Tagged in: Cancer

Cancer: Why A Timely Diagnosis Is REALLY Important

The diagnosis of any major illness is a complex process. It starts with symptoms experienced by the victim, followed by a pre-diagnosis processes that include self-help options and visiting a local health practitioner, and finally getting an actual diagnosis. If the matter concerns a normal allergy or a harmless cough, it’s alright to take it easy. However, if the victim is under a threat of a more serious disease, like cancer, the delay in diagnosis itself could be deadly.
 
The Disease
 
cancer-1 

Cancer is a deadly disease that claims the lives of many every year. The cancer mortality rate is unbelievably high in all countries as compared to deaths by other major diseases. There are various types of cancers and it is imperative to get a timely diagnosis in order for doctors to be able to cure the patient. Cancers have stages as well. If a patient is diagnosed as being infected with the initial stages of cancer, there is a possibility to control or cure the disease completely. However, in the later stages, doctors come across a lot more challenges that are difficult to control and sometimes impossible to overcome. Hence, it’s said that the timely diagnosis of cancer is just as important as the actual cure.
 
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why the diagnosis of cancer is usually delayed and how this delay adversely affects the treatment opportunities.
 
Missed Opportunities
 
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It’s a rare practice for people to visit the doctor as soon as they experience any kind of uneasiness or discomfort. This could involve a rise in temperature, dehydration, nausea, internal pain or any malignant growth. Such symptoms are linked to normal illnesses and are ignored. This is where an opportunity goes amiss. However, if the symptoms persist, we understand the possibility of a problem and visit a doctor. The doctor may not be able to diagnose the problem immediately, possibly due to incomplete information provided by the patient or similar symptoms to other general illnesses, and may prescribe drugs. Here is where the second missed opportunity occurs. This causes another delay. You go ahead with the doctor’s advice and take the prescribed medication. After a while you realize that the medication is not working. You also notice that instead of feeling better, your health is continuing to deteriorate. It’s at this time that you notice the symptoms getting stronger or more obvious. This is when you go to the hospital for a more thorough diagnosis. There has now been a significant delay since the first moment you noticed that something was wrong, to the time the test results arrive. This time of delay varies from patient to patient. In some cases the delay may be just a few days or weeks, which is still acceptable. But in some cases, the delay is months or even years and this shortens the possibilities of a successful treatment.
 
Direct Ratio
 
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There is a direct ratio between diagnosing cancer and actually curing it. The earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the higher the possibility of a complete cure. Diagnosing cancer in its early stages gives time for doctors to eradicate it from your body through surgery, drugs or chemotherapy. Also, cancer in its early stages tends to be docile and reacts positively to drugs. However, with the delayed diagnosis of cancer, the disease has had enough time to grow or spread and it gets harder to control it with drugs or surgery.
 
Timely Diagnosis is Synonymous with Better Psychological Adjustment
 
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Cancer victims experience uncontrollable levels of anxiety and stress. The excessive medications, treatments and therapies tend to have an adverse effect on their psychological adjustment. Timely diagnosis greatly contributes to the reduced levels of medical treatment and therapies, thus reducing the stress and anxiety levels and simultaneously improving the patient’s psychological adjustment.
 
In short, a timely diagnosis of cancer is a matter of life and death. Literally!
 

 

Detoxify Underarms To Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

We all know that cancer is a disease on the rise. There are various treatments available in the market but nothing beats the age old strategy of prevention. Detoxifying your underarms may help you reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.
 
It might not be common knowledge, but using underarm deodorants can increase your chances of getting breast cancer. Why is that? Let’s find out.
 
Cancer-Prevention-Detoxify-1-Deodorants 

Deodorants and anti-perspirants contain a variety of carcinogens (cancer causing agents) in their formula. The following ingredients aid the development of breast cancer:

     

  1. Propylene glycol: Also known as anti-freeze, it increases your chances for getting allergies and immune-toxicity.
  2.  

  3. Aluminum: Is known to cause certain types of cancer along with Alzheimer’s disease.
  4.  

  5. Formaldehyde: Has germ killing powers, but it is a widely known carcinogen. It is also used for embalming corpses. Yikes!
  6.  

  7. Phthalates: These chemicals are known for disrupting the natural balance and production of hormones. They are also known for causing infertility issues in men and are most commonly found in plastic.
  8.  

