October is the official start of Breast Cancer Awareness month.  You will begin to see pink ribbons everywhere from the grocery stores and gas stations to high-rise corporate offices and restaurants.

The first known use of a pink ribbon in association with breast cancer was in 1991. Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to breast cancer survivors who were participating in the NYC race for breast cancer. The following year, in 1992, the pink ribbon became the official symbol of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The color pink is considered feminine in modern Western countries and evokes traditional feminine gender roles: caring for people, being good and cooperative. The pink ribbon represents fear of breast cancer, hope for the future and charitable goodness of people and businesses who publicly support the breast cancer movement. While specifically representing breast cancer awareness, the pink ribbon is also a symbol of goodwill towards women in general. Buying, wearing, displaying or sponsoring pink ribbons signals that the person (or business) cares about women. With this said though, don’t let all of this pink and estrogen fool you…each year it is estimated that approximately 1,700 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 of those men will die. While this percentage is still small, men should also be aware any changes and be in contact with their physicians as well.

While it is great that we have a month that gives people a little nudge and reminder to get checked, we really need to be thinking about our health year round. There are several healthy lifestyle things that you can do to help prevent your chances of getting breast cancer but also just be healthier all around. Controlling what you eat and drink and how active you are will help you decrease the risk of breast cancer. The Mayo Clinic suggests the following:

  • Limit alcohol to less than one drink a day
  • Maintain a healthy weight – there is a clear link between obesity and breast cancer. Breast cancer is linked to how much estrogen you are exposed to and excess fatty tissue is a source of circulating estrogen in your body
  • Add flaxseeds to your diet – flaxseed is high in phytoestrogen which is shown to actually decrease estrogen production and may inhibit the growth of breast cancer. You can add flaxseed into salads, oatmeal or yogurt.
  • Vitamin A may also have the ability to destroy or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Some foods with high Vitamin A are – sweet potatoes, carrots, dark greens (kale/spinach), red peppers, tuna and mango
  • Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight – aim for a minimum 30 minutes 5 – 7 times a week
  • Hormone therapy – talk to your doctor about risks and benefits…long term treatment with estrogen-progestin combinations can increase the risk of breast cancer. If you must go on them, just remember the less time the better.
  • Early detection – Once you reach the age of 40, have an annual mammogram; also, don’t forget your monthly self-examinations – don’t wait until October to check yourself for changes – write yourself an appointment on your calendar and do it every single month

While nothing you do can guarantee that your life will be cancer-free, practicing healthy habits and consulting your doctor about extra measures you can take can drastically reduce your risk of this getting disease. If you need help with a nutrition and/or exercise regimen, we can help as well. Contact us at 678-417-0880 ext. 8301 /  Also check out our website at

Paula Jamieson

Bodyrich Fitness Company

Certified Personal Trainer/Fitness Nutritionist/Exercise Therapy Specialist


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