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Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category

Sep
17

What Is Cancer?

What Causes Cancer?

As we have said, cancer occurs when the fine-tuning mechanism in the body that controls and regulates cell growth and cell death is altered. In addition, the body’s natural immune system, which is normally able to kill off many cancer cells, malfunctions Viagra New Zealand. The result of these two events is uncontrolled cell growth and these cells can then invade other parts of the body.

This can occur because of genetic factors or environmental factors or a combination of both. Many people are genetically programmed to develop cancer. In other words, if there is a strong history of cancer in the family then you may be more at risk of developing that type of cancer yourself. Bowel cancer is a good example of this. Environmental factors include exposure to a wide variety of substances that are known to increase the risk of getting cancer. These substances are known as carcinogens.

Known Risk Factors for Cancer

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Several risk factors make a person more likely to develop cancer:

  • Cigarette smoking and tobacco use. Smokers worldwide account for about 85 per cent of cases of lung cancer in men. Smoking is also a major cause of oesophageal, mouth, throat, bladder and pancreatic cancer. There are over fifty different carcinogens in tobacco smoke.
  • Obesity
  • A high-saturated-fat ‘Western diet’. Lots of red meat and little fresh fruit and vegetables lead to an increased risk of both colon and prostate cancer.
  • Lack of exercise
  • Exposure to workplace carcinogens such as asbestos, arsenic, benzene and vinyl chloride
  • Drinking large amounts of alcohol leads to an increased risk of mouth, throat, oesophageal and liver cancer.
  • Genetic factors are important in some cancers, such as colon, stomach and prostate cancer.
  • Exposure to radon gas. This is a natural radioactive gas which seeps from the ground into the home. Levels of radon are quite high in various parts of Ireland and it is strongly associated with lung cancer.
  • Food additives such as nitrates in processed foods, which are converted in the body to carcinogenic nitrosamines
  • Barbequing food may produce carcinogenic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that may promote intestinal cancer.
  • Medical treatment that suppresses the immune system, allowing for successful organ transplantation, can also result in cancer because of this suppression of the immune system.
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  • Radiation
    • sunlight exposes the body to ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation over a prolonged period of time can damage DNA and cause cancer. This is why excess sunbathing or sunburn can cause skin cancer.
    • other forms of ionising radiation such as nuclear energy (think of the Chernobyl tragedy), medical x-rays and the natural gamma radiation in cosmic rays
  • Infections
    • virus infections associated with cancer would include the HIV virus, which weakens and destroys the body’s natural defence system, thereby opening the door to many cancers.
    • hepatitis B and C viruses can lead to liver cancer.
    • the human papillomavirus, which is sexually transmitted by men to women, can cause cervical cancer in women.
  • Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial infection, if untreated is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer.

Feb
10

Prostate cancer symptoms might not be detected before prostate cancer is revealed from a routine PSA blood test, which is a test done to screen males for this form of cancer. But , some men will experience changes in urination or pain, which could indicate cancer. This article will share how to identify symptoms that need a doctor’s attention and help you form an online symptom diagnosis.

The prostate gland is part of a man’s reproductive system. It is a small gland about the size and shape of a walnut that envelops the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine as it exits the body.
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Prostate Cancer Symptoms And Causes

Prostate cancer might not be seen in its earlier stages. In much more advanced conditions, the following signs may be viewed:

* Difficulty with urination in that the urinary stream is sluggish or delayed

* Decreased force in the urine stream

* Dribbling after urination ends

* Leakage of urine

* Straining urination with a feeling that the bladder was not able to empty entirely

* Blood in the urine or semen

* Discomfort or pain in the pelvic area

* Bone pain

Quite a few of these signs and symptoms mimic a more common issue in most men as they age, that is an enlarged prostate. This ailment is termed Prostate Hypertrophy or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and is normally a harmless condition.

