Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith

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We knew we wanted to start each day with mimosas. We did a sunset cruise champagne boat tour. We went to gift shops and restaurants. We watched the chickens that just roam around Key West. We ate Key lime pie. We did anything we wanted to do! Even though she had wrapped up treatment before her Key West adventure, the radiation was still working in her body.

It takes all that away for a moment. It allows you to just be. The condo—located right on the water close to where the cruise ships dock and minutes from bustling Mallory Square —had a fully stocked kitchen and two comfortable bedrooms, each leading out to a spacious patio featuring chaise lounges, a grill, and a view of the pool. One afternoon, the duo sat for henna tattoos. Drawn by a former student, the tattoo features a flower surrounded by a breast cancer ribbon—a permanent reminder