Tag Archives: Health

Proceedures Involved in Colon Cancer Screening

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Sometimes referred to as colorectal cancer, up to one third of people diagnosed with this cancer will die from it. Because of this very high mortality rate, extensive screening guidelines have been developed in an effort to detect colon cancer as early as possible, when treatments can be most effective.

Screening for colon cancer allows detection of the disease before symptoms appear. In addition, there are some screening procedures which can actually double as minor treatments, such as the removal of benign polyps, which can eventually turn cancerous. Current guidelines suggest that all people begin screening for colon cancer at age 50. An overwhelming majority of colon cancer develops after this age. In select high risk populations, screening procedures may begin as young as age 40.

Several factors go into making an effective screening test for colon cancer (or any other disease). The test must be sufficiently sensitive. This means that the test must be able to detect a vast majority of cases of colon cancer. A test which misses most cancers is useless. In addition, the test must be specific. A test which is positive in a wide range of different conditions is not as useful as one which is positive for only one disease.

A good screening test must also entail as little risk to the patient as possible. Cost of the screening procedure is a factor as well. Lastly, the screening test must be able to detect the potential cancer at a very early stage, when something can still be done to effectively treat it.

Because most cases of colon cancer take many years to develop to a serious level, screening can be quite effective in lowering mortality. Some screening techniques have been shown to lower risk of developing colon cancer caused by certain factors by up to 90%.

There are currently four major screening tests for colon cancer. Each of them has specific advantages and disadvantages. This review is meant to be a quick introduction to each test. For more detailed information about each screening test, and its appropriateness to your health, you should speak with your doctor.

Fecal occult blood testing

The first screening test for colorectal cancer is fecal occult blood testing. Many colon cancers will cause some degree of bleeding. Often this blood is very small and quantity and can be hard to see by just looking at your stools. The fecal occult blood test is a way to detect very small amounts of blood in your stool which would otherwise be impossible to see.

The fecal occult blood test is relatively simple and noninvasive to the patient. The patient being tested is given a set of three credit card size, chemically treated paper cards. Each card has room for two small stool samples. Each stool sample is a very small smudge. The cards are then folded up, sealed properly, and sent to a lab for testing. Picking small samples of your stools out of the toilet may be gross, but the test is relatively simple and straightforward compared to the others.

The major disadvantage to fecal occult blood testing is the very high number of false positive results. Only about 3-5% of positive results will ultimately lead to colon cancer. This is because there are many possible causes of blood in the stool, not just colorectal cancer. A positive fecal occult blood test does not mean you have, or ever will have, colon cancer. Further testing is indicated in most cases.

Barium enema

A barium enema is another screening test for colon cancer. The most accurate and commonly done version of this test is actually known as a double-contrast barium enema.

This test is a special x-ray which takes a picture of the entire colon and rectum. Before the x-rays taken, a liquid solution containing barium is injected into your rectum. The liquid will coat the inside of your bowels, and is drained out before the x-ray is taken. The coating which remains shows the lining of the bowels on the x-ray in fine detail.

Double-contrast barium enemas are able to detect about 40 to 50% of precancerous polyps in the tested area. The test itself is safe, although a bit uncomfortable for the patient. The effectiveness of a barium enema in reducing deaths from colon cancer is somewhat controversial. Data on its effectiveness is mixed. In addition, positive tests are usually followed up with a colonoscopy (discussed below).

Sigmoidoscopy

Sigmoidoscopy is the first of two screening tests for colon cancer which allow a doctor to have a direct view of the inside of your bowels. The procedure involves inserting a small, flexible fiber-optic tube into the lower part of your colon. In medical jargon the test is often referred to as a “flex sig”.

The tube which is inserted has a small camera on the end which is hooked up to a TV monitor. This allows the doctor to take video and pictures of the inside of your bowels.

A flexible sigmoidoscopy does not look at the entire large intestine. It only looks at about half of the total area of colon and rectum. There is minimal risk involved in flexible sigmoidoscopy. In rare cases, it is possible for the camera to cause a small puncture or tear in the lining of the intestine. The most significant disadvantage to the screening test is that it does not look at the entire large intestine.

Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is very similar to sigmoidoscopy, only it is more invasive and allows the doctor to see the entire large intestine. Colonoscopy also allows a doctor to remove some small polyps, which are can be precancerous. Colonoscopy uses a similar camera to the flex sig, only it is now a little larger and longer.

Because this procedure can be uncomfortable for the patient, a mild sedative is given to keep the patient as calm and relaxed as possible.

Colonoscopy has an excellent ability to detect just about any lesion which may be cancer or precancerous. The doctor is able to see the entire colon and rectum during this exam. With this increased sensitivity comes some increased risk. The tube used to do the exam can puncture the wall of the bowel, and sedation used can have side effects as well.

You should work with your doctor to develop a screening plan and assess your risk for colon cancer. Each of these tests are important in the process of early detection for colon cancer, however you must work with your doctor to determine which of them may be most appropriate for you. If you have specific questions about the details of any of these exams, speak with your doctor as well.

Pancreatic Cancer

What is the pancreas?

The pancreas in a six inch oblong gland, that is located just behind the stomach. There are two types of glands that make up the pancreas, the exocrine and the endocrine glands. The exocrine gland produces enzymes that aid in the digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates from the foods you eat. The endocrine gland secretes insulin and other hormones that help to regulate the metabolism of blood sugars in the body.

What is pancreatic cancer?

The most common form of pancreatic cancer is exocrine tumors.

Approximately 95% of all exocrine tumors are called adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma most often form in the duct of the exocrine pancreas, but it can sometimes be formed in the cells that make up the enzymes. Exocrine tumors are in most cases fatal, due to the fact that when the tumor is extremely small, it is hard to detect. By the time a diagnosis is made, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Adenosquamous carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and giant cell carcinomas are less common forms of exocrine pancreas tumors.

