Samantha Harris on Motivation
- TV host Samantha Harris was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2014 and announced she was cancer free in October 2014.
- Harris has always been into fitness, and she’s continued to use her platform to motivate others to lead a healthy lifestyle.
- There’s no magical to-do list for a cancer-free life, but it’s a good idea to maintain a healthy weight and lead an active lifestyle since things like obesity and heavy alcohol consumption are linked to a number of cancers.
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“Some days we motivate ourselves on our own… and then there are days we count on others to help motivate us!!! Today, I'd like to think I did both,” Harris wrote.
She shared that she felt amazing after teaching her own class and then attending a class from one of her favorites instructors.
“How do you feel, even after a workout you had a hard time motivating to do?” she asked her followers.
Harris is promoting the idea that even when you find it hard to motivate, getting through a class or putting in the work to exercise usually pays off regardless an approach that can be helpful for cancer patients/survivors and all others as well.
Diet and Exercise Reducing Cancer Risk
Diet and exercise are often considered the two main ingredients to living a healthy lifestyle. This lesson might have been drilled into your head since childhood, but it’s important to know that diet and exercise may affect your risk of getting a cancer diagnosis. Heavy alcohol consumption and obesity have been linked to a number of cancers, for example, so it's a good idea to maintain a healthy weight and consume a healthy diet. It’s important to note, however, there’s no specific “cancer diet,” and doctors recommend people follow basic health guidelines regardless if they have a diagnosis or not.
Dr. Ken Miller, the director of outpatient oncology at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, shared some tips with SurvivorNet on the most effective ways to stay healthy if you have cancer.
- Exercise at least two hours a week walking counts
- Eat a low-fat diet
- Eat a colorful diet with lots of fruits and vegetables doctors recommend two to three cups a day
- Maintain a healthy weight
Breast Cancer Screening
Screening for breast cancer is typically done via mammogram, which looks for lumps in the breast tissue and signs of cancer. Mammograms aren’t perfect, as Harris can attest to, but they are still a great way to begin annual screening. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends women begin mammogram screening for breast cancer at age 45. In a previous video for SurvivorNet, Dr. Connie Lehman, chief of the Breast Imaging Division at Massachusetts General Hospital, says people who haven't reached menopause yet should prioritize getting a mammogram every year.
"We know that cancers grow more rapidly in our younger patients, and having that annual mammogram can be lifesaving," says Dr. Lehman. "After menopause, it may be perfectly acceptable to reduce that frequency to every two years. But what I'm most concerned about is the women who haven't been in for a mammogram for two, three, or four years, those women that have never had a mammogram. We all agree regular screening mammography saves lives."
Although Harris’ mammogram came back clear, she did the right thing by continuing to pursue answers about a lump she found in her breast. And it is important to know that if you are ever concerned about your cancer risk, you should always voice your concerns and talk to your doctors.