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Signs of Diabetes

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Diabetes is divided into two main categories, type 1 and type 2. They are both chronic diseases that develop when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar, also known as glucose. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes lack the ability to use or store sugar from their food, which is vital for producing energy to live. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, delivers glucose into the bloodstream, resulting in sugar distribution to the muscles, liver, fat, and other cells in the body. Insulin levels control sugar levels by indicating to the organs when the body needs fuel, and when insulin needs to be stored in the liver for future energy use. Almost all cells in the body require the presence of insulin to procure glucose from the blood. Diabetes results in protracted high blood sugar levels, which heighten the risk of complications. Following are recognizable signs of diabetes displayed by the two types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Individuals who have type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin. The cause for this type of diabetes is still under investigation, however researcher do know that in type 1 diabetic individuals, the body’s immune system is flawed, mistaking healthy body cells for foreign invaders. In responding to the “attack”, the immune system eradicates the beta cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin. The complete lack of insulin production causes diabetic symptoms to rapidly develop, in just a matter of weeks. Symptoms are typically severe and include:

  • Extreme thirst and increased urination
  • Intense hunger, even after eating
  • Headache
  • Unexplained, rapid weight loss
  • Sores or cuts that don’t heal appropriately
  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Visible emotional or behavior changes
  • Distorted vision
  • Fruity-smelling breath

Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood, or adolescence, and is often referred to as juvenile diabetes. Insulin must be systematically injected, or pumped, into the body to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes cannot yet be prevented, and there is no cure. Healthy living requires consistent blood sugar testing.

Type 2 Diabetes

The signs of type 2 diabetes often develop very gradually, and may not be apparent to the individual. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately one-third of all people that have this type of diabetes, do not know they have it. With this type of diabetes, insulin is being produced by the individual, but their body is not able to effectively use the insulin produced. Type 1 and 2 diabetes, share many warning signs, but individuals with type 2 diabetes may experience additional symptoms, because of the delay of onset. For example, pre-diabetes, a condition that occurs when glucose levels are higher than normal, may not produce any systems, and can often, only be determined by a blood test. If the pre-diabetes is not addressed by lifestyle or diet changes, it typically develops into type 2 diabetes within a matter of five years, or less. Along with the symptoms listed above for type 1 diabetes, type 2 sufferers may experience:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Dry, itchy skin, particularly around the groin or vaginal area
  • Recent weight increase
  • Numerous yeast infections
  • Darkened skin changes of the groin, armpit, and neck regions
  • Impotency,
  • Decreased vision

A glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test, is the primary method of establishing a diagnosis of diabetes, as it analyzes blood sugar levels for the prior two to three-month period. See your physician if you are experiencing any of the signs of diabetes, or have any concerns.

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What is Colon Cancer?

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Colon cancer is the accumulation of cancer cells in the lower part of the large intestine. These tumors typically begin as small benign growths referred to as polyps that turn into malignant tumors over time.

Stages of Colon Cancer

When a patient is diagnosed with colon cancer, they will be diagnosed with a stage of the disease, depending on it advancement. Colon Cancer is broken up into stages Tis to T4b.

  • Tis -In this stage, cancer cells are only found in the top layers on lining in the colon.
  • T1 –At this stage, the cancer cells have begun to spread to the tissue below the lining of the colon.
  • T2 – During stage T2, the cancer cells have developed into the deeper tissue that is involved in pushing along waste during the digestive process.
  • T3 – At T3 the cancer has spread to the connective tissue that connects the colon to other parts of the body, as well as permeating into some of the other surrounding tissues.
  • T4a – At this point the cancer cells have grown throughout all parts of the colon.
  • T4b – At this final stage the cancer cells have spread past the colon into other parts of the body.

