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.
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.
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
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.
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.
If you have a suspicious mole or area on your skin, please have your doctor check it out.
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
Signs and Symptoms of Brain cancer:
- Memory changes
- 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.
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
- Pain in the breast bone area
- Chronic indigestion and heartburn
- Weight loss that is unplanned
- Bone pain
If you have multiple signs listed above, please see your doctor, but remember it may be another condition other than cancer.
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.
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.
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.
Here are the risk factors of kidney cancer:
- Smoking– if you currently smoke, please stop
- 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
- Low back pain in the kidney area
- A mass or lump in the back or side area
- Loss of appetite/ not hungry
If you have any of these signs, please see your doctor immediately to be check out.
Here are some statistics about Ovarian cancer.
- A woman’s lifetime risk of developing invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 72. A woman’s lifetime risk of dying from invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 100.
- While the 11th most common cancer among women, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women, and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers.
- Approximately 15 percent of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed early with early stage disease.
If you are experiencing these signs for more than two weeks, please go to your doctor to be check out.