Categories Other Cancers

Canine Lung Cancer

Having pets has proven to help us reduce stress in our lives and help us live longer. They have become parts of our family, developing personalities of their own. So when our beloved dog is diagnosed with lung cancer, what can we do to make sure our pet has the best care? These guidelines can help with the prevention, symptoms, and treatments for canine lung cancer.

Causes and Risk Factors

Canine lung cancer can affect any type of dog. It is more common among the medium and larger dogs, more so the older ones. There has been studies showing second-hand smoke could cause canine lung cancer. Make sure your dog has regular check-ups and at the first sign of something wrong take him to the vet. This can help prolong your dog’s life. Information used in this article can be online and does not serve as an alternative to veterinarian advice. Please consult with you pet’s vet for more information.

Symptoms

Diagnosis and treatment

Canine lung cancer can be detected through x-rays. The x-ray can show the enlarged lymph nodes, and a biopsy can be done to test for lung cancer. If the cancer remains in one area, surgery is recommended. Other areas can be treated with chemotherapy and radiation to help prevent the spread of the cancer. Pain relief medications are used to help make the dog more comfortable and help with any pain they may be experiencing. In addition, there are many natural remedies that can aid in the treatment of cancer by strengthening the immune system. Dietary supplements and different herbal formulas include Red Clovers and Alfalfa. Other remedies and information can be found at www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com .The prognosis of canine lung cancer can be anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years.

Finding out your dog has lung cancer can be devastating. The most important thing for you to do at this point in your dog’s life is to make him comfortable and happy. Give him lots of love and attention. Be sure to educate you and your family on the disease and other ways to help your dog cope with this illness.

www.dog-health-guide.org

www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com

Categories Other Cancers

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms by Stage

It is estimated that over 21,000 cases of ovarian cancer will have been diagnosed in 2018, making up 3 percent of all cancer cases for women. Although the five-year survival rate is over 50 percent, 15,000 people in 2018 died from ovarian cancer. These statistics should emphasize that, despite progress in combating the disease, women should be aware of the signs and symptoms related to ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer growths originate from the ovaries, the female reproductive organs responsible for creating eggs. It typically develops in the ovary linings. There are no known direct causes attributed to ovarian cancer, but there are hereditary factors that can contribute to being diagnosed with it. Statistics suggest that white women 50 years or older are more likely to get ovarian cancer than other population groups.

Early Stage and Symptoms. In the zero or first stage, ovarian cancer cells are present inside one or both ovaries but no cells are present outside of them. There are no visible symptoms for stage 1 ovarian cancer. These symptoms usually show up when the tumor has grown large enough to pressure other organs. If ovarian cancer is discovered at this point, it is usually through a routine pelvic exam.

Stage 2 Symptoms. At stage 2, the ovarian cancer has spread from the ovaries and possibly into the fallopian tubes or other pelvic organs. Pelvic pain, abdominal swelling and frequent urination could indicate the existence of ovarian cancer tumors. Signs and symptoms of stage 2 ovarian cancer they are hard to distinguish among other possible diseases. This makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose ovarian cancer at early stages.

Stage 3 Symptoms. At stage 3, the ovarian cancer has spread beyond the reproductive organs and into the abdomen or surrounding lymph nodes. They could also spread to the rectum. Gas, constipation and diarrhea could also be signs, as well as abnormal menstruation and pain during intercourse.

Stage 4 Symptoms. When ovarian cancer reaches stage 4, it means that the cancer cells have spread into other organs such as the liver, lung or intestines and possibly other lymph nodes. Doctors sometimes find cancer cells in the lung fluid, indicating how far it has spread. Associated symptoms would be a collection of fluids around the abdomen which arises from liver failure, labored breathing from infected lungs, or the inability to properly digest food due to cancer-laden intestines. The 5-year survival rate at stage 4, according to cancer.org, is 17 percent.

Categories Other Cancers

Statistics on Ovarian Cancer

I was troubled to read that actor Pierce Brosnan’s 41 year old daughter Charlotte Harris, died from ovarian cancer. His first wife Cassie, Charlotte’s mother died 11 years ago, from the very same disease. Cassie Harris, was 43. How sad that Mr Brosnan had to re-live his pain, all over again.

A former co-worker of mine died from ovarian cancer. It seemed as if one day she was diagnosed, and within a few months she was gone. Radiation and chemotherapy did nothing except turn her skin black, cause her to vomit and lose her hair. The alleged cure, seemed to do more harm than the disease.