What are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

Symptoms of colon cancer can come on suddenly or develop gradually over time. Often times symptoms of colon cancer are mistaken for gastrointestinal issues or discomfort. Some symptoms of colon cancer include,

  • Blood in the stool
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Abnormal changes in your bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea that lasts for more than a month
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Fullness in bowel even after going to the bathroom.

Risks for Colon Cancer

While there is no specific cause for every case of colon cancer there are risks that may make you more likely to develop colon cancer.

History of Polyps

While many times polyps are found and easily removed, repeated development of polyps is linked to an increase in colon cancer.

Low Fiber Diet 

Low fiber and high fat diets have been linked to an increased chance for developing polyps and colon cancer.

Obesity 

Those with a BMI in the obesity level have an increased risk of getting colon cancer as well as an increased risk of suffering more complications from it.

Inflammatory Gastrointestinal Problems

Chronic disease of the gastrointestinal track, including colitis and Crohns disease, can increase the risk of development of colon cancer.

Age

Most colon cancer patients are 50 years of age or older.

Genetics

A family history of colon cancer increases your chance of developing the disease as well. There are also genetically passed conditions that can greatly increase your risk for colon cancer including,

  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, otherwise known as lynch syndrome
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis, which leads to an increase of the development of polyps in the colon.

Diagnosing Colon Cancer

Diagnosis of colon cancer is either done through routine screenings that are part of annual physicals or testing when gastrointestinal problems are present. To diagnose colon cancer patients will,

  • Receive blood tests to check for cancer markers
  • Undergo a colonoscopy which involves a camera scope of the patient’s rectum, colon and intestinal track.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for colon cancer are typically determined based on the stage of cancer the patient is in. Treatment options can include,

  • Polyp removal during colonoscopy
  • Partial colectomy
  • Removal of lymph nodes
  • Colon resection
  • Targeted drug therapies
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation treatment

When it comes to treating colon cancer, routine wellness screenings are important as early diagnosis will lead to the best prognosis.

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Understanding Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy also known as biologic therapy is a type of treatment that induces or enhances the body’s immune system instead of using medicines. This process is usually done to treat cancer by stimulating the immune system to become more active in attacking cancer cells or by sustaining the body with man-made immune system proteins.

How Does the Immune System Work?

The immune system is the sum of all components that work together to maintain the normal functions of body organs. These components include but not limited to white blood cells, nutrients, and organ functions.

When the surface of skin is wounded, white blood cells work to heal the wound by eliminating foreign substances. When the wound is larger, it requires a lot of white blood cells to cover the wounded area. This will result in the appearance of lymph nodes near the area. This is where white blood cells build up.

In the process of eliminating foreign substances such as bacteria, germs, and cancer cells, body nutrients such as vitamin C may work to repair the damaged tissues and collagen.

Meanwhile, body organs work together to prevent disease-causing agents to stay inside the body. Kidney works to filter toxins, which are excreted through the urine. Digestive system separate important substances needed by the body from waste. The heart continues to pump blood to carry white blood cells and red blood cells needed to heal wounds.

These are some examples of how the immune system work. The immune system is not a single substance nor a single organ. It is an integration of several body systems that work together to protect the body from certain diseases.

The Immune System as Treatment for Cancer

There still no single medicine that can cure cancer. So far, an effective way to suppress the spread of cancer cells is through the immune system. The immune system serves as the police inside the body. It detects unwanted substances that may infect any area of the body.

However, cancer cells are not detected by the immune system as they appear to be like normal cells by of sending signals to the PD-1 CTLA-4 receptors. These signals confuse the immune system. This is why even a healthy body with strong immune system cannot prevent cancer.

Nonetheless, there is a way to make cancer cells detected by the immune system. The use of immunotherapy drugs such as inhibitors can disrupt the signals that are sent by cancer cells. This will let the cancer cells exposed to the immune system. Cytokines and cancer vaccines are examples of these inhibitors.

Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are man-made immune system proteins. These proteins attach to cancer cells thereby flagging the cancer cells to be recognized by the immune system. On the other hand, monoclonal antibodies work to block the abnormal proteins in cancer cells, so they can also be used to prevent cancer cells from spreading.

These are examples of man-made antibodies:

  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)
  • Nivolumab (Opdivo)
  • Ipilimumab (Yervoy)

Non-Specific Immunotherapies

Non-specific immunotherapies are used to boost the immune system to directly stop and kill cancer cells. Examples of these are interferons and interleukin’s.

Conclusion

The use of the immune system is still the most recommended method in the treatment of cancer. It only needs the help of inhibitors to let it work properly on the target. The problem with the immune system is that it is not intelligent enough to keep cancer cells from being hidden. This is why there is still a need for human intervention with the help of man-made antibodies.

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Preventing Heart Disease

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Cardiac disease in on the rise and many medical professionals believes that it is the way you live in today’s busy world.

While our digital technologies of today are supposed to make life easier at work and home, in many aspects is only making life more challenging.

You may complain that you do not have the time to prepare well-balanced meals offering your body the essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

You may, like many may have a sedentary job at a computer that provides no worthwhile exercise.

You must take time for yourself. You must pay attention to what you feed your body and fit in some attractive exercise options for yourself to keep your heart as healthy as possible.

Recognize that if heart disease runs in your family history, this puts you at risk for heart problems. There is nothing you can do about your genes, but you can change your lifestyle to help prevent this family history from becoming a more serious heart problem.

Smoking

Smoking adds to heart problems in addition to other risks like cancer. If you smoke, cut this out of your life. If you are devoted to living your life to the fullest, you can and will quit smoking. Smoking shortens your life because of the chemicals in tobacco, no matter what form you use, narrows the heart’s vital arteries. When artery walls narrow this leads to a heart attack you may not survive.

Obesity

Did you know that close to 60% of all Americans are overweight?

. 30 pounds over your ideal body weight equals overweight

. 30 pounds over your ideal body weight equals obesity. Get in your perfect body weight for you, for a healthier heart. Stops making excuses of why you overweight, such as,

  • It is in your genes
  • The medicine you take
  • Your mental health
  • Stress

It is time to avoid excuses and get on a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Never say diet, and never consider going on a diet. Diets cannot last the rest of your life, and while they may initially work, when you stop your diet the weight comes back two fold at least.

Exercise

No weight loss plan works without constant exercise. If all you can do is walking for 30 minutes a day, devote yourself to doing an exercise you enjoy. It is only 15 to 30 minutes out of your day, and it helps you,

  • Lose Weight
  • Strengthens your heart muscles
  • Decreases Blood Pressure
  • Decreases Cholesterol Levels
  • Decreases Diabetes

Eat Well-Balanced Meals and Snacks

Three meals a day with three fruits, vegetable, or protein snacks per day. Refer to the original food pyramid for guidance on what to eat and what proportions every day. Your food pyramid includes just the right amounts, the body requires daily to provide the right amount of essential nutrients.

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetable
  • Fats
  • Proteins (Greatly decrease red meat and eat more chicken, turkey, fish)
  • Dairy

Think about removing from your kitchen every white food such as salt, sugar, and white flour. White is not healthy or good for your heart. Decrease or avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sodas.

Preparation of Foods

Learn how to prepare meals healthy. Avoid,

  • Deep fried foods
  • Using a lot of oil (use extra virgin olive oil for cooking
  • Canned goods, use fresh or fresh frozen
  • Use a vegetable steamer. Steaming does not destroy essential vitamins and minerals
  • Bake, broil, or grill

Visit your doctor as soon as possible. Talk to your doctor about your ideas for a lifestyle change and weight loss to prevent or decrease your risks for heart disease before initiating any changes.

