February: Lymphoma Awareness/National Cancer Prevention Month

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. I’d like to keep this simple. There are many resources available in print and online that you can visit to learn about cancer.

What is Cancer: Cancer is a normal cell that becomes abnormal and grows out of control. It then disrupts a tissue, organ and ultimately organ systems.

What causes Cancer?: Many substances outside of the body, but in many cases the cause is not known. Known cancer causing agent are in gasoline,smoke from house fires, cigarette smoke, pesticides, herbicides, viruses and medications.

How can you prevent Cancer?: It is NOT possible to avoid all possible agent that can cause cancer. You should limit your exposures to known cancer causing agents (carcinogens).  Here is a list of some preventive measures one can take:

1. Gasoline contains Benzene known carcinogen.  Don’t smell it, don’t breathe it in.Don’t let your children put gas in your car or lawn mower.

2. Don’t Smoke, if you do, don’t smoke around your children in cars or their living spaces.

3. Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation if you drink.

4. If you have sex, protect yourself.  Sexually transmitted Viruses can cause CANCER!

5. Read your labels on substances you put in or on your body.

6. Check the report of your public water supply.  It is available to the public. Have your well water tested.

7. If you grow vegetables at your home, find out what was on your property before your house was built.

Cancer screening is vital. Check with your physician, clinician, community care center and health department to see what cancer screening are available to you at little to no cost.  Some of the common screenings are for Cervical, Prostate, Lung, Breast, Colon and Oral Cancers. Physical examinations can check for Lymphomas, Breast, Testicular, Prostate, Ovarian and Skin Cancers.  Prevention and early detection is not only less costly, but could increases your chance for a cure or long term survival.

Do not ignore unusual pain, changes in bowel or bladder habits, prolong coughs, changes in speech, chronic hoarseness, changes in moles or warts, difficulty swallowing, changes in breast (male or female), itching, night sweats, unexplained fevers!!!

ALL cancers may affect LYMPH NODES in your body!  Knowledge is POWER!Image

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Peanut and Pumpkin’s Smile for Dora’s Lymphoma Smile Project!

Peanut and Pumpkin's Smile for Dora's Lymphoma Smile Project!

December is SMILE Awareness Month! Share a Smile, Share some knowledge about LYMPHOMA! Knowledge is Power!!!

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease that starts in our cells.  Our bodies are made up of million of cells, grouped together to form tissues and organs such as muscles and bones, the lungs and the liver.  Genes inside each cell order it to grow, work, reproduce and die.  Normally, our cells obey these orders and we remain healthy.

But sometimes the instructions in some cells get mixed up, causing them to behave abnormally.  These cells grow and divide uncontrollably.  After a while, groups of abnormal cells form lumps, or tumors.

Tumors can be either benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).  Benign tumor cells stay in ne place in the body and are not usually life-threatening.

Malignant tumors cells are able to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.  Cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body are called metastases.

The first sign that a malignant tumor has spread (metastasized) is often swelling of nearby lymph nodes, but cancer can spread to almost any part of the body.  It is important to find and treat malignant tumors as early as possible.  Cancers are named after the part o the body where they start.   For example Melanoma that starts in the skin but spreads to the liver is called Melanoma with liver metastases. (Melanoma: Understanding your diagnosis.  Canadian Cancer Society 2008)