HEALTH MATTERS: Increase your breast cancer awareness, talk to your doctor

  • PPL-DULTZ-0929

    • With Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaching what better time is there than now to talk with your doctor about your risk for breast cancer and screening and early detection?
      Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. More than 300,000 will be diagnosed with the disease this year alone.
      Fortunately, when breast cancer is detected early it is often treatable.
      Today, as the American Cancer Society notes, there are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States thanks in large part to finding breast cancer early through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments.
      The University Medical Center of Princeton Breast Health Center offers sophisticated breast care technologies, including 3D mammography, for the detection and treatment of breast cancer.
      Know your risk factors
      Age and gender are the two biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer. While breast cancer can affect men, it is 100 times more common in women and the risk goes up with age.

      Other risk factors include:
      • Changes in breast cancer-related genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2)
      • Having your first menstrual period before age 12
      • Never giving birth, or being older when your first child is born
      • Starting menopause after age 55
      • Taking hormones to replace missing estrogen and progesterone in menopause for more than five years
      • A personal history of breast cancer, dense breasts or some other breast problem
      • A family history of breast cancer
      • Getting radiation therapy to the breast or chest
      • Being overweight, especially after menopause
      Signs and symptoms
      Most of the time there are no symptoms with breast cancer. It is usually found in a mammogram or as a lump in the breast that isn’t painful. Other warning signs may include:
      • Thickening in the breast
      • Redness, swelling, warmness or darkening of the breast
      • Puckering or an indentation in the skin visible when you lift your arm over your head
      • Pulling or tightening in the breast
      • Pain or tenderness not tied to your monthly cycle
      • Nipple tenderness, discharge or physical changes to the nipple such as inversion
      While other conditions can cause these symptoms, any change in your breast should be checked by your doctor.
      Mammograms save lives
      Though the guidelines for screening mammograms may have changed in recent years, it remains clear that mammograms save lives. A mammogram is a low-dose radiation X-ray that is used to look inside the breast. Mammograms can detect cancers when they are very small and still confined to the breast.
      The UMCP Breast Health Center offers the latest in mammography technology — a procedure known as digital tomosynthesis. The procedure produces a 3D view of the breast by taking multiple X-rays of breast tissue slices. For many patients, especially those with dense breast tissue, 3D mammography offers a clearer view of the breast compared with traditional 2D technology.
      Some studies have suggested that 3D mammography might lower the chance of being called back for follow-up testing, and may also be able to find more cancers.
      Decisions about when to start screening, the frequency of screening and when to end screening are unique to every woman and should be discussed regularly with your doctor.
      With an emphasis on shared decision-making, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists this summer updated its recommendations for screening mammography. They recommend:
      • Woman at average risk of breast cancer should be offered screening mammography at age 40. If they have not initiated screening in their 40s, they should begin screening by no later than age 50. The decision about the age to begin mammography screening should be made through a shared decision-making process. This discussion should include information about the potential risks and benefits.
      • Women at average risk of breast cancer should have screening mammography every one or two years based on an informed, shared decision-making process that includes a discussion about the benefits and harms of annual and biennial screening and incorporates patient values and preferences.
      • Women at average risk of breast cancer should continue screening mammography until at least 75 years. Beyond age 75, the decision to discontinue screening mammography should be based on a shared decision making process informed by the woman’s health status and longevity.
      Lower your risk
    • When it comes to lowering your risk for breast cancer, there are some things that are simply beyond your control like age, gender and family history.
      However, there are certain steps you can take to lead a healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk, including:
      • Maintaining a healthy weight
      • Exercising regularly
      • Getting enough sleep
      • Limiting alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day
      • Avoiding exposure to chemicals that cause cancer
      • Breastfeeding any children you have, if possible
      • If you are taking hormone replacement therapy, talking to your doctor about the risks and benefits
      For women with a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, there are medicines, as well as preventive surgery, that could help reduce the risk for developing the disease.
      Center of excellence
      Since the first Breast Cancer Awareness month was celebrated in the 1980s, tremendous progress has been made in screening and treatment for breast cancer. New screening technology in addition to advanced surgical options and new medical and radiation treatments have improved outcomes over the past several decades.
      Breast cancer can be treated successfully if it is detected early. Talking to your doctor is the first step.
      The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons, awarded the three-year full accreditation to the breast care services provided at UMCP and the UMCP Breast Health Center in East Windsor.
      The UMCP Breast Health Center has also been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, signifying that UMCP meets the highest standards of the radiology profession.
      For more information or to make an appointment, call 609-688-2700.
      To find a physician with Princeton HealthCare System, call 888-742-7496 or visit

      Rachel P. Dultz is fellowship trained breast surgical oncologist and board certified surgeon as well as a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She is the medical director of the Breast Health Center at University.