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Understanding Colorectal Cancer

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Colorectal cancer is most common if there is a family history of it, colon polyps present and long bouts of ulcerative colitis without treatment. With that said, colon cancer can affect anyone. Sometimes all it takes for the cancer to occur is poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and drinking and exposure to toxins that create damaging free radical cells that harm the DNA. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of the cancer can help with early detection, but sometimes there isn’t any, which is why colon screening is essential. Screening usually starts around the age of 50, but if there is a family history it may be best to start sooner.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

  • Extreme Fatigue and Weakness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Change in Stool Shape, Size and Color
  • Red or Dark Stools
  • Bleeding During Bowel Movements
  • Drastic Weight Loss
  • Suffering from Anemia
  • Constant Abdominal Pains
  • Headaches
  • Pain During Bowel Movements
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

How is the cancer detected?

Colorectal cancer is detected by doing a barium enema x-ray to locate any tumors, or through a colposcopy, which views the entire lining of the colon for cancerous growths. If any cancer is suspected, a biopsy will be done. After, surgery will be scheduled to remove the cancerous growths and a recommended treatment plan will be provided if one is necessary. Sometimes further treatment is only needed if the cancer has spread throughout other areas of the body. It all depends on the stage of cancer you have.

How many stages of colon cancer are there? 

There are four stages of colon cancer. The first two stages typically only require surgery to remove the cancerous parts of the colon. The last two stages usually require surgery plus chemotherapy or radiation. Therefore, catching colon cancer early is extremely important for saving lives. The last stages of colon cancer and more difficult to treat and eventually end in death since it has spread to other parts of the body that can be hard to treat.

Are there any preventative measures you can take for preventing colon cancer? 

Yes, there are preventative measures you can take for preventing colon cancer. Some include:

  • Eating a good balance diet
  • Exercising daily
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Not smoking or drinking acholic beverages
  • Taking daily vitamins
  • Increasing your fiber intake
  • Getting colon cancer screening when recommended

Bottom Line 

When it comes to preventing colon cancer from taking your life, colon cancer screening is your best line of defense for catching and treating it early. If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of the cancer it is time to visit your doctor now for a checkup.

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Taking Care of Your Bladder

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Your bladder is a hollow organ that holds the urine that is produced by the kidneys. The urine remains stored in the bladder until you go to the bathroom. If you don’t take care of your bladder properly, there are certain conditions that you can suffer from both now and in the future. A few of the most common bladder issues include:

  • Frequent bladder infections
  • Interstitial cystitis: A chronic bladder condition that causes bladder pain and frequent and urgent urination.
  • Overactive bladder: A serious condition that squeezes urine out of the bladder at inopportune times.
  • Urinary incontinence: A condition where a person is unable to control their bladder.
  • Bladder cancer

To avoid these conditions and to ensure the health of your bladder, there are a few tips that you should follow.

#1 Let It All Out

Women are especially susceptible to urinary tract infections that involve the bladder. Frequent infections of the urinary tract and the bladder can cause permanent damage to your bladder over time. When you go to the bathroom, it is important to empty your bladder completely each time. If you tighten up your muscles and you stop urinating before your bladder is empty, the urine that didn’t make it out of the bladder will bring bacteria back into the urinary tract and bladder which will cause an infection.

#2 Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drinking plenty of fluids will help to flush out your bladder. It will also flush your urinary tract, preventing you from developing an infection. It is recommended that you drink six to eight glasses of water each day. If you find that you are urinating too often, cut back slightly.

#3 Get Moving

If you spend your day sitting at a desk, fluid can build up in your legs during the day. At night, the fluid build-up will cause you to empty your bladder. The longer you leave the fluid in your bladder, the higher the chances are of developing an infection. To prevent this, try walking throughout the day. You can also try raising your legs to your waist and flexing your calf muscles.

#4 Avoid Tobacco

Each year, over 50,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer. According to a recent study, cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers. If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. It will greatly reduce your risk of developing bladder cancer and a variety of other health conditions.

