health News: Autism Debate, Drive-Thru Mastectomies, and the HPV Vaccine (Gardasil).

When I heard this story, about a family with a child who appeared to developed Autism after her childhood immunizations, I wondered how this might affect other families dealing with this devastating disease. Also in the blogs, is a petition that women can sign, supporting an end to drive-thru mastectomies. And end they should, this practice is a disgrace, as well as a travesty against women. And, my pet-peeve issue (Gardasil) is also in the news.

Autism

From Revolution HealthThe Autism Debate Continues

This week news spread of results of a Georgia court case in November, which states that the parents of 9-year old Hannah Poling will receive compensation because multiple vaccines contributed to her symptoms of autism. Not all the details are known, as the court case has been “sealed,” but it appears that Hannah has an underlying mitochondrial disorder. After she received five shots in July 2000, at the age of 19 months, she developed a high fever and inconsolable crying within 48 hours. Within three months after receiving the vaccine, she went from being a normal, verbal toddler to one who showed signs of autism and, for a while, lost her ability to speak. She now requires one-on-one care at all times.

See Video of Katie Couric on Autism

Also See: Autism symptoms, Autism Speaks, Video Glossary , and Children With Invisible Special Needs.

Stop Drive Thru Mastectomies….

From SportsMomma and WriteChic PressEnding Drive-Thru Mastectomies

“Desperate Housewives” star Marcia Cross joined Lifetime, Senator Landrieu (D-LA) and Representatives DeLauro (D-CT) and Moran (R-KS), at a Capitol Hill press conference to give voice to the 20 million signatures collected on myLifetime.com urging Congress to end the practice of “drive-through” mastectomies, when women are forced to leave the hospital following their physically and emotionally difficult breast cancer surgeries before they and their doctors may feel they are ready to go home.

Be My Bra!

Caught your attention, didn’t I? “Be My Support, Be My Strength, Be My Bra” is Lifetime Television‘s saying/blurb/catch phrase in for the fight against breast cancer. I just love it.

I also came across this blog…The On Going Life of Just a Gal with Breast Cancer

The HPV Vaccine

Then we have my number one pet-peeve health and wellness issue…The HPV Vaccine. Touted as the Cervical Cancer Vaccine (Gardasil)…it is really an HPV prevention medication, using our children as mandatory test subjects. This is a vaccine that would be a life saver to people in developing countries, who have little access to PAP tests for prevention. But Merck’s only concern is with the money they can make by convincing our government to make this vaccine mandatory.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines hold great promise for preventing cervical cancer, but 93 percent of mortality worldwide occurs in low- and middle-income countries, where high vaccine costs can restrict dissemination.

Screening Could End Cervical Cancer

The man who pioneered the first cancer vaccine says cervical cancer deaths in Australia could be negligible if all Australian women took part in pap smear programs.

Professor Ian Frazer was named Australian of the Year in 2006 in recognition of his work with the vaccine, which has a success rate of up to 70 per cent.

But Professor Frazer says women should no longer feel anxious about cervical cancer.

“In this country cervical cancer is well down the list of cancer deaths now because we have such an effective pap smear program and indeed if all women in Australia took part in the pap smear program according to the government recommendations we’d hardly have a death from cervical cancer,” he said.

“Worldwide, cervical cancer is actually increasing and is the second commonest or commonest cause of cancer death in women in most countries in the world.”

HPV Vaccine Researchers Criticizes Marketing

A researcher who has spent 20 years studying human papillomavirus (HPV) and did the bulk of the work that was used to develop a vaccine for several strains of the virus has warned that mandating the vaccine for girls under the age of 18 may actually backfire, causing cervical cancer rates to go up.

Twenty-six states are considering some form of mandatory HPV vaccination for school-age girls.

Diane M. Harper, director of Dartmouth Medical School’s Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in New Hampshire, warned that there have been no tests of the vaccine’s effectiveness on girls under the age of 15. The drug may not be effective on younger girls, and it may have unforeseen side effects or interactions with other vaccines given at that age. Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended it for ages 9-26.