  9. Parabens: This substance has been found in biopsied cancer cell tissues, hence proving itself to be a carcinogen.
  10.  

  11. Antibacterial compounds: Again, antibacterial compounds such as triclosan are known to cause a hormonal imbalance. The aid in breeding the antibiotic resistant superbugs and have various negative effects on one’s own immune system.

 
Cancer-Prevention-Detoxify-2-Ingredients 

Even products advertised as “natural” contain well known carcinogens, TEA, and DEA. They are basically preservatives that maintain a steady pH level. They also contain a variety of synthetic smells and colors that are a leading cause of hormonal disruption.
 
All the above discussed ingredients are reasons enough to stop using the over-the-counter deodorant and get busy making your own by using natural ingredients only.
 

If you’ve ever felt a lump in the armpit/neck region, those are actually your lymph nodes hard at work protecting you against diseases. They are a major part of your immune system and effectively remove pathogens along with bacteria from your body. You apply your deodorants directly on your lymph nodes, the defense central of your body. It may lead to hormone disruption as they are absorbed right into the skin.
 
Imagine your skin as a large organ and whatever you apply onto it is directly absorbed into your bloodstream. Now, why in the world would anyone want to put carcinogens into their own blood stream? This is the leading cause of an increase in blood cancer levels as stated by The American Cancer Society in 2013 when about 39,000 women passed away due to cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death right after lung cancer.
 
The President’s Cancer Panel presented a report entitled “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What Can We Do Now,” in 2010 that stated that huge environmental factors were being overlooked by The American Cancer Society. It also said that it would be wise to try to prevent it rather than develop cures for it.
 
Cancer-Prevention-Detoxify-3-Clay 

Here is a detox program for your underarms: ditch those industrial deodorants and make your own. If you are familiar with the effects of bentonite clay, then you will know exactly how it draws out the toxins and chemicals out of your skin. Your underarm odor will decrease and eventually leave, but it may take up to 14 days. Patience is the key here.
 
You Will Require:
 

     

  1. 1 Teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  2.  

  3. 1 Tablespoon of bentonite clay
  4.  

  5. 1 or 2 teaspoons of water

 
What To Do?
 

     

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a glass bowl using a wooden spoon.
  2.  

  3. Mix until it reaches the consistency of a pudding or thick cream. You can add water if it looks too thick.
  4.  

  5. Evenly spread it over your underarms.
  6.  

  7. Let it stay for up to 20 minutes (start with 5 minutes on day 1, eventually adding a minute each day until it becomes 20 minutes).
  8.  

  9. You can then shower normally or remove it with a wet towel or cloth.
  10.  

  11. In case of reddened skin, don’t worry as it is normal and it will disappear on its own.

 
Drinking ample amounts of water always helps in flushing out toxins from your body so make sure to increase your water intake. Try to implement dry brushing into your daily routine if you are not doing it already as it helps in the stimulation of lymph circulation.
 

Prevention is always better than having to cure something, so why not invest a little effort to prevent breast cancer?

 

 

Prevent Breast Cancer By Changing These 5 Habits

A growing concern in recent years has been breast cancer. Many cases of breast cancer are seen each year and the figures keep increasing. This indicates that it’s time that people are made aware about breast cancer. There is no sure-shot preventive measure for breast cancer. Sometimes it travels through genes. On other notes, it is a consequence of an extremely unhealthy lifestyle. There are tips to be followed that may not eliminate the risk entirely, but it will surely keep the risk at bay. Undoubtedly, it’s good to learn about your body, diagnose any unusual symptoms, and take treatment at the right time to cure it.
 

If you look at the stats from the U.S., breast cancer ranks second behind skin cancer as the most common forms of cancer. To set the notion right, it can occur in BOTH men and women. Yes, that’s true. In fact, there are around 2,300 cases of breast cancer in men seen in a year whereas there are 230,000 cases seen in women each year. The probability is less in men, but it still prevails.
 
There are different types of breast cancer. The most common one is the ductal carcinoma, where the duct cells are affected. The cancer cells can affect any tissue of the breast, not necessarily the ducts. However, there are some preventive measures that can be considered to reduce the risk.
 