Endocrine pancreas tumors are a rare form of pancreatic cancer. This type of tumors are called islet cell tumors, with many subtypes involved, depending on which hormone producing cell it starts in. These tumors typically grow slower and are often found early. Islet tumors are often treatable even after the cancer has spread.

Who is at risk for pancreatic cancer?

There is no known cause for pancreatic cancer. However there are many known risk factors, which can contribute to this disease. Many people will develop pancreatic cancer, that have no risk factors. On the other hand, many people who have risk factors, will not develop pancreatic cancer. If you are concerned that you may have any of the risk factors listed below, talk to your Doctor. He/she will be able to answer any concerns.

1. More men than women are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 
2. Most pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in people over the age of 60. 
3. The risk for pancreatic cancer will triple, if anyone in your immediate family has had the disease. 
4. Chronic pancreatitis may increase the risk. 
5. African Americans are at a greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer. 
6. If you have diabetes, you are at a greater risk. 
7. Smokers are at a 50% to 75% greater chance of developing pancreatic cancer, than those who do not smoke. 
8. Those who have a diet high in fat content are at risk. 
9. Exposure to some chemicals could increase your risk of pancreatic cancer.

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Often there are no symptoms of pancreatic cancer until the disease in the advanced stages. Once the symptoms start to appear, they will include the following.

1. Upper abdominal and upper back pain. 
2. Jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes and may include dark colored urine. 
3. Weight loss. 
4. Decreased appetite. 
5. Upset stomach and vomiting. 
6. Depression.

How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?

There are many tests that your doctor may perform in order to diagnose pancreatic cancer. These include, but are not limited to the following.

1. A physical examination to look for signs of jaundice. Your doctor may examine your abdomen by feeling for changes or excessive water buildup around the pancreas, gall bladder or liver. 
2. Lab tests such as blood, urine and stool samples to check for abnormalities. 
3. An ultrasound to create images of your pancreas or other internal organs. 
4. CT scan which uses x-ray images, usually used with a type of dye that is injected into a vein This dye helps to enhance the pancreas images. 
5. MRI which creates an image of the pancreas by using a magnetic field and radio waves. 
6. ERCP is where a small lighted tube is placed into the stomach, through the mouth, to the beginning of the small intestine. Then a catheter is placed inside the lighted tube and into the ducts of the pancreas. A small amount of dye is injected into the ducts and an x-ray is taken. 
7. A biopsy may be performed, by taking tissue samples of the pancreas and checking for cancer cells. The sample may be obtained by inserting a needle through the abdomen, into the pancreas.

Staging pancreatic cancer.

Once the doctor has diagnosed pancreatic cancer through a series of tests, the pancreatic cancer must be staged. This will determine how advanced the pancreatic cancer has become. Staging will help your doctor to determine the method of treatment you are most likely to benefit from. Tests that will help to determine which stage of pancreatic cancer you have include the following. 
1. Laparoscopy is where a lighted tube which is equipped with a video camera is inserted through a small incision into the abdomen. The video is observed by the doctor, to see if the cancer has spread to your abdomen. 
2. Blood tests to determine if your blood contains tumor markers termed CA19-9. The more your blood levels of CA19-9 are elevated, the more progressed your pancreatic cancer. 
3. Chest x-ray to see if the pancreatic cancer has spread to the lungs. 
4. MRI to see if the pancreatic cancer has spread to surrounding tissue. 
5. CT scan will help the doctor to see the pancreas and help him determinine if the pancreatic cancer has spread to other areas. 
6. A bone scan may be performed to determine if the cancer has spread to the bones.

The stages of pancreatic cancer.

Stage l: The cancer has not spread from the pancreas. 
Stage ll: The cancer has spread from the pancreas to surrounding tissue and organs. 
Stage lll: The cancer has spread from the pancreas to the surrounding tissue and organs as well as to the major blood vessels and possibly spread to the lymph nodes. 
Stage lV: The cancer has spread from the pancreas to other organs such as the liver, lungs and the lining of the abdomen that surrounds your internal organs.

What is the treatment for pancreatic cancer?

The method of treatment for pancreatic varies with each patient and what stage the cancer has progressed to. Other variables include the persons age and overall health. Following is a list of options that your doctor may discuss with you, in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

1. Surgery is not always an option with pancreatic cancer. When surgery can be performed, the type of surgery depends on the position of the tumor. A part or all of the pancreas may be removed, along with the spleen, part of the small intestine, bile duct and part of the stomach. 
2. Radiation therapy uses high energy rays to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy is often combined with chemotherapy before or after surgery. This combination may be recommended instead of surgery, if surgery is not an option. 
3. Chemotherapy uses drugs to target cancer cells and destroy them. Chemotherapy is often combined with radiation therapy to treat cancer that has spread from the pancreas to other organs. 
Chemotherapy may be combined with targeted drug therapy, to treat individuals with advanced pancreatic cancer. 
4. Targeted drug therapy is a new form of pancreatic cancer treatment. These drugs block chemicals needed by cancer cells to grow and divide. They are usually combined with chemotherapy in people with advanced pancreatic cancer. 
5. Clinical trials are test studies to see how a new drug, surgery or treatment will benefit pancreatic cancer. Talk to your doctor before joining a clinical trial to see if it is right for your condition.

What is the prognosis for pancreatic cancer?

The prognosis of pancreatic cancer is not a good one. The key to survival is catching this deadly disease in it’s early stages. Sadly to say, most pancreatic cancer is not diagnosed until it has reached advanced stages. The overall average survival rate of pancreatic cancer for 1 year is 20% and the 5 year survival rate is 4%.

How I Have Survived Cancer for Over 20 Years

Quite a few folks have asked me to elaborate on something I’ve only mentioned in passing in a spot here and there around the site. I’ve put off doing so because my hard-core views on the subject of the Big C tend to cause constipated expressions on people’s faces as they decide whether or not to agree, or get very defensive with me. Some wish to immediately give me my Comeuppance.

