Quality Home Health Care

Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Chances of Getting Cancer

Reduce Cancer Risks with a Healthier Lifestyle

It is impossible to guarantee that you will never develop cancer. elderly couple with healthy lifestyle reduces risk of cancerHowever, you can significantly reduce your risk with simple lifestyle changes.

Limit Or Avoid Alcohol

When you drink excessively, you increase your risk of cancer. Studies show even moderate drinking can increase the risk. Women should never have more than one drink per day, and men should not have more than two. You may be able to prevent cancers related to alcohol by not drinking at all.

Make Smart Choices In Your Sex Life

Most people have only heard of human papillomavirus during the last few years. This virus can cause cervical cancer, but it can also cause other cancers in men as well as women.

As the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact, practice safe sex. You can choose between a monogamous relationship with your lifelong partner, or use condoms every time you have sexual relations.

Avoid Tobacco Products

It is extremely difficult to quit smoking, even when you know the risks. Lung cancer is not the only cancer connected to smoking. The carcinogens can cause other types of cancer, too.

The risks are not limited to cigarettes. You also increase your risk of cancer if you smoke cigars or use smoke-free tobacco products. If you cannot easily give up your habit, ask your doctor for advice.

Protect Yourself From UV Rays

The most common cause of skin cancer is too much exposure to ultraviolet rays. Prevention can be easy if you take it seriously. Limit your exposure to direct sunlight, and use a good sunblock whenever you are outdoors. Avoid tanning booths, tanning salons, and sunlamps.

You can also reduce your risk of skin cancer by monitoring your skin for changes. If you notice changes in moles, or skin discolorations that were not present before, report it to your doctor immediately.

Exercise Every Day

Moderate exercise on a daily basis can decrease your risk of cancer, including colon cancer and lung cancer. Choose an activity you enjoy, and do it every day.

Make Changes In Your Diet

Foods that contain antioxidants can reduce your cancer risk by keeping your cells healthy. Berries and cruciferous vegetables should be in your daily diet.

Your risk of lung cancer can be reduced with certain superfoods. Apples, garlic, red peppers, fish, spinach, and green tea are some examples.

Exercise moderation if you eat processed meats and red meats. Choose healthier products for your daily protein.

Know Your Environmental Risks

It may be impossible to eliminate environmental risks entirely, but knowing the risks in your environment can help you make changes. Purchase a test kit to test the levels of radon in your home. If the level is high, the problem can be corrected. Everyone in your household can have a lower risk of lung cancer.

Second, learn about environmental risks at your workplace. You may have an increased risk of cancer if you are exposed to certain chemicals, dust, or fumes at work.

Third, choose chemical-free products for your home and personal use. Toxic chemicals can be found in products ranging from cleaning supplies to personal grooming products and cosmetics.

Chemical-free products can reduce your own cancer risk and keep others in your home environment healthy, too. You can also consider the benefits outside your home and family. If you use toxic chemicals, residue that is rinsed away ends up in the waterways, soil, and land. When you choose natural products, it is the eco-friendly choice.

Avoid Sleep Deprivation

When you sleep, your body heals. While this is important for every part of your body, it helps your cells stay healthy. A full night’s sleep every night can reduce your risk of cancer.

Maintain Your Ideal Weight

Obesity can lead to many health risks, including cancer. A balanced diet and daily exercise can help you achieve and maintain your ideal weight. If you are having difficulty losing weight, ask your physician for advice. He can recommend a healthy approach to weight loss.

Know Your Family’s Medical History

If cancer runs in your family, discuss it with your doctor. He may advise tests, monitoring, or additional changes so your risks can be reduced.

These lifestyle changes can help you prevent cancer. You can enjoy a healthier life.

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A Concise Guide into Prostate Cancer

The prostate is an exocrine gland (an organ whose secretion(s) end up outside the body e.g. sweat glands) of the male reproductive system which is located directly under the bladder. man being told by doctor he has prostate cancer.Its functions include producing a milky fluid that transports and nourishes sperm as well as an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. Prostate cancer is thought to begin with minute alterations in the shape and size of prostate gland cells.