#5 Drink Cranberry Juice

The best way to avoid bladder infections is to drink cranberry juice. The ingredients in the juice can keep harmful bacteria from sticking to the walls of your urinary tract. This will keep the bacteria from moving up into your bladder. If you don’t like cranberry juice, you can also take cranberry tablets.

#6 Watch What You Eat

There are certain foods that can cause bladder pain and frequent urination. If you suffer from these issues, avoid acidic food such as orange juice and tomatoes.

#7 Drink Less Before Bed

It is not healthy for your bladder to remain full all night. This is why you should drink fewer fluids two hours before bedtime. Also, avoid caffeinated drinks before bed because caffeine will make you urinate more often. If your bladder remains empty at night, the chances of an infection greatly decrease.

If you want to avoid bladder infections and chronic bladder problems in the future, you should start taking care of your bladder now. Each of the tips listed above will ensure a healthy bladder now and in the future.

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Signs of Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer does not have a lot of noticeable signs in the early stages. Most people do not usually get a diagnosis until when the disease has progressed. However, there are signs you can look out for that will show if you have lung cancer. Noticing the signs can help you get diagnosed at the early stages.

Unending cough

You should be keen on any new cough that is prolonged. A normal cough that is associated with a cold or respiratory infection is likely to go after a week or at most, two weeks. However, a persistent cough can be a sign of lung cancer. If you notice a cough lingering for more than two weeks, you should visit your doctor to have more tests done.

Cough changes

You should also pay attention to your cough if it starts changing. It is especially the case if you are a smoker. Some things to look out for is if your cough gets deeper if you get an increased amount of mucus or start seeing blood.

Breathing changes

A lung tumor can cause fluid buildup in the chest, and the cancer can also block or narrow an airway. One way you can identify this is if you notice that you start getting easily winded or have extreme shortness of breath.

Pain in the chest area

Lung cancer is known to cause chest pain in some patients. The chest pain may be sharp, constant, dull or intermittent. It can also occur throughout the chest or can be confined to one spot. The pain can be due to enlarged nymph nodes or metastasis to the lining around the lungs, the chest wall or ribs.

Wheezing

You experience wheezing when the airway becomes constricted, inflamed or blocked. It can be easily diagnosed as a symptom of allergies or asthma and treatment is simple. However, if the cancer blocks the airway, wheezing might also occur and should be taken seriously.

Drop in weight

One common symptom of any type of cancer is loss of weight. If you notice that you have lost about 10 pounds without trying to lose weight, you should find out the reason.

Bone pain

If the cancer progresses, it might spread to the bones leading to bone pain. The pain might increase and usually gets worse at night. You should take note f any unexplained neck, back, chest, shoulder or arm pain that worsens at night.

Headache and fatigue

If the cancer spreads to the brain, you might experience headaches. However, it can also mean that the cancer is putting unnecessary pressure on the superior vena cava that triggers the headache. Another thing to look out for is fatigue even when you have not done any work. If the fatigue does not wear off even after resting, then you should visit your physician to find out the cause.

Nervous system problems

There are patients who experience nervous system problems when the cancer causes the immune system to start attacking parts of the nervous system. It can lead to muscle disorders characterized by difficult getting up from a sitting position, loss of balance and lack of steadiness in the arms and legs, weakness in the hips and trouble swallowing.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is important to visit a physician as soon as possible. Early screening is important especially if you are at high risk of getting the disease.

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Understanding Radiation Therapy

Radiation-Therapy

If there is one illness that many people are afraid of, it’s cancer. This is because cancer is one of the most fatal illnesses that is hard to treat. Moreover, there is really no definite treatment for it yet.

Although chemotherapy is the most popular treatment for cancer, there is still no guaranty it can cure all types of cancer. This is why another type of treatment has been developed to treat cancer. This treatment is called radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy Explained

Radiation therapy is the use of radiation such as gamma rays and X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This happens with the help of three types of radiation therapy such as:

  • External-Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Internal Radiation Therapy or Brachytherapy
  • Systemic Radiation

External-Beam Radiation Therapy

This type of radiation therapy is done with the use of a radiation machine. The machine is similar to the X-ray machine will release its charged particles through a beam radiation. The radiation will penetrate the cancer-infected area from outside the body.

