Breast Self Exams: to do or not to do?

In 2002 a comprehensive 10 year study of Chinese factory workers to determine if knowledge of breast self exam (BSE) affected breast cancer mortality was published. This epidemiological study is cited as why BSE is no longer recommended. Unanswered questions include can the results of this study be generalized to different ethnicities, cultures, health systems and nationalities? Also prior to instruction 13.3% of control group (not BSE instructed) had practiced BSE in the past year. According to the authors: “Furthermore, a high proportion of women in the instruction group reported that they had found their breast cancer as a result of practicing BSE, and they sought medical attention after detecting their tumor in somewhat less time than did women in the control group”… Here is a copy of the 2002 paper.
http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/94/19/1445.full.pdf+html

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Lady justice does not blink

Our nation has a long history of criminalizing poor and minority children. The early colonists brought with them notions of debtor prisons and children could be imprisoned because their parents were broke. The atrocities committed against slave children, native children, and children of indentured servants are shameful stains on our history. Post slavery,  children’s rights remained secondary to capitalist aspirations as poor children. So why are we surprised that lady justice sees nothing wrong when grown policemen touch female children inappropriately after-all  lady justice did not blink when the blood of children was spilled multiple times.

 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/charges-assault-spring-valley-high_56733c14e4b014efe0d4d59c

I call Bull Shit

A church opens its doors to a young man and he massacres 9 members of this church. He is a hate filled murderer but the excuses have already started.  Even before the  bodies are cold, blame has been shifted to everyone except the killer and the culture that nurtured his hate.  So before you scream lone wolf and insanity, remember that this man like Tim McVeigh and many others before him is a product of his culture. A product of hateful generations of privilege. A product of a society that has more severe penalties for kicking stray animals than killing certain types of people. The fact remains that privilege allows you not to see injustice because it does not affect you.

The revolution is being televised?

The past few years has seen revolutions and uprisings all over the globe. From Cairo to Baltimore people are rising and rioting, in reaction to a trigger of some kind, police brutality, oppression by leaders. People are reacting! The 99% marched in reaction to the status quo. But then what? What has changed? What has improved? Revolutions cannot be sustained if they are reactionary, they have to be nurtured and purposeful. They have to be driven by goals and these specific objectives must be focused and deliberate otherwise after the fires stop burning, if they do, the resulting anarchy is often worse than what was displaced.  Sadly all over the globe folks are relearning this.  But then should people just sit and do nothing? Of course not, because if they do nothing the rage just simmers and grows and the riots are simply postponed. Ideally we would address the root causes of the problems and find solutions. Solutions that recognize that human lives are more important than property and $$$. But getting there will be difficult if we wait for elected leaders. Many of these elected leaders are too privileged to relate to the poor or even the middle class. They are clueless about the needs of the people they should serve and cannot comprehend the effect of their words. So in addition to marching, shouting and praying, register to vote. Field your own candidates that will change the status quo. Think before you act.  Remember if all you do is burn your own neighborhood, 20 years from now it may still stay burned. And no one will give a damn until the burning starts again.

Paranoid Helicopter Parents.

It’s funny watching helicopter parents with their kids, you know the mom or dad that always holds on so tight to their children they never figure out how to explore for themselves. It stops being funny when they want to impose their irrational fears on others. The nosey helicopter parents call the cops when a neighbor’s 5ft 3 twelve year old is walking home from school by himself and trigger a child neglect investigation. The annoying neighbor who calls 911 when a 6 year old is riding her bike by herself in the driveway of her house, while her mom is watching from the kitchen not sitting next to the kid. Just because a helicopter does not allow her kids to ride the bus or cross the road does not mean that she has the right to use the police to harass her neighbors. OK helicopters claim to have good intentions but let’s remind them that “the road to hell is paved in good intentions.” Of course bad things may happen but living in constant fear and crippling kids with unfounded paranoia does not help them.  Life is too short to spend living in fear and kids should be allowed to learn how to assess risks in age appropriate ways.  So if you’re a helicopter parent and you are getting outraged by your neighbor who is so relaxed and letting his kids run free, take a deep breath, enjoy the scenery and go over and say hi.  Be neighborly before judging out of context. Use your brain and don’t be ruled by irrational fears. Also remember the police have real emergencies to deal with, a healthy kid walking home from school on a beautiful day is not an emergency. If you think it is please examine yourself seriously as you may need some help.

Cult/gang proofing our kids

A few parents have been on the news recently because their kids joined ISIL or other cults. The scary part is that the kids were just so regular and so average as were the families and we may be tempted to say it could happen to anyone. But as parents we can fight and prevent it. We can do something, anything and stop our kids from feeling so hopeless and easy prey to these cults. The first step to cult/gang proofing our kids is spending time with them and building up their individuality. They do not need the latest toys or gadgets as much as they need us. We can teach them to revel in their own quirks and let them know that stranger danger includes religious fanatics and gangs. We should tell them the truth about scary topics otherwise they will get their truth elsewhere. We must stop trying to make them fit in with others, celebrate their awkwardness, absurd humor and abstract art and music. We should let them develop their own voice and celebrate each assertive gesture. It’s so easy to blame the environment when we had at least 10 years to cult/gang proof our kids but failed because we were too busy chasing money, career or prestige.