1. Reduce Your Weight
 
breast-cancer-1-weight 

Take extra precaution in maintaining your weight. Obesity increases the risk of developing breast cancer by two-folds, especially during the phase of menopause. Keep a healthy diet and avoid reaching the borderline of obesity. Always aim for keeping your Body Mass Index (BMI) within the range of 25 and below.
 
2. Which Contraceptives Are You Using?
 
breast-cancer-2-birth-control 

Oral contraceptives have always been debatable on whether they contribute in the risk for breast cancer. After much research and studies conducted, it has been found that those pills that constitute of a high dose of estrogen are much harmful compared to the POP (progesterone-only pill). A high dose of estrogen can trigger an overstimulation of the breast cells hence triggering an increased risk of breast cancer. Those who have a history of breast cancer should avoid taking such pills. Once you stop taking the pills, it takes 10 years for the risk to subside to a very slight percentage. So, ensure that you are aware about the estrogen content in your contraceptive formula.
 
On the contrary, for those females who are undergoing a hormonal therapy for their menopausal issues, it is known that such combined hormonal therapies that span for a period of more than 3 to 5 years can increase the risk of breast cancer. It is best to consult with your doctor for any possible alternatives or switch to a low-dose therapy to minimize the risk.
 
3. Say Bye-Bye to Drinks and Drugs
 
breast-cancer-3-quitsmoking 

Quit smoking and it will be the best thing you will ever be doing for your body. Smoking triggers multiple potential health threats, the risk of breast cancer being one of them. Smoking is more dangerous for those females who are in their pre-menopause phase. The breast tissue doesn’t fully develop until a female has delivered her first baby, after which the harmful effects of tobacco maximize.
 
Alcohol has been a known risk for causing an increase in the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol has drastic effects. It damages the DNA cells. It increases the levels of estrogen and also other hormones that trigger the risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol increases the risk of benign breast lumps in teens aged 9 to 15, who drink more than three times a week! Benign breast lumps have a high probability of developing into breast cancer in the later stages. Alcohol can even trigger the re-occurrence of breast cancer, those who have already been earlier diagnosed and treated for it.
 
4. Breastfeeding Prevents Breast Cancer Risks
 
breast-cancer-4-feeding 

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. Those females who opt out of breast feeding and rather choose to formula-feed their babies are at a higher risk of breast cancer. The longer a mother is able to breastfeed her baby, ranging from 12 to 24 months, the better it is for the mother, as the risk is greatly reduced and the more protective you are from the disease.
 
5. Avoid Radiation Exposure
 
breast-cancer-5-radiation 

Natural and medical sources all emit ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is a cancer-prompting agent and can trigger cancer effects in those who are exposed to it in large amounts. The female breast is vulnerable to such effects of radiation and may be at a greater risk of developing breast cancer because of such exposure. Ionizing radiation in large amounts is usually experienced from x-rays and the emission of gamma rays from radioactive substances. We are usually surrounded by low level radiation that include the radon gas in the air, uranium, and thorium that is found in building materials and in the ground soil. The cosmic rays bombard low-level radiation from outer space. The natural radiation may not be as harmful as the man-made radiation seen in certain industries, such as that from nuclear facilities. Those occupations that involve large amounts of radiation exposure are to be avoided. The survivors in the atomic bombing during the Japan World War II were highly exposed to radiation. Those who undergo radiation therapy to treat thymus glands or other treatments are highly exposed to radiation and are at an exponential risk of developing breast cancer.
 

 

You, The Sun, And Skin Cancer

A little bit of anything is always welcome. This statement holds true in most circumstances whether it’s food, exercise, alcohol consumption or even a simple everyday thing such as exposure to the sun – we must ensure we take in just the right quantity. Not too much, but not too little. Bright sun rays are often associated with warmth and happiness. We obtain vitamin D from the sun, but too much exposure to the sun can be really harmful. Sun rays cause aging, dullness, dark spots, and wrinkles.
 

While you may bask in the sun for that perfect tan, you may not realize that you are also exposing yourself to some serious health threats. Sun rays act as a catalyst in the aging of your skin. It reduces the elasticity of your skin and you lose the tightness you once had. If you were to compare the facial skin of two women, one who has been exposed to excessive sunlight and one who hasn’t been out in the sun much, you are likely to find the latter one looking younger than her age.
 
