Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Karen Pasquali Jones, Editor kpasqual­i­jones@gulfnews.com

Fish oil, EX­ER­CIS­ING, eat­ing fib re, breast­feed­ing and get­ting enough sun can all LOWER your RISKS of be­ing DI­AG­NOSED with BREAST CAN­CER

Ev­ery 1.7 min­utes a woman is di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer while ev­ery 68 sec­onds a woman dies of it some­where in the world. The sta­tis­tics are as sad as they are shock­ing and in the UAE, the fig­ures look equally stark. Breast can­cer is the most com­mon can­cer here and the num­ber of women un­der the age of 40 be­ing di­ag­nosed with it is on the rise.

But be­neath these aw­ful sta­tis­tics there is hope and luck­ily, plenty of sto­ries of real women bat­tling – and beat­ing – breast can­cer. Some are tak­ing the tra­di­tional but gru­elling route of surgery, chemo­ther­apy and ra­dio­ther­apy, while oth­ers are search­ing for al­ter­na­tive treat­ments, or jug­gling a com­bi­na­tion of both.

I cried and smiled as I edited the in­cred­i­ble and in­spi­ra­tional sto­ries of breast can­cer sur­vivors on page 24. They are all nor­mal women in a mul­ti­tude of ca­reers; some are moth­ers, some are sin­gle but they are all fight­ers who use medicine, surgery, homeopathy, and above all brav­ery, strength and pos­i­tiv­ity to over­come the odds. The mes­sage these amaz­ing women have to share is that you can beat breast can­cer, and that early de­tec­tion is vi­tal, so please carry out a self-ex­am­i­na­tion regularly.

There’s more you can do, as lifestyle changes can help pre­vent breast can­cer, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts. Fish oil, ex­er­cis­ing (house­work counts if you don’t want to go to the gym!) and eat­ing fi­bre, breast­feed­ing and get­ting enough sun (as a lack of vi­ta­min D can in­crease your chances) can all lower the risk of be­ing di­ag­nosed. Read our fea­ture on page 40 for more tips and let us know what you think of our breast can­cer spe­cial. Un­til next week,

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