Science says you can boost your happiness.
The University of British Columbia and Thrive Health have partnered to study the impact of COVID-19 and its associated public health measures (such as physical and social distancing, quarantine, and self-isolation) on overall well-being, including happiness, life satisfaction and positive feelings through the use of the ENHANCE program.
Led by Dr Lesley Lutes, Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at the University of British Columbia, the ENHANCE program delivers daily exercises to help participants improve their happiness and well-being, adapted to the context of coping with a global pandemic. The skills, habits and attitudes the program supports users to develop are based on decades of research into positive psychology.
Dr. Lutes is a registered clinical health psychologist focused on developing innovative treatment interventions involving lifestyle change and well-being. Her small-changes approach has resulted in international recognition and awards. This small-changes approach guides people through regular goal setting, with a focus on self-selected, small and manageable goals.
“COVID-19 has created stressors and challenged the mental health of many across the globe as they struggle with the loss of income, loss of social connection and generalized fear around the risks associated with visiting physical spaces. What we often don’t realize is that tensions, such as these, are bi-directionally correlated with our physical health,” explained Dr Lutes. “Research has proven that our physical health impacts our mental health or emotional well-being and our well-being or mental health impacts our physical health.”
And according to the science you can increase your happiness. In return, happiness doesn’t only feel good, but supports health and longevity, lasting and meaningful relationships, and superior work performance.
The randomized clinical trial will be hosted on the Thrive Health platform, and be available to the general public across Canada in 2021.
“At Thrive Health we believe that our healthcare system needs to not only treat illnesses, but to help people to thrive. This project will measure how well the Thrive Health platform is able to improve people’s level of well-being, which is an important part of why we’re here,”, said Thrive Health CEO David Helliwell. “Whether someone is managing their chronic pain, preparing for surgery, experiencing a challenging pregnancy, or just living through a pandemic, the Thrive platform not only helps them manage their physical health but also monitors and assists with their overall well-being and happiness.”
The program itself is user friendly, with a low daily time commitment. Participants will engage in short survey questions and be provided with daily cognitive and behavioral exercises, along with tutorials and expert guidance provided by the authors of the ENHANCE program on how to implement these skills.
British Columbians aged 19 to 75 who are interested in improving their well-being are encouraged to register at thrive.health/sign-up-enhance by simply entering their email address.
ABOUT THRIVE HEALTH
Founded in 2016 in Vancouver, Thrive Health is a software company with a mission to fundamentally improve the delivery of healthcare in Canada and around the world. Thrive exists to support patients in their advocacy for better health, clinicians in delivering excellent care, and healthcare agencies as they prevent patients from falling between the cracks in the system. Thrive wants people to thrive, mentally and physically, through their healthcare journeys and in their daily lives.
Make a Commitment to More Family Meals
Spending moments together with loved ones carries obvious benefits like time to catch up and opportunities to bond, but sharing meals actually provides definitive value for families.
With restricted social interactions and confinement at home due to COVID-19, many families are facing meal challenges that have shifted from juggling busy schedules to seeking new ways to mix up the traditional menu or using digital solutions to reconnect at a virtual table.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior funded by FMI Foundation shows that more frequent family meals are associated with better dietary and family functioning outcomes. The results build on years of previous research studies to punctuate the creation of the Family Meals Movement, which encourages to pledge to share one more family breakfast, lunch or dinner at home per week.
Considerable findings from the study:
Family meals improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Studies show a positive relationship between family meal frequency and fruit and vegetable intake when examined separately, but also when fruit and vegetable intake are combined.
Family meals improve family dynamics. Nearly all the studies included in the systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated a positive relationship between family meal frequency and measures of family functioning. Family functioning is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem-solving.
“There are thousands of individual studies that examine the impact of family meals on nutrition and family behavior, but this meta-analysis looks at the relationship between family meal frequency and family functioning outcomes,” said David Fikes, executive director of the FMI Foundation. “We can confirm that family meals are a valuable contributor of improved nutrition and family dynamics.”
Find tips, recipes and ways to increase your family meal frequency despite COVID-19 circumstances at familymealsmovement.org.
