VIGILANCE FOR BRAIN CANCER

Brain cancer is a very serious form of cancer. Recently, Sen. John McCain revealed he has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive type of brain tumor. GBMs originate in the brain; it does not spread there from another part of the body. The cause is not known. This tumor has no relation to melanoma, the skin cancer for which McCain was treated in the past.

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QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT CHEMOTHERAPY

Chemotherapy is a standard treatment for cancer. It kills healthy cells along with cancer cells, inflicting damage on the body and seriously compromising the immune system. Chemotherapy also kills most rapidly dividing healthy and cancer cells, but not all the cells are fast growing. Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a small population of cancer cells that are slow growing and thus resistant to treatment, do not die. Chemotherapy makes these cells even more numerous as the ratio of highly malignant cells….

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RESTORING DIGNITY AND ’DOS

For many women facing cancer, the most devastating aspect is learning they may lose their hair due to chemotherapy.  “Most women tell me that as soon as they hear the oncologist say, ‘You’re going to lose your hair,’ that’s the last thing they remember hearing,” said Eric Johnson, co-owner, with his wife, Jeletta, of Hair Institute in Lexington. “They can deal with the sickness; they can deal with the treatments; but it’s the hair loss that gets them the most.

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The choices you make with exercise, diet and other lifestyle habits can affect your overall health either positively or negatively. Make smart decisions that will increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

Some cancers can be found through early detection, which can reduce the chances of the cancer growing and spreading throughout the body, according the American Cancer Society. Cancer screening looks for cancer before the individual displays any symptoms. There are a variety of screening tests. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting screening tests regularly may find breast, cervical and colorectal (colon) cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best. Detecting cancer early is important not only for saving someone’s life but also to improve the patient’s current state of health so he or she can have a better quality of life.


The common methods used to screen for cancer include imaging (radiology), endoscopy procedures and biopsy and cytology tests. All of these can detect different types of cancer. Imaging tests take pictures inside the body. This process can find cancer and indicate how far it has spread. A tube-like instrument is inserted into the body to look for cancer during an endoscopy. Biopsy and cytology testing involves taking a cell sample and looking to see if there are any cancer specimens in it. These tests do have risk factors associated with them; however, your physician can discuss the procedures with you and answer any concerns or questions you may have.

SCREENING FOR CANCER

TANIQUA WARD, M.S.

TaNiqua Ward is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by taniqua ward

The United States Preventive Service Task Force recommends routine screenings be conducted on people who are at risk for breast, colon and cervical cancers. A mammography screening for breast cancer is recommended for all women ages 50-74 years. Colon cancer screening is recommended for adults between ages 50-75 years and cervical cancer screening through a Pap smear is recommended for all women 21-65 years.


In order to reduce your chances of being at risk for cancer, it is vital that you take control of your health. Here are some tips to keep in mind: