Doctor Explains Mesothelioma Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

In this video a medical doctor explains mesothelioma stages, mesothelioma types, mesothelioma symptoms, and mesothelioma diagnosis.

Most importantly mesothelioma treatments are discussed. This is the first mesothelioma video in a new series of videos aimed at providing the most comprehensive information possible to patients of mesothelioma and their families. Other videos in the series may contain information on how people receive financial compensation for medical bills, pain management techniques, medical related hospitals and doctors, and helpful guides on what to do after diagnosis. We sincerely hope you learn something from our mesothelioma videos and thank you for watching

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Survival Rates Of Breast Cancer At Different Stages

Where the disease has not metastasized, the five-year survival rate for women suffering from breast cancer is about 86%. That percentage means that 86% of women who develop breast cancer live for at least five years after diagnosis. The good news is that depending on the stage it is discovered, the survival rate can be even higher than the overall average.

As with most cancers, breast cancer, develops in stages. A standard classification of letters and numbers is used to describe the stages - T, N and M and 0-IV. The alphabet T denotes the size of the tumor while alphabet N denotes that it has spread to the lymph nodes and the alphabet M means distant metastasis. When a primary tumor spreads to another area/s and forms more tumors, it has metastasized.

When a tumor cannot be assessed, it is designated the classification of TX. Where there is no indication of cancer, T0 is used. If one of the following forms is suspected - DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ) or Paget's disease (where the nipple and/or areola is cancerous) - Tis is used.

Stage 0 indicates that the cancer is in its earliest stage. Stage I indicates that tumors have not spread and are less than 2cm in size. A tumor that is 2-5cm in diameter is classified as Stage II, and a tumor larger than 5cm is considered Stage III. When a tumor has attached to the chest wall and spread to the lymph nodes it is considered to be Stage IV.

Today, due to medical advances, many breast cancers are diagnosed and treated during the early stages.

When treatment is given to patients who are at Stage 0 or 1, the survival rates are almost 100%. And yes, men can develop breast cancer, though at a far lower rate of 1/133 when compared to women. For those with cancer in Stage II, the survival rate is at 81% to 92%. At Stage III the rate lowers to 67%, and then drops substantially to 20% at Stage IV.

Although it is a very serious illness, breast cancer is seldom life threatening. Women who have advanced stages of cancer have been known to live for more than seven years. As technology and medicine advance, survival rates increase. Even later stage cancer survival rates are rising as medical and treatment methods improve.

A fairly new method of diagnosing cancer is the QM-MSP (quantitative multiplex methylation-specific PCR) method. It was invented in 2001 and it involves tests done on fluids taken from the breast area. The chemical analysis undertaken during this test allows cancer to be detected with 86% reliability, and cancer clumps with as little as 50 cells can found. Treatment given in the early stages is highly effective, and new methods like this allow cancer to be diagnosed at the earliest possible stage.

Treatments are also improving, with hormone therapy, targeted radiation and molecule specific drugs now readily available.

Breast cancer is no longer the death sentence it used to be. Although the disease is still a matter of serious concern, the chances of survival are high and treatments are now less invasive.

Moses Wright is a health conscious webmaster who is highly interested in breast cancer issues. He started this site during his free time to help people learn more about what is breast cancer and breast cancer self exam.

By Moses Wright

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Striving For Skin Cancer Cures

More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States than any other type of cancer. Survival rates are excellent if the condition is found and treated early in its development. Early treatment offers the best possible chances for skin cancer cures.

Doctors define success in cancer treatment based on whether a person is alive and without signs of cancer after five years from the date on which they were diagnosed. The cure rate, also known as the five-year rate of survival, varies with the type of skin cancer with which a person is diagnosed.

Individuals diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, for instance, have the highest survival rate. This is because the cancer is so slow-growing and rarely spreads beyond the initial site. These persons can anticipate a treatment success rate of greater than 99 percent.

In comparison, people who have had squamous cell carcinoma can anticipate a five-year survival rate of slightly more than 95 percent. Although this cancer is a nonmelanoma, and fairly slow growing, it can spread to the lymph nodes and blood if not treated early.

If a person diagnosed with malignant melanoma is treated when the cancer is still in one location, the cure rate is about 88 percent. About eight in ten persons detect their cancer at this point. If the cancer has already begun to spread to lymph nodes, chances of survival are only about 58 percent. If the cancer has metastasized, or spread to other major body organs, about one in ten persons will be alive five years after diagnosis.

Doctors use different treatments to attempt to cure people with skin cancer. Some cancers are more easily cured than others. Basal cell tumors, for example, are typically so small that a person is considered cured after the tumor is removed. Squamous cell cancer, however, may require additional treatment, especially if the cancer has spread. Chemotherapy and radiation are the most common forms of treatment.

Because melanoma is so difficult to cure, physicians often rely on a combination of medications, radiation, chemotherapy, or other procedures that are undergoing clinical trials to attempt to cure this cancer. Some of these investigational treatments include photodynamic therapy and biological therapies.

Diagnosing skin cancer early is extremely important. Skin cancer cures are most likely when the cancer is found early. Indeed, some doctors believe that more than 99 percent of all people who develop skin cancer can be cured if the cancer is discovered early and treatment is begun immediately. is a website fully committed to giving you the very best information regarding types of skin cancers, symptoms, and cures. Making critical decisions can be very important in any particular stage of skin cancer. If you would like to know more about possible discoveries on a skin cancer cure or you simply want to know the specific sign of skin cancer, we've got you covered!

By Adam Hefner

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What Are The Four Stages of Mesothelioma Cancer?

One rare form of cancer is called Mesothelioma, a malignant tumor in the mesothelial tissues of the lungs and the abdomen, arising from the inhalation of asbestos. Its rarity is one of the reasons why a lot of people are not aware of this kind of fatal disease. In fact, many people die of Mesothelioma undiagnosed. Although there is now a growing awareness of the hazards of asbestos to health, still many have not heard of Mesothelioma and thus, have not understood its nature, cause, signs and treatment. Even some physicians find it hard to detect Mesothelioma because its symptoms are akin to other diseases like lung cancer and pneumonia. Furthermore, it takes decades for a patient who was exposed to asbestos to develop Mesothelioma — fifty years, at most.

Being unaware of Mesothelioma poses higher risks since it deters diagnosis and treatment. A person undergoing treatment must know the different stages of the cancer or the extent of the disease. Chances of recovering from Mesothelioma and the kind of treatment depend on the stage of the illness. There are basically two staging systems used for Pleural Mesothelioma (lungs): TNM system and Brighan system. These staging systems are also used in other kinds of cancers; however, the first is commonly used. There is no established method in determining the stage of the Peritoneal Mesothelioma cancer (abdominal) so the TNM system is used.

There are three variables in the TNM system: tumor, lymph nodes and metastasis. In the earliest stage of Mesothelioma, stage I, the malignant Mesothelioma cells start to grow and multiply only one layer of the pleura. The pleura is the membrane that encloses the lungs and lines the wall of the chest cavity. However, there are some instances wherein the pericardium (membrane that covers the heart) and diaphragm cover are already affected. In this case, the cancer patient is still in stage I Mesothelioma.

In the second stage, the two layers of the pleura are already affected by Mesothelioma. Take note, however, that in this stage, only one side of the body is affected. Normally, the pleura produces only small amount of lubricating fluid that allows easy expanding and contracting of the lungs. The excess fluid is absorbed by the blood and the lymph vessels so there’s a balance between the amount of fluid produced and removed. During the second stage Mesothelioma, fluid starts to build up between the membrane of the lungs and the membrane of the chest wall, resulting to pleural effusion. The increase in the volume of fluid produced causes shortness of breath and chest pain. Other Mesothelioma cancer patients experience dry and persistent cough. Diagnosis of the pleural effusion is achieved through a chest x-ray.

Stage III Mesothelioma means that the malignant cells have already spread to the chest wall, esophagus and the lymph nodes on one part of the chest. The patient may suffer severe pain near the parts affected. When not treated immediately or when the Mesothelioma patient doesn’t respond well to medication, the cancer may advance to the fourth stage. The fourth stage Mesothelioma is formidable since at this stage the Mesothelioma cells have penetrated into the bloodstream and other organs in the body like the liver, the bones and the brain. The lymph nodes on the other side of the chest may also be affected by Mesothelioma in stage IV.

Brighan staging system, on the other hand, determines whether the Mesothelioma can be surgically removed or not and whether the lymph nodes are affected or not. In stage I Mesothelioma, the lymph nodes are not yet affected and the patient can still recover through surgery. In stage II, surgery can still be executed but some lymph nodes have already been infiltrated by the cancer cells. In stage III, the heart and chest wall are already affected; thus, surgery is no longer advisable. The lymph nodes in this stage, however, may or may not be affected. In the final stage, stage IV Mesothelioma, cancer cells have already gone to the bloodstream and other parts of the body like the heart, brain, bone and liver. In most cases, a patient who has reached stage IV Mesothelioma only has four to twenty-four months to live.

David Arnold Livingston is a believer in gaining knowledge around Health issues and recommends, as a resource:

By David Arnold Livingston

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Learn How To Prevent Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a malignant disease commonly associated with people who smoke heavily. It is estimated that a higher number of men are suffering from this form of cancer. Lately however, the number of women affected with lung cancer is steadily catching up with the number of men affected with the disease.