German Fruit Tart
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half or cream
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
- sliced strawberries
- sliced kiwi
- sliced banana
- 2 teaspoons turbinado or powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. To make crust, beat together flours, sugar, egg, half-and-half and almond extract. Add butter slices and mix together until sticky ball of dough forms. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
On heavily floured surface, knead dough a few times and roll out to fit greased 10-inch tart pan. Carefully spread dough into tart pan and bake 15-20 minutes, or until tart starts to turn golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool. Dust crust with cornstarch to help fruit stick to crust. Arrange strawberries, kiwi, banana and blueberries on top of crust; sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Hawaiian Chicken Pizza
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken\
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 ready-made pizza crust or whole wheat pizza crust (10 ounces)
- 1 cup canned or jarred tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple tidbits packed in 100% juice
Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat pizza pan or baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine rotisserie chicken and barbecue sauce. Place pizza crust on pan and evenly spread tomato sauce over crust. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.
Top evenly with rotisserie chicken mixture and pineapple. Bake until crust is crisp and browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Let pizza cool 10 minutes before cutting into eight slices.
Peanut Butter Banana Protein Baked Oatmeal
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 packets stevia (sugar substitute) or preferred sweetener
- 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
- 1 scoop (1/4 cup) vanilla plant-based protein powder
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons liquid egg whites
- 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), sliced into 24 slices
Preheat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, stevia, powdered peanut butter and vanilla protein powder. In separate bowl, combine almond milk, yogurt, egg whites, mashed banana and vanilla extract.
Add oat mixture to wet ingredients and gently stir until fully combined. Line 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly. Top with banana slices in four rows of six slices each.
Bake 27-35 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Let cool and cut into six rectangles. Wrap and refrigerate extras until ready to eat.
COVID-19, Your Health And Holiday Celebrations
As many people in the Surrey begin to plan for fall and winter holiday celebrations, its necessary to follow considerations to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any provincial safety laws, rules, and regulations with which holiday gatherings must comply.
When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees.
Virus spread risk at holiday celebrations
Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses low risk for spread. In-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk. Event organizers and attendees should consider the risk of virus spread based on event size and use of mitigation strategies.
There are several factors that contribute to the risk of getting infected or infecting others with the virus that causes COVID-19 at a holiday celebration. In combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk, so it is important to consider them individually and together:
- Community levels of COVID-19 – Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, as well as where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.
Family and friends should consider the number and rate of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when considering whether to host or attend a holiday celebration. Information on the number of cases in an area can be found on the area’s health department website.
- The location of the gathering – Indoor gatherings generally pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation, such as those with open windows or doors.
- The duration of the gathering – Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings.
- The number of people at the gathering – Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability to reduce or limit contact between attendees, the risk of spread between attendees, and provincial health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.
- The locations attendees are traveling from – Gatherings with attendees who are traveling from different places pose a higher risk than gatherings with attendees who live in the same area. Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, or where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.
- The behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering – Gatherings with attendees who are not adhering to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), mask wearing, hand washing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than gatherings with attendees who are engaging in these preventative behaviors.
- The behaviors of attendees during the gathering – Gatherings with more preventive measures in place, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing, pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented.
People who should not attend in-person holiday celebrations
People with or exposed to COVID-19
Do not host or participate in any in-person festivities if you or anyone in your household
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others
- Has symptoms of COVID-19
- Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results
- May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
People at increased risk for severe illness
If you are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or live or work with someone at increased risk of severe illness, you should
- Avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household.
- Avoid larger gatherings and consider attending activities that pose lower risk (as described throughout this page) if you decide to attend an in-person gathering with people who do not live in your household.
General considerations for fall and winter holidays
Fall and winter celebrations, such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Halloween, Día de los Muertos, Navratri, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s, typically include large gatherings of families and friends, crowded parties, and travel that may put people at increased risk for COVID-19.
Before you celebrate
Hosting a holiday gathering
- If you will be hosting a celebration, follow safety tips for hosting gatherings. Below are some additional considerations for hosting a holiday celebration:
- Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities as much as possible. If hosting an outdoor event is not possible, and you choose to host an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, or fully enclosed indoor spaces.
- Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather.
- Host activities with only people from your local area as much as possible.
- Limit numbers of attendees as much as possible.
- Provide updated information to your guests about any COVID-19 safety guidelines and steps in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Provide or encourage attendees to bring supplies to help you and others stay healthy. For example, extra masks (do not share or swap with others), hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and tissues.
- If you are planning in-person holiday gatherings with people outside of your household, consider asking all guests to strictly avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the gathering.
Attending a holiday gathering
If you will be attending a celebration that someone else is hosting, below are some additional considerations for attending an in-person holiday gathering:
- Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities. If participating in an outdoor event is not possible, and you choose to attend an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, and fully enclosed indoor spaces. Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather.
- Check with the event host, organizer, or event venue for updated information about any COVID-19 safety guidelines and if they have steps in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Bring supplies to help you and others stay healthy. For example, bring extra masks (do not share or swap with others), hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and tissues.
- If you are planning to attend in-person holiday gatherings with people outside of your household, consider strictly avoiding contact with people outside of your household for 14 days before the gathering.
Traveling increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you decide to travel, follow these safety measures during your trip to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public places.
- Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart (about 2 arms’ length) from anyone who is not from your household.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Get your flu vaccine
Gatherings can contribute to the spread of other infectious diseases. Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season. September and October are good times to get vaccinated. However, flu vaccines are still useful any time during the flu season and can often be accessed into January or later.
During the celebration
Follow these tips to reduce your risk of being exposed to, getting, or spreading COVID-19 during the celebration:
Social distance and limit close contact
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people you don’t live with.
- Be particularly mindful in areas where it may harder to keep this distance, such as restrooms and eating areas.
- Avoid using restroom facilities at high traffic times, such as at the end of a public event.
- Avoid busy eating areas, such as restaurants during high volume mealtimes, if you plan to eat out at a restaurant.
- Minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, do not shake hands, bump elbows, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet others.
- Wear a mask at all times when around people who don’t live in your household to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
- Avoid singing, chanting, or shouting, especially when not wearing a mask and within 6 feet of others.
Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible. Use EPA-approved disinfectants.
- Use touchless garbage cans if available. Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands after removing gloves.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Keep safe around food and drinks
Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or eating is associated with directly spreading COVID-19. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food, food packaging, or utensils that have the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way that the virus is spread. Remember, it is always important to follow good hygiene to reduce the risk of illness from common foodborne germs.
- Make sure everyone washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing, serving, and eating food. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Instead of potluck-style gatherings, encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household only.
- Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.
- Wear a mask while preparing or serving food to others who don’t live in your household.
- If serving any food, consider having one person serve all the food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
- Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, plates and utensils, and condiments.
- Avoid any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets or buffet-style potlucks, salad bars, and condiment or drink stations. Use grab-and-go meal options, if available.
- If you choose to use any items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash and disinfect them after the event.
- Look for healthy food and beverage options, such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low or no-calorie beverages, at holiday gatherings to help maintain good health.
After the celebration
If you participated in higher risk activities or think that you may have been exposed during your celebration, take extra precautions (in addition the ones listed above) for 14 days after the event to protect others:
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Avoid being around people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Consider getting tested for COVID-19.
- If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or if you test positive for COVID-19, immediately contact the host and others that attended the event or celebration that you attended.
- They may need to inform other attendees about their possible exposure to the virus. Contact your health care provider and follow the public health recommendations for community-related exposure.
- If you are waiting for your COVID-19 test results, stay home until you have a result, and follow the instructions given to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker may contact you to check on your health and ask you who you have been in contact with and where you’ve spent time in order to identify and provide support to people (contacts) who may have been infected. Your information will be confidential.
- If you are notified that you were a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19
- Stay home for 14 days from the last time you had contact with that person.
- Monitor for symptoms of coronavirus.
- Get information about COVID-19 testing if you feel sick.
Safety Steps for Spooky Fun
Traditional family activities like trick-or-treating create fun moments and memories, but the effects of COVID-19 on this Halloween will bring about change for the spooky excitement.
