Do Double Mastectomies Really Benefit the Patient as a Virtually Fool Proof Breast Cancer Prevention Tool?

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The increasing trend of preventive double mastectomies, further fueled by the high profile actress and admired activist Angelina Jolie, has really sparked a lot of debate about whether this seeming “slash and burn” strategy or preventing breast cancer that has not occurred yet is truly beneficial.

The high financial cost

In addition to the obvious financial loss of missing work for recovery time and the high cost of the surgery itself, one must consider the after effects as well.  They will probably either opt for reconstructive surgery to have surgeons reconstruct breasts for them, or they will need to wear special bras indefinitely.  Surgery is out of control these days with how high the costs are.

The Operating Room costs, the anesthesia, the hospital stay and all the other hidden fees and costs have propelled most surgeries to astronomical proportions that no normal person could pay outright.

Even if insurance covers it, you’re still stuck with a lot of out of pocket bills after this surgery.  It can really be financially draining. And to make matter worse, sometimes you still may also have to go through other treatments like radiation or chemotherapy which are of course also costly.

A study that was recently published showed that the survival rates and prevention rates for women who have had this procedure don’t seem to justify the numbers of the surgeries being performed today to remove both breasts almost in their entirety.

The benefit versus the cost (financial and emotional) don’t seem to have the big bang payoff you’d think they would in other words. While there is a small increase in the prevention and in the survival, it really doesn’t seem to warrant the frequency of these types of radical procedures.

Emotional consequences

There are no doubt numerous emotional repercussions for women who go through a double mastectomy. Essentially, you are eradicating an entire part of your body that you have identified with as part of yourself and part of your femininity for your entire life.  It can be really devastating emotionally, especially for women who are not able to have reconstructive surgery.

There’s no number you can put on this, it’s not something you can ever get back, and that’s really a big deal if it’s not going to pay off in the huge way that some people think it does in the end as far as prevention of breast cancer or prolonging of life if someone already has cancer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against double mastectomies.  I think it’s a very personal choice and we can only do what we feel is best when faced with potentially devastating news about the state of our breast health.

However, it is alarming the rate at which these surgeries are increasing, and it does make one wonder why more holistic measures aren’t being promoted instead of us just going in and removing all the tissue.  It’s kind of a throwing the baby out with the bathwater approach that needs much more studying to prove how much worth it has compared with how much value it actually adds to our breast health.

Make a Breast-Healthy All-Fruit Smoothie!

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fruitDarkly red and blue colored and brightly orange and yellow colored fruits are an excellent anti-breast cancer weapon and you should include them in your diet every single day, just like you should strive to include many vegetables that are vibrantly colored.

One of the best things about fruits is that you consume them totally raw, so unlike veggies which most people tend to like best cooked, you don’t cook the nutrients out of them and kill beneficial enzymes that are incredibly bioactive in the body. You also don’t kill the multiple anti-cancer antioxidants that are contained within the fruit.

Benefits of putting your fruits in a smoothie

The most obvious benefit of smoothies is that they are a convenient way to get in a TON of your daily allowance of fruits (and veggies too, you can put those in as well!).  You’re literally drinking your vitamins and fiber. It also happens to taste like a delightful dessert if you make it with the right ingredients.

The antioxidants that are found in so many of the fruits I use in my smoothies are extremely effective at fighting breast cancer. Vitamin C is a potent cancer fighting antioxidant, and it is one of the most plentiful found in most fruits.

Blasting your body with vitamin C every day helps keep your immunity high, and therefore helps keep not only sickness at bay, but also helps keep your body cancer free since your immune system is key in fighting off cancerous cell development.

The pigments that give dark fruits their color are also highly antioxidant.  That’s why the rule of thumb that the more richly colored a fruit or vegetable, the higher their overall cancer fighting antioxidant value.

All fruit – tastes refreshing

I used to make smoothies with yogurt, however I’ve found that making them with all fruit and juice and nixing the dairy and protein are just as satisfying – for me at least. They are literally thick with fiber, and so abundant in vitamins that they really sustain the body for a fairly long time.

Here is what a typical all-fruit smoothie looks like for me:

Orange juice or a naked juice with mango (this lends a great sweetness to the smoothie and still keeps it true to all fruit)

Water (you need this to water it down so it’s not so thick it won’t pour)

Frozen fruits – I typically like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, mangos, bananas, peaches and raspberries. They’re best frozen because it gives your smoothie the frozen aspect that makes it almost like eating sorbet – it’s fun!  I like to buy fruits that I see on special fresh, cut them up and freeze them, so you can use any fruit that happens to be on sale, cut it up and freeze it for later. Much more economical than buying the fruits frozen and prepared already.

Blend it all up together, and you’ve got yourself a satifying, delicious, breast cancer fighting start to your day!

 

Did Kate Hudson Get Breast Implants?

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It’s been a while, but I figured we’d talk about something that had quite a bit of internet “chatter” a few years ago about the talented actress and daughter of Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson.  Kate, as you may or may not know, founded the cute sports clothing line called Fabletics that I have to admit I’m tempted to try even though I usually work out in loose, dowdy clothes.

