Do Not Fear Cancer Always Moving Forward

Race-Do-Not-Fear-Cancer


  Myth 1 : Electronic devices like cell phones cause cancer
    Reality : Studies have shown that cell phone users do not cause higher risk of getting cancer.


  Myth 2 : Cancer is infectious
    Reality : Cancer does not spread from one person to another. It is not infectious.


  Myth 3 : If I get cancer I will die
    Reality : Cancer is curable if diagnosed at an early age. Early Detection Saves Lives


  Myth 4 : Undergoing cancer treatment means you can't live at home, work or go about your usual activities
    Reality : In most of the cases patients get outpatient treatment and can go home, join work etc. depending on their personal physical health. A great deal of research is going on to help people live a normal life during cancer treatment.


  Myth 5 : If a lump hurts it is not cancer
    Reality : If a lump is found in any part of the body, it needs to be diagnosed properly. Whether a lump hurts or not, it can be cancerous.


  Myth 6 : If I lead a healthy life I will not get cancer
    Reality : Cancer cells are present in every person’s body. They start growing when triggered due to some factors. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle cannot always stop a person from getting cancer.


  Myth 7 : If my mother had breast cancer I will have it too
    Reality : No. Even if there is a strong family history, 40-80% may get breast cancer in their lifetime, while 20-60% will not get it. Many other factors also play a vital role in getting the disease. Therefore it is not necessary that breast cancer will be transferred from mother to daughter.


  Myth 8 : If I get breast cancer, mastectomy is the only solution
    Reality : If breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it can be treated by lumpectomy i.e. by removing only the lump. Mastectomy is not always required.


  Myth 9 : If I have no family history, I exercise, eat right and don’t smoke then I will not get cancer
    Reality : The above factors definitely reduce the risk of cancer but they cannot stop its occurrence completely.


  Myth 10 : An injury can cause cancer
    Reality : Bruise or injury on any body part can never be a reason for any kind of cancer.


  Myth 11 : Underwire bras and breast implants cause breast cancer
    Reality : Studies have shown that underwire bras and breast implants do not cause breast cancer.


  Myth 12 : Products like shampoos, deodorants, antiperspirants etc can cause cancer
    Reality : These products are tested properly before they are marketed. Their use does not cause any kind of cancer.


  Myth 13 : Use of sunscreen once a day prevents skin cancer
    Reality : Sunscreen shields the UV rays thereby reducing the risk of getting skin cancer. Moreover it has to be used a number of times during the day. But it cannot completely prevent skin cancer.


  Myth 14 : Household bug spray can cause cancer
    Reality : Household pesticides like bug spray can be harmful if the precautions for their use are not followed. But there is no link between cancer and these sprays.


  Myth 15 : Breast cancer can be transferred from mother to daughter during pregnancy or during breast feeding
    Reality : Breast cancer cannot be transferred during pregnancy or during breast feeding.


  Myth 16 : Cancer is my fate
    Reality : Cancer can happen to anyone. No one should feel guilty about getting this disease. If such negative thoughts pass one’s mind, it is best to share with someone or to join a support group that may help sort out many conflicts of mind.


  Myth 17 : Breast cancer skips a generation
    Reality : If any one of the parents has cancer gene, then there are 50% chances of the next generation to get it and 50% of not getting it.


  Myth 18 : There is nothing one can do to prevent cancer
    Reality : About 35% of cancers can be prevented. Even if someone has a strong family history, there are ways to reduce the risk of cancer as in : eat healthy, control your weight, stay away from tobacco in any form, understand your genetic risk, exercise and be physically active.


  Myth 19 : I am too young to get Lung Cancer
    Reality : Lung cancer has been diagnosed in age groups below 20 years as well, though it is very less in number


  Myth 20 : Only smokers get Lung Cancer
    Reality : Though smokers have a higher risk of getting lung cancer, non-smokers may also get it. Passive smoking can also be a cause of lung cancer to non-smokers.


  Myth 21 : A positive attitude is all you need to beat cancer
    Reality : Positive attitude helps to keep one active during the treatment and have a good quality of life. It may give one the strength and courage to deal with the disease but it cannot replace the actual treatment of cancer.