Diet is an important measure in preventing lung cancer. The risk of developing lung cancer for smokers and non-smokers alike are lowered when they eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Among the most important fruits and vegetables that should be included in your diet are apples, tomatoes, melons, mangoes, dark leafy greens and onions. Apple and onion are rich in cancer-fighting flavonoids. According to a study conducted in Finland, people who consume more apples are 58 percent less likely to develop lung cancer than those who do not eat apples at all.

Try to add some tomato sauce in your cooking. Research shows that tomatoes, especially cooked ones, seem to exhibit protective properties against lung cancer.

Taking in high amounts of beta-carotenes can also lower the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Carotenoid compounds are found in certain produce like peaches, mangoes, melon, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and green leafy vegetables. Beta-carotene supplement however should be avoided. A study conducted by a Finnish group indicated that an 18 percent rise in lung cancer cases was seen in heavy smokers who were taking beta-carotene supplements. Moreover, the National Cancer Institute researchers also stopped their study on the effects of vitamin A and beta-carotene after smokers who were taking the supplements showed 28 percent more lung cancer than those taking placebos.

Another important measure in the prevention of lung cancer is a routine medical check-up. This should also be accompanied with prophylactic medicines and supplements. An x-ray is necessary especially for those people who smoke and are at the age of 50 and above. A yearly chest x-ray will be especially beneficial for those people who are at high risk of developing lung cancer. A chest x-ray is a preventive measure done to screen for lung cancer. A routine chest x-ray will enable doctors to diagnose lung cancer early so that proper treatment procedures will be implemented.

Aspirin has been shown to ward off lung cancer especially when a dosage of 81 to 325 mg is taken daily. However, you should consult your doctor about the prophylactic advantage of taking aspirin since this form of therapy comes with known side effects.

Selenium that is often found in multivitamin and mineral supplements also shows properties that ward off cancer especially when taken over a long period of time. Some studies show that those who are taking selenium supplements exhibit about 46 percent lower lung cancer rate.

Vitamin C is also good in the prevention of lung cancer. Some studies suggest that people who regularly take 140 mg or more of vitamin C have lower risk of developing lung cancer than those who only get 90 mg or less of vitamin C dosage.

Lifestyle change is also vital in the prevention of lung cancer. People who smoke should consider quitting the habit. When a person stops smoking, his lung cancer risk is lowered by almost half in 10 years.

Finally, the second most common cause of lung cancer is exposure to radon, a colorless gas found in the ground. Test your home for any presence of radon. You can either buy a do-it yourself kit to check for radon which is available in your home supply stores or you can hire a professional to do it for you.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Lung Cancer

By Michael Russell

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Inflammatory Breast Cancer - Symptoms And Treatment

A type of breast cancer that is rare and gets its name from the appearance of the skin on the breast is "inflammatory breast cancer."

Diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer is usually diagnosed at a younger age than those diagnosed with other forms of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is diagnosed in men only in very rare circumstances.

In the past, women diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer had grim survival statistics; however, new approaches in treatment offer greater chances for survival than ever before.

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include:

• A breast that appears red, purple, pink or bruised

• A tender, firm and enlarged breast

• A warm feeling in the breast

• Itching of the breast

• Pain

• Ridged or dimpled skin texture, similar to an orange peel

• Thickened areas of skin

• Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm, above the collarbone or below the collarbone

• Flattening or retraction of the nipple

• Swollen or crusted skin on the nipple

• Change in color of the skin around the nipple

These same symptoms can also indicate a breast infection called "mastitis." Mastitis occurs most often in younger women who are breast-feeding. Mastitis causes a fever and is easily treated with antibiotics. Inflammatory breast cancer does not typically cause a fever, nor does it respond to antibiotics.

Another condition in which there can be redness, warmth and swelling of the breast is caused by a previous operation or radiation therapy that involved the outer breast or underarm. These cases are not inflammatory breast cancer either. Inflammatory breast cancer progresses rapidly. If you notice any of the above symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer, mention them right away to your physician.

If you receive treatment for a breast infection (mastitis) and your symptoms last longer than a week after starting antibiotics, ask your physician to do imaging studies of the breast or to perform a breast biopsy. If the test shows no signs of cancer and your symptoms seem to worsen, talk to your physician about getting another biopsy or ask for a referral to a breast specialist.

Treatment for inflammatory breast cancer:

Inflammatory breast cancer was treated by surgery. The mortality rate was at 100 percent. Significant progress has been made in recent years, which has improved the prognosis for a woman with inflammatory breast cancer. Once almost always fatal, the disease now results in half of women diagnosed being alive in five years and one-third of women diagnosed surviving 10 or more years.

Reconstruction after surgery is possible, but not for all women. If you undergo extensive radiation therapy your options for reconstruction are limited.

Source: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Disclaimer: *This article is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any kind of a health problem. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with your health care provider about any kind of a health problem and especially before beginning any kind of an exercise routine.

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box. Article written 3-2007.

Author: Connie Limon, Trilogy Field Representative. Visit and

By Connie Limon

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How Do Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptoms Look Like?

A rare but very aggressive type of cancer is Inflammatory breast cancer. The mortality rate for it is higher than that for most other cancers. Contrary to its name, it doesn't occur because of some inflammation; rather, inflammation is just a symptom in IBC. It is not confined to older women and can develop in very young women, too. Men are not totally protected from IBC, even though their risk is too low.

There are lymph vessels in the breasts. When a person develops IBC, the malignant cancerous cells block these vessels. IBC develops in women at a younger age, compared to other forms of breast cancer. Some studies also suggest that White people are less likely to develop this cancer than the African Americans, who are also said to be vulnerable at a younger age.

The progression of IBC is its most alarming feature. The time lapse between the first symptom appearing and the cancer reaching a very advanced stage may be leek than two weeks. This however, may be one of the reasons for early diagnosis of IBC, since the symptoms are very apparent early on due to the cancer's fast advancement.

The unique characteristic of Inflammatory breast cancer is that no lump formation is associated with it. This characteristic makes it all the more dangerous, because mammography and ultrasound can not detect it, and it often goes undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed. Biopsy is the best method for diagnosing IBC.

Typical symptoms for it are extreme reddish to purple-ish, bruised appearance of the breasts, tenderness and immense swelling, which accounts for its inflamed appearance. The skin around the breasts may be rough and uneven, the nipples may get inverted, there might be persistent itching and heaviness accompanied with burning aching sensations. Usual symptoms like change in color and texture of areola and breasts are present, too. You might also have swellings under your arm and above and below your collarbone, which you should never ignore.

The most common misdiagnosis of this is mastitis. Mastitis is just a breast infection that shows the same symptoms like redness and swelling, as IBC. After a week or two of treatment for mastitis, your symptoms should start disappearing; otherwise, it's not mastitis. Lymph vessels can get blocked because of other reasons than cancer, too, such as operations on the chest. This is not any type of cancer. The best way of making sure is getting a biopsy done.

Due to tremendous number of researches going into the field, Inflammatory breast cancer can be cured in almost fifty five out of every hundred IBC cases. What used to be a certain death two decades back is curable today! Today, the treatment for IBC is very extensive, although it gives a lot to hope for. Systemic therapies like chemotherapy and hormone treatments are backed up by surgeries like mastectomy and then by radiation therapy, to eliminate chances of a recurrence, and the treatment is done!

Yes, there is still a high mortality rate for Inflammatory breast cancer, but do not let that bring you down. You should keep in mind technology has bettered, and is still improving, and that there are people who love you. You will live as normally as you want to.

By Roselyn Capen

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Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is a special kind of advanced breast cancer and it's a serious one. Though we see an increasing number of cases, it is rare, accounting for only 1 to 4 percent of all breast cancers. Overall survival is worse in women with this kind of breast cancer than in other forms of breast cancer. It is inflammatory because its initial manifestations are usually redness and warmth in the skin of the breast, often without a palpable lump. Oftentimes, the patient and even the doctor will mistake it for a simple infection and she'll be put on antibiotics. But it doesn't get better. It also doesn't get worse and that's the tip-off: an infection will always get better or worse within a week or two - it rarely stays the same. If no change seems to be evident, the doctor should perform a biopsy of the underlying tissue to see if it is cancer.

An asymptomatic breast cancer patient was breast-feeding and developed what her doctor thought was lactational mastitis or inflammation of the breast brought about by breast-feeding. It never cleared up and did not hurt much - there was no fever sign of infection. It hadn't gone away or gotten worse in six months. Another patient, not breast-feeding, noticed that one breast had suddenly become larger than the other; there was also redness and swelling. In both cases, the doctors at first thought the women had breast infections. So if the symptoms continue after treatment, you should ask to have a biopsy done of the breast tissue and of the skin itself. With inflammatory breast cancer, you have cancer in the lymph vessels of your skin, which makes the skin red. An internet survey done on women with the disease by a man whose wife had died of inflammatory breast cancer showed that most women said they wished they had known that when there is redness of the breast skin unresponsive to antibiotic therapy, this is indicative of inflammatory breast cancer. Probably their doctors were not breast specialists and did not know about this unusual type of breast cancer.

Inflammatory breast cancer is the only kind of breast cancer that virtually everyone agrees doesn't call for mastectomy as its sole primary treatment. Because it involves the lymphatic vessels of the skin as well as of the breast tissue and the skin is sewn back after mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast), doing a mastectomy will leave a great chance of recurrence in the skin. Chemotherapy would be treatment of choice for this type of breast cancer before any local treatment can be entertained.

The incidence of inflammatory breast cancer is quite variable. Women with this cancer tend to be significantly younger than those with other breast cancers and African Americans with this type of cancer tend to be younger than Caucasians.

