Reports Claim An Increase In Cancer Deaths Among Women By 2030

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Breast cancer diagnoses are expected to rise by 60 percent by 2030, according to new reports. The American Cancer Society and Lancet says that many women, particularly those who live in poorer countries, are at increased risk of developing breast cancer. It is estimated that there will be around 5.5 million women diagnosed with the disease in the next decade and a half. This figure approximates the population of Denmark. These projections were announced during the most recent World Cancer Congress in Paris.

Both studies say that most deaths occur among young and middle-aged women. Most worrisome, the authors say, is that these forms of cancer are largely preventable and treatable through early detection. Cancer is considered the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease among women. However, in poorer countries, many adults do not have access to sufficient health care. Many women see an oncologist only when their situation is already severe.

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These findings emphasize current medical theories that rapid economic transitions – which have brought about a change in physical activity, diet, and reproductive habits – have caused an increased risk for illnesses normally common in high-income countries. Unfortunately, while developing countries have adopted poorer health habits, healthcare has remained static. Countries with the highest death rates were Kenya, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.

Authors of the study say that these are estimations. The number can be dramatically reduced with proper education and healthcare. Most importantly, treatment options are more effective on cases diagnosed early.

Sandra Balan is a staunch supporter of the American Cancer Society. To learn more about new findings on cancer, follow this blog.


A Purposeful Vacation: Choosing a Destination with Service in Mind

Traveling is an excellent way to open one’s eyes to the different peoples, cultures, and traditions around the world, and it allows one to experience the various conditions their fellow men have to live in. This is why a growing number of people are becoming interested in traveling to volunteer for a variety of causes as it allows them to learn about different cultures and give back to others.

There are many opportunities for “voluntourism” all over the world that let people offer their time and energy to a variety of advocacies.

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For instance, those who support responsible and organic farming can travel with WWOOF, or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, which has presence in a number of countries including Ecuador, Cameroon, Thailand, Australia, and more. Volunteers for WWOOF will generally do about 4 to 6 hours of farm work in exchange for food and accommodations.

The Peace Corps and United Nations Volunteers are two well-known organizations that take volunteers around the world to help out where there is a need. Typical projects involve post-disaster assistance, healthcare, and community development.

Animal lovers may also want to spend their vacation time helping rehabilitate, preserve and conserve wildlife. Locally, some private wild horse sanctuaries welcome volunteers who can care for orphaned foals. Internationally, one might be interested in working at the Elephant Nature Park shelter in Chiang Mai, Thailand for injured and neglected elephants, in addition to other distressed animals like warthogs.

One can also choose to broaden one’s horizons by volunteering as a trip leader, teacher or tour guide. Some organizations will usually provide volunteers with accommodations and meals in exchange for help in maintaining historical sites, and acting as guides to other tourists. Many national parks across the country offer live-free programs for volunteers willing to fill positions such as gift shop cashier, campground host, or caretakers. Abroad, the company HF Holidays lets people volunteer as walking tour leaders in some beautiful locales while receiving housing, food, travel expenses, and training.

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There are many ways to give back while seeing the world and all its wonderful people, whether one wants to do it locally, nationally, or globally. All one really needs is to know where to look.

Philanthropist Sandra Balan enjoys traveling as much as she does supporting the National Parkinson Foundation and the American Cancer Society. For more articles on how one can merge these interests, follow this Facebook page.

Is There Finally a Cure For Breast Cancer?

The medical community was astounded by the recent news that an Indian teenager found a breast cancer cure. Krtin Nithiyandam, who lives in Epsom Surrey, claims that he has found a way to treat triple-negative breast cancer, a specific form of the disease that does not respond to most treatment methods.

Typical breast cancer treatments revolve around hormone therapy, as the condition is often caused by fluctuations of estrogen, progesterone, or certain growth chemicals. Treatment plans involve patients taking drugs that block excessive production of these hormones. These drugs are normally quite effective. However, triple-negative breast cancer – which affects around 7,500 women each year – is a special case. Doctors speculate that several factors cause the condition, thus, changing treatment. Those who are diagnosed with this illness usually have a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy; and even then, complete eradication of the disease is not certain.

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Nithiyandam, who won the Google Science Fair in 2015 for developing a test that spots Alzheimer’s 10 years before it surfaces, says that he has found a way to change triple negative breast cancer cells so that they respond positively to treatment. The cells, which medical professionals call undifferentiated, do not have receptors which traditional cancer drugs latch on to. Nithiyandam says that blocking a specific protein in the cell could potentially build receptors.

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Nithiyandam’s findings are currently being reviewed and tested by different medical groups. If proven, it could significantly improve the prognosis of the thousands of women battling breast cancer.

Sandra Balan is a passionate supporter of the American Cancer Society. She is constantly on the lookout for the latest cancer treatment news. You can learn more by liking this Facebook page.

