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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer’

Israeli Buildings Pink-Lit to Fight Breast Cancer

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The tall buildings of Haifa University and the Naveh Nof residential Tower in Bat Yam were lit up in pink Tuesday night in solidarity with an international breast cancer awareness campaign.

The effort is sponsored by the Israel Cancer Association and cosmetics maker Estee Lauder, and seeks to encourage Israeli women to get regular mammograms and breast exams to prevent breast cancer.

A recent report by Israel’s Health Ministry showed that the risk of breast cancer is rising among Jewish women in Israel, with 1 in 7.5 at risk of developing it.  Rates among Arabs are dropping.

Over 200 buildings around the world are taking part in this year’s campaign, including the Empire State building, Buckingham Palace, and the Sydney Opera House.

In 2010 the walls surrounding the Old City in Jerusalem were lit up in pink for that year’s breast awareness campaign.

Debunking Myths in Women’s Health Update

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society came out with new guidelines concerning Pap smears, which screen for cervical cancer. Conventional wisdom had long held that women should receive annual Pap smears, but in March, doctors announced the new guidelines suggesting that women receive a Pap smear once every three years.

Over 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and more than 4,000 die each year from the disease. Getting a regular Pap smear can detect the early signs of the disease, when it is most treatable.

Dr. Debbie Saslow, director of Breast and Gynecologic Cancer of the American Cancer Society, said it was the first time the Society was recommending more infrequent screenings. So why the change?

Since cervical cancer grows slowly, many doctors agree that there’s no harm in waiting longer between Pap smears, and that having too many Pap smears carries its own risk, as they often cause false alarms and lead women to undergo unnecessary test procedures that can weaken the cervix. Weak or damaged cervixes can lead to preterm labor, which results in low birth weight for infants.

Also for the first time, the new guidelines say that when women turn 30, they can get the Pap test along with a test for the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer, and if both tests come back negative, most women can wait another five years before taking the tests again.

The new guidelines also suggest that women stop getting screened altogether after they turn 65 if everything still looks okay.

While these new principles were perhaps the biggest change in women’s health advice in 2012 so far, other myths and erroneous ideas have been disproven, although many women may be unaware of them.

Many people think cancer cannot be prevented, but scientists believe that as many as 50 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. are causes by social and environmental factors, as well as poor personal choices.

For example, it’s estimated that more than a fourth of breast cancers in postmenopausal women might be due to physical inactivity and carrying extra weight. Diligent attention to mammograms – women over 40 should have a mammogram every one to two years – can detect breast cancer at its earliest stages when it is most treatable. Women who are concerned with exposure to radiation should know that the American College of Radiology says that the amount of radiation is very minute, and its risk is far outweighed by the benefits of annual mammograms.

In addition, breastfeeding has been linked to lower premenopausal breast cancer rates, as well as lower rates of ovarian cancer.

Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular screenings also play a role in helping to prevent cervical and colorectal cancer.

Avoiding tobacco is also one of the most important ways to prevent certain cancers, notably lung cancer, as well as coronary heart disease. Even secondhand smoke can have deleterious effects to your health, so make sure to send any smokers in your family outside when they light up (if you cannot get them to quit). Diligent use of sunscreen, to avoid exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, can help prevent skin cancer.

Some young women who have no history of breast cancer in their families believe they don’t need to be vigilant about monthly breast exams, but the fact is that the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease, nor do they possess the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that are risk factors for the disease.

Many women who start families may also believe that certain birth defects are inevitable. But of the estimated 3,000 pregnancies in the U.S. each year result in defects of the brain (ancencephaly), or spine (spina bifida), anamazing 70 percent of these defects can be prevented by consuming adequate amounts of folic acid daily, starting before pregnancy. If you are even thinking of becoming pregnant, or know it may be a possibility, make sure to consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.

Many of us have heard the rule that in order to really affect our weight and health, we must exercise at least 30-60 minutes each day. Finding this amount of time each day is not realistic for those who work, parent, or both. Many studies have found that regular bursts of activity – anything from ten minutes a day two or three times a day, or twenty minutes of intense exercise (to the point where you’re breathing so heavily you find it hard to talk) four or five times a week may be as beneficial to your health as continuous periods of exercise.

Alex’s Blog Round-up

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

 

Where’s the Line Between Tznius (Modest) and Sexy?

In this post, Jew in the City responds to questions about dressing modestly in a positive way.  Coming from a secular background, I see people make judgments about orthodox Jews all the time, sometimes even just based on their appearance.  While I don’t think every woman should dress so modest that they’re Tznius, I do think that modesty could be practiced a little better among young adolescent women.  Or a lot better.  Portraying modesty in a way that is approachable and still attractive can make it more connective.  Clothes are meant to cover, not expose.  That being said, dressing in a modest way can take away the distraction in the way of discovering who that person is on the inside.

