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.


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 .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.

Categories Prostate Cancer

Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a gland located between a man’s bladder and penis, just in front of the rectum. Its function is to secrete fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. Unfortunately, this gland can become cancerous. All men ages 50 and up should undergo annual prostate cancer screenings from a physician. Men of African American descent should begin regular, annual screenings as early as age 40. Screenings are particularly important for those men who have a family history of prostate cancer.

One in thirty five men will die from prostate cancer. Therefore, it is important to know the warning signs. Some possible indicators of prostate cancer are difficulty initiating and/or stopping urination; frequent or painful urination; or pain on ejaculation. Blood may be present in urine or semen.

More serious possible indicators of prostate cancer include a urinary tract infection where a fever is present along with burning pain upon urination; bladder obstruction-despite drinking enough fluid, little to no urination is occurring; acute kidney failure, where there is no urination with little or no pain despite drinking enough fluid; or, deep bone pain in the back, hips and thighs. When bone pain is present, it is a possible sign that the prostate cancer has spread to the bones.

The first sign of cancer may be spine compression. This is where the cancer has spread to the tailbone and vertebrae region of the spine. The vertebrae become weakened, causing it to collapse on the spinal cord, which in turn causes problems with function. Should this occur, it can cause difficulty in walking, weakness in the legs, difficulty urinating or defecating, as well as numbness or a tingling sensation in the groin area. If any of these symptoms occur, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

While there are several tests to diagnose cancer, the early screening test is known as the Digital Rectal Examination (DRE), which helps detect the cancer in its early stages. Because the prostate is internal and therefore cannot be seen externally on a man’s body, the test is performed by a physician by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum. The physician will feel for any hard, lumpy or abnormal areas. If cancer is suspected, the physician may then order an ultrasound guided biopsy. Other tests used by physicians to diagnose prostate cancer include a PSA blood test, cystoscopy or bladder scope test, as well as MRIs or CAT scans.


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, is 17 percent.

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 Blog

Liver Cancer: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

The liver, the largest organ inside the body, is the multipurpose factory of the body. It breaks down and stores nutrients from the intestines, manufactures agents that clots blood on wounds, secretes bile that absorbs nutrients, and removes toxins and waste from the body. Tumors develop from abnormal cell growth in liver tissues. These tumors can be malignant or benign. When cancer cells become malignant, they can spread to other organs in the body.

The National Cancer Institute says that, in 2020, an estimated 22,620 are expected and they expect an estimated 18,160 deaths. Multiple liver cancer symptoms occur to let individuals they have cancer. Like many forms of cancer, various risk factors make people more susceptible to liver cancer. Some of these risk factors include genetic conditions, hepatitis, low birth weight, and cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcohol, medications, and other toxins.

Liver Cancer Symptoms

Liver cancer signs and symptom vary from one person to another; however, people recognize general symptoms of liver cancer. Many of the common symptoms of liver cancer occur in upper abdominal regions. Abdominal pain indicates that a person has developed a large tumor in the liver. Other liver cancer symptoms that affect the stomach include sudden abdominal swelling and bloating known as ascites, nausea, and vomiting.

Another sign that a person has liver cancer is jaundice, a condition that causes yellowing of the skin and the white of the eyes. People who consume large amounts of alcohol experience muscle wasting. Other physical signs and symptoms of liver cancer include unexplained weight loss and fever, itchy skin, swollen veins, and an enlarged spleen. Once doctors run various tests and diagnose these symptoms, they administer various liver cancer treatments, depending on the stage of the cancer.

Liver Cancer Treatments

Chemotherapy is a traditional liver cancer treatment in which a combination of chemotherapeutic drugs is injected into the body. This drug combination shrinks large cancer tumors. Doctors sometimes combine chemotherapy with other medical treatments in order to increase success rates. Chemotherapy treatments lead to unpleasant side effects like vomiting and nausea, lethargy and hair loss.

Radiation Therapy is used by doctors to treat dividing cancer cells. Unlike chemotherapy, radiation therapy attacks only cancer cells and those surrounding it. New advances in radiation therapy have helped reduce the damage done to healthy liver cells.

