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Archive for the ‘cancer’ Category

Are We Sitting Ourselves To Death?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 3, 2010

What are you doing right now?  Aside from reading this post, you are most likely sitting somewhere.  On your couch?  At your desk?  In a chair?  Wherever you find yourself sitting, I’m sure that it won’t come as a surprise to you, that sitting isn’t good for your health.  But did you know that it is so bad for your health that it could be taking years off of your life?

It’s true.

Unfortunately, I can’t even say that I’m setting a good example for any of you by doing something other than sitting on the couch with my laptop myself.  However, this new study did get me thinking about ways I might be able to do less sitting, and I think I am going to give a few of them a try (tomorrow).

From WebMD – Are We Sitting Ourselves To Death

After adjusting for smoking, height/weight, and other factors, Patel’s team found that compared to sitting less than three hours a day, sitting six or more hours a day:

  • Increased the death rate by about 40% in women
  • Increased the death rate by about 20% in men
  • Increased the death rate by 94% in the least active women
  • Increased the death rate by 48% in the least active men

It wasn’t just that they weren’t getting exercise. Patel and colleagues found that sitting itself was detrimental to health.  Sitting increased risk of cancer death, but the main death risk linked to sitting was heart disease.

That’s scary stuff.  I’m sure that I’m sitting more than six hours of the day, and up until very recently I was getting little to no exercise.

So, how many hours a day do you spend sitting?  Could you be sitting your way to an early grave? What about your kids?

In the age of couch potatoes, it’s not surprising that a lack of activity has become a serious health risk.  The question is — What are you ready to do about it?

Are you ready to take steps to be more active and less sedentary?  If so, now is a great time to start.  The best part is, the study doesn’t suggest that you have to replace hours of sitting with hours of activity.   It seems that even just breaking up your sitting time with a bit of active non-sitting time can be beneficial.

Here are some tips for increasing your life expectancy by decreasing the amount of time you sit. Remember, these are just ideas, use these ideas as guidelines for developing a personal plan that works best for you.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in awareness, BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, family, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, self-help, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dieting, Weight Loss, and a Choose You Giveaway.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 26, 2010

An Update and a Giveaway…My very first give away.

I’m happy to report that even with additional temptations this weekend [It was my mother’s birthday and we got her an ice-cream cake, chocolate volcano cake, and cheese cake.] I was still successful in my goal to not eat sugar.  It actually wasn’t hard at all to resist, I think because it’s been over two weeks, I’m just not craving the sugar the way I normally do.  So that’s a plus!

Do you want to see the Birthday Dance of my mother that I made with the American Cancer Society’s new dance application?  Here’s the link – Frances Ellen Disco Dancing (Feel free to tease her about it in comments, she loves all the attention).

OK, back to my post.

Since I was so successful with my first (two week) commitment, I decided to make a longer and more difficult commitment next.  For the next six weeks I will be continuing to avoid sugar, but I will also eliminate high fat/calorie snacks and junk food, and lose 5 pounds.

That’s a lot…But you think I can do it, right?

So that’s my new commitment.  Now for the giveaway.

Since I know my Choose You Commitment is going to get more and more difficult to stick with, I wanted to do something to increase my online support.  It may sound silly, but I love getting comments of support and tips from my readers.  And the more feedback I get, the more encouraged I get.  So I asked the folks at the American Cancer Society if I could do a giveaway.  Not only did they say yes, but they agreed to donate a Choose You Stainless Water Bottle and a Choose You Lapel Pin.

All you have to do is go to MY CHOOSE YOU BLOG POST and leave a comment on the post and you will be entered to win (I’ll announce the winner when I post next Tuesday).  Any comment will do, but like I said in my first post I could use all the support I can get from you.

Also See:

Catherine is the mother of two teenagers, she writes about health & wellness at BlogHer and catherine-morgan.com.

*cross posted at Choose You

Posted in about me, blog, body image, cancer, dieting, family, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

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

My Bday List: A resolution to better health in 2010.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 7, 2010

My new years resolution is about doing everything I can do to have more birthdays.  At the moment the one thing that could keep me from doing that, is my blood pressure.  I’ve had blood pressure and heart rate problems since my twenties, but now in my forties, I know I’m at a much greater risk for having a heart attack or stroke.  So this year I plan on taking specific steps to hopefully lower my blood pressure.  Like Morra Arrons-Mele, I would like to make these changes holistically.  I’m still planning to take my medications, but even on medication my blood pressure is still not controlled.

