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Cancer

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

`Your thyroid is a butterfly shape gland located at the base of your neck. The purpose of the thyroid is to produce hormones that regulate your weight, your body temperature, and your heart rate.

Although thyroid cancer is not the most common type of cancer in the United States, over the years, the rates have been increasing. The reason for this is because doctors use new technology that helps them catch thyroid cancer in the early stages. This technology wasn’t available before, therefore, it was not picked up in the past. The new technology helps doctors detect thyroid cancer early on, increasing the patients’ chances of survival.

Who Is At Risk For Thyroid Cancer?

The cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. While the causes are not clear, there a few risk factors that can put you at risk of developing thyroid cancer.

  • Exposure to radiation: If a person has been in contact with radiation, they are at risk of developing thyroid cancer. For example, if a person has undergone radiation treatment either as an adult or as a child, they are at risk. If a person works at a nuclear power plant, if they work doing weapons testing, or if there was an accident at a power plant, they could be at great risk.
  • Being a Female: If you are a woman, you are more at risk of developing thyroid cancer than a man. Thyroid cancer is twice as common in women than men.
  • Inherited genetic syndromes: If a person has a family history of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia, they are at risk of developing thyroid cancer.

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

There are various symptoms of thyroid cancer that a person should look for, especially if they have any of the thyroid cancer risk factors.

  • A lump in the neck: If you discover a lump in your neck, you should see a doctor. In some cases, the lump will grow rapidly.
  • Neck swelling: If you have noticed swelling in your neck and you were not injured, you should see a doctor.
  • Pain in the neck: Pain is a common symptom of thyroid cancer. The pain typically radiates in the front of the neck. In some cases, it can travel up to your ears.
  • Voice changes: If your voice changes or becomes hoarse and it doesn’t go away, it is a common symptom of thyroid cancer and it warrants a visit to the doctor.
  • A constant cough: If you are suffering from a constant cough that is not associated with a cold, you should make an appointment to see a doctor.
  • Trouble swallowing: Trouble swallowing is a common symptom in the later stages of thyroid cancer.
  • Difficulty breathing: Wheezing and trouble breathing are two symptoms that can occur in the later stages of thyroid cancer.

It is important to understand that each of these symptoms could be symptoms of other medical conditions. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is not a guarantee that you have cancer. You should, however, make an appointment so that your doctor can order the appropriate test to determine they causes of the symptoms.

Fortunately, if thyroid cancer is caught early, it can be treated. Despite treatment, it is possible for thyroid cancer to return even if the thyroid has been removed. This can happen if microscopic cancer cells spread beyond the thyroid before the thyroidectomy. Your best chance at beating the cancer is knowing what symptoms to look for and seeking treatment as quickly as possible.

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Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

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Skin Care In The Month Of May

It’s May out, the sun is getting hotter, and before you spend too much time suntanning, you may want to check out SkinCancer.org. Did you know May is skin cancer awareness month? It’s true, and it makes sense: as the season changes, you want to go into it with an awareness of risks that can be associated with certain activities, and which are generally not accounted for. In recognition of this month, following several aspects of skin cancer will be considered: how to detect it, and how to prevent it.

Detecting Skin Cancer

First, know that if you are able to detect the presence of skin cancer, then you’re likely able to prevent it. This is why SkinCancer.org endorses the practice of regularly examining yourself head-to-toe in order to determine if you’ve got anything to be concerned about. If you can find an instance of skin cancer, you can get it swiftly removed. In almost all cases, it is ultimately curable.

Look for new moles and growths. Keep an eye on existing growths to see if they’ve gotten larger than they previously were. If you have lesions that change, don’t heal, itch, or bleed, you should know that these are alarm signals. Check out this helpful article to understand the ABCDEs of detection. Another method of detection is “the ugly duckling” sign. This is basically a legion or mole that looks different than others.

Preventing Skin Cancer

A lot of skin cancer prevention involves strategic sun safety. First and foremost: don’t let yourself get burnt! Use sunscreen to keep yourself from burning if you’re in the sun too much. Between about ten in the morning and four in the afternoon, you should find areas that are shady. Keep yourself clear of those tanning beds that use UV light. Make sure you’ve got clothing that covers sensitive skin. When using sunscreen, ensure it is at an SPF rating of fifteen or greater. The quantity you’re looking to apply is about an ounce, which you should coat your whole body with about a half an hour prior going outside. Put more on right after you either swim or sweat, and put more on every two hours. If you’ve got toddlers or newborns, try to keep them out of the sun as best you can. Ensure also that you give your skin a thorough monthly examination. Last, but certainly not least, you should make a yearly appointment with a qualified professional to have your skin examined.

Healthy Prevention

The truth is, there are a broad variety of cancers which have an environmental component to them, whether it be an addiction, chemical substances, or radiation of some variety. The sun will radiate you, and if your body isn’t protected or adapted, you’re literally going to feel the burn.

Generally, here will be the best way to avoid not just skin cancer, but any cancer: eat healthy foods that aren’t processed and don’t include either GMOs or chemical foodstuffs. Supplement with vetted vitamin and mineral supplements if you can’t directly acquire these kinds of foods. Exercise regularly, and to the proper limits of your physical ability. Also, avoid situations where there might be cancer causing agents–like excessive sun, or previously radiated areas that include biological hazards. Bio-hazards in general are to be avoided at all costs. Also, cut down on substance abuse. Eliminating it entirely is wise.

The summer is set to be beautiful, and if you’re going to fully enjoy it, you want to exercise proper sun safety. So keep an eye on yourself, and wear sunscreen!

