Cancer survivors were recognized recently during the first annual Divas and Dons “Breast Cancer Awareness Libra Bash! held at Gene’s Lanes and Lounge 6315 W. Fond du Lac Ave. The event was sponsored by C.H.I.L.L and D.A.M.G. organizations as part of the national recognition of breast cancer survivors. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Washington, DC – October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the cancer prevention experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) are using the occasion to underscore the clear and convincing role alcohol consumption plays in breast cancer risk.
“The evidence gathered and analyzed in our expert report and its recent update makes one thing very clear,” said AICR spokesperson Alice Bender, MS RD. “When it comes to breast cancer, any level of alcohol consumption raises women’s risk.
The experts note that two other well-established risk factors, obesity and inactivity, increase risk for breast cancer to a greater degree than alcohol consumption. Approximately 1 in 5 cases of breast cancer are attributable to carrying excess body fat, and roughly the same amount to being inactive.
By comparison, roughly 1 in 10 breast cancers could be prevented by not drinking.
For Breast Cancer, No Safe Level
The cancer research organization’s advice on alcohol is clear: “If consumed at all, alcohol consumption should be limited to one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men.” (One drink = 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces. of wine, and 1.5 ounces. of liquor).
That recommendation reflects the evidence that small amounts of alcoholic drinks may offer some protection against heart disease. But for women who find themselves at high risk for breast cancer, the key phrase in AICR’s advice is “If consumed at all,” says Bender.
“If you’re specifically concerned about breast cancer, or other cancers linked to alcohol, the best advice is not to drink alcohol at all. In any form,” she says.
Alcohol is convincingly linked to increased risk for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colorectum and liver, as well as that of the breast (both pre- and post-menopause).
But What About Red Wine?
Media reports on studies showing that a substance in red wine called resveratrol (a natural component of red and purple grapes and grape juices) displays anti-cancer activity in the laboratory may have some women reaching for the Cabernet. But while the benefits of resveratrol continue to be researched, the clear evidence that alcohol raises human cancer risk, regardless of whether it’s consumed as wine, beer or liquor, should encourage those women to find other options, Bender said.
Women can get resveratrol from grapes and other berries, for example, which supply plenty of other healthful compounds and nutrients that are also being studied for cancer prevention.
Why Is the Link So Strong?
A woman’s risk for breast cancer increases as alcohol consumption increases. There are several reasons for this.
Women metabolize alcohol more slowly than men, so alcohol stays in a woman’s bloodstream longer. This increased exposure means more cellular damage of the kind that can trigger cancer.
Women have less water in their bodies than men do, so alcohol is less able to dissolve and remains more concentrated in women.
Alcohol also influences blood levels of estrogen and other hormones in ways that may make breast cancer more likely.
What Can A Woman Do To Lower Her Risk?
Carrying BRCA-1 or other “cancer genes” doesn’t make cancer inevitable. For women who carry these genes or who have a family history of breast cancer, focusing on the small, everyday choices that have been shown to lower risk is even more important, not less.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Move more, in any way, for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Stay a healthy weight throughout life.
- If you give birth to children, breastfeed them.
In time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, AICR has launched a new web resource, Learn About Breast Cancer , where you can keep up with the latest AICR research on breast cancer prevention and survival, learn about breast cancer preventability, and find materials for breast cancer survivors, all in an easy-to-read format.
LOS ANGELES –October signals National Breast Cancer Awareness month. While the disease is predominately found in women, it is now proven that breast cancer affects men too, so it is important that both sexes are aware of the signs and take preventative measures to reduce its risk. Simply put, breast cancer is caused by a malignant tumor in the breast. However, race is a factor in breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in 2011 in the United States, which roughly translates to one in eight women. Of that, 26,840 will affect African American women. Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among black women. Premenopausal black women are at particular risk of basal like breast cancer, which decrease survival rates. In fact, racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes between black and white women have been attributed to advanced stage at diagnosis, negative hormone receptor status, higher tumor grade, reduced access to health care, and other socioeconomic factors.
