Moderate Drinking Can Still Lead To Breast Cancer

April 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness Information

While most people avoid alcohol due to its intoxicating effects, which usually causes a lot of accidents and untoward incidents, and the high risk of a number of diseases, including liver cirrhosis, infection of the pancreas, among others, its positive effects and health benefits are also gaining popularity especially when it is taken in moderation.
Moderate drinking means one to two glasses of wine daily. From improving heart health to lowering cholesterol, moderate consumption of red wine can help you stay healthy. The antioxidants in red wines have been shown to provide certain protection against heart disease as they act like warriors, preventing the oxidation process whereby reactive particles known as “free radicals” cause damage to healthy cells. Alcohol has been shown to help your heart in several ways: by raising your HDL (high-density lipoproteins) or “good” cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and preventing the formation of blood clots.
However, there’s a new twist of fate to alcohol drinkers, especially among party girls, as recent studies show some link between alcohol and breast cancer in women. Having one to two drinks a day, once considered as moderate drinking, is now being linked to the higher risks of breast cancer in women. The said increase in risk of breast cancer among women who regularly consume alcohol has risen by 10 percent. Make that three or more drinks a day, and the risk triples to 30 percent.
According to Dr. Yan Li, lead researcher at Kaiser Permanente, they were able to compile and analyze data on the drinking habits of 70,033 women of various races and backgrounds. Their study was focused on determining whether the type of alcohol or just the amount a woman drinks impacts her breast cancer risk. “It makes no difference if a woman drinks wine, beer or liquor. It’s the alcohol itself and the quantity consumed that is critical,” Dr. Li said. In fact, drinking three or more drinks a day may translate into an extra 5 percent of all women developing breast cancer as a result of heavy drinking.
In 2000, a Danish study had found that red wine drinkers had half the risk of dying from heart disease as non-alcohol drinkers. However, some researchers are not convinced and recommends further studies regarding health benefits of red wine. The American Heart Association requires for more research until they do consider drinking wine or any other alcohol for its benefits.

Though the cause of increased risk for breast cancer by heavy use of alcohol remains a mystery, Dr. Li and her colleagues believe that further study may support the evidence that alcohol could alter the pathway of female hormones and produce more hormone sensitive breast cancer.
According to Heather Spencer Feigelson, spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society, “the risk of drinking one glass of red wine a day is very low. It’s an individual choice.” With further studies still needed to prove whether the heart-health benefits outweigh the newly shown risk of breast cancer, the decision is up to the women if they still want their glass of red wine as long as they analyze their own risk of heart disease and breast cancer. “Each woman has to analyze her own risk factors to determine what alcohol will do to them,” said Dr. Li

Penile Cancer saying Goodbye To Peter

April 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness Information

Men are particularly proud of their packages and the number of times they use it to pleasure women. What escapes them is the fact that careless overuse of it and a lack of hygiene may get their members into big trouble and ultimately put men’s sexual health in jeopardy.

Penile cancer
Cancer of the penis is a rare condition that affects the male genital organ. The American Cancer Society approximates about 1,530 reported cases of penile cancer yearly. It occurs in a ratio of about one or two men out of a hundred thousand in the United States alone, and is said to kill about 280 men each year.

To define it more technically, penile cancer is a malignant growth of cells in the tissues and/or external area of the penis. It usually originates from the glans and/or the foreskin. Though it may rarely occur, it is generally an aggressive form of cancer that has a tendency to spread. Uncircumcised men are at higher risk of acquiring this form of cancer.

Doctors have to know what stage the cancer is in to determine how treatment will be implemented. Stages are differentiated as follows:

Stage 1 : Cancer cells are found only on the surface of the head of the penis and the foreskin.

Stage 2 : Cancer cells are found in the deeper tissues of the glans and have already spread to the penile shaft.

Stage 3 : Cancer cells are found in the penis and have already reached the lymph nodes in the groin.

Stage 4 : Cancer cells are found throughout the penis and the lymph nodes in the groin and have already spread to other parts of the body.

Causes
The exact cause of penile cancer is difficult to pinpoint. However, uncircumcised men appear to have higher risks of developing this form of cancer. The presence of smegma, a cheese-like, foul-smelling substance found under the foreskin of the penis, appears to have a connection to increased chances of penile cancer in uncircumcised men. Poor genital hygiene also increases cancer risks because smegma may still deposit itself under the foreskin even if it has been circumcised.

Unhealthy sexual practices may also cause cancer of the penis. The human papilloma virus (HPV) causes genital warts formation. Genital warts are passed on through sexual contact and are among the most common sexually transmitted diseases.

Smoking reduces full functionality of the Langerhans cells in the male penis. Langerhans cells are found in the lining of the penis to control genetic changes in a man’s penis. Also, smoking increases cancer risks as sixty out of four thousand chemicals found in cigarettes are generally carcinogenic.

Signs and Symptoms
Many cases of cancer of the penis can be easily detected during the early stages. These symptoms often signal patients to seek immediate medical attention. However, there are some cases where the patients do not manifest any signs until it has reached its advanced stage, and some may show symptoms that may appear to be due to some other disease aside from cancer.

Below is a list of the most common symptom of having penile cancer:
· Abnormal growths on the penis. Warts, blisters, sores, ulcerations, white patches that may be painful or not.
· Abnormal penile discharge. Any unusual fluid coming from the penis.
· Bleeding.

Treatment
Treatment will depend on the gravity and stage of the cancer. It may include one or a combination of the following:
· Surgery. This includes removal of the tumor and some healthy tissues surrounding the tumor. It may also require circumcision, where cancerous foreskin is removed. At worst, partial or total removal of the penis and associated lymph nodes.
· Radiation therapy. This is administered along with surgery to prevent recurrence of the cancer.
· Chemotherapy. Topical medications may be used during the early stages of penile cancer.

Being proud of your healthy sexual appetite should not distract you from keeping yourself safe and protected. You, after all, only have one sexual organ and you should be taking care of it. Taking it for granted may put an end to any man’s sexual activity and make you regret it for the rest of your life.

Effective Pain Relief Options For Cancer Patients

April 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness Information

Cancer cases have been on the rise over the last few years, no doubt, due to the high stress, environmental toxins, and unhealthy lifestyle and eating behavior of people living in the 21st century. Cancer is an illness that is medically defined as a state of abnormality where uncontrolled production of one or more cell populations interferes with the normal functions of the body. This ailment is one of the major causes of deaths around the world. Other than the fear of death, another difficulty faced by cancer patients is the side effects of pain medication.
Also known as the “Big C”, many medical experts believe that the said disease is brought about by factors like the environment, age, lifestyle, and genes of the patient. Generally, cancer affects the elderly more than the other age groups due to its multistage process that may take 15 to 45 years for symptoms to be evident. Some events, activities, or diets may trigger the development of cancer cells over a period of time. Several studies suggest that people can be genetically prone to cancer when enzymes that aid in the prevention of cancer growth are not efficient enough to stop cancer cell development.
While not all cancer patients experience cancer pain, statistics claim that one out of three people undergoing cancer treatment does. And in cases where cancer is in the advanced stage, meaning cancer has spread or recurred, the chance of experiencing cancer pain is even higher.
Cancer pain relief is a common need among cancer patients. In many cases, the pain is caused by a tumor, but there are also times when the source can be anything other than the cancer itself. Cancer pain may vary in intensity. It can be dull, aching, or sharp. It can also be constant, intermittent, mild or even severe. But no matter how painful the condition may become, cancer pain relief is possible.
There are many several ways to get cancer pain relief. Removing the source of the pain through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or some other form of treatment is still the best way to rid of cancer. If these are not applicable, there are pain medications that can help patients to control the pain.

Some medications that are used to alleviate cancer pain may include the follwing:

- Analgesics like aspirin or acetaminophen;
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen;
- Weak opioids like codeine; and
- Strong opioids like morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, or methadone.

These drugs are easy to use and can be taken orally. However some medications may be taken intravenously, rectally, or through the patches of the skin. Just like other drugs for pain relief, these medications may bring side effects. Common side effects of pain relievers may include confusion, lethargy, and sleepiness. The severity of these effects varies from person to person and may disappear after stopping medication. Before taking medicines for cancer pain relief, patients are advised to seek the approval doctors and other health specialists to clarify side effects and drug interactions that may occur while using certain drugs. In addition to this, persistent pain that affects performance and lifestyle should be reported to one’s doctor to prevent it from creating more harm to the body. Early diagnosis is important in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

Can Diet And Exercise Help Prevent Cancer

April 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Exercises

While everyone is well aware that proper diet and exercise are paramount to good health, still many people find it too much of an inconvenience to watch what they eat and to exercise. These people may feel that the benefits that they may get from all that effort is not worth the hassles of watching calories, cutting fat, running about, and moving weights around. But what if there was a benefit, and I mean a real good benefit, associated with proper diet and exercise? Maybe that would at least make those who don’t worry about diet and exercise give a little more thought to it.

Well, as if the already known benefits of proper diet and exercise aren’t enough to make some people want to incorporate them into their lives, perhaps the following information from Purdue University and Science Daily will be enough incentive to get them off their duff’s and give it a try.

According to Dennis Savaiano, dean of Purdue’s school of consumer and family sciences and professor of foods and nutrition, poor diet and lack of exercise are responsible for just as many cases of cancer as cigarette smoking.
He says, “approximately one third of cancer cases are related to smoking, one third are related to poor diet and lack of exercise, and one third are related to genetic or other factors”.

Most people are already well aware of the ill health effects of cigarette smoking, but the percentage of obesity and the rate of poor diet in America is a cause for serious concern. It is estimated that 65% of Americans are overweight with 30% being at least clinically obese. This is further escalated by the fact that 15 to 20% of the children in America are considered overweight. The main reason for this alarming statistic overall is the rate of poor diet seen in America.

Savaiano, who is chairman of the Food and Nutrition Science Alliance, along with several other members of the organization, recently reviewed scientific studies on diet and cancer. The group has since issued a statement urging Americans to change their diets in order to help reduce the number of cancer related deaths.

While Savaiano notes that some types of cancer are influenced more by diet than others, nutrition and food scientists agree that these four methods are practical ways to lower the risk of cancer:

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Avoid highly processed foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Limit or avoid consumption of alcohol.

Get in some moderate or vigorous exercise daily.

Much of the reason why people have trouble getting into a healthy lifestyle can be attributed to lack of knowledge on how to start with exercise programs and proper diet plans, and to marketing which is mostly geared toward foods that are high in fat and excess calories and low in nutritional value. Not much marketing is done to promote fruits and vegetables or whole grains.

Long hours at work also attribute to less meal preparation and more fast food and takeout food purchases. It will take some effort on your part, but making healthier food choices and exercise a part of your life can and most likely will give you rewards that no amount of money can buy.

Cancer In Teens

April 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness 101

Many people don’t usually relate cancer with teens. Cancer is more common in adults, so it’s likely that you know someone who has had it, such as an older relative or someone in a friend’s family. But teens can get particular types of cancer, too.

Cancer

The word cancer actually concerns to many diseases, not one. In fact, there are more than 100 types of diseases known collectively as cancer. What they all have in common is the overgrowth of cells, tiny units that make up all living things. Cancer (also known as malignancy, pronounced: muh-lig-nun-see) takes place when cells begin to grow and multiply in an uncontrolled way.

Normal body cells cultivate and divide over a period of time until they eventually die. But cancer cells continue to grow and divide and grow and divide. Eventually, they gather to form tumors. Tumors (pronounced: too-murz) are lumps that can interfere with the body’s normal processes. Sometimes cells from a tumor break away and travel to a different tissue or organ. This is called metastasis (pronounced: muh-tas-tuh-sus).

As terrifying as all this sounds, most cancers can be treated and controlled and many people with cancer get better and lead normal lives.

Reason to get affected by Cancer
No one really knows why cancer grows in specific people. Scientists and researchers are working to learn why some people get cancer and others do not. This will help them to learn whether cancer can be prevented.

Doctors do have some ideas about why people may get cancer, though. The main reasons are genetics and certain environmental or behavioral triggers.

The disposition to build up some types of cancer is believed to be inherited – that is, the genes you were born with might carry a predisposition for cancer. For example, if a close relative has had cancer of the breast or the colon, you may be more likely to inherit the tendency to develop those cancers, even though you may never actually get them.

