The Survivors Of Breast Cancer And Their Beauty

When fighting breast cancer, Listman said, it's helpful to feel beautiful.

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Breast Cancer
Maggie Kudirka, the "Bald Ballerina," who travels the country educating young dancers and adults about metastatic breast cancer, inspired Linda McCarthy's Survivors photography project. VOA

When thinking about people with cancer, the images that first come to mind are usually dark, sad and depressing. But that’s not what photographer Linda McCarthy sees. With her “Survivors” project, her goal was to put a face on breast cancer, photographing women who survived or are being treated for the disease.

“I wanted to photograph them as whole women not the parts that they see of themselves,” she explained. “So, I didn’t want scars, I didn’t want anything like that. I wanted them to see how beautiful they are. They are survivors, they change their outlook on life and say, ‘Yes, this is me, and I’m a survivor.’ So, you see the transformation going on while I photograph them.”

One of the survivors is Cheryl Listman. The single mother was diagnosed with stage 2-B breast cancer in 2013, and told she had a 40 percent chance of survival. Thinking about her two kids made her determined to not give up and to keep fighting the disease.

The Survivors photography project fit nicely with her attitude.

“I work with women, I help educate women who are going through the journey and just help them navigate through the medical side of it,” Listman said. “When she (Linda McCarthy) asked me, I thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s just another impact that I could have on women.’ And then also I would be able to look back and see how far I came.”

Focusing on the whole woman

The idea of featuring breast cancer survivors came to McCarthy when she was searching for a ballerina to photograph for her portfolio.

“I was introduced to Maggie, who is known as the Bald Ballerina,” she recalled. “She was diagnosed at the age of 23 with stage-4 metastatic breast cancer. So, I met her and asked if I could photograph her, not as a ballerina, but as a beautiful girl who happens to have breast cancer.”

Breast Cancer
Linda McCarthy’s photo of Cheryl Listman, like the other photographs in the Survivors project, includes a life-affirming phrase. VOA

Through the lens of her camera, McCarthy says she has always sought to capture the spirit and essence of her subjects.

To do that, McCarthy offered each of the participants a consultation session. During that time, they opened up and talked about themselves, giving her a chance to get to know them.

The women were also given a makeover. By the end of the session with makeup artist Victoria Ronan, many were surprised — and delighted.

“In some cases, it’s been a very long time since they had makeup on, it’s been a very long time since they had done something for themselves,” Ronan said. “I had a lot of women look in the mirror and just start tearing up. They couldn’t believe how beautiful I’ve made them look.”

Also Read: Wireless Device to Detect Heart Dysfunction in Cancer Survivors

When fighting breast cancer, Listman said, it’s helpful to feel beautiful.

“It’s very important because when you go through a horrific journey and treatment, you don’t feel beautiful,” Listman explained. “There is a lot of things done to your body physically, there is a lot of things done to you emotionally, mentally, things that you will never forget that are not pretty. So, when you get to that point in your journey, you feel like a woman again, you feel beautiful, you feel like you’ve accomplished the mission.” (VOA)

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Young Women More Likely to Depend on Alcohol to Improve Mental Health: Researchers

The study also tells that young women are more affected by alcohol use than men

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alcohol
A recent study tells that young women appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than me leading to less interest in academics. Pixabay

Female college students are more likely to depend on drinking alcohol to improve mental well-being, say, researchers, adding that the young women appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than men, which may lead to less interest in academics.

“Cognitive aptitudes of young women appear to be more affected than for men with high alcohol use,” said study lead author Lina Begdache, Assistant Professor at Binghamton University in the US.

“These behaviors are regulated by the limbic system of the brain. However, the cognitive functions for high drinking alcohol use among the young men and women were different,” Begdache added.

For the findings, published in the journal Trends in Neuroscience and Education, researchers sought to compare neurobehaviours and academic effort among college students with low alcohol use with those of high alcohol consumption and build conceptual models that represent the integration of the different variables.

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The study found that young men and women exhibit common behavioural responses to high alcohol. Pixabay

They sent an anonymous survey to assess college students’ alcohol use and frequency along with questions on sleep, academic performance and attitude toward learning. They compared gender responses and found that both young men and women exhibit common behavioural responses to high alcohol use such as abuse of other substances and risk-taking.

