say what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger," I
read on a sign in a national park recently. "But not
bears," it continued. "Bears will kill you. Avoid
close contact and use bear spray."
while visiting the Grand Tetons, we spotted a grizzly bear
intently digging for food by the side of the road. As we
watched onlookers armed with cameras jump out of cars to get
closer, my friend Jana remarked, "There’s an idea for
your column. You could write about what the bears eat and what
they can potentially eat … us."
cancer can kill us, too. But like the bear warnings we get
from park rangers, cancer experts tell us there is much we can
do to avoid calamity from this disease. Here is some good
advice from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula:
mammogram. Talk to your doctor about when to start.
active. Do things you love (like hiking in national parks with
bear spray). As little as one to two hours of walking a week
reduced women’s risk for breast cancer, according to a study
from the Women’s Health Initiative.
alcohol. More than just one drink a day can increase a woman’s
risk for breast cancer, says the ACS.
smoke. Smoking is definitely a risk factor for breast cancer.
a healthy weight. Your risk for breast cancer goes up if you
are a mom-to-be, plan to breastfeed your infant. It may help
prevent breast cancer later on.
your doctor about the effects of hormone therapy, especially
as you get closer to menopause.
healthy diet. What’s that? Research evidence shows that a
diet high in plant-based foods including whole grains,
colorful fruits and vegetables accented with healthful sources
of protein and fat (lean meats, poultry, fish, soy and low-fat
dairy plus oils, nuts and avocados) provide the framework for
stronger bodies to resist cancer growth.
learned from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that, like we
humans, bears are omnivores — adapted to eat plants as well
as food from animals. And bears are not picky eaters. They eat
whatever they can find. In the fall, before they hibernate for
the winter, bears load up on berries, nuts, root vegetables
and other available food, which in people terms is called
drive through Yellowstone Park, we stopped for a meal at the
famous Irma Hotel (named for Buffalo Bill’s daughter) in
Cody, Wyo. And there it was on the menu: "Bear Food"
— a salad of greens, blackberries, blueberries, walnuts and
feta cheese … chicken or fish optional. Just what the doctor