Cancer does not discriminate based on income. Pierce Brosnan no doubt had the funds to help his wife and daughter get any treatment necessary, yet they died, just like less fortunate individuals who were not able to afford treatment. Actress Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer. She probably had access to the best doctors, yet she too was a victim of this dreaded disease.

Statistics do bear out, that white women experience the highest rate of ovarian cancer, followed by Latinio’s, African Americans, Pacific Islander/Asians, and Alaska Native American Indian women.

Ovarian cancer symptoms, mimic other common, non life threatening, illnesses. This is why many women are not diagnosed, until it is too late. Symptoms may include frequent gas, bloating, pelvic pain, fullness and loss of appetite,or indigestion.

One woman dies from ovarian cancer every 12 days. 43% of those who are diagnosed, live at least 5 years. I have not heard that any other females in my co-worker’s family were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. And it is not known whether or not Charlotte Harris and her mother had the gene marker indicating they were at high risk for the disease.

Although billions of dollars have been raised for cancer research, very little of it goes towards ovarian cancer. There are preventative measures, which offer modest protection against ovarian cancer. They are hysterectomy, oral contraceptives, and tubal ligation. They are only recommended however, if there is an actual medical need.

Categories Other Cancers

Breast Cancer Misconceptions

Those working toward ending breast cancer have been plagued for years about the connection between abortions and miscarriages and breast cancer. Many have speculated that an induced abortion (or spontaneous abortion, as miscarriages are known as) have led to higher developments of breast cancer because of hormonal levels that lead to changes in the breasts (“Abortion, Miscarriage, and Breast Cancer Risk”). The National Cancer Institute consulted 100 experts on pregnancy and breast cancer and came to the definitive conclusion that there is no correlation between abortion and miscarriage and the risk of breast cancer (“Abortion, Miscarriage…”)

A more devastating myth is the notion that mammograms detect 100% of all breast cancers. In reality, mammograms falsely misdiagnose 35 to 70 out of 1,000 women as not having breast cancer when they do (“Mammography”). Human error is to account in most cases although there are still limitations in technology. However, it is important to realize that mammograms remain the only screening method available to find early onset breast cancer, so discounting them as unhelpful or unnecessary could lead many women to live with untreated cancer for an extended time. Mammograms should be utilized as cautionary tools. If a suspicious lump is visible and mammograms do not detect it, patients should request another mammogram or biopsy of the lump.

The road to requesting a mammogram often begins with monthly breast self-examination. Many look to this procedure as a fail-safe method toward determining if their lump is cancerous or not. A startling report has been released in recent months that highlight the ineffectiveness of self-exams. While many grassroots advocacy groups have persevered with their conviction that breast self examinations (BSE) are unhelpful and often stressful for women, it is only in recent months that groups such as the Canadian and American Cancer Societies have shied away from advocating BSE in their prevention tip brochures. Doctors and researchers reason that most lumps discovered from BSE’s are typically benign and cause undue worry and fear in patients. They maintain that the best screening method remains regularly scheduled yearly mammograms for women over 40.

While mammograms are known to dispense false prognosis in some cases, they still remain the best pre-diagnostic tool available. The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 to 49 should have a screening performed every two years, and once a year for women age 50 and older (“Breast Cancer and Care”). More than 90% of breast cancers are detected from a mammogram (“Breast Cancer…”). A mammogram is an x-ray imaging of the breast, designed to detect suspicious lumps through low dose x-rays. While discovered some years earlier in Europe, the method was not used widely in the United States until the 1950’s. New developments in film imaging has reduced the amount of radiation needed to produce a picture and thus lessened the controversy surrounding the practice of mammography (“Mammography”).

Categories Other Cancers

How a Seemingly Cursed Breast-Cancer Diagnosis Proved a Blessing

Twelves days after my 20th birthday, my mother died with a cancerous brain tumor after only a short illness. So even though it was 24 years later when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was devastated.

My sister, 9 years older than I, had filled my mother’s shoes as best she could. She held our family of 4 boys and 3 girls together. She hosted holidays at her home and kept in touch with us all even when we didn’t keep in touch with each other. You know the way a mom does. She was there for me when I got married, when I had my two children and when I went through the divorce. My sister was always taking care of me.