Here are the steps I plan to take in 2010…

1.  Continue to eat healthy, but kick it up a notch.

2.  Reduce stress by using meditation and Reiki on a regular basis.

3.  Get the Wii Fit and begin doing light exercising and yoga.

I’ll keep track of my progress by documenting my blood pressure and the days I’ve used any of the above steps.

Well, that’s my “more birthdays list.”  I hope you’ll join me at the American Cancer Society’s Official Birthday Blog, by sharing a list of your own.  You can also easily share you list on Facebook and Twitter here.

Posted in blog, blogging, blood pressure, cancer, chronic illness, empowerment, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, my life, self-help, Women, women blogging, 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 »

Quit Smoking for the Great American Smokeout

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 17, 2009

The Great American Smokeout happens every year on the third Thursday in November, and it has been going on each year since 1977.  This is a day that smokers all across the country are encouraged to not smoke, or at least cut back on their smoking for one day.  Each year millions of smokers participate in the smokeout in the hope that this one step will be the catalyst to their quitting permanently.

On the American Cancer Society‘s website you can find a lot of great information to help you with this challenge…

You can also read about the history of The Great American Smokeout here.

From Suite 101

The American Cancer Society uses this yearly event to not only draw attention to the health issues and dangers that accompany smoking, but also to point smokers who struggle with quitting towards the many resources and tools available to them.

It has been proven that success in quitting smoking is greatly increased when smokers have support. This support can come in a number of ways. The ACS recommends that smokers eager to kick the habit employ one or more of these resources:

  • nicotine replacement products (such as the patch or gum);
  • counseling;
  • prescription medication to lessen nicotine cravings;
  • joining a stop smoking support group;
  • using telephone smoking cessation hotlines;
  • guide books;

Are you a smoker?  Will you be abstaining from smoking for the Great American Smoke Out?

Here’s a look at some of what other women are blogging about quitting smoking…

READ THE FULL POST AT catherine-morgan.com

Posted in awareness, BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, Health, life, lifestyle, self-help, teens | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Cancer-Causing Retrovirus Linked To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 24, 2009

The latest research on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has it linked to a cancer-causing retrovirus…

Last week I was reading a lot about the latest research linking Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) to the XMRV Retrovirus.  Some of the articles even implied that people suffering with CFS (like myself) should be excited at the possibility that this news could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of CFS.  But, it’s not exactly good news for CFS patients, especially for patients hoping for a cure.  Here’s why…

Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in about me, BlogHer, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, depression, Health, life, news, opinion, personal, thoughts, viruses, Women, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a 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 »

Birthdays: How Do They Make You Feel?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 22, 2009

birthdaycupcakeBirthdays:  How do they make you feel?

Today is my birthday.  Should I be stressed because I’m getting (and looking) older?  Or should I be grateful for the opportunity to have another year of life?

I know the politically correct answer is – be grateful.  But truthfully, it’s more of a mixed bag for me.  I admit that I like it when people tell me that I don’t look my age (even when I know they are probably lying).  But at the same time, I really am thankful for every day of my life.  And overall, I’m more grateful for turning 23 33 43 than stressed about getting older.

This summer I was honored to be asked to become part of The American Cancer Society’s Blogger CouncilThe American Cancer Society is trying to change the way women think about their birthdays through their More Birthdays Campaign

To most people, birthdays are just a reminder that they’re getting older. But at the American Cancer Society, “Happy Birthday” is a victory song, because a world with less cancer is a world with more birthdays. And that’s definitely something to celebrate.

More than 11 million Americans who have survived cancer—and countless others who have avoided it—will celebrate a birthday this year, thanks to the progress we’re making together to help people stay well and get well, to find cures, and fight back.

So I’ve declared The American Cancer Society the official sponsor of my birthday.  Here is the link to my American Cancer Society Birthday Page

http://main.acsevents.org/goto/catherinemorgan

Let me know what you think, and feel free to also leave a small donation to The American Cancer Society.