As with all advanced cancers, chemotherapy is started with three or four cycles of Adriamycin and Cytoxan with or without Taxol or Taxotere. After which local treatment can be done - usually in the form of mastectomy. After mastectomy, most women will receive four more cycles of chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy to the chest wall. Serious though it can be, inflammatory breast cancer is still an extremely variable disease.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Breast Cancer

By Michael Russell

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Eating to Avoid Breast Cancer

Breast cancers tend to be seen as a completely feminine affair but the truth is, men too are at risk, albeit very rarely, of developing breast cancer. Despite medical advances several things are still not clear about breast cancer and in most sufferers of this a disease, a clear cause can still not be shown to be responsible for the disease.

Breast cancer is not hereditary, though a family history of breast cancer increases the risk. Certain other factors linked with developing breast cancer include; the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer is increased by being overweight, the use of hormone replacement (HRT) increases the risk, having the last menstrual cycle from the early 50's and older increases the risk, having the first menstrual cycle at a later age and being pregnant at an early age lowers the risk. Although most breast cancers are hormonally related other factors may affect the risk, such as stress, carcinogens, use of stimulants, exposure to pesticides and oral contraceptive.

In its early stages, breast cancer doesn't show any sign and when it does the first sign is usually a painless lump that is found in the breast. When breast cancer becomes more advanced and spreads to other parts of the body then the symptoms could be more obvious depending on the part of the body affected. The symptoms could range from neurological problems, bone pain, weight loss, fatigue and anaemia.

Along with traditional medicine, changing the diet and one's lifestyle can help with breast cancer. Keeping to a vegetarian style diet by reducing animal fats in the diet; eating very little meat and cutting down on dairy products, will help. Only eating organic vegetables and meat (this will reduce the exposure of pesticides and hormones), consuming lots of tomatoes as these are high in lycopene which can inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, consuming plenty of olive oil, increasing fiber in the diet, reducing the exposure of soft, fatty or acid foods to soft plastics; not using cling film, buying food that comes in paper, glass or ceramic containers or if food is supplied in a plastic container then removing and storing in a glass or ceramic container in the fridge. Cutting out stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and alcohol, changing one's lifestyle to minimize stress, maybe taking up Yoga and meditation, increasing exercise, cutting out smoking and increasing the consumption of the essential oils Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are found in oily fish, seeds, evening primrose oil, borage oil and flax oil.

Some food materials are known to be anti cancer in action. Increasing the amount of such food in your daily diet regime could go along way to preventing cancer. Such foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, watercress, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach, onions, leeks, garlic, soy products, lemons, mangoes, melon, peppers, pumpkin, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, pears, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes, cabbage, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, oranges, seeds, nuts, squash, tuna, mackerel, salmon, wheat or rice bran, oats, wild rice, rye, apricot, walnuts, beans and the herbs and spices - rosemary, thyme, oregano and turmeric. These vegetable and fruits should be eaten raw and as fresh as possible or lightly steamed so that no goodness is lost. Soybeans and products are extremely good in reducing tumor growth and inducing cancer cells to revert to normal. Soybeans have genistein in them, which is an angiostat (anti-growth compound that prevents cancer from growing by preventing the formation of new blood vessels that aid cancer cells to grow).

There are so many factors linked to breast cancer that are beyond our control. Factors like exposure to radiation and chemicals, caused by environmental pollution, a family history of breast cancer and a couple of other factors are outside our reach. It makes real sense therefore, to play the little part we can in the prevention of this dreaded disease.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Breast Cancer

By Michael Russell

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Six Powerful Ways To Avoid Colon Cancer

At present, experts estimate that one in two persons is likely to develop colon cancer. Despite breakthroughs in cancer research, the number of people who find themselves suffering from this dreaded disease is staggering. One type of cancer that is increasingly becoming common these days is colon cancer. This is second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of death among cancer sufferers in the US.

Although some may be genetically predisposed to developing this dreaded disease, there are actually things that you can do to minimize your risk of having colorectal cancer. Below are top six ways to prevent cancer from developing in the colon and rectal area:

Seek Doctor's Advice

The buzzword when it comes to serious illnesses, including colon cancer, is early detection. A patient's survival is higher if he or she found out about the disease in its early stages. Thus, if you think there is blood, whether fresh or not, in your stool, or if you are experiencing unexplainable weight loss and abdominal pains, then you should have yourself checked immediately.

Maintain A Healthy And Active Lifestyle

A study found that a person's risk for colorectal cancer can be reduced by about 40% if he or she exercises regularly. You really do not have to go to the gym everyday to maintain your health; if you are not really a fan of the gym, you can always perform sports and other physical activities that interest you. Playing badminton, swimming, walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, and mountain climbing are good alternatives to exercise in the gym.

Quit Smoking

A number of studies have confirmed the connection between smoking and various illnesses and conditions. Emphysema, lung problems, heart disease and even colorectal cancer are just some of the serious diseases you might have if you continue to smoke or are a recipient of second-hand smoke.

According to research, tobacco is linked to the development or increase in size of polyps or growths that can be cancerous. Moreover, inhalation and swallowing of tobacco also brings carcinogenic substances not only to your lungs, but to your gut as well. You really will benefit nothing from smoking so it is best to ditch this vice as soon as possible.

Undergo Colon Cancer Screening

By the time you reach 40, you should include stool and digital rectal exam in your annual physical check up as a precautionary measure. By the time you reach 50, it is imperative that you get a colonoscopy every ten years. If you think you are at a high risk of having colon cancer, then have this exam every half a decade. The reason behind having yourself screened for colon cancer when you reach 50 is that over 90% of sufferers of colon cancer in the US are over 50 years old.

You should also ask your doctor about genetic counseling, especially if you have close blood relations who had colon cancer or other malignant growths.

Watch Your Weight

It seems that men and women who are obese are more likely to have this type of cancer than people who are of normal weight. Experts also believe that the kind of body you are in can also be an indication if you are predisposed to having this disease. Research has found that individuals with an apple-shaped body, where fat is concentrated in the waist area, are not only prone to heart conditions and diabetes, but also to colon cancer.

Be Mindful Of What You Eat

There are a lot of thin people who are not healthy. Thus, even if you are thin, there is no guarantee that you will not develop this serious illness. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy body is by eating right. Make sure that you consume at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables a week and drink plenty of water.

Alternative practitioners recommend colon cleansing as a way to cleanse your gut from the buildup of toxins and waste products. If you have been eating junk, processed, and fatty foods all your life, there is a big possibility that your intestines might not be in good shape. Detoxification can help clean deep-seated wastes in your colon. One product that can assist you with cleaning and restoring the health of your digestive tract is Colpurin. Go to for more details.

Janet Martin is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine

By Janet Martin

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Colon Cancer Prognosis And Stages

The chance of survival or surviving for an extended number of years when one has colon cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) is generally good if the condition is detected early. Some people however who are already in higher cancer stages may actually still have some reason to be hopeful. The right treatment is really the key to a good colon cancer prognosis.


Colon cancer prognosis is often dependent on the stage in which the patient is in. Untreated and advanced cancer may lead to only a 20% chance of surviving for five years after diagnosis. Some however may actually have a 90% chance of surviving after diagnosis if the cancer is treated early. This is only quite natural. The worse one's condition and spread of cancer cells are, the least likely will treatment be effective and encompassing. Given below are the different stages of colon cancer and possible survival chances.

Stage 0

Others also know this stage as the initial stage. At this point, the cancer cells may restrict themselves to the rectum lining. Some cells may also already be found in the first part lining of the colon. One of the most common ways to treat this stage is through a surgical method. Some patients may actually need no other treatment than surgery. People who are at this stage have the highest rate of survival.

Stage 1

At this stage, the cancer cells may already be found deeper in the colon. There is however no movement or metastasis to other external tissues and organs. The cancer cells are therefore still restricted within the colon. Those who are at this stage may have to undergo a procedure known as resection. They may not yet be required to undergo other supplementary cancer treatments and procedures. Survival rate is still good at this stage.

Stage 2

Stage 2 is when other tissues other than those found in the colon are affected. This may already be some sort of a close call for some patients because of the movement of cancer cells. There is still great reason to be hopeful though since the cells have not yet moved into the lymph system which is a crucial system through which cancer cells metastasize. Surgery may still be a preferred mode of treatment. Depending on the patient's condition and risk factor as determined by a specialist doctor, other common cancer treatments may be employed simultaneously. These involve radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Stage 3

This is already considered an advanced stage since the lymphatic system is already affected by cancer cells. All three common cancer treatment options may be used to fight the spread of the cells. Patients at this stage have a lower colon cancer prognosis than those in stages 1 and 2.

Stage 4

This is the final and most severe stage. The condition can no longer be removed completely despite treatment. Cancerous cells may have already spread through the lymphatic system to other organs in the body such as the lungs and liver. Of course, treatment will still be employed but patients may only have a survival rate of around 20%.

The stage that the cancer has reached will ultimately have an influence on any colon cancer prognosis. Since the cancer can be arrested at its early stages, it is important to seek to prevent the condition. Those who are at risk of colon cancer and those who are 50 years old and above should always have scheduled screenings.

In the United States, it is estimated that 1 in 17 people will develop colon cancer. Knowing the signs and symptoms of colon cancer could prove vital to a better colon cancer prognosis. For more information about colon or colorectal cancer, please visit TODAY.