The trigger of prostate cancer is not entirely comprehended but risk factors have been discovered . Men who are at larger risk are:

* African-American men

* All men above the age of 60

* Men with a family history of cancer of the prostate

Various other risk factors may include:

* Obesity

* Men who eat a high fat diet, specifically animal fats

* Exposure to agent orange or cadmium

* Farming

* Tire Plant employees

* Painters

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment

In some cases, the above mentioned signs will be discover but a lot of circumstances of prostate cancer are detected from a routine screening assessment. These assessments may include a Digital Rectal Examination or a blood test referred to as a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test. If abnormalities are discovered with the screening checks, your physician may recommend further assessments to confirm the diagnosis such as an Ultrasound or a biopsy of the prostate.

A biopsy is the only test which can positively verify the presence of cancer cells and if cancer cells are present your results should be described employing something known as a Gleason score. The Gleason score is a way of evaluating how aggressive your cancer is with 2 meaning nonaggressive cancer and 10 meaning very aggressive cancer.

Your medical doctor may order additional exams to figure out if the cancer has spread like a CT Scan, Bone Scan or MRI.

Treatment of prostate cancer could vary from individual to individual and can be decided based on a variety of factors such as how rapidly your cancer is progressing, if it has spread, your age, your complete level of wellness and probable side effects of the remedies.

Some men might not have to have immediate treatment in particular if these men are diagnosed quite early or if the man is of an older age. In these situations the doctor may take a “watchful waiting” method in which regular follow-up blood tests, rectal exams and quite possibly other tests (i.e. biopsies) are carried out to keep track of the expansion of the cancer.

In other circumstances where the cancer is detected in an early stage, your medical professional may look at surgical treatment and radiation therapy. Various other types of therapy may be considered in particular if the cancer has spread. These various other treatment options may involve hormone therapy, cryotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy and chemotherapy.

Apr
29

Cancer itself may not be problematic; in fact many types of cancer can continue to grow in the body without any warning signs at all, until it is quite widespread or starts causing other organs to malfunction. For this reason, it is important that all screening test schedules be adhered to. However, even with proper screening there are times when the cancer can grow without notice. In most cases of cancers that are deemed treatable there are three courses of action which may be taken individually or in some combination with one another. These are: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

The side effects of both chemo and radiation can make a patient miserable and may seem like they are worse than the cancer itself. These include: nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, anemia, hair loss, fatigue, mouth ulcers and sores, yeast infections, depression and anxiety, insomnia and pain. All of these problems by themselves can be hard enough to handle, but they often all come at the same time.

In addition, you get these side effects while you are trying to cope with cancer and recovering from surgery or other treatments as well. The last thing that people who are going through this want to do is to eat, however, solid nutrition will be what gives your body and mind the strength to fight back and get back to better health.

While each patient should follow individual recommendations from their doctor for their own care, it is generally agreed that those who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer care need to have increased nutrition which includes:

  • Whey and other protein supplements for health and caloric boost
  • Glutamine, an amino acid found in proteins
  • Antioxidants
  • Green tea

Whey Protein, Protein Supplements and MCT

The reasons that most cancer patients lose a lot of weight are simple: a lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting as well as diarrhea which are common side-effects and finally, the fact that a large portion of the foods that are eaten will not be absorbed properly by the body because of the chemotherapy. These three factors working together can make the chemo patient weaker and weaker and may leave them susceptible for a number of infections and other problems at their worst moment.

MCT – MCT is a highly absorbable, high calorie oil containing a fat which is a medium chain triglycerides. There are a number of different products which contain MCT, available from your health care professional who can also recommend how much of the product you should use.
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Whey Protein– Whey protein is easily absorbable and boosts the immune system in a number of ways, first by supplying immunoglobulins. Whey protein also helps to boost the optimal intake of other proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals for overall health. Glutathione is increased by whey protein. Glutathione is an antioxidant which is necessary for a healthy immune system. (See the antioxidant section for more information) Glutathione also lowers the risk of some infections and may inhibit the growth of some tumors. (Source: Badger)

Whey protein is an optimal source of amino acids, necessary for a number of the body’s functions. The whey protein isolate has 90% protein but less lactose, especially beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant (Source: Segounis). In addition, whey protein is also important to prevent muscle breakdown which may be a problem in the presence of lowered caloric intake. The body, needing energy will use up the energy reserves and will then turn to the muscles for more energy, breaking them down and leaving the body even weaker.

