Breast Cancer Awareness
Oct 01, 2013 | 3262 views | 2 2 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

Beyond the Controversy of Screening

Pioneering Psychotherapist Shares 3 Exercises for

Maintaining Emotionally While Coping with a Diagnosis

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been one of the most successful campaigns to raise public awareness in recent history. Unfortunately, in terms of successfully reducing breast-cancer mortality, the results have been mixed, which has caused fierce debate among doctors, researchers, non-profit groups and patients.

“Embedded in the message driving the campaign every October includes instruction to women to strongly consider getting screened for breast cancer, which is often asymptomatic during the early stages, in the hopes of finding cancer before it metastasizes,” says cancer psychotherapist Dr. Niki Barr, author of “Emotional Wellness, The Other Half of Treating Cancer,” (canceremotionalwellbeing.com). 

Debate over the efficacy of screenings has arisen as new studies reveal possible shortfalls:  self-examinations haven’t been proven effective; younger women experience false positives due to denser breast tissue, as well as missed positives, despite clinical examinations; and recently published studies such as The New England Journal of Medicine’s findings on three decades of screening have been mixed, Dr. Barr says.

The latter found that screenings did reduce late-stage cancer rates, to a small extent, but mammograms also drastically increased over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment,  including surgeries, toxic drugs and an incalculable amount of stress and suffering, she says.

“I think each woman needs to consider screenings on an individual basis. Family history, age and other risk factors should be considered in their decision,” Dr. Barr says. “It’s equally important to remember that, should you or a loved one be diagnosed with breast cancer, you should care for your emotional well-being as much as you take measures to restore physical well-being.”

While doctors, nurses and medical staff tend to your body, you can tend to your mental health with some of these exercises she recommends to her patients:

• “Catch” anxious feelings before they become anxiety. Prevent anxious thoughts from becoming full-blown anxiety by “catching” those feelings before they intensify. If you find anxious thoughts repeating themselves in your mind, take out some index cards and a pen and write them down, one by one, one per card. When you’ve written them all down, try to identify which one thought started the chain reaction.  Then find the thought that came next. Continue until you have each thought in order. Now, go back to the first thought and write down a new thought that does not make you feel anxious. When the first thought comes to mind, substitute it with the second thought. Continue through the list until you have positive, empowering thoughts for each negative, anxious one.

• Release painful feelings and then let them go: Writing down painful thoughts and feelings through journaling is an excellent way of exorcising them. Some people find rereading what they’ve written can be helpful, but others hesitate to use this tool for fear someone will find it and read their private thoughts. For those people, Barr suggests an extra measure of release: Shred the pages while focusing on “letting go” of those feelings.

• Give your mind respite by escaping through music and meditation: Music is a tonic for many things: It can help us relax, lift our spirits, provide an escape from anxious thoughts and the here and now. Always have favorite CDs easily accessible so you can escape with music whenever you need to. Meditation CDs are available to help you learn how to meditate and to provide guided imagery for meditation, which is scientifically proven to trigger soothing chemical changes in the brain. Try “Meditation for Beginners” by Jack Kornfield or “Guided Mindfulness Meditation” by Jon Kabat-Zin. Finally, sleep is an absolute must for both physical and emotional health. If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are CDs and downloads to help! Try “Sleep Through Insomnia” by KRS Edstrom.

“Having an actual box, with three-dimensional items, gives patients something tangible to use during a confusing time,” Dr. Barr says. 

About Niki Barr, Ph.D. (@NikiBarrPhD)

Niki Barr, Ph.D. founded a pioneering psychotherapy practice dedicated to working with cancer patients in all stages of the disease, along with their family members, caregivers and friends. In her book, she describes an "emotional wellness toolbox" patients can put together with effective and simple strategies, ready to use at any time, for helping them move forward through cancer. Dr. Barr is a dynamic and popular speaker, sharing her insights with cancer patients and clinicians across the nation.