Most skin cancers are a direct result of excessive exposure to the sun. Let us read through some important facts and details that are good to know, so that you can keep your skin glowing and healthy for many more years to come.
 
Effects of Sun on Skin
 
sun-skin-1-wrinkles 

Exposure to sunlight always has some effect on your skin. If the exposure is restricted, it would not harm your skin. However, excessive exposure may lead to a number of skin problems. Many people have wrinkles appearing on their face even though their age should say otherwise. This is a sign that the skin is being exposed to sunlight and the sun dries the skin, causing wrinkles to appear. Freckles are a common sight. This too is caused due to exposure to the sun. Over exposure to the sun causes sunburn. Sunburns tend to redden the skin, making it sore. The skin stays sore for a long period of time. Another problem due to sun exposure is elastosis.  Elastosis is the loss of skin elasticity and damage of collagen tissues, leading to fine lines and wrinkles. The most serious skin hazard caused by the sun is skin cancer.
 
Types of Skin Cancer
 
sun-skin-2-burn 

There are three main types of skin cancer:
 
Basal cell cancer
 
Squamous cell cancer
 
Malignant melanoma
 
Basal cell cancer is the tiny pinkish, reddish or purplish pearl like wounds on the skin. These wounds usually occur on the areas of skin exposed to the sun. You may notice them on your face, shoulders, chest, arms and legs.
 
Squamous cell cancer is a more serious type of skin cancer. An individual affected with squamous cell cancer is likely to develop scaly ulcer type open wound lesions on or around the area most exposed to the sun. This type of cancer usually occurs if the skin has been exposed to the sun for really long periods of time.
 
Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancers. The reason we say it is most serious is because this cancer, if not treated at the earliest, can even lead to death. In this type of skin cancer, the victim develops a mole or pigmentation spot that grows, spreads and even changes color. It is curable, however, if ignored, this cancer can spread and can be fatal.
 
Ultraviolet Rays
 
sun-skin-3-UV 

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause serious harm to your skin. Exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation leads to skin problems such as sunburns, premature aging of skin and skin cancer. If the body is exposed to UV radiation, the skin gets darker in color. This is called tanning. While some appreciate a good tan, it may not always be a great idea to have your skin exposed to the harsh rays of the sun.
 
Keep learning more about your body, and remember to add cheers in abundance and sunny days in moderation to keep your skin healthy!
 

 

WHO: Eating Processed Meats Can Cause Cancer

Are you in love with your bacon, burgers, sausages or hot dogs? You may want to review your stance since now it’s been revealed that processed meats can cause cancer. The damning report by the World Health Organization (WHO), which was released on Monday, classified processed meats as carcinogenic – alongside arsenic and asbestos.
 
According to the report, bacon, sausages, burgers, and hot dogs (along with other processed meats) are a big cancer threat just like cigarettes. The global health chiefs reported that the consumption of as little as 50 grams, which is less than one sausage, of processed meat on a daily basis increases the risks of bowel cancer by almost 18%.
 

The report also classified red meat in this category, but noted that it had some major nutritional benefits. WHO is now advising the public to avoid processed meats and turn to beans, salads and other vegetables. According to Dr. Kurt Straif from WHO, “For an individual, the risk of developing bowel cancer remains on the low, but may sharply increase if his/her consumption of processed meat increases.” Dr. Straif went on to point out that red meat can also cause cancer, but does have nutritional values as a key source of zinc, iron and vitamin B12, which are all vital in protecting the immune system.
 
WHO describes processed meat as any kind of meat that is salted, cured or smoked so as to increase its flavor and preserve it. Processed meat normally contains, beef, pork, mutton and sometimes poultry. While WHO ranked processed meat alongside arsenic and asbestos, they were quick to stress that the risks were not equally dangerous.
 
According to estimates by WHO, around 34,000 cancer deaths annually can be traced back to diets that are high in processed meats. While that may just be a small fraction of the 8.2 million deaths caused by cancer in 2012 according to the organization’s recently revealed data, meat industry groups are not likely to take these reports kindly. They may take their stand and slam WHO’s latest report on processed meat as being biased and misleading.
 