“Giving it to 11-year-olds is a great big public health experiment,” Harper said. “To mandate now is simply to Merck’s benefit, and only to Merck’s benefit.”

The HPV vaccine produced by Merck protects against two strains of the virus that have been identified as responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. But with the way the drug is being marketed, Harper is concerned that vaccinated women may decide that they are immune, and forego their yearly Pap smear testing.

Harper also warned that the vaccine is ineffective if given to someone who is already infected — and because HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact, a person does not have to be sexually active to contract it. For this reason, Harper suggests giving the vaccine only to those who test negative for the targeted HPV strains.

The HPV test is conducted by vaginal swab, which Harper says is inappropriate for children.

Finally, Harper warned that not enough research has been done to know how long the vaccine lasts, or at what age a booster may be needed. This means that even if the vaccine is effective in young girls, it may have worn off by the age at which they are most susceptible to cervical cancer.

“The push for mandatory vaccination is based on marketing, not science,” added Mike Adams, author of numerous articles that oppose mandatory vaccination policies. “It’s nothing but a clever Big Pharma scheme to sell more drugs to yet more people who don’t need them.”

Posted in autism, blogging, BlogHer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, chronic illness, Gardasil, Health, hpv vaccine, news, opinion, Women | 8 Comments »

Healthy Living: The Great American Health Challenge

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 12, 2008

healthy-living-woman.jpg

Healthy Living and The Great American Health Challenge — by Catherine Morgan

Also See61 Days To Better Health, BlogHer’s 2009 Good Health-A-Thon, and Capessa Health and Fitness.

We’ve been talking a lot about making healthy lifestyle changes since the New Year. If you are one of the millions that wants to become healthier in 2008, you may be interested in this program…

The American Cancer Society is introducing an exciting new program on Thursday, it’s called The Great American Health Challenge. The campaign is designed as a comprehensive prevention and early detection program. It’s a simple program with four interactive tools to provide information and encourage healthy lifestyles.

The Great American Health Challenge is based on four simple things…

1) Check — Take a quick quiz that screens you for potential risk factors, and promotes early detection and treatment.

2) Move — Encouraging exercise by finding activities that are best suited for your lifestyle.

3) Nourish — Maintain a healthy weight, learn about healthy eating and get tips on diet and nutrition.

4) Quit — Information and tools to help you quit smoking.

So that’s it, four easy steps that could help you prevent cancer and heart disease.

You can also participate in BlogHer’s Good Health-A-Thon.

BlogHer’s Good Health-a-thon is all about what we can do, little by little, day by day, week by week and month by month to live healthier. It’s not a matter of saying “I’m going to go to the gym more this year” and then reviewing your progress in January of 2009, only to discover you haven’t actually used your gym card since mid-February.

Instead, the point of the Good Health-a-thon is to have each of us set simple, attainable, health-related goals for ourselves throughout the year. Our goals can be anything we want, but with the idea of broadening our definition of “health” well beyond calorie counting.

See: Week One

Other recent BlogHer Health and Wellness posts you might be interested in…

Body Image, Dieting, and Your New Years Resolution

Weighing In on the New Years Dieting Frenzy

Four Tips That Could Prolong Your Life

Ten Random Tips For Weight Loss

Journey To Physical Fitness and More

Fitness: It Changed My Life

Curvy Moms Are Brainier

Beans Are A Great Choice For Good Health

Online Diet and Fitness Tools

How Do You Choose To Diet?

Posted in body image, breast cancer, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, dieting, family, food, Health, heart disease, life, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Invisible Toxins In Everyday Products Are Making You And Your Family Sick

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 30, 2007

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Invisible Toxins In Everyday Products Are Making You And Your Family Sick — by Catherine Morgan

Are You Unknowingly Making Your Child Sick? Moms need to know what invisible toxins are in the everyday products they provide to their children.