This article is on my views. I am not a medical doctor. What works for me may not work for you. If you sue me over this, all you will likely end up with is a cute puppy that pees on the carpet. I’m guessing you’d rather have the Cancer.

Warning: Some of this is pretty graphic

When my 26 year old daughter was 5, I stayed up all night one night. Not that I wanted too, but I didn’t want blood all over my new satin sheets and it just would not stop… I went through an entire 40 count box of super tampons that night. Come morning I was to the point of passing out from blood loss. This was not menstruation. This was hemorrhaging.

Once at the to-capacity ER, they immediately took me back in a wheel chair and plopped me on a table. The resident on duty managed to stop the flow, but completely misdiagnosed me… as usual. My life is a series of misdiagnosis. He said it was a tubular pregnancy gone awry. I said oh hmm at least it ain’t Cancer then. heh. A week later the phone calls started. Bad Pap smear results. So I went in for another Pap. This one was even worse. Things were progressing rapidly.

Aug 6-ish, 1986 I had a cone biopsy in the hospital. This is where they remove your cervix and send it for biopsy. They wheeled me in the next morning and removed my uterus. Now, this was quite awhile ago. Vaginal hysterectomies were a new procedure, and this was the first time my doctor had ever performed one. I was never in my life, nor since, in as much pain as I was that day after surgery. It felt like they just reached up in there and yanked, which is what she later said she basically did. Morphine brought the pain to the level that I could finally scream, if that tells ya anything. I seriously wanted to die right then and there to end that pain. That surgery was a fiasco in my eyes, and helped set the stage for my stance on future cancer care.

So, after enduring that mess…. at my 6 week check up she said she needed to take my ovaries, that the cancer had spread. Well folks, I was not about to let them touch me again. No way no how. That memory was one I absolutely was not going to relive for any reason. The Cancer was not near as scary to me as that pain was. She told me it wouldn’t be like that. I say they lie daily and I wasn’t havin’ none of it. I also refused Chemo. She said that without further medical intervention, I had 2 years to live tops. I said fine, I’ll make them 2 good years then..told her to piss off and I left. I did not go back.

In fact, I didn’t see another doctor until about 7 years ago when I had too… was kinda doubled over a bit you see. I even put that off til I could barely walk. By the time I got into surgery my appendix was on the verge of exploding. oops. That’s the extent to which I despise and mistrust the medical community though. I think for the most part they are a bunch of self-righteous fornicating flim-flam men (or women.) Here it is 21 years later and I’m still alive. The cancer went away. Why? Because I believed 100% that it would. Yes, it really is that simple.

Now, the majority of folks have been lead to believe that Cancer kills. They have been lead to believe this by MDs. They scare you to death into procedures that mostly make things worse. The main cause of deaths in my family is suicide because of Cancer, and Chemo. The two relatives who shunned Chemo and refused to be afraid are still alive. The many who listened and became terrified are all dead. Do some folks live after chemo? Sure they do… but I believe they do so in spite of Chemo, not because of it… and I think they would have most definitely lived without it too, only without the pain, nausea and hair loss.

One of the men I was able to meet and study in college was Norm Sheeley of the Sheeley Institute. He is all about pain management, but he also has very strong feelings on Cancer. He goes so far as to believe that if you die from cancer, you have committed suicide via cancer. It is his feeling that there is no good reason for anyone to let themselves succumb. I agree to a point. We can heal it ourselves, but the folks who die from it do so because of being misinformed. They die because they don’t know any better, not because they really want to die.

Five years ago they told me I had about 6 months to live due to Colon Cancer. I was not about to walk around wit one of those bags on my hip, and we’ve already established how anti-chemo I am. Again I walked out. Again, here I still sit annoying the general medical population with my refusal to just keel over.

Four years ago I went through a stereo-tactic core biopsy for breast cancer. I’ll never do that again. This supposed 10 minute procedure lasted over 3 hours. Three excruciating hours of having my tit in a vice while a needle dug around inside my breast. I never went back to those doctors.

Three years ago an MD told me I have Lupus. A second opinion said no, it’s Rheumatoid Arthritis. I went to a third MD for a tie-breaker diagnosis. Guess what the third guy said. Go ahead… You have neither Lupus or RA. you have cancer somewhere which is causing all of these symptoms. He looked quite confused when I burst out laughing.

Now, I’m going through it again. Am I upset? Oh hell no. To me, Cancer is a minor annoyance at best. But the American MDs are, once again, acting all hystrionic because I won’t just jump up on their little OR table immediately. This time I am going to let them remove my ovaries. Does this make me a hypocrite? Nope. This time it’s causing severe abdominal distension. I look like I’m freakin 7 months pregnant. I already resemble a trailer park Sleaze-bag because I can’t wear my dentures over other health issues… I don’t need all this extra baggage too. heh. So yeah, they can have it so the distension will go away. I have no need of my ovaries now anyway. Insemination has long been a sport rather than functional anyway. I certainly have no use for those eggs.

So yes, maybe they can operate this time, but not because I fear the Cancer, but because I hate the look. It really doesn’t go well with my outfits. But Chemo? Nope. They can cut and then get the hell out. End of that story. Hell, I’m not sure I even believe I have what they say I have, I just want the weight loss benefit. I am awaiting an appointment with Swedish doctors first, though. The US was at 36th place on the Infant Mortality Rates list in 2002 (a huge factor in determining health care quality..) They have now dropped to 57th. I do not trust US doctors at all. Sweden is ranked the second highest in the World. We’ll see what they say.

Now I know that my feelings are polar opposite of the majority. I’ve never much cared what the majority thinks on anything. Mainly I find a majority is only such because of sheep mentality anyway. Perhaps I’ll build a statue in the front yard… a big ol’ sheep with an American Flag painted on it. Oh wouldn’t the neighbors love that!