Immediately I starting questioning God. I am a Christian and believe that God does everything for a reason. So I wanted to know right away what in the world He was up to. Why would he allow my sister to have cancer after losing my mother to this horrible disease. And immediately my sister started in on me to get a mammogram. Being a single parent of two college aged children, doctor visits where a luxury that I could not afford even with insurance. I was never sick so I didn’t even have a doctor, so my sister encouraged me to contact her doctor for a physical and a mammogram.

At age 45, and my first mammogram ever, I had breast cancer. When I got the call from the doctor to come in to his office I already knew what he was going to say. My children insisted on going with me and I insisted that they stay in the waiting room while I met with the doctor. He assured me that all would be well because it was small and it had been found early.

After a few tears, I collected myself and when out to face my children in the waiting room, I wasn’t even sure I could tell them without crying, but I needed to be strong for them or so I thought. I did it, I told them it was cancer and I didn’t cry and then we rushed on to church just like we did every other Wednesday night.

The next few weeks were filled with doctor appointments, surgeon and oncologist. At the follow up visit after my surgery, the doctor informed me of the type of cancer and told me that even though it was small and I had no lymph node involvement, that this cancer was fast growing and that in 2 to 3 years he would have not been able to help me with surgery. This was it! The answer to my prayer. I had asked God why and this was it. My sister had cancer to save my life.

She was talking care of me still. We went through chemo and radiation together. I helped her pick out her wig and she helped me pick out mine. During the summer of 2001 we helped each other survive. Together we learned first had what it meant to have the support of someone else who knew what you were going through and with the love of a sister.

Today, we are cancer-free, and with the help of some other cancer survivors, we started a cancer support group for women. The name of our group is SIS, Sisters In Survival. We do volunteer work through the local American Cancer Society, Reach to Recovery and Relay for Life. God not only answered my question that day, but showed me a new ministry for my life. If you had asked me back when I was going through the treatments I would have no doubt told you that having cancer was a curse, but now? What can I say , I am blessed!

Categories Other Cancers

Breast Cancer and My Friend Cindy

Cindy (not her real name) is a mom I met almost three years ago at my child’s elementary school. Our girls are in the same scouting troop. Cindy has Stomach Cancer. She has a wonderful husband and three lovely young children.Oh, and she also has an amazing mother-in-law. I will get to that later on.

I feel a strong bond with her children because my mom had Breast cancer when I was young. My sister was away at college and I felt all alone. My dad did not like to talk about my mom. My mom hid in her room for almost two years. Finally, when her chemotherapy treatments were finished, she came back to the living. And living she did. She lived for another 20 years and then got sick again. She died in 1995. My heart was, and still is broken. My mom was my best friend.

So, I do know what those kids are going through. The only difference is that their mom has not come back to life. I am not sure she ever will. It has been almost three years and she is still in either her bed or a hospital bed. She now has tumors in her Liver. Although her cancer is considered “stable”, Cindy is almost always in pain. Her dear mother-in-law has basically taken over. Cindy’s own mother and father have not helped at all. They live far away and are in denial. Cindy has written them off.

How do you live when you know you are dying? How does one go on? Cindy’s children want their mom back but will she ever return? Can their father replace a mother’s hugs and kisses? How do I tell my friend to live for the moment for the sake of her children when she carries such a heavy burden? Who am I to get angry when I see those kids looking so sad? I wish I had all the answers.

My friends and I share our feelings about Cindy. We feel that she is not trying hard enough to put on a “happy” face. This will be the third Christmas that the kids have to watch their mom in pain. The baby is only four. It is so unfair. I play out so many scenarios in my mind about this family’s future. I know which future I wish would come true. You all know it. The happily ever after future. This is the future where mom is not wearing a nightgown.

She is not lying in a hospital bed. She is not dying. She is attending school functions and concerts. She is decorating the Christmas Tree. She is taking the turkey out of the oven and wearing that apron that says “Mom’s the Best”. Most of all, she is living.

Categories Other Cancers

Triple Negative Breast Cancer at a Glance

Gender, age, genetics, family history, personal history and race are just some of the risk factors associated with breast cancer. For instance, inheriting a mutated form of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which under normal conditions are protective against breast cancer, increases ones risk. Breast cancer has many factors that contribute to its development. What oncologists are finding out is that breast cancer is not one cancer but many subtypes of cancer. The breast cancer subtypes are based on three receptors:

  1. Estrogen receptors
    2. Progesterone receptors
    3. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)

Commonly used treatments for breast cancer mainly target these receptors. Breast cancers that are estrogen receptor positive (meaning the breast tumor grows when the hormone attaches itself to the receptor site) will respond to anti-estrogen drugs like Tamoxifen. So treating breast cancers that are estrogen, progesterone or HER2 positive means that drug therapy blocking these receptor sites can help treat breast cancer in those patients.

