Category Archives: Cancer

Breast Cancer Swimsuits

Today I found the website for an AMAZING online store called Belafigura.  They make beautiful, stylish swimsuits designed especially for women that have undergone chemotherapy or have gotten a mastectomy and want to hide their scars or put in prosthetic implants.  I thought it was a wonderful idea – and the swimsuits are the cutest I’ve seen in a long time.

Aren’t they cute?

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Tomato Soup Recipe

In an article published this last September by the National Health Service (NHS) of England, doctors, scientists, and chefs introduced a very complete, “anti-prostate cancer” recipe book.  The main point of these recipes is to decrease saturated fats, especially in the form of red meat and dairy, and increase vitamins D and E as well as lycopene (an anti-oxidant found in  products) in the diet.

Since lycopene helps fight the development of cancer, I found this wonderful tomato soup recipe to share with you all.  It’s great for the cold weather, and only has 1 gram (or about 8% of the daily value) of saturated fat per serving.  There’s no meat or dairy in the recipe, and olive oil is used instead of vegetable oil.  It can be accompanied with a large salad and toast with a little bit of cheese melted on top for a balanced meal.

TOMATO SOUP

Jeni Wright – BBC’s Good Food Section (UK)

Tomato soup

INGREDIENTS:
2.75 lbs. tomatoes
1 med. onion
1 small carrot
1 celery stick
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. tomato puree
a pinch of sugar
2 bay leaves
5 cups hot vegetable stock (or boiling water, with 4 rounded tsp. of vegetable bouillon powder)
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. First, prepare your vegetables. If the tomatoes are on their vines, pull them off. The green stalky bits should come off at the same time, but if they don’t, just pull or twist them off afterwards. Throw the vines and green bits away and wash the tomatoes. Now cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don’t soften during cooking and you’d get hard bits in the soup at the end). Peel the onion and carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop the celery roughly the same size.
  2. Spoon the oil into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. Hold your hand over the pan until you can feel the heat rising from the oil, then tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Still with the heat low, cook the vegetables until they’re soft and faintly coloured. This should take about 10 minutes and you should stir them two or three times so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Holding the tube over the pan, squirt in about 2 tsp of tomato purée, then stir it around so it turns the vegetables red. Shoot the tomatoes in off the chopping board, sprinkle in a good pinch of sugar and grind in a little black pepper, then tear each bay leaf into a few pieces and throw them into the pan. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely. From time to time, give the pan a good shake – this will keep everything well mixed.
  4. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down and be very slushy looking.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender until it’s about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Blitz until the soup’s smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. Repeat with the soup that’s left in the pan. (The soup may now be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.)
  6. Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface. Taste a spoonful and add a pinch or two of salt if you think the soup needs it, plus more pepper and sugar if you like. If the colour’s not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Nutritional Values:
4 servings
123 calories, 4 g. protein, 13 g. carbohydrates, 7 g. fat, 1 g. saturated fat, 4 g. fiber

Prostate Cancer

1 in 6 American men will get prostate cancer.  It kills approximately 27,360 (1 in 35) each year.  Though it accounts for almost 10% of cancer deaths, treatments for prostate cancer are very effective if the cancer is detected early.  Most symptoms of prostate cancer aren’t shown until the later stages of development, so it’s important for men to be checked annually.  Screening includes a Digital Rectal Exam and a Prostate-Specific Antigen Exam that should be done every year after turning 45 (if you have a family history of prostate cancer) or after 50 if you’re at normal risk.

The main ways to prevent prostate cancer are screening and having a diet low in saturated fat.  Researchers believe that an increased amount of saturated fats in the diet causes the body to increase the amount of testosterone it makes, which increases cell production in the prostate and can lead to cancer.  Saturated fats are found mostly in animal products and are solid at room temperature (ex. lard, butter, fat from red meats).  Dieticians suggest that less that 20% of the calories eaten daily come from saturated fats.

Which diets, then, help reduce your chance of getting prostate cancer?  The Mediterranean and Japanese diets are especially low in saturated fats.  They involve mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, grains and breads, and poultry or fish (rarely red meat).   These diets are also great for your heart!  The Prostate Cancer Foundation has created two helpful cookbooks that provide healthier, low-fat versions of your favorite meals.  They will help you easily adapt this kind of diet which will hopefully reduce your chances of getting prostate cancer!  The cookbooks can be bought here:

The Taste for Living Cookbook

The Taste for Living World Cookbook

Fight Breast Cancer with Soy!

In past years, doctors have warned breast cancer patients to avoid using soy.  It was supposed to have the same cancer-promoting effects on the hormone-sensitive cancer as estrogen does.  According to a recent news article though, studies have shown just the opposite – that increasing soy in your diet can actually help reduce the risk of breast cancer.   Emily Moore, a registered dietician, has shared some simple tips on incorporating soy in your family’s diet to help prevent hormone-sensitive cancers (including breast and prostate cancers).  They include:

-use soy milk in your cereal

-substitute soy flour for white flour when making cookies

-use textured soy protein or tofu in any recipe that calls for ground beef, chicken, or turkey

-snack on soy nuts

-use soynut butter in cookies and on sandwiches

-add tofu to casseroles and vegetable dishes

-use edamame beans in your favorite soup or stew

-substitute vegetable oil with soy oil

Here‘s a easy, 5-star recipe that the whole family’s sure to love!  These lettuce wraps are similar to P.F. Chang’s, but it’s much healthier for you… using low-sodium soy sauce, tofu, extra-lean ground beef, and lots of vegetables.  Enjoy!