For men, over 2,140 new cases were diagnosed in the US in 2011, of which 450 may not survive. Similar to African American women, African American men are at increased risk due to lack of early diagnosis and larger tumors. It was initially thought that men diagnosed with breast cancer were more likely not to survive, but recent studies show that men and women identified with having the disease have equal survival rates. While a significant health threat, breast cancer is on the decline, particularly for middle-aged women. One reason may be the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women over 50, which has been linked to breast cancer. The other is prevention.
“Early detection is key for increasing survival rates in breast cancer,” says Dr. Jay Vadgama, Professor and Director of the NCI/NIH funded Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. “We encourage women aged 35-40 to get a mammogram every two years. Women over age 50 should get a mammogram every year. If you have a family history, in particular mother, sibling or child with breast or other cancer, we recommend earlier screening. In addition, women should conduct a monthly self-exam monthly and everyone should get a clinical breast exam every three years after age twenty. “Our research has shown that the average age of African American and Hispanic/Latina women is much younger compared to White/Caucasian women. 52 years of age for African American women, and 48 for Hispanic/Latina women. On average White/Caucasian Women are diagnosed at age 60-62. We have also shown that obesity is a major risk factor for breast cancer in African American women compared to Hispanic/Latina women”, said Dr. Vadgama. “Hence exercise, healthy life style and normal body weight are important preventive factors.”
Normally, signs of breast cancer can include lumps in the breast, redness or scaling of the breast or a discharge from the nipple. The American Cancer Society lists several factors that can contribute to the incidence and risk of breast cancer. Some of these include:
· Gender – women are at greater risk for being diagnosed with breast cancer
· Age – the chance of breast cancer increases as a woman gets older
· Family history – breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease.
· Personal history of breast cancer – a woman with cancer in one breast has a greater chance of getting a new cancer in the other breast or in another part of the same breast.
· Race – White women are more likely to have breast cancer than other races, but African American women have a higher mortality rate from the disease, as they tend to be attacked by faster growing tumors.
· Dense breast tissue – women who have more gland tissue and less fatty tissue are more prone to the disease. Dense breast tissue can also make it harder for doctors to spot problems on mammograms.
To reduce the risk of breast cancer, the Mayo Clinic offers these suggestions:
· Limit alcohol consumption – the more you drink, the more you increase your risk of breast cancer.
· Control your weight – being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is particularly true if obesity occurs later in life—especially after menopause.
· Get plenty of exercise
· Breast feed – breast feeding may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
· Avoid using hormone replacement therapies (HRTs.)
Says Dr. David Carlisle, CDU President and CEO “At CDU our mission is to reduce health disparities among underserved populations. We encourage everyone to be aware of their overall health, maintain an active lifestyle with daily exercise; to conduct monthly self-examinations to reduce the risk of breast cancer and most importantly to get mammograms as recommended by their physician.”
CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals. The only dually-designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S., CDU’s mission is to conduct education, research and clinical services in the context of community engagement to train health professionals who promote wellness, provide care with excellence and compassion, and transform the health of underserved communities For more information, visit http://www.cdrewu.edu/ .
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Help turn awareness into action.
Domestic violence has been at a crisis level in Milwaukee for years, and incidence rates are increasing as individuals and families cope with financial trouble and unemployment.
The statistics are staggering. Domestic violence-related homicides in Milwaukee rose 31% in one year.Annually, there are approximately 15,000 allegations of abuse and neglect in Milwaukee County.
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Sojourner Family Peace Center (SFPC) invites the entire community to get involved with curbing domestic violence rates in southeastern Wisconsin. The Speak Your Peace Domestic Violence Awareness event runs for three days: Oct. 12-14 throughout the Milwaukee area. Opportunities to get involved include:
* Fashion show<http://www.masterpieceent.com/SpeakYourPeace/SpeakYourPeace2012.html> – Featuring 10 models who are domestic violence survivors. The show also features a performance by domestic violence survivor and nationally recognized R&B artist Cincere<http://www.unsigned.com/cincere> – Friday, Oct. 12
* Domestic Violence Walk<http://ezregister.com/events/5301/> – Saturday, Oct. 13
* Charity Basketball game<http://www.masterpieceent.com/SpeakYourPeace/SpeakYourPeace2012.html> – Saturday, Oct. 13
* Stageplay ”Shattered but Not Broken”<http://www.masterpieceent.com/> – Saturday, Oct. 13
* Soul Food Sunday Dinner<http://www.masterpieceent.com/SpeakYourPeace/SpeakYourPeace2012.html> – Sunday, Oct. 14
“Domestic violence is an issue that affects our entire community,” said Carmen Pitre, Executive Director of Sojourner Family Peace Center. “There is strength in numbers, and we are counting on Milwaukee residents to join forces to help eliminate the cycle of domestic violence. Local support is critical, and Speak Your Peace is an amazing platform to bring that commitment to life.”