Women blogging about birthdays

READ FULL POST AT CATHERINE-MORGAN.COM

Posted in about me, BlogHer, body image, cancer, chronic illness, Health, life, my life, personal, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gardasil: Do The Benefits Outweigh The Risks?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on August 31, 2009

The controversy surrounding the Gardasil vaccine has been around from the moment it was approved for use in young girls.  And from the very beginning I have had a problem with Gardasil being referred to as a cervical cancer vaccine – because it’s not.   I also have a problem with the ‘fear mongering’ commercials designed to look like public service announcements, and the possibility of making this vaccine (yet another) required by the government.

In the end, I want to research the facts and be the one to make an educated decision about whether or not to vaccinate my daughter for the HPV virus.  To be perfectly honest…At this point I don’t see any indication that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the risks.  Although the risks are very small, the benefits seem to be even smaller.

But don’t take my word for it…Look at some of the most recent facts about Gardasil.

Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, cervical cancer, children, daughters, Gardasil, Health, hpv vaccine, life, news, teens, vaccines, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 30, 2009

Are you getting enough vitamin D? Would you know if you weren’t? Apparently, most of us are deficient in vitamin D, and that is putting us at greater risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, some types of cancer, diabetes, and possibly other chronic medical problems (like asthma, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis).

You might be surprised to learn how important vitamin D is to your overall health, and how easy it is to make sure you’re getting enough.

From BlogHer joyofnutritionVitamin D May Make You Brighter

A study published this past week indicates that increasing your levels of vitamin D may help older people stay mentally sharp. Your body can produce vitamin D by exposing your skin to the sun as well as through the diet. Sources of vitamin D include oily fish, liver, mushrooms and fortified products, such as orange juice.

From Women to WomenSymptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency may be characterized by muscle pain, weak bones/fractures, low energy and fatigue, lowered immunity, symptoms of depression and mood swings, and sleep irregularities. Women with renal problems or intestinal concerns (such as IBS or Crohn’s disease) may be vitamin D deficient because they can neither absorb nor adequately convert the nutrient.

From BlogHer HeartStrong

A recent study (The Framingham Offspring Study) published earlier this year reported an increased risk for heart disease in people whose Vitamin D levels were low. People with high blood pressure were at an even higher risk than people with normal blood pressure.

From The National Women’s Health Network – Basking in the Benefits of Vitamin D

Although we have known for ages that Vitamin D is a crucial for healthy bodies, it has received extra attention in the media lately that may have left you wondering what all the fuss is about. If you’re as skeptical about hyped up new health trends and dietary supplements as I am, then you probably haven’t gone out and bought every bottle of Vitamin D pills at your local health food store. However, the more I read and understand about it, the more inclined I am to soak up the sun and drink a tall glass of fortified soymilk.

From BlogHer eapgourmetVitamin D and Heart Health

Studies conducted by the American Heart Association indicate that low levels of vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk for PAD, which occurs when the arteries in a person’s legs narrow or become clogged with fat. The association estimates that 8 million Americans are affected by PAD.

From BlogHer Fighting FatigueVitamin Deficiency Dangers

I never realized until I was diagnosed with a serious Vitamin D deficiency what all problems this could cause. My doctor was very concerned because my levels were dangerously low and he immediately put me on a high dose Vitamin D supplement. Some other health problems my doctor told me Vitamin D deficiency could cause include heart disease, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, hypertension, arthritis, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, PMS, Crohns Disease, cancer, MS and other autoimmune diseases.

From Naturally Knocked UpBoost Your Fertility With Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and exists in several forms. Some of these are basically inactive in the body and have limited ability to function.

Why is it important for fertility? Well, you need it in order for your body to produce sex hormones. And without the right amount of hormones in your system, you can suffer from pcos, PMS, and infertility. Vitamin D is also key in regulating cell growth and deciding how those cells grow.

In the news from PR-USA

Pregnant women with low levels of vitamin D may be more likely to suffer from bacterial vaginosis (BV) – a common vaginal infection that increases a woman’s risk for preterm delivery, according to a University of Pittsburgh study. Available online and published in the June issue of The Journal of Nutrition, the studymay explain why African-American women, who often lack adequate vitamin D, are three times more likely than white women to develop BV.