I figure that this article will make quite a few people angry. I’m indifferent to that. I’m sorry, but I am. You fear cancer? fine… fear it. I refuse to. When I have it, I change my eating habits. I find that I crave artichokes mainly, but also broccoli and brussle sprouts. They say it helps fight cancer… I just know I love them and it can’t hurt… but also that my body craves them. Listen to your body, it knows what it needs and will tell you if you pay attention.

Moderate exercise helps too. The main thing though is attitude. You must believe completely that your body is capable of healing itself. You must trust it to do so. This means bucking the entire medical community and everything you were brought up to believe.

I’m not telling anyone to drop all their doctors. I’m telling you MY experience. Period. I suggest nothing. Now you understand why, when told I have cancer, it’s pretty much an eye-roll event for me. I’m sure I will die eventually, but not from cancer.

Lung Cancer: Guide to Signs and Symptoms

When my father was rushed to the best cardiac hospital in Las Vegas, NV following an episode of chest pains and shortness of breath while he was at work, we all just sort of knew that it wasn’t a heart attack. Just like we knew that it wasn’t the Tuberculosis or chest infection that they originally thought it might be after ruling out a heart attack. And when he was sent home with medications to treat the Staph infection that the doctors all agreed was causing his symptoms, we watched him closely.

Six months went by and his cough only worsened. He lost weight. He had no energy. And he just looked ‘sick’. When he went back this time, the doctors had an answer – cancer.

The amount of misdiagnosed cases of lung cancer in the United States is staggering. Sometimes the misdiagnoses don’t affect the outcome. My dad’s lung cancer was terminal even before he was rushed to the hospital with the possible symptoms of a heart attack. Had he been diagnosed with the cancer he had, any treatment they could’ve given him would’ve only prolonged his life by a few more months.But in other cases, had a patient been diagnosed correctly and gotten the proper treatment the first time, a life could’ve been saved, or at least prolonged enough to make a positive difference in that person’s life, and the lives of their friends and family.

But to look at it another way, had my father gone to a doctor about his worsening cough instead of just passing it off as his “Smoker’s Cough” getting worse as he got older, that doctor may have found the cancer before it became terminal and took his life. Looking back, there were many symptoms that even those around him noticed that pointed to cancer long before the seriousness of his illness hit our family full force. Hindsight is always perfect. But at the time those symptoms seemed benign and were easy to brush off as something that wasn’t so serious a thought as the idea of cancer.

According to the Mayo Clinic, lung cancer does not usually show many symptoms in the early stages. Because of this, you’ll want to go for regular check-ups. Sticking with the same doctor can help someone to get to know you, as well as your body, so that they notice small changes in your health and can check for problems such as cancer should it be warranted. This is especially true if you are at risk for lung cancer because you smoke, have been around smokers, there is a family history of lung cancer or you have been exposed to radon gas, asbestos or other carcinogens during your lifetime (especially prolonged exposure).

When the signs and symptoms of lung cancer do start to show themselves, they can be varied in type and also in intensity. How you feel may lead you to think you are coming down with a cold, or it could send you to the Emergency Room. Often times the milder symptoms are overlooked or passed off as something else until there’s no overlooking the fact that you’re sick, and the idea that it might be cancer.

Cancer in general usually leads to some basic symptoms once it has spread to a certain point or is attacking the body. Unexplained weight loss should be monitored and should be looked at by a doctor if not controlled. Many signs resemble the common flu with fever and fatigue. Depending on where the cancer is, it can lead to pain in those areas – the pain can be mild or severe. The skin can also be an indicator of cancer if it becomes darker, yellow, reddened, itchy, or if you experience more hair growth than normal.

Most of those symptoms are not something that you would rush in to see a doctor about until they became excessive or started to interfere with your daily life.

Lung cancer itself can have some very distinctive signs, though. When most people think about lung cancer they think of the coughing that is usually associated with it. Coughing up blood, even just a tinge of red, can be an indicator of many respiratory illnesses and should be looked at, even if just to rule out cancer. Related to that, a steady or chronic cough is common among early lung cancer patients. If you’ve smoked for awhile, you may have what is known as “Smoker’s Cough” and if this worsens over a short period of time you’ll want to get yourself checked out. Even if your symptoms are not pointing to lung cancer, they may be pointing to another respiratory illness such as emphysema or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) that will need treatment to keep from worsening.

Once the cancer has progressed, more definite signs of lung cancer are wheezing, hoarseness when talking, and shortness of breath. This is caused by the body being unable to get enough oxygen through the increasingly damaged lungs. Chest pain may lead many to think they are having a heart attack, especially when experienced with the shortness of breath, as in my father’s case.

What this comes down to is this… If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, it may be because of a respiratory illness, an infection, or even a chest cold. But if you are at risk for lung cancer, and you don’t feel right, you’re coughing, losing some weight, or especially if you are feeling chest pain, then get to a doctor and get yourself looked at. If caught early, lung cancer can be treated in most cases, but you’ll need to undergo a battery of tests that can include X-rays, CT scans, or even a biopsy to determine what the best treatment plan for you would be. Your doctor will give you options, and it is up to you to weigh the outcomes.

Knowing your body, taking care of it with a healthy diet and exercise, and being conscious of your risks for lung cancer can go a long way to keeping yourself healthy, happy, and productive for a long time to come.

Sources

Lung cancer

Mayo Clinic

Signs & Symptoms of Cancer

American Cancer Society

Lung Cancer Symptoms

LungCancer.Org

Massagers For Health – Everything You Need To Know Before Buying One

Nothing compares with a relaxing massage, after a long day, so we invite you to discover the benefits that you can have from using a massager for health. The industry is still relatively new, but the increasing demand convinced more companies to manufacture these devices even for accessible prices. Today, a massager for health is not a luxury anymore, being even recommended by some medics to treat body inflammations and for improving blood circulation.