Reporters and camera crews are invited to attend any of the events. Jodine Basterash, a domestic violence survivor and the organizer of Speak Your Peace, will be available for interviews.
To learn more about any of the Speak Your Peace events, please visitwww.MasterpieceEnt.com<http://www.MasterpieceEnt.com>. You may also contact Jodine Basterash at (888) 529-2770 extension 1 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> for more information. To seek help from an abusive situation, call the 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline at Sojourner Family Peace Center at 414-933-2722.
Radio station V100.7, along with the Pink Moscato, will be hosting a Pink Pamper Party Friday, October 5, 2012 from 7pm-9pm at Paje Restaurant and Lounge, 2213 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
The “Pink Pamper Party” kicks off The Sistah Strut walk for breast cancer awareness October 6. Ladies should come out and get pampered with massages, facials and makeovers. There will also be representatives from Avon, Lia Sophia, The Nail Lounge and many more. Of coarse there will be Allure Pink Moscato and plenty of hors d’oeuvres. Not only will there be of other free giveaways, but the ladies will be serenaded with a live performance from R&B group 112’s, Q. Parker.
There will be a $10.00 donation at the door and all proceeds will be donated to Sister’s Network Milwaukee chapter, which helps to continue spreading the word about breast cancer awareness and early detection.
The first reading and the Gospel will bring us to the awareness that we don’t control God. God acts through whomever He wills, sometimes inside the church and sometimes through people who never have seen the inside of a church. Sometimes God works in our denomination and sometimes in denominations that we may denigrate and look down upon.
Moses’ only wish was that “all the Lord’s people would be prophets.” And Jesus, much like Moses, also will not stop those who are casting out demons in the name of Jesus, even though they are not part of the in crowd who has been following Jesus. Jesus said: “who ever is not against us is for us.”
Would that all of us who claim Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer would be so open and trusting of others who are not part of our church. God willing, we can move to unity, not only with our Christian brothers and sisters, but also with folks who are not now part of the Christian church.
And we may not ever agree on doctrine or dogma, but there is one thing we should all agree upon: how we treat our brothers and sisters who are poor and dispossessed. We can all agree that the current political landscape, for example, is
very scary for people, especially poor people.
I am reading the prophetic document called: “Priorities For A Faithful Budget, Acting with Mercy and Justice As One Nation Under God,” a call to action from a group of Christians, Muslims and Jews, submitted to the United States Congress on March 22, 2012. You may get it on-line. This document is prophetic; much like the Epistle of James.
James would certainly advocate for the Faith Budget. He said: “Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.”
As we watch our elected officials and those who seek office appear to be more concerned about the wealthy and their future than with those who are today, right now, suffering the pangs of hunger, suffering from illnesses that we can have treated by competent medical people, look at their children and shrivel up on the end-side knowing they have nothing to provide! We need a James right now!
We must stand with the poor at this time. We must raise our voices for the poor of our country who are falling through the cracks while the rich get richer.
If we allow this inequality to continue, we become the stumbling block to a more just budget, a more just society. James spoke out and got under peoples’ skin. Let’s us do the same. Learn the issues of this coming election and vote for those who best represent the poor and the powerless. And remember, nobody is perfect.
Free text service raises awareness during National Infant Mortality Awareness Month
WASHINGTON/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — September marks National Infant Mortality Awareness Month and while millions of families prepare their children for a new school year, this is also a time to reflect on the thousands of families who have lost a child far too soon. The infant mortality rate (6 in 1,000 live births) in the U.S. is one of the highest among developed nations and rates are much higher within the African-American community, regardless of income, educational level, or location. More than twice as many Black babies die compared to their White counterparts during the first year of life, statistics that reflect a true health crisis in our community.