New Study Shows Malaria Drug Can Be Used To Treat Cancer

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A new study published in Nature Communications claims that an old malaria treatment drug can be used to reduce cancerous tumors. The drug, called atovaquone, was tested on mice which had tumors with low oxygen levels.

Scientists have found that cancer cells repair themselves faster in low oxygen environments. This is why radiotherapy is often considered hazardous, since cancer cells have the potential to grow faster after therapy. Tumors with low oxygen levels are typically more challenging to treat and usually metastasize to other areas.

However, it was found that atovaquone helps oxygenate the tumors so that they are more thoroughly destroyed during radiotherapy sessions. The malaria drug was tested on different sets of tumors and was seen to be effective for different types of cancers such as lung, head, neck, and brain cancer. Since this is an older medicine – and one used for a different illness altogether – it is readily available over the counter and from generic medicine manufacturers.

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Authors of the study caution the public that results are from research in the initial stages and the medicine should not be considered a comprehensive treatment for cancer. Further research is necessary before oncologists will use atovaquone as a supplement for radiotherapy sessions. Yet this is an exciting discovery that opens doors to “new” treatments for cancer from other illness drugs.

Scientists and health professionals still do not understand the exact mechanics of the genesis of different forms of cancer, so cancer treatment has been in a protracted state of research. By testing other drugs and treatment, oncologists hope to reverse-deduce how cancer develops and thus effectively treat and/or prevent it.

Sandra Balan is a strong supporter of the American Cancer Society and actively looks for the latest news on cancer treatments. To learn more about developments in research, follow this Twitter account.

Architectural Marvels: A Look Into Zaha Hadid’s Iconic Works

Earlier this year, the world mourned the passing of renowned British architect Zaha Hadid. Zaha is known for being one of the most prominent contemporary architects in the late 20th century, and her illustrious career is reflected in the impressive buildings that she has designed all over the world. Below are some of Zaha’s most iconic works:

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London Aquatics Centre: This incredible indoor swimming facility was originally built for the 2012 Olympic Games. The structure boasts of fluid geometrical design inspired by waves and water in motion. It houses two 50-metre pools and has a seating capacity of 2,500. The London Aquatics Centre is located at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center: This 619,000-square-foot complex features Zaha’s signature continuous and fluid geometrical design. Located in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, the $250 million cultural center won the London Design Museum Award in 2014.

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Guangzhou Opera House: Located in Guangzhou, China, this intricately designed opera house is a state-of-the-art monument that perfectly blends with its riverside setting. The exterior has a flowing glass, steel, and concrete structure that creates a striking contrast to the urban streets. The opera house also boasts of urban functionalities such as skylight features and ingenious acoustic design.

These are just a few of Zaha’sremarkably designed buildings. Truly, she is an exceptional woman with extraordinary talent, and her creative vision will certainly live on.

Visit this Facebook page for Sandra Balan for more articles on architecture.

New Us Government Study Tackles Old Cellphone-Cancer Controversy

When mobile technology first became popular, there were many studies that claimed that increased cellular use could lead to cancer. This was a highly controversial statement – with many individuals cancelling their mobile subscriptions until empirical data suggested otherwise.

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Several more studies were undertaken. Most of these concluded that the amount of cellular exposure to develop cancer was almost impossible to attain; that is, the individual should be constantly and continually be on the phone for almost the entire day for several months. As far as mobile companies were concerned, the issue was over.

Recently, however, a major US government study reopened the topic, claiming the excessive cellphone exposure does indeed lead to cancer, at least among rats. Researchers of the study concluded that continuous exposure to radiofrequency radiation increases the potential of developing certain forms of cancer, particularly in the brain.

The upside is that the risk is relatively small, and the exact translation of the phenomenon to humans is still undetermined. Still, medical researchers are cautioning the public to be more vigilant with their cellphone usage. They argue that their findings do suggest that there is a correlation (and perhaps an undetermined causation) between mobile use and developing cancer.

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Further research still needs to be made, but this recent finding has caused a major ripple among cellular companies. People are once again questioning the health and safety hazards of using their cellphones.

Sandra Balan is a staunch supporter of the American Cancer Society and an advocate for education in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Learn more by viewing this LinkedIn profile.

Deliciously Green: The Healthiest Ways To Cook Your Veggies

It’s a well-known fact that vegetables can do wonders for your health. But did you know that veggies react differently to various cooking techniques? Some veggies are better eaten raw while others need heat to power up their nutrients.

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So to help you avoid pouring essential nutrients down the drain, here are some of the best ways to cook your veggies for optimum nutrition.


  • Steaming – The golden rule is to minimize cooking time, temperature and the amount of liquid to preserve and retain their maximum nutritional value. This is why you really can’t go wrong with steaming your veggies, especially the cancer-fighting ones such as asparagus and broccoli.