The Sun Screen How-To

I’m reading that sunscreens block Vitamin D absorption — should I be worried about that?

No, and you definitely should absolutely not skip the sunscreen in order to get some Vitamin D. If you’re wearing sunscreen daily on your face (which I wholeheartedly recommend) then you are getting enough incidental exposure during your normal day to boost your Vitamin D intake. But for a day when you know you will be out in the sun for a long time, especially around water, please lotion up. The damage that even a mild sunburn does to your skin is not balanced out, in any way, by the Vitamin D you will get from being sunscreen free.

Take this quick vitamin D quiz at Fit Sugar.

Also See:

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
at Catherine-Morgan.com and Women4Hope

Posted in awareness, blogging, BlogHer, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Chronic Illness: Claims Of Cures Are Often Scams.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 18, 2009

Chronic Illness:  Claims Of Cures Are Often Scams.

Do you suffer from a chronic illness with no known cure?  Like Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?   If so, you probably wish every day that you could find a cure and finally be healthy and well.

Why is it that just about every illness without a medically proven cure, has loads of people “claiming” to know the cure?  Not only is it disingenuous to promote cures to desperate people suffering with chronic illness, but it also minimizes the seriousness of these conditions.

For instance, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and many people believe the cure for this condition is as simple as getting more sleep (and oddly enough, more exercise).  Guess what?  CFS has nothing to do with how much sleep someone gets, and exercise often exacerbates Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  There is no cure for what I have, but the Internet is full of sites that claim to have “sell” the cure.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe that there are many alternative modalities of  healing that can benefit the symptoms of this disease, but they should not be mistaken for (or touted as) cures.

From Pamela Rice Hahn – It’s All In Your Head

Anyone who copes with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Fibromyalgia (FM) knows there are people out there with all sorts of theories about what’s wrong with them. We’ve heard it all: You’re just depressed. If you’d exercise more, you’d feel better. The insulting “it’s all in your head.” And on and on.

The worst insult is probably: Everybody gets tired.

We know that! Before we got sick, we just got tired, too.

I’m not the only women suffering with chronic illness that is frustrated by false claims of cures.

Here is a quick video of what it is like to live with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome…

From MSMazeMultiple Sclerosis & Mutual Support

Apparently, I’m the voice of doom because I caution my fellow MSers to be wary of scams touting “cures“ for MS. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been offered the cure for MS, I could retire. Unfortunately, these scams are intended to make a buck off our hope. I don’t mean to rob anyone of hope. In fact, I’m filled with hope at recent medical breakthroughs. I stand by my advice… be wary of cures that land in your email inbox and always perform due diligence.

Kristie from X-Out MS – MS and My Diet

There is a LOT of information floating around the internet on miracle diet cures – and amazing detoxification methods that will supposedly ‘cure’ multiple sclerosis.

While it may be somewhat exciting and offer some much needed hope for people that live with this disease – I have to be honest and say that some of the things these people are touting are really quite scary and offers a very false sense of hope and expectation. I can assure you that if any one of the people actually had a true and viable cure for this disease – it would have a whole lot more attention than an occasional blip on an internet search engine! Additionally, they would be shouting their findings from the mountain top – eager to share it with everyone they could find – and not charge $29.95 for the ‘e-book’!

Quite honestly (if you can’t tell already) most of these people completely disgust me.

From Stacy Stone at Chronic Illness 101 – Lessons in Chronic Illness

If someone proclaims they have the cure, they would be famous and everyone would be cured. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

So…How do you protect yourself from false claims of medical cures?  You can start by knowing the signs of false health claims

To avoid becoming a victim of health fraud, consumers should learn how to evaluate health-related claims.

First, watch out for websites that offer quick and dramatic cures for serious diseases.

Consumers should be wary of statements that the product is a quick and effective cure-all or a diagnostic tool for a wide variety of ailments. For example, “Beneficial in treating cancer, ulcers, prostate problems, hepatitis, heart trouble and more…”

To be safe, avoid products that suggest the product can treat or cure diseases. “Shrinks tumors, cures impotency…”

Question promotions that use words like “scientific breakthrough,” “miraculous cure,” “secret ingredient” and “ancient remedy.”

–read full article at Haleakala Times

Also See:

From Fraud Files Blog – MLM Scheme, Mannatech Pays Millions For False Claims of Cures.

