Sunday, October 24, 2010

Get The Facts About Breast Cancer

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month makes October the month to think pink. It’s the month dedicated to settling rumors surrounding breast cancer. And while this month is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the www.NBCAM.org Web site is a year-round resource for breast cancer patients, caregivers, survivors, and the general public.

What is Breast Cancer?

According to cancer.org, Breast cancer is a type of cancer that originates from a malignant tumor that invades the surrounding breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. The disease usually occurs almost entirely in women, but men can also get it, too.

Do you only get breast cancer if it runs in your family?

Here’s the truth, scientists and researchers still don’t know what really causes breast cancer. And in fact only 5 to 10% of cases are due to defective breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2.
According to the American Cancer Society, women who have a family history of breast cancer may get it not specific due to gene mutations, but, rather to a combination of shared lifestyle factors and genetic susceptibilities.

How can I find out if I have breast cancer?

If you feel a change in how your breast or nipple feels or looks; like a lump, pain and swelling, or thickening in or near the breast, then you should schedule an appointment with your doctor for a mammogram. Mammograms have been known to detect breast cancer in its early stages reducing deaths among patients by about 16%. It's actually pretty important that all women have an annual breast exam performed by a health care provider after the age of 18 and pay close attention to their own bodies to spot potential changes as early as possible.

A great way to pay close attention to your breasts is by performing a self examination at home. Just use the tips of your three middle fingers to feel for lumps or thickening of your breasts. You can either cover the breast in a circular motion, moving in an up and down motion or moving outwards from the center in a wedge motion. Do it the same way every time and it will help you to make sure that you've gone over the entire breast area.

How could I reduce my chances of breast cancer? 

Simple ways to reduce your chances include; regular exercise, that lowers our levels of estrogen which is linked to breast cancer and eating healthy. Limiting your alcohol intake, according to the National Cancer Institute, shows that women who have one or two drinks daily increase the risk of the most common kind of breast cancer by 32%—and those who drink more hike their risk by 51%. And while a glass of wine has been known to have other health benefits, experts recommend no more than a glass a day. 
But most of all, don’t stress about breast cancer. If you follow these suggestions, you are doing all that you can to minimize your risk. Use these tips as reminders to take care of your body, but don't get hung up on them. You just being aware of your body will help you.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pushed Over The Edge

A young man walks by himself alongside a pathway on a large bridge. He looks over the railing separating him from the ledge that’s outstretched over a frigid river. He can hear the water as it quickly thrashes around below his feet. A cold chill brushes past his exposed face reminding him that a tear had rolled down the side of his cheek. The young man then slowly lifts his leg, one and then the other, over the railing. He stands on the edge of the ridge and pauses for a second as he tries to clear the frustration from his mind. Then he jumps.

This is the story of one gay teen who had suffered enough bullying to push him over the edge.

Recently, several teenagers from California to Rhode Island committed suicide in the past few weeks, including New Jersey college student Tyler Clementi, who jumped off a bridge into the Hudson River.

According to a story from ABC News, Tyler was the victim of bullying and the invasion of his privacy after, prosecutors say, his roommate and a friend secretly streamed his sexual encounter with a man on the Web. He was hurt and made fun of like so many other gay and lesbian teens spanning the world are right now. And it’s time that something should be said.

According to SAVE, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24 years old. Adolescents that were rejected by their families for being gay were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, according to a Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey. But the sad fact of the matter is that the majority of these suicide attempts could have been prevented.

A heartfelt attempt at tolerance and understanding could have saved Tyler Clementi. His life was shattered the second his private affair went public. He was a human being who suffered from gay bashing with a cyber twist. And it shouldn’t matter if you believe that homosexuality is a sin or not because these are people that we are dealing with. We live alongside the same pathway in the world with these souls. And I just hope we can all understand this fact before we push another person over the edge.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Affects of Proposition 23

Smog settling over Los Angeles skyline.

Bad air quality days, lungs filled with smog and asthma attacks that could land you in the hospital. California has been known to have some really unclean air. And over the past 20 years with the help of global warming regulation laws California has cleaned up a little. Those regulations that were enacted to help reduce emissions in our golden state of pollution, helped cut down on the rain of acid that aided in the corrosion of our cities. But come November, lawmakers and big oil companies are hoping to pass a law that would rid our state of those very same regulations in order to save them money.

If passed, Proposition 23 will suspend a state law that requires greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, until California's unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. And knowing that unemployment won’t drop to that amount any time soon (especially not without jobs that could be created form clean energy projects) big oil companies are pouring money into the campaign in support.

Not cool.

Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, was signed in 2006 to reduce greenhouse emissions in California. The bill was designed to indirectly reduce numerous air pollutants by restricting carbon emissions, making California's air all around healthier. But instead of blue skies, we should just thank the oil companies in advance for making our grey tinged air be brown.

So when November rolls around, I hope California takes it in to consideration that there is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. In fact, green energy projects have been known to create more jobs. We can revitalize our economy, continue California's progress toward clean energy and save our environment by voting no on Prop 23. Will you?