With no warning at all, women, men, and children are diagnosed with cancer every second of the day, a major health issues with no sure-fire prevention or cure. It is the plague of our lifetime that has exponential effects and will need real dedicated focus to find a remedy for. What can we do? Why should we help support if we haven’t been affected?
Maria Baum’s story touched me so deeply. A mother of four in perfect health and an achiever in a class of her own, she was diagnosed at age 42 with breast cancer. With no family history of the disease, she had to find the tools to stay connected to herself, keep her chin up, show up to her achievements as a woman who had worked hard through business school at Wharton to join the trading room floor in a major career and to her responsibilities as a mother too. Upon her diagnosis, she uprooted some of her deepest entrenched habits. She began to choose foods that nourished her body instead of just feeding it and took up paddle boarding to get herself moving. She became dedicated to living to her fullest and being the healthiest she could be, with a smile on her face the whole time. And she didn’t even stop there. Upon finishing fighting for herself, she started fighting for others. She has become an advocate for furthering research and progress on this disease and now hosts an annual Paddle Party for Pink to raise awareness and money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to fund further research projects. Maria Baum is truly beautiful on the inside and out, living in a way that is not only grateful and mindful but also life-giving, uplifting, and inspiring.
As we are hoping you have learned from the interviews our Rockstars this week, getting moving and eating healthy can help with cancer prevention and is SO important for your overall health! This challenge is going to get you doing just that while also showing that you’ve got each other’s backs. In honor of all of those who have lost someone or personally suffered from breast cancer, lets come together for 8 days in the name of breast health to raise awareness, show support and promote further research for breast health with our Got Your BREAST Girl Challenge!
Here’s how to get involved!
STEP 1: Every day of the contest you must do your daily workout wearing all pink.
STEP 2: Find a friend or group of friends to find a way to show your support for.
STEP 3: Every day we will give a pink food in honor of breast cancer awareness to incorporate into a healthy recipe to share with your Got Your Breast Girl(s)
Post a pic at the end of your workout in your pink gear as well as a picture of your breast cancer friendly meal with #HAMPTONSPADDLEANDPARTYFORPINK for a chance to a win a ticket to our Paddle for Pink event and a Vitality Week!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FOCUS YOUR RESEARCH ON BREAST CANCER?
There may be ways to identify other risks for sure! We are working on this now. WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND AS THE TOP 3 HEALTHIEST PREVENTATIVE MEASURES AGAINST BREAST CANCER?
Dr. Lisa Newman is a surgical oncologist who currently serves as the Director of the Breast Oncology Program for the multi-hospital Henry Ford Health System and the HFHS International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes. Her impressive, innovative and groundbreaking work focuses not only on researching ethnicity-related variation in breast cancer (specifically triple-negative breast cancer which she has researched extensively in Ghana), but also treatment using special surgical techniques and studies on breast cancer risk, evolution, management, and outcome in normal and high-risk patients. She has held leadership roles with many prominent academic and advocacy organizations and is a recipient of several prestigious awards for her work that is making very real meaningful strides in breast cancer research in areas that many have not thought to pursue.
My career in medicine began more than twenty years ago, as a general surgeon working in the robustly-diverse community of Brooklyn, New York on staff with the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. During my seven years as a general surgeon I became particularly intrigued by heart-breaking observations of breast cancers presenting disproportionately as aggressive, bulky tumors in young African American women.
In hopes of being able to focus my career on addressing, understanding and hopefully identifying strategies of eliminating these disparities, I decided to pursue fellowship training in surgical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. My career has been dedicated to the management of breast cancer ever since, with a primary research focus on the study of breast cancer disparities related to tumor subtypes and racial-ethnic identity.
Breast cancer is not one single disease process; it is actually comprised of several tumor types that have different degrees of aggressiveness, and that require different types of treatment. When we refer to the concept of precision medicine in breast cancer, we are alluding to the fact that the breast tumors of individual patients must to be characterized as to the most detailed extent possible, so that we can tailor the treatment plan accordingly. The goal of the individualized treatment plan is precisely target tumor biology while avoiding overtreatment and unnecessary exposure to the toxicity of ineffective treatment.
The high majority of breast cancer patients will require surgery to control or eliminate disease in the breast itself as well as in the glands or lymph nodes of the underarm area.
However many breast cancer patients will also require medical treatments to sterilize cancer cells that are hiding in other organs of the body such as the liver, lungs, or bones- this is what we call distant organ micrometastatic disease. When left untreated, these micrometastases can damage body organs and they result in the life-threatening risk of breast cancer.
In any breast cancer biopsy, we will typically apply special stains to analyze particular biomarkers (proteins) that are useful in planning the medical (systemic) treatment for each patient. The three commonly-used biomarkers are the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor, and the HER2/neu marker. Advances in breast cancer research have yielded extremely effective medical treatments that target cancers that are positive for the estrogen and/or progesterone receptors. We also have powerful treatments that target the HER2/neu-positive breast cancers.