You can still ensure a special night for your little ones and all the ghouls, goblins and ghosts in your neighborhood by following safety measures aimed at keeping everyone healthy on All Hallows’ Eve. Consider these tips for safe trick-or-treating from the experts at the National Safety Council and leading candy maker, Mars Wrigley.
- Buy individually wrapped candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Fun-size packs are one of the easiest forms of candy for trick-or-treaters to grab and go.
- Create fun, individual candy goody bags for a no-touch option for trick-or-treaters.
- Make sure your yard is well-lit; replace any burnt-out light bulbs.
- Create signs encouraging trick-or-treaters to stay 6 feet apart and display them in your yard.
- Don’t hand out treats if you are not feeling well.
- Consider socially distanced options such as “trunk-or-treating,” during which prepackaged goodies are handed out, or a virtual costume parade. Alternately, you can use a tool like Mars Wrigley’s “TREAT TOWNTM,” an app-based digital experience for families to virtually trick-or-treat for real candy. It offers Halloween fans of all ages the ability to create personalized spooky avatars, customized decorations for your in-app “door” and the ability to “knock” on the doors of friends and family across the country. Visit Treat-Town.com to find more information.
- Make trick-or-treating care packs with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and extra face masks.
- Help little ones clean their hands throughout the night.
- Maintain a distance of 6 feet from other groups of trick-or-treaters, allowing one group to collect candy at a time.
- Wear face masks and reflective tape or clothing and carry flashlights or glow sticks if you’re walking in the dark.
- Do “mask checks.” Stop in a safe place and make sure young children’s masks are covering their mouths and noses.
- Use sidewalks and crosswalks. Don’t cross the street between cars and be as visible as possible as drivers may be distracted.
- Consider setting up a grab-and-go “candy corner” for visitors, inclusive of hand sanitizer and treats.
- Wash your hands when you get home.
- Sanitize candy wrappers before eating or let it sit for 24 hours.
- Follow the “when in doubt, throw it out” rule. Throw away any candy that is open, ripped or has torn packaging, an unusual appearance or pinholes. Discard any homemade items made by people you don’t know.
- Watch for choking hazards. If you have a young child, make sure candy he or she collected isn’t a choking hazard. If it is, discard it.
- Keep candy away from pets, especially chocolate and sugar-free gum, which can be poisonous for your furry friends.
Handing Out Treats From Home
If you’re staying home to hand out treats to the superheroes, ghosts, princesses and other little guests that arrive on your doorstep, consider these ideas to encourage safety and fun:
- Minimize the number of hands reaching into a bowl. Find fun, hands-free ways to give candy to trick-or-treaters. You can place candy on your lawn or driveway, so trick-or-treaters don’t have to crowd around your front door, touch handrails or knock.
- Move out of the way any items that children could trip over and keep pets inside.
- Stand outside when handling treats, wear a mask and use hand sanitizer often. Consider keeping a large bottle of sanitizer near you for visitors to use as well.
- Allow one small group at a time at your door.
- Give out one set of treats at a time to minimize hands reaching into a common bowl. For example, fun-size packs of treats like M&M’s and SNICKERS offer plenty of options and are easy for trick-or-treaters to grab and go.
Source: Mars Chocolate
5 Reasons To Reduce Your Caffeine-Intake
Everybody likes to start the mornings with positive affirmations and a cup of warm coffee. Most Americans use caffeine as a source of energy and mood-booster. Also, you might experience withdrawal symptoms similar to addiction on the decaf days.
While consumption of coffee induces some health benefits, reducing the caffeine-intake might incorporate holistic wellness. It leads to a reduction in headaches and fetches a sound sleep. Not to forget, you might experience relief from anxious thoughts once you quit coffee and caffeinated energy drinks.
Here are the top reasons to reduce your coffee intake and adapt to a caffeine-free lifestyle.
Around 90% of adults depend upon coffee to kick start the day and induce an energy-boost in no time. However, excessive consumption of coffee leads to severe anxiety and might contribute to frequent panic attacks. You get to experience a spurt of energy right after drinking the morning coffee.