A disturbing story came to light this week, from CNN’s Planet In Peril series. Our children are being exposed to such high levels of industrial chemicals, that studies are showing many of them to have up to seven times greater levels in their blood than their parents. Think about that for a minute. If their levels are this high now…How high do you think they will be by the time they are adults?

With so many cancers and chronic illnesses being blamed on environmental causes…How sick do you think these children might be by the time they are parents? How many might be unable to be parents? We are talking about chemicals that are known carcinogens, and known to be in products we and our children are using every day. It’s a much larger problem than I had ever realized…especially for our children.

Of course, we can not be sure how these exposures will affect our children’s future health, only time will tell. But, if these studies are any indication, the future is very troubling.

READ FULL POST AT BlogHer

Posted in awareness, BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, children, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, family, food, Health, kids, opinion, parenting, political, Women | 2 Comments »

Breast Cancer Treatment…What Is Your Life Worth?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 12, 2007

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Breast Cancer Treatment…What Is Your Life Worth? — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Revolutionary new cancer drugs offer hope where there was none. But the price tag may be too high for some to bear.

Many Americans are already having to decide between food on the table and their prescription medications. The health care crisis is hitting hard, and the cost of prescription drugs is sky-rocketing. But what happens when you have to decide between expensive breast cancer treatments to save your life, and paying the mortgage on your house? How much could you afford to spend, to save your life? It’s not even a fair question to ask, but many cancer patients are being forced to answer it.

This is an excerpt from a recent article in SELF magazine

Seven months after being diagnosed with stage IIIB inflammatory breast cancer, 37-year-old Diekmeyer had spent nearly 100 days in doctors’ offices or the hospital near her Ohio home. She’d had five surgeries, with another scheduled for September; slogged through more than three months of grisly chemotherapy; suffered the indignities of baldness and violent nausea. After all that, she still didn’t know if she’d survive the year. But Diekmeyer had another, more immediate, fear keeping her up nights. Because of mounting medical bills, she was worried she might lose her home.

Marianna took a look at “What is your life worth?” — Marianna is a military veteran with over 16 years of service, and is a college graduate with degrees in political science and human resource. This is what she thinks…

Ever the advocate for women’s health and the pursuit of advancing women’s issues in medical science, I was reading Self Magazine’s article bought today while flipping through the stacks of magazines to buy while contemplating what to make for dinner (okay I digress……) in regards to the journey of several women plagued with cancer and the expensive drugs out there being sold to save their lives. — read her full post here

As a nurse working on an oncology unit many years ago, I would sometimes think about whether or not I would choose to have debilitating chemo treatments if I were ever diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Not that I wouldn’t want to live, I just sometimes wondered, if I were faced with the dilemma of quality vs. quantity, what would I choose? I never thought back then, that I (or anyone else for that matter) might someday be faced with not even having a choice. But that is exactly what is happening today.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, daughters, family, Health, inspirational, life, Politics, Women | Leave a Comment »

Breast Cancer Awareness: Do you know what your environmental risks are?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 5, 2007

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Click here to see what the numbers mean in this picture.

Breast Cancer Awareness: The Environmental Risks — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

I was honored to be asked and participate in a phone conference this week on breast cancer, sponsored by LUNA and the Breast Cancer Fund, together they have established Pure Prevention. The call brought two nationally recognized environmental health experts, Dr. Janet Gray and the Executive Director of the Breast Cancer Fund, Jeanne Rizzo, to answer questions from a selected group of health bloggers. It was an hour conference that anyone can listen to here.

The focus of this conference and Pure Prevention, is to look at ways a woman can lower her risk of breast cancer by lowering her environmental risks. Many of these risks I was not even aware of, so I am grateful to have been a part of this discussion. My thanks to Cynthia Samuels for inviting me to participate.

