Category Archives: WCPP Blog

Dana Farber Cancer Institute Lecture

Join WCPP on Tuesday, June 4 at the Wellesley Free Library from 7-8 PM to hear Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Zakim Center team members speak about lifestyle changes and integrative therapies that can reduce stress and promote well-being.

Speakers are Patricia Martin Acari, Ph.D., RN, AHN-BC and Anne Kelly, RN, MS, NP-C, AOCNP

Event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by WCPP and Wellesley Free Library.

How to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in American women. The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 12% (American Cancer Society, 2019). This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer. This also means there is a 7 in 8 chance she will never have the disease.

  1. Don’t smoke. Smokers have a 1/3 higher chance of developing breast cancer.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) increases, your risk of breast cancer does as well.
  3. Exercise regularly!
  4. Reduce alcohol consumption. Women who drink 2 or more drinks per day are 40% more likely to develop breast cancer.
  5. Include fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet, and minimize protein foods that are rich in saturated fats (i.e. red meat).

Read more tips in this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/08/well/live/how-to-lower-breast-cancer-risk.html

Psychological Stress and Cancer

When diagnosed with cancer, people may experience high levels of stress. Psychological stress is what people feel when they face mental, physical, or emotional pressure. Although it is normal for people living with cancer to experience some psychological stress, constant stress or high levels of it can develop into mental and/or physical health problems over time. These health problems can include digestive issues, fertility problems, a weakened immune system, anxiety, and depression.

This stress can be caused by routine events, like daily responsibilities, as well as unusual events, such as being diagnosed with cancer. Because of the uncertainty that often comes with being diagnosed with cancer, people can feel out of control of their life and become distressed. This consequently reduces their quality of life.

To deal with the stress of cancer, people learn effective coping strategies, such as stress management techniques. These strategies have been shown to lower levels of depression, anxiety and other symptoms related to cancer and its treatment. Emotional and social support are especially important in helping patients learn to manage their psychological stress. Some approaches can include social group support, meditation, relaxation, counseling, medication, and exercise.

Click here to learn more about psychological stress and cancer: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/feelings/stress-fact-sheet