Along with this, it activates the fight and flight mechanism in the body. Further, it contributes to increasing heart rate, racing thoughts, and excessive nervousness. In case you’re prone to anxiety or depression, then you must stay away from caffeine. Not only will it increase the frequency of panic attacks, but it also contributes to depressive episodes.
You are likely to face the withdrawal symptoms like headaches and restlessness in the initial decaf days. However, it gets better in the consecutive days and fetches the body’s salubrity as a whole.
Do you remember the exam days when you used to consume caffeine for the all-nighters? Excessive intake of caffeine might interfere with your sleep-wakeup cycle. Along with this, it alters the duration and the consistency of the sleep in the long run.
In case you experience difficulty falling asleep at night, it might be due to the coffee you gulp down all day long. Due to the stimulating effects, caffeine affects hormonal production and disturbs the neurotransmitter levels.
All you need to do is reduce your caffeine intake to induce a refreshing and consistent sleep cycle. Also, try to replace your morning beverages with healthy alternatives like lemon water or chamomile tea. That way, you get rid of the higher levels of alertness and experience a sense of comfort.
Aids Nutrient Absorption
Another reason to give up on your morning coffee is the nutritional benefits. Caffeine, as well as tannins present in coffee, might inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients.
Also, it leads to nutritional deficiencies and might cause health derangements in the long run. You can get all the nutrients from your diet with lesser consumption of caffeine. Some nutrients like Vitamin B, Calcium, and Iron are less likely to assimilate into the body with higher caffeine consumption.
Along with this, an imbalanced diet and increasing age add to the limitation and make you devoid of nutrients. It transforms into nutritional disorders and affects the physiological processes in the future. Hence, you must take good care of your diet and quit caffeine to make the most of the nutrients available in it.
Controls Raised Blood Pressure
More than 1.3 billion all over the globe suffer from cardiological ailments like hypertension. It leads to symptoms like tachycardia, headache, and visual disturbances that interfere with your daily life. With the consumption of coffee, you predispose your body to hypertensive states.
Research suggests that excessive consumption of coffee leads to raised blood pressure and other related conditions. It stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure through the circulatory system. Along with this, caffeine is a potent vasoconstrictor and constricts the walls of your arteries.
In case you drink more than 3 to 5 cups per day, your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases increases two to three folds. Also, it takes a toll on your heart functions and might lead to heart derangements in the long run. You must reduce the caffeine intake to keep the cardiac ailments at bay.
Balances Brain Chemicals
Caffeine is one of the potent stimulants that alter brain chemistry in the long run. You are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms within 24 to 48 hours of decaffeination. Also, it leads to disturbing effects like frequent headaches, nausea, confusion, and heart palpitations.
Caffeine addiction comes under the list of addiction disorders, owing to the severe impact on the brain. Also, it acts on the brain and promotes the release of potent neurotransmitters like adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin.
Due to this, you experience a sense of comfort after drinking coffee and an energy-boost. Also, it binds with the adenosine receptors and makes us feel less exhausted. With excessive consumption of coffee, you might experience unusual alertness and insomnia-like states in no time.
Most caffeine lovers can’t think of decaf days and depend upon coffee to start the day. However, caffeine might induce specific harmful effects on the body and interfere with brain chemistry. Along with this, it makes you quite alert and hinders with the sleep cycle of the body.
As a result, you experience insomnia-like states and excessive heart palpitations. It affects nutrient absorption and reduces the assimilation of certain nutrients like vitamins and calcium. Make sure to reduce your caffeine intake for a healthy and relaxing lifestyle.
Cancer Survival Story – Surrey Hospital Foundations Invests $500K For 3D Tomosynthesis Technology
October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Surrey Hospitals Foundation Invests more than $500,000 for Digital Tomosynthesis Mammography to Better Detect Breast Cancer
3D imaging technology is more accurate at detecting cancer earlier and in dense breasts
Surrey, B.C. (October 13, 2020) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Surrey Hospitals Foundation has invested more than $500,000 to purchase a new 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Mammography imaging technology for the Surrey Breast Health Clinic located at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.
The funding was initiated by Tammy Ritchie of the Ritchie Family Foundation, one of the Holiday Home Tour for Hope teams who also supported this purchase.