From The Daily WD – Daily Dose: Cheerios  and Cholesterol

One Lesson From A Decade of Fighting Chronic Illness

Don’t Be Fooled By Produces Claiming To Cure Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Posted in about me, BlogHer, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, depression, Health, life, my life, opinion, thoughts, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are Your Children Getting Enough Calcium? Are You?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 25, 2009

Are your kids getting enough calcium?  Are you?

A recent study shows that calcium may play an even greater role in a woman’s health than we once thought.  Apparently, a higher intake of dietary calcium may decrease the risk of a woman developing colorectal cancer.  But this isn’t about taking calcium supplements, it’s recommended that we increase our intake of calcium by choosing to eat more calcium rich foods.  Yes, it’s another reason to eat healthy.  How many more reasons do you need?

From Women’s Health

High dietary intake of calcium may reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer, especially for women, but has no apparent effect in reducing other malignancies, a U.S. National Cancer Institute study finds.

Why calcium should influence cancer risk differently in women versus men isn’t clear, said Yikyung Park, a staff scientist at NCI who led the study. “One can speculate that hormonal or metabolic factors contribute to this difference,” she said.

Women with higher intake of calcium appear to have a lower risk of cancer overall, and both men and women with high calcium intakes have lower risks of colorectal cancer and other cancers of the digestive system, according to a report in the February 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

From New Wrinkles for old souls

So, what does all this mean. The bottom line comes down to this: If you have to grab a quick meal, grab something that includes calcium, such as low-fat dairy products—yogurt, cheese, or cottage cheese—or calcium-fortified beverages, such as orange juice or soy milk. Dark green leafy vegetables—kale, watercress, and bok choy—are also calcium-rich. Eating calcium foods will do your body more good than supplements. However, if you’re falling short on calcium or if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, you should still take calcium supplements, particularly if your health care practitioner told you to take them.

But how do we know if we are getting enough calcium?  Do you know if you are getting enough caclium in your diet?

Try this easy to use calcium calculator to find out how much calcium you should be getting, and how much your current diet is providing.   I was shocked to find how little calcium I am actually consuming each day, I will certainly need to pay more attention to this in the future.

Once you know how much more calcium you should be getting each day, use this list of calcium rich foods
to find ways to add more to your diet.

And don’t forget about your kids.

From Kids Health for parents…

During childhood and adolescence, the body uses the mineral calcium to build strong bones — a process that’s all but complete by the end of the teen years. Bone calcium begins to decrease in young adulthood and progressive loss of bone occurs as we age, particularly in women.

Daily calcium needs for kids

It is also important to understand how much calcium kids actually need. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences recommends:

* 500 mg a day for kids who are 1 to 3 years old
* 800 mg a day for kids who are 4 to 8 years old
* 1,300 mg a day for kids who are 9 to 18 years old

My daughter (14 years old) was recently diagnosed with a slight herniated disk in her lower back.  It’s most likely the beginning stage of degenerative disc disease (which runs in our family).  The doctor wants her to begin doing regular cardio exercise (at least 45 minutes 3 times a week), and also make sure she is getting enough calcium in her diet.  Hopefully making these changes will decrease her pain and reduce her risk of future problems.

Is your child getting enough calcium?

Young bodies need adequate calcium to build strong bones, especially during growth spurts. In fact, 90 percent of a person’s peak bone mass for adulthood is established by the late teen years: The strength and health of an adult’s bones largely depends on calcium intake during formative years. Some experts call osteoporosis a juvenile disease because poor bone mass in adulthood often begins in adolescence.

Other factors also help build bones, such as engaging in weight-bearing physical activity, for example:

  • walking
  • running
  • jumping rope
  • team sports
  • weight lifting

But calcium intake remains critical. An added bonus to consuming calcium: Some studies link diets rich in dairy products with more lean body mass and better weight management.

From A Mom’s Memories

This was a challenging subject to blog about – especially since one of my kiddos is the pickiest eater ever. Here are my 5 tips for making sure my kids get the vitamins and minerals they need for strong bones.

