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Healthy Living Can Prevent Breast Cancer: Fairfield Resources

Research shows good nutrition and exercise can help prevent breast cancer. Here are some resources around Fairfield to help you stay healthy.

You might be able to find help fighting breast cancer and other types of cancers at your local grocery store and fitness centers, according to the research findings of Dr. Marian Neuhouser, Ph.D, RD. 

Dr. Neuhouser is a nutritional epidemiologist with a background in nutritional sciences. She is an investigator at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her research is focused on lifestyle factors such as nutrition and physical activity. Some factors may prevent breast and prostate cancer and improve survivorship in those diagnosed with cancer.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, more than 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 American women will die from breast cancer.

Dr. Neuhouser’s research has found that for postmenopausal women in particular, being overweight or obese may increase the risk for breast cancer.

Dr. Neuhouser explains, “After menopause, estrogens are synthesized by adipose tissue -- the more adipose a woman has, the more estrogen she will make. Adipose cells also synthesize inflammatory factors, which have been linked to breast cancer.”

One of the most important things a woman at risk for breast cancer can do, says Dr. Neuhouser, is to “maintain a healthy weight."  

Given what the research indicates, Dr. Neuhouser says, “One of the most important things is that if a woman is overweight or obese, she should be advised to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Daily physical activity and following healthy eating habits with plentiful fruits and vegetables and minimal empty calories and fried foods will help achieve these goals.”

Dr. Neuhouser says while it can be challenging to lose weight, “Small changes can add up and make a big difference."

When it comes to getting active, Dr. Neuhouser says, "If someone is not used to physical activity, try a five to ten minute walk and gradually increase the time. Having physical activity partners or walking partners always helps. I know my soccer team will be waiting for me on the field, so even if I am tired or busy, I still show up."

Fairfield has plenty to offer as far as health and fitness are concerned. Check out the Edge Fitness Club and Planet Fitness for a gym membership. Or, sign up for group bike rides with the staff at Trek Bicycle Store. Physical Synergy offers an array of fitness and health assessments, personal and circuit training.

When it comes to food, Dr. Neuhouser says, "Start with making one new food change each week. Instead of eating two cookies, eat just one.”

If you are concerned about your weight, Dr. Neuhouser suggests getting the support you need by asking your doctor for “ a referral to a reputable weight loss program.” For nutrition advice, Dr. Neuhouser recommends asking for a referral to a registered dietitian.

Physical Synergy (mentioned above) offers nutrition education. MedTeam Weight Loss on the Post Road can also help those looking to lose weight, as the staff is comprised of registered dietitians and nurses who help patients lose weight through customized weight-loss programs.

Dalnim Cho October 08, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Targeting the Teachable Moment Intervention for breast cancer survivors Please help researchers and care providers improve healthy behaviors in breast cancer survivors! This is a mail-based intervention for breast cancer survivors, in order to promote their healthy behaviors. You will be assigned one of groups: Targeted Teachable Moment (TTMI), Standardized Lifestyle Intervention (SLM), and Usual Care (UC). If you are assigned to the TTMI or SLM group, you will receive materials every other week for 4 months. You will complete questionnaires at the end of the 4 months, and 3 months later for a follow-up. To compensate your time, all participants will receive $60 after completing 4 and 7 month assessments. You can participate if: * Can read and write English * First diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 1.5 years * Recently completed treatment for stage 0~2 breast cancer * Want to improve health behaviors * Are not participating in other health behavior research right now * Did not have prior adjuvant treatment for another cancer To participate, please contact Dr. Park, 860-486-3520 This research study is conducted by the University of Connecticut and Hartford Hospital, supported by the National Cancer Institute. This study was approved by the Hartford Hospital IRB: Protocol number HHPARK003382

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