HEALTH & FITNESS
Keep active to help reduce
your breast cancer r sk.
egular physical activity
— walking, running, danc-
ing, cycling, yoga — is a
proven way to help reduce
the risk of breast cancer, says Laura
Freedman, M.D., radiation oncologist.
cancer risk factors
— such as family
history, early first
period, late meno-
pause, late first
pregnancy or never
giving birth — can't
be changed. All the
more reason, says
Dr. Freedman, for women to work on
the ones they can control — diet and
exercise being the easiest for most.
Freedman is a radiation oncologist
at the Southfield Cancer Center on
the Providence Hospital campus in
Southfield. She has a special interest
in the treatment of breast cancer and
has spoken to community groups and
medical professionals about the sub-
ject. She is in the process of begin-
ning a research study on exercise and
health for patients with breast cancer.
"A recent article in Epidemiology
indicated that women who regu-
larly engage in moderate-to-vigorous
physical activity — and that includes
everything from exercise to house-
cleaning — reduced their risk of breast
cancer irrespective of underlying host
characteristics such as whether a
woman is thin, weight-appropriate or
overweight" Freedman said.
"This is so important because it
shows that continuous routine exer-
cise will decrease the chances of
developing breast cancer regardless
of all those risk factors you can't
change," she said. "The study further
showed that women who increase
recreational activities, even in their
50s, have a significantly reduced risk
of developing breast cancer than
those who are sedentary."
Freedman encourages breast
cancer patients to stay active during
treatment and to continue that activity
afterwards. She points out that many
complementary studies show that an
increase in physical activity after hav-
ing breast cancer decreases chances
of dying from the disease. The great-
est benefit was for women who walk
the equivalent of three-five hours per
week at an average pace.
"For years, studies have shown that
women who have been diagnosed
with breast cancer and who con-
tinue to exercise have done better,"
Freedman says. "They also tolerate
their treatments better. So this is not
only about reducing a woman's risk
of getting breast cancer, but about
surviving it as well. The bottom line is
that we need to encourage everyone
to get out and exercise."
She recommends that everyone
follow the American Cancer Society's
Guidelines for Nutrition and Activity,
which include maintaining a healthy
weight throughout life, adopting a
physically active lifestyle, eating a
healthy diet that emphasizes plant
food sources and limiting your intake
of alcoholic beverages.
Freedman has more advice:
Women should get annual mammo-
grams and become more aware of
breast cancer diagnosis and treat-
ment options. Earlier diagnosis gener-
ally offers a better chance for a cure.
"Above and beyond risk factors,
the biggest challenge to combating
breast cancer is that women are not
going for their mammograms or are
ignoring a lump. It's a lack of insur-
ance; it's denial; it's simply not going.
Every time, I speak about breast can-
cer, I remind the audience how impor-
tant it is to go for a mammogram.
"I think some women have the
misconception that breast cancer is
not curable. However, the truth is that
the vast majority of cancers can be
cured, especially when caught early.
Catching the cancer early absolutely
makes a difference in survival rates,"
She adds that although many
women think that the treatments are
difficult to get through, most toler-
ate the treatments quite well and do
very well, continuing to work during
chemotherapy and during radiation.
"There are constantly new discover-
ies that are improving survival and
outcomes in women diagnosed with
breast cancer," Freedman says.
For information on breast cancer diagnosis
and treatment options provided by St. John
Health System, call (866) 501-3627.
New Weight Loss
Delivery, a Metro
Detroit- based company
that delivers freshly pre-
pared, nutritious meals, is partnering
with St. John Weight Loss Medical
Program. It provides another option
to eat fresh, natural, never-frozen
lunches and dinners.
Gourmet Everyday provides
of 900-1,300 calories to fulfill the
needs of patients in the St. John
Weight Loss programs. This helps
patients to learn healthy eating hab-
its and maintain weight loss.
"This is a five-sensory learn-
ing opportunity to make practical
sense of the science they are learn-
ing with the St. John's staff," said
Michelle Kobernick, owner, Gourmet
"It gives them tangible examples
of what the end product should look
like so they are able to replicate it for
themselves when they are ready. In
the meantime, we are offering meals
that are safe for the participant's
individual programs while taking the
burden of preparation off their shoul-
ders and providing delicious new
ways to experience whole foods."
"Many patients are concerned
the pounds will come back and
control will be lost when they com-
plete a weight loss program," says
Dr. Gerald Cohen of the St. John
Weight Loss Medical Program.
"Gourmet Everyday meals pro-
vide continued structure with food
that is healthy, delicious and por-
tion-controlled. Patients can easily
incorporate this plan according to
their needs and lifestyle to securely
maintain their weight loss over the
To learn more about the
Gourmet Everyday Delivery
weight-loss program, visit www.
call (248) 398-5559. For information
on the St. John Weight Loss Medical
Program, visit www.stjohnweightloss.
corn or call (866) 996-3066. II
Botsford, Gilda's Partner
he Botsford Hospital Cancer
Center and Gilda's Club
Metro Detroit have formed a
partnership to bring support
programs benefiting those touched
by cancer to western Wayne and
western Oakland counties.
Gilda's Club at Botsford programs
will be led by Gilda's Club staff on
Tuesdays at the Botsford Cancer
Center in Farmington Hills. The pro-
grams are not limited to Botsford
Cancer Center patients, but are
open to all people living with cancer,
their families and friends. There is
no charge to attend.
"We are so pleased to join this
remarkable organization in provid-
ing access to a full array of social
and emotional support programs
for cancer survivors and their fami-
lies," said Margo Gorchow, Botsford
Hospital vice president for commu-
nity relations and marketing.
Heather Hall, executive director at
Gilda's Club Metro Detroit said, "The
partnership builds on the strengths
of both our organizations: the medi-
cal excellence of Botsford Hospital
and the experience of Gilda's Club
in building support communities for
people touched by cancer."
Three activities are offered each
week by Gilda's Club at Botsford:
• Wellness Group, a weekly
support group for adult men and
women living with any type of can-
cer, Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Family Group, a weekly support
group for adult family members,
caregivers and friends of people
living with cancer, Tuesdays, 5:30-
• Yoga Workshop, weekly yoga
class for anyone touched by cancer,
For information about Gilda's
Club at Botsford, contact Gilda's
Club Metro Detroit at (248) 577-
0800 or Botsford Cancer Center at
Gilda's Club Metro Detroit pro-
vides free social and emotional sup-
port for men, women and children
living with cancer, their families
and friends. Gilda's Club is named
in honor of the late comedian and
former Detroiter Gilda Radner. For
information, visit www.gildasclub-
detroit.org or call (248) 577-0800.
Botsford Hospital's Web address is
www.botsford.org . 11
September 24 • 2009