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Colon Cancer Symptoms That You Should Know

Numerous people find out every year that they have colon or colorectal cancer. This is why it is important to always know the significant signs and symptoms, especially if you are at high risk of developing the condition. Although the colon cancer symptoms may not always be obvious, these may be the crucial signs that may help prolong your life. The sooner they are detected, the bigger are your chances for survival.

Who is At Risk

Anyone can develop colon cancer. Both men and women are equally possible candidates contracting this disease. There are however a couple of people who are particularly more at risk than others.

Although young people can also develop this cancer, those who are 50 years old and above are at a greater risk. This is why people at this age bracket are often recommended by their doctors to undergo colon cancer screening at regular intervals.

It is also quite possible that the condition may run in the family. Those who have relatives or family members who have had this disease may also be at risk of developing the condition.

Sometimes though, the risk of cancer of the colon may be increased by certain lifestyle factors. Smoking for example is a number one culprit that has been implicated in a number of other cancer conditions. Aside from smoking, leading a largely sedentary life and eating too many foods that are high in trans and saturated fats may also lead you closer to colon cancer.

Some people also have a higher risk if they have been diagnosed with certain conditions. Obese people and those who have diabetes for example are considered 'at risk' people. Those who have had polyps and certain bowel diseases or disorders may also be at risk.

The above-mentioned risk factors are not absolute. Even people who may not have them may still develop colon cancer. This is why it pays to know what colon cancer symptoms can manifest with the condition.

Signs and Symptoms Of Colon Cancer

There are times when people show only very slight symptoms. Sometimes the colon cancer symptoms may be so indistinguishable that it seems like there are no symptoms at all. This is why some people may be diagnosed with cancer of the colon only at an advanced stage. In any case, being sensitive to even slight symptoms may already provide a clue to the condition. Paying attention is important if colon cancer is to be detected early and treated.

A person who has a developing colon or colorectal cancer condition may frequently feel tired. They may also experience increased stomach cramping, gassiness or even some slight abdominal pain. Stool consistency and bowel movement frequency may also eventually change. Sometimes, blood may appear in the stools although this can also be a sign of some other condition.

You can never be too sure with yourself. You should always consider seeing a specialist if the symptoms appear and if you are particularly at risk. At the age of 50, regular screenings should be performed on you even if you are not at risk and have no symptoms. Colon cancer is most easily treated at the early stages so the sooner you find out if you have it, and can recognise any of the colon cancer symptoms, the better for you.

In the United States, it is estimated that 1 in 17 people will develop colon cancer. Knowing the signs of colon cancer symptoms could prove vital to a better colon cancer prognosis. For more information about colorectal or colon cancer, please visit TODAY.

By Elliot Bryce

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Breast Cancer Prevention Tips

Despite all the 'noise' about breast cancer being one of the worst killers of women in the world today, it is annoying that most women still do not take active steps towards protecting themselves from this dreaded condition. Although, the increasing prevalence of breast cancer and perhaps other cancerous conditions has been linked to environmental factors such as the increasing levels of radiation and chemicals released into the air, water, soil and food that we consume in the civilized world; or to genetic and hereditary factors, the role of other self imposed factors cannot be ignored.

There are a lot of things every woman can do individually or collectively, to prevent breast cancer. Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise or ingestion or hormone mimicking medications, all play crucial roles in the cause of breast cancer and any attempt at preventing this disease should begin from here.

A simple positive and optimistic attitude has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. This will sound amazing to many people; however, it will suffice to explain that several medical studies have demonstrated the link between a positive attitude and an improved immune system. Laughter and humor has been shown to enhance the body's immunity and prevents against cancer and other diseases. You must have heard the slogan 'happy people don't fall sick'. Part of maintaining a positive attitude is learning to express your feelings. The mind is free and open and energy flows freely throughout the body when there are no accumulated pains and anxieties weighing you down.

Exercise is another tool that you will find very useful in your fight against breast cancer. Aerobic exercises, at least 3-4 times a week, constant breath work and deep body awareness (as in yoga meditation) are all effective in preventing breast cancer. Exercise has been shown to be very effective in maintaining a healthy body and mind. By exercising regularly, you will do yourself a great favour, because you will not only be preventing breast cancer, you will also be making it easier to maintain a sound mind and healthy body.

Eating healthy food is another great tool in preventing breast cancer. A great deal of cancers are caused by the chemicals and preservatives in the food we eat. Most genetically modified foods (GMO) i.e. food materials that were enhanced in the laboratory, are known to pose serious health dangers to consumers. Also, the hormone mimicking substances in contraceptive pills and other prescription pills could predispose you to cancerous growth. Thus, taking the right supplements could also be an effective tool in the fight against breast cancer.

Besides all these, self examination of the breast regularly is the number one means of detecting any changes in the breast. It is advisable to examine the breast at the same time every month; this will make it easier to spot any changes in the shape, color or texture of the breast. Common signs or changes to look out for are: lumps, thickening or knots anywhere in the breast, unusual swelling or warmth, change in size, color or texture such as reddening or darkening of the breast, itching or scaling especially on the nipple, sudden discharge, rashes, dimpling of the skin or unusual pain. Although, most of these changes might not be a sign of impending breast cancer, however, you never can tell. Forget all what you have heard, it is still possible to prevent breast cancer.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Breast Cancer.

By Michael Russell

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Skin Cancer - Types, Risks, Symptoms And Treatment

Obviously, the topmost layers of the skin are the first to be affected; the three major types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (rodent ulcer), squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, all develop in the upper layer of the skin known as the epidermis. Basal cell carcinoma, the most frequent of the three, causes local erosions of tissue if neglected, while squamous cell carcinoma may spread if untreated. Fortunately, both these types can be successfully treated in nearly all cases. Squamous cell carcinoma sometimes occurs on the vulva in women after menopause and may be more difficult to deal with.

Melanoma, the least common of the three, occurs more frequently in sunny countries. Although a certain amount of sun on the skin is beneficial because it forms vitamin D, too much is dangerous. The danger has increased now that high levels of ultraviolet A radiation are reaching the earth's surface from the sun due to depletion of the ozone layer by flurocarbon chemicals from widespread use of spray cans. Melanomas are the most serious of the three skin cancers, once it starts to grow, it can spread rapidly. If detected and treated early enough, melanomas may be cured in about 75 per cent of cases.

The lighter your skin and eye colour, the more easily you will sunburn and the more likely you are to develop skin cancer. This likelihood increases with exposure to sunlight over both short periods - sunbathing on the beach to a point of, say, blistering - and long periods - pursuing an occupation, such as farming, in which many activities take place outdoors. Even moderate sunbathing after summer increases the odds that you will get skin cancer. The damage to the cells accumulates over time, so that people in their middle or later years are more likely to develop the disease.

The simplest way to avoid skin cancer is to reduce the exposure of you skin to the sun's cancer causing rays. Protect you skin by limiting your time in the sun and wear full clothing, those parts of the skin that are still exposed apply a good quality sunscreen to. The chemical composition of sunscreens block most of the sun's harmful rays.

Basal and squamous cell cancers have similar symptoms, while melanomas have their own special set of warning signs. What all skin cancers have in common, however, is change. That is what you should be on the lookout for. Basal and squamous cell cancers may start out small, rough patches of skin that are redder or paler that the surrounding skin. They can also start as tiny lumps or as small sores that bleed easily and seem to heal very slowly or not at all. If left untreated these tiny spots will soon grow and spread to surrounding tissue. Melanoma usually indicates its presence by altering the colour or appearance of a mole. Since melanoma involves cells that produce brown or black pigments, you should be aware of changes in dark spots or patches or moles and be on the lookout for new moles, moles that bleed, or any dark spot, new or old that changes colour, shape or size. Melanomas can be cured if treated in its early stage; those that go untreated may spread to other parts of the body, where they may attack vital organs.

Since skin cancer grows on the surface of the body, the first step in diagnosing them involves visual examination by a dermatologist. An experienced dermatologist can often determine whether a growth on the skin is or is not cancerous just by looking at it. If he suspects skin cancer he will remove a small sample and send it to a laboratory for examination under a microscope. There a pathologist will determine if the cells are skin cancer forming cells. If the samples reveal skin cancer, the dermatologist will remove the growth in one of a number of ways. Certain pre-cancerous skin problems may be treated by the application of a skin lotion containing anticancer drugs. In the case of basal or squamous cell cancer at an early stage, doctors remove the growth either surgically with a knife or by freezing it with liquid nitrogen. Melanomas, which are potentially more dangerous, are nearly always removed surgically together with surrounding tissue. Remember if the melanoma spreads to other parts of the body, other kinds of treatment such as chemotherapy - may be required. Radiotherapy, unfortunately, does not seem to be effective in treating melanoma. The key to treat this type of skin cancer is early detection.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Skin Cancer

By Michael Russell

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Skin Cancer Warning Signs

What are the skin cancer warning signs and what can be done to help prevent skin cancer?

In recent years, a lot of attention has been focused on the prevention of skin cancer. Of course, skin cancer is not a new disease but as scientists have learned more about how to prevent it, they realized that early detection is the key. It is important, therefore, that people are aware of what they can do to prevent skin cancer and what to keep an eye out for so that they can catch the cancer in time.

