Medical and Health Information Videos Tips

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What are the warning signs for developing Diabetes?

Diabetes Warning Signs

It is important to be aware of the warning signs of developing diabetes. Often someone may go several years without realizing they have the disease, putting them at higher risk for organ damage.

Type 1 warning signs:

  • Excessive thirst
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Excessive urination
  • Fatigue
Type 2 warning signs:

  • Weight gain
  • Irregular menstrual cycles for women
  • Vaginal infections
  • Wounds not healing as quickly as they should.
An important danger to be aware of is the fact that Diabetes symptoms do not always present themselves. It is possible to misinterpret the symptoms as the flu or another illness, but there may be none at all. This is why it is important to both be aware of your family medical history and see your doctor regularly each year.

What is chemotherapy?

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a treatment that attaches to and kills cancer microbes and tumor cells. It has been in use since the early 1950s and can be administered via the mouth or the veins through an IV.

A common myth is that chemotherapy administered through the mouth is less potent. But it is exactly that … a myth.

While there are several different types of chemotherapy, the three main ones are

  1. Alkylating Agents
  2. Topo Isomerase Inhibitors
  3. Anti-Metabolites
Most types of chemotherapy interrupt cancer cells replicating in order to stop the spread of the disease. This also leads to one of the more common side effects a patient experiences, which is hair loss.

The treatment attacks rapidly dividing cells. One of the most rapidly dividing cells, other than cancer, are hair cells. While the therapy is targeting the cancer cells, others may be affected. There are, however, some chemotherapy types that do not result in hair loss.

Some symptoms of cancer are very similar to side effects of chemotherapy, so it may be difficult to see results in the early stages following treatment.

What lifestyle elements contribute to cancer?

The Link Between Lifestyle & Cancer

In the past 20 years a direct link between smoking and cancer has been exposed. We know that smoking can lead to more than 15 different types of cancer. But what about other parts of our lifestyle? How about drinking alcohol? The food we eat?

Let's start with alcohol. People often notice a very warm or even burning sensation when they drink liquor. That is because it is actually an irritant. Alcohol can irritate/inflame the mouth, throat and stomach lining.

While not a direct cause, heavy drinking can damage parts of the body and make them more susceptible to developing cancer. Alcohol can cause liver disease and cirrhosis, which increases the chances of developing cancer in these areas.

Now, in the case of diet, there is no food that has been proven to cause cancer, but obesity can be a dangerous contributor. There is no direct cause-and-effect link between obesity and cancer, but there is a growing trend of obese people developing cancer. By not properly taking care of the body, it becomes more vulnerable to other diseases.

Your daily lifestyle dictates your health and should be taken seriously. It is just as important in a healthy person as it is in a Stage 4 cancer patient. The good news is that there are plenty of enjoyable ways to take care of your body and stay healthy. You just have to be committed to them.

What is radiation therapy?

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy is mostly, though not always, used post-operatively to prevent recurrence of the cancer. It is a localized therapy, likened to a flashlight beam. As opposed to other treatments which run their course throughout the entire body, radiation therapy focuses on one target area.

Whatever the flashlight beam is trained on will be illuminated. Radiation therapy follows the same principle. This tends to limit the side effects to the area targeted for treatment, rather than the entire body.

This treatment can be combined with other types of treatments, including chemotherapy, hormone therapy and surgery. It is also often used to treat patients for pain with more advanced conditions, like stage 4 cancer.

Side effects of this form of treatment include fatigue, hair loss, digestive problems, dry mouth, irritated skin and muscle soreness. This is why stretching and physical therapy is very important following radiation therapy. It helps to counter the soreness and make the patient more comfortable and recover from the treatment faster.

What are the stages of cancer?

Stages of Cancer

The stage of cancer when found in the human body is how a doctor determines type and length of treatment for a patient. Your average person on the street does not know what the different stages mean. Most people just assume the higher the number, the more advanced the cancer is. They do not know much more than that.

Stage 1 means that the cancer is confined to the organ in which it was originally found. Detecting cancer during this stage provides the best chances of beating it.

Stage 2 still means that the cancer is localized to the area it was originally found in. However, in Stage 2 the tumors are larger than in Stage 1.

Stage 3 is the point at which the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes surrounding the initial area.

Stage 4 cancer, the most advanced stage, is when the cancer has spread to other organs in the body, usually through the blood stream.

It is important to remember that treatments may still be effective beyond the initial stages and a positive mindset is essential in complementing treatment. As technology advances we become more and more successful at combating cancer in the later stages, so having family and friends surround a loved one who has cancer is important in reassuring them of this.

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