But, what happens when the tumors don’t have any of these receptors. This is exactly the case with triple negative breast cancer. The triple negative form of breast cancer gets its name because it lacks all three receptors and treating it with hormone therapy is ineffective. In the US, approximately 180,000 women are diagnosed with some form of invasive breast cancer and 15% of them have triple negative breast cancer. This type of breast cancer is rare, aggressive and difficult to treat. The only form of treatment for women with triple negative breast cancer is chemotherapy.

According to Dr. Funmi Olopade, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, patients responding well to chemotherapy have a better chance at survival. Unfortunately, the challenge for doctors and their patients is dealing with triple negative breast cancer when it reoccurs. There isn’t an effective way to treat this form of cancer when it returns because the chance of survival is not good. While more research is needed to understand triple negative breast cancer, screening is the best measure to allow for early detection. Early detection means, “Many of the women are surviving. They are beating the odds of dying because they know they can do preventive approaches to reduce their risk of dying,” Dr. Olopade said.

For more information on triple negative breast cancer check out the TNBC Foundation for news, updates and the latest on clinical trials.

Categories Other Cancers

Risk Factors and Causes of Lung Cancer

Everyone learns early in science class just how important the lungs are. They are necessary to receive oxygen from the air and exchange it with carbon dioxide in the lungs. Without the lungs, there would be a smaller amount of oxygen available for the blood, causing your body to work harder.

There are several diseases that involve the lungs, including asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or cancer. Any of these illnesses can wreak havoc on the lungs and interfere with the lung’s functions. We are going to focus on lung cancer.

Cancer can be a debilitating or life-threatening disease anywhere it is located in the body. Cancer of the lungs is one of the most serious diagnoses, as it can spread rapidly to other parts of the body, or to the rest of the lungs. Usually found in the bronchi, it can also begin in the pleura, which is the lining of the sac. As the lungs are exposed to foreign objects, the new cells proliferate and mutate into cancerous tumors. These tumors can be benign or malignant, which spreads throughout the body.

There are several causes of lung cancer. These causes are also called risk factors. Some risk factors can be changed, some can be modified, and some cannot be changed.

Risk factors that can be changed:

Smoking – Cigarettes, pipes, and cigars cause over 90% of lung cancer cases.

Second hand smoke – Breathing in smoke exhaled by smokers or air tainted by cigarette smoke can be enough to cause cancer.

Respiratory irritants such as asbestos – Fibers can settle in the lungs, and develop into cancer. Smoking increases the risk by up to 90 times.

Radon gas – This gas is sometimes found seeping through rocks and into homes. The gas, once inhaled, causes cancer at a rate second only to cigarette smoke.

Risk factors that can be modified:

Other lung diseases – The presence of illnesses such as COPD can increase the chance of developing lung cancer. Modification involved taking prescribed medications, a diet high in protein, and avoiding respiratory illnesses such as colds and flu.

Risk factors that cannot be changed:

Prior history – If lung cancer develops once, it can come back again, usually in a more aggressive form.

Family history – Genetic factors play a role in who develops lung cancer and who does not. It is common that smoking and nonsmoking family members of a cancer patient can develop the illness themselves even if they avoid common risk factors.

Lung cancer can be aggressive, and can cause death. However, it is possible to seek treatment and eradicate the illness. Know the risk factors, learn the symptoms, and seek medical attention when necessary.

Categories Other Cancers

Best Breast Cancer Products

Numerous companies provide consumers with products that sponsor breast cancer awareness. These breast cancer products fund numerous charities that raise money for research projects around the world. Donating to charity from proceed is an innovative idea because people help a cause without spending extra money and purchasing items that they use anyway. It alleviates the need to spend extra money to donate to different organizations. Many of these products display pink ribbon, so consumers know that they are purchasing breast cancer products.