Massagers are not only used by people at their home. You definitely saw them in malls or shops, and you probably wondered about the prices. Even if the quality models are not exactly cheap, you will save money on the long term. It is why a massage chair for health must be considered as an investment on the long term, not as an expense.

If you and your family members would use it only 15 minutes a day, this means money saved on one hour at a massage chairs in the mall. Plus, you get to use your massage chair while reading, watching TV, or simply to relax before bed and to make it easier to fall asleep.

Advantages of a massager for health at home

Massage chairs and armchairs have a strong influence on your general state of mind. They will give you a good mood by eliminating the stress and by offering total relaxation. By using those, you will improve your blood circulation, observing progresses in terms of flexibility in reducing spasm and tension.

Many people using massage chairs at home say they suffer less of back and neck pains, while the relaxation increases the level of endorphins.  Using the chair every day will help you improve your body posture and the way you sit at a desk on the long term.

The most efficient programs of massages for health

If you are confronting with health problems in the back area, or other problems that come with the long hours of sitting at a desk in front of a computer, the massagers for health are a solution that you can have at home.

Modern chairs of this kind come with 3D technology for a profound massage. Advanced ones have scanning features allowing them to identify the most tensed parts of the body, and to apply acupuncture techniques. The infrared massage warms the body, leaving it with a pleasant sensation long after the session is finished.

 

The air pressure chairs are equipped with silenced elements allowing complete massage without disturbing you while watching TV. The 3D technology offers a personalized massage for users, allowing the adjusting of rolls so you can choose the intensity of the massage based on your preferences and goals.

The advanced massage chairs can replace not only your masseur, but also your acupuncture specialist. These devices can actually scan and identify the spots in need of special massage, applying puncture pressure on these spots.

Of course, those models are a little more expensive, but many users see it as an investment and they are willing to spend more at the moment, but to save money and time in the long term.

What to Eat After Cancer

One thing that helps prevent cancer and helps prevent the re-occurrence of cancer is the way we eat. Once we have been given the clean bill of health, we need to watch what we eat. How we eat makes a big difference in our health and our energy levels. Sometimes after surviving cancer or being told we have cancer we need to change our eating habits. There are dangers within many of the common things that we eat daily. Cancer makes us take a more active role in paying attention to the things we cook, and even what we eat when we eat out.

MEAT

A staple in any meal is meat of any sort. Beef has many different dangers, raw or medium rare meats can be the most dangerous thing for our health. According to E. coli: Dangers of eating raw or uncooked foods, the bacteria exists in many animals, most commonly cattle. If beef has the bacteria and isn’t properly cooked it could be passed on to us. Beef also contains other bacteria that could be very dangerous for us and cause us to get sick. One of the things my doctors told me was to never eat rare or medium rare beef.

While there are dangers of eating uncooked beef, there are benefits to eating fully cooked beef such as the proteins and other minerals it contains. Fully cooked beef and other meats could help provide the daily requirement for iron, which is something we all need. According to Benefits of beef article a research study done at Purdue University found “that that CLA (polyunsaturated fats) slows or reverses skin, breast, and stomach cancers in laboratory rats and mice at all three stages of tumor development. That study is interesting and holds a lot of importance for those of us with cancer.

VEGGIES

Fresh fruits and vegetables hold many benefits for us. They all hold different nutrients and vitamins that we all need to remain healthy. Many articles have stated that vegetables have different antioxidants that help stop certain cancers from forming in the body. That is something we all need to pay attention too. We don’t want cancer to reoccur so why not try eating more vegetables. The vitamin C in vegetables can help reduce stress and repair the body after long bouts with stress.

Vegetables have high fiber contents which help make the digestive system more healthier and toned. Vegetables also have proteins that meats do as well as amino acids that our bodies need to survive. When we have cancer, our bodies need various different amino acids, fibers, antioxidants and more to help keep our energy levels high and they can help keep us from getting very sick during chemotherapy treatments.

SUGAR

Ah sugar. We all love sugar in all forms, but sugar can be really dangerous for us especially if we have cancer. It has been found that cancer feeds off of sugar, so while going through treatments and eating after treatments we need to cut out as much sugar as we possible can. That doesn’t mean we can’t have sweeteners like honey or splenda, but we should really cut down on them. We need to learn how to control glucose levels through how we eat, exercise, supplements and if needed prescription medication.

Some things we can substitute for white sugar would be honey, splenda, sweet and low. I prefer honey because of the taste and that it is more natural than other sweeteners, but you really need to do research in order to cook with honey and make the right substitutes. It works best in teas like green tea, adds to the taste and really sweetens it better than sugar.

A great recipe to cook of Autumn Greens And Apple Salad. I know it sounds different and it is a different kind of salad than many of us are used to, but isn’t that the point to try new things? Here is the recipe for it:

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
½ shallot finely shopped
3 rib celery, thinly sliced on an angle
2 crisp Gala apples thinly sliced
1 small head red leaf lettuce torn into pieces
½ small head green leaf lettuce
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (toasted)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds

In a large salad bowl, whisk together the evoo, vinegar, shallot, salt, pepper then add the celery and apples then toss. Add the lettuce and toss again. Top it off with the seeds.

You can easily add some nicely grilled chicken sliced or even fully cooked steak sliced for a variation of the recipe. You can try different apples or different kinds of seeds or even granola to top it off. The main point is try and take some things out of our diet and replace them with more healthy things. We need to pay close attention to what we are putting into our bodies, especially after having cancer.

Turmeric: The Miracle Cancer Inhibitor

The deep yellow-ochre color that Asian foods are rich in is because of the addition of the versatile Asian spice Turmeric. Turmeric is a root akin to ginger with brown skin and a deep orange flesh inside. This form of turmeric is rarely used in everyday cooking but the powder form of Turmeric which is a fine yellow color is used in many Asian dishes and virtually all Indian curries and gravies.