 

My Frizzy Curly Jewish Hair

Reading Talia Levin’s story is comical, true, and hits home.  One night I was walking down the boardwalk on the beach with some friends when one of the shopkeepers asked me if I was Jewish.  I asked him why he was asking that and without words, he touched the bridge of his nose.  I was stunned.  Yes, maybe I had a big Jewish nose, but are you serious?  Sometimes I am amazed by the anti-Semitism that still exists, being that I’m surrounded by Jews a lot of the time.  Regardless, I certainly am proud of my own Jew-fro, even if it does frizz up on those rainier days.

 

Stuff Jewish Girls Like

Stuff Jewish Girls Like focused her most recent post on a DIY (do it yourself) project that any J-Girl could tackle on a weekend.  My friends and I are looking for fun new projects all the time.  A couple of them are becoming really talented jewelry makers actually.  I just question why the title of the blog itself is ‘Stuff Jewish Girls Like’. Non-Jews like jewelry too, no?

 

Jewish Women’s Archive: Jewesses with Attitude

This blog is one any young Jew should keep bookmarked.  It’s part of a national nonprofit whose mission is to uncover, chronicle, and transmit the rich legacy of North American Jewish women and their contributions to the world.  Amen to that. This week, one blogger posted about Gilda Radner and the legacy she left.  She would have been 66 this week, but spent the many years she was here devoted to raising awareness about hereditary cancers.  Ashkenazi women are more likely to develop breast cancer than others, at a rate of ten to 40 percent.  Honoring Gilda Radner by getting the word out about breast cancer and its daunting contraction rate is definitely a message worthy of a retweet.

 

Jewish Boy Problems

If you’re on Twitter these days, you’ve probably seen the hashtag, #insertstereotypehere followed by problems.  Whether it’s #firstworldproblems, or #citygirlproblems, each one is meant to poke fun at some of the ridiculous things people say in those lifestyles.  They’re stereotypical yes, but have taken over the Twitterverse.  One of my personal favorites is Jewish Boy Problems.  If you’re unfamiliar with this character, you can get a better idea from the bio listed: “I have brown eyes and hair. My legs are uncomfortably hairy. My dream is to crack 5’8. I think my Dad works in finance. My Mom loves to spend his money.”  Growing up in a Jewish town in northern New Jersey, this boy is one I encountered frequently.  The Twitter handle has turned into a blog, in which sentences or phrases are posted that typical ‘Long Island-style’ Jewish boys might say.  Some gems from this week:

  1.  #overheard at my office: “Which Melissa Schwartz are you talking about? The one I know went to Mich, not UPenn.”
  2. According to my father, no food expires. Not even produce.#JewishBoyProblems
  3. “My grandparents are letting me stay in their Upper East Side apartment while they’re in Boca for the season.” #Overheard

Happy Stalking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Soul to Soul – Writings from Dark Places

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Title: Soul to Soul - Writings from Dark Places


Author: Deborah Masel


Publisher: Gefen


Reviewed by Yocheved Golani

 

 


   Every medical school in the world should have this book on the syllabus: once during first-year medical studies and again at residency. Pages 63-67 pretty much sum up the brutality of a given medical staff member’s offhand remarks and intentional insensitivity in the presence of patients. They crush the spirits of otherwise valiant people struggling to live. Med students who assume superiority to their needy patients need not have airs. They’re not G-d and not about to become His rival, either. Medical interventions have limits. And condescension kills people as much as disease can.

 

   Deborah Masel’s account of her years-long battle with metastatic breast cancer is a nightmare many women in industrialized countries fear. An experienced writer before she authored Soul to Soul, Masel’s prose is without pretense, raw and human. The 184-page paperback describes the suspense, fear and lack of control over the intimate details of a woman whose life is complicated by breast cancer that spread throughout her body. The light shining from this story is in the lessons that the author learned from the Aish Kodesh by the rebbe of Piacezna.

 

   Aish Kodesh is the soul-searching spiritual survival effort to persevere as an emunah-oriented Jew that was written during the Shoah. Its overriding lesson is to believe – while we shudder – that G-d, despite fearsome facts and logic, is beyond any boundaries and above all nature. That G-d will save us is a given in Torah life and in Aish Kodesh. How He will do so is another matter altogether. We as Jews must allow the possible to happen, not reject outcomes that do not match our fantasies.

 

   Masel tells us on page 170 that she clung to G-d despite the chaotic world of her treatments, pain and emotional vicissitudes. She learned from the rebbe of Piacezna that “G-d is right there with me in the foxhole … the longer I stayed with him, the more this [emotional vicissitudes] barrier dissolved.”

 

   Devorah Masel died shortly after her book was released. Hear her plea in chapter one: “Please don’t stop reading. I know it’s scary. I’m scared too. Once I too would have closed the book. I wouldn’t want to know about it. Life’s scary enough, I’d say, without this. But now I’m stuck with it and I’m asking you not to shut me out.”

 

   Yocheved Golani is the author of E-book “It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge”  (http://booklocker.com/books/3067.html).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/title-soul-to-soul-writings-from-dark-places-2/2011/08/17/

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