Living Well at Robson Ranch holds Women’s Seminar

Marie Milleage

Living Well at Robson Ranch held the second annual Women’s Health Seminar in October highlighting breast cancer and heart disease awareness and survival.

The American Cancer Society estimates in 2015 approximately 292,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women with about 40,290 women dying from this disease. While lung cancer causes the most deaths in women, breast cancer is the number two leading cause of cancer death. The good news is that since 1989 death rates from breast cancer have declined, due in part to early detection, increased awareness, improved treatments and research. Today more than 2.8 million women are survivors.

Nancy Thomas, leader of the Robson Ranch Breast Cancer Support Group, praised her faith and family for the care she received and the excellent support and treatment provided by the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, professional staff that included her sister. Founded by Melba Beckham and Marguerite Rose over 10 years ago, the Support Group assists women in various stages of survival by offering meals, rides to treatment and encouragement.

Martha Harrell, who previously lived in Alaska, relayed how service was limited and how she heavily relied on her family and the faith-based community to help her through her treatments. After moving to Texas, Martha experienced another occurrence and received state-of-the-art treatment in the Dallas area.

A “Sister Study,” funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, proposes to determine the causes of breast cancer and involves 50,000 women who have sisters with breast cancer. The “Two Sister Study,” a branch of the original research, looks at possible causes of early breast cancer. Information is available at

Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in American women, more deadly than all forms of cancer combined, causing one in three female’s deaths yearly. Heart disease affects approximately 43 million American women with 90% having one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year. In 2010 the American Stroke Association reported 77,109 female deaths due to stroke.

Is your heart trying to tell you something? Wendy Worrell, Clinical Education Specialist at Texas Health Presbyterian, Denton, described measures to prevent a heart attack and reduce the risk for stroke. Both heart disease and stroke share several risk factors, specifically high LDL (bad) and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, an unhealthy weight, diabetes and smoking. Wendy’s mother, Barbara Browning, a resident at Robson Ranch, practices good health habits that can otherwise lead to heart attack or failure, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease and more.

For more information about organizations mentioned in this article, go to for the American Cancer Society; for heart and stroke at the American Heart Association; and for Living Well at Robson Ranch, [email protected] or [email protected].