It has a slight peppery, bitter taste when consumed as is but when mixed into the food it blends in beautifully and also adds a warm pleasant flavor not to mention the rich color to the dish. Turmeric is a miracle nature cure for many health concerns like digestive problems, bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis and is also used as a powerful anti inflammatory. But this article is about how curcumin, the major constituent of turmeric, can be a cancer preventer and there are hardly any preventive natural foods available that works so powerfully against cancer.

Research has proven that a consistent intake of turmeric can lower the rates of colon, lung, prostrate, oral and breast cancer. A research study conducted by the University of Texas on mice suggests that turmeric actually slows down the spreading of breast cancer to the lungs! The study was made possible by injecting human breast cancer cells into mice to grow tumors that were subsequently removed to simulate mastectomy.

How does curcumin work? According to researcher Bharat Aggarwal, our genes have what is called transcription factors and these regulate the formation of tumors. When the transcription factors are turned off, some of the genes responsible for the growth and onslaught of cancer cells are shut down. Curcumin works against the transcription factors and renders them useless to regulate the formation of these cancerous tumors. In the instance of lung cancer, Curcumin is believed to suppress and arrest cancer cell multiplication and causes cells to kill themselves. Curcumin in the turmeric is also suggested to have chemopreventive properties against myeloma and pancreatic cancer.

When turmeric is added to onions the combination helps in reducing the size and the number of precancerous lesions in the intestinal tract. Similarly a combination of turmeric with cauliflower is especially effective to stop prostrate cancer. Prostrate cancer is a leading cause of death in American men but is extremely rare in Asian men due to their diet which is rich in curcumin combined with a variety of vegetables.

While curcumin and vegetables like cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi etc helped in slowing the growth of human prostrate cancer cells, combining turmeric with these vegetables proved to be a potent fighter against the growth of tumors and the spread of the cancer cells. Make sure that when you cut cauliflower or other vegetable mentioned above you let them sit for about 5-20minutes to encourage the formation of phenethyl isothiocyantes which stop when they are heated. While sautéing add turmeric and other spices you’d like. This not only tastes good but is a great prostrate cancer prevention technique.

Research also suggests that eating food flavored with turmeric can reduce the risk of childhood leukemia. This is a heartbreaking disease, mainly in children under the age of five, that has increased in incidence by over 50% from the year 1950 mostly due to environmental and lifestyle factors like exposure to prenatal or postnatal radiation, pollutants, benzene etc and studies show that turmeric can actually help in inhibiting the effects of some of these risk factors.

The good news is that turmeric is not a strong Asian flavor that cannot be used in other types of cuisine. It can safely be added to most gravies, sauces and soups without fear of altering the taste radically. Try adding it to your pasta sauces, chili, dips and even your marinades for your meat and chicken. You can add it to you barbecue sauces too or just sprinkle some on to steamed vegetables while stir frying or sauteing. But do make sure you find turmeric that is of a reputed brand so that it is pure and free of any kind of adulteration. And remember to keep it away from your carpets and clothes unless you are planning on dyeing them!

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

Great Places to Find Breast Cancer Awareness Merchandise Online

Breast Cancer Awareness month (October) is just around the corner. To find the right breast cancer awareness merchandise for your company, check out these five online resources for breast cancer merchandise. These websites offer a variety of items in all different price ranges, so think pink and find your perfect breast cancer awareness items online.

Motivators Promotional Products has been in business since 1979. An excellent website for breast cancer awareness merchandise, they have over 130 breast cancer awareness products to choose from. Pricing depends on quantity ordered. There are 45 breast cancer awareness products on sale until October 02.

A large variety of breast cancer awareness products at all prices which can be used as freebies to promote breast cancer awareness or for a fund raising campaign. Custom printing is available for promotion of your organization. Some of the many breast cancer awareness items available include: Pens; key chains; cookie cutters; beach balls; jelly beans; pretzels; chocolate covered sunflower seeds; sugarless gum; coffee mugs; pedometers, umbrellas, water jugs, watch, and folding chair with carrying bag.

Purchasing your breast cancer awareness items here will also benefit cancer research. Motivators Promotional Products will donate 10% of every breast cancer awareness order to The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Funds. http://www.motivators.com

Positive Promotions offers 441 breast cancer awareness products. Many of these are educational items geared towards health care organizations: A breast self exam guide for the shower; breast care diary; know your numbers health test; a breast cancer awareness display baskets with 500 breast cancer awareness freebies for patients and a breast cancer awareness pack that includes 650 items. A raffle pack includes raffle tickets and prizes. Some of the prizes are a long sleeved T-shirt and a double pocket tote.

A huge variety of other breast cancer awareness products available include: Breast cancer awareness stickers, bracelets, desk items, lunch bags, various styles of T-shirts, a baseball cap, scrub top, football jersey, fleece cap. Excellent items for giveaways or fund raising. Positive Promotions will donate a portion of the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. http://www.positivepromotions.com

Looking for something a little different in breast cancer awareness products? Check out The Pink Ribbon Shop. The Pink Ribbon Shop was started by a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer and wanted to help promote breast cancer awareness. As the name implies, all items are pink ribbon related. Just a few of the many unique breast cancer awareness items found here are: Various temporary pink ribbon tattoos, flip-flops, golf bags, ladies golf clubs, tennis balls, dog and cat collars, adorable purr for the cure cat T-shirts and a dog T-shirt; ornaments and scrap booking supplies. The Pink Ribbon Shop also carries some New Balance and Isotoner brands. Check out all this great breast cancer awareness merchandise at: http://www.pinkribbonshop.com