Surgical Resection is an invasive liver treatment in which cancerous sections of the liver and surrounding tissue are removed. This treatment is only suggested when patients have small localized tumors and have no signs of liver cirrhosis. One drawback to this form of treatment is that, if the person has inadequate amounts of liver, they could experience liver failure.

Liver Transplantation occurs when damage caused by liver cancer becomes so advanced that the organ cannot be saved. This liver cancer treatment becomes a viable option for people who are showing signs of liver failure, but the cancer has not yet spread to other areas of the body. However, in the United States, approximately 18,000 people are waiting for livers, and medical professionals have to determine which patients deserve available livers.

Early detection is the best defense for fighting liver cancer. People, though, must recognize the signs and symptoms of liver cancer. Many of them are hard to detect because they mimic common medical conditions. However, many people have access to a number of liver cancer treatment options that may stave off the spread of this deadly form of cancer.

Categories Blog

Vitamin B6 and Cancer

A recent study in the medical journal, JAMA, found that low levels of Vitamin B6 could indicate and increased risk for developing lung cancer. The finding was true for current smokers, past smokers, and people who have never smoked. But what is Vitamin B6 and how could it help to prevent cancer?

Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is part of the B complex of vitamins which include eight other B vitamins which are important for many body functions such as regulation of metabolism and immune function. Adequate nutrition with B vitamins obtained from the food, but not in tablet form, is important for the prevention of pancreatic cancer.

Deficiency of Vitamin B6 can lead to anemia, depression, skin disorders (dermatitis), high blood pressure, swelling (water retention), neurologic disorders such as seizures, and high levels of a chemical called homocysteine which increases a person’s risk of heart disease.

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B6 can be obtained from vitamin tablets or fortified foods, and varies based on age and sex. Vitamin B6 is present in a variety of foods including fortified cereals, bananas, garbanzos beans, pork, avocados, milk, cheese and salmon, spinach, oatmeal and chicken breast. However, many people eating a western diet may be deficient in B vitamins, and mild Vitamin B6 deficiency is common.

On the flip side, taking too much Vitamin B6 from vitamin supplements can cause serious medical conditions as well including poor coordination, numbness, and fatigue.

But how could Vitamin B6 be able to prevent lung cancer? A lot of factors may lead to the development of lung cancer, and certainly being malnourished puts a strain on the body which could increase a person’s chances of developing lung cancer. Specifically, the immune system appears to play a critical role in the body’s ability to locate and destroy cancerous cells before they become large tumors. A deficiency of Vitamin B6 might be enough to suppress the immune system’s “immune surveillance” which is thought to be involved in locating and destroying cancerous cells. In addition, Vitamin B6 is also involved in the process of building DNA insides cells, and a defect in this process could lead a person to develop cancer.

However, doctors warn that while Vitamin B6 may decrease the risk of lung cancer in smokers, they still have a much higher risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers. In addition, while lower levels of Vitamin B6 in lung cancer patients may indicate deficiency of another vitamin or other factor which predisposes a patient to lung cancer.

Nonetheless, Vitamin B6 has been thought to help prevent colon cancer, especially in women who drink alcohol. Thus in the future doctors may be paying more attention to Vitamin B6 levels, especially in those who are exposed to smoke or at higher risk of developing colon cancer.

Categories Other Cancers

Lung Cancer: Signs and Symptoms

Lung Cancer is a disease causing uncontrolled cell growth in lung tissue, which the World Health Organisation estimates to be responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide every year. The five year survival rate of sufferers with treatment stands at only 15%, but this can be increased drastically with early diagnosis.

What are the Signs of Lung Cancer?

  1.  Persistent Cough

Victims have a cough most of the time. When another affliction is causing a constant cough, lung cancer will cause it to become worse as the disease’s invasion of lung tissue progresses.

  1.  Blood in Phlegm

One of the most noticeable symptoms of the cancer is hemoptysis, which is the appearance of blood in the phlegm (sputum) you cough.

