20 articles Tag cancer

Making Checking for Breast Lumps Easier

A few years ago, I thought I had found a lump in my breast. Well, it was more in my armpit actually and it scared the heck out of me. I’d been to the doctors before about what I thought were lumps and the doctors had always examined me and sent me on my way with a “it’s nothing to worry about, some women just have lumpier boobs than others”, but this felt different. It was hard and pea-sized and felt tender to the touch. I obsessed over it for days before finally taking the plunge, and the doctor obviously thought it was enough of something to be concerned about and sent me to the breast clinic at the hospital. After a thorough exam and an ultrasound of the area, the specialists came to the conclusion that it was just a cyst and nothing to worry about, but it has prompted me to be even more on-the-ball when it comes to self-checks.

Just recently, Husband and I were reading an article in a paper which showed all of the signs to look out for and although I thought my knowledge was on-point, there were still a couple of things that I hadn’t known to look for. Breastlight is an incredible new product to hit the market which actually allows women to look through their breast tissue to see any potential anomalies, and it’s something in which I’m seriously considering an investment. Watch the video below for more information:

Making a breast-check part of your routine could make a massive difference to the detection of any lumps which may be cancerous, and the results speak for themselves:

Breastlight Was well received and Understood
  • 78% of women said Breastlight was easy to use
  • Breastlight was clearly seen by women (over 99%) as  an addition to their current breast awareness & screening routines rather than a substitute
Breastlight encouraged more frequent breast awareness
  • After using Breastlight, regular checkers (once a month and more) increased from 44% to 76%
  • After using Breastlight, less frequent and non – checkers decreased fom 34% to 8%
Breastlight improved women’s confidence in self checking
  • 80% were more confident after using Breastlight
 Breastlight was particularly valued by certain groups
  • Women 30 – 49 who are not having regular mammograms
  • Women with lumpy breasts
  • Women with large breasts
Of the 1087 women, 14 (1.3%) consulted a GP because they were concerned

Of these, three have had mammograms and one was subsequently diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. She has had an operation and is recovering well.

The outcome of the mammograms for the two other women is awaited.

Breast checks made easier with Breastlight

Would you consider using a Breastlight? Do you think this would help you to be more thorough in checking your own breasts? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear from you.

Four Conditions Which Medical Marijuana Can Help

medical marijuanaHere in the UK, medical marijuana is rarely prescribe, which is a terrible shame as it’s proving to be a hugely helpful drug for so many conditions. Cannabis clinics in Canada  are prescribing for more and more conditions and the explosion of marijuana as a medical treatment is having a knock-on effect on both crime rates AND contributing huge amounts to the economy. I’ve been doing some research myself recently about medical marijuana and was surprised by some of the conditions which can be treated using it, so I thought I’d give you a look at some of the many things that can be helped by cannabis:

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus can grow in other parts of the abdomen and even in other organs such as the lung and brain. As well as heavy bleeding and infertility, endometriosis causes chronic pain and muscle contractions, both of which can be helped by medical marijuana. Many opiates don’t have an effect on endometriosis pain, but cannabis has been hugely beneficial to sufferers, who’ve replaced strong pain killers entirely.

ADHD

Adult ADHD is a massively under-researched condition which is finally getting recognition and more diagnoses. The effects of marijuana on adhd can be truly profound and many sufferers prefer to use marijuana than conventional ADHD drugs as there are far fewer side effects. Marijuana can help with focus issues, sleep problems and some of the impulsiveness and tics which can be associated with ADHD.

Cancer

There has been masses of research done into the effects of marijuana on cancer, and despite the fact that it’s still rarely being used, it’s being shown to have huge effects on cancerous growths. As well as helping the cancer itself, cannabis can be used to help stimulate an appetite in patients who are being treated with chemotherapy, which in turn can help patients to avoid weight loss and loss of energy during treatment.

Epilepsy

According to a study which was conducted back in 2013, marijuana can reduce seizures in patients by up to 50%, which could potentially be a huge number of people who could be helped. Epilepsy can have a profound effect on a person’s life, so something as simple as cannabis as a treatment rather than expensive drugs which have negative side effects could change the lives of millions of people.