There are two main risk factors for skin cancer. The first is sun exposure. People who live in sunny areas, people who are continuously exposed to the sunlight, or people who were badly sunburned as children are all at a higher risk. Fair-skinned people are high risk as well. It is important that everyone be protected when they go out in the sun. Sunscreen should be worn all the time, even if the day seems cloudy or not that hot. This is especially important for those with fair skin and for children. If you are going to be exposed to the sun for a long period of time, you should try to cover up as much skin as possible with hats, long pants, or jackets. Young children should always wear a wide-brimmed hat when playing out in the sun. The second component of skin cancer risk is genetic. Some people are just more apt to get skin cancer than others. There is nothing you can do about this, but if you know you are at a greater risk because of your family, you should be even more vigilant in checking for skin cancer warning signs.

There are several types of skin cancer, and they all present slightly different. Melanoma is one of the rarer skin cancers, but it is also the most deadly. Catching melanoma early is important, so everyone should make checks of their bodies on a monthly basis, just like a monthly breast exam is recommended for women. One way to remember the warning signs of melanoma is the mnemonic “ABCDE.” The A stands for asymmetrical. Check any moles on your body. Asymmetrical moles could be malignant. B stand for border. If the border of the mole or mark looks irregular, then get it checked out. C stands for color. Moles that are multiple colors could be cancerous. D stands for diameter. If you have a mole that measures more than 5 mm, it is at greater risk for being a melanoma. E can stand for evolution or elevation. Evolution means how the mole has appeared over time. Has it changed color, shape, or size? This is a sign that cancer might be developing. Elevation means that mole is raised up above the skin. If you have any of these warning signs, you should make an appointment to see your doctor right away.

Skin cancer can present in different ways and a doctor will need to examine you to determine if a mole or area of skin needs to be checked further. A biopsy is usually done and the sample is checked for malignancy.

Early detection of skin cancer is important. Many doctors are including skin checks during yearly physicals. If you are concerned about an area of your body, discuss it with your doctor. They can let you know if more testing should be done.

John Grimes is with - makers of natural sanitizer products for skin care.

By John Grimes

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Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Among all the types of cancer, breast cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed in the world today. But compared to other cancer types that are not as frequently diagnosed, fewer people have actually died because of it. This means that there are more breast cancer survivors than the other types of cancer because most of them were given the proper diagnosis of the breast cancer that they had, allowing them to know and obtain the most viable treatment possible. Here are some things that you should know regarding breast cancer diagnosis.

Invasive or non-invasive
Non-invasive breast cancer is the type where the cancer cells remain in the part of the body where it originated, whether in the duct or lobule. Invasive breast cancer is that which has passed through the walls of the place of origin and has spread and infected the adjacent tissues and at times, may travel to other parts of the body through the vessels.

Lymph node involvement
Lymph is a fluid that moves through the arteries and travels through the tissues in order to cleanse them. Lymph nodes act as filters that trap all unwanted substances, including cancer cells, and they try to eliminate them from the body. The problem is that most of the time cancer cells are not eliminated but actually settle in the lymph nodes and that is how the nodes become infected with the tumor. If more lymph nodes are involved, this means that the cancer is more threatening and has a higher risk of spreading.

There are four breast cancer stages. Stage I means that cancer is of the invasive type, but the tumor is 2 centimeters long. Stage II involves a tumor which is 2-5 centimeters which may or may not have infected or travelled to the axillary lymph nodes. Stage III means that it is now locally advanced, meaning, it has spread to more nodes and breast skin, and its size is more than 5 centimeters. With Stage IV, or more advanced breast cancer, the tumor has moved farther from the breast and has infected other parts of the body as well.

Mastectomy is the complete removal of the breast. Lumpectomy involves removal of only a part of it. After surgery, radiation may be administered, depending on the personality of the cancer. Other treatments are hormone therapy and chemotherapy, which are classified as systemic therapy because they are applied to the entire body. Hormone therapy is the blocking or reducing of estrogen in the body. This treatment is available if the cancer is hormone-receptive-responsive. In chemotherapy, medicine is applied to hinder cells from multiplying.

Once the diagnosis is clear, choosing the treatment options will follow. If cancer is non-invasive, lumpectomy may be performed. But if the cancer is invasive, other forms of treatment shall be applied. Treatment for Stage I cancer is usually lumpectomy or modified radical mastectomy. Radiation may or may not follow the surgery. Treatment for Stage II cancer is usually the same as that for Stage I cancer, followed by radiation. Stage III and IV cancer may be treated by mastectomy, chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy after surgery.

Cancer Personality
Doctors also tell you of the "personality" of your cancer, whether it is aggressive or not. If it is of the meaner or aggressive type, there is a higher risk for it to spread. There is therefore the need to use systemic treatment such as chemotherapy and hormone therapy. If it is of the milder type, localized treatment may be administered.

Doctors sometimes describe the spread of cancer as local, regional and distant. Local means that the cancer remains within the breast. Regional means that lymph nodes are involved, especially those under the armpit. Distant means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. If the cancer is of the local or regional type, treatment may be lumpectomy or mastectomy. If cancer is distant, systemic therapy is necessary.

Knowing the breast cancer diagnosis is one reason for the decline in mortality rate. When you know the diagnosis, you know the proper treatment. As we all know, breast cancer can be treated if diagnosed at an early stage. While the number of women diagnosed may not considerably reduce, the number of women who shall seek treatment and survive shall increase. With an increase in awareness and advances in medicine, there will be more breast cancer survivors in the years to come.

By Nathalie Fiset

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Breast Cancer Survival Rate

When one talks of breast cancer and treatment, the secondary question is its survival rate. Survival rates give patients an idea of the extent of their cancer as well as the treatments that are available to them. We often hear of five-year survival rates for each stage of breast cancer, but what exactly is breast cancer survival rate?

Breast cancer survival can be described in the following ways:
- Period of time : 5 or 10 years, that a woman lives after diagnosis
- Risk of reoccurrence
- Risk of death when compared to others with the same illness

The first is the more popular method. Since the survival rate is commonly categorized according to stages, some points about the stages of breast cancer first.

Stage 0 cancer is the non-invasive type. Cancer cells remain within the walls of the place where they are discovered. For Stage I, the tumor is invasive and is about 2 centimeters long. Stage IIA cancer means that tumor is 2-5 centimeters. With Stage IIB cancer, the tumor may be less than 2 centimeters but a few axillary lymph nodes are affected. For Stage IIIA cancer, the tumor is more than 5 centimeters or it has reached more lymph nodes. Stage IIIB cancer is characterized by the tumor invading the breast skin, regardless of its size. Stage IV cancer is the most advanced form, where the cancer cells have moved far from the breast and have infected other organs of the body as well.

Stages are also described as early (Stages 0-IIA), later (Stage IIB and III) and advanced (Stage IV).

When diagnosed with breast cancer it is the stages that will determine the treatment plan.

Survival rates
In computing the survival rate, researchers take note of the percentage of women who survive for a specific period of time, say, 5 years, after diagnosis of breast cancer. The current survival rates for all breast cancer stages are:

- Five-year survival rate - 86%
- Ten-year survival rate - 76%

Women with no metastatic breast cancer have a 5-year survival rate of 96%, while those with metastatic breast cancer have a 5-year survival rate of 21%

Here are the 5-year survival rates according to stage:

- Stage 0 - 100%
- Stage I - 100%
- Stage IIA - 92%
- Stage IIB - 81%
- Stage IIIA - 67%
- Stage IIIB - 54%
- Stage IV - 20%

Remember that these are estimates only. Some actually live longer than 7 years, depending on the medication and lifestyle changes that they make. After 7 years survival rates decrease.

Other factors that affect survival

Preliminary studies have been conducted regarding factors that can affect survival. There are promising results with respect to factors such as changing your diet and lifestyle. While the results are not conclusive yet, it still makes sense to maintain a healthy lifestyle. While there is no direct connection between exercise and increased survival rate, studies showed that exercise improved the quality of life of survivors, such as higher self-esteem, improved mood and better sleep patterns. The same holds true for group psychological therapy. Being able to express their feelings and support for other survivors had positive effects on their quality of life. Smoking increases the risk of the spread of cancer, as there may be metastasis of cancer from breast to lung.

The importance of early detection cannot be overemphasized. When detected early, the correct treatment can then be administered and once treated, there is less risk for the cancer to spread or recur. That is why doctors and breast cancer advocates encourage regular testing and screening for all women. This is necessary even after treatment because there is still a risk of recurrence.

Conduct a self breast exam monthly. If necessary, have clinical tests such as mammograms and MRI scans. Ask your doctor for more information on breast cancer and search the web for answers from experts.

Breast cancer survival rates are mere estimates. Some patients actually live longer than 5 or 7 years. Changes in diet and lifestyle can increase a patient's survival rate. Live a healthy lifestyle by eating more fruits, vegetables and fiber, and avoid alcohol intake.

By Nathalie Fiset

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Acute Leukemia - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Leukemia is a malignant disease (cancer) of the bone marrow and blood. It is characterized by the uncontrolled accumulation of blood cells. In AML, the bone marrow makes many unformed cells called blasts. AML starts with a change to a single cell in the bone marrow. With AML, the leukemic cells are often referred. to as blast cells. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a fast-growing cancer in which the body produces a large number of immature white blood cells (lymphocytes). AML is the most common acute leukemia affecting, and its incidence increases with age. Acute leukemia is a rapidly progressing disease that results in the accumulation of immature, functionless cells in the marrow and blood. In acute leukemia, cancerous cells multiply quickly and replace normal cells. Cancerous cells take over normal parts of bone marrow, causing bone marrow failure. A person with ALL is more likely to bleed and have infections because there are fewer normal blood cells. Several congenital conditions may increase the risk of leukemia; the most common is probably Down syndrome, which is associated with a 10- to 18-fold increase in the risk of AML.