We know that providing mothers with the best possible information and access to care can help. This is where text4baby comes in. Text4baby is the nation’s first free text messaging service for pregnant women and mothers of infants under age one. Moms receive three text messages every week, timed to their due date or baby’s birth date, throughout pregnancy and up to baby’s first birthday. Moms get information on labor signs and symptoms, developmental milestones, breastfeeding, car seat and sleep safety, and many other topics. To sign up, text BABY to 511411.
In honoring Infant Mortality Awareness Month and striving to empower more moms with text4baby, those who sign up between September 1 and September 30 will be entered to win a year’s supply of baby products courtesy of the program’s Founding Sponsor, Johnson & Johnson. Learn more about the contest at www.text4baby.org.
Text4baby is a free service of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. This month, we partner with the National Healthy Start Association and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., in tackling infant mortality through health education.
Text4baby is made possible through a public-private partnership. Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor. Founding partners include National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, Voxiva, CTIA – The Wireless Foundation, and Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company). Learn more: www.text4baby.org.
About National Healthy Start Association
The National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) is committed to improving birth outcomes and health disparities that exist within communities of color throughout the United States. Learn more: http://www.nationalhealthystart.org/.
Instances of child abuse increase during the summer, with some shelters and child advocacy centers actually doubling their caseloads, according to anecdotal reports.
While these tragedies include everything from neglect to beatings, child advocate Michelle Bellon, author of The Complexity of a Soldier (www.MichelleBellon.com), says parents and caregivers should be especially alert to one of the most easily hidden and underreported crimes: child sexual abuse. Her novel centers on this epidemic, and aims to raise awareness about it.
“Children may be less supervised during the summer, or they may be in the care of extended family members so their parents can save money on child care,” she says. “Both situations put children at risk; the former for obvious reasons and the latter because 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims know the offender.”
Child predators are terrorists, Bellon says. Like the terrorists we deploy armies to battle overseas, they prey on innocents and subject them to physical and emotional torture. The consequences can be devastating and lifelong, including post-traumatic stress disorder and separation anxiety, according to the American Psychological Association reports.
“Does this sound like anything else we have heard about since 9/11? To me, it is very similar to what victims of terrorism face, and what soldiers face after fighting wars,” Bellon says. “I think child predators should be called what they are – domestic terrorists.”
Bellon shares these guidelines from a number of sources, including the Centers for Disease Control, to keep children safe this summer.
• When choosing a summer program, ask about employee (and volunteer) screening and how interactions are monitored. A criminal background check is not sufficient to ferret out sexual abusers, since many have never been charged or convicted. Instead the program should look for warning signs in written applications and interviews. For instance, some predator adults spend all of their time with children and have no significant adult relationships. Policies on interactions between adults and children should include examples of appropriate and inappropriate conduct, and definitive steps for both monitoring and addressing concerns and complaints.
• Ask about the training. Staff and even temporary volunteers should undergo training to recognize signs of sexual abuse and to learn when it’s appropriate to report concerns. There should be a designated person to handle reports. Training should be required for staff and volunteers who come on board midway through the summer. Policies should include procedures for handling not just potential abuse, but also violations of the code of conduct for interactions.
• Ask about interactions between older and younger children. Some programs allow older children to serve as “junior counselors” or activity assistants. Ask about the guidelines for these situations, including whether and how long children may be unsupervised by an adult.
• Make sure children understand “personal boundaries.” Teach children the importance of recognizing and respecting the invisible barriers that separate them from other people. They should be able to recognize their comfort zone – and that of others! – and know that they can and should speak up about setting limits. Start at home by respecting a child’s right to say “no” to physical contact, such as tickling and hugs. Never force a child to kiss a relative.
• Recognize signs of a problem. Children often won’t or can’t tell you what’s happening, but there are signs to watch for, including changes in behavior such as withdrawal or unprovoked crying, night terrors, bedwetting, eating problems, unexplained injuries, suddenly avoiding a particular person, and unusual interest in or knowledge of sexual matters.