About Me

My photo
My journey as a writer began as a child, but my first published book came as a result of my ovarian cancer diagnosis. The title is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received two awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2017.

Friday, June 24, 2016

COCOON OR BUTTERFLY


                              THERE ARE SO MANY NEEDS IN THE WORLD...
                                          OFTEN THEY ARE RIGHT NEXT DOOR...
                                                   OR IN OUR OWN HOMES AND FAMILY.
Here is one story about a young mother who turned tragedy and sadness into a way of serving others. She now brings peace and comfort to those who have suffered the same loss as she did.

The young couple heard the words, hydrous fetalis for the first time. They had been celebrating the pregnancy of a little girl who they named Viviana Iris Acosta. Sonograms confirmed that Viviana's lungs and her head had filled up with fluid and were told the baby would not likely make it to term.
The choice of an abortion was not an option for this couple based on their Christian beliefs. However, Viviana's heart stopped beating by the seven month of pregnancy and was born Nov. 3, 2008.

Leaving the hospital without a sweet baby in her arms was a very traumatic experience and it was then that the idea of making boxes with keepsakes in them came about.


                                                  Viviana’s Memory Boxes

Each keepsake box contains the following:
  • “When Hello Means Goodbye” (a booklet on infant loss and grieving)
  • Handmade receiving blanket for baby
  • Bible scriptures and poems to help comfort the family
  • Plush Teddy Bear
  • Forget – Me – Not Seeds
  • Small photo album
  • New Testament Bible
  • Journal with ink pen
  • Tissues
  • Lip gloss
                        For more information go to: http://kalebkares.com


John Michael Night at 18 years old on Dec. 14 suffered a very rare stroke, in the brain-stem. This has left the young man unable to move anything but his eyes, yet his spirit is strong and vibrant. He went through intensive rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. Received visitors, cards, and gifts from all over the world offering him prayers and encouragement.




The senior high student wanted to walk at graduation. And, he did with the help of his classmates and his own sense of will and fortitude. For weeks he practiced the simplest of movements that any of us take for granted. He can now hold his head up, swallow food, lift his arms, and even speak a few words. John's sense of self-will, tenaciousness, and faith made him a great LaCrosse player and now helping him to overcome this great challenge.

On Twitter he listed John 13:7 as the Bible verse he lives by: "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

              From an article in the Orlando Sentinel: ksantich@tribpub.com

I think of the woman who started Ovarian Cancer Women on Facebook as a place for support, encouragement, and information, and is now in hospice
...for a dear friend whose only child and her long-time pet died within 6 months of each other
...of another precious friend whose son died unexpectedly
...of all my teal sisters who are dealing with ovarian cancer
...of the tragic and senseless deaths here in Orlando on June 12
...for the hundreds who die in war, accidents, poverty, illness, or natural weather events

WHY? I have no answer to that question. Why do some people suffer more than others? I only know that whatever challenge that comes into my life I need to learn and grow from it. I try to be a better person.
                  As my coffee mug states: Just when the caterpillar thought the world
                                   was over, it became a butterfly...Proverb




Monday, June 6, 2016

TO HAVE SUGAR OR NOT

               SUGAR CAUSES CANCER...

                             OR DOES IT?

The question as to whether or not sugar causes cancer is a controversial one. The purpose of this blog is to present the scientific facts from some respectable researchers have done. I hope you read it with an open mind and come to a decision that is right for you as to the role of sugar in your diet.

                          Where does the myth come from?
"... spread by many cancer-related websites and reports. According to the myth, eating sugar feeds cancer making it grow faster. This myth has convinced many cancer patients to stop eating sugar hoping that in way, the cancer will stop growing. In addition, cutting sugar off your diet means that you eliminate also beneficial foods, such as fruits.
                            The reality behind the myth
What we know is that sugar doesn't make cancer grow faster. All cells, including cancer cells, depend on blood sugar (glucose) for energy. But giving more sugar to cancer cells doesn't speed their growth. Likewise, depriving cancer cells of sugar doesn't slow their growth.

This misconception may be based in part on a misunderstanding of positron emission tomography (PET scan), which uses a small amount of radioactive tracer — typically a form of glucose. All tissues in your body absorb some of this tracer, but tissues that are using more energy — including cancer cells — absorb greater amounts. For this reason, some people have concluded that cancer cells grow faster on sugar. But this isn't true.


