health care

October is breast cancer awareness month

Posted 10/14/13

Pink ribbons are popping up and events are being held across the state and country this month to celebrate breast cancer awareness.

Breast cancer survivors and patients are happy that breast cancer is getting attention this month, Rhode Island Breast Cancer Coalition Marlene McCarthy said. But “we’re not so happy that attention wanes the other 11 months of the year,” she said, adding that women—and men – get diagnosed and die of the disease every single day. Not just in October.

RIBCC’s efforts to prevent breast cancer continue throughout the year too. McCarthy noted the progress being made at the national level with the introduction of the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act. The bill, introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, along with senators from several other states, aims at ending breast cancer by January 1, 2020. It creates the Commission to Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer to bring together researchers, health care industry leaders, and advocates to strategize about the prevention of breast cancer.

People interested in learning more about breast cancer can attend a free event this Saturday, Oct. 19, hosted by Lifespan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Avenues of Healing: Move on to Better Health!” will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at the Crown Plaza Providence-Warwick. In the event’s keynote address, breast cancer survivor Sherry Lebed Davis will discuss Healthy Steps, a program she started to improve the well-being of people with cancer and other illnesses. Davis is an expert on how movement and therapeutic exercise can help people heal both physically and emotionally, according to a Lifespan press release.

Dr. Mary Flynn, professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine, will explain how people can fight breast cancer with their forks at a lecture Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Warwick.

Flynn emphasizes eating vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, which contain phytonutrients that fight disease. She provides hints like cooking the vegetables in extra virgin olive oil instead of boiling them – the fat helps with nutrient absorption and plus, the vegetables taste better, Flynn said. She also recommends eating frozen vegetables, which contain just as many vitamins as retail fresh vegetables, but are higher in cancer-fighting carotenoid content.

Her lecture will be followed by a cooking demonstration by Executive Chef Frank Terranova, professor at Johnson & Wales University. Terranova will prepare a “cancer-fighting soup” from Flynn’s book, “The Pink Ribbon Diet.”

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