Folic acid decreases/increases breast cancer risk. So do I take it or not?

Folic acid decreases/increases breast cancer risk. So do I take it or not?

A few years ago I was at a breast cancer conference where researchers were discussing the effect of alcohol. I had sat through a couple of hours of doom and gloom when, right at the end, one of them mentioned that taking a folic acid supplement appeared to reduce the associated risks. So, on the way home, I bought a jar of folic acid tablets and a bottle of wine to celebrate. I’ve been...

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Do scientists overlook human nature?

Do scientists overlook human nature?

It’s about six months  since Angelina Jolie put faulty genes in the headlines. The news now is that, while her story increased awareness of breast cancer, it didn’t do much for the public’s understanding of breast cancer risk. According to this article in Oncology Nurse Advisor, 75 per cent of 2,500 Americans surveyed were aware of Jolie’s story, but fewer than 10 per...

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Does traditional Chinese medicine work or not? We could be about to find out…

Does traditional Chinese medicine work or not? We could be about to find out…

I’m excited to be involved in a research project being run by the department of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University of Western Sydney. The researchers are looking for evidence that acupuncture and Chinese herbs could help prevent or manage the side-effects of conventional breast cancer therapies. My role is ‘consumer representative’ as part of the Breast Cancer Network of Australia’s...

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Step away from the Lemon Detox Diet – now!

Step away from the Lemon Detox Diet – now!

More than 200 Australian Accredited Practising Dietitians recently voted for what they consider to be the worst diet. The winner, for the third year running, was the Lemon Detox Diet said to be favoured by celebrities including Beyoncé and Mariah Carey. It’s 60 years since the late Hawaiian naturopath Stanley Burroughs ‘stumbled upon’ the purported benefits of living on water, lemon juice,...

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Stay positive about exercise; it will help you to stay positive.

Stay positive about exercise; it will help you to stay positive.

I keep on finding more reasons to exercise – apparently, it can boost your belief that you’re going to succeed. ‘How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family’ reports an increase what’s known as self-efficacy, People with a strong sense of self-efficacy: view challenging problems as tasks to be mastered; develop deeper interest in the activities in which they participate; form a...

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