Leukemia is divided into four categories: myelogenous or lymphocytic, each of which can be acute or chronic. AML is more common in men than in women. Acute myelogenous leukemia is the most common form of leukemia. The difference is even more apparent in older patients. Leukemia is one of the top 15 most frequently occuring cancers in minority groups. Leukemia incidence is highest among whites and lowest among American Indians and Alaskan natives. Signs of AML are often non-specific, and may be similar to those of influenza or other common illnesses. Some generalized symptoms include fever, fatigue, weight loss or loss of appetite, shortness of breath with exertion, anemia, easy bruising or bleeding, petechiae (flat, pin-head sized spots under the skin caused by bleeding), bone pain and joint pain and persistent or frequent infections.This is likely because myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) are more common in men, and advanced MDS frequently evolves into AML. More than 11,900 new cases occur in the United States each year, mostly in older. The average age of a person with AML is 65 years.

Most of the standard treatment for ALL uses chemotherapy.Chemotherapy is the initial treatment of choice. Stem cell transplantation is used instead of consolidative chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is used on painful bony areas, in high disease burdens, or as part of the preparations for a bone marrow transplant (total body irradiation). Stem cell transplant. Stem cell transplant is also used for consolidation therapy. It's similar to bone marrow transplant except the stem cells are collected from circulating blood (peripheral blood). Induction therapy for children with AML starts with two or three drugs. Stronger treatment is needed after a child with AML is in remission. This is called intensive consolidation therapy. It is given because usually some AML cells remain after induction therapy. Allogeneic stem cell transplant can be a high-risk procedure. For this reason, it may not be a good treatment for some AML patients. Bone marrow or cord blood transplant (also called a BMT) offers some patients the best chance for a long-term remission of their disease.

Acute Leukemia for Treatment Tips

1. Chemotherapy -- drugs that destroy cancer cells or stop them from growing.

2. Bone marrow or cord blood transplant (also called a BMT) offers some patients the best chance for a long-term remission of their disease.

3. Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg) and Monoclonal antibodies are proteins designed to attach to leukemia cells and help the immune system destroy them.

4. Biological therapy attempts to stimulate or restore the ability of your child's immune system to fight cancer.

5. Avoiding smoking, exposure to toxic chemicals, and exposure to radiation may help prevent some cases of leukemia.

6. Gemtuzumab ozogamicin is a monoclonal antibody against CD33 (a molecule present on most AML cells but not on normal stem cells) conjugated to calicheamicin (a potent chemotherapy molecule).

7. Stem cell transplantation (SCT) is a treatment that permits the use of doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy high enough to destroy the patient's bone marrow.

Juliet Cohen writes articles for online medical clinic and diseases treatment. She also writes articles on depression treatment.

By Juliet Cohen

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Preventing Leukemia

Leukemia is a malignant cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects thousands of children and adults in the United States. Acute leukemia progresses quickly while chronic leukemia develops more slowly. Studies indicate that leukemia is not inherited nor is it contagious. Several factors are suspected, although scientists have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause. No specific sets of preventions are available for leukemia. However, on analyzing the factors that generally cause leukemia a rough and general idea on the prevention of the disease can be made.

Amongst newborn babies breast milk has shown properties that help in preventing occurrences of leukemia. Statistics have shown that mothers who breast-feed their babies for even one month lower their risk of leukemia by 20%. The factors that cause leukemia are numerous. Continuous exposure to high-level x-ray radiation increases susceptibility for leukemia development. As a result such exposure should be minimized. Similarly chemical irritants like the inhalation of toxic vapor such as benzol vapors cause a variety of blood disorders, including leukemia. Appropriate care should also be taken to avoid such chemicals inhalations. There may also be a genetic predisposition to leukemia. In rare cases it is observed that there are instances where people are born with chromosome damage. These people have genes that add to their chances of developing leukemia. In order to avoid such incidences, couples suffering from leukemia are advised to refrain from having children. Environmental factors such as high-dose radiation or exposure to certain toxic chemicals (atomic bombs) may also trigger the development of leukemic cells. In order to prevent this the government too ought to pass adequate laws and measures.

p>Sweating is a powerful way to cleanse the body from accumulated toxins that usually cause leukemia. In addition to this bowel cleansing, dental cleanup, kidney cleansing and liver cleansing also contribute to preventing leukemia. Other ways of reducing the risk are prevention of maternal smoking, paternal heavy drinking, use of anti nausea drugs during pregnancy, and exposure to solvents or absorption of contaminated water. However, it should be noted that the above-mentioned preventions are mere suggestions. Since the accurate factors that cause leukemia are unknown, prevention for the same remains a general hypothesis.

Leukemia provides detailed information on Leukemia, Leukemia Symptoms, Childhood Leukemia, Leukemia Treatments and more. Leukemia is affiliated with Social Security Disabilities.

By Jennifer Bailey

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4 Pancreatic Cancer Causes

There are no official preventative measures that can be taken to ensure one won't develop pancreatic cancer. However, by being aware of the 4 pancreatic cancer causes you are still in a better position since you can at least suspect the disease if you start developing its symptoms. Knowing the 4 pancreatic cancer causes can also assist your doctors if they have to make pancreatic cancer diagnosis. With that being said, learn about the 4 pancreatic causes by reading more about them below.

1. Race

First on the list of the 4 pancreatic causes is race. African American men and women are at greater risk of developing the disease.

2. Weight

Weight is one of the 4 pancreatic causes that a person can actually do something about. If they do they decrease their risk of developing the disease, since overweight people tend to be more at risk than their thin counterparts. It should be noted that it doesn't matter how much extra weight a person is carrying. Overweight people and obese people are both equally at risk for getting pancreatic cancer.

3. Pre-existing Conditions

Certain conditions have been known to trigger pancreatic cancer. Specifically these conditions are diabetes and hereditary pancreatitis. Diabetes is a condition in which one's insulin levels are not normal. Whether they are too low or too high, it can result in pancreatic cancer later in a person's life, even if it's temporary, (which is the case with gestational diabetes).

The other condition responsible for pancreatic cancer is hereditary pancreatitis. This is a rare condition in which a person gets chronic pancreatitis, which is painful inflammation of the pancreas. Perhaps the disease makes the pancreas more susceptible to abnormal tumor growth because it is putting the organ through high level of stress already. Either way, if you do suffer from hereditary pancreatitis, you will want to especially be on the lookout for pancreatic cancer symptoms.

4. Smoking

Smoking is another one of the 4 pancreatic causes that can be controlled, even if it's difficult for one that has become addicted to it. And while many think smoking puts the lungs more at risk, statistics reveal that the practice makes one just as prone to developing pancreatic cancer. Specifically, smokers are two to three times more likely to get pancreatic cancer. And of all the pancreatic cases that are out there, one in three of them will involve a victim who is a smoker. So, the ultimate lesson is if you're smoking find a way to stop it. This is especially the case if any of the other 4 pancreatic cancer causes discussed in this article also apply to you.

Now, don't panic if you find any of the 4 pancreatic cancer causes apply to you. Just because you possess one or more of the risk factors doesn't automatically mean you'll develop the disease. But don't be foolish either. Try your best to keep your overall health in order by exercising and eating a healthy diet, especially one full of foods known to be cancer-fighting agents, (such as broccoli). This won't guarantee you'll be fully protected against pancreatic cancer, but it will make your body in a better position to fight off elements that may promote tumor growth.

You can learn more about pancreatic cancer treatment as well as the symptoms of pancreatic cancer on my website My website includes a whole range of articles focusing on the problems caused by pancreatic cancer, treatments and of course what you should do if you think you have pancreatic cancer.

By Steven Pedersen

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How To Avoid Weight Gain When You Quit Smoking

Oftentimes when women are considering quitting smoking, they are most concerned about the possibility of weight gain. Interesting enough a small weight gain (about 3-5 pounds) is what you should expect when you quit smoking. The truth is that 25% of women experience a weight gain and actually only 3% gain 15 pounds or more. Usually the larger weight gain is associated with heavy smokers which is a pack or more of cigarettes per day. The weight gain is the largest contributing factor as to "WHY" women resume smoking again after they have successfully quit for several months. It is also true that women generally resume smoking more often than men.

Why do women gain weight when they quit smoking? The reason is fairly simple. Cigarettes have a slightly increased metabolism associated with smoking. That increase in a heavy smoking can actually burn up to 200 calories a day. That means that you will actually need to take in less calories or step up your exercise program to just maintain your weight.

In many cases you will eat more when you quit smoking. This is a natural response to the hand to mouth cessation that you have developed from years of smoking. Don't forget that cigarettes are actually a natural weight suppressant. When you quit smoking, your brain will kick in the hunger feeling when you deny your system the nicotine from cigarettes.

Check out the healthy food This is the point at which food replaces the cigarettes. STOP! The simple replacement should be a glass of water although this will not satisfy the comfort you are looking for from sitting down and having a cigarette. BEWARE! Women are much more likely than men to pick up the smoking habit again. Awareness of what to expect will arm and assist you in achieving your goal. Keep your goal at the forefront of your mind to successfully quit smoking and not gain weight. You can minimize your weight gain by executing a daily plan.