Yoplait Yogurt

Many Yoplait Yogurt containers sport pink lids. The only thing yogurt lovers have to do is purchase this product at their local grocery store. For every pink lid, Yoplait donates 10 cents to breast cancer awareness causes around the country, this includes research and treatment centers. Their campaign has raised as much 1.5 million for breast cancer. In addition, Yoplait is the National Present Sponsor of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

People can work as teams or individuals to collect lids. On the Yoplait website, they provide starter kits and other incentives for lid collectors. The site also provides instructions on mailing lids.

Breast Cancer Crusade Tennis Bracelet

This tennis bracelet features rose crystals and pink ribbons on a silver chain. Consumers who purchase this breast cancer product donate 100 percent of the profits, which is $3.46, to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, an organization that has raised more than $585 million since its establishment in 1992. This organization has raised breast cancer awareness and donated to research programs in more than 50 countries. In addition to this bracelet, Avon has more than 40 other breast cancer products.

Pink M & M’s

M & M’s gives consumers a sweet way to purchase products for breast cancer awareness. People who buy Promise Blend M & M Chocolate candies are, in essence, donating 7 to10 percent of their purchase to Komen for the Cure. This bag of M & Ms is a mixture of white and pink varieties of this chocolate-covered candy. People who buy this breast cancer product at their online store not only fund research; they can even get personalized messages inscribed on their M & Ms. The large bag costs about $11 and the smaller one costs about $4.

General Mills Products

General Mills launched their General Mills’ Pink Together program in 2007. During the month of October, General Mills will turn the boxed of some of its well-known brands pink in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Komen for the Cure. Some of these products include Cheerios cereals, Progresso soups, and other well-known brands. General Mills has contributed more than $2 million in the past two years. In addition to the month of October, consumers can join their Pink Together program by visiting their page. They will find out about research, hear from breast cancer survivors and people who’ve lost loved ones, and learn about other donating opportunities.

KitchenAid

The purchase of products from the KitchenAid pink collection supports “Cook for the Cure.” This program, created in 2001, has raised more than $6 million for Komen for the Cure. Every time a customer uses KitchenAid breast cancer products to feed their loved ones, they know that they’ve supported breast cancer awareness and research. These products can be purchased at retail stores and on the KitchenAid website.

These breast cancer products appeal to consumers because they can support awareness while using items they would on a daily basis. They allow people to support this cause without having to give more money than they would normally pay for these products. Every time they eat one of these products or use them during the day, they know that they promote breast cancer awareness, even if not directly.

Categories Other Cancers

Me: A Story of a Breast Cancer Statistic

I never thought I was immune from getting cancer. I mean, one-in-eight women will develop breast cancer, so why not me?

I just never thought it would happen at age 44. With no family history.

When I didn’t hear back from the radiology clinic about my results, I called them. I needed to know. So they told me over the phone. Nothing was absorbed but the words: lump, malignant, 4.5 centimeters. Four and a half centimeters? How could that be?

I called my brother, who had made me the executor (or executress, as we like to call it) of his will. I told him I had waited too long to get this checked out. It was big and it was aggressive and, not only that, I needed two more biopsies. I was a goner.

I believed this for two weeks.

Then I met my surgeon. My glorious surgeon who told me she loved her job because she “makes people well.” My surgeon who shared with me and my college roommate, like we were in our twenties again, a love of wearing hats, scarves, and, yes, wigs. My wonderful surgeon who informed me that the other two biopsies were benign. And, my surgeon, the bearer of good news once more, who stated she removed a lump that was not 4.5 cm but rather 2.5 cm.

I researched my treatment options. I found out that researchers, hot on the pursuit of breast cancer with estrogen (ER+), progesterone (PR+), and HER2 receptors, had virtually overlooked my group: the Triple Negative cases, so called because they have none of these receptors and therefore drugs like Tamoxifen and Herceptin can’t be used to prevent a recurrence.

I decided to participate in a study looking at the drug Ixempra, which I was given.

Going through chemo was rough, having seven weeks of radiation on top of it was tougher yet, but nothing prepared me for what was to come next: medically-induced menopause, chronic fatigue (that lasted nearly a year), and neuropathy that frequently left my hands numb. I won’t lie – while I was prepared to have a rotten year with all the treatment and its side effects, in many ways the second year was harder. For me, anyway. Had I known what to expect, I think it could have been a little bit better.

I now call myself a cancer survivor. I’ve been cancer-free for one and a half years. And, hopefully, I am no longer the one-in-eight but rather the “one and done.”