    See The World With Me-Pictures

    Autumn Colours Around UK

    As the leaves start to turn, we reveal where best to see autumn colour in the UK.
    The National Arboretum, in Gloucestershire, is managed by the Forestry Commission and has collections of everything from oaks, to cherries, birches and limes.
    The Japanese maples are particular colourful at this time, in a blaze of red, orange and yellow.

    This Cumbrian forest has sculpture trails as well as glorious, rust-hued pines and broadleaf woodland. There are also plenty of walking and biking trails.
    Castle Coch
    A dense swathe of copper beech trees surround a late 19th-century Gothic castle in Tongwynlais, near Cardiff. Their colours are at their most dramatic in the last two weeks of October.
    Sheffield Park Garden
    The rare trees and shrubs are starting to show their colours in this landscaped garden near Haywards Heath in Sussex, designed by 'Capability' Brown. It has four lakes in its centre and a cricket pitch.
    Batsford Arboretum
    Close to the Cotswold hills, a wet summer has encouraged growth at this arboretum, where leaves are already turning golden. You can monitor their colour on the park's website.
    Meikleour beech hedges
    The world's highest hedge is found in Perthshire, a wall of riotous colour during autumn. There is a programme of guided walks for those wanting to take in the changing colours, starting in late October.
    This 200 acre site in the New Forest is predicting a longer than usual colour spectacle this year with auburn and russet leaves expected on its maples, dogwoods and liquidambers, plus jewel lilies and autumn art in the coming months.
    Burnham Beeches
    This nature reserve is filled with ancient woodland that once nearly covered the entire county of Buckingham shire. It has many walking trails and is a good option for Londoners wanting to see one of nature's greatest, seasonal shows. 

    Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts of Lemons

    A little lemon juice not only makes everything tasty, but also healthy. Read on the Nutrition facts and Health Benefits of Lemons and how lemons aid in weight loss.
    Nutrition Facts of Lemons
    A raw lemon without peel of about 58 grams contains 17 calories, and offers 0.6 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat, 5.4 grams of carbohydrates.
    Lemons are also packed with of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron,magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.
    Health Benefits of Lemon
    Lemons are alkalizing for the body and it helps in restoring balance to the body’s pH
    Lemons are loaded with vitamin C and flavonoids, which protects from infections like flu and cold. The Vitamin C also aid in neutralizing free radicals linked to agin
    Lemons are wonderful stimulant to the liver and are a dissolvent of uric acid as it liquefies the bile. Lemon water in the mornings is great liver detoxifier.
    Intake of Lemon juice diluted with water every two to four hours can treat scurv
    Lemon water dissolves gallstones and prevention of kidney stones formation.
    Lemon peel is packed with potent phytonutrient tangeretin which helps for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
    Lemons have properties to destroy intestinal worms. The powerful antibacterial properties in lemons help in treating bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases
    Rutin found in lemons has the potential to improve eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy
    Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, and they help slowing or halting the growth of cancer tumors and flavonol glycosides aid in stopping cell division in cancer cells.
    Risks and Precautions of Lemons
    Lemon juice contains acid which is harmful to tooth, so use it by diluting with water.
    If not washed properly, these lemons may contain potentially pathogenic microbes.