The relatively new 3D advanced breast imaging technology uses a low-dose X-ray system, similar to the traditional mammography, but rotates in an arc to capture multiple images of the breast tissue from many different angles, which are then processed to create 3D images of the breasts.
Digital breast tomosynthesis is much more accurate in detecting cancer earlier and helps to reduce false positives, especially for higher risk cases like dense breast tissue. However, not many clinics have this new technology.
“More than 43 per cent of women in Canada, in particular those age 40 and over, have dense breast tissue which makes it more difficult to detect smaller tumours using the more traditional mammography method[i],” says Dr. Rhonda Janzen, a surgeon at the Breast Health Clinic at the Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgical Centre.
“Having a 3D digital breast tomosynthesis unit here at the clinic has greatly helped in the earlier detection and diagnosis of breast cancer for so many women, especially those who are higher risk and have dense breast tissue.”
Photo: Breast cancer patient Tammy Thomson and her family.
31-year-old Tammy Thomson is one of Dr. Janzen’s high-risk breast cancer patients who is currently undergoing treatment at the Breast Health Clinic. She underwent a double mastectomy to remove an aggressive cancerous tumour that had grown from pea-sized to the size of her fist within months. Her breast cancer diagnosis story would unsettle many who hear about it.
A French immersion elementary school teacher and mother of two young children, Tammy noticed strange symptoms including hard breast tissue that concaved when moved, and she was lactating blood. She informed her family doctor who sent her for mammogram tests.
However, tests came back inconclusive despite having several mammogram and other investigative tests throughout the months. A pea sized lump was detected, but determined to be benign.
But Tammy knew in her heart that something was wrong. It wasn’t until Tammy sought the advice of Dr. Janzen at the Surrey Breast Health Clinic, that Dr. Janzen instantly knew there was something very concerning about Tammy’s results.
They quickly realized that Tammy had dense breast tissue and regular mammograms could not detect the tumours, which had grown from pea-sized to the size of her hand within six months. Within 10 days after first seeing Dr. Janzen, Tammy had her double mastectomy in October 2019.
“I have no doubt that if I had access to this digital breast tomosynthesis technology in the beginning, my breast cancer would have been caught earlier and taken care of much sooner,” says Tammy Thomson, breast cancer patient at the Breast Health Clinic.
“It is especially poignant this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month that I’ve come full circle, one year after my surgery. I hope that by telling my story and sharing my experience, others can learn from it, to take ownership of their own health and to never stop pursuing treatment especially if they feel in their heart that something is wrong.”
The Breast Health Clinic in Surrey is a state-of-the-art facility that integrates and streamlines the diagnosis, treatment, and reconstruction surgery for women with breast cancer. The clinic has a team of health care professionals which includes surgeons, radiologists, MI techs, breast clinic nurses, clerical staff and a social worker who provide specialized breast health care for patients through assessment, care, education and research.
“Our clinic was able to purchase this much needed digital breast tomosynthesis technology because of the generosity of donors like the Ritchie Family Foundation, who approached us to find out how they could best support women fighting breast cancer,” says Dr. Dennis Janzen, a radiologist at the Breast Health Clinic. “The technology has already helped so many women especially those with dense breast tissue and we are grateful for their support.”
“We are so proud to support the Breast Health Clinic and their many health care specialists, many of whom are the best in the industry, with this investment in a digital breast tomosynthesis technology,” says Jane Adams, President and CEO of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation.
“Our Foundation helps fund the purchases of innovative health care technologies that can lead to better health outcomes of patients. The Breast Health Clinic treats several hundred patients each month from all over British Columbia, and this digital breast tomosynthesis technology will go a long way in saving lives.”
About Surrey Hospitals Foundation:
Surrey Hospitals Foundation is the largest non-government funder of health care for families in Surrey and surrounding Fraser Valley communities. The Foundation supports the major health facilities in the region, Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC), as well as numerous specialized programs for newborns, children, adults and seniors. The Foundation invests in the future of health care by funding innovative research in Surrey that can lead to medical breakthroughs. https://surreyhospitalfoundation.com
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