Because only 1 out of 10 women who have breast cancer have a genetic history of the disease, what women put on and in their bodies can make the difference. Pure Prevention is a new campaign that seeks to expand on the “cure-centered” breast cancer conversation by helping women identify the environmental causes of the disease and inspiring them to make smart choices about the products they use every day.

One of the questions I asked, was about environmental risks that might not be getting enough attention, and that many women might be unaware of. Several were brought to my attention, including “ionizing radiation” and “electromagnetic fields“. However, the one I found most disturbing, was about the chemicals that are known to be dangerous but are still being used in the packaging of our foods. So even when you are eating a healthy diet, you could still be ingesting many chemicals that could be harmful your health. Frustrating isn’t it?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, children, chronic illness, family, feminism, Health, life, motherhood, parenting, political, teens, Women, women's health, YouTube | 6 Comments »

Did You Know There Is An “Invisible” Form Of Breast Cancer? (With YouTube Video)

Posted by Catherine Morgan on August 7, 2007

An “Invisible” Form Of Breast Cancer — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

I started writing this post to cover a new study on the benefits of using MRI for the diagnosis of breast cancer (full report). It’s an important study, especially for women in a high risk category.

In the process of collecting information on the MRI study, I found myself wondering if an MRI could detect Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in awareness, BlogHer, Blogroll, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, Health, life, Women, women's health, YouTube | 17 Comments »

Cancer, Chronic Illness, and Online Communities

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 29, 2007

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Not too long ago, I did a post on BlogHers living, coping and blogging with chronic illness. At that time I hadn’t included BlogHers blogging with cancer, although I do agree that cancer is becoming more and more a chronic illness.

Cancer is in the news a lot these days. Elizabeth Edwards’ breast cancer, Fred Thompson’s lymphoma, Tony Snow’s prostate cancer are a few that made the headlines. But what’s most interesting about these reports is that they all are about cancer survivorship and not about cancer deaths. Cancer has become a chronic illness and in most cases the diagnosis is no longer a notice of imminent death. Rather it is the beginning of a long-term treatment process with remissions and exacerbations over many years. And with new treatments being developed with novel mechanisms of action, the odds are that this trend towards chronicity will continue. More cancers will become chronic illnesses and those that are chronic will take longer and longer to show their worst sides. — read full article

Coincidentally, it was just announced yesterday that Elizabeth Edwards will be be attending BlogHer ’07 as part of our Closing Keynote on Saturday July 28th. — read more about this exciting turn of events

Many of our BlogHers are blogging about how they are living with the diagnosis of cancer. Below are a few that I came across while surfing through the BlogHer Health & Wellness Blogrolls.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in awareness, blogging, Blogroll, breast cancer, cancer, empowerment, Health, inspirational, life, links, self-help, thoughts, Women, women's health | 2 Comments »

Check Out The Revolution Health Online Health Fair.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 26, 2007

Check Out The Revolution Health Online Health Fair.

Last night I was invited (along with Rachel Walden from Women’s Health News, Pam from Well Soul, Christine Cupaiuolo of Our Bodies, Our Blog, and Denise from BlogHer and Flamingo House Happinings), to participate in a Revolution Health sponsored telephone conference with Dr. Sherry Marts of the Society for Women’s Health Research. Wow, try saying that ten times fast. You can listen to this one hour informative conference or read a transcript at Revolution Health.

For decades, there has been compelling evidence that biological sex differences are responsible for tremendous differences in the incidence, presentation, diagnosis and treatment of disease. This goes far beyond reproductive health, the areas of most obvious difference between the sexes. It affects cancer, heart disease, mental health, obesity – just about every major area of health. — read full post from Well Soul

This was a great opportunity for each of us to address questions about women’s health issues important to our readers.