    More about Lemons

    Lemons are one of the most versatile fruits out there. And no, we’re not just talking about in cooking! Lemon juice is an acid, a natural disinfectant, and a nutritional powerhouse. Its scent is perfect for humans, but a deterrent for pests. It helps preserve food and can easily replace harsh chemical-based ingredients. Is there anything this unassuming fruit can’t do?! Read on for incredible ways to use lemons. Have a favorite use of your own? Let us know in the  Comments!
    Home & Cleaning.
    1. Clean Cutting Boards, Rolling Pins, Salad Bowls, and More. Cutting boards and other wooden kitchen products are germ, and funky smell, hotbeds. Lemons to the rescue! The stuff works very well on both odors and bacteria; after you’ve washed your cutting board, rub 1/2 of a lemon over the wood and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse the juice off and dry.
    2. Get Rid of Grease. Nip grease in the bud — on counters, dishes, ranges, whatever — by rubbing 1/2 of a lemon with coarse salt sprinkled on it over the affected area. Wipe clean with a towel. Make sure the surface or dish you’re cleaning responds well to acid before doing this trick.
    3. Clean Plastic Containers. Reusing plastic food containers is a great way to reduce waste, but smells can linger forever. Overcome that stink by soaking the container in a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water.
    4. Overcome Odors. Keep a couple lemon peels in your fridge (it works better than baking soda!) and the bottom of your trash can to avoid unpleasant smells.
    5. Easily Clean Graters. Cheese graters are a pain in the neck to clean. Ease that pain with the help of 1/2 of a cut lemon; rub the lemon over the grater and wash as usual.
    6. Polish Chrome and Stainless Steel. Forget that sponge — lemon rinds are excellent mild abrasives and work wonders of chrome and stainless steel. Scrub the metal, rinse, and towel dry.

    Beauty & Fashion.
    7. DIY Deodorant. Commercial deodorants are full of scary, harsh chemicals. But what’s the alternative — becoming a social pariah?! Luckily, that’s where lemon juice comes in. Dabbing a little juice in your armpits works just as well, if not better, than the store-bought stuff.
    8. Lighten Nails. As we age, our nails start to yellow. Reverse that by soaking your nails in a cup of water and the juice of 1 lemon. Soak for a few minutes and rinse.
    9. Remove Armpit Stains from Clothes. Scrub a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water onto the stain, then let the shirt air dry.
    10. Zap Mildew. Mildew-y clothes aren’t ruined! Form a paste out of lemon juice and salt, apply to the mildew, and let air dry.
    11. Sanitize Jewelry. Safety first! You can sanitize metal jewelry in a mixture of equal parts lemon and water. Better skip your fanciest gems and metals here, though.
    12. Replace Toxic Bleach. Skip the bleach in your laundry room by adding 1/2 cup lemon  juice to the wash instead.

    Food & Drink.
    13. Lower Salt Intake. Your taste buds get a similar sensation from sour flavors as they do salty flavors, which makes lemon juice one of the best salt substitutes out there. Skip the shaker and season your meals with citrus.
    14. Prevent Sticky Rice. To get perfect fluffy, stick-free rice, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the pot while the rice is simmering.
    15. Preserve Food. A little lemon juice will help keep both guacamole and pesto green, and prevent apples, potatoes, pears and cauliflower from browning.
    16. Refresh Sad Lettuce. Placing soggy, wilted lettuce in a bowl of ice water and the juice of one half lemon will bring sad lettuce back from the compost bin.
    17. Wash Produce. Nearly all fruits and veggies — even organic — will benefit from a good washing. Go the DIY route. Check out a recipe here.
    Pets, Garden & More.
    18. Keep Out Kitty. What smells great to humans is repulsive to cats. Adding some lemon juice to a spray bottle, and misting an off-limits area — like the kitchen countertops, for instance, or the Christmas tree — will help keep feisty felines away.
    19. Breathe New Life Into a Humidifier. If your humidifier is starting to smell a little strange, just add a few teaspoons (3-4) to the water.
    20. Kill Weeds Naturally. Lemon juice is an ultra-effective weed killer. Soak the unwanted plants with the stuff to kill them without all of the harsh chemicals.
    21. Revive Hardened Paintbrushes. Give a new life to those hardened bristles. Bring lemon juice to a boil on the stove, drop in the brushes, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Wash and rinse in soap water and let dry.
    22. Repel Ants and Other Pests. Ants, roaches, and moths hate the smell of citrus. Place lemon juice in a spray bottle, and regularly mist door thresholds, window sills, and anywhere else bugs might creep in.

    10 Simple Diet and Fitness Tips

    Curb your sweet tooth

    Got a late-night sugar craving that just won't quit? "To satisfy your sweet tooth without pushing yourself over the calorie edge, even in the late night hours, think 'fruit first,'" says Jackie New-gent, RD, author of The Big Green Cookbook. So resist that chocolate cake siren, and instead enjoy a sliced apple with a tablespoon of nut butter (like peanut or almond) or fresh fig halves spread with ricotta. Then sleep sweet, knowing you're still on the right, healthy track.