Keep plenty of low fat snacks in a cabinet in your kitchen

Exercise Daily (even if its just a few minutes)

Drink water and plenty of it

Herbal Teas can be very satisfying

Minimize Alcohol intake (it's calories too and will impair your judgment regarding the goal)

Take baby steps and reward yourself for each step. Make sure that you choose non-food items and something you enjoy that you would not normally indulge yourself with.

As long as you are prepared and educated on what to expect from quitting smoking, you will be successful. Your decision to quit smoking is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Now that you aware that the weight gain is not a necessary element from putting down you cigarettes you can move forward towards your goal.

This article on Avoid Gaining Weight has been brought to you by ItalkBeauty where you come to talk beauty!

By Carol Clifton

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Smoking And IBS - What Are Smoking Effects On Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a very common condition a lot of people all over the world suffer. Because this chronic condition is characterized by so many symptoms of IBS that you can easily mistake as those of another medical condition, it's hard to make an accurate diagnosis of IBS. This is why it is important to pinpoint certain food items, habits, and events that can trigger the symptoms of the condition, so as to avoid them altogether. And smoking is one of the many things that can trigger the condition's symptoms to manifest themselves.

So, what are the effects of smoking on irritable bowel syndrome? And what is it about smoking that triggers such? Recent studies show that tobacco does not just cause lung cancer, but it is also a potent irritant of the gastrointestinal tract. In fact, tobacco is now known as a gastrointestinal tract irritant, as well as a carcinogen and a stimulant. Yes, tobacco has indeed become that infamous where health is concerned.

People affected with irritable bowel syndrome have gastrointestinal tracts that are very sensitive to a lot of stimuli, even in the form of spicy and oily food items. Tobacco, in its very basic form, can affect almost every part of your digestive system. It can cause reflux and heartburn, which are two conditions that almost all IBS patients acquire after being affected with the syndrome. Tobacco can also damage what is known as the esophageal sphincter. When this happens, there is then a large possibility of your stomach contents to flow right up, and then down into your esophagus' lower portion.

Smoking also increases the risks entailed in peptic ulcer. And when you already have stomach ulcers in your stomach and you keep smoking, you are actually worsening the condition of these ulcers. To the point that these ulcers would not heal normally, and they would reoccur more often as well. The perforation of stomach ulcers is worsened by the mere act of smoking ten times. What's more, smoking also increases the risk of acquiring Crohn's disease, as well as the development of gallstones in your gall bladder.

The nicotine in every cigarette stick you smoke can actually lead to heightened production of stomach acids in your system. Nicotine also decreases the production rate of sodium bicarbonate in your pancreas. Sodium bicarbonate has to be produced because it is what counteracts the production of acid in your stomach. With the production rate significantly reduced, chemical imbalances would definitely occur.

With these many negative effects of smoking in irritable bowel syndrome, it is not difficult to perceive the need to stop smoking. So, if you are afflicted with the condition, now would be the perfect time to quit smoking.

Do you know what are the Symptoms Of IBS? Then it is vital to first have a good knowledge of what IBS is and how to mange it.

Read more about the Symptoms of IBS at this article:

Jen Miller is a health and fitness enthusiast. She currently runs a website at to help people deal with IBS in their lives.

By Jen Miller

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Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Lymphoma


Lymphoma is a term for cancers of the lymphatic system, which includes the spleen, the lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels. Hodgkin's disease is a type of lymphoma that typically affects young men under the age of 30. All other types of lymphatic cancers are grouped under the term nonHodgkin's lymphoma. The types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma vary from non-aggressive (those that remain in the lymphatic system) to aggressive (those that spread, either quickly or slowly, to other organs of the body). Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma usually affects men over the age of 40.

When detected early, Hodgkin's disease is easily treated and has a high cure rate. In fact, close to 90 percent of all cases are cured. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, while not as easy to cure, is often successfully treated.

The exact cause of lymphoma is unknown though the disease is suspected to have a hereditary component.

Signs and Symptoms

Painless swelling of lymph nodes

Itching all over the body

Chronic or intermittent fever and chills

Fatigue and weakness

Appetite and weight loss

Coughing and shortness of breath

Conventional Medical Treatment

If you suspect you have lymphoma, see your physician immediately. To diagnose the condition, your doctor gives you a thorough physical examination, as well as blood and urine tests. If lymphoma is suspected, your doctor may perform a chest X-ray or tomography scan of your abdomen A lymph node biopsy or bone marrow bioPSY may be used to confirm diagnosis.

Radiation is the most common avenue of treatment for Hodgkin's disease; if the cancer is wide spread, chemotherapy is often used. In cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chemotherapy is the preferred treatment, but radiation is sometimes used. Surgery is rarely used as a treatment option for lymphoma. (See "Conventional Medical treatment" in the "Bladder Cancer" entry for more information on radiation and chemotherapy.)

Complementary and Alternative Treatments

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupunture Acupuncture can be very effective in clearing toxins from the lymphatic system and in helping manage lymphoma-related pain and/or treatmentrelated nausea.

Acupressure This form of massage can be useful in draining toxic lymph nodes and improving the flow of chi throughout the entire lympathic system.

Chinese Herbal Therapy Herbs can be used as tonics to repair damage that chemotherapy and radiation may inflict on the body's immune system. Popular immunity fortifying herbs include formulas such as Rehmannia Six and Cerebral Tonic Pills, along with added angelica, astragalus, Chinese yarn, codonopsis, cordyceps, ginseng, and gotu kola.

By Robin Brain

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Lung Cancer and Smoking

According to the American Cancer Society, today, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. In 2006, an estimated 162,460 deaths resulted from lung cancer, and of those deaths, an estimated 79,560 of those were women. At first glance, the numbers might not seem so alarming., but what is alarming is the fact that "between 1960 and 1990, deaths from lung cancer among women increased by more than 400%" ( Do you need a moment to digest those statistics? I know I did.

In addition, to being the leading cause of cancer-related death for women, the National Cancer Institutes reports that the expected 5-year survival rate for all patients in whom lung cancer is diagnosed is 15.5 percent compared to 64.8 percent for colon, 89 percent for breast and 99.9 percent for prostate cancer. Further, about 6 out of 10 people with lung cancer die within 1 year of being diagnosed with the disease (Lungusa).

After reading the data, I did some research to uncover the cause of such high incidences of lung cancer overall, and particularly, in women. Studies show that while lung cancer can be caused by a variety of factors, including asbestos and environmental pollution, smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, with an estimated 90 percent of lung cancer cases caused by smoking. 5 What that means, is that 90 percent of lung cancer cases are preventable; and in 2006, of the 79,560 women that died, 71,685 of those deaths were senseless.

To make the numbers understandable from a layman's point of view, what they correlate to is this: more people have died from smoking in one year than there were American military casualties in Iraq since the war started in 2003, and more than were murdered in the United States in 2005.

Hence, it begs to be considered that if lung cancer is preventable, why do over 1.1 billion people, over 1/6 of the world's total population choose to smoke and ingest harmful tobacco products? This includes 33% of the African population; 57% of the people in the United States; 72% of Europeans; 48% of Southeast Asians, 39% of Eastern Mediterraneans; and 68% of people in Western Pacific nations (World Heath Organization, 2000 estimates).

The answer in short is addiction.

With this in mind, I struck out to learn more about the history of the cigarette. I was in for quite an education. Besides providing you with a history of the cigarette, this article will also educate you on what lung cancer does to your body, steps you can take to prevent it, methods of screening, and resources. Hopefully, what you learn in the following pages will enable you to make a decision that could save a life.

History of the Cigarette
The primary ingredient in a cigarette is tobacco. Tobacco in cigarettes is usually a blend of several types of the tobacco leaf, which have the effect of euphoria on the nervous system. Tar, a by-product of the cigarette, is produced when the cigarette is lit. Nicotine is also part of the make up of the tobacco leaf. When a cigarette is lit and the smoke inhaled, nicotine moves into the blood vessels of the mucous membranes, skin and lungs, and then directly to your brain [within seconds], increasing adrenaline production, stimulating neurons in the brain that cause "good" feelings, which encourage a person to want to repeat the action that caused that feeling (addiction), further stimulating the production and release of endorphins, which cause feelings of euphoria. (

Man has been using the tobacco product for thousands of years. Native Americans smoked prior to the arrival of European explores; and the practice is even depicted in early Mayan art dating back to 1,500 years ago, when tobacco was also used as a medicinal antidote. In the 16th century, smoking was common mostly among sailors. The cigar later became popular in England in the 1820s. The cigarette soon appeared in Spain. During World War I, tobacco products were included in military rations. After the war, manufacturers began advertising cigarette smoking as glamorous, and the rest, as they say is history (Wikipedia).

When manufacturers recognized the marketability of the cigarette, they became interested in learning how to get more people to smoke. Advertising was one way. The other way was to include additives that made cigarette smoking less harsh, more tasty...and more addictive. Today, there are over 599 known additives in cigarettes that have been approved by the United States (U.S.) Government. What most people don't know is that while some of these additives are safe and can be found in everyday foods, others are extremely dangerous when ingested and when burned, these additives produce chemical compounds that are toxic.

