A healthy lesson I’d like to share from my youth is never strive for perfection.
I recall my inspiration for perfection in vivid detail. It was the Summer of 1976 in Brooklyn, NY.
I sat on the bright red carpet of my parent’s living room staring transfixed at the TV screen at
someone I then thought was perfect. Nadia Elena Comaneci, one of the best-known Romanian
gymnasts in the world, was awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic Gymnast event. She began
gymnastics in kindergarten. Kindergarten. Talk about getting a flexible leg up on the competition.
She was the first gymnast to perform a double back salto and a double-twist dismount, not to mention
the first ever to successfully perform an aerial cartwheel-back handspring flight series and aerial
walkover. If you don’t know what that means, doesn’t matter. She did it perfectly is all you ever
need to know.
On July 18, 1976 at the Summer Olympics in Montreal, Nadia’s routine on the uneven bars was
scored at 10.0. It was the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics history that the score had
ever been awarded. The scoreboards were not even equipped to display scores of 10.0, so her
perfect marks were flashed at 1.00 instead. The applause from the crowd was triumphant.
She would go on to win six additional 10s from the floor exercise, bars titles and all-around
In case anyone missed it — ABC’s television program, World Wide of Sports replayed
constant s-l-o-w motion montages of Nadia. In March 1976, she competed in the American
Cup at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She received unprecedented perfect
scores of 10, which signified a perfect routine without any deductions, on a vault in both
the preliminary and final rounds of competition and won the all-around. She also received
10s in other meets in 1976, where she posted perfect marks on the uneven bars and vault.
She was named the United Press International’s “Female Athlete of the Year” for 1975.
She was the 1976 BBC Sports Personality of the Year and the Associated Press’s 1976
“Female Athlete of the Year”. The New York Times headline the next day read:
Gymnast Posts Perfect Marks.
But the headline that would leave the most indelible mark in the mind of this twelve-year-old
was on the August 2, 1976 cover of TIME Magazine. Two words:
There was a lot going on in the world in 1976. I was a newshound, so I followed it all.
Lots of stuff I couldn’t control. For starters, in NYC, the “Son of Sam” pulled a gun from
a paper bag, killing one person and seriously wounding another one. It would be the
first of a series of attacks that would terrorize the city for the next year. Every night,
my Dad brought home the New York Post with progressively worse covers that
terrified us. That year, the NJ Supreme Court also removed coma patient,
Karen Ann Quinlin from her ventilator. She died. The first known outbreak of the
Ebola virus happened in Yambuku, Zaire. I was busy researching that too.
It wasn’t all bad news. It was the Bicentennial, so we were all obsessed with
red, white and blue and all things patriotic. That was fun. Steve Jobs and
Steve Wozniak formed Apple computer. Exciting. The song,
Hotel California was released by the Eagles. We were also introduced to
Casey Kasem’s Countdown. Music was a welcome relief to all the scary stuff,
so I was dancing to things like Kung Fu Fighting and Shake, Shake, Shake.
I listened to the music while exercising like a maniac indoors. I couldn’t go
out anyway because the “Son of Sam” might get me. He was after brunettes.
This worked for my desire to practice every day, so I could be perfect –just
like Nadia. I couldn’t control scary news events, but I could control me.
It’s no surprise I made cheerleading after they saw my perfect chinese split.
Afterall, when I wasn’t at school, I was religiously doing my gymnastic routines.
I wanted to be perfect. It would take decades for me to undo the damage
those two words left on my brain. Years to learn perfect is the evil of good.
I had to unlearn in order to learn to strive to be healthy, as there is no way to
be perfect AND healthy. Every young gymnast, even Nadia, would later reveal
that obtaining and maintaining that physique led to unhealthy eating habits,
which were detrimental to her health. I didn’t know that then, so I was dieting
to look like her. Parents think kids who are skinny are naturally skinny, so
it doesn’t often raise a red flag. It should. Today, I see young girls who
are way too young to be body conscious, but they’re admiring celebs they
see in magazines that we later learn are airbrushed. No young girl
or boy should ever be dieting unless it’s under a physician’s care.
