October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will get breast cancer at some point in their life. Take time this month to learn more about the importance of early detection. 

What You Can Do. Spread the word! Remind friends and family about the importance of getting screened for breast cancer. Take part in a walk or run that helps raise money for additional research on how to beat breast cancer. Distribute materials at health fairs or in community rooms to remind everyone how important it is to get screened.

Early Detection. Screenings such as self-exams and mammograms can identify a lump early on. Breast cancers found during screenings are more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast. Doctors feel that early detection saves thousands of lives each year. Women ages 40-49 are advised to talk with their doctors about when to start getting mammograms while women 50-74 should get mammograms every 2 years.

Risk Factors. There are some risk factors you cannot change such as gender, age, genetics, family history race and ethnicity. 5-10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary or inherited from a parent. For details on these risk factors or for more information about genes and how they affect breast cancer go to cancer.org.

Is This Preventable. There is no definite way to prevent breast cancer but there are things you can do that might lower your risk. Studies have shown that body weight, physical activity, and nutrition have all been linked to breast cancer. For nutrition and physical activity guidelines on cancer prevention visit the American Cancer Society.


Provided by Kendall Taylor of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in their October 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.



Calcium-Rich Diet May Reduce Female Mortality

Calcium-Rich Diet May Reduce Female Mortality

A calcium-rich diet, whether from supplements or high-calcium foods, may increase lifespans for women, according to a study. Researchers from McGill University in Canada analyzed data from a large-scale study called the Canadian Multicenter Osteoporosis Study (CaMos). The researchers monitored the health of 9,033 men and women between 1996 and 2007 and then analyzed whether calcium supplements had any beneficial effects on their health. The results suggest that women who take calcium supplement doses of up to 1,000 mg per day may live longer, compared with women who do not take the supplements.


David Goltzman of McGill University and the study’s lead author, explains, “Our study found daily use of calcium supplements was associated with a lower risk of death among women. The benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1,000 mg per day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D.”

The researchers say although the results showed that women who took calcium supplements had a lower mortality risk, the same was not seen in men. Other research this year, from the National Institutes of Health, found that men who take calcium supplements are more likely to die of heart disease than men who do not take the supplements. In women, high amounts of calcium in the present study were linked to longer lifespans, regardless of whether the source came from supplements or calcium-rich food. “The same benefits were seen when the calcium came from dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements,” adds Goltzman.


It is a well-known fact that the body needs a good level of calcium to build and maintain strong bones. The minimum recommended dietary allowance of calcium for men and women up to 50 years of age is 1,000 mg per day. For women aged 51 and over, and men aged 71 and over, this increases to 1,200 mg a day.

According to the Mayo Clinic, lack of calcium in children means they may not reach their full potential adult height, while adults may have low bone mass—a risk for osteoporosis. The Mayo Clinic recommends eating the following foods in order to get a rich source of calcium:

  • Dairy products, such as cheese, milk and yogurt
  • Dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and kale
  • Fish with edible soft bones, such as sardines and canned salmon
  • Calcium-fortified foods and beverages, such as soy products, cereal and fruit juices. 

Not all research on women’s use of calcium supplements is positive. A BMJ study from the University of Auckland in 2011 revealed that calcium supplements often prescribed to postmenopausal women appeared to raise the risk of cardiovascular events, especially heart attacks in older females.


Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

Provided by Rebecca McGonigle, Wellstyles Newsletter, November 2013, Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT).


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The Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) through its preferred provider United Healthcare (UHC) is providing the service “Source 4 Women” at this link:

Source 4 Women

healthy women

Source4Women offers free online seminars and events focused on keeping you and your family healthy. These one-hour seminars are fully interactive and include audio and video of the speaker. Best of all, there is a question and answer period with the speaker immediately following the presentation.


Upcoming topics:

May 14, 2013: The Magic of the Mediterranean Lifestyle

June 11, 2013: Smart Fitness: Most Powerful Super Foods

Register at: http://www.uhc.com/source4women/online_seminars_events.htm

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