Some of the additives included in cigarettes are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, formaldehyde and hydrazine, among others. These harsh chemicals have no natural place in a human body, and even to a layman, it is obvious that these products would be harmful when ingested. Carbon monoxide, for example, a poisonous gas found in car exhaust smoke, when inhaled, can cause fatigue, nausea, disorientation and chest pains. Hydrogen cyanide is used to make fibers, plastics, dyes, pesticides and under the name of Zyklon B, was used as a genocidal agent in World War I. Ammonia is a household cleaner which causes skin, eye, nose, throat and lung irritation. Formaldehyde is used to manufacture building materials and to preserve dead bodies. It causes watery eyes, burning of the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, wheezing and skin irritation. Together with the other additives in a cigarette, each time a smoker lights up and inhales, they are inhaling a "cocktail" of carcinogens, creating a multitude of illnesses in their bodies and speeding up death. At the same time, because the physiological and psychological rewards are so immediate, most smokers, after just one cigarette, are on their way to addiction. Nowadays, cigarettes can be found pretty much everywhere, at neighborhood grocery stores, gas stations, street vendors and even on-line.

Seizing on the lucrative business of addiction, cigarette manufacturers produce approximately 5.5 trillion cigarettes globally each year. China, the United States, Russia, and Japan-the four largest producers-manufacture just over half of the world's supply. In 2004, China produced 1.79 trillion cigarettes, 32 percent of the global total. The United States produced 499 billion, 9 percent of the total. (

There are billions of dollars spent every year to target current smokers and recruit new ones. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), major manufacturers like China National Tobacco Company (China), Altria Group, Inc., (previously Phillip Morris Companies) (USA), British American Tobacco PLC (UK), Japan Tobacco (Japan), R J. Reynolds Tobacco (USA), Reemtsman (Germany), Altadis (France and Spain), among others, spend a lot of money to market tobacco. The United States alone spends over $10 billion dollars. This includes promotional funds to retailers to expedite the sales.

This marketing is targeted at adults and youth alike, particularly preying on the naiveté', rebelliousness, experimentive nature of young adults. Cigarette brands like Virginia Slims and Capri's designs appeal to young women, wanting to look more mature, feminine or sexy; and the Joe Camel and the Marlboro man entice young boys who want to look cool, tough and grown up. Cigarette manufacturers went so far as to give cigarettes names that would appeal to younger people. After public outcry from advocacy groups, this year, J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., in particular, agreed to stop using candy, fruit and alcohol names for flavored cigarettes that might appeal to children, The company was using names such as Twista Lime", "Warm Winter Toffee" and "Winter MochaMint.

In the 21st century, the marketing efforts to target youth has evidently stepped up, showing the tenacity of the tobacco manufacturers in retaining what could be their most loyal customers, in spite of over 40 years of opposition from both public and private segments. In the late 1960's, attempts to curb adolescent exposure to cigarette advertising began with the banning of television and radio ads. [However]...the proportion of high school students who smoked rose from 27.5 percent in 1991 to a peak of 36.4 percent in 1997 before drifting back to 28.0 percent in 2000). This increase...was among the factors that prompted a reexamination of regulatory policy, culminating in the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), signed by tobacco manufacturers and forty-six states' attorneys general, prohibits tobacco manufacturers from taking "any action, directly or indirectly, to target Youth within any Settling State in the advertising, promotion or marketing of Tobacco Products." As a blanket youth-targeting ban, this provision applies to all types of advertising, including transit ads, billboards, and magazines (Healthaffairs). Today, in most countries, there are age limit restrictions on the purchase of cigarettes by youth.

As awareness of the health-related disadvantages of smoking and other tobacco products came to the forefront of public consciousness, the public has seen more airing of advertisements, public service announcements, smoking education awareness campaigns, lobbying for smoke free movies and the passing of no-smoking laws in certain building, states and even countries. In countries across the world, like Armenia, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Cuba, France, India, Lithuania, Malaysia, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and Turkey, smoking is banned in certain public places or workplaces. As always, the cigarette manufacturers are trying to find ways to use even the advertising for non-smoking to their advantage, with large cigarette vendors hiring public relations firms to help them create soft marketing, "non-smoking" ads that would draw in more smokers.

In addition, in order to counter the loss in profits from the bans against smoking and public outcry in the 1980's in the United States and other countries, more aggressive marketing is done on the continents of Asia and Africa, where cigarettes are marketed in television, radio and print advertising, at schools, sports and music events, and even more subtly, in the form of sponsorship at charitable events. Still, there are thousands of organizations working to ban smoking, educate youth and adults about smoking and health related issues, like lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease among other diseases.

What Lung Cancer Does To Your Body
While all the advertising inundates the public with images of how "sexy" smoking is supposed to be, what they don't show is the ugly side of smoking, how it stains, erodes and damages your teeth, taste buds, throat, esophagus, lungs and inevitably, threatens your life. Granted, not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer and dies; however, it is proven that cigarettes do contribute to lung cancer.

Lung cancer occurs when cells start to grow uncontrollably in a random fashion, causing tumors in the bronchial tubes, mucous glands, and near the air sacs and surface of the lungs. These tumors grow rapidly into larger tumors and can eventually spread throughout the body and into the chest, bones, spine or other organs. The more rampant the cancer in a body, the higher chance one has of multiple tumors, organ failure; and, a lesser chance for survival.

Lung Cancer Prevention/Detection/Screening/Treatment
One can take several steps to prevent the occurrence of lung cancer. First, if you are a non-smoker, promise yourself that you will never pick up a cigarette. Secondly, avoid inhaling second-hand smoke. Also, since lung cancer can also be caused by toxins in the environment, like radon gas and asbestos, it is important to be aware of their existence, and to avoid exposure.

For people who have a history of lung cancer in their families, lung cancer can be detected by screening via x-rays, CT scans, biopsies, testing of coughed up mucus, and blood tests. Lung cancer, in its early stages has no noticeable symptoms; however, as it progresses, lumps, coughing, blood-stained phlegm, breathlessness, chest pain, recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis, weight loss and fatigue can occur.

According to, there is currently no approved screening test for lung cancer that has been proven to improve survival or detect localized disease. However, there are many studies under way to find an appropriate screening tool. If detected early, lung cancer can be treated, depending on the type and extent of the cancer. In instances where the cancer is localized in the lung, surgery can remove the tumors. When the cancer has spread beyond the chest, chemotherapy and radiation are used as treatment. Some patients can even elect to have lung transplants, where the diseased lung is replaced by a healthy one.

For those trying to quit, the good news is that there are a myriad of resources, nationally and internationally, to help people quit. International agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have extensive data and resources on their websites to educate the public about the dangers of smoking. In 1998, WHO established the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), which is dedicated to framing global tobacco policy and focusing international resources on the global tobacco epidemic.

The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and are among the many organizations that provide information, education and resources to help smokers quit. There are telephone, on-line, group and one-on-one support groups, government and community funded that provide counseling. Some people use and therapy, various medications, including the patch, hypnosis and nicotine pills to assist them in quitting.

One of the most important factors in quitting and sticking to it is having a strong support system. If you are trying to quit or help someone to quit, keep in mind that cigarette smoking is extremely addictive and that people trying to quit can experience anxiety, depression and irritability, as they crave the nicotine their body has become accustomed to ingesting. Because of how addictive nicotine is, some people give up quitting or experience relapses in smoking after only a short time. Thus, it is very important to get lots of support from family and friends, since they can provide reminders of the benefits to quitting.

Other Risks
Besides the risk of getting lung cancer, there are a multitude other health related illnesses that can develop due to smoking, including heart attack and stroke, blood pressure, respiratory diseases, cancer in other parts of the body and cardiovascular diseases. People who smoke also put others around them at risk. Women who smoke give birth to babies with lower birth rates, children of parents who smoke can develop respiratory illnesses and people who inhale second-hand smoke have a higher risk of developing lung cancer or other smoking-related disease. (National Cancer Institute).

Then, there is the economic downside to smoking. According to, tobacco creates "...hugely increased healthcare costs...diversion of agricultural land that could grow food, the costs of fires and damage to buildings caused by careless smokers, the resulting increase in insurance premiums, employee absenteeism, decrease in worker productivity...widespread environmental costs due to large-scale deforestation...pollution, and the millions of discarded butts and cigarette packaging that litter streets and waterways ("

In the USA, between 1997 and 2001, tobacco smoking resulted in $92 billion of annual productivity losses; worldwide, smoking accounted for 10% of fire deaths, the total [number of people] killed by fires caused by smoking [was] 300,000 and the total cost of fires caused by smoking was $27 billion. In 2003, cigarette litter accounted for 34% of the trash collected along the world's coasts; every year, children start 1,000,000 fires using lighters, and as of 2005, the economic costs to the economy healthcare included was upwards of $300 billion dollars (

Benefits of Not Smoking
On the upside, there are a myriad of benefits to quitting smoking. You can prevent health related illnesses like emphysema, heart disease and lung cancer by never smoking or quitting smoking as soon as possible. Quitting as soon as possible can improve the quality and longevity of your life. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are almost instant health improvements when a person quits smoking. "Within just a few days of quitting, a person's sense of taste and smell return, and breathing becomes easier; blood pressure, which becomes elevated while smoking, begins to return to normal. Research has shown that people who stop smoking before the age of 35 reduce their risk of developing a tobacco-related disease by 90%, but older smokers can also benefit greatly from quitting. Even smokers who quit after being diagnosed with a smoking-related illness reduce their risk of medical complications and of dying from a tobacco-related disease".

The key thing that I want to leave with you is this. Your life is in your hands - literally. You are in control. Smoking, as addictive as it may be, is a choice. Every time a smoker lights up a cigarette and inhales, that individual is making a conscious decision to harm his/her body; and every time the smoker exhales the cigarette smoke, he/she is harming others and the environment.

By Maimah Karmo

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