From Food Blogga

When I was kid there was nothing better than coming home from school, opening the refrigerator, and seeing those old-fashioned ice cream dessert glasses filled with Mom’s chocolate pudding, bananas, and Graham Crackers. Cool, creamy, and soothing, just what any kid could use after a long day at school. Plus it’s low in fat and high in bone-building calcium, vitamin D and protein.

Also See:

Nutrition Matters: Five Tips For Healthy Eating For One

What is heart healthy eating anyway?

Nutrition Tips: You are what you eat.

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, daughters, dieting, family, food, Health, kids, life, lifestyle, motherhood, news, nutrition, parenting, pregnancy, self-help, teens, 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 »

Is Money Making You Stressed? It Could Be Making You Sick Too.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 11, 2008

debt_stress.jpg

Stressing Over Money Can Make You Sick — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Do you stress over money? I do. With the way the economy is going, if you’re not stressing over money now, you sure could be in the near future. Gas prices are going up, home values are going down, and what money we do have is buying less and less. The thing about stressing over money is…It doesn’t pay the bills. What it can do is make you sick.

Yes, stressing over money (or anything for that matter) can and does make you sick. How sick? Here is an excerpt from an article at About.com, that addresses Health Problems Associated With Stress

Science is constantly learning about the impact that stress has on your overall health. Stress is or may be a contributing factor in everything from backaches and insomnia to cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (many people believe that CFS and fibromyalgia are the same illness).

Stress is often a key factor when women experience either absence of menstruation or abnormal bleeding. Hormonal imbalances caused by stress may proliferate the symptoms of fibroid tumors and endometriosis, as well as make pregnancy difficult to achieve for couples with fertility problems.

Heart disease is the number one killer of American women. High blood pressure, heart attacks, heart palpitations, and stroke may be stress related cardiovascular conditions. Some women experience changes in their sexuality and encounter various sexual dysfunctions such as loss of desire and vaginal dryness as a result of stress.

Often people feel the effects of stress as fatigue, various aches and pains, headaches, or as emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Stress affects others by causing gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, lower abdominal cramps, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Frequently people under the effects of over stress will have more colds and infections due to lowered immune system responses. Stress can initiate dermatological conditions such as itchy skin and rashes.

Wow. That’s a lot of problems. So, what is a person to do? Well, learning to control the things we can control, and letting go of the rest, is a good first step…and potentially, the hardest step. Maybe we can find something that will help…

Here is a post from ChEsKa’S pRiDe — The 10 Essentials for Relieving Stress

Also check out WebMD’s Letting Go of Stess.

Everyone feels stressed these days. But do you really know what that means? Do you understand what daily stress does to your body, mind and spirit? Over the next four weeks, you’ll learn to identify exactly what causes you stress. Equally important, you’ll find out how to manage your stress and become more relaxed.

From About.comMoney, Stress, and Happiness

If you stress about money, you’re not alone: a significant amount of Americans are deeply in debt, living beyond their means, don’t have a clear plan to solve their financial problems, and stress about it quite a bit. The fear, stress and conflict associated with money issues can also impact your personal happiness. The following resources can help you to create a plan for yourself to get out of debt, if necessary, make your money go further, and plan for your future. Once you have a plan, you should feel significantly less stressed about money. When money is less of an issue, rather than being enslaved by it, you can use it to do the things that make you truly happy.

Also See:

Your 6 Biggest Money Problems, Solved.

Are you stressing over money? Is it making you sick? Is there something special you do that helps reduce your stress?

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, depression, family, Health, heart disease, life, opinion, thoughts, Women, women's health | 2 Comments »

Universal Healthcare, Medicaid, and Cancer

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 19, 2008

Universal Healthcare, Medicaid, and Cancer – by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer

I’m not sure how much we really needed a study to determine that uninsured people are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer too late to be treated successfully. In most cases, a person actually needs to see a doctor to be diagnosed with a disease. So, is anyone surprised to find out that poor, uninsured people, aren’t going to the doctor? I didn’t think so. The only thing this study does do, is underscore the healthcare crisis we are currently facing (with 47 million Americans uninsured), and the need for all Americans to have access to quality healthcare. However, in order to prevent this study from being used as an argument for some type of universal healthcareMedicaid has been thrown into the mix.

Here is an example from The New York Times, of how the news of this new study is being reported…

A nationwide study has found that the uninsured and those covered by Medicaid are more likely than those with private insurance to receive a diagnosis of cancer in late stages, often diminishing their chances of survival.

