Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category

posted by admin on Jul 20

You have breast cancer.’ This is the news that 115 women receive every single working day in the UK. It is not surprising that fear is triggered by these words, and this fear is made worse by the fact that it is, largely, fear of the unknown. So what can you expect to experience if diagnosed with breast cancer? Every person is an individual, and will have an individual experience, but here we will look at the most common issues surrounding this diagnosis, and unravel some of the information about the development of breast cancer.     What is cancer-Cancer is not just one disease – there are around 180 different types. Even breast cancer is not a single disease. However, most types of breast cancer can be distinguished from other cancers because they are affected by hormones, and this makes the conventional treatment of breast cancer different in some respects, and the nutritional management of breast cancer different in many respects.     Cancer arises when cells begin to multiply out of control, usually developing into a mass which, if left to progress, spreads to other areas of the body. If left unchecked, the expanding cancerous tissue depletes the body of nourishment and may press on body tissues, causing discomfort. Ultimately the cancerous growths may displace healthy tissue to the point where normal body functions can no longer take place.     The word tumour is a worrying one, but a tumour is not always malignant (cancerous). A tumour can simply be an overgrowth of cells that stays localized in one particular area, as in the case of a fibroadenoma. This is called ‘benign’, and as long as it is not pressing on nerves, ligaments or organs, is nothing to worry about.     There are four stages in the development of cancer and these happen over a long period of time. The average development time for breast cancer is ten years. In some people it may be three years and for others twenty; however, if you take the average, you have a long time to interfere with the process. And interfere you can. Each stage along the way offers opportunities to interrupt the development of cancer.*36\240\2*

posted by admin on Feb 13

Cancer is defined by the American Cancer Society as a “disorderly growth of the body’s tissue cells.” Malignant tumor and neoplasm axe other terms for cancer. Tumor cells can break away from the original site, enter the circulation, and become attached to another tissue and grow; this is known as metastasis.

Cancer is a major health problem in the United States. About 1000 people die daily from cancer, and one of every four persons will develop cancer some time during his lifetime. With early detection the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 100,000 lives could be saved each year.
Lung cancer ranks first as a cause of death from cancer in American males, and breast cancer first in females. Cancer of the colon and rectum is the second leading cause of death from cancer in both males and females. For some reason not yet clearly understood the incidence of stomach cancer in the United States has been declining.

Cancer signals
It behooves all persons to be familiar with the seven signals listed by the American Cancer Society that could indicate the presence of cancer.
1.       Unusual bleeding or discharge
2.       Lump or thickening in the breast or elsewhere
3.      A sore that does not heal
4.      Change in bowel or bladder habits
5.       Hoarseness or cough
6.       Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
7.      Change in size or color of a wart or mole.
The Society urges that a physician be consulted if any of these signs persist for more than two weeks, and immediately if there is unusual bleeding.

posted by admin on Apr 23

Macmillan nurses

The Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund (CRMF) was set up in 1911 to provide care and support for cancer patients. This national charity now helps to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families at home, in hospitals and in special cancer units.

The CRMF has trained more than 1000 Macmillan nurses who work in the community and in hospitals around Britain. It continues to fund these specially trained nurses for up to 3 years in posts in hospitals, after which the health authority takes over the financial responsibility.

A GP or district nurse may suggest involving a Macmillan nurse to help care for a woman with incurable breast cancer. Macmillan nurses play a similar role to that of hospice-based nurses, giving advice and emotional support to women and their families, and working closely with other medical professionals to advise about pain relief and symptom control as necessary. They are also involved in the training of doctors and nurses to help them develop the special skills required for the care of cancer patients and, with hospice staff, have been largely responsible for the increased awareness of other health professionals to the particular care these patients need.

Other treatment centers

There are a few private centers in Britain which advocate special non-medical therapies to help people ‘fight’ or live with cancer. Your GP, consultant or a specialist nurse should be able to give you details of such centers in your area, or you can contact one of the associations whose addresses are given in Appendix I. Although alternative therapy centers are not funded by the NHS, some have trust funds to help meet the costs for those who cannot afford them.

One such complementary treatment centre is The Bristol Cancer Help Centre which, despite some bad publicity based on inaccurate reports, has been responsible for helping many people with cancer to lead full and satisfying lives and to come to terms with their disease. An increasing number of people contact the centre for advice when their cancer is first diagnosed, and the current climate in Britain which encourages people to play an active role in their own health care is in part responsible for this.

The Cancer Help Centre provides support to cancer sufferers and teaches a holistic approach to cancer therapy based on looking at ways of improving people’s mental, spiritual and medical health. It emphasizes the learning of coping devices such as meditation, relaxation and visualization techniques to help people deal with the stress in their lives, as well as encouraging them to eat highly nutritious diets – both of which strategies are aimed at helping to improve the ability of the body’s immune system to fight disease and to respond to medication. The highly nourishing diets the centre recommends and the use of vitamin and other dietary supplements are based on the generally accepted findings of research into the effects of diet on the development and course of disease.

The Bristol Cancer Help Centre is just one example of centers throughout Britain which offer a complementary approach to cancer therapy which can be practiced alongside conventional surgical and medical treatment.