    Find the best fitness friend

    A workout buddy is hugely helpful for keeping motivated, but it's important to find someone who will inspire—not discourage. So make a list of all your exercise-loving friends, then see who fits this criteria, says Andrew Kastor, an ASICS running coach: Can your pal meet to exercise on a regular basis? Is she supportive (not disparaging) of your goals? And last, will your bud be able to keep up with you or even push your limits in key workouts? If you've got someone that fits all three, make that phone call.

    Stock up on these

    While there are heaps of good-for-you foods out there, some key ingredients make it a lot easier to meet your weight-loss goals. Next grocery store run, be sure to place Newgent's top three diet-friendly items in your cart: balsamic vinegar (it adds a pop of low-cal flavor to veggies and salads), in-shell nuts (their protein and fiber keep you satiated), and fat-free plain yogurt (a creamy, comforting source of protein). "Plus, Greek yogurt also works wonders as a natural low-calorie base for dressings and dips—or as a tangier alternative to sour cream," says New-gent. Talk about a multitasker!

    Relieve those achy muscles

    After a grueling workout, there's a good chance you're going to be feeling it (we're talking sore thighs, tight calves). Relieve post-fitness aches by submerging your lower body in a cold bath (50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit; you may have to throw some ice cubes in to get it cold enough) for 10 to 15 minutes. "Many top athletes use this trick to help reduce soreness after training sessions," says Andrew Kastor. And advice we love: "An athlete training for an important race should consider getting one to two massages per month to help aid in training recovery," adds Kastor. Now that's speaking our language!

    Buy comfy sneaks

    You shouldn't buy kicks that hurt, bottom line! "Your shoes should feel comfortable from the first step," says Andrew Kastor. So shop in the evening—your feet swell during the day and stop in the late afternoon, so you want to shop when they're at their biggest. Also make sure the sneaks are a little roomy—enough so that you can wiggle your toes, but no more than that. They should be comfy from the get-go, but Kastor says they'll be even more so once you have a good 20 to 40 miles on 'em.

    Pick your perfect tunes

    Running with music is a great way to get in a groove (just make sure it's not blasting too loudly, or you won't hear those cars!). To pick the ultimate iPod playlist, think about what gets you going. "I know several elite athletes that listen to what we'd consider 'relaxing' music, such as symphony music, while they do a hard workout," says Andrew Kastor. So don't feel like you have to download Lady Gaga because her tunes are supposed to pump you up—go with any music that you find uplifting.

    When to weigh

    You've been following your diet for a whole week. Weigh to go! Now it's time to start tracking your progress (and make sure pesky pounds don't find their way back on). "It's best to step on the scale in the morning before eating or drinking—and prior to plunging into your daily activities," says Newgent. For the most reliable number, be sure to check your poundage at a consistent time, whether daily or weekly.

    Police your portions

    Does your steak take up more than half your plate? Think about cutting your serving of beef in half. That's because it's best to try and fill half your plate with veggies or a mixture of veggies and fresh fruit, says Newgent, so that it's harder to overdo it on the more caloric dishes (like cheesy potatoes or barbecue sauce–slathered ribs—yum!).

    Combat cocktail hour

    Is it ladies' night? If you know you'll be imbibing more than one drink, feel (and sip!) right by always ordering water between cocktails, says Newgent. That way, you won't rack up sneaky liquid calories (and ruin your inhibition to resist those mozzarella sticks!). But your H20 doesn't have to be ho-hum. "Make it festive by ordering the sparkling variety with plenty of fruit, like a lime, lemon, and orange wedge in a martini or highball glass," adds Newgent.

    Eat this, run that

    When you have a 5- or 10K (you get to eat more with a half or full marathon) on your calendar, it's important to plan out what you're going to eat the morning of the big day—something that will keep you fueled and also go down easy. While everyone is different, "We always have good luck with a high-carbohydrate breakfast such as a small bowl of oatmeal with fruit or a couple of pieces of toast with peanut butter or cream cheese," says Andrew Kastor, who also advises eating around 200 to 250 (primarily carb) calories about 90 minutes before you warm up for your run . And don't worry about nixing your a.m. caffeine fix on race day. "Coffee is great for athletic performances," Kastor adds, because it makes you sharper and may even give you extended energy. Talk about buzz-worthy!