Comments
(2)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
C Olivo RN
|
October 05, 2013
Ops I wrote yelloe when I meant pink ribbon.
C Olivo RN
|
October 05, 2013
OMG are are guys serious! Our house is buring and the best you can come up with is this babble. Is there not a reporter amongst you.

The yellow ribbon ribbon campagn is a sham. These clowns will never find the cure to cancer.

“We are so close to a cure for cancer. We lack only the will and the kind of money that went into putting a man on the moon.” American Cancer Society, full page ad in the New York Times, 1969.

“...with a billion dollars for ten years we could lick cancer.” Testimony to the United States Congress from the Director of the M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, 1969.

“We are going to lick cancer by 2015.” Congressman Benjamin Cardin. 2006.

One thing I can count on in my lifetime is that these clowns will never find the cure to cancer. They work real hard to suppress the truth about cancer.

“For most of today’s common solid cancers, the ones that cause 90% of the cancer deaths each year, chemotherapy has never proven to do any good at all.” Urich Abel, M.D. University of Heideberg, 1990.

“We have given it our best effort for decades: billions of dollars of support, the best scientific talent available. It hasn’t paid off.” John C. Bailar, M.D. Harvard University, 1997.

"Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud and that the major cancer research organisation's are derelict in their duties to the people who support them." - Linus Pauling PhD (Two-time Nobel Prize winner).

My personnel favorite.

"The National Anti-Cancer Program is a bunch of sh*t." - James Watson, Nobel Laureate for Medicine in 1962 , joint discoverer of the double helix of DNA, and for two years a member of the US Joint Advisory Committee on Cancer

For well over half a century mainstream medicine has regularly promised us that a cure or major breakthrough for cancer was just around the corner. Every year we see "promising" new drugs and therapies announced. Yet every year we also see more people contract cancer and more people die of cancer. Despite all the rosy announcements, statistical juggling and outright deceptions, it should be painfully obvious that the "War on Cancer" has been a losing one.

The woman was 68-year-old Charlotte Haley, the granddaughter, sister, and mother of women who had battled breast cancer. Her peach-colored loops were handmade in her dining room. Each set of five came with a card saying: “The National Cancer Institute annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.”… Then Self magazine called.

Her pink ribbon was later stolen by Avon and other cosmetic companies to help the cause. But are you really behind a cause when the company's that create make-up are some of the worst cancer polluter's of the environment? A 5% increase in female cancer rate increased during the age of make-up and detergence a trend that started in the 1950's. I have no other term to phrase it best other then profit oriented population control. Now promotion of the yellow cancer ribbon is the who's who of cancer industrial polluters and cancer propagator around the world.

Here are six ways that mainstream medicine misreports their statistics:

1. By re-defining "cure" as "alive five years after diagnosis: instead of using the word's real meaning, which is "cancer-free". Thus a patient could still have cancer the entire five years and die one day after the 5th anniversary date of diagnosis and still be recorded as a cure.

2. By simply omitting certain groups of people, such as African Americans, or by omitting certain types of cancer, such as all lung cancers patients, from their statistical calculations.

3. By including types of cancer that are not life-threatening and are easily curable, such as skin cancers and DCIS.

The statistics most commonly reported include many such easily curable cancers, such as localized cancers of the cervix, non-spreading cancers and melanomas, as well as "cancers" that many feel are not true cancers at all, merely pre-cancers. For example, DCIS is a pre-cancerous condition that is 99% curable and makes up 30% of all breast cancers. Deduct that 30% from the breast cancer cure rates and survival statistics and the figures are much less impressive.

4. By allowing earlier detection to erroneously imply longer survival.

5. By deleting patients from cancer treatment studies who die too soon, even if that is on the 89th day of a 90 day chemotherapy protocol.

6. By using a questionable adjustment called "relative survival rate" where they get to deduct a certain number of cancer victims who statistics say would have died during the five years of other causes such as heart attacks, car wrecks, etc.

Wer are losing the war on cancer and the best they can do is ask for MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read the China Study if you want to prevent cancer in your life.

C Olivo RN