Even in business, perfectionism isn’t good. One of my mentors taught me to
“let it go” and not wait for things to be perfect to do. Again, perfect is the evil of
good because if you wait for things to be perfect, you’ll miss opportunities.
And things will never be perfect. If you think in your mind that one thing
or one person is holding you back, well it will be replaced with something or
someone else. Don’t wait for circumstances to be perfect or for anything
to be perfect. Life is unpredictable.
If it’s good –it’s good to go.
Back to Nadia. Today, she is a strong advocate on healthy eating.
Young boys and girls are still exposed to unhealthy images of what their
bodies should look like and it’s detrimental to their health to try to attain that
look. There is no diet in the world that will do for you what good nutrition and daily
healthy habits will do.
Daily healthy habits include eating nutritious meals and snacks, drinking lots of water,
getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, taking vitamins, getting fresh air and sunlight,
and exercising an hour each day (some experts say 45 min. is good enough, even if
it’s walking). Anything extreme is bad. You are more likely to stick with habits for the
longterm if they do not exhaust you. Your goal should always be living a healthy lifestyle,
rather than reaching a certain weight. I do not own a scale. When I was trying to be
Nadia, I must have weighed myself every hour. Daily healthy habits enable you
to be fit in mind, body and spirit. I also learned to avoid all magazines, books or
TV programs that encourage dieting or have any unhealthy images in them.
And if I should ever grace the cover of a magazine, I want the headline to be these two words:
p.s. I couldn’t get text or pics to align perfectly tonight, but I’m happily letting that go.
It’s always important to keep things in perspective.
True wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
- Henry David Thoreau
- You are alive.
- You are able to see the sunrise and the sunset.
- You are able to hear birds sing and waves crash.
- You can walk outside and feel the breeze through your hair and the sun’s warmth on your skin.
- You have tasted the sweetness of chocolate cake.
- You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
- You awoke this morning with a roof over your head.
- You had a choice of what clothes to wear.
- You haven’t feared for your life today.
- You have overcome some considerable obstacles, and you have learned and survived.
- You often worry about what you’re going to do with your life – your career, your family, the next step, etc. – which means you have ambition, passion, drive, and the freedom to make your own decisions.
- You live in a country that protects your basic human rights and civil liberties.
- You are reasonably strong and healthy – if you got sick today, you could recover.
- You have a friend or relative who misses you and looks forward to your next visit.
- You have someone with whom to reminisce about ‘the good old days.’
- You have access to clean drinking water.
- You have access to medical care.
- You have access to the Internet.
- You can read.
The truth is, you’re doing better than a lot of people in this world. So remember to be grateful for all the things you do have. (Read The Happiness Project.)
(Thank you to April Silva Johnson for sharing post)
Cook perishable foods. If the temperature rises, take anything out of the refrigerator that might spoil and prepare to cook it or consume it before it warms up. Eat perishables before spoilage can occur.
Have stable foods that don’t require refrigeration. Those that do not require cooking are even better.
- Canned meats, fish, soups, vegetables, and juices will work, and can be kept for months at a time.
- Crackers, cookies and snacks for the kiddies are a necessity. Eat these items after the perishables are eaten or are unsafe to eat.
- To make perishables last longer, avoid opening the fridge unless absolutely necessary.
- The air in the fridge will remain cold for a limited amount of time, even after the power goes out.
- But the more you expose it to room temperature, the faster it will warm up and the faster your food will spoil.
- You can also minimize heat gain by packing everything in the fridge tightly together.
Have a back-up method of heating food and water. A camping stove is ideal (and be sure to know how to use it safely — see warnings). A barbeque grill will work quite well, but do not bring it into the house. (You don’t want carbon monoxide poisoning.) A gas stove can often work if you have matches for ignition. Remember to have plenty of fuel on hand for your camp stove or barbeque in case your adventure lasts several days.
- Water is actually more important than food, and if your water supply is pump-driven, it may give out in a power failure.
- Put aside many gallons or liters of drinking water.
- Fill your bathtub or pails with water for flushing the toilet, washing, and so on.
- Read the article titled How to Get Emergency Drinking Water from a Water Heater.