Protein Supplements — A lack of appetite can be a major problem. If there is a moment when you do feel hungry, you should have a snack that is handy to have when you are ready. Protein snacks and supplements include shakes, bars and liquid protein supplement shots. Protein bars should have a high amount of protein but limited sugars because the sugar, can depress an already stressed immune system.

Supplements like the liquid protein shot, is a good choice because it is portable (it comes in a virtually non-breakable plastic tube) small enough to be carried anywhere, and can be consumed in only a few seconds (it is 2.9 fluid ounces). It gives a full 25 grams of protein per serving as well.

Glutamine — Glutamine is an important amino acid, one of many that is synthesized by the human body on its own. Adding a supplement of this amino acid can protect the cells which line the intestinal tract and can be damaged by chemotherapy or radiation treatments. (Source: Gottlieb, 2000). Before adding any type of supplement however, speak to your doctor who may have other suggestions or may disagree with their use.

Amino acids are important, and are the building blocks that many functions are built upon. The body makes a number of amino acids beyond glutamine, however, it cannot make eight of them. The eight amino acids not made by the body must come from the foods that we eat- both from animal and plant based sources.

Animal proteins are complete, meaning that they have all eight of these amino acids. Plant proteins are not complete because they typically are missing one or more of the amino acids. The only exception to this is soy protein which is complete. The eight essential amino acids are: threonine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and lysine. In children, histadine is also needed from food sources.

Antioxidants — Antioxidants are meant to prevent the damage of free radicals in the body. Free radicals also multiply in the body because of sun damage, smoking, poor diet and other factors. Whether antioxidants are good for cancer patients or not is a serious debate. Chemotherapy generates free radicals to destroy the cancerous cells. On one side of this debate are the doctors who believe that since antioxidants seek out and neutralize free radicals, then those who are using chemo should avoid antioxidants or at the very least not add extras to their diet. However, there are doctors who think that antioxidants not only boosts the effectiveness of the chemo or radiation treatment, but also lessens the worrisome side effects! (Source: Gottlieb, 2000)

Your own doctor may be on the opposite side of the antioxidant debate than you yourself are. You may want to present your side of the issue and work out a discussion together. Your best care depends on everyone being on the same page, working as a team.

Green Tea — Green tea, as well as other teas can help people to feel better. It also is beneficial for its anti-cancer properties. You can drink several cups of green tea per day, either hot or cold depending on taste. In addition, you can use green tea supplements as well. Again, before starting any supplements, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

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Mar
27

Health is wealth. This has been a saying that we have been hearing since I was a kid. Unfortunately for some or even most of us, we only get to understand this quote’s real value when we are already struck with disease. For my fellow men, I would like to share with you a study I have read in a medical magazine. Once we have reached the age of 70, our chances of developing prostate cancer increases to 50%. A few pages after this study, I read about prostate massage for prostate cancer prevention, an appropriate follow-up.

My grandfather is the exhibit A for the American study I have read. It was three years ago when grandpa left us due to complications brought by his cancer in the prostate. I can still remember how we got the dreadful news about his disease. It was just few days after his 72nd birthday. He is known to follow a good diet, and an active gardener. So, it came as a surprise to us. We are saddened by the news as grandpa is very dear to everyone.

Since then, I started to research about prostate cancer: its cause, effect, and treatments. I have read that susceptibility to cancer can be determined through genes. So, I also looked at our family tree and traced who had cancer. I have an uncle who has the same disease too, and an aunt who had it on her breast. This discovery pushed me to learn of ways that could ensure my freedom from prostate cancer.

I have to have my diet altered, as well as my lifestyle. I began to exercise more and be more accommodating to leafy greens. However, there was one tactic that really caught my attention, it’s the prostate massage. It is a practice that could clear out the insides of the gland, freeing it from the old alkaline residues that have been stuck inside. Again, men should also cleanse their prostate to save it from sickness. I am wondering why this preventive measure has been kept to the public. It would have saved lives if people have been informed.