  1.  Pains when Breathing or Coughing

A common symptom of lung cancer is pain in the chest when breathing or coughing. This is typically first noticed when taking deep breaths, when sneezing or yawning for example.

  1.  Non-specific Symptoms

Many cancers have common symptoms that effect many forms, including cancers of the lung. These include lose of appetite, weight loss, muscle weakness or fatigue. Psychological symptoms including anxiety and depression often appear.

Less Common Symptoms

These symptoms are also frequently observed in lung cancer sufferers, but are generally less frequent, or associated with a more advanced stage

  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing or swelling of the neck (caused by enlarged lymph nodes)
  • Finger Clubbing (changes in the shape and color of your fingers and nails)
  • General discomfort or pain in the chest, in particular under your right side ribs

How is Lung Cancer Diagnosed?

As always, should you have any doubt you should consult your doctor. Diagnosis of Lung Cancer is painless and non evasive. The most common method used is a simple chest X-Ray, followed by a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan. Where these methods are insufficient to confirm the diagnosis, a biopsy (collecting a sample of the cancer using a needle) is conducted under anaesthetic.

How is Lung Cancer Treated?

As with most cancers, treatment is generally conducted by chemotherapy, radiography or surgery, and most frequently a combination. A decision on which treatment to use is decided on a case by case basis, dependent upon the specific manifestation of the disease, the extent to which it has spread and the overall general health of the sufferer. Palliative treatment is also conducted in conjunction with these methods, which minimises the pain and suffering of victims throughout the process.

Categories Other Cancers

Pancreatic Cancer: What Are the Causes?

It’s at the top of the list of cancers you don’t want to get, with survival rates in the single digits.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cancer for men and the fifth most common found in women in the United States. It’s a killer but rarely develops before the patient reaches age 50. According to the Penn State College of Medicine, the disease is two to three times more prevalent in heavy smokers than it is in non-smokers. It’s not contagious.

Researchers cannot pinpoint a single reason why some people get pancreatic cancer. Little is actually known about the cause or causes of the disease. It appears to arise both in individuals with certain health patterns as well as those with no predisposition. Among the latter group is “Last Lecture” Prof. Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University, who succumbed to complications of the disease at age 47 less than 2 years after his 2006 diagnosis.

Individuals with chronic pancreatitis are at an elevated risk of developing this type of malignancy. Statistics show that males are at higher risk than females. They also suggest that individuals exposed to cancer-causing agents such as tobacco and those who eat a high fat but low fiber diet are at increased risk. Consuming foods with additives and having diabetes also increase a patient’s chances of developing pancreatic cancer. Penn State suggests that while no link has been proven, individuals who work with petroleum and some of the chemicals used in the dry cleaning industry should be careful to follow the respective safety guidelines.

Information from the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins University details potential heredity links to contracting this type of cancer. Pancreatic cancer is considered a genetic disease, one caused by mutations in DNA. Some of the changes are inherited. Others develop after birth.

Inherited changes explain why pancreatic cancer occurs often in some families. Researchers attribute acquired changes to bad luck while cells are replicating or to exposure to carcinogens such as cigarette smoke.

The National Familial Pancreas Cancer Registry (NFPTR) currently lists more than 250 families with two or more members who are pancreatic cancer patients. Scientists have also identified a familial breast cancer gene known at BRCA2. Johns Hopkins researchers estimate that as many as 10 percent of cases of pancreatic cancer are caused by inherited defects in this gene. It’s found in about one percent of individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. This might explain the higher rate of the disease noted in Jewish individuals versus those of the Catholic or Protestant faiths. Testing is currently available for BRCA2 mutations.

Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is a rare heredity condition in which family members develop polyps in their small intestines that protrude from the normal intestinal surface plus pigmented spots on their lips. These individuals are at higher risk than normal for developing pancreatic cancer.

Increased risk has also been assigned to individuals with Familial Atypical Multiple Mole Melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome. This is a rare hereditary condition in which the afflicted family members develop skin moles and melanomas.