Check out breast cancer merchandise at Cancersociety.com Store. All proceeds from merchandise orders go to charity. Breast cancer awareness items available include pink ribbon jewelry (Charm bracelets, ankle bracelets, genuine Austrian crystal breast cancer pin, necklace and earring sets, crystal Angel pin with breast cancer pink ribbon); stuff bears, pill boxes, key chains; and a very inspirational T-shirt with the phrase “Mothers, daughters, sisters, friends. We’re in this together” and h pink ribbons. A very unique gift for gardeners is a breast cancer awareness garden, which is a decorated metal bucket for growing pink Cosmos flowers. Seeds, potting soil and vermiculite for growing the flowers are inside the bucket. You can find these items and more breast cancer awareness merchandise at: http://www.cancersocietystore.com

Breast cancer awareness.the.shoppe.com has many breast cancer awareness items for decorating. There are different decorating kits that include tablecloths, balloons, banners and everything needed for a Breast Cancer Awareness Month event. Other breast cancer awareness merchandise available are: Canvas tote bags, jar openers, seed packets, rubber stamps, pink ribbon gift packs, pink ribbon enamel pins, watches, rings, zipper pulls and more. For more breast cancer awareness merchandise, check them out at: http://breastcancerawareness.theshoppe.com

What Not to Say to the Parent of a Child with Cancer

My son was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2006, just a month after his tenth birthday. Even though he was flown from San Antonio to Houston, TX – to MD Anderson Cancer Center no less – it took me a couple of days to get it through my head that my child had cancer. I kept thinking, “It’s going to be a benign
‘growth’ . . . nothing malignant.” Seriously, how could my perfectly healthy son have cancer, right?

Wrong. Keeghan’s tumor was malignant. But after two surgeries, six weeks of radiation, and a year (so far) of chemotherapy, he is tumor free. It will be my daily – hourly? – wish, for the rest of my life, that he stays that way.

One of the hardest things to deal with when your child has cancer is the way in which other people react when you tell them, and the things that they say. It has been proven to me time after time that most people really don’t think before they open their mouths. They’ll say things like, “Oh, I knew someone that had the “c” word. She died.”

The “c” word. I’ve heard cancer referred to that way numerous times, as though actually saying it would cause a person to get it. It’s not contagious people!

At the grocery store one day, with Keeghan standing by my side, the cashier asks me, “Did he have an accident?”

Keeghan has a very large scar on the side of his head. It’s a nice scar as far as scars go. It’s perfectly symmetrical – four inches up on one side, five inches across, and another four inches down on the other side. It’s so perfect that my husband used to joke and say that it looked like a trap door. He’d tease Keeghan by telling people that that was where he kept his wallet.

So to be asked if he had an accident seemed pretty ludicrous. “Yes, he fell out of a tree and landed on a cookie cutter. Hence the perfect scar.”

I wish I had replied that way, but alas, I didn’t. “He had a brain tumor,” I say instead.

“Oh . . . is he going to be okay?” she then whispers.

Keeghan is ten years old. He has cancer. But he’s not deaf, nor is he a complete idiot! And he’s standing right next to me! Don’t talk about him like he’s not there or can’t understand you. He can. In fact, if you talk directly to him, he can answer any questions you might have about his story quite well. Luckily for me Keeghan replied to the woman’s question with a very ten-year-old appropriate, “Yep, I am.”

After the first three months of Keeghan’s treatment was finished, and before he started his year-long consolidation chemotherapy regimen, we moved from Texas to Washington, DC. Not long after we moved into our house, we got new neighbors. The kids and I were leaving the house to head to the hospital for chemo on the day I met the new neighbor Bob. He noticed that Keeghan had no hair, and that he wasn’t looking very happy. Keeghan never looks thrilled when he’s heading for chemo. Go figure.

I am of the opinion that it is better to just tell people up front that he has cancer rather than leave them trying to figure out how to ask. So I told Bob, “He has cancer – we’re on our way to the hospital now for his chemo treatment so he’s not in a very good mood.” 
Bob asks, “What kind of cancer?” I reply that it is brain cancer.

“Oh, wow. My old boss just died of that.”

I can only imagine what the look on my face was. Incredulous I’m sure. I was so glad that the kids were in the car by that time.

Are you completely stupid?” is what I should have asked the guy.

“Well, we’re hoping that isn’t going to happen to Keeghan,” was what I actually said. I’ve come to learn in the few months that we’ve now been neighbors that Bob never thinks before opening his mouth, so it wasn’t just that one incident. But that is the one that sticks in my mind.

What’s really funny to me, however, is how other parents of children with cancer are just as bad when it comes to the things they say. Soon after Keeghan was diagnosed, I ran into a woman at the clinic that I had known at a past assignment of ours, but hadn’t seen in a couple of years. Ironically, her daughter was the same age as Keeghan and had been diagnosed with leukemia a few months before Keeghan’s diagnosis. As we stood in the clinic talking, she asked me, “So what’s his prognosis? Haley’s is 30%. If we hadn’t gotten her diagnosed when we did, she would have died.”

All of that was said very quickly, in a tone of voice that was sort of like, “I’ll bet my kid is sicker than your kid.” Like this was a competition!

“Lady, if this is a contest to you, I hope that you win!”

You’re right, I didn’t actually say that. But I should have.

“I refuse to let the doctors put a number on Keeghan like that, and I don’t want Keeghan feeling like he doesn’t have a good chance to beat this. So I honestly don’t know what his prognosis is. In my mind, it will always be 100%.”

Even though I didn’t say what I should have said, I think what I did say got my point across. But she’s not the only one that has done that. Maybe it makes parents somehow feel better to play comparison, whose-child-is-more-sick, games like that. I can’t do it though. I want them ALL to be well.

Maybe there should be an awareness ribbon for foot-in-mouth disease. What color would it be – flesh? I don’t think that color is taken yet. Or perhaps someday I’ll write a book and call it “What Not to Say to the Parent of a Child With Cancer.” I doubt anyone would buy it though. Everyone thinks they know the right thing to say all the time.

So maybe I should title it, “Hey YOU! Don’t Be Stupid!” That might at least get someone to pick it up and read the back cover.