The findings showed that young women reported generally less interest in the academic work and performance than young men. The latter reported more risky behaviours, such as being arrested, from excessive drinking.

The study also found that young women are more likely to depend on alcohol to improve mental well-being, which is also concerning, as they may self-medicate through drinking. In both genders, the researchers reported an increase in impulsive behaviours, which are under the control of the limbic system (the oldest part of the brain, evolutionary speaking).

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The study also found that young women are more likely to depend on alcohol to improve mental well-being. Pixabay

Also Read: Young Scientist Develops Panic Button to Tackle Domestic Violence

Another reason for the difference seen is the differential metabolism of alcohol. Women metabolise alcohol at a slower rate, therefore, they are more likely to feel the effect of alcohol. Consequently, their brain is more likely to accumulate a toxic metabolite, acetaldehyde, which may be altering brain chemistry further to add to the differential behaviours identified in this study.

“Academic performance and risky behaviours among college students may be linked to their drinking habits, so more education and awareness should be shared with college students,” said Begdache.

“These findings are also explained by the fact that women tend to have higher connectivity between cortices, while men have a large cortical volume in the areas on the limbic system that support impulsivity,” Begdache added. (IANS)

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Young Scientist Develops Panic Button to Tackle Domestic Violence

If a distressed woman presses the button then it would alert the police or people nearby about violence

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A panic button has been developed to tackle crime against women. Pixabay

By Vivek Tripathi

The panic button, devised by an electronics and communication engineer, is set to play an important role in tackling domestic violence. On being pressed, it would alert the police or people nearby about violence.

Developed by young scientist Anjali Srivastava, the device uses GPS (Global Positioning System) technology.

Anjali, who has made several such tools, told IANS one to five emergency panic buttons could be added to it. “It operates in a 100-metre range and is too tiny to be noticed. Its battery last nearly 8 months. Women can keep the button that costs Rs 2,500 anywhere in the house as per their convenience,” she said.

It also has an audio-recording option, which could later serve as evidence. It could be used by housewives and girls living in paying guest (PG) accommodations.

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The button uses GPS to track the location of the victim. Pixabay

Also Read: Nearly Half Urban Indians to Shop Online After Lockdown: Survey

“This type of innovative devices helps prevent crime against women,” said Gorakhpur scientific officer Mahadev Pandey.

“Anjali has made many such devices in the past, including anti-rape jeans and shocking gloves. This device is very important for the safety of women. It will prove to be very effective, especially in the coronavirus time,” said Shyam Cherasia, research and development in-charge of Ashoka Institute of Technology and Management.

GPS, a radio navigation system, allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world. (IANS)

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Whole Grains Intake Helps Cut Diabetes Risk: Researchers

Whole grains intake is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes

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diabetes
Eating whole grains can lower risk for type 2 diabetes. Pixabay

Eating higher intake of high-quality carbohydrates, especially from whole grains, are associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, say researchers.

“High intake of carbohydrates has been suggested to be associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes,” said study lead author Kim Braun from Harvard University in the US.

For the findings, the research team looked at whether this effect is different for high-quality carbohydrates and low-quality carbohydrates, which include refined grains, sugary foods and potatoes.

In the study, the research team analysed data from three studies that followed health professionals in the US over time.

These included 69,949 women from the Nurses’ Health Study, 90,239 women from the Nurses’ Health Study 2 and 40,539 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Collectively, the studies represented over four million years of follow-up, during which almost 12,000 cases of type 2 diabetes cases were documented.

The researchers observed a lower risk of type 2 diabetes when high-quality carbohydrates replaced calories from saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, animal protein and vegetable protein.

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Replacing low-quality carbohydrates with saturated fats, but not with other nutrients, is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Pixabay

They also found that replacing low-quality carbohydrates with saturated fats, but not with other nutrients, was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Also Read: 61% Indian Business Leaders Fear Cybercrime Risk During Covid-19

“These results highlight the importance of distinguishing between carbohydrates from high- and low- quality sources when examining diabetes risk,” said Braun.

“Conducting similar studies in people with various socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and age will provide insight into how applicable these findings are for other groups,” Braun added.

The study was scheduled to be presented at ‘NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE’, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) this week. (IANS)