Have a back-up method for heating or cooling your home during a blackout, depending on your climate’s needs. Do you need to stock up on wood for the wood stove? You should consider buying portable fans, and cold water rinses to stay cool. If your home runs on natural gas or propane, install a gas fired fireplace that has its own thermopile electronic ignition. Should you get a gas-powered generator?
Prepare by equipping your house with automatic power failure safety lighting so that it does not go dark when the power goes out.Many of the commercial style emergency lights look pretty bad on the wall of your kitchen or living room, and they typically only last 90 minutes – day or night.
- Try to find power failure safety lights that sense darkness before going on. Otherwise the batteries will be dead before darkness comes.
- New power failure safety lights just hitting the market deliver light for long periods of time because of the improvements in LED brightness and battery life.
- Look for power failure safety lights on the web and find ones that you can install in any room of your home without being an eyesore. Start with the kitchen and bathrooms – the two most used rooms of the house.
- Try to find power failure safety lights that sense darkness before going on. Otherwise the batteries will be dead before darkness comes.
- Power outages can mean ‘get out of the house’ during the day if it is safe to do so. Go to the mall, or take in a movie. Have a few good meals at a nearby diner or at a fast food restaurant.
- Unless you are snow bound, or ill, there is no reason to stay indoors and be uncomfortable. There’s plenty of time for that when it gets too late to stay out.
Remember that there will be no TV, no light, and games that need reading will not be able to be played. Turn on your flashlight only when you need to move about.You can make up your own games, sing songs, or practice the ancient art of talking with one another. Be playful if possible.
- Read a book to pass the time. Remember, this can only be done during the daylight hours. At night, the best thing is to go to sleep. Time passes faster when you sleep, especially when there is nothing else to do but wait.
- Read a book to pass the time. Remember, this can only be done during the daylight hours. At night, the best thing is to go to sleep. Time passes faster when you sleep, especially when there is nothing else to do but wait.
Keep a battery powered camping “lantern” available. These will light a room better than a flashlight. Also, keep a “manual” can opener handy to open animal food cans as well as other canned goods.
Keep a battery powered radio available to monitor local news and emergency developments. Cell phones will also lose their charge quickly so having a battery powered cell phone changer is also a good idea.
- If your computer is connected to an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) / UPC battery backup, save everything, and shutdown your computer as soon as you can.
- When the power does fail and the lights go out leaving you in pitch black darkness, do not jump up immediately to find your flash lights. Take a minute or two to let your eyes adjust to the darkness before moving. You’ll be surprised how much better you can see and you won’t be as likely to hurt yourself by walking into a table, wall, door, etc.
- Put luminescent stickers on flashlights. Have flashlights out where the stickers can “charge” when lights are on: bookshelf, next to the TV, bedstand, and so on. When the power goes off, your flashlight’s location will be obvious.
- Remember that portable phones don’t work during a blackout. Make sure you have at least one wired phone in the house. A cell phone will usually work, but keep a car charger handy in case your battery runs low.
- At the first notice of a loss of power, phone the power company to inform them. At times, you might be the first one to notice when others are at work, and if you do not alert them early, they will not start fixing whatever the cause might be.
- Don’t keep phoning the power company to find out how long you will remain without power. Once is really enough. The power company is most likely full of dedicated, trained individuals who know that your power is off, and are trying to fix the problem. Nagging them isn’t somehow going to make the power go on any quicker, and can tie up phone lines in a true emergency.
- Keep some board games like chess, checkers, or puzzles in the house…handy and keeps you and kids busy when no video or TV is available. Think of the ways in which people amused themselves before the invention of electricity.
- Purchase and use “Self Powered Radios” and “Self Powered Flashlights” and glow sticks. Find these at the local Wal*Mart (for the self powered lights and the glow sticks), and at the local Radio Shack (for the self powered radios). These do not use batteries at all, and are safer to use than candles, and you’ll be informed about what caused the failure, like some idiot who hit a pole, or an animal got into a transformer, shorting it out, or when power will be restored.
- If you live in a area that has this problem chronically, it is a good idea to get a wind powered generator and solar panels, and a generator that uses “eco-friendly” fuel, such as “Bio-Diesel”, a lot of 12v Deep Cycle batteries, power inverters, and make sure all of this is installed in a manner to AVOID killing line crews, and that you will have “Auxiliary Power”
- This guide refers to regular, few day long power outages only. This does not refer to hurricanes or tornadoes, or other storms that also cause power outages and tear down and destroy power lines. The preparation is more intense when power goes down because of storms and breakages. If this is the case, it may be time to evacuate the home.