Internal Radiation

Internal radiation, on the other hand, is the method of directly placing the radioactive materials in the area around cancer cells. The process is a bit complicated, but it can be more potent.

Systemic Radiation

Meanwhile, systemic radiation treatment is the use of radioactive substances that can move through the blood to reach the areas with cancer cells. This works like a regular medicine in the sense that the substances are absorbed into the blood stream. An example of a radioactive substance is radioactive iodine.

How Does Radiation Therapy Work Against Cancer?

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging cell DNA. This also can happen by creating free radicals within the cells that kills the cancer as well.

Does Radiation Therapy Kill Other Cells?

The drawback in using radiation therapy is that it kills not only the cancer cells but also other cells nearby. This problem causes side effects depending on which cells are damaged as the result of killing cancer cells. Nevertheless, our tissues have a certain level of tolerance against radiation. It’s your doctor who will determine such levels before this treatment is performed.

Why Is Radiation Therapy Needed?

Radiation therapy is a powerful treatment against cancer. It’s so strong that other cells may also be sacrificed in the process. Nonetheless, the result is significant. It’s needed when the purpose is to completely eliminate the cancer. This means radiation therapy is used for curative intent, and it can also be used for palliative care to shrink tumors.

On the other hand, radiation therapy can also be applied along with chemotherapy. It can also be used for curative intent, control treatment, and palliative care at the same time.

How Is Radiation Therapy Scheduled?

Before radiation therapy is scheduled, your oncologist will ask you to undergo several tests such as CT scans, MRI, PET, and ultrasounds. All such tests will determine the location and the position of cancer infections inside the body. Once identified, radiation therapy will be applied in the target areas.

Conclusion

Radiation therapy may be much stronger than chemotherapy. However, there are risks involved as the radiation can also damage other non-cancer cells. Radiation therapy is ideal for curative intent as it requires patients to be much healthier and tolerant against certain radioactive materials and substances.

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What is Oral Cancer?

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Oral cancer is a persistent growth or sore inside the mouth that is caused by an uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage. It will not go away on its own. It includes the following surrounding tissues:

  • Throat
  • Tonsils
  • Sinuses
  • Hard and Soft Palate
  • Floor of the Mouth
  • Cheeks
  • Tongue
  • Lips

What are the Symptoms?

There are numerous symptoms associated with oral cancer. The most common ones are:

  • Any lesions or swelling on the lips, gums, or other areas inside your mouth
  • Unexplained oral bleeding
  • Unexplained numbness, tenderness, or pain in any areas of the mouth, face or neck
  • Persistent sores in the mouth or the neck and face that do not heal within two weeks.
  • Red, white, or red and white speckled patches in your mouth
  • A feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Chronic sore throat, hoarseness, or change of voice
  • Earache
  • A change in your teeth or the way your dentures fit together
  • Large weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist or primary care physician as soon as possible.

Who is at Risk?

It is estimated that over 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Men face twice the risk than women, and men over the age of 50 face the greatest risk of all.

Oral cancer risk factors include:

  • Smoking. Whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe, you are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nonsmokers.
  • Using smokeless tobacco. Chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip makes you 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the lining of the lips, gums, or cheeks.
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol. You are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nondrinkers.
  • Family history of cancer. If cancer runs in your family, then you are more genetically predisposed.
  • Too much sun. If you have excessive exposure to the sun, especially when you are young, it increases your odds of contracting oral cancer.
  • If you have been diagnosed with HPV (Human Papillomavirus), some strains put you at a higher risk for contracting oral cancer.

It is important to note, however, that 25% of diagnosed cases of oral cancer do occur in nonsmokers and social drinkers.

