September 10, 2008

Nutrition Presentation for Cancer Survivors

FARMINGTON - The Bass Room at Franklin Memorial Hospital will be the setting for a free nutrition presentation for cancer survivors and a healthy meal from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1. The special program is being offered by the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center at the hospital in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Registered Dietitian Donna Walsh, coordinator of nutrition and wellness at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta, will discuss food choices that can maximize one's health and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence, as well as reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Walsh has more than 28 years of experience in the field of nutrition and health education. She provides nutrition services for oncology patients at the Harold Alfond Center. She also provides education and classes on nutrition and cancer prevention throughout central Maine communities.

The program and meal are free, but preregistration is required. Family members and caregivers are also welcome. Call 779-2555 to RSVP or for additional information.

Walsh said a sampling of recommendations she'll discuss include eating a diet with an emphasis on plant sources; eating five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits every day; choosing whole grains over processed (refined) grains; limiting intake of processed and red meats; and drinking no more than one alcoholic beverage a day for women and no more than two for men.

Walsh's presentation will take place following the monthly breast cancer support group meeting. The support group is for women who have had a recent diagnosis of breast cancer, are in treatment for breast cancer or have had breast cancer in the past and would like to share their experiences.

Meetings are held at 4 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month, according to Jamie Lucas, care support nurse for the Webber Breast Care Center.

The center, now located in the new Franklin Health Medical Arts Center, provides comprehensive breast care and access to screening, diagnostic, clinical, and care-support services.

In addition to digital mammography, the center offers risk assessment, breast ultrasound, stereotactic needle biopsy, physical therapy including lymphedema treatment, surgical services, post- operative care support, wig and prosthesis referrals and community education.

For additional information about the breast cancer support group, contact Lucas at 779-2430.

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