However, there is some evidence that consuming large amounts of sugar is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, including esophageal cancer. It can also lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, which may increase the risk of cancer.


Cancer cells have receptors called insulin growth factors, which cancer cells can use to spread cancer. Excess sugar goes to the liver, which is then metabolized. When there is an overload of sugar in the liver, it is concerted to fat. This causes a buildup of belly fat and cytokines, which can increase your risk for cancer.

Sugar consumption in the United States is on the rise. Americans on average individually consume about 100 to 150 pounds of sugar per year. Based on these findings and other research suggesting a link between sugar consumption and cancer, the researchers advise a diet low in sugar. Other than cancer, sugar consumption is a major risk factor for the development of other health conditions such as obesity and heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, women should have no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, and men should have no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar per day. Many Americans consume about double that amount.
It is important to be able to spot the hidden sugars in food, as this is where many people don’t realize their dietary mistakes lie. Sugar isn’t just found within “sugar” on a food label. Sugar can be within a number of other ingredients such as fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose, glucose, and dextrose. While it is unlikely you’ll be able to completely avoid sugar, it is possible to choose healthier, natural sugars such as agave nectar and honey. Artificial sweeteners should be avoided.
Let’s look at the evidence to find out whether sugar causes cancer to grow and spread more quickly.
                 It’s what sugar does to your waistline that can lead to cancer.
 ...being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk for cancer and other diseases.

“Your body’s cells use sugar to keep your vital organs functioning,” says Clare McKindley, clinical dietitian at MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center. “But too much daily sugar can cause weight gain. And, unhealthy weight gain and a lack of exercise can increase your cancer risks.”

                                           Eat the right amount of sugar
So, how much sugar is safe to eat?  Women should have no more than six teaspoons per day (25 grams), and men should have no more than nine teaspoons per day (37 grams), says the American Heart Association. This equals to about 100 calories for women and 150 for men.

If you’re like most Americans, you actually eat more than double that much sugar in a day — about 22 teaspoons. That’s 260 cups or 130 lbs. of sugar each year.
Even worse, all that extra sugar breaks down to about 500 calories per day. That’s hundreds of calories with absolutely no nutritional or cancer-fighting benefit.
And, it’s not just sweets that are loaded with sugar. Pasta sauce, salad dressings and canned vegetables also have hidden sugars. Canned and processed foods are some of the biggest offenders.

Spot hidden sugars in food

Some sugary foods don’t include “sugar” on the ingredient list. That’s because sugar is often disguised under different names. Here are some hidden “sugar” words to look out for:
  • fructose (natural sugar from fruits)
  • lactose (natural sugar from milk)
  • sucrose (made from fructose and glucose)
  • maltose (sugar made from grain)
  • glucose (simple sugar, product of photosynthesis)
  • dextrose (form of glucose)
Opt for natural sugars
Natural sugars, like molasses, agave nectar, honey and maple syrup, are packed with antioxidants that protect your body from cancer.

Even though these sweet options are natural, they still have about the same amount of calories as regular sugar. So, it’s important to stick to the recommended daily serving for sugar.

Avoid artificial sweeteners
Do you prefer artificial sweeteners over sugar?
Some studies done with laboratory animals have found links between artificial sweeteners and cancer. But, no proof exists that says artificial sweeteners definitely cause cancer. Until more is known, your best bet is to avoid or limit artificial sweeteners.

Rein in your sweet tooth
Bottom line: sugar, when eaten in small amounts, can fit into a balanced diet. And, if you have a sweet tooth, it’s better to get your sugar fix from naturally sweet fruits than processed foods. 

"The current study investigated the impact of dietary sugar on mammary gland tumor development in multiple mouse models, along with mechanisms that may be involved," said co-author Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine. "We determined that it was specifically fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, ubiquitous within our food system, which was responsible for facilitating lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumors."