- Candles, if used improperly, can cause fire. More than 140 people die each year from candle related home fires according to the National Fire Protection agency – nearly one-third from using candles for lighting. Candles are not recommended as light sources during power failures. Flashlights are far safer. Turn flashlights on outdoors.
- Gasoline powered generators kill people when used indoors or in attached garages that allow the fumes to flow into the home. Carbon monoxide is odorless and your CO detectors will probably not work when you have no electricity. Never use a generator in your home, garage, or other closed environment!
- Exercise extreme caution when using a generator and ensure all extension cords are properly sized and UL listed. Generators can and do electrocute people.
- Barbeque grills and camp stoves kill people – from fires and carbon monoxide emmissions. Use with extreme caution and never bring gas fired equipment into your house or garage.
Things You’ll Need
- Non-perishable food items
- A gas stove, barbecue grill, or camping stove
- Ignition for the stove, such as matches or a lighter
Add anything in comments that has helped you.
•If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
•If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
•For those who have longer-term housing needs, FEMA offers several types of assistance, including services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing. Apply for assistance or search for information about housing rental resources.
•Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
•Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
•Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
•Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
•Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
•Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering – the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
•Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
•Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
•Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
•Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
•Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
•NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
“Post-disaster housing is usally one of the most complex and challenging (problems) to be dealt with in catastrophic disasters like this. We cannot call our recovery complete until every New Yorker has a place to call home.”- Brad Gair (source: Reuters)
Bloomberg News recently reported there are more than three million skilled jobs unfilled in the U.S.
Kim First, head of a specialty search firm, concurs and says that regrettably she must now turn to foreign sources to meet her clients needs. She is attending more and more meetings overseas to find qualified scientists.
Kim is CEO of one of a successful search firm charged with finding candidates with very specific training and skills. Kim’s firm, The Agency Worldwide (http://theagencyworldwide.com) serves pharmaceutical companies, particularly those in Life Sciences, that seek to find cures and solve challenges facing world health.
Kim says the needs of her clients have become ever more specific (and harder to fulfill) ever since the mapping of the human genome and the explosion of biogicals to treat life threatening dieseases.
She adds: “There has been an explosion in ‘personalized medicine’ requiring scientists and doctors with even more refined skills. It’s no longer enough for pharmaceutical companies to create ‘one size fits all drugs and take them to market’.
“We are now able to learn, for example, that certain drugs work for certain ethnic groups and not for others. The same applies to gender and other differences. The result is that a whole new world of treatments are on the horizon.
The most savvy and agile of the drug companies are adapting quickly and scrambling to build specialized teams to create these new treatments and to design new ways of delivery. Staffing those teams with wholly U.S. talent has become difficult if not impossible.”
The Problem? Kim says that increasingly the scientists and doctors qualified for the advanced efforts are not to be found in the United States and the demand for the talent makes it a hihgly competative marketplace for companies. She now finds she is attending more and more meetings overseas to find qualified scientists.
The solution, Kim believes, is a greater emphasis on and commitment to scientific education in the U.S.
“Foreign students are studying here,” says Kim, “and using that knowledge to train new scientists overseas who are competing with us in greater numbers. We need to commit to funding here with a strong degree of dedication….much like we did with space program. Otherwise we will lag woefully behind other nations in innovation and research. There is little time to waste.”
“We are now able to learn, for example, that certain pills work for certain ethnic groups and not for others. The same applies to gender and other differences. The result is that a whole new world of remarkable cures is on the horizon.”
Kim says the most savvy and agile of the drug companies are adapting quickly and scrambling to build individualized teams to create these new miracle cures and to design new ways of delivery.
Yet, staffing those teams with wholly U.S. talent has become “difficult, if not impossible.”
We asked Kim a few questions.
In what scientific specialties or areas are you seeing the greatest opportunities?
I see many opportunities in the immunology field. All of the major companies as well as the start-up bio-techs are studying innovative targets and novel pathways to improve treatments for patients with a number of immune related diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and even certain cancers.
