|Tips to prevent breast cancer||Oct. 21, 2007|
|Provided by: Sun Media|
|Written by: MARILYN LINTON|
I start today with tips on preventing breast cancer and end with a fun new initiative from the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada.
In between I've news of a terrific new book to help you feel on top of your family's health, and tips on how to determine if your child is struggling in university.
- Breast cancer smarts: The latest issue of the Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource newsletter says that understanding the risks of breast cancer can help us to take steps to detect the disease at its earliest most treatable stages. Clinical breast exams and mammograms (age appropriate) are a must, says the newsletter.
Be hormone aware, the clinic advises: Short-term use of hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms is reasonably safe. But women should know the risk of breast cancer increases after taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone for four years.
Making healthy lifestyle choices can also decrease your risk of all cancers: Maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking and don't consume more than a drink per day.
Finally, if you've breast cancer in your family, have a serious discussion with your doctor about preventive treatment, notes the clinic: That could include taking tamoxifen, a form of chemoprevention, or, in some high-risk women, considering surgeries to remove one or both breasts.
- The absolute best medical record book: Toronto's Jodie Pappas really is a mother of invention. While struggling to cope with an overwhelming amount of information regarding ongoing treatment for a daughter's rare medical condition, she created Your Family Health Organizer (Robert Rose).
This hardcover book records your whole family's medical information all in one place so that you can have it to refer to, can take it with you when you travel or visit the doctor, and can leave it behind for your sitter or caregiver.
There's room for your input (regarding everything from birth details to medication tracking sheets, from checkups to allergy records) for three kids, plus parents, but the book doesn't leave all the work up to you to do.
Pappas offers plenty of must-have information including immunization schedules, charts for incoming teeth and growth, developmental milestones, and medication records. A great baby gift!
- University blues? "The first few months of college in particular can be tough," says Dr. Edward Poa, a psychiatrist affiliated with the U.S.-based Menninger Clinic.
Substance abuse, eating disorders, abusive relationships and depression are just some of the difficulties that kids, many of whom are away from home the first time ever, can face.
During this first year parents can help by being supportive and mindful of the times their child is confronting challenges.
Being mindful doesn't mean being intrusive, Dr. Poa tells parents.
Parents shouldn't overreact to every change they see in their child or check up on him or her constantly. "Listen, and make yourself available to talk," he says.
Some red flags include a sudden change in your child's habit or mood (he may call much more often, or call much less than before.)
Or on a visit to see him you notice he's poorly dressed or hasn't bathed.
Poor grades are another canary in the coal mine: Many kids party hearty this first year, but declining grades and missed classes may indicate deeper trouble.
If your child asks for money, often, this may be a clue that he or she is spending money on drugs or gambling; it may also be an indication that your child is partying excessively, thus not focusing on school.
Kids who are never reachable or who seem to spend an excessive amount of time sleeping are also kids who may be experiencing problems.
If concerns persist, getting a professional opinion is important: Seek immediate help if your child has profound depression or suicidal thoughts.
- November becomes Movember - moustaches rule! The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada is putting the fun back into fundraising with their Movember initiative.
This November, men are being asked to grow a moustache to raise awareness and funds for the fight against prostate cancer.
The initiative, which began in Australia, has now launched in Canada.
Guys, all you do is register at movember.com then take the month of November to groom moustaches, handle bars, lamb chops or a soul patch while raising bucks and awareness for the No. 1 cancer that threatens the lives of Canadian men.
So put away your razors, guys, and think Movember!
|MORE COLUMNS BY MARILYN LINTON|