Screenings For Breast Cancer

Doctors recommend three screenings for those at risk for breast cancer. They are screening mammograms, breast exam by a medical professional, and self-exams of the breasts. The National Cancer Institute has set specific guidelines and recommendations for how often these three screenings should be done.

Screening mammograms are recommended for women in their 40’s or older every one to two years. If a woman is under 40 but has other risk factors for developing breast cancer, their health care professional can help them decide how often they should have this screening. Mammograms will often show a small lump even before it is felt, or how tiny specks of calcium. These can be precancerous and further tests are needed to discover if there are any abnormal cells present. If you do have a lump that shows up on a mammogram, your doctor may ask you to have further tests. A more complex mammogram, ultrasound, or a biopsy might be suggested. The only way to tell if the cells are cancerous is by having a biopsy. Biopsies are performed with small, thin needles, larger needles, or by a small incision made in the affected area. A pathologist will then examine the cells under a microscope to find out if the extracted cells are cancerous.

Mammograms are the best tool doctors have in discovering breast cancer, but they are not foolproof. A mammogram can give a false negative, false positive, or may not detect some cancers at all. These mammograms have little risk because of the low dosage of radiation used. Shields can be provided to protect other areas of your body if you are requested to have several mammograms. Normally, there is a small risk of damage from a mammogram.

Clinical breast exams are performed regularly when you have your yearly physical. Your health care provider will look at your breasts to discover if there are any size or color abnormalities. They will check for skin discoloration, rashes, and other abnormal signs. The nipples may be squeezed to check if fluid (other than milk) is present. During the exam, your doctor may ask you to raise your arms above your head, put your hands on your hips, or let them dangle at your sides. The breast exam consists of using fingers to check the entire breast, under the arm, and around the collarbone for any lumps that can be felt. The lump normally will be the size of a pea before it can be felt. Lymph nodes are also checked now, to check for swelling or abnormalities.

A self-breast exam should be done monthly to check for any changes or lumps in your breasts. You should remember that as you age, your breasts will start to change shape, and other hormonal changes can affect them during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, or if you are taking birth control pills. The National Cancer Institute recommends you do a self-exam every month at the same time of each month. It has been suggested you choose your birthday as the date for performing your self-exam each month.

Fat Burning Food: Eat Your Way to Good Health

Want some great news as you pursue a healthy body? There is convenient and tasty fat burning food that jump-starts your metabolism when you eat it. Enjoy effective weight loss and great food that’s good for you at the same time.

Oatmeal and Whole Grains
If you haven’t been eating breakfast as a habit, then think again. A good breakfast wakens your metabolism and keeps you from binging on junk food later in the morning or at lunch. A perfect start to your day is oatmeal. This wonderful food provides fast energy while stabilizing blood glucose levels. Because these are complex carbs, oatmeal provides sustained energy and none of the crashes that come later with junk food. Oatmeal is also high in fiber. Add another proven fat burning food – non-fat milk – to your warm oatmeal and you’ve got both fiber and calcium working on your behalf. Want another great benefit of oatmeal? It even lowers your cholesterol.

Here’s the caveat though. Avoid the pre-packaged, flavored oatmeal so prevalent on store shelves. All that sugar just amounts to extra calories that fights against the fat burning properties of the oatmeal. Only use plain, whole oats for the greatest benefit. If you need a little sweetness, feel free to throw in a few raisins or other pieces of fruit.

Most people believe that whole wheat products – bread and pastas – are healthy and, therefore, desirable to eat. While they definitely provide nutrition that refined grains cannot, many people find that they lose weight easier by giving up wheat products altogether. Wheat is relatively new to the human diet, having been introduced in only the last 2,000 years. The human digestive system has not yet fully adapted to large amounts of wheat and many people are allergic to it without even knowing it. By replacing wheat with better whole grains like quinoa, millet, spelled, sprouted grains, amaranth, brown rice and more, you may see some profound and positive changes in your weight loss efforts. Fortunately, these other whole grains are delicious, so you won’t have to suffer to get a healthy body.

Beans and Nuts
Beans and nuts are two examples of fat burning food that mimic two great qualities of oatmeal. They also contain fiber and they help keep you full so you’re less tempted to grab for sugary, empty calorie snacks. However, they also contain protein which helps build the lean muscle mass you develop as you exercise. And all that lean muscle is an extremely effective weight loss tool as it burns calories much better than fat.

Citrus and Ginger
Citrus foods rank highly in lists of fat burning food because of their vitamin C content. This exceptional vitamin boosts your immune system and burns fat faster. How does it burn fat? Well, it speeds up metabolism and helps break down fat molecules, speeding up their ability to be flushed from your body rather than accumulating in all the places you don’t want it to be.

The greatest part of citrus as a fat burner is all the wonderful fruits and veggies you get to eat! Be sure to go for a variety. Look at oranges, grapefruits, mangoes, kiwi, tangerines, tomatoes, orange and red peppers, and broccoli as good sources. Try to avoid drinking fruit juice and instead opt for eating the whole fruit, which is full of fat-killing fiber. Want a great tip for getting even more vitamin C in your diet? If you’ve been reading the articles on this site, then you know that water is a great fat burning tool. Try squeezing fresh lemons or limes in your water to not only liven up the flavor of the water (so you don’t get bored with it) but give yourself an extra shot of vitamin C throughout the day.

Want to lose up to 20% more fat than others working to lose weight? Studies show this is possible when people eat ginger. This tangy food is a vasodilator, which means it improves circulation and opens up the blood vessels. In doing so, it can really boost your metabolism.

Add a fat burning kick to your recipes by combining both ginger and citrus flavors. They go well together and will have you losing weight and saying ‘yum!’ all at the same time.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Throw away your cans of Pam and choose extra virgin olive oil instead. Heart-healthy and full of HDL – the good kind of cholesterol – this wonder food actually helps clear bad cholesterol from your arteries and increases your metabolism all at the same time. A good option is to substitute it for butter and margarine. And another good way to get raw olive oil into your diet is to use it as a replacement for salad dressing. A light splash on your greens gives you an incredibly nutritious weight loss dish. Even the non-fat salad dressings can’t say they burn fat when you eat them!

Use fat burning food as a tool to enrich your taste buds and lose pounds at the same time. Here’s to effective weight loss!