Tag Archives: cancer awareness

It’s Cervical Cancer awareness month

Happy New Year everyone!  January marks a new year and cervical cancer awareness month.  I hope that by 2017, that will be a cure for all cancers.

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When talking about cancer, there are always lots of questions about who is at risk for developing it, the treatments, the signs and etc.  I am going to try to cover some of that in today’s blog post.  Let’s first look at the risk factors of cervical cancer.

Risk factors for cervical cancer : ( via www.cancer.org)

  • Having a family history of cervical cancer (a mother or sister) –chances are 2 to 3 times higher of developing cervical cancer
  • Being younger than 17 at your first full term pregnancy
  • Having had multiple full term births
  • Infection of HPV (human papilloma virus)
  • Having used an IUD (Intrauterine device)
  • Long term use of oral contraceptives
  • Being overweight
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Those that have had a Chlamydia infection
  • Those that are on  immunosuppression medications
  • Those that have weakened immune systems
  • Those that have been exposed to DES (diethylstilbestrol)
  • Those that smoke

Just because you may have some or all of the risk factors above doesn’t mean that you will develop cervical cancer.  It just means that you have a higher chance of developing it.

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Here are the warning signs of cervical cancer.  If you are having these signs, please contact our physician for a pap smear and check up.

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding (i.e. bleeding after sex, bleeding between menstrual cycles, bleeding after menopause and etc.)
  • An unusual discharge from your vagina (often times between our periods)
  • Painful intercourse

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Typical ways for treating cervical cancer is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  Depending on what stage the cancer is diagnosed at is exactly what treatment is used.

So if you haven’t had your pap smear somewhat recently, please schedule to have it done soon.

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Let’s talk about Melanoma..

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Did you know that Melanoma is a dangerous type of skin cancer that will account for over 73,000 cases of skin cancer this year?  It can start nearly on any part of your skin, even your nail beds and areas that never get sun exposure.

So who is at most risk for this cancer?

  • those that have had severe sunburns in the past
  • those with weakened immune systems
  • those with paler skin tones
  • those that have been exposed to too much UV (ultravoilet) radiation from the sun or tanning beds
  • those that have had family members with skin cancer
  • those that have multiple unusual moles

Use the ABCDE approach when examining your skin for possible skin cancer.

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If you have a suspicious mole or area on your skin, please have your doctor check it out.

Brain Cancer Awareness Month

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Did you know that May is brain cancer awareness month?  Here are a few things about brain cancer that you should know..

  • Brain cancers are the most common cancer for children ages 0-19 yrs.
  • More than 4,600 children this year will be diagnosed with brain cancer this year
  • There are 120 different types of brain tumors
  • About 22,850 adults in the US will be diagnosed in the United States with brain cancer

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Signs and Symptoms of Brain cancer:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory changes
  • Fatigue
  • Personality changes
  • Changes in sensory items (i.e. loss of smell or taste, having a strong sense of smell/taste)
  • Vision changes
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty swallowing

If you are concerned about possibly having a brain tumor and you have some of these signs, please notify your doctor and get checked out.

April is also Esophageal Cancer awareness month

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Did you know that Esophageal cancer makes up 1% of the cancers in the United States. It is 3 to 4 times more common in men than women.  If you live in the US, your lifetime risk for developing this type of cancer is you are a male is 1 in 125 and if you are female it is 1 in 435.  Less than 15% of cases of Esophageal cancer are found to be in people younger than 55 years old.

So what are the risk factors of Esophageal cancer?

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being obese
  • Having GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
  • Having Barrett’s esophagus
  • Injury to the esophagus
  • Exposure to certain chemicals and chemical fumes
  • History of other cancers

Here are the signs and symptoms of Esophageal cancer:

  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Pain in the breast bone area
  • Chronic indigestion and heartburn
  • Weight loss that is unplanned
  • Vomiting
  • Bone pain
  • Pneumonia

If you have multiple signs listed above, please see your doctor, but remember it may be another condition other than cancer.

Testicular cancer awareness month

April is Testicular cancer awareness month.  So let’s go over a few things and spread the word.

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Did you know??

  • That Testicular cancer is the leading cause of cancer in men ages 15-35
  • Every hour a man is diagnosed with testicular cancer
  • Testicular cancer is very curable if caught early enough
  • If you have a family history of Testicular cancer you are at more risk of developing it.
  • Marijuana use increases your chances of developing Testicular cancer tremendously.
  • You have a higher risk of developing Testicular cancer if you are Caucasian.
  • If you have had or still have undescended testicles you have a higher risk.

So let’s go over how to do a self exam of your testicles.

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Multiple Myeloma awareness

Hello everyone!  March is almost over, but before it ends I wanted to go over some basic awareness for Multiple Myeloma.  March is also Multiple Myeloma awareness month.

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Did you know that Multiple Myeloma is the 2nd most common blood cancer in the United States?  Most people are diagnosed after the age of 65 and it is very rare in people under 35 years of age.  More males than females get this cancer.  If you have a family history of this disease then you are at a more increased risk.

Below is a list of signs of Multiple Myeloma.  If you have these symptoms, please see your doctor to get tested.

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Let’s talk about Kidney Cancer

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Our kidneys are bean shaped organs in our bodies.  Every day our kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out approximately 2 quarts of waste and water.  This waste and water becomes our urine.  Most everyone is born with 2 kidneys.

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Here are the risk factors of kidney cancer:

  • Smoking– if you currently smoke, please stop 
  • Obesity
  • Having a relative that had kidney cancer
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having advanced kidney disease, especially if you are on dialysis
  • Taking “water pills” /diuretics
  • Workplaces that expose you to certain chemicals/ herbicides and solvents.

Here are some warning signs of kidney/renal cancer:

  • Bloody urine (medical term: hematuria)
  • Weight loss
  • A consistent fever
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Low back pain in the kidney area
  • A mass or lump in the back or side area
  • Anemia
  • Loss of appetite/ not hungry

If you have any of these signs, please see your doctor immediately to be check out.

Cervical Cancer

When was your last Pap Smear test?  If it hasn’t been in the past year or so, please go have it done.  It might be uncomfortable to have it done, but it is well worth it in the long run.    If you are having any abnormal signs (bleeding between cycles, painful sex, bloating, pelvic pain, unusual discharge, painful urination, and bloody urination) please see your GYN immediately.

Here are some statistics about Cervical cancer.  I hope that in 2015 we find a cure for all cancers.

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