 

 

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What You Should Know During Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Now that it is March we need to focus our attention on Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Each March (and all year), medical professionals, patients, caregivers and survivors make it their mission to bring awareness to colon cancer and educate people on the prevention of this disease. At one time it seemed like colon cancer was something that people got diagnosed with much later in life but people are being diagnosed with colon cancer younger and younger in life. Ideally, prevention is key and this can be achieved thanks to proper nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and screening.

What Is Colon Cancer?

When tumors form in the lining of the large intestine, this is considered colon cancer as this area is where the colon and the rectum are located. In many cases a polyp is the first sign of an issue within the color. Over time if left untreated or not removed, the polyp can turn cancerous. It takes knowledge and proactive care to prevent, diagnose and treat colon cancer.

Who Should Be Screened?

In general, everyone, man and woman, should be screen for colon cancer starting at the age of 50. People who have a history of colon cancer or have a history of colon cancer in their immediate family may need to be screened before this age. Typically, you would discuss your need for screening with a trusted medical professional and go from there. The screening process involves a simple colonoscopy which is performed by a doctor while you are somewhat sedated. Your doctor will scope your colon and the other nearby areas to check for things like polyps which can turn into cancer. Since it is the fourth most common cancer in the United States currently, colon cancer affects many different people and demographics. Some of the risk factors associated with this form of cancer can include:

-Family members that have had or currently have colon cancer

-Personal past history of other gastrointestinal cancers such as cancer of the rectum

-Personal history of breast cancer, ovary cancer or endometrium cancer

-History of polyps

-Crohn’s disease

-History of colitis

What If Something Is Found?

If your doctor performs a colonoscopy and finds polyps he or she will likely remove a sample of the polyp. It will then be sent to a lab where it will be tested for a number of things, including cancer. It takes a few weeks to receive the results and your doctor will also advise you if you need further testing and if so, when that would occur. Sometimes your polyps will be fine and not require much more than routine monitoring. Other times, polyps can test as being pre-cancerous and will be watched more closely. Cancerous polyps will require further investigative work and treatment.

What Are The Symptoms?

While symptoms can vary and sometimes symptoms are unnoticed, some of the symptoms associated with colon cancer can include:

-Diarrhea

-Constipation

-Bowel habit changes

-Blood in feces

-Bleeding from the rectum

-Bloating, cramping and pain for no known reason

-Loss of appetite

-Fatigue

-Pain

-Weight loss

-Anemia

-Jaundice

-Frequent vomiting

Educating yourself on colon cancer is the first step towards preventing it. Knowledge is power and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, periodic screening for colon cancer is very important. You can also limit the amount of alcohol that you consume on a frequent basis and abstain from smoking. As with all cancers and other diseases, adopting a healthy lifestyle that incorporates healthy eating and exercise into your daily routine is very important. Ongoing routine medical care is essential as well for optimal health.

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What Is Chemotherapy?

There are many different types of illnesses we should be aware of in order to prevent them. However, prevention may be too late if the illness is severe. Some illnesses can be treated by regular medicines while others are so serious a different type of treatment is needed such as chemotherapy.

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is known to be a method for treating for cancer. However, it can also be used in several types of illnesses such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that kill cancer cells. This can be administered in several ways such as through:

  • Intravenous Fluid
  • Injections
  • Pills
  • Liquid form
  • Topical Cream

Whatever the method is, the purpose of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells. This won’t happen overnight as the ultimate objective is to kill the cells, there are three levels of treating cancer:

  • Palliation
  • Control
  • Cure

Palliation

When cancer has already grown malignant, many symptoms start showing. These symptoms are very inconvenient as most of them are painful. One example is infection that causes discomfort and pain. Through palliation, these symptoms such as infections and tumors can be treated separately to provide temporary relief.

This method doesn’t actually eliminate cancer nor weaken it. It focuses on immediate effects of cancer. Any kind of treatment that aims to reduce only the symptoms is called palliative care.

Control

Control is another method of treatment that does not also eliminate cancer. In this method, it may be considered during a particular stage when the cancer starts spreading. The purpose of the control method is to contain and reduce the growth of the illness in order to prevent further symptoms.

Just like diabetes and heart diseases, cancer also has a control stage where patients take some maintenance pills. There are times that the cancer seems to have gone away because there are no more symptoms present. However, it may come back in an instant without any warning. If this happens, a control chemotherapy will be performed again.

Cure

This method of chemotherapy may be obscure as the term “cure” is still theoretical. It means there is still no exact cure for cancer, but this method aims to cure it. It aims to kill and eliminate cancer.

This is possible in some cases especially at a very early stage. There are cases that cancer is cured on this method. However, there is always no guaranty that every cancer can be eliminated this way. This is why this method is called curative intent.

When to Start Chemotherapy?

If you suspect that you have cancer, it is recommended you look for cancer doctor called an oncologist. It is your oncologist who will determine the diagnosis and the proper treatment.

When your oncologist found that you have a cancer, they will then prescribe which combinations of medicine to use in a particular chemotherapy and which method of therapy should be used.

If your cancer is already malignant, your oncologist will ask you to undergo certain surgical operations to remove some tumors. However, if the stage is still early, the curative intent may be applied.

Conclusion

Chemotherapy is still the ultimate method of treatment for cancer. While research on cancers cure is still ongoing, this medical method proves helpful. However, not all patients can undergo this process because it is very expensive. If you have a cancer, it is better to immediately control it before you reach the palliative stage. Nevertheless, prevention is the best method.

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