What Can You Do to Prevent a Diagnosis?

There are some things you can do to lower your risk, such as:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation, and do not smoke or use any tobacco products.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun, and when you are out in the sun, apply UV-A/B sun blocking products on your skin and lips.

Early Detection is Key

The earlier you see any symptoms, the greater the chance of successful treatment. You can also take an active role in early detection by doing the following:

  • Do a Self Exam Once per Month – Use a bright light and a mirror to examine all the surfaces of your mouth and lips. Feel for lumps and thoroughly look over every part of your mouth, throat, and gums. Check for enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. If you find anything suspicious, contact your health care professional immediately.
  • See your Dentist Regularly – No matter how thorough, you can’t always see everything, so ask your dentist to conduct an exam at your next visit.

Remember, understanding what oral cancer is and how to detect it increases your chances of successful treatment.

 

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Signs to look for with Alzheimers

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Alzheimer’s is a very serious brain disease that can cause a slow decline in the patient’s cognitive skills. Over time, the patient’s memory, reasoning skills, and thinking can begin to decline. As the disease progresses, the disease can get so severe that the patient doesn’t recognize their family members and they don’t even know who they are. If you are caring for a loved one and you are concerned that they may be in early stages of the disease, you should know what symptoms to look for. It is important to understand that every person is different. The combination of symptoms can differ from person to person.

#1 Memory Loss That Effects Their Daily Life 

Forgetfulness is a normal sign of aging, however, if your loved one becomes especially forgetful, it could be cause for concern. There are certain memory issues that a person with Alzheimer’s will have that aren’t a normal part of aging.

  • Forgetting recently learned information
  • Forgetting important dates or events
  • Relying on memory aids often such as notes or electronic devices
  • Asking to have the same information repeated again and again
  • Forgetting names or important dates but then remembering them later

#2 Problems With Planning and Problem Solving

It is not uncommon for a person with Alzheimer’s to suddenly have trouble making plans. Something simple like following a recipe or understanding the directions to a board game can become difficult. People with Alzheimer’s also struggle with numbers, therefore, paying bills and balancing their checkbook can become difficult. Finally, a person with Alzheimer’s may need to concentrate much longer to do things that were once easy for them.

#3 Familiar Tasks Suddenly Become Difficult

When a person is suffering from Alzheimer’s, familiar tasks that they have been doing for years can become difficult. This can include driving to a familiar location, remembering their daily routine, and forgetting how to use their household appliances.

#4 Confusion With Time or Place

People with Alzheimer’s often lose track of time. This doesn’t mean that they forget what day of the week it is. People who suffer from this disease will often forget what year and even what decade it is. Also, they might have trouble understanding if something is happening immediately. Finally, it is not uncommon for a person to go somewhere and forget how they got there.

#5 Difficulty Seeing and Understanding Visual Images

Many people who suffer from Alzheimer’s have problems with their vision. This doesn’t mean needing a pair of reading glasses. Alzheimer’s patients often have trouble judging distance. They also have trouble determining color or contrast. These vision changes can make it dangerous for a person with Alzheimer’s to drive a vehicle.

#6 Sudden Issues With Speaking

As a person gets older, it is not uncommon for them to have trouble finding the right word, however, if they are in the middle of a conversation and suddenly forget what they were talking about, it is a serious cause for concern. People with Alzheimer’s often repeat themselves because they forgot what they just said. Finally, many Alzheimer’s patients will call things by the wrong name because they cannot remember the correct one. For example, if the person says little clock instead of watch, it is cause for concern.

#7 Difficulty Retracing Steps

Alzheimer’s patients will often misplace things. While this is common for many people, Alzheimer’s will make it difficult for them to remember where they just were so that they can retrace their steps.

Some people confuse old age with Alzheimer’s, however, when it is Alzheimer’s, the symptoms are more serious and disruptive to their life.

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