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Cancer Survivors

How cancer survivors can reduce risk of recurrence and address their unique overall health needs

Eating Choices to Lower Cancer Risk – Q&A

Does it seem the more you read and hear about healthy eating for cancer prevention, the more questions you have?Eating Choices to Reduce Cancer Risk – Questions Answered

Over the past month and a half, I’ve traveled across the country, giving five presentations on what’s current about diet and cancer prevention. Whether I was speaking to graduate students, dietitian nutritionists and other health professionals, or the public, people who are trying to stay on top of nutrition information find it challenging.

On the premise that a question posed by one person is usually a question for many others, today’s Smart Bytes® is dedicated to addressing some very good questions I’ve been asked during recent presentations.

You don’t have to be at one of my presentations to pose a question: you are welcome to reach me right here with questions you’d like addressed any time. For now, read on….how many of these questions have puzzled you, too?

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Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Update on Cancer Prevention & Health

Anti-inflammatory diets are hot topics, both in research and in the media. Chronic inflammation is tied to diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more. So where do “anti-inflammatory diets” fit as you consider how doable eating choices can make a difference in your health, today and long-term?

In Part 1 of this video series, Susan Steck, PhD, MPH, RD, discusses inflammation and the variety of “anti-inflammatory diets”; in Part 2, she talks about development of an overall Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) that pulls together inflammatory and anti-inflammatory food consumption into one score meant to represent the overall effect of someone’s eating habits. In this, the final section of our interview, Dr. Steck provides an update on research using the DII to study how diet may affect health. Dr. Steck is a registered dietitian and Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Following the video, read on for additional insights.

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How You Can Create a “New Normal” for a Healthy Lifestyle

Once established, lifestyle habits – including what and how much we eat and drink, how much we sit and how much we move – become so enmeshed with our day-to-day living, that it can be hard to imagine living any other way. Some might think that when a health scare or other “flashing lights” point at how a healthy lifestyle could make a significant difference and improve quality of life, changing habits would become easy. Not so, for many people.

How can you create a “new normal”?

In this, the final section of my video interview with Maura Harrigan, MS, RD, CSO, you’ll hear what she’s learned through years of working one-on-one with cancer survivors. Yes, even cancer survivors, having faced one of the most-feared medical diagnoses, turn out to have as much trouble as everyone else adopting healthy eating habits and regular physical activity, even though research increasingly shows the difference it can make.

Maura Harrigan is a registered dietitian who is a board-certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. Ms. Harrigan is a research associate at the Yale School of Public Health, and Nutrition Director of the Cancer Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center.  Since the last section of my Smart Bytes® interview with Ms. Harrigan, the Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition (LEAN) Study team at Yale received a lot of attention at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting sharing exciting findings about potential benefits of lifestyle change in breast cancer survivors.

You don’t need to be a cancer survivor to feel “stuck” in habits. Following the video, read on for a checklist that summarizes research-supported tips on creating healthful eating and other lifestyle choices relevant to us all.

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Don’t-Miss Updates and Answers

This edition of Smart Bytes® provides you with something a little different. Instead of an in-depth look at research on a specific topic, we’ll take a quick bottom-line look at several. A question I've been asked when speaking

Exciting studies have been published recently that reflect back on issues we’ve previously discussed, so I want to share these updates with you. And having just returned from several speaking engagements, some of the questions posed to me there reminded me that you may be wondering about the same things.

So here’s our dash through a variety of interesting topics that have significant meaning for the day-to-day choices you make impacting your health….

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Cancer Survivors: Is Exercise Worth It?

Exercise? Aren’t cancer survivors supposed to rest a lot, especially when experiencing the classic problem of cancer-related fatigue?

I still remember when my grandmother had a heart attack and was put on extended bedrest. Not so today – getting people up and moving after heart attack or cardiac procedure is standard care now. What’s not so well known yet are research findings on how physical activity may provide benefits of many sorts for cancer survivors.

Here, in the third section of a video interview with Maura Harrigan, MS, RD, CSO, you’ll hear about what she’s found through participation in research trials and working with individual cancer survivors. Whether or not you are (or know) a cancer survivor, her information is spot-on and her message so positive and empowering, you won’t want to miss this.

Maura Harrigan is a registered dietitian who is a board-certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. Ms. Harrigan is a research associate at the Yale School of Public Health, and Nutrition Director of the Cancer Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center. She is part of a key study there known as the Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition (LEAN) Study, which may have major implications for breast cancer survivors’ care in the future.

Following the video, read on for more that that may help put this information in context of choices that promote cancer survivors’ health.

(Email subscribers, click here to go to my Smart Bytes® blog so you can view the video.)

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