One thing I love about my job is that I get to learn a little bit about a lot of things, which makes me think I might be good, some day, on "Jeopardy."
We are going a special section in az magazine for May to promote Go Red, the heart-disease awareness campaign for the American Heart Association. Our team and the AHA's team recruited a bunch of well-known Arizona women (Gena Lee Nolin, Brenda Warner, local news anchor Sue Lin Cooney, to name a few) to pose for a photo that will be used for the AHA's billboard and magazine campaign.
I learned that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, yet when we're surveyed about top killers, we name breast cancer.
Heart disease beats out all cancers combined.
Thanks to great awareness efforts like Komen for the Cure, breast cancer has moved to the top of our awareness lists. Those pink-ribbon marketing folks have done their jobs superbly.
And, let's face it, breasts are sexier than hearts, and we've always thought of heart disease as a man's disease.
I also learned that heart disease is more preventable than breast cancer. Our controllable risk factors include diet, tobacco use and exposure, weight, alcohol use and physical activity.
Breast cancer has become more easily detectable and treatable than it was in the past, thanks to the pink-ribbon folks who've pounded in our heads to get regular mammograms, especially if we have family histories of breast disease. And these days, we don't have to dig deep in our family trees to find that.
You likely don't have to dig deep in your family trees to detect heart disease, either. Ladies, this is not a man's disease. Our tickers need regular check-ups, just like our ta-tas do. Treat your heart to an annual trip to the cardiologist.
I saw one for the first time this year, and he detected mitral valve prolapse. Nothing to concern myself with at this point, because I maintain a healthy lifestyle. I don't drink, I don't smoke and (for the most part) I eat well. But none of my family practitioners before him found that MVP.
I'm definitely not bashing the boob-lovers! In fact, next Sunday, I'll participate in the Tri for the Cure - another breast-cancer fundraiser/awareness event (wanna sponsor me?). But the little-red-dress people have some work to do!
Thank you for listening to this public-service announcement. I promise to return to my usual drivel about life, love and things that annoy me.