What cultural differences do you encounter when recruiting scientists from varying countries?
The cultural differences are vast. From communication style to motivation to negotiation of job offer, scientists from varying countries deal with situations extremely differently. Some are very transparent and direct about their desires while others keep information very closely guarded. Understanding the nuances of the different cultures helps tremendously in moving the recruitment process through to successful completion.
What would cause a world renowned scientist, happy in his or her job, to leave for a different position?
Funding and the overall commitment of an organization to a particular disease indication or area of science is the main reason a renowned scientist makes a career transition.
What are the most glaring shortages of talent in the Life Sciences?
There is a shortage of talent in many of the key support functions that are required to effectively develop and manufacture a drug; fields like physician safety, regulatory affairs and biostatistics for example.
About Kim First:
Kim First brings more than a dozen years of experience to the life sciences consulting and executive recruitment process. A respected industry expert, she has worked closely with many of the largest biopharmaceutical and healthcare companies on multi-year engagements and assignments.
Collaborating with C-suite executives, high-level physicians and scientists, she helps build successful teams, structure competitive organizations and analyze market forces.
Kim is a sought-after authority, providing an in-depth understanding of industry trends and their affect on the workforce, and offering unique candidate assessment and recruitment methodologies.
Since becoming president and CEO in 2005, Kim has driven and cultivated The Agency’s unsurpassed commitment to connecting the world’s greatest scientific minds with the most innovative life sciences enterprises.
She has developed a customized, dynamic, matrix-like group of recruiting professionals and a vast network of industry contacts who work together on a global scale to identify and attract the leading “passive” talent.
Her sensitivities to the needs of The Agency’s clients and candidates has driven the company’s successful placements – totaling hundreds of high-quality candidates over the decades for a myriad of life-altering teams at Fortune 500 organizations.
Kim joined The Agency as an executive recruiter in 1999, bringing with her a sophisticated understanding of complex corporations and their diverse business requirements that was developed over the years in her roles with The Walt Disney Company and Sony.
Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, she graduated with honors from UCLA in Psychology and completed additional coursework at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Kim’s devotion to The Agency is only second to that of her husband and three young sons.
Media Inquiries to set up an interview with Kim contact Berman & Associates by phone at: 914-572-2707 .
by Melanie Haiken
The earliest and most surprising signs of breast cancer, as described by the women who know: breast cancer survivors themselves.
Breast cancer warning sign #1: Pain in the breast or chest
Whether it’s an ache, throb, twinge, or sharp stab, pain or discomfort in the breast or chest area isn’t a good sign.
How it feels: One breast cancer survivor describes the pain she brought to her doctor’s attention as a “sharp pain that comes and goes.” Another describes it as “a mild electric sensation that went from my left breast to my right nipple.”
What causes it: Breast tumors can take many different forms; there can be a single lump, but there can also be an area of scattered seed-like tumors or an amorphous shape with multiple tentacles extending into the tissue. The tumor might also be directly behind the nipple or in one of the milk ducts. All of these growths cause different types of pain and discomfort.
Scary stat: As many as 30 percent of all breast cancer tumors aren’t lumps, which makes them harder to detect.
What to do: Keep track of when, where, and how often the pain occurs. Tell your doctor, being as specific as possible. Make sure to be clear that this is a new symptom, different from any other sensation (such as the sore breasts of PMS) you’ve experienced before. If your doctor diagnoses mastitis and prescribes antibiotics (a typical response to breast pain), take the full cycle. But if the pain hasn’t gone away, inform your doctor and ask for additional tests. Many women are told repeatedly that they have mastitis before they’re able to make clear to the doctor that this isn’t the case.
Breast cancer warning sign #2: Itchy breasts
This symptom, primarily associated with inflammatory breast cancer, is often missed. You’d be surprised how many women with inflammatory breast cancer spend months visiting the dermatologist, only to be sent home with creams and medications for a rash.
How it feels: Extremely itchy — the type of itch you might have with poison oak or ivy, which makes you feel like you absolutely have to scratch. Except scratching doesn’t help, and neither do the ointments that typically relieve itchiness. Your breast may also feel irritated, or the skin may be scaly or dimpled like cellulite.