Cleverly, someone decided to throw a monkey wrench into this study, by comparing having no insurance at all, to having Medicaid. I say “cleverly”, because without that little snip-it of information, this study would appear to be the perfect argument for universal healthcare. But now some can argue, that Medicaid is a government program that isn’t working…So, how could the government ever be capable of implementing a healthcare program that would work?

From WebMD

Researchers say the findings should have important implications for the nation’s health care system and policy decisions about health care reform.

Here is what Jude, from First Draft thinks, in a post titled “Two Americas“…

Now, this might not be the biggest revelation ever, but it seems that people who don’t pay a lot for their health care get lesser-quality care. I can hear the wingers already screaming that this is obviously a failure of public insurance, as private insurance leads to better care.

I admit, I know very little about Medicaid, but when you dig a little deeper into the reporting of this study, it appears there is more to the “Medicaid” aspect then meets the eye.

This study seems to find that having Medicaid is still better than being one of the 47 million that are uninsured…

Results showed that uninsured patients were 90% more likely and Medicaid patients were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with stage II than stage I disease compared with those who had either private insurance or Medicare (difference not significant between the two latter groups).

And, are the Medicaid patients in this study mostly from nursing homes? If so, this study on Medicaid and nursing homes seems to indicate the problem is more to do with the actual care being given in nursing homes, and less to do with being insured with Medicaid.

A study in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that Medicaid patients in nursing home care receive limited cancer services. While the prevalence of cancer in nursing home patients is 1 in 10, according to Dr. Bradley and coauthors this population has received little attention in outcomes research.

The report concludes that nursing home patients had a preponderance of late or unstaged disease, high mortality with a few months of diagnosis, low hospice use, and very little cancer-directed treatment, even among patients with early stage cancer where treatment can alleviate symptoms.

I’m pointing these discrepancies out because – If this study is really going to be used to help determine our country’s healthcare policy, then we need to understand a few things. Most importantly, that the problems facing Medicaid are much different than the problems facing any plan to insure the uninsured. In other words…Don’t use statistics on orange trees, to determine whether or not to grow an apple tree.

Also see:

Health Insurance only for the Healthy — If 47 million uninsured Americans is not high enough a number of vulnerable people who often do not visit the doctor soon enough to receive an early cancer diagnosis leading to a higher cancer survival rate, Blue Cross of California is looking to increase the number of uninsured — with the help of doctors.

Sweet Surrender — C is for CANCER

Anyway, I still don’t know what this post is really about, I guess it could mean different things to different people. If you have good insurance it may mean one thing…but if you have a parent in a nursing home, or are uninsured yourself, probably something totally different. What does this information mean to you? Will these issues have any affect on how you vote in November?

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
CatherineBlogs, The Political Voices of Women, Care2 Election Blog

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, family, Health, life, news, opinion, political, Politics, thoughts, universal healthcare, Women | 1 Comment »

Gardasil For Boys Too?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 4, 2008

This is from Mir at BlogHerGardasil’s Back in the News:  Boys Now Need It, Too?

There’s been a lot of talk here at BlogHer about Gardasil, over the past year or so. I wrote about it a year ago, trying to articulate my feelings on it as a mom to a daughter who would soon be eligible for vaccination. Catherine Morgan has kept her finger on the pulse of the matter with multiple posts, including pointing out that several young girls have died within hours of receiving the vaccination.

My initial optimism was, perhaps, premature.

In the meantime, various states have been discussing mandating the vaccine, or trying to, with varying levels of success. (Check out Vaccine Awakening for a good explanation of what recently happened in the Virginia legislature.)

And now there’s this — HPV-caused oral cancer is on the rise in men, prompting Merck to seek government approval to make Gardasil available to boys, as well.

READ FULL POST AT BLOGHER

Also See:

What is Not Being Reported about the Merck Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Ten Reasons Why HPV Vaccine is ‘Murky’

Gardasil:  The Three Faces of the HPV Vaccine

First Update

Second Update

Third Update

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, cervical cancer, daughters, family, Gardasil, Health, kids, news, opinion, parenting, political, teens, vaccines, viruses, Women | 2 Comments »