May 07, 2007

Breast Cancer Randomness

Apologies for hapazardly grouping a bunch of breast cancer-related items together and calling it a post. Problem is, breast cancer is a Serious subject and this blog is not very good at Serious.

Not that cancer can't be a source of humor--but Crabby feels that the people best qualified to be light and irreverant about it are those who actually have it. Crabby doesn't. (And she promises if she ever gets it, she won't be all brave and inspiring like so many cancer survivors are. She'll be a whiny, self-absorbed, pain in the ass).

So here's a quick and no doubt incomplete round up:

Some bad news for barbecue lovers, at least if you're a post-menopausal woman: a new study out of University of South Carolina says eating a lot of barbecued meats may increase your breast cancer risk. The risk was even higher for those barbecue fans who skimped on fruits and vegetables.

And there's more evidence that excessive alcohol and HRT (hormone replacement therapy) increase a woman's risk for the disease. However, there seems to be no link between abortion and breast cancer.

Fortunately scientists are, as ever, busy on the research front. They're even designing and synthesizing breast-cancer fighting molecules that looks promising, at least in animal studies.

And in another somewhat related item, author (and first rate blogger) Allison Winn Scotch just came out with a novel about breast cancer. The Department of Lost and Found chronicles the complicated life and chemotherapy rounds of a woman newly diagnosed with the disease. TDLF is not one of those "sweet girl struck down in the prime of life" stories. Natalie Miller, the books' protagonist, is feisty, driven, sometimes ethically challenged, and so cranky she even has Crabby beat. Needless to say, there are plenty of opportunities for character development. There are also lots of fascinating medical and personal details that make her journey through chemo and her messy personal life seem realistic. For more info, make your way over to Allison's blog--she also gives writers helpful advice on getting their novels and magazine articles published.

Also, here's a link forwarded by a friend: click on the pink "fund free mammograms" button (3rd banner ad down from the top, in the middle) and the advertisers make a small donation towards mammograms for women in need. (Unless someone has heard otherwise, but all indications are it's legit).

And on a completely unrelated note: Crabby has not forgotten about our Contest. She's holding off a bit to work out some of details. Also she wants to accumulate enough Cranky Fitness readers so that people actually enter and she doesn't look like a complete fool for even mentioning it. (The good news--readership is actually increasing, slowly but surely! Crabby is thrilled.)


  1. It is great that you are posting on breast cancer. Everyone knows someone that has been effected by it.
    I must say though, I want to stick my fingers in my ears and sing "lalalala" when people talk about BBQ causing cancer! We BBQ for three straight months a year practically! Luckily, I am not pre or post menopausal, so I guess I can use that to justify BBQ a little longer and I'll eat my veggies, I promise.

  2. Good cancer roundup, Crabby.
    While I do not take the subject lightly, I will say that there comes a point when virtually everything is going to be said to cause cancer or something equally serious. Because of that, I will eat as much barbecue as I can get.
    I refuse to take HRT and I am unable to drink due to food allergies. I can have a little alcohol, but it affects me quickly. In short, I'm a cheap drunk.
    As I am currently enjoying menopause I will add a few more fruits and veggies into the mix.

  3. Love the way you are mixing the serious stuff in with the banter, Crabby. You really are my favourite little crustacean!

  4. Great post. I've been trying to increase my fruit and vegetable intake. I like fatty crap so much (well, who doesn't, I suppose). I hadn't heard about the link to BBQ -- that's a new one on me!

  5. Thanks, all, for your great comments.

    The barbecue thing kind of sucks, but I'm pretty sure it's not just breast cancer, either. Barbecued meat has long been known to be carcinogenic, although very tasty. I still eat it too though not as often as I would otherwise.

    I think using particular marinades and not letting a lot of grease from the meat catch fire on the grill can help minimize the cancer causing aspects a little. I'll have to dig up the marinade research (read it years ago), but several ingredients you might use anyway can really decrease the amount of carcinogens in grilled meat.

    That is, if mad cow disease doesn't kill you first.


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