I see these ads allover, and there’s not one piece of it that I wouldn’t think would look great on most women.  That aside, some people think that Kate had breast implants when she started to appear in pictures with breasts that looked larger than her previous small A cup breasts.

She’s always had a really athletic, lean look to her, much like her mother Goldie always has and she looked GREAT for it.  And hey, if she wanted to add a few inches to her top line, then who can really say anything about it?

She didn’t go overboard. In fact, the change was barely perceptible if it weren’t for her body being so lithe and her breasts being noticeably in line with what you’d think someone with little body fat would have, you’d probably not notice it at all.

She’s to be congratulated on that, because a lot of people, particularly those in the public eye, tend to go way overboard when it comes to getting large sized breast implants. Not only were her implants tasteful, but you’d barely be able to tell if she had just naturally gotten bigger after having another baby or not.

The only reason that she might have really gotten implants and not naturally expanded her breasts with weight gain or child birth I think is that she suddenly showed up in pictures where it would be obvious that she had implants, with something there.

It is definitely noticeable when you look at pictures of Kate in a bikini top before the implants vs. Kate in a bikini top after the implants.  And good for her!  They look terrific and she deserves to feel great about a body she clearly works hard to get.  Sometimes nature just doesn’t grace you where you really want to be graced, and it’s ok to just get a little improvement. As long as you don’t become obsessed with perfection, who said a little confidence boost isn’t justified?

Can Estrogen Birth Control Pills Affect How You See Other Women?

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birth controlI just read a really fascinating article about how the level of synthetic estrogen in birth  control pills can affect how women perceive other women.  It’s not totally shocking since our hormones can dictate so much about how we behave, our thoughts and views and general demeanor.  I should know, I’m a woman and I always know when my hormones are off :)

In a nutshell, it seemed that women noticed other women’s attractiveness factors more than they normally would have without the extra estrogen hormones from the pill.  This is likely tied into the fact that they were also more interested in whether their partners were seeking other partners or looking around at other female “competitors” as well.

Perhaps this is some sort of built in evolutionary mechanism to help deter other women from “snagging” their sexual partner and provider. A sort of survival mechanism in a way, if you will.  Nowadays, with feminism in full swing it might be called insecurity though, so it’s a fine line!

Women tended to definitely be more in tune to how other women were looking and were more likely to rate them based on their looks and other factors that are typically attributed to a persons sex appeal and general overall attractiveness.

I’m on a pill, but it’s low dose and I have to admit I don’t like reading that the pill might be making me more competitive with other women, I don’t know about you!  I think women really need to support one another, and I don’t like when I see women competing with eachother at all, I think it’s demeaning and diminishing and really takes a lot of valuable energy and directs it to a place that’s totally unproductive.

After all, why should one woman feel threatened by a lady that she perceives has bigger boobs, fuller lips, a better body or whatever else? Can’t we all just get along and appreciate beauty in others when we see it?  That’s how I strive to live and perceive other women .I’ll admit to getting pangs of envy when I see a woman with great hair, a perfect body and gorgeous face, but I really try to keep that in check and not let it affect how I treat or perceive another woman.

I think it’s just really important for us to support one another as women.  It’s not only important in career and life success to be concerned mostly with yourself and not so much with others, but it’s also incredibly important for woman to pass this trait on to their daughters so they can be secure and focused as they get older instead of focusing on competing with and comparing themselves to other women.

Can Breast Implants Help Women with Eating Disorders Accept Their Body?

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I remember reading an interesting article a while back. It purported that women who have had eating disorders ranging from anorexia to bulimia, have reported a more positive body image after getting breast implants, and therefore have enjoyed a lessor severity of their eating disorder as well.  I thought it was intriguing because although it sounded like it could be pure fluff, it also sounded logical to me. Let me explain myself.

What is one of the biggest goals of getting breast implants? It’s usually to improve a woman’s overall body image.  And what tends to improve body image? When a woman (or man’s) body is more “in balance”.  Symmetry is still the ultimate beauty ideal these days, that has not changed.  And when your body seems more proportionate, it is viewed as more “beautiful” aesthetically.  I’m not trying to make the rules here, I’m just relaying what has been a long term ideal in the human race, albeit that it has fluctuated a bit in the past.

And believe me, I feel that all body types should be celebrated. However it has to be discussed and acknowledged that there are definite ideals out there, and that we are all exposed to them on pretty much a daily basis whether it be through print, televised or internet media.  So it’s safe to say that we’ve all been pretty brainwashed when it comes to our body image.  There’s not much we can do about that other than to be self-accepting.  This is not so easy for people with eating disorders, and it’s often not even really about beauty or thinness, but it’s often about control.

But ultimately, when a person looks in the mirror, their perception of how their body measures up in terms of ideals, this is a big control issue.  It makes those with eating disorders feel in control. Heck, it makes those without eating disorders feel more in control!

There are differing views on the issue of course. Some psychologists think that plastic surgery of any kind in a patient with an eating disorder could instill a false sense that they will feel better about themselves and be cured, and become addicted to surgery as a means of being happy with how they look. Others think that having more “up top” might help those with eating disorders be happier when they gain a little “on the bottom”.

What do you think?  Breast implants a good or terrible idea for women who have struggled with eating disorders?