I personally asked about how bloggers can convey information to their readers, such as on hormone therapy, when what is “right” seems to change constantly, and about priorities for research and how level or decreased funding at the National Institutes of Health will affect those priorities across the board. — read full post by Rachel at Women’s Health News

Some of the topics discussed with Dr. Sherry Marts were; medications prescribed to women that have not necessarily been tested on women, the confusion over hormone therapy, the connection between a woman’s menstrual cycle and chronic pain, government funding for women’s health, the HPV vaccine, and HIV medications for women. A lot of ground was covered under the direction of Cynthia Samuels, who did such a great job organizing this event for Revolution Health.

My first question was about women being prescribed medications that may not (probably not) have been tested ON women before they were approved. It wasn’t until like 1993 that the FDA mandated drugs be tested ON women. So those drugs you’re taking… well… you figure it out. read Denise’s full post

These are the questions I was interested in getting more insight on from Dr. Marts…

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Important News For Women – Genetic Risk For Breast Cancer Can Also Come From Father’s Side.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 19, 2007

From The Associated Press CHICAGO – A deadly gene’s path can hide in a family tree when a woman has few aunts and older sisters, making it appear that her breast cancer struck out of nowhere when it really came from Dad.A new study suggests thousands of young women with breast cancer — an estimated 8,000 a year in the U.S. — aren’t offered testing to identify faulty genes and clarify their medical decisions.

Guidelines used by insurance companies to decide coverage for genetic testing should change to reflect the findings, said study co-author Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel of City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif. Testing can cost more than $3,000.

“Interestingly, it’s about Dad,” Weitzel said. Half of genetic breast cancers are inherited from a woman’s father, not her mother. But unless Dad has female relatives with breast cancer, the faulty gene may have been passed down silently, without causing cancer. (Men can get genetic breast cancer, too, but it’s not common.)

Weitzel said doctors often overlook the genetic risk from the father’s side of the family. — read full article

Posted in awareness, Blogroll, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, current events, daughters, family, Health, life, media, motherhood, news, parenting, Women, women's health | 2 Comments »

The Mammogram, The Waiting Room, and The Silence.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 8, 2007

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THE ONE THING WE NEED TO START DOING WHEN WE GO TO GET OUR YEARLY MAMMOGRAM. — by Catherine Morgan

We all know that we need to get our yearly mammogram. None of us “want” to get it, but we get it anyway because we know how important early detection is in the treatment of breast cancer. However, there is something that most of us don’t do when we go to get our mammogram that I think we should be doing, something that the doctors and technicians don’t tell us to do. I’ll warn you now…this may be hard for some.Let me start off by telling you that I had my mammogram recently, it was what they call a “diagnostic” mammogram, as opposed to the normal yearly “routine” mammogram. You get a diagnostic mammogram when they find something that doesn’t appear normal…At this point it is still more likely than not that you don’t have cancer, but it could turn out that you do. I know cancer is a scary word, but we really need to get over it. Cancer is not a four letter word that we can’t talk about, in fact we actually need to talk about it. Because, the more we talk about it, and the more we understand it…the less scary “it” will be. Like everything in life – Knowledge is power.

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Posted in about me, awareness, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, empowerment, feelings, feminism, grief, happiness, Health, inspirational, mothers, my life, reflections, thoughts, Women, women's health, women's issues | 6 Comments »

UPDATED INFORMATION: Parents Need To Retain The Right To Make Decisions Regarding HPV Vaccine For Their Daughters.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 24, 2007

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Parents Need To Retain The Right To Make Decisions Regarding HPV Vaccine For Their Daughters.

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SEE UPDATE: Important Health News: New Evidence That Hormone Replacement May Increase Cancer In Women.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 19, 2007

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UPDATE: Dr. Larry Norton (on the View today) — DO NOT USE ANY PRODUCT WITH ESTROGEN to treat symptoms of menopause — That includes natural products that stimulate the estrogen receptors. If you are on prescription of Estrogen, talk to your doctor before you discontinue…..there are many other medications that do not have estrogen that you doctor can prescribe for symptoms of menopause.

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