Do you have a chronic condition which could be helped by medical marijuana? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear about it.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel… Preventative Measures As We Age

We don’t like to discuss it because of all the anxiety that comes with it, but old age is something we’ve all got to face. And while there’s a lot more in the news about what you can do to prepare for the onset of things like Alzheimer’s or dementia, what are the real issues we can prepare for at any age? And in fact, it’s not even just issues that are related to old age, but the fact is that deterioration is something that happens to all of us. So what are the main concerns and what can we do about it?

Cancer

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It’s something that affects a lot more now in the modern world than it did decades ago but that’s not to say that modern living is the cause for us all running the risk of getting cancer. The risk of developing cancer does increase as we age. And the rates of skin cancer are through the roof now, especially in younger people, so that’s not to say that it is exclusively an age-related condition. Cancer is something that can have a profound impact on our lives, and while there is no one way to prevent it, as we’ve all seen that even young, seemingly healthy, individuals can get cancer at a young age. And a lot of people are now subscribing to the fact that cancer is down to an acidic body which a lot of people are dismissive of. The only thing we can all do to keep on top of this is to make sure we get regular check ups and listen to our body. Also if you feel that something isn’t right, especially on a superficial level, such as moles or lesions, that you have a concern about there are specialised organisations like SkinHealth UK who can screen you for tests. The amount of research into cancer is continually increasing, but the cliche is, of course, that we do our best to live healthy lives and cut down on stress. And this isn’t just a vital part of your life as you get older, but it’s something you can do right now, whatever your age.

Arthritis And Osteoporosis

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In many ways, two sides to the same coin. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability and affects half of the elderly population in the world. Preventing arthritis is all about doing regular and steady exercise rather than overdoing it at the weekend. A decrease in bone mass is a major contribution towards osteoporosis which can be prevented by avoiding specific triggers such as alcohol, smoking, and even drinks like soda, which will encourage your body to lose calcium. If you don’t have enough calcium in your diet, it is taken from our bones. Exercise is another way to increase bone mass, and there’s a lot of research in weight training as a way to increase bone density. But the trick is, especially if you are over 50, to build up your baseline level of fitness, which means you need to do just enough to feel the benefits, but also make sure that you rest adequately.

Hearing Loss And Vision Impairment

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One of the first things to go as we age, our vision can be affected by varying ailments such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Surprisingly smokers are at a higher risk for macular degeneration, and it’s a habit that needs to be stubbed out as soon as possible. Again regular check ups will be the key to preventing something like glaucoma, because if you lose your vision due to that, you can’t get it back. Hearing loss is a major issue for people as they get older and it doesn’t just impact the quality of life, but it can be seen as a contributing factor towards depression and withdrawing from social activities. And while there are solutions for coping with hearing loss such as hearing aids, only one in four people use them. Lifestyle is a big contributor to hearing loss, especially if you go to loud concerts and use earphones that go directly into your ear canal.

Depression And Anxiety

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Naturally, as we become concerned about our mortality issues, anxiety and depression can rear their ugly heads and can cause us to feel disconnected from our loved ones. Depression is such an overarching condition, but research is showing that the one thing that will help with managing the symptoms of depression is a social life, however little it may be. Feeling withdrawn can compound itself, so if you can find a way to interact with people, this will be a big help. For a lot of people, depression arises as a side effect of retiring. Many people find their sense of self-worth is tied up into their work and so feeling without purpose has led to an increase in suicide rates. To combat this feeling of uselessness, it’s vital that you stay connected to whoever is around you. As we age, we think of more about the parents or grandparents we have lost, but with the children and grandchildren that come along, it is a new lease of life. Ultimately it’s about finding what makes you happy and gives you a sense of purpose in life, which is something we all tend to lose track of because we are dwelling on the more negative parts of aging.

These are the most fundamental parts of getting older. We are all susceptible to more disease, mental health problems, as well as losing our faculties. Prevention is always better than cure as we age, but if we can enter into old age with an open mindset rather than a negative one, this will prepare us more for the challenges that lie ahead. They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but also our twilight years can be a waste if we don’t use them properly. Whatever your age, you can start now to think about putting the lifestyle practices in place that will help you to enjoy your old age and make the most of your time on this earth. So, do the things you’ve always wanted to do, while you can!

When Cancer Strikes: Helping Kids Cope When Someone in Your Family Gets Sick

It can be difficult for kids to fully understand or handle the situation when someone in the family is sick and needs medical help to try and help them recover.