  Myth 22 : There is restriction of food for cancer patients
    Reality : Cancer patients can eat any kind of food. There is no restriction of food for them, though it is advisable to eat healthy food, including green vegetables, sprouts and fruits.


  Myth 23 : Men do not get breast cancer
    Reality : Male breast cancer is less common but also happens sometimes.


  Myth 24 : Designer Lipsticks Contain Lead that Cause Cancer
    Reality : If a lipstick contained an ingredient that is sure to cause cancer, it would be pulled from the shelves immediately.


  Myth 25 : Hair dye causes brain cancer
    Reality : There has been a lot of speculation about hair dye and cancer. It has been thought that hair dye caused several different types of cancers like bladder and breast cancer, but there is no evidence of it causing brain tumors. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, hair dye does not increase the risk of developing cancer.


  Myth 26 : Cancer patient should be kept in isolation
    Reality : Cancer patient feels the needs of sharing more than anyone else, thus he should never be kept in isolation unless there is some health issue.


  Myth 27 : Biopsy spreads cancer
    Reality : Biopsy is important for diagnosis of cancer. It does not spread cancer


  Myth 28 : Cancer treatment is better in western countries
    Reality : Cancer treatment in India is at par with that of western countries. All the standards are maintained


  Myth 29 : Alternative therapy is enough for cancer treatment
    Reality : Alternative therapy can be taken after proper and full treatment


  Myth 30 : Patient should not be told about the disease
    Reality : Patient should be aware of his disease and line of treatment


Cancer cells can be starved to death by the following :

  •   Oxygen kills cancer cells
  •   Milk and Sugar are cancer feeders
  •   Tobacco in any form is injurious to health
  •   Avoid Red meat intake
  •   Regular Sleep Wake Cycle [Inherent Circadian Rhythm] produces Melatonin, a hormone, which acts as an Internal Biological Clock regulating body temperature, endocrine function, cancer and many other diseases.
  •   Pomegranate, Stewed apple with few cloves, sprouts, beetroot, wheatgrass, tulsi, garlic and dry fruit help to increase immunity, thereby reducing the risk of cancer
  •   Stay active- 45 minutes of brisk walking at least thrice a week alters oestrogen metabolism

Every cancer is different. Early Detection dramatically improves the survival rates. Unfortunately, in India mortality rate due to cancer is on the rise. We all can take a step for its reduction by staying vigilant about our body changes, sharing and visiting the doctor without hesitation. Some of the cancer screening tests that can be done regularly are:


  •   Digital rectal exam and PSA test for men
  •   Breast Self Examination should be started at the age of 20-25 yrs. It is important for women to be familiar with their breasts and stay vigilant. If any changes are observed then the doctor should be consulted immediately.
  •   Breast Clinical Examination should be done between the age of 30-40 years at least once a year.
  •   Pap Smear Test 3 years from the time of first sexual intercourse. It is to be done for three consecutive years and stopped if the results are negative.
  •   Mammography: Between ages 40-50 years women should schedule a mammogram every two years, whereas after 50 years it may be done once a year.
  •   Chest X-Ray, Ultrasound, Pet Scan, MRI etc may be done only if recommended by the doctor.

Massage Therapy

A message therapist will manipulate the skin, tendons and muscles to reduce tension and stress and induce relaxation. There are several types of massage that exist, some are light and some are deeper, using more pressure. Scientific research has discovered that certain types of massage can help cancer sufferers who experience pain, anxiety, fatigue and stress. With the help of a licensed, certified massage therapist, a patient can experience relief from any number of side effects that occur as a result of cancer treatment.


Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils either infused into the air or applied to the skin to relieve the pain, nausea and stress that comes from receiving chemo. Scents like lavender or vanilla have been shown to significantly reduce stress levels and provide a cancer patient with an overall sense of calm and peace.
Aromatherapy can be practiced with the help of a practitioner, or on your own. The treatment is safe, though it is important to note that some essential oils can cause an allergic reaction if placed directly on the skin.


