“One of These Days, Breast Cancer Won’t Exist!”

British pop star Stacey Jackson’s world turned upside down when her best friend—mom Florrie—was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, she’s doing everything she can to help stamp out the disease.

By
Linda Childers
Photograph by Charlie Gray

“Don’t give up, live it up”
Throughout her treatment, Florrie maintained a positive attitude. “It was, I have so much to live for, and I’ll get through this,” says Stacey, who decided to launch the album Live It Up in conjunction with a public service announcement (PSA). “The motto of our PSA is Don’t give up, live it up,” Stacey says. In the PSA, which can be seen on YouTube.com, Stacey says, “It’s important for victims of cancer to stay strong, positive and focused.”

The song Live It Up reached No. 2 on the UK dance charts. Its popularity isn’t surprising, given its inspirational message, which echoes Stacey’s attitude toward life—and the lesson she’s learned from her mom’s cancer battle: “Life is too short. You have to embrace every moment and every opportunity that comes [your way].”

Keeping breast cancer at bay
Stacey’s mom’s diagnosis has driven home the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Here’s how she protects herself:

  • Don’t skip screenings. “It’s easy to put off a mammogram or a breast self-exam when you’re busy, but my mom’s experience taught me the importance of early detection,” says Stacey.
    What you can do: If you’re 40 or older, get a mammogram every year, advises the American Cancer Society (ACS).
     
  • Keep an eye on portion sizes. Eating smaller portions of food is an easy way to cut back on calories, which is important if you need to slim down. Being overweight or obese increases breast cancer risk, according to the ACS. “I believe in everything in moderation,” Stacey says. “If my kids want to eat chocolate that’s fine, but just one or two pieces.”
    What you can do: Leave jumbo-size packages on the shelf and buy smaller packages. A study in the journal Obesity showed that the bigger the bag, the more you’ll eat from it.
     
  • Get moving. “I like going for a run or taking a long walk, and when I travel I take along small five-pound weights,” says Stacey. It’s a good idea, since exercise can help slash your risk of breast cancer. A study published in the journal Cancer found that women who worked out for 10 to 19 hours per week had a 30% lower chance of developing the disease.
    What you can do: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (such as walking) each week.

 

Published
January 2012