 

Garth Brooks Stops Concert To Support Cancer-Fighting Fan

Garth Brooks brought the house down in a whole new way at his show last week at the Target Center in Minneapolis, when he serenaded a fan who is battling cancer.
 
Teresa Shaw, a mother of three who has been fighting stage 3 breast cancer since June, decided to treat herself after a chemo treatment. With her daughter, she traveled from Iowa to see the 52-year-old country superstar in concert, bringing a sign that read: “Chemo this morning, Garth tonight. Enjoy the dance.”
 
In a USA Today article, Shaw is quoted as saying: “I was just hoping he would see it and maybe if I could get him to get it signed.” When an usher moved her closer to the stage, Brooks, who was singing his iconic hit at the time, saw the sign. The singer, who lost both his sister and mother to cancer, sat on the stage singing the rest of the song to Shaw, kissed her and handed his guitar over to her.
 
He then held up her sign for the emotional audience to see and said: “You have all of my strength. You have everybody’s strength in here. And you go kick cancer’s ass!”
 
The next day, Shaw told a local news station: “If I’m ever down, I can go to it and think about that night,” while People magazine says Brooks told reporters after the show: “It’s a reminder to all of us. We can think, ‘Oh my God, two shows on Friday, two shows on Saturday …’ Well she goes through chemo in the morning and comes to the show at night – nothing’s hard after that. That puts it all in perspective.”
 
Brooks’s new album ‘Man Against Machine’ was released earlier this month.
 
 

Leah Still Attends First NFL Game to Watch Father Play

NFL players are always known to hog the limelight, especially during a game. On Thursday night though, when the Cleveland Browns met the Cincinnati Bengals, the limelight was reserved for Leah Still, daughter of Devon Still, who is showing her grit and determination in her fight against cancer.
 
Diagnosed with neuroblastoma in June this year, Leah’s fight against the disease has been a phenomenal one, and her smiling and enthusiastic demeanor has caught the attention of many. NFL fans as well as those not even associated with the game now follow Leah’s story. After undergoing a surgery to remove the tumor in her stomach, the little one is currently undergoing radiation therapy, a treatment that is quite difficult to endure even for grownups. When she came to the game however, all this was forgotten and there were several endearing moments.
 

Pre-surgery pep talk…I might be nervous and scared beyond words but I'll never let her see it…let's get this done!

A video posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on

 

While Devon Still plays for the Bengals, the gestures of love surely aren’t restricted to Bengals fans and supporters. The team has of course rallied behind the father-daughter duo, helping in every way it can. Help has been forthcoming from not only the team’s management, but also from various other areas. Apart from the placement of Devon Still on the practice squad, a move that not only makes Leah eligible for health insurance, but also allows Still to stay in town to take care of his daughter, the proceeds from the sales of Still’s jersey goes towards her treatment too. Of course, as news of Leah’s courage and fight against cancer has spread, the sales of her father’s No. 75 jersey have rocketed too. Last month, Ellen DeGeneres, during a video interview with Still on her talk show, presented Still with a $10,000 check, with part of the donation coming from Shutterfly.
 
The stadium erupted in loud cheers when Leah’s presence in the stadium was announced, with the enthusiastic and supportive crowd following her every move. After the first quarter, the Cincinnati Bengals presented Leah with a check of more than $1.3 million, the presentation drawing more cheers from the crowds. “I would describe it as an emotional roller coaster. Seeing my daughter in the pre-game with all the excitement and then seeing her on the field receiving the check and just seeing the joy in her face, I was just so proud of the perseverance she showed to raise that money,” Still said after the game. The little girl’s dream of meeting basketball player Lauren Hill came true too, even managing to spend time with her at the Paul Brown stadium during the game. Lauren Hill, a Cincinnati Mount St. Joseph’s player, too is well known for her spirited fight against a rare brain tumor. The meeting affected Still on the field too and he shared his emotions after the game saying, “The most emotional I got was when I looked up and saw her and Lauren Hill and saw they got a chance to meet.” Yet another endearing moment was when Brian Hoyer from the Cleveland Browns gave Devon Still a hug, along with words of encouragement.
 

 
Leah’s presence in the stadium surely was an emotional moment for everyone, and an event that will bring the little one plenty of blessings. Our best wishes are with you all the way Leah!