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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

National Cancer Control Month

by Deah on Thursday, April 5, 2018 11:43 AM

While significant advances have been made in research and treatment of cancer, there is still a strong need for more. April is National Cancer Control Month where we remember those we have lost to this disease, as well as support the fight many are facing today. And we can support the need for even more effective cancer control.

There are over 100 types of cancer that appear throughout the body. Although reasons remain unknown for many cancers, we are learning more about some causes. Those include many lifestyle factors that can contribute such as tobacco and obesity. Others factors such as genetics are being widely researched.

Cancer is not an old age condition. Unfortunately, it afflicts too many of our children as well. Prevention and screening are the best defenses we have against cancer. We can also protect ourselves and reduce the risk of cancer by eating a healthy diet, exercising or remaining physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, limiting sun exposure, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, and living tobacco free.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there are 442.7 new cases of cancer per 100,000 men and women annually. The number of deaths is 166.1 per 100,000. Approximately 38.5% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime. After heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.

The signs and symptoms of cancer will depend on where the cancer is, the size of it, and how much it affects the organs or other tissue. Our bodies are designed to send a signal whenever something is wrong and if you are in tune with your body you may recognize when something is wrong. If you have symptoms that last more than a couple of weeks it is important to seek medical advice.

Some general symptoms related to various cancers are:

  • Feeling weak or tired all of the time.
  • Lumps or thickening that should not be there.
  • Breast changes. Such as change in size or shape and texture of skin.
  • Changes to the skin- a new mole, or changes to an existing mole. A sore that will not heal.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Unexplained weight loss or appetite.
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge.
  • Persistent cough.
  • Significant changes in bowel or bladder function.
  • Indigestion or trouble swallowing.

Note that most often these symptoms are not due to cancer. They may be due to some other illnesses or diseases. Regardless of what you think, it is still advised to seek medical attention where it can be properly diagnosed and treated. Depending on the particular type of cancer, symptoms are different. Most often cancer does not have pain, so do not wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment will offer a better chance of being cured.

Blogs Parent Separator Deah Bowes
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Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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