Several behavioral and environmental triggers can cause changes in the body’s cells that push them into a cancerous state. For example, cigarettes are known to increase the risk of lung cancer. Too much exposure to the sun can increase the risk of skin cancer. These types of triggers act on the body slowly over time, so the cancers that may result from them don’t show up until a person is an adult. That’s one reason why teens don’t get the same types of cancers as adults do.

Doctors do know for sure that cancer itself is not contagious, so you don’t have to worry about catching it from someone else or spreading it to another person (although people with certain infectious diseases such as AIDS or hepatitis are more vulnerable to certain cancers). Cancer is also never a person’s fault. It’s simply not true that a person may have done something wrong to get the disease.

Sign of Cancer
The first sign of cancer is a symptom – a signal that something is wrong. There are many diverse signs that a person may have cancer, just as there are many different forms of the disease. A few of the more common symptoms of cancer include:

* extreme exhaustion
* swelling or lumps in certain parts of the body, such as the abdomen or neck
* headaches
* blurred vision
* nausea
* problems with walking or balance
* more infections
* unusual bleeding

Only you know how your body works and what you feel like when you’re healthy. If you haven’t been feeling well, it’s better to tell an adult who can make sure you see a doctor who will evaluate your symptoms. Cancer, like most illnesses, is easier to treat when it’s found early, so when in doubt, check it out.

If a doctor suspects that a person has cancer, he or she will order various tests. These might include blood tests, in which doctors scrutinize blood cells under a microscope to look for problems, X-rays, or an MRI, a test that can be used to detect tumors. Doctors also often use a biopsy (pronounced: bye-op-see) to diagnose cancer. In this procedure, a doctor removes a small tissue sample to examine it for cancer cells.

Doctors’ way to Treat Cancer
Most cancers can be treated, especially the types of cancers teens are likely to get. The number of people who overcome cancer goes up every year because of new cancer treatments.

There are three widespread methods for treating cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Because cancer is different in each patient, each person’s treatment plan will be individually designed for him or her. A person with cancer may undergo any one of these treatments or a combination of them. A doctor who specializes in treating people with cancer is called an oncologist (pronounced: ahn-kah-luh-jist).

Surgery takes away cancerous tissue. Depending on the location of a person’s cancer, surgery can be simple or complex, so the operation may be an outpatient procedure (where a person is in and out of the hospital on the same day) or may require that the person stay in the hospital. Generally, the surgeon removes the cancerous tissue along with a small amount of the healthy tissue surrounding it to make sure that all the cancer is removed and has not spread.

The healing of cancer using medication is called chemotherapy. Specific cancers respond well to chemotherapy, which can often be given on an outpatient basis. A person who is having chemotherapy may experience nausea, fatigue, hair loss, or other side effects. Some of these side effects happen because chemotherapy medicines may destroy some healthy cells in the process of getting rid of the malignant cells. In time, these healthy cells will start to grow again and most of the side effects will disappear.

Radiation, or radiotherapy, is an additional method of treating cancer. A person getting radiation for cancer will probably be treated by a radiation oncologist, someone who specializes in using radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiotherapy machines deliver powerful X-rays or high-energy electrons to the part of a person’s body that’s affected by cancer. After repeated doses of high levels of radiation, many cancerous tumors shrink or disappear.

Radiation therapy is generally painless, but there may be a quantity of side effects. Side effects of radiation therapy may include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some patients complain that the area of skin that’s irradiated feels sunburned. But most of these side effects are temporary.

Dealing With and Improving From Cancer
Dealing with cancer and cancer treatments can disrupt a person’s life for a while. People with cancer often need to get sustain from lots of different places to take care of the things they have to get done. For example, teens with cancer may need the help of a home tutor to get schoolwork done and adults with cancer may need help with housework or their jobs. And lots of people talk to therapists or professional counselors about the emotional side of dealing with a health problem.

You may hear doctors talk about a prognosis for a person with cancer. A prognosis is an estimate of how well that person’s treatment is working and how likely it is that the cancer will come back.

Subsequent to surgery or treatment with radiation or chemotherapy, a doctor will do tests to see if the cancer is still there. If there are no signs of cancer, then that person is in what’s called remission (pronounced: rih-mih-shun). Remission is the goal when anyone with cancer goes to the hospital for treatment. Sometimes, additional treatment, such as chemotherapy, might be needed for a while to keep a person in remission and to keep cancer cells from coming back.
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