Patients found to have a higher rate of alterations following a biopsy are usually at a greater risk of having cancer cells in their prostate. As such, the individual will be placed under close monitoring, with another biopsy being carried out later on. Generally, detecting the disease early when it’s still confined to the prostate gland leads to a better chance of successful treatment.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

In the early stages of the disease, there aren’t usually any obvious symptoms. Most victims will find out following a routine checkup. Still, one could experience more frequent urination, difficulty when passing urine, the presence of blood in urine, difficulty in achieving and maintaining a full erection as well as painful ejaculation. The latter two are however less common. For more advanced cases, signs include bone pain (in the spine, ribs or pelvis), leg weakness, a painful sensation in the femur as well as urinary and fecal incontinence.

Testing and Diagnosis

Testing healthy men who show no symptoms has been a controversial issue; medical organizations are still divided over whether screening has any benefits. Some of them however, advise men to consider prostate cancer screening in their 50s, or sooner for those who have higher risk factors. On the other hand, some entities caution against this.

Screening Tests

Digital Rectal Exam

Here, the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the patient’s rectum to examine their prostate. If any abnormalities in the shape, size or texture of the gland are found, further tests will be conducted.

Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) Test

This involves drawing a small sample of blood from any vein in the patient’s arm and analyzing it for PSA. This antigen is naturally produced in the prostate gland. If an abnormally high level is present, it could be an indication that the gland has enlarged, is infected or inflamed, or the presence of cancer.

Combining these two tests helps identify prostate cancer during the early stages. Studies have however disagreed on whether the tests reduce the risk of dying due to the disease.

Diagnosis

If any abnormality is detected on either of the tests, the doctor may recommend further tests to determine whether one has cancer. An ultrasound, which involves imaging the gland with the help of sound waves, is one of the techniques used here. A small sample of the prostate tissue could also be collected for further analysis in a lab to determine whether cancer cells exist.

Treatments for Prostate Cancer

Treatment options depend on several factors, including the rate at which the tumor is growing, benefits and potential side effects of treatment and the patient’s overall health.

Radiation therapy is one of the treatment methods used, and involves the use of high-powered energy to kill the cancerous cells. For external beam radiation, the patient lies on a table while a machine moves around the body, directing energy beams to the body. Typically, one undergoes the process five days a week for several weeks.

Brachytherapy is another radiation treatment that involves the placement of tiny radioactive seeds in one’s prostate tissue using a needle guided via ultrasound. The seeds then produce little doses of radiation over an extended time period. Eventually, the seeds will cease to give off radiation on their own, and no removal is required.

Hormone Therapy

This is done to stop the body from producing testosterone. This is because prostate cancer cells are known to rely on the hormone to help them grow. As such, cutting off the supply of testosterone could cause the cancer cells to die or have stunted growth.

Other Treatments

Other drugs used to treat the disease include estrogen therapy and administering anti-fungal drugs that block testosterone production. There’s also a prostate cancer vaccine that uses the patient’s own immune system to fight the disease. Each vaccine is usually manufactured by obtaining the patient’s own immune cells from their blood. These are then processed using a special type of protein and infused back into the patient’s body.

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How to Help a Loved-one with Terminal Cancer

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer it impacts everyone close to him or her.
For many people a diagnosis of cancer may mean having a short time to live, which is why it can be a very frightening time not only for the patient, but for family and friends. Grandmother and granddaughter playing cardsIt is difficult to deal with all of the emotions and responsibilities that cancer can bring, especially when it is terminal and a loved-one needs constant care.

Caregivers who would ordinarily be strong and positive might find themselves feeling overwhelmed, helpless and not knowing what to do next. Nevertheless they try to maintain a positive front for their ill loved-one, their family member and their friends. There are some steps families can take to make sure that a loved one who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer can live the remainder of his or her days in an environment that is loving, nurturing and positive.

Listen and Learn

A good piece of advice to follow after hearing that a loved-one has cancer, whether it is terminal or can be treated, is to listen and learn. If you are the person that your loved one will depend on to help them navigate through this uncertain time, you will need to keep a level head. Your loved one will have a lot to process as he or she tries to accept what they have been told.

Oncologists or doctors who treat patients with cancer understand that the diagnosis will be devastating for family and friends. Doctors can offer suggestions that can help if you are willing to ask questions and listen. No question is unreasonable. The doctor can explain what you can expect during the course of the illness and what you can do to help your loved one get through tough times. When you have conversation with the doctor, note taking is a good idea. It’s difficult to remember everything that’s said in a conversation with a doctor so note taking will help you recall important information that will be helpful later.

Consider Hiring a Home Care Aide

When a loved-one has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, it is important to create an atmosphere that is encouraging and uplifting. It is hard to achieve that kind of environment if you are trying to juggle a job, taking care of children and other responsibilities while providing care for a loved-one. For some people with cancer, the care giving can be constant, especially if when the ill person’s mobility is limited. Hiring a home care aide means that you can spend more quality time with your loved one.

Home care aides can provide many services that enhance the life of a person with terminal illness. Family members are often busy handling the ill person’s affairs or taking him or her to appointments. Home care aides can offer relief by attending to tasks such as helping the person who needs care with bathing, dressing and eating. Home care aides are experienced in caring for persons with special medical needs so they exercise patience and can offer a bit of pampering that makes the care recipient feel special. Additionally, a home care aide can assist with light housekeeping which is helpful to the care recipient’s family.

A Home Care Aide Offers Peace of Mind

Often it is not possible for a family member of friend to stop working to provide full-time care for a terminally-ill loved-one. Having to work and provide care is difficult and may result in the working person feeling guilty because they cannot be with a family member during a time when he or she needs it most. However, a home care aide can spend time with a loved-one when family members are busy with other responsibilities such as working outside of the home or caring for minor children.

A home care aide can offer compassionate companionship when other family members must be away from the home. The aide can provide positive distractions such as watching a favorite television show with the care recipient, reading to him or her, or listening when the individual needs to talk. Having someone available during these times helps the care recipient feel safe and nurtured and gives peace of mind to family members who cannot always be present with a loved-one.

When a family member of close friend is diagnosed with cancer, it is important to seek information about how home care can make life easier for everyone involved. Care provided by a home care aide is not intended to take the place of what a family members and friends can do, it is simply an additional safety net that assures that the individual who is ill has his or her needs met and makes it easier for family members to spend quality time with a loved-one who is near the end of life.

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Cancer And The Elderly

Cancer has long been a word that strikes fear into the heart of those who have been diagnosed with it or have had a loved one diagnosed with it. Cancer is a disease that takes over the cells in your body and turns them into cancer-producing cells. It is a hijacking of sorts. Cancer does not favor any age group. It picks on all ages from young children to senior citizens. Younger people usually have stronger immune systems. Because older people’s bodies are more susceptible to carcinogens, they have a lower chance of survival than a younger person. The elderly may also need additional care at home in such situations.

Senior Cancer Patient - elders and their struggles with cancer

Senior Cancer Patient

Some examples of what makes older people less able to beat cancer:

  1. Ongoing tissue inflammation – when tissues are inflamed they are more susceptible to infection or carcinogens.
  2. Lowered immunity – cancer is not a virus that attacks like the cold or flu at certain times of the year. We actually all fight cancer on a daily basis. Macrophages are cells in the body that literally surround the cancer cell and “eat” it. When your immune system gets low enough, the cancer cells begin to multiply faster than the body can get rid of them.
  3. Increased insulin resistance – The less the body is able to process and use insulin, the higher the blood sugar will be. The higher the blood sugar, the lower the immune system will get.
  4. Long term smoking – Smoking causes cancer. Tobacco is a carcinogen and using it for long periods of time can lead to lung, throat, or mouth cancer.
  5. Over consumption of alcohol – Alcohol abuse can lead liver cancer.
  6. Incapability to exercise – The more exercise a person is able to get, the stronger they will be. When an older person is too frail or weak to exercise, their body begins to break down. It will be more susceptible to diseases like cancer in a weakened state.
  7. Underlying conditions that prevent treatment – Cancer treatments can be harsh and cause complications with dire consequences in young people. When an older person is diagnosed with cancer, their doctor should sit down and discuss their list of underlying health conditions if there are any. When a person has underlying heart conditions, a doctor may withhold certain drugs like anthracyclines.

 

There may be some non-physical limitations that an elderly cancer patient may have in the fight against cancer:

  • An inability to research the latest cancer treatments online – Elderly people may not like to use the internet and therefore may not be aware of some of the newer treatments available. In this case a discussion with the doctor becomes even more important.
  • Transportation to and from the doctor’s office – It is very important that close friends or family members help with this task in order for the patient to get well. At the very least, a medical professional or insurance provider may recommend a government provided taxi service.

There is no doubt that the elderly will find it more difficult to fight cancer than younger and stronger people. This is what makes it so important for people to treat their bodies well from the earliest time possible.

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What Are The Silent Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer?

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in men according to the mayo clinic. It is not a glamorous part of the body, most men do not like to discuss it in mixed company and many will not even talk to their wife about concerns with ‘the plumbing’. There are two reasons why prostate cancer is such a killer. First the symptoms of early prostate cancer are very minor and can easily be dismissed as getting older. Second, if a man notices an issue he will try and ignore the problem due to embarrassment until it can’t be ignored. This is not written by a doctor, however, ignoring a problem is never the cure.

The prostate is a small gland in the mans reproductive system that creates seminal fluid (not sperm). Over time the prostate naturally becomes larger and may create slight to severe issues with urination. Normal and non threatening enlargement unfortunately has the same symptoms as early prostate cancer because in essence the same thing is physically happening; the gland is enlarging. Enlargement with cancerous cells creates the same increase in size as normal growth over time but one is annoying and the other is deadly.

The physical symptoms to be on the look out for are;

  • Frequent urination
  • Getting up at night to urinate – sometimes more then once
  • Weak or slow urinary stream
  • The feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
  • Difficulty beginning, or, straining to urinate
  • Blood in urine or seamen
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Urinary stream that starts and stops and may continue to dribble
  • Urge to urinate again minutes after finishing
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain in the pelvic area

If any of these symptoms occur a doctor can do a simple blood test, called a PSA, to see if the symptoms are caused by an enlarged prostate or cancer in the prostate. The test is very simple but also not fool proof – discuss the merits with your doctor.

If found early prostate cancer is very treatable. Often the cancer is still contained within the gland and can be surgically removed. Surgery or any treatment plan has pro’s and con’s you should discuss with a doctor.

There have been many studies done on prostate cancer looking for a cause. The Mayo Clinic has found links between prostate cancer and some physical factors, these may be the true silent symptoms.

  • Older age. This might seem obvious, but, prostate cancer is most common in men older than 65.
  • Being black. Statistics show black men have proportionally more cases of prostate cancer then men of other races.
  • Family history. As with many forms of cancer genes seem to be a factor.
  • Obesity. Obese men are diagnosed with prostate cancer more often

If you fall into these categories watch for symptoms and discuss screening options with a doctor sooner then later. Three of the four are not factors you can change, however, you can work on keeping fit.

The bottom line is to be aware of your body and to notice when things are not as they should be. This is a sneaky disease that mascarades as just another sign of aging. Age does not mean you will simply fall apart, question changes – do not go gentle into that good night.

For More information; http://www.mayoclinic.com

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