Walking

Walking is the easiest way to remain active. Some of the benefits of regular walking:


  •   Reduces Cancer Reccurence
  •   Burns Off Calories
  •   Refreshes The Mood
  •   Eases Anxiety And Reduces Depression
  •   Gives A Chance To Share Thoughts With Peer Group

Exercises

Chemo drugs make you so weak that you may not be able to balance yourself while walking. The balancing exercises given below will help you gain stability while walking.



Lymphedema Management


Laugh And Defeat The Beast

Author : Rosemary Kelly


[Rosemary Kelly LLi/t, CLYL has been working with cancer patients for about a decade now, educating them about Lymphedema. Please visit her websites www.rosemarykelly.ca and www.laughing-lymphercise.com, She is based in Ontario, Canada, but is willing to work anywhere!]


What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a swelling of a body part as a result of fluid accumulation due to damage to the Lymphatic system. It is a chronic, progressive, disfiguring condition that if left untreated, can lead to changes in the skin and its underlying tissues, causing deterioration and infection. Lymphedema can affect anyone: men, women or children. Lymphedema is more commonly seen in the limbs but can also occur in the face, neck, back, groin or chest wall (which may be difficult to treat if there has been breast reconstruction).

There is no cure, but it is treatable and manageable. Early stages are reversible, which means that the swelling can be brought down, but there is always a risk for progression, so it must be monitored and managed all the time.

Lymphedema is classified in two ways: Primary or Secondary. Primary Lymphedema is a condition that you are born with and it can manifest at birth or appear later during puberty, for example, or it might be triggered by pregnancy. It occurs when lymph vessels are too few, non-functioning or absent.

Secondary Lymphedema is a disruption of lymphatic flow caused by surgery, radiation (the major causes in North America) also by trauma, tumors, immobility / paralysis, obesity, chronic venous insufficiency. In tropical countries it is most often caused by infection / filariasis caused by a parasite.

In either case, when the amount of lymphatic fluid exceeds lymphatic transport capacity, protein-rich fluid collects in interstitial tissue (the tissue between the cells). Disrupted vessels create blockages and reduce lymph transport capacity.

This gives rise to pain, disfigurement, swelling, degree of loss of functionality, high risk for infection on the affected side/quadrant of the body. Subsequently, oxygen availability is reduced to the tissues. Wound healing is compromised, providing a ‘welcoming’ culture medium for bacteria, there is a risk of cycle of infection: lymphangitis / cellulitis.

This is why it is so important to avoid overloading an already weakened system by having blood drawn or blood pressure taken from the affected side. Use your unaffected side (arm) for these procedures or, in the case of a double mastectomy, you may wish to have blood drawn from your leg.

Sometimes, because of a similar sounding name, Lymphedema is confused with Lymphoma, but they are not the same. Lymphoma is a cancer of the Lymphatic System.


The Lymphedema & Cancer treatment link


How are these two linked?

In North America we are seeing the highest incidences of Secondary Lymphedema resulting as a side effect of life saving cancer treatment: risk occurs with removal of lymph nodes and increases if radiation is part of the treatment course.

Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped, soft nodules. They cannot usually be seen or easily felt. Lymph nodes produce immune cells that help the body fight infection. They also filter the lymph fluid and remove foreign material such as bacteria and cancer cells. When bacteria are recognized in the lymph fluid, the lymph nodes produce more infection-fighting white blood cells, causing the nodes to swell. There is no specific number of nodes, it varies with every individual.


Race-Controlled-Arm-Lymphedema


[Controlled Arm Lymphedema a patient (breast cancer survivor) wears her compression sleeve in order to keep the swelling down]

If a person has had lymph nodes removed and undergone Radiation Therapy, he or she is at lifetime risk of Lymphedema.

Race-Controlled-Arm-Lymphedema








[Controlled Leg Lymphedema This Ovarian Cancer survivor is an active walker & swimmer. She wears her compression stocking to help control her Lymphedema]

Some will never show signs of Lymphedema, others will experience signs and symptoms within weeks, months or years after surgery or radiation.