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BWS Blog
25th Jan

2016

teen-doctor

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

Once considered one of the most common causes of cancer-related death for women in America, the mortality rate from cervical cancer has thankfully dropped more than 50 percent in recent years. This is mainly due to more frequent screenings of the cervix, which has allowed cancer to be discovered early or, in some cases, even before it can develop (in other words, in the stage that doctors classify as “most curable”).

Another leap forward in Cervical Health Awareness has been due to women getting vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (AKA HPV), which is classified as the cause of most cervical cancer.

Leading this and other important causes, is the American Cancer Society, which is battling cervical cancer in numerous ways.

This includes educating women about the importance of being tested for cervical cancer, helping to decipher any potential diagnosis and, of course, assisting with the various forms of treatment, should they be necessary.

Maintaining a healthy cervix is important for so many reasons. And many of the methods are ones that will benefit our overall health as well. In a recent article from the Canadian Women’s Health Network, women are urged to maintain an overall healthy immune system—which equates to getting enough sleep, eating healthier foods and avoiding smoking and even stress. These can be tall orders from some of us, but the lives we save may be our own. If smoking is an issue for you, check out these 13 Best Quit-Smoking Tips.

And for conquering overall stress, try some of these stress management tips on for size.

When it comes to nutrition and diet, there are lots of ways we can help boost our cervical health. Great choices include green tea, which has properties that prove effective in helping to protect our cells from free radical-caused DNA damage.

Go-to veggies to serve in cervix-friendly meals include asparagus and carrots. You can even add some turmeric spice, which has been found to lower rates of certain cancers. For more information, you can check out this study.

Popular salmon (rich in vitamin D) has also been deemed as an aid in preventing or fighting cancer. I’ve always known it to be a terrific source of omega-3 fats (an all-star nutrient that benefits bodies from head to toe). For an easy (and perhaps new) way to enjoy the advantages (and flavor) of salmon, you might want to try this simple recipe. I consider it an upgrade on the classic tuna salad. I replace the tuna with canned wild salmon.

Wild Salmon Salad

Ingredients:
6 ounces canned wild salmon
1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or more if desired)
2 tablespoons minced onion (optional)

Preparation:
In a small bowl add the salmon, mayonnaise, mustard and onion (if using) and black pepper to taste. Using a fork, mash the salmon and combine with the other ingredients. This takes only about 5 minutes to prepare and yields 1 serving.

For other cancer fighting foods, check out the Food Cures for Cancer Prevention section of my website. And you can click here for some tasty recipes for help with cancer prevention. For even more foods that fight cancer, take a peek at this helpful list from the American Institute for Cancer Research, which features foods that battle cancer both directly and indirectly.

According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, “Not one single woman ever needs to die from cervical cancer” thanks to what we know about prevention and early diagnosis. If this isn’t cause for celebration (and a healthy reminder for all of us ladies), I don’t know what is. We can all help spread this good news with the hashtag: #CervicalHealthMonth.


Article by:  Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN, Health and Nutrition Expert for NBC’s Today Show and founder of Nourish Snacks

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