Maybe there’s no hope at all and people will continue forever to put their feet in their mouths. But perhaps a little awareness can turn the tide of stupidity.

Donice Mitchell – Life and Coping with Breast Cancer

When I take my hair off, my head looks like an egg, said Donice chuckling softly. She then lifted her wig and showed her completely baldhead, which was smooth and did resemble the top of a brown egg.

The tall, medium brown skinned women explained how after her first or second treatment of chemotherapy her hair just seemed to fall out in her hands, making it even more difficult to attempt to comb it. Thinning hair runs in her family, so she started wearing wigs years ago. It doesn’t bother her much not having hair, “I never had much hair anyway,” she admitted.

Losing hair was something that you had to prepare for according to her. She keeps her wigs brushed and curled, so we both laughed as she described some of the ratty, wild, and matted looking wigs she saw some of the women wearing while waiting for her chemotherapy.

Donice Glenda Evans was born the second eldest child to parents Violet and Isador Evans on February 23, 1955 in French Camp, CA. Her father was a preacher, so her family moved a lot when she was growing up, which to her meant constantly learning and adapting to new people and places. Her family settled in San Jose, CA in 1971, when her father became the pastor of the San Jose Ephesus Church.

Donice describes herself as shy, which may be because of the sheltered existence she had growing up. Her father was strict and held tightly to Christian values. She was not allowed to wear pants, at home or at the Seventh-day Adventist Christian schools she attended. Her dresses and skirts were required to be below her knees, she wore no jewelry, and was not allowed to go many places outside of church or school. She had never been one to rebel, so she kept her focus on school.

The rules she was subject to also caused her to be more cautious in all areas of life. Whenever her two brothers and two sisters would attempt to plan something mischievous she was always the voice of reason. They called her sister E.G. comparing her with a prophet of the Seventh-day Adventist church, Ellen G. White who has written numerous books on Christian etiquette, health, beliefs, etc.

Donice attended Oakwood College in Alabama for two years before deciding to finish her degree in communications at Loma Linda University. She was a junior in college when her father died from a massive heart attack. His death was traumatic for her family, especially her mother. Her family felt as if they had been outcast from the group of pastors and their families. Special events that they had become accustomed to attending, they were no longer invited to.

Although her father’s death saddened her deeply, she also felt a since of relief, because all the rules he had enforced for so many years were no longer in place. Though, now her faith in God is still strong, she tends to prefer a more relaxed approach to life and believes some things should be done in moderation.

What many would consider a late bloomer, she lived in her parent’s home until she was married. Donice met Donald Mitchell at the age of 25. The two dated for a while and both friends and family wondered if they would ever get married. After dating for five years the couple said their vows.

Donice confessed that she had always wanted five boys, but after trying several times to get pregnant and having five miscarriages she finally gave birth to a baby girl, whom she named Donique.

Donique, now 10 years old hugged her mother tight around the neck before going to the next room to study with her tutor. The brown skinned little girl, wears big frame glasses, and her hair is braided in several ponytails. Although she has special needs she does well in school and takes classes specified for her learning needs. “I just want to do good and help my daughter,” Donice explains.

Now, a technical writer for Juniper Networks, Donice’s career was always very important to her. While her husband flunked out of the two-year respiratory therapy program at Ohlone, she was excelling in her profession. After he decided to go to another respiratory therapy program, which was more expensive, and he had to quit his job to attend, she became the sole provider for the family. She worked hard and put a lot of time into her job. “I had put all my effort into my career and because of my husband’s sickness I hit a plateau.”

In 1999, after her husband had been working in the field of respiratory therapy for three months he became sick after treating a patient with hemophilus influenzae. Donice came home one evening and her husband was wrapped up in bed shaking and he wasn’t breathing well. After trying to get him to the hospital on her own with no success she called the ambulance and he was taken to Kaiser Hospital. At Kaiser he was given an antibiotic that he took orally, and after a few hours he was sent back home. In the middle of the night he was once again having trouble breathing, so she called the ambulance, which transported him to Washington Hospital in Fremont. During the ambulance ride from their Newark home to the hospital he suffered from a loss of oxygen to the brain, which severely affected his vision and motor skills, also causing him occasional seizures. Later, the cause was found to be acute epiglottitis, which is an infection caused by the bacteria hemophilus infuenzae. It causes inflammation of the throat and can lead to abrupt blockage of the airway and death.

She doesn’t go too many places these days because of her husband’s seizures and after he suffered from a stroke that paralyzed his left side he takes a lot of medications. But she says having gone through so much with her husband has prepared her for her own struggles.

In 2003 around Christmas time she discovered a lump in her breast while performing a self-exam in the shower. She sat on her bed and told her daughter she had found a lump in her breast. The doctor did a mammogram and located the mass in her breast, and then a biopsy was done to determine if it was cancerous. While she was at work one day she received a call from the doctor telling her that the lump was indeed cancer. It took her a while to gain her composure to finish out her day at work. “I thought…I don’t want this load,” she whispered.

She showed me her darkened fingers and fingernails, which were another result of the chemo. She has one more treatment of chemotherapy, which she does for three days and follows up with medication. It makes her feel sick and weak, but she says, “to be able to continue on and to make it despite…you have to thank God for the ability to go on.”

After finishing chemo she will undergo six weeks of radiation. She is grateful to have friends and other breast cancer survivors she can talk to for support. Professional counseling has also been instrumental in helping her cope.

“The new mountain is that now, right in the midst of my chemotherapy, my marriage is breaking up. I helped my husband through all this, but when I’m down, poof…”

She tries not to focus on negative things. She has poured her extra energy into writing poetry, singing with her church choir, and photography. Taking pictures is her secret passion, she showed me over a dozen pictures of brightly colored flowers in bloom and birds perched together. She confessed that she hoped to take a photography class soon so that she can learn more techniques.

“Once I get behind the lens everything is gone, every trial, every tribulation, every worry, every care.”