Johns Hopkins reports that the Heredity Non-polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) syndrome affects perhaps 1 in 200 individuals. Marked by an inherited disposition to develop cancer of the colon, endometrium, stomach and ovaries, it puts patients at increased risk for pancreatic cancer.

Although heredity pancreatitis is rare, it usually causes chronic inflammation of the organ beginning at an early age. The gene for this condition, which also results in elevated risk for pancreatic malignancy, has been named the trypsinogen gene.

Categories Blog

My Rat Has Cancer

My rat, Ratacus, who is about 2 years old has a mass growing in his right lung. I found this out when he was lifeless and weak this past Saturday. I immediately scheduled a vet appointment at a regular vet but due to my impatient nature, I ended up going to an emergency clinic that I had good experience with.

The vet x-rayed him and said there’s a tumor in his right lung that is either from another part of the body (aka the tumor is spreading) and/or it’s lung cancer. Either way, eventually his lung will fill up and/or an organ of his body will fail. We’ve established that without further treatment, it’s terminal.

With my rat being the age he is (not exactly young anymore), I decided not the go through with further treatment (chemo, surgery, etc). The vet agreed that it wouldn’t provide a better quality of life for him. Going through further treatment means that he’d spend the rest of his life trying to recover from treatments instead of being comfortable. All signs from the x-rays and symptoms points to cancer.

So he is now on prednisone twice daily for as long as he’s alive. I read a little bit about prednisone. It’s basically a steroid from what I understand. The doctor said he can live from anywhere from a few days to a week to a couple weeks. There’s no definite saying.

Ratacus has perked up a lot after coming home later Saturday night. They gave him a corticosteroid shot and offered me narcotic pain meds but I declined and said I’ll call them if he needs it later. He was running around yesterday and was up beat. He ate a bunch of Nutri-cal to re-gain the weight he lost. I don’t want to let on that I’m letting him be miserable. With medication and stuff, he’s actually eating and playing and running around. If he came to the point where he’s nothing but tired and weak, I would put him to sleep.

Categories Other Cancers

Five Steps to Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women. Although the cause is unknown, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of developing breast cancer. A few simple lifestyle changes could make a big difference later in life.

  1. Family History. One of the risk factors you cannot change are genetics. 5 to 10% of breast cancer cases are said to be hereditary. Genetic testing is available, but can be very expensive. Abnormal results could also reduce your chances of obtaining life insurance. About 30% of women that get breast cancer have a family history of it. Knowing your risk factors can go along way.
  2. Breastfeeding. Studies show that women who breastfed for a total of two years or more reduced their risk of breast cancer by 50%. Researchers believe that shedding of the breast tissue during lactation may play a part in prevention. It is also believed that a hormone shift during lactation may be effective. If you choose to breastfeed, you and your baby will benefit greatly.
  3. Weight Control and Exercise. It is said that women who exercise regularly are less likely to develop breast cancer. Exercise lowers a woman’s exposure to estrogen, which contributes to cancer growth. A study done at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, stated that women who exercise regularly decrease their chance of getting cancer by 22%. We know exercise is important for staying healthy, but it needs to be combined with a healthy diet. Women who gain excessive weight later in life, greatly increase their risk of developing breast cancer. Limiting your fat intake to less than 35% of your daily calories can make a big difference.
  4. Regular Screening. Regular screening may not help prevent breast cancer, but it can help you detect it in it’s early stages. It is much easier to treat when caught early. Starting at age 40, women are advised to get a yearly mammogram. A mammogram is an ex-ray exam of the breast. It can detect any abnormalities. Women in their 20’s are encourage to do a monthly breast exam. If you ever see or feel any changes, report it to your doctor right away.
  5. Limit Estrogen Exposure. A lifetime of high exposure could greatly increase your chances of developing breast cancer. Lifestyle and environmental factors can increase the levels of estrogen in your body. Therefore, it is important to know what these factors are. Things such as body weight, high fat diets, alcohol, birth control pills, and postmenopausal hormone treatments have all been shown to increase a woman’s level of estrogen. Understanding how estrogen works in the body will help you make better decisions about your body and environment.

Making a few healthy changes to your lifestyle now could make a big difference later.