Have you had your mammogram yet?

Sara Laite
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

I was checking out social media the other day and got a good chuckle out of a meme that a friend posted. It was a picture of a boy-band from the ’90’s that said, “If you know who this is, then it’s time to schedule a mammogram.” Guess what, I knew who that band was!

Do you know anyone who’s been affected by breast cancer? I’m sure we all do in some way or another. In a woman’s lifetime, they have a 1 in 8 risk of developing breast cancer. Thanks to the North Dakota Cancer Coalition, here are six things we all should know for breast cancer awareness:

1. Know Your Family History. Let your health-care provider know if you have a family history of breast cancer. More frequent mammograms or testing may be necessary!

2. Be Aware. As you get older, your risk of breast cancer increases. If you notice any changes, let your health-care provider know!

3. Get Screened. Mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early. Talk to your health-care providers when you should start being tested, and how often.

4. Keep Yourself Healthy. Regular exercise and a healthy, low-fat diet are associated with a lower risk of breast and other cancers. Limit your alcohol consumption to one drink or less per day. Increased alcohol intake has been associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

5. It’s Not All Bad News. If you do end up with abnormal results from a mammogram, many times it ends up not being cancer. However, it is important to share any information about changes to your breasts with your health-care provider.

6. Progress Is Being Made. Thankfully, death rates for breast cancer continue to decline. The rate of newly diagnosed cancer cases is also decreasing. Today, there are about 5,000 breast cancer survivors in North Dakota.

Check out this sweet potato recipe and use for a simple side dish to spice up your weeknight meal. Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and have some cancer fighting phytochemicals!

Twice-bakes Maple Pecan Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes

½ c. Greek yogurt, plain

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

½ Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

Topping:

½ c. pecans, chopped

2 Tbsp. butter/margarine

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400F. Pierce potatoes with fork and place in large baking pan. Bake for 20-35 minutes or until soft. Cut each potato lengthwise and scoop out flesh. Be careful not to tear potato skin. Place skins back in baking pan. Mash flesh to smooth consistency. Combine the flesh, yogurt, syrup and spice in a bowl. Evenly distribute filling back into each potato skin. In a small bowl, combine pecans, butter and brown sugar; crumble mixture. Evenly distribute the topping onto each potato. Bake potatoes at 400F for 12-15 minutes. Makes eight servings. Each serving has 150 calories, 7g fat, 3g protein, 20g carbohydrate, 3g fiber and 45mg sodium.