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When it comes to cancer, your actions matter

Here's why...

 

“Breast cancer survivors face a myriad of challenges each day,” says Reach for Recovery’s National Management Board Chairperson and breast cancer survivor, Stephné Jacobs.

“That’s why we believe that transforming compassionate intent into practical and life changing action is the most helpful way to assist the thousands of South African breast cancer survivors who struggle not only with fears and self-esteem issues but also with the financial implications of restoring normality after losing a breast.

“Our Ditto prostheses project is one of our most important annual initiatives. The funds we raise through this project provide women with limited financial resources with breast prostheses at MINIMAL COST1 to them after breast removal surgery. Our greatest need for 2017 is to secure sufficient funding to continue this amazing service as we want to make prostheses available to all state patients as they have the greatest need.”


The funding for the Ditto prostheses project comes from the annual Power of Pink campaign, a joint initiative between the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA) and Pick n Pay. So look out for our trademark (and very pretty!) pink mushroom punnets on shelf in Pick n Pay for the entire month of October. R1 from each punnet of 250g whole and sliced white button mushrooms sold between September 25 and October 30 will be donated to the Ditto prostheses project so that prostheses can be provided to affected women who cannot afford to purchase them.2

“We see the Ditto Prosthesis Project as an essential part of the healing process for survivors of breast cancer,” explains Stephné. “Surviving breast cancer is just the beginning of an emotional journey that needs both a sensitive and a practical understanding of the issues at stake. We see, on a daily basis, how wearing the correctly fitted breast form restores confidence; particularly important to women are still at the working age and need to return to work to avoid economic hardship.”

“To continue providing prostheses,” concludes Stephné, “we call on all South Africans to be part of our ‘support crew’ and buy mushrooms in pink punnets during October. “You’ll be contributing to a wonderful transformation and, as research2 indicates that women who eat an average of 10g of mushrooms a day (one white button mushroom), seems to halve their risk of breast cancer, you’ll keep yourself healthy too!

 

References

  1. Recipients give a small R80 donation to Reach for Recovery to cover administrative costs. This having been said, Reach for Recovery does not turn away anyone due to lack of financial resources.
  2. See Addendum 1 for more information on breast cancer research which indicates that mushrooms are potentially powerful allies in the fight against breast cancer
  3. See Addendum 2 for more information on Reach for Recovery 


ADDENDUM 1

MUSHROOMS, PINK PUNNETS AND BREAST CANCER:
RESEARCH ILLUSTRATES THE LINK

  1. Researchers at the University of Western Australia discovered in their study that the women who ate at least 10 grams of white button mushrooms per day were 64 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.
  2. An emerging body of science suggests that higher intakes of vitamin D may be associated with lower risks for some cancers, including prostate, breast, lung, colon and colorectal cancers. Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable that naturally contains vitamin D, a nutrient which many people lack.
  3. Research done by Professor Shiuan Chen, Director of Surgical Research at City of Hope Hospital in California indicates that natural compounds found in white button mushrooms inhibit aromatase enzymes in the body (proteins that stimulate the production of estrogen and which can promote the growth of some cancers, including breast cancer). So indications are that the consumption of white button mushrooms will help reduce the amount of estrogen the body produces, and subsequently reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  4. Mushrooms may also help prevent cancer by providing natural antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals (naturally occurring chemicals that can damage cells’ DNA and initiate the cancer process) and help to repair damage that has already occurred. In some laboratory studies, mushrooms displayed even more antioxidant power than tomatoes and carrots.
  5. So you can now add mushrooms to your well balanced diet (which should include plenty fresh fruits and vegetables) and know that you are eating for your health!


Sources:
a)    http://superfood-diet.com/2017/04/11/mushrooms-reduce-breast-cancer-by-64/
b)    http://www.cancercarecentre.org.au/articles/mushrooms-%E2%80%93-nature%E2%80%99s-breast-cancer-fighter/
c)    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.24047/full
d)    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160406165254.htm
e)    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606092736.htm
f)    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11739882
g)    http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2016-02-26/15-foods-that-cut-your-cancer-risk

ADDENDUM 2

REACH FOR RECOVERY 2017 DITTO PROSTHESES PROJECT OBJECTIVES

  1. To make the Ditto Prosthesis Support service available to every state breast cancer patient, irrespective of where she lives.
  2. To increase the current recipient base with 10% year on year.
  3. To continue to provide a quality service as per our Ditto Prosthesis Suport Policy.
  4. To conduct a small research project to determine the impact of the Ditto Prosthesis Support Project on recipient’s lives.  The outcome could be used as “evidence” to attract more funding for the project.


WHO ARE THE WOMEN OF REACH FOR RECOVERY
R4R volunteers are breast cancer survivors who understand the importance of having emotional support, financial aid, community engagement and access to education, assistive products and resources after breast surgery.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON REACH FOR RECOVERY
Reach for Recovery (R4R) South Africa receives no state funding and is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (P.B.O No 930 011 568) and as a Non-Profit Organisation (N.P.O. 043-723-NPO).  R4R is affiliated to Reach for Recovery International (RRI) which is a comprehensive non-medical programme created to help women with breast cancer.
The aim of the Reach for Recovery programme is to supply practical and emotional support to breast cancer patients and their families, to enable them to make relevant personal decisions and to find the motivation for recovery with an optimal quality of life.
 

Breast Cancer Awareness: 
Volunteers actively work for breast cancer awareness through talks to encourage breast cancer self-examination and outreach programmes into all communities.

State Hospitals: 
Volunteers attend the breast clinics at state hospitals to offer emotional and practical support.

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