What you need to know:
Exploring the relationship between genetics and hereditary male breast cancer
Male Breast Cancer Health & Wellbeing
Health and Wellbeing: a complex combination of a person's physical, mental, emotional, and social health factors.
How can we take some control of our health?
I remember asking my surgeon after my second diagnosis, “What can I do to decrease my risk”?
His answer was, “We’ll do a mammogram every 6 months” but this didn’t help me feel like I could take some control!
What can I do?
No one is immune, and we all will pass on, but quality of life is what matters. We do have choices in how we want to “live” our lives, from the foods we select, the diet we keep, whether we incorporate exercise into our day, our week, how we manage stress, and how we manage our lives. The following are suggestions to assist with this process. Maybe some, maybe all, as life is as different as the individual.
What we eat, the food choices we make, and the source of the foods all become a part of a "healthier" lifestyle (change) we can choose to follow. This does not always mean that one can or will make extreme changes to their diet. Should you give up meat? Should you become a vegetarian? Are choices such as adding soy to your diet the right one?
There are better choices. We don't always need our choices to be so extreme unless that is what feels right for you. Maybe you just need to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you consume or eat less red meat and add more fish or chicken. Choices in deciding to eat organic foods only or some of the time or just with certain foods are options as well. Choosing certified organic foods may not be any more nutritious but will be removed of pesticides and added hormones.
Read the ingredients of what you are eating. A couple key ingredients to watch for are; hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats. These should be avoided whenever possible. Choose fresh foods over highly processed and canned. Sugar should be kept to a minimum as there are studies showing sugar may fuel cancer cells partially due to higher calories leading to excess body fat.
Powerful food choices:
Tomatoes: Studies show that eating tomato products may reduce prostate cancer risk, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now allows tomatoes and tomato-based products, like tomato sauce, to carry that health claim. The key ingredient: a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, also found in pink and red grapefruit and guava.
Kale: Research shows that eating dark leafy greens, like kale, may help maintain good health by reducing one's risk of heart disease and stroke, some cancers, and several other illnesses. They're rich in beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins C, E, and K, which help protect against free radicals (damaged cells that injure good cells and harm DNA). Regularly eating dark leafy greens may also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and promote normal eyesight. Spinach and Swiss chard also contain these disease-fighting nutrients.
Walnuts: Like all nuts, walnuts are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Unlike other nuts, walnuts are high in heart-healthy omega-3 oils, which have been shown to have antioxidant properties. Enjoy up to 15 walnuts a day as part of your nut/seed allotment. Other recommended sources of omega-3s include flaxseed and, of course, fish and fish oil supplements.
Blueberries: Pigment-producing anthocyanins, are powerful antioxidants. Other berries have similar antioxidants in smaller quantities.
Pomegranates: These fruits are high in flavonoids, antioxidants also found in red wine and cocoa.
Sweet potatoes: They're rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, both powerful antioxidants that work to try to reverse the cell damage caused by free radicals. Other good sources of beta-carotene are carrots and apricots.
Eating healthy is one way to supply our bodies with the balance of nutrients needed but we can't begin to eat enough of certain foods to receive a high enough value of vitamins and minerals. Additional supplementation may be helpful when our health has been compromised. We do believe in the benefits of supplementation and have listed these in the chart below. This list does not necessarily mean that all should be taken, but are suggestions depending on your own diet, your lifestyle, your genetic background and your health concerns. Before adding any supplement(s) to your daily regimen, be sure to discuss these with your medical team first. Some nutritional supplements and foods may interfere with your treatment plan.
It is most important when deciding what supplements you want to take, you choose what fits your lifestyle best, whether it be liquid or pill form, how many times a day you will be able to take them (twice daily, three times daily), do you travel often or just how much you can or are willing to spend. It's good to think that you are investing in your own health and you are worth it!
Omega oils (EFA's, 3,6,9)
Broccoli or Cruciferous
We understand there are many choices to make when deciding the best protocol to follow. You may want to locate a Naturopathic Doctor in your area for guidance. Not all states recognize an N.D. as yet but it is growing and hopefully you will be able to find one in a state near you. Your medical doctor may also be able to recommend someone but if not, here is a link to assist you.
What type? How often? How long?
There are many options which is a good thing, so what really matters is that you choose something. Expensive gyms or equipment may not be an option so make the best of whatever you can, where-ever you can. The recommended amount of exercise is 3 hours a week, but in this case, more would be better. But maybe you only have 15 minutes one morning, that's still definitely better than nothing! Cardio three times a week and strength training on the opposite days will give you the best overall combination.
You may find it challenging to exercise if or when you are going through treatments for cancer. Listen to your body, do what you can, when you can as your body is being challenged. There will be a time when you feel stronger and that is when you will make the most of your workouts.
Other forms of exercise to consider, especially during these times are Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi just to name a few. These programs can also be extremely helpful as they allow for the addition of meditation.
It's important to remember that not only do we want our bodies to be healthy but our minds as well. If you (or someone you know) has been diagnosed with cancer, it can be difficult to remain focused or to see beyond the diagnosis.
Breathing can become shallower, levels of hormones change from added stress, our daily routine is disrupted along with the depletion of our appetite.
Taking time out of your day (or twice a day) to center yourself and bring your body and mind together as a team will only add strength for you or for your support of a loved one.
Below is a list of recommended Titles and/or Authors that may assist you:
Meditation for Optimum Health, Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh
Anderson Cooper and Jon Kabat-Zinn (Video)