I recently held a Skype consultation from my office in Ashland with a deaf client in Florida who has breast cancer. It was fascinating to use video technology while her husband sat next to her signing what I said.
I would speak a few sentences at a time, and he would translate. We smiled as I watched his gesticulations, and we connected in an unbelievably cool way. I learned about her childhood in Germany which, despite its technological sophistication, was behind us in helping the deaf when she was younger.
On the other hand, as far as helping people with and preventing breast cancer, in some ways Germany is ahead of us. There's long been a sophisticated "green" movement there, potent resistance to genetically modified and hormonally enhanced foods and an awareness of the connection between environment and cancer that is only beginning to emerge here.
Though there is a growing consensus among health professionals that various cancers are at least in part environmentally influenced, our federal government is just starting to acknowledge this connection.
But why wait for the government to catch up before we try to prevent cancer? Of course, if you adhere to some of the following recommendations, there's absolutely no guarantee you'll prevent cancer. But here are some suggestions.
This list goes on. Feel free to write to me and add to it. There are dozens of health professionals in the area who can help clarify some of the principles and flesh out a cohesive plan for you.
In the meantime, start by implementing one concept per week, educate yourself and please don't wait until next year to make it your resolution.
Michael Altman is a nutritionist at Ventana Wellness and teaches at Southern Oregon University. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.