What causes it: Fast-growing cancer cells block blood and lymph vessels that feed the skin. The normal flow of lymph through breast tissues is impeded, and fluid builds up in and under the skin.
Scary stat: The median age of diagnosis for inflammatory breast cancer is 57 (54 among African-American women), and it’s typically more aggressive than other types of breast cancer, with a five-year survival rate of 34 percent.
What to do: If the skin of your breast looks odd or your breasts feel different, see your doctor right away. If the doctor suggests a skin ailment or an infection and sends you home with a prescription, return immediately if your symptoms don’t go away.
Breast cancer warning sign #3: Upper back, shoulder, and neck pain
In some women, breast cancer is felt in the back or shoulders rather than in the chest or breasts. For this reason, spine specialists routinely look for the presence of tumors when treating chronic back pain that’s unrelieved by physical therapy.
How it feels: The pain, which is typically in the upper back or between the shoulder blades, is easily confused with sore muscles, a pulled tendon or ligament, or osteoarthritis of the spine. The difference is that it doesn’t go away with stretching muscles or changing position. Bone pain feels like a deep ache or throbbing.
What causes it: Most breast tumors develop in the glandular tissue of the breast, which extends deep into the chest, close to the chest wall. If tumor growth pushes backward toward the ribs and spine, the resulting pain may be felt in the back rather than in the breast. The first place breast cancer usually metastasizes, or spreads, is to the spine or ribs, becoming secondary bone cancer.
Scary stat: According to one study, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer patients whose cancer has spread to the bone is only 8.3 percent, compared with an overall survival rate of 75 percent.
What to do: Pay close attention to how back pain feels. If it doesn’t go away with rest, stretching, or physical therapy, see your doctor. Keep the doctor informed if back pain continues despite treatment, and request a bone scan.
Breast cancer warning sign #4: Changes in breast shape, size, or appearance
Contrary to popular belief, not all breast tumors cause a hard lump close enough to the surface to be noticeable. “Instead of feeling a lump, I noticed that one of my breasts was more oval than the other, hanging down lower and sort of sticking out to one side,” says a California woman who discovered she had breast cancer at the age of 42.
How it feels: Because this change is one of appearance more than feel, your partner may notice it before you do. Or you might become aware of it as you put on your bra or look at yourself in the mirror at the gym.
What causes it: Tissue growth that’s deeper in the breast or masked by dense breast tissue may push out the shape or size of the breast without causing a noticeable lump. If you’ve been told you have dense breast tissue, be particularly alert for this sign.
Scary stat: Mammograms miss up to 50 percent of tumors in women with dense breasts.
What to do: Study the size and shape of your breasts in a mirror. Sit facing the mirror and look at both breasts dead-on, then raise your arms, turn sideways, and look from each side. If there’s a difference in size or shape you haven’t noticed before, bring it to your doctor’s attention.
Breast cancer warning sign #5: A change in nipple appearance or sensitivity
One of the most common locations for a breast tumor is just beneath the nipple, which can cause changes in the appearance and feel of the nipple itself. In particular, nipple changes are often the giveaway for men with breast cancer.
How it feels: You may notice that one of your nipples sticks up less than it used to, or it might have become inverted, flattened, or indented. Women with breast cancer often recall that they noticed a decrease in nipple sensitivity, which is most likely to come to your attention — or your partner’s attention — during sex. Another nipple change to take seriously is discharge when you’re not breastfeeding, whether it’s bloody, milky, or watery. The skin of the nipple may become crusty, scaly, or inflamed.
What causes it: Many breast cancers start in the milk ducts just under and around the nipple, affecting the nipple’s appearance or causing pain or discharge. There’s also a rare cancer, Paget’s disease of the breast, that specifically strikes the nipple. A tumor in the milk ducts, just behind or to one side of the nipple, pushes the skin up around the nipple or pushes the nipple aside. As tumors grow, they may attach to — and thus retract — the skin or the nipple itself. The tumor might also cause irritation and infection, leading to discharge.
Scary stat: The American Society of Breast Surgeons recently released research that male breast cancer is typically identified later and is deadlier than breast cancer in women.