Triple negative breast cancers are the tumors that do not express any of these three markers. We do not have readily-available targeted therapies for triple negative breast cancer, but this is an area of active ongoing research. Triple negative breast cancers can however, be treated with general chemotherapy, which will kill any rapidly-dividing cells in the body. Triple negative breast cancers also tend to be biologically more aggressive, and we therefore tend to have a relatively lower threshold for recommending chemotherapy to patients diagnosed with this pattern of disease.
In the past, it was commonly assumed that the higher breast cancer mortality rates seen in African American women were completely explained by socioeconomic disparities. Disproportionately higher poverty rates in the African American community undoubtedly results in barriers to optimally accessing the health care system and contributes to breast cancer outcome disparities, but socioeconomic inequities do not account for the entire problem. Now that we have confirmed the increased frequency of triple negative breast cancer among African American women, it is clear that race/ethnicity-related variation in tumor biology are important factors as well.
We are now learning that triple negative breast cancers represent a diverse spectrum of triple-negative subtypes as well, and the effort to develop effective targeted treatments for these tumors requires a comprehensive characterization of these cancers in diverse patients.
Lastly, precision medicine initiatives also involve developing strategies for being more precise in making cancer screening recommendations. As we learn more about the burden of different breast cancer subtypes in diverse population subsets, we may be able to incorporate this information into meaningful recommendations regarding breast cancer screening.
This is certainly possible, but the etiology of disparities for different cancers is likely to have a diverse explanation. Different factors may contribute to varying degrees. YOUR WORK IN ADDING GHANAIAN TISSUE SAMPLES TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN MULTI-ETHNIC BREAST REGISTRY ESTABLISHED HUGE STRIDES TOWARDS MAKING IT A MORE COMPLETE DATABASE. HOWEVER, DO YOU THINK THERE ARE STILL THINGS THAT WE ARE MISSING?
I look forward to expansion of this dataset. I recently relocated professionally to assume my current position as Director of the Breast Oncology Program for the multi-hospital Henry Ford Health System, based in Detroit Michigan. With this new role I also serve as medical director for the newly-created International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes (ICS BCS), a research program that will support our expansion efforts. The mission statement for the ICS BCS is “To reduce the global breast cancer burden through advances in research and delivery of care to diverse populations worldwide”. WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR RESEARCH WILL ACHIEVE? WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR REMARKABLE DISCOVERIES MIGHT RESULT IN?
1. Maintaining a physically-fit, active lifestyle with a balanced diet and avoid excessive alcohol intake.2. Adhere to a breast health awareness regimen that includes yearly mammography beginning at age 40 years; for high-risk women (with a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer) mammography may be necessary at even younger ages, or may need to be supplemented by screening breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).3. Be an advocate for breast health in your family and in your community!!!! HOW IMPORTANT ARE INDEPENDENTLY RAISED FUNDS FOR CANCER RESEARCH? WHERE DO YOU BELIEVE IT IS MOST BENEFICIAL FOR DONATED FUNDS TO GO THAT IS MOST HELPFUL FOR BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND WILL MOVE US MOST EFFECTIVELY TOWARDS CURE?
I have had a love of plants and nature, as well as skincare and fragrance, my whole life. I am proud to introduce a shop that combines these loves and offers products that are safe for us and for the earth, while still being luxurious.
I have a BS in Plant Science from Cornell University and for the last 20+ years I have owned and operated a houseplant care and design business serving residences in the Hamptons of NY from Westhampton to Montauk. I have been fortunate to bring the outdoors inside for some of the most beautiful homes in the country and have built many wonderful client relationships.
In April 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I immediately started looking for better ways to take care of myself. I knew there were ways to improve my diet and exercise and those steps were taken. But one thing I was reminded of was that our skin is our largest organ. We rely on it as an important immune defense barrier and as an aid to eliminating waste. Since it also absorbs what you put onto it, I took a better look at what I was using and was surprised to discover all the chemicals I was putting into my body through my skin everyday. I was happy to toss everything and start fresh. However, while I found wonderful products to use, I was only finding them online. I love all things relating to skin care and scent and I missed being able to go into a shop and feel, smell and try all these products. I decided once my treatments were finished I was going to open a brick and mortar business where people could discover these products hands on and get face-to-face interaction. I took my time, spending my year of surgeries and treatments to research and try products and in July opened a shop full of what I loved best.
WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS THAT THESE SUBSTANCES CAN HAVE?
ARE THERE SPECIFIC THINGS YOU ARE “LOOKING FOR” IN YOUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS AND WHY?
I believe all beauty products should enhance your beauty from within.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THEM?
I never knew that synthetic fragrance was an endocrine system disruptor! Our endocrine system is made up of the glands that release the hormones that regulate our developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune functions. Once I learned that, it opened my eyes to what the other chemical ingredients that were in my everyday products and what they were doing and I found better working and safer products.
AND THESE PRODUCTS WORK JUST AS WELL AS THE OTHERS?!
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