  • Microwaving – This method reduces contact with water and allows for shorter cooking times, thereby maximizing nutrient content of your food. When you’re preparing peppers, turnip greens, zucchini, carrots and beans, microwaving is your best bet. This study found microwaving to consistently retain antioxidant properties including vitamin C and various B vitamins of most vegetables.


  • Sautéing – Not only is this a healthy way to cook your veggies, but it’s also a great way to maximize their flavor. The secret is to control the temperature of the oil, preferably extra-virgin oil, when sautéing to boost flavor and nutrient absorption.


  • Eat them raw – Eating them raw means that you’re keeping their enzymes, vitamins and phytochemicals intact. But take note, not all fresh produce is best prepared this way. Make sure that you’re buying the freshest veggies out there so you can be sure of their quality.

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When it comes to cooking veggies, we can’t discount the importance of variety. Try out steam turnip slices once in a while or indulge in sautéed leeks for a change. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and don’t stress yourself in the kitchen. Just go for whatever method you’ll enjoy, leading you to eat more of them regardless of how they look in your plate.

A food lover, Sandra Balan feels at her best when she’s cooking and serving up great food for her family and friends. Read this blog to see what she’s whipping up in her kitchen.

Living and Giving: Values of Personal Philanthropy

People with a desire to share what they have for an important cause must balance their charitable intent to their ability to maintain financial stability. Philanthropy is not all about giving huge sums of money to charities in one go, but it also requires planning that comes out of a desire to help make the world a better place. Here are questions philanthropists must ask themselves before beginning giving to charity.


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How much? It’s not true that philanthropy is about giving more than one can afford. Sacrificing too much for a cause can threaten one’s financial and overall stability. It is better to give small, consistent numbers than going for one-time big amounts.

How? There are many ways to practice philanthropy other than financial provisions. People can donate their old books, clothes, and even their hair for various causes. Individuals can also volunteer for these groups. Other organizations prefer these kinds of donations over cash.

Who? Before deciding to give to a cause, individuals must have a clear background on what the organization is about. The donor must uphold similar values with their chosen organization. Donors should also learn about the projects that will benefit with their donations.


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Sandra Balan is a traveler, architecture fanatic, and a philanthropist. Read more about her interests when you follow this Google+ page.

Unclutter Your Mind in the Kitchen: Cooking as Meditation

Anything that boosts creativity is an excellent way to de-stress, and cooking can be one of those activities. For some people, being in the kitchen helps them resolve major issues. In the midst of frustration, most people tend to dwell and end up not finding a solution. However, solutions are usually found when there is detachment. Cooking lets people detach themselves from their problems even for a little while and helps them focus on the sole activity of making good food. When inside the kitchen, the only goal is to cook. But in the process, life begins to brighten up, and the cook realizes bits of insight.

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The eureka moment people experience inside the kitchen is perhaps due to the sensory release one experiences while cooking. When the body’s senses are stimulated, it becomes more dynamic and focused. This could be similar to taking a walk to blow off steam. Once the ingredients are in the stove, the flavors are released.

Thinking of others while in the kitchen could also be helpful. Once the attention is removed from the frustration and directed to happy thoughts, details of the bigger picture materialize. The same is true with cooking. What started as a few raw ingredients begin to look like a whole meal that could feed many. All the efforts from chopping, broiling, baking, and steaming could benefit more than one person. Doing something for others makes one feel good.

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Sandra Balan loves to cook, travel, and visit interesting places. For more delicious insights, visit this Google+ page.

Your First Mexican Adventure: An Itinerary

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Mexico is a popular destination among travelers aching for its ancient ruins, beaches, and beautiful coastline. Here are a few things a traveler should not miss when visiting Mexico.

Teotihuacan is known as Mexico’s biggest city before the Spanish colonized the country. The site is a complex of pyramids and ruins of the Aztec civilization.

Chapultepec Forest
Now a main park in Mexico City, Chapultepec was once a home for the Aztecs. It is Mexico’s largest and most famous park, with a zoo, large lakes, and a museum.

Acapulco was Hollywood’s most favored getaway in the 1950s. It is a popular destination for locals and foreigners, with its white sands and deep blue waters.

Palenque used to be a living site for the Mayans. It may be smaller than its neighboring Mayan cities, but Palenque is filled with beautiful architectural and archeological discoveries. It is also host to the Temple of Inscriptions, or the only pyramid built as a monument for the dead.

Copper Canyon
This network of canyons is several times larger than America’s Grand Canyon. Visitors may pass the canyon via the “Chihuahua al Pacifico” Railway. This track will expose visitors to 37 bridges and 86 tunnels.

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Chichen Itza
This is the largest of all Mayan cities in the Yucatan peninsula. It houses El Castillo, a 91-step pyramid-temple that holds an astronomical significance for the Mayans.

To know more about Mexico’s history-rich sites, visit this Sandra Balan blog.