What to do: Because some women have naturally inverted nipples or have discharge during and post-pregnancy, a doctor won’t necessarily notice this symptom. Since you’re the one who knows best what your nipples look like, pay close attention to any changes and discuss them with your doctor. Mastitis is a common conclusion for doctors presented with nipple changes, in which case you’ll be sent home with antibiotics. If they haven’t cleared up the symptoms within ten days, go back and request scans.
Breast cancer warning sign #6: Swelling or lump in your armpit
You know how the lymph nodes in your neck and throat can feel sore when you have the flu? Any pain in the armpit is a sign to check the area carefully with your fingers. A lump under the armpit is likely to be hard and attached to surrounding tissues, so it doesn’t move when you touch it. Or tissue may feel thickened and dense compared with the armpit on the other side.
How it feels: Like a sore or tender spot under the arm. You may also feel a lump, though not necessarily. Affected lymph nodes may feel swollen or tender or develop a lump before a tumor is big enough to be felt in the breast itself. In some women, the swelling is more prominent under the arm or up under the collarbone.
What causes it: The lymph nodes in your armpit are where breast cancer spreads first, by way of lymphatic fluid that drains from the breast. Since the lymph nodes are the first place it’s likely to metastasize, breast cancer is staged according to whether it’s lymph-node positive or negative.
Scary stat: If breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate declines to 84 percent, as compared with 98 percent for node-negative breast cancer.
What to do: Colds, flu, and infection can also cause swollen lymph nodes, so if you’re sick or have an infection, wait for it to clear up before you worry. But if a lump or tender spot in the underarm area persists for a week with no apparent cause, see your doctor.
Breast cancer warning sign #7: Red, swollen breasts
When your breasts hurt, it’s easy to conclude that it’s the typical soreness of PMS. And if your breasts feel hot or look reddened, you might suspect an infection such as mastitis. But these are also signs of inflammatory breast cancer.
How it feels: It’s as if your breasts have a fever. They may feel swollen and sore, or the skin and underlying tissue may feel hot or look red or even purple.
What causes it: Inflammatory breast cancer is the most likely cause of this symptom. But breast tumors can also push on tissues, causing breasts to feel swollen and sore. In this case, you may also see, upon checking, that your breast is distended.
Scary stat: Once breast cancer has spread beyond the breast (stage IV), the average survival is less than four years. So it’s extremely important to detect breast cancer as early as possible.
What to do: Call your doctor right away about any symptom that could be inflammatory breast cancer. If the pain is diagnosed as mastitis and you’re prescribed antibiotics, you should feel better within a week to ten days. If you don’t, call your doctor and be assertive about additional tests.
About the Author: Senior Editor Melanie Haiken, is responsible for Caring.com’s coverage of cancer, general health, and family finance, discovered how important it is to provide accurate, targeted, usable health information to people facing difficult decisions when she was health editor of Parenting magazine. She has written about health and family-related issues for magazines such as Health , Real Simple , Woman’s Day , Yoga Journal , and websites such as BabyCenter.com, WebMD, and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield websites (aHealthyMe.com, aHealthyAdvantage.com) managed by Consumer Health Interactive. Melanie has held positions as Executive Editor at the Industry Standard and BabyCenter.com , and Managing Editor at San Francisco magazine. She has also worked for San Francisco’s renowned Center for Investigative Reporting. She has a master’s degree in Journalism and a B.A. in English, both from the University of California at Berkeley.
by Jason Ferruggia
Seinfeld fans will undoubtedly never forget the episode in which Frank Costanza and Kramer invented the mansierre, which was a bra for men with excessive breast development. While we all laughed hysterically some people were just the slightest bit uncomfortable because the reality is that an inordinate number of men have “moobs,” or man boobs.
This is often due to excessively high body fat levels. But it can also be due to high levels of estrogen. Having high estrogen can not only cause you to gain body fat in the chest and lower abdominal area but it can lead to numerous health issues and diseases. Unfortunately more and more males are suffering from increasingly high estrogen levels and this is leading to the continued feminization of the male species as we know it. Today, the average male has a testosterone level that is 15-50% (depending on the study you read) lower than it was 50 years ago. This is an epidemic, my friends.
It has to stop now before it’s too late.