Unfortunately, cancer visits many families and aside from the emotional trauma of contending with such a serious condition, there is also the prospect of endless visits to the hospital and the need to help provide some peace and quiet, all of which can be difficult for kids to cope with.

Here is a look at some ways to help kids deal with someone in their family getting sick. There is an overview of how to talk to your kids about the situation, making allowances for their age and expected emotional reactions, plus some tips on getting support outside of the family network.

We need to talk

There are many distressing and difficult scenarios that you might have to contend with when a close relative is diagnosed with cancer, and one of those challenges is what to say to the children and when to have that conversation with them.

Rather than just come right out with it at some unplanned opportunity, it is often a much better idea to plan what you intend to say to your kids in advance.

Working through the conversation in your mind and even discussing how to relay such traumatic information to a child with a health professional who understands the situation, can help you to deliver the news in the best way possible, considering the circumstances.

Keep it simple

The age of your children will obviously make a difference to how you talk to them about cancer and what is happening with a loved one, but the general suggestion is always to use simple language and give them ample opportunity to absorb the information.

It is often the case that you will need to repeat what you are saying several times and be prepared to answer any questions they come up with during the conversation.

Emotional reaction

Children will normally experience slightly different emotional reactions and school age children who have yet to hit their teens, are sometimes likely to experience feelings of guilt if it is one of their parents who is sick.

You will have to work on reassuring them that clearly, they bear no responsibility for what is happening.

 Teenagers are more likely to experience some noticeable emotional highs and lows, which means that they can display moments of anger, sadness, and anxiety, as well as feeling depressed about the situation at certain points.

It is worth mentioning the mandala coloring app by Apalon Apps which is an adult coloring book to help reduce stress. Suggest downloading apps like this that encourage mindfulness, as it could be a useful tool they could relate to when they are struggling with their emotions.

Keep their school in the loop

Dealing with cancer in the family is a deeply personal situation but it is important that if you have a child at school who is trying to cope with this problem at home, they know what is going on.

Their school can often be very helpful and understanding as they will be aware of how a family crisis can affect a child. They can make allowances for their performance and behavior, plus offer some extra support as and when they need it.

It is never going to be easy coping with cancer, but there are things you can do to help your kids cope with the situation as well as they can be expected to.

Sophie Horton is a whizz when it comes to keeping kids occupied. She is Auntie to 5 kids who range in age from 1 to 15. Her articles discuss looking after kids when they are away from home and keeping everyone happy.

Winning the War on Cancer and Compensation Claims

cancerIt’s a battle to beat cancer, but medical misdiagnosis claims may be necessary when there are unacceptable delays or outright faulty diagnoses that can leave you worse off

Great strides are being made in the seemingly endless war on cancer, with more people than ever living long and healthy lives after being diagnosed. Across the UK, 2.5 million people are living with cancer, according to the most recent statistics. But medical advances mean people are now living for up to ten years or more after diagnosis, compared to just one year several decades ago.

So it’s true to say that cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was, but it’s equally true that there has been no let-up in the UK in medical misdiagnosis claims. It is also the case, however, that treatments and therapies alone are not the only aspects of driving cancer cells into remission and hopefully banishing them from the body entirely.

Early diagnosis of any particular cancer — and there are more than 100 of them that can afflict the human body — is the first critical step in attempting to cure someone of this feared disease that afflicts people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. A cancer that has metastasised from the breast to the lymph nodes and perhaps the lungs, for example, will unfortunately be almost impossible to treat. It is just too late.

Cancer and Medical Misdiagnosis Claims

Delays or failures by GPs to make referrals have become one of the main reasons for late diagnoses of various types of aggressive cancer, as well as those that are just not identified at all. This is what has given rise in recent times to many affected people instructing medical negligence solicitors to take their case to court, in order to obtain financial compensation for what has happened.

Even after a patient has eventually been referred by a GP to an oncologist, to further investigate a suspicious lump that could be a malignant cancer, or a set of results, a whole array of potential difficulties awaits in determining what is actually wrong. Much of it can be due to human error, or mechanical, or a combination of the two.

