Pushing Pink Elephants

What Does it Mean to be Proactive?


Although we are focused on Breast and Ovarian Cancers, many of our healthy living tips and suggestions will benefit everyone, not just those who are concerned about cancer.


Prevention means an action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer or other illnesses.


Proactive  means taking control and doing something now, rather than waiting for a cancer diagnosis or other illnesses.


But how do you know what preventative actions to take to reduce your risk or when to be proactive? Some risk factors can be avoided while others cannot. If you have a genetic predisposition to develop a cancer or have a family history, this is something you cannot control. However, if you know this information you have the power to talk to your doctors and inform them of your risk. Together you can tailor a plan for your specific situation.


However, you cannot control what others do that may increase your risk. A neighbor may use pesticides on their lawn that will eventually make their way onto yours. But there are so many other ways you can decrease your risk of disease and cancer by creating a healthy lifestyle. Our five steps can help you achieve your goals of being proactive and preventative in one fell swoop. 


We have 5 ways to a better, healthy and happy future: 


1. Make Healthy Life Choices

  • Quit Smoking
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • If birth control pills are right for you, talk to your doctor about the hormones present in the brand they recommend. Consider using one with low or zero hormones.
  • Avoid products that contain parabens, phthalates, and added fragrance.


2. Eat a Healthy Diet - More Information On This Topic Click Here

  • Add more vegetables and fruits to your diet (give organic a try).
  • Avoid products that contain preservatives.
  • Avoid animal products that have been raised with growth hormones or antibiotics.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners (try agave or stevia).


3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

  • Healthy diet (above).
  • Exercise regularly.


4. Find a Primary Care Doctor and a GYN You Feel Comfortable With

  • Start creating a wellness plan that’s right for you.
  • Annual physicals including diagnostic lab work.
  • Annual GYN visits.
  • Talk to your GYN if you are experiencing the symptoms of ovarian cancer listed below. Prolonged or frequent symptoms may be a sign of something more serious.
    • Bloating
    • Pelvic or abdominal pain
    • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
    • Change in urinary urgency or frequency
    • Fatigue
    • Indigestion
    • Back pain
    • Pain during intercourse
    • Constipation
    • Menstrual irregularities
  • Talk to your GYN if you are experiencing symptoms of cervical cancer. If you are visiting your doctor once a year, then you are already getting your annual pap tests. Don't skip this appointment.


5. Know Your Body

  • Listen to your body, it will tell you when something is wrong.
  • Listen to your inner voice. If something seems wrong, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns to your doctor. Be Pushy if needed and get the answers you need.
  • Do self-breast exams - use the step by step guide here for women and for a guide to help the men check their chests click here. Need a reminder? Sign up for Bright Pink's Underwire Alerts, for a text reminder. We should be experts at noticing and identifying changes in our breasts.
  • Learn the symptoms of ovarian and cervical cancer above.



GBMC's Risk Assessment Program


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Baltimore, MD and the Surrounding Communities  

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