The MD Anderson team conducted four different studies in which mice were randomized to different diet groups and fed one of four diets. At six months of age, 30 percent of mice on a starch-control diet had measurable tumors, whereas 50 to 58 percent of the mice on sucrose-enriched diets had developed mammary tumors. The study also showed that numbers of lung metastases were significantly higher in mice on a sucrose- or a fructose-enriched diet, versus mice on a starch-control diet.
"This study suggests that dietary sucrose or fructose induced 12-LOX and 12-HETE production in breast tumor cells in vivo," said Cohen. "This indicates a possible signaling pathway responsible for sugar-promoted tumor growth in mice. How dietary sucrose and fructose induces 12-HETE and whether it has a direct or indirect effect remains in question."
The study team believes that the mechanism by which dietary sucrose or fructose affects breast tumor growth and metastasis, especially through the 12-LOX pathways, warrants further investigation.

5 Reasons Cancer and Sugar are Best Friends

cancer_and_sugarPatrick Quillin, PHD, RD, CNS, former director of nutrition for Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, OK, wrote: “It puzzles me why the simple concept ‘sugar feeds cancer’ can be so dramatically overlooked as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment plan” (Nutrition Science News, April 2000). I agree.  Sugar is cancer’s favorite food.  There are at least five reasons that cancer and sugar are best friends.

1-Affinity

Cancer cells love sugar! That is why refined carbohydrates like white sugar, white flour, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and soft drinks are extremely dangerous for anyone trying to prevent or reverse cancer.  Sugar essentially feeds tumors and encourages cancer growth. Cancer cells uptake sugar at 10-12 times the rate of healthy cells.  In fact, that is the basis of PET (positive emission tomography) scans — one of the most accurate tools for detecting cancer growth.   PET scans use radioactively labeled glucose to detect sugar-hungry tumor cells.  When patients drink the sugar water, it gets preferentially taken up into the cancer cells and they light up! The 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, PhD, discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. He found that malignant tumors exhibit increased glycolysis — a process whereby glucose is used as a fuel by cancer — as compared with normal cells. 

2-Acidity

Warburg also found that cancers thrive in an acidic environment. Sugar is highly acidic.  With a pH of about 6.4, it is 10 times more acidic than the ideal alkaline pH of blood at 7.4.

3-Immunity

Sugar suppresses a key immune response known as phagocytosis – the Pac-Man effect of the immune system.  Consuming 10 teaspoons of sugar can cause about a 50% reduction in phagocytosis.  
Not only the amount of sugar, but also the frequency of ingesting sugar is relevant to immune function. In one study, research subjects were found to have nearly a 38% decrease in phagocytosis one hour after ingesting a moderate amount of sugar. Two hours later, the immune system was suppressed 44%; immune function did not recover completely for a full five hours.

4-Activity

In most people, when sugar in any form is consumed, the pancreas releases insulin.  Breast tissue, for example, contains insulin receptors, and insulin is a powerful stimulant of cell growth.  One group of Australian researchers concluded that high levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) may actually be causative of cancers of the breast, prostate, endometrium and pancreas. A broad study conducted in 21 countries in Europe, North America and Asia concluded that sugar intake is a strong risk factor contributing to higher breast cancer rates, particularly in older women. A four-year study at the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection in the Netherlands compared 111 biliary tract cancer patients with 480 healthy controls. Sugar intake was associated with more than double the cancer risk.
5- Obesity
Sugar ingestion seriously contributes to obesity, a known cause of cancer.  Obesity also negatively affects survival.  More than 100,000 cases of cancer each year are caused by excess body fat, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.  These include esophageal, pancreatic, kidney, gallbladder, breast and colorectal cancer.

Sugar Substitutes

Although I am against sugar, please don’t think I recommend artificial sugar substitutes! Sweeteners containing aspartame, saccharin or sucralose have been shown to contribute to bladder cancer, lymphoma and leukemia, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Good sugar substitutes are stevia (an all-natural herb from South America), barley malt, rice syrup, and palm sugar.  Even high-glycemic sweeteners like Sucanat, evaporated cane juice, molasses, honey and pure maple syrup are nutritionally superior to refined table sugar or HFCS, and you can avoid sugar spiking if you consume them in the presence of high fiber foods like ground flaxseeds.

Do I consume processed sugar? Yes, in very low amounts. A piece of Dove dark chocolate after supper is my main source of processed sugar. I use stevia when I bake, which is seldom. I believe in moderation in all things. 
Please comment about your thoughts on the role of sugar and cancer. We can all learn from each other.