So, how does a massage can do wonders? You see, stimulating the prostate though a gentle massage can elicit a reaction similar to orgasm. The body will feel the tingling sensation that is alike to the usual release we experience. However, with prostate massage the feeling is much intense. There is also a difference with the fluid released. It has a watery consistency due to the alkaline liquid.

This practice has been utilized in the medical field for a long time. Doctors do this when they need to get semen sample for paraplegics, or other special cases that needs help in orgasm. If done properly, or done with knowledge, preparation, and care, prostate massage is safe. Most importantly, it takes practice and patience to be able to successfully execute the prostate orgasm.

The best part about this prostate massage, not only does it help prevent prostate cancer, but it can also be the highlight in your romantic rendezvous. If you have an adventurous partner, then telling her or him would just be an easy task. For those who perceive their partners as a little on the conservative side, you don’t have to shut this idea immediately. Talking does wonders too. If you have the needed information, you may actually convince your other half.

If your lover feels a little queasy about the idea of exploring your bottom, you may use an adult toy that would help you reach prostate orgasm. There is a line of toy that specializes on this need. They are made to give you or your love one a prostate massage to prevent prostate cancer, and an orgasm that would prevent boring chilly nights.

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Mar
10

Roof Maintenance

Roof maintenance is an important activity. When roof material contains asbestos, the decision on maintenance is to be made based on factors of economics involved in repair or removal, weather conditions, safety and health concerns. The material was used extensively in housing and roofing in particular, prior to 1970s before its carcinogenic effects were known. Therefore, if the house is more than 30-40 years old as on date it is more likely that the roofing would contain asbestos.

Why is Asbestos hazardous?

The material by itself has the greatest advantages of being fire retardant or inextinguishable as it was called in Greek. It could be changed into different forms of sheet, tile or cloth and was considered safe and durable for a very long time. All this changed when it was understood that the fibers of the material when airborne could cause a serious cancer called Mesothelioma or sometimes called Asbestos cancer. The symptoms do not show up for many years and when they do the disease is already in an advanced stage. It was only in the mid 70s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) put the regulations in place.

How does it affect a house owner?

There is a perpetual question in the mind of the owner regarding repair and maintenance activity and that is to choose between self help (which could be economical and customized) or go in for professional help. In case of asbestos ceiling tiles the owner is not left with much of a choice but to choose professional help in handling a potentially hazardous condition. It needs to be professionally ascertained if the roofing needs to be repaired, removed considering the side effects of the existing and future health concerns of the members of the household.

Who is at risk?

According to EPA, more than 75% of US water systems contain traces of asbestos and also the air in the atmosphere contains detectable levels of the material. Does that mean everybody exposed to that air and water is at risk for Mesothelioma. The answer is no. As stated earlier, if the house is more than 30-40 years old and the roofing visibly contains asbestos and requires maintenance, it could qualify for a health risk. Moreover, people at risk are those who are exposed to large amounts of asbestos fibers for extended periods of time.

Word of Caution

Asbestos has been banned in 40 countries. Check on the local laws to proceed on the maintenance activity accordingly. Professional help may be mandatory.

The growing trend of home renovation market does not necessarily throw light on the safety precautions involved in maintenance of old homes. Use discretion in seeking professional help.
The material is hazardous only when airborne, therefore contaminated ceiling is harmful only when it is damaged. Professional help could always be handy at this stage.
If the tiles are cracked or partially damaged and economics does not permit professional advice, it is highly recommended to adhere to the safety regulations before proceeding on repair.
Disposal of the removed ceiling tiles should be strictly according to the regulations of the state.

Conclusion

It is of common understanding now that living under a roof made of asbestos does not automatically increase the risk for Mesothelioma. There is no concrete test to prove visually if the ceiling tiles contain the offending material, hence rely on a qualified professional for help and advice. Better be safe.

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