Dr. Robert Pendergrast hopes information in his new book will help women lower their risk of developing breast cancer.
In Breast Cancer: Reducing Your Risk With Foods You Love , Pendergrast recommends dietary and lifestyle changes to put women at the lowest risk possible for the disease.
"I'm excited about what I'm doing, and I appreciate the chance to make a difference," said Pendergrast, adding that most public information and funding is aimed at finding a cure and not at prevention.
"I'm fine with that. I want there to be a cure. The best cure is not having the disease in the first place."
The Columbia County resi-dent is a Medical College of Georgia Hospital pediatrician specializing in adolescent health, prevention and public health. He also owns and operates Aiken-Augusta Holistic Health in North Augusta.
Much of the general health information he has disseminated to teens for years also applies to the prevention of other diseases, including breast cancer, he said.
The book focuses on nutrition and lifestyle. Pendergrast outlines in layman's terms steps women can take to reduce their risk, including an overall diet plan, 10 foods that are "prevention powerhouses," and avoiding toxins in foods.
"The strongest medical evidences out there are that weight control, regular physical activity and the choices of what we put into our mouths are the biggest determinates of what reduces breast cancer risk," Pendergrast said. "You'll find the recommendations in the book are things that anybody can do by making choices on a daily basis on their lifestyle and deciding what they are going to put in their grocery cart at the grocery store."
The book also applies to teens. The earlier a woman starts preventive measures, Pendergrast said, the more dramatically she can reduce her risk of breast cancer.
Pendergrast said he started research for the book after his wife's cousin succumbed to breast cancer in 2005.
Every year, 190,000 women nationwide are diagnosed with breast cancer. He said 38 percent of those cases were preventable.
"I just think women need to be informed in order to empower themselves to make decisions rather than being uninformed," he said. "I think most women are going to find this book will resonate with common sense. There may be some surprises, too."
For information or to purchase a book, visit www.breasthealthplan.com or www. amazon.com. Books also are available at Aiken-Augusta Holistic Health at 308 West Ave. in North Augusta.
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