LETTUCE CUPS WITH BEEF AND TOFU STUFFING

Ellie Krieger
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 12 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoons bottled chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or Chinese cooking wine
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 4 scallions, greens trimmed and reserved, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup each greens and whites – 3/4-ounce each)
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (90 percent or leaner)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced water chestnuts
  • 1 large head Bibb lettuce, outer leaves discarded, leaves separated
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, whisk together chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar and sherry.

Slice the tofu into 1/2-inch thick slabs and lay the slices on top of paper towels. Use more paper towels to firmly pat the tofu in order to remove as much water as possible. This should take about 2 minutes and use about 3 paper towels. Finely mince dried tofu and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or extra-large skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and scallion whites and cook until scallion whites are translucent and ginger is fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add ground beef and tofu and cook, stirring, until beef is opaque and just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add reserved sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add water chestnuts and stir to incorporate.

Fill each lettuce leaf with the filling. Serve garnished with scallion greens, red peppers and peanuts.

PER SERVING:

Serving size: 2/3 cup filling and 2 large, or 4 small, lettuce leaves

Calories 260; Total Fat 13 g; (Sat Fat 1.5 g, Mono Fat 5 g, Poly Fat 3.5 g) ; Protein 16 g; Carb 19 g; Fiber 5 g; Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 630 mg

Excellent source of: Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin K, Iron, Manganese

Good source of: Fiber, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc

Healthy, Diabetic, High Fiber, Low Carbohydrate, Low Cholesterol, Dairy Free

Breast Cancer

With more than 192,000 new cases this year, breast cancer is the 2nd highest diagnosed cancer among women, after melanoma.  Most women feel secure about their breast health…annual mammograms and monthly self-examinations have been very effective in detecting the cancer early, before it’s had the chance to spread to other organs.

On November 16th, The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force announced that mammograms should be completed every other year, after the age of 50.  (The American Cancer Society recommends getting a mammogram annually for anyone over the age of 40.)  This announcement caused a lot of controversy and the U.S. government has since said that it will not be incorporating those ideas in the new health plan.  Though what if they decide to do so in the next few years?  If insurance will no longer cover annual mammograms, many women will have to go without them.  Hundreds of cases of breast cancer will go undetected until it’s too late.  What can we do about it?  Besides writing government officials and expressing opinions on the issue, every woman in America can take small steps towards preventing breast cancer.

Dr. Ann Kulze, MD has outlined 10 steps towards preventing breast cancer:

1. Maintain a healthy body weight throughout your life.

2. Minimize or avoid alcohol. (“The Harvard Nurses’ Health study, along with several others, has shown consuming more than one alcoholic beverage a day can increase breast cancer risk by as much as 20-25 percent.”)

3. Consume as many fruits and vegetables as possible. (7+ servings a day, especially lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens, carrots, and tomatoes.  Citrus fruits, berries and cherries are great health-promoting fruits.)

4. Exercise regularly the rest of your life. (Try to exercise 5 or more days a week for at least 30 minutes.  Don’t just try it out, but make it a habit!)

5. Do your fats right. (Minimize omega-6, saturated, and trans fat in your diet, and replace them with omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, such as canola oil, fish oil, avacado, and nuts.)

6. Do your carbs right. (Minimize the amount of bleached carbs you consume, and instead replace them with whole grains, beans, and legumes.)

7. Consume whole food soy products regularly, such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, roasted soy nuts, soy milk, and miso. (Organic soy is very healthy and has been shown to help reduce breast cancer risk.)

8. Minimize exposure to pharmacologic estrogens and xeno-estrogens. (Avoid taking estrogen pills, and being around pesticides and chemicals that could be made of compounds similar to estrogen.  Wash all produce that could have come in contact with those kinds of pesticides.)

9. Take your supplements daily. (Talk to your doctor about taking supplements to help improve your diet.  Vitamin C, Vitamin E, multivitamins, selenium, and fish oil will help you be healthy as all your nutritious needs are met.)

10. Maintain a positive mental outlook. (Maintain happy relationships with others that won’t cause you additional stress.  Develop regular sleep patterns and be optimistic.)

Also, talk to your doctor and learn how to do self breast examinations and complete them monthly.

Even if you don’t have access to a mammogram machine, you can take steps to avoiding breast cancer.  Remember, almost 100% of breast cancer victims that talk to their doctor about their signs and symptoms have lived to see the 5-yr. mark after finishing treatment.

Chronic Disease in America

Chronic disease is the leading cause of death in our country and around the globe.  It attributes for about 70% of American deaths, and 60% of deaths world-wide.  Chronic disease is frustrating to patients and doctors alike – there are no cures and no answers, only recurring symptoms that have to be regularly managed with shots, pills, diets, and tests.  These procedures are expensive and time-consuming.  Since chronic disease can’t be cured, what can we do about it?  Prevent it!

These are the ten leading causes of death in the United States, as of 2005:

Seven are chronic diseases.  There are many risk factors that may lead to chronic disease.  By changing our lifestyles to eliminate some of these risk factors, we decrease our chances of developing a chronic disease later on in life.  Some of the risk factors are tobacco use/smoking, lack of physical activity, poor diets low in fruits and vegetables and high in saturated fat, environmental pollution, and alcohol use.

Since obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States, and is also, arguably, the most individually controlled risk factor, we’re going to focus on prevention through nutrition and physical activity.