Posts Tagged ‘Mammograms’

Cancer survivor becomes wellness coach

March 10, 2010

Here is an article by Joanne Shuttleworth which appeared on the front page of the Guelph Mercury on March 9th 2010 – my 65th birthday.
I celebrated the publicity for my cancer prevention program called Start Here and Go Forward. I also celebrated the fact that I’m still alive and cancer free 23 years after having 3 types of cancer in 1987.

GUELPH -Lynn Roodbol was 41 when she learned she had breast cancer. Six months later she was also diagnosed with colon cancer and then skin cancer. All this a year after her husband had lost his job.

It was a devastating period and Roodbol said she felt helpless and hopeless as she became a pincushion for chemotherapy, at the beck and call of her doctors, and faced with the very real spectre of her death.

“I had myself in a pine box,” Roodbol said quietly. “I really thought I was going to die. But my husband coached me through it and I had a huge support system. And somewhere along the way something changed.

“The light went on for me and I stopped that downward spiral. I wanted to do anything I could to live again.”

Roodbol turns 65 next week — a number she never expected to reach in those dark days. She’s also a certified wellness coach in part from gratitude for the extra 20-plus years she’s been given. And part to help people who may be feeling as powerless as she had. Roodbol is leading a five-week workshop called Start Here and Go Forward, a program based on wellness coaching that will discuss healthy lifestyle choices, which help prevent cancer and reduce the risk of its recurrence.

It runs from Hospice Wellington’s temporary location on Woodlawn Road on Monday evenings, 7 to 8:30 p.m. from March 22 to April 19. Cost is free, but registration is required.

The methods she recommends are neither a surprise nor complicated and they can prevent other diseases besides cancer — eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and relaxation and learn to manage your stress.

“I’m not an expert, so if I can do it, anyone can,” she said. “But sometimes it’s difficult to see that on your own. A wellness coach will grab your hand and work beside you as you realize your goals.”

Roodbol said she was weighed down by negativity when she was diagnosed with all her cancers, and even when she began to recover she still didn’t feel well. She started to visit a therapist who helped her to leave negative feelings behind and focus on the positive.

“Therapy taught me to let go of anger and guilt. After all, I was an X-ray tech and I didn’t have a mammogram. I blamed myself. I was full of guilt. I had to learn to let it go,” she said.

It’s not as superficial as it may sound. Sometimes it takes a seminal event to put life in perspective. Sometimes an attitude adjustment is in order.

“Once you hear the ‘cancer’ word, you often don’t hear anything else,” said Erin McInnis, client services supervisor with Hospice Wellington. “And it’s easy to get lost in all the information. But life is about living, it’s about wellness. Lynn will challenge and inspire participants.

“At times like that, people are looking for things they can do to help themselves. Lynn will show them how.”

“If you spend your energy on wellness, it’s energy you don’t have to spend on being sick. And believe me, it’s so much more pleasant being healthy,” Roodbol said.

If you go:

WHAT: Start Here and Go Forward, a workshop based on wellness coaching that will discuss healthy lifestyle choices, which help people to prevent cancer and reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer.

WHEN: Monday evenings, 7 to 8:30 p.m. from Mar. 22 to April 19

WHERE: Hospice Wellington, 107 Woodlawn Rd. W.

COST: Free

This program is now full and I’m registering people for a new program starting on April 26 2010. Thank you for your interest!

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New guidelines for breast cancer detection

November 19, 2009

The new mammography guidelines are shocking because they cloud the issue of breast cancer, and move us backwards rather than forwards to a cure.
If we want to discover breast cancer early, we need to practice early detection.
If we follow the new guidelines, more women under 50 will have advanced breast cancer before it’s treated.
It seems the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force has a mission to increase the incidence of breast cancer in young women where the impact on women and their families is greater, and more expensive treatments are required after diagnosis.
It seems to me like a plot to ramp up big business, and to create more money for companies with an interest in chemotherapy drugs, cancer treatments, etc.
You can read more about the guidelines at: http://breastcancer.about.com/b/2009/11/16/mammo-guidelines.htm?nl=1
In light of the new recommendations, we need a grass roots movement to protect ourselves from the curse of cancer. Here is a good article with advice on what individuals can do to prevent breast cancer:
Integrative Medicine Approaches to Reducing Breast Cancer Risk
-Practice monthly self-breast exams.
-Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, preferably raw
-Limit your intake of animal fats, particularly red meat.
-Eat lots of fiber
-Avoid drinking two or more glasses of alcohol per day
-Increase your intake of superfoods high in antioxidants, such as kale, beets, carrots, beans, collard greens, brussel sprouts, and broccoli. If you’re not good about eating your veggies, try Sun Chlorella.
-Drink green juice. It’s a great way to alkalinize your body, and cancer likes acid, not alkalinity.
-Avoid dairy or use organic butter, cheese, and milk, as they are less likely to be contaminated with human growth hormone or estrogen, which is sometimes used to stimulate milk production in cows.
-Use extra-virgin olive oil, raw flaxseed oil, and cod liver oil.
-Expose yourself to the sun. High levels of Vitamin D help fight cancer.
-Exercise. It helps detoxify the body and decreases the amount of estrogen that reaches the breasts. Women who exercise regularly have a 30% lower risk of breast cancer.
-Apply loving energy to your breasts with daily massage. Massage your breast tissue and the area under your arms while you’re soaping yourself in the shower. Close your eyes and visualize healthy breast tissue. Release all fear of breast cancer through a release valve at your root chakra. Dump the toxic energy of fear into the earth’s core and allow the golden light and radiant healing of the Universe to enter through the top of your head. Close your eyes and imagine healing energy extending from your heart, through your arms, to your hands.
-Talk to your doctor about when you should begin mammography and/or breast thermography.
-Be aware of your family history. If you have a first degree family member who was diagnosed with breast cancer before menopause, consider talking to a genetic counselor.
-Limit alcohol intake, and if you do drink alcohol, make sure you’re getting enough folic acid in your diet. If not, take a supplement that includes folic acid.
-If you are at higher risk for breast cancer, talk to your doctor about supplements you can use to reduce your risk.
You can find the whole article at: http://www.owningpink.com/2009/11/17/owning-our-boobs-thoughts-on-the-new-mammography-recommendations/
Women need to unite and fight back against the new guidelines.
We need to stand up for ourselves, and protect our health so we stay well rather than raise our risk of getting cancer.
Cancer is a despicable disease – my breast cancer advanced to Stage II because I hadn’t done screening mammography or Breast Self Examination (BSE). My doctor was doing cursory Clinical Breast Exams on a yearly basis, but breast cancer can grow rapidly, between visits, in young women. Women who are taught how to do proper BSE on a monthly basis do not increase the number of false positives.
Breast Self Examination helps women to take charge of their health.
This website will show you how to do BSE: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6x_How_to_perform_a_breast_self_exam_5.asp?sitearea=
I used to do mammography, so I support annual mammograms and I think it is good advice to do BSE consistently and well:
Keep a journal of what you find – each month, when you do BSE, draw a picture of your breasts and date it. Draw in any lumps, ridges, thickening, skin changes, etc. Measure areas you want to watch and record the size; you can equate the size to a grain of rice, pea, grape, walnut, etc. In this way you have a record which you can show your doctor. It will increase your confidence if you practice BSE properly. If you have a controlled record of what you find, there is less chance of worry over lumps that are not changing. New changes and visible changes such as dimpling and thickened skin should be reported immediately.