Medical misdiagnosis claims can be based on anything from biopsies to any number of scans that were not carried out correctly, or were not properly read. The key to a successful claims case is being able to prove that the medical institution was at fault, but that’s not always easy. That’s why it’s essential to take on medical negligence solicitors who are highly experienced in this area. Leaving it to chance, with a solicitor who has little or no medical misdiagnosis claims knowledge or experience, is a gamble you just do not want to take.

Cancer Diagnosis Horror Stories

There is probably only one thing that’s worse than being told you have cancer. That’s being diagnosed with cancer and going through the many gruelling treatments and therapies — chemotherapy, radiation and more, including the promising new proton therapy — only to discover you never had it in the first place. It really is the stuff of nightmares and it happens far too often in the UK.

Additionally, many patients are diagnosed with a type of cancer that calls for a specific treatment to battle it, but it later turns out that they had a different kind of cancer that required a different treatment plan to cure it. These all too real scenarios are devastating, but the law is on your side to claim compensation so you can get a financial payout — and hopefully get on with your life.

Top medical negligence solicitors will be able to get cancer patients who have suffered as a result of a late diagnosis, or one that was not identified at all, a range of possible payments. This includes money to pay for anything from loss of earnings to hefty medical bills, rehabilitation and more. As many of these solicitors now work on a No Win, No Fee basis, it means you don’t have to worry about coming up with large sums of cash from the outset to get your case started.

Cancer is not easy, but getting compensated for medical misdiagnosis claims needn’t be a battle.

6 Simple Self-Checks for the Men in Your Lives #movember

Sponsored by Discount Supplements discount code

Cancer. It’s a horrible subject that no-one likes to talk about and from a personal point of view, it’s something which has caused great sadness in both mine and Husband’s immediate families. The thing is though, it’s one of those subjects which, scary as it is, NEEDS to be talked about because awareness is one of the biggest steps towards prevention. Breast cancer is now more treatable than ever because women are so on-the-ball when it comes to knowing the signs, and the same can be said for many of the male cancers, such as testicular cancer.

Prostate cancer is THE single most common male cancer to be diagnosed within the UK but sadly still accounts for 13% of male deaths, which is a huge number of men succumbing to the disease. There are six key signs of prostate cancer and all men should be aware of these. The lovely folk at Discount Supplements have come up with a simple infographic illustrating the six signs, which you can see below:

Cancer Infographic

Whether you’re a lover of moustaches or not, there’s absolutely NO doubt that Movember has created massive awareness of male cancers; when it started back in 2003, there were just 30 participants and it’s now estimated that 5 million men grow a muzzy for Movember each year, which is an absolutely epic number. Obviously, raising money for Movember is important too, and for those of us unable to grow a top-lip-warmer, there’s also MOVE, a chance for people to move more and raise money for essential research and treatment of male cancers. If you want to get involved and take the MOVE challenge, take a look at their site HERE.

Are you a Movember devotee who grows a moustache every year? Is your partner a participant? Have you experienced a positive effect of the increase in awareness? We’d love to hear from you so please leave us a comment below.

Sponsored Video: The Tweeting Bra

I love a good bit of technology, especially one that makes my life a bit easier, which is why when Nestle Fitness got in touch and asked me to write about their tweeting bra, I was well and truly intrigued! A built-in low voltage Bluetooth unit is installed within the hook of the Tweeting Bra. Each time Greek celebrity Maria Bakodimou unhooks the bra, a signal is sent to the phone with the designated @TweetingBra account and a tweet is posted to remind their followers about the monthly self-exam.

As a woman, I try to remember to self-check my breasts as often as possible, but it’s definitely something that I should do more often, and I know I’m not alone in that, so I’m sure there are millions of women who could do with a reminder – which equates to thousands of women who could be saved by catching breast cancer in its earliest stages.

A couple of years after Sausage was born, I had a lump in my boob myself. I thought I’d go to the G.P. and they’d tell me it was nothing, but they were concerned about what they felt and referred me to the breast unit at my local hospital. Mercifully, the appointment came through quickly so I didn’t have to wait for too long and after being seen by a consultant they decided that the lump was nothing to worry about. Lumps can be caused by hormonal changes, which is what they concluded had caused mine, but getting it checked AS SOON as you spot it is absolutely vital.

Cancer is never the easiest topic to talk about – if I’m honest, I don’t even like saying or typing the word, but the more we face up to the dangers, the more chance we have of beating it.

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Some facts you may not have known about breast cancer:

+ Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year – of these about 400 are men (source: breastcancercare.org.uk)
+ Around 50,000 women and 400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year
+ One woman in eight will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Women diagnosed with breast cancer are now twice as likely to survive the disease for at least ten years than those diagnosed forty years ago.
+ More people are surviving breast cancer than ever before
+ Over 80% of women with breast cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis
+ 40 years ago, the five year survival rate for breast cancer was around 50 per cent
+ People are surviving longer thanks to advances in research, new treatments, earlier diagnosis, breast screening and breast cancer awareness.

If you’d like to learn more about the Tweeting Bra, go to the Tweeting Bra Website, or follow on Twitter to get reminders straight to your timeline, and get involved using the #tweetingbra hashtag.

Post sponsored by Nestlé Fitness

How Poor SEO Approaches Can Damage a Brand and the Implication if That “Brand” is a Leading Cancer Charity

I don’t want this blog to turn into a long list of posts where I moan about SEOs, but I had an approach yesterday that had me bashing my head against a wall.

It started well –

“Hope you’re well. I just wanted to get in touch to ask about your policy on guest posting on Mum’s the Word. I’m working with Cancer Research UK, to build awareness of the breast cancer help and resources offered on their site. We’re doing this chiefly by putting together some informative articles on related topics and working with bloggers like yourself to publish them on selected sites around the web, and I was wondering if you’d be open to running such a post?”

Then took a rapid turn for the worse –

“I do appreciate that it’s a difficult topic, and that it’s not the sort of subject matter that you’ve typically covered on Mum’s the Word, but it’d be great to work with you on this if you would be willing to consider publishing the piece.”

See, if this SEO guy had done even a modicum of research then he’d have realised that this is EXACTLY the sort of post I publish on my blog, in fact I already have several on this very topic.

If he’d used the tiniest amount of initiative or imagination, he might’ve typed the word ‘cancer’ into the very simple and prominently placed search bar at the side of the page and come up with no less than a dozen posts around the subject.

If he’d thought to engage his, no doubt, elite search skills he’d have realised that in 2011, my Stepmum lost her battle with cancer and I spent a long time trying to get my head around it, trying to work out how to process it, how to guide my infant daughter through it all and how to get our lives back on track afterwards. He’d have seen that I now run Race for Life every year in Lorraine’s memory and that I do as much for Cancer Research as I can.

This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with poor marketing from this particular charity and I can’t help but wonder who makes the decisions regarding their marketing budget, given that they’re using aggressive telephone sales people and insensitive SEOs.

The sad part is, (as my friend Ruth mentioned after I shared with some blogger friends how sad I was about all of this) if they were to be a bit more sensible and use what would probably equate to a minute portion  of their marketing budget to employ bloggers to help them with their blogger outreach programme I’m 100% certain that they’d be a lot more successful and would circumvent the very real risk of alienating a lot of people.

As I pointed out in my reply to this person, just off of the top of my head I know one blogger who’s child is battling leukemia, one who’s Mum has beaten breast cancer and several others who lost friends or family to this horrible disease and I hope to goodness he hasn’t used the same approach with them that he did with me.

Over to you, Cancer Research

(I’m including follow links to the Cancer Research page in this post. Despite me criticising their approach, I think they’re a great charity and support them wholeheartedly)

Silent Sunday

Race for Life

Today is the day. I’ve spent weeks badgering friends and family, posting on Twitter and Facebook, generally shaking my virtual collection box in the direction of anyone who’ll listen. My aim was to raise £200 and at last count my total was sitting at £205. I know I have a few more sponsors to collect too, so I’ve well and truly smashed my total. All I can say is thanks. If you know me and what my family has been through in the last few years, you know how much this means to all of us.

I know £205 isn’t much, in the grand scheme of things, but it could help to make all the difference. To help find a cure for this horrible disease and stop people from suffering and dying unnecessarily. What I’m doing is nothing, a minor blip on cancers radar. But I’ll put on my trainers and my pink vest and hope that by walking a few miles in the Sunday morning sunshine, I’m doing something to help.

Denice, Rob, Grandad, Lorraine. This is for them.

There’s still time to sponsor me, just go to http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/jaynecrammond