So I’ve compiled a list of 13 ways that will help answer the question How to Lower Estrogen Levels in Men. Check it out below…
By following this advice you will hopefully eliminate your need for ever having to call up Kramer and Frank for one of their prized inventions.
Don’t eat fake foods. This means most foods that come out of a box, bag or can should be off your list. The rare exceptions are oats, brown rice and the occasional serving of legumes. Basically, if a cavemen couldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t eat. All the chemicals and artificial junk that they put in most foods these days can lead to increased estrogen levels and numerous other health problems.
Avoid eating and drinking out of plastic as much as possible. This has been linked with increased estrogen levels.
Eat only organic, pesticide and chemical free produce, preferably purchased from a local farmers market. Pesticides and herbicides have been shown to increase estrogen levels.
Avoid all meat and dairy unless you are 100% sure that it is drug free and organic. All of the drugs and hormones that go into most animal and dairy products will wreak havoc on your body, dramatically boost estrogen levels and lead to heart disease and cancer. Also be sure to eat only beef that is from grass fed and not grain fed cows. I personally order from US Wellness Meats and highly recommend their services and products.
Avoid all commercially made protein powders for the same reasons listed above. If your whey protein comes from a cow that has been fed grains and pumped full of drugs there’s a good chance your estrogen levels will go up from consuming it. That’s why I only recommend the following three brands of protein powder:
All Pro Science Grass Fed Whey- Click the link for a free sample.
One World Whey- The best tasting and easiest digesting protein I’ve ever used. As an added benefit, it’s made from raw milk, which makes it significantly better for you.
Sun Warrior- For those that don’t want whey this is an outstanding, organic protein made from sprouted brown rice.
Limit your consumption of fish and be sure that it is fresh catch and from clean water sources. Unfortunately we have destroyed and polluted many of the lakes, oceans, streams and rivers on the planet and because of that a lot of the fish we consume these days is loaded with PCB’s and dioxins that you should really avoid as much as possible.
If you take an essential fatty acid supplement (as you should) make sure that it’s from clean sources and uncontaminated, like Pro Grades Krill Oil.
You should also support clean water laws and organizations like Waterkeeper.
Only drink purified water. Our water quality continues to worsen all the time and is filled with numerous toxins and estrogenic compounds. Surprisingly, NYC has great water quality. Other places are not so fortunate.
Consume citrus fruits regularly. These have been proven effective in the fight against estrogen.
Eat lots of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. These have also been shown to have anti estrogenic properties.
An outstanding product, that I and all of my clients take daily is Athletic Greens. It has ample amounts of cruciferous veggies and citrus fruits in it along with several other organic compounds. It’s at the top of my recommended supplement list.
If you must drink alcohol try to avoid beer as much as you can because it is highly estrogenic; thus the acclimation of a beer belly. Red wine is a far better choice and may actually be anti estrogenic.
Eat a good amount of organic nuts and seeds. A high intake of organic nuts has been linked to increased virility in men.
Lose excess bodyfat. Nothing will help prevent the conversion to estrogen any more effectively than losing bodyfat. It’s absolutely essential for males to get their bodyfat levels under 15% and keep them there if they want to be healthy and win the war against estrogen. That means cut your carbs and your junk food and get out there and start sprinting two or three times per week.
Be sure to only train with short, high intensity workouts like those found in Muscle Gaining Secrets. This won’t lower estrogen levels but it will increase your testosterone levels. If you have higher testosterone chances are you’ll have lower estrogen.
How to Raise Estrogen Levels in Women
1. Eat a low-carb diet.
2. Zinc and protein.
2. Drink Spearmint tea twice a day.
4. Abstain from dairy, eggs, milk, non-organic meats & chickens, white rice, white flour & refined sugar.
5. Beans, legumes.
6. Apples, cherries, plums, pomegranates, papaya and dates.
7. Seeds including sesame, pumpkin, fennel, sunflower, flax, alfafa and anise.
8. Wheat, brown rice, oats, hops, barley.
9. Clover, garlic, sage, parsley, liquorice.
10. Peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, celery, beets, carrots, yams, rhubarb.
11. Exercise balances the endocrine system.
Here’s How to Check Your Estrogen Levels. Take the QUIZ:
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