These Are the Steps You Can Take to Prevent Breast Cancer Now

These Are the Steps You Can Take to Prevent Breast Cancer Now

Calm Your Tits and Be Proactive
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A part of growing up means having big talks about what it means to be an adult. For girls, that includes talks of the birds and the bees, visits from Aunt Flo and regular screenings for breast cancer.

Women of all ages know it’s important to get screened and the weight that diagnosis brings, but how many sources discuss breast cancer prevention? Researchers continue to work diligently at discovering how breast cancer first develops, but you can take preventive measures now to steer your course away from the disease.

If breast cancer runs in your family, it may feel inevitable that you will get it, too, but lifestyle factors strongly influence your chances. Many of the steps are simple to integrate into your daily routine.

Calm Your Tits

You read that right. Calm your tits — meaning your mind, body and soul — to redirect your energy away from toxicity and destress. It’s not just in your head. Your body reacts to stress, too.

If you’re constantly in fight-or-flight mode, your immune system suffers, and stress disrupts the cells that conduct search-and-destroy missions on new diseased cells. Stress affects your risk of getting breast cancer just as it would affect your heart health.

Cut out what doesn’t add to a fulfilling life. Reduce your workload. Schedule a personal day off. Develop coping mechanisms that work for you, such as journaling or taking a walk in nature. Revisit old hobbies that felt rewarding, and try new ones. Build a routine that creates real work-life balance.

Get Active and Lose Weight

Losing weight is a typical New Year’s resolution that often falls by the wayside. Getting active at any time of the year makes you feel good about yourself and reduces your risk of breast cancer diagnosis.

Increased breast cancer risk links to high BMI, especially for those with a large amount of abdominal fat. This type of fat is associated with lipotoxicity — meaning metabolic products go right into portal circulation. The blood carries this toxicity to the liver and beyond, and that metabolically active fat contains different growth factors, such as estrogen, that influence the development of breast cancer.

Start with an evening walk twice a week, and build up your routine from there.

Nix Toxins

The detox lifestyle continues to trend, but women do it for more than bikini season. Women want to lead a healthier lifestyle and consume only what makes them stronger and live longer.

Detoxing is about more than fruit and veggie smoothies, though supping on that deliciousness doesn’t hurt. Detoxing means nixing the toxins in your life, starting with bad habits.

Alcohol consumption and smoking are risk factors for breast cancer, and they contribute to predictive risk for contralateral breast cancer. These are modifiable behaviors. If both are a part of your life, these behaviors greatly impact your risk factor even more. Talk to your doctor about setting goals to reduce and eliminate your consumption of alcohol and tobacco. Start with small, achievable goals.

Research Calcium Supplements

Many women take calcium supplements to make sure they have strong bone health when older. Guidelines for health care and prevention shift as research develops, so check with your doctor. Never take too much and check for interactions.

Calcium’s role in the prevention of cancer keeps shifting. Unfortunately, the role of calcium metabolism on biomarker levels remains unclear. Research has shown a 19 percent decline in breast cancer risk in those in the highest quantile of dietary calcium intake when compared to the lowest set. In meta-analysis, researchers found that serum calcium corresponded with a lower risk. While these studies offer promising data, more research is needed.

Taking healthy measures to eat whole foods, eliminate stress and cut out toxins enriches your life, while reducing your risks for many chronic diseases. Roughly 266,120 estimated diagnoses of breast cancer will be made in 2018, and 40,920 of those diagnosed won’t make it.

Even if breast cancer doesn’t run in your family, that doesn’t mean your chance of getting diagnosed is zero. Think of eight female friends. One of you is that “yes” statistic. Make an appointment to see your doctor for your regular screening, and develop plans to lead a healthier and happier life. You deserve the best.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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My Stance On ADD/ADHD Medication, As Someone With A Diagnosis

Medication for ADD/ADHD children is such a controversial subject. Each parent has their opinion on it and people should respect that, it's their child, but a the same time I think that the child should also have an opinion on the matter. After all, it is their life that is being affected.

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I wasn't formally diagnosed with ADD until my junior year of high school. I wasn't diagnosed earlier because until then, there was no need to. When I was younger my mom always kept me in check, she helped my study and stay on track in school so there was no need to get tested or put on medication. As I got older she realized I needed to start being more independent so she started backing off, as the more she backed off the worse my grades were.

Up until this point in my life, I was always on the A or A/B honor roll for school and I think after realizing I had C's on my report card, this disorder became real. From the summer after sophomore year through the first semester of my junior year, my mom tried every holistic treatment she could find. We tried essential oils, vitamins, supplements, you name it we tried it. While these holistic treatments sometimes did make a small difference, they just weren't making a big enough difference. I don't blame my mom for wanting to try more natural ways to treat me, I actually think it was a great idea. I know some people with ADD/ADHD who swear by essential oils or natural supplements, unfortunately, it just wasn't working for me. When it came down to it, my mom and I discussed putting me on medicine, she was skeptical but ultimately it was my decision.

After starting on Adderall my life changed drastically. I never even realized just how bad off I was until starting the medication. By the start of my Senior year, my grades were back up, I had gotten a raise at work, and was running and/or a member of 4 different clubs at school. Getting the right treatment for ADD/ADHD helped me reach my full potential. While I am glad I decided to start medication, it's not for everyone. I have been on both Adderall and Vyvanse and there are side effects to both. Now I know people who have little to no side effects from either medication and I know people who do. I personally experienced multiple side effects, but this was all before finding the right dosage of the right medication for me. I now have little to no side effects and I live my life just like everyone else.

I know parents only want the best for their children, but at some point, you have to let them decide for themselves. I know medication is not the answer for everyone, but it doesn't hurt to try. The difference it made in my life was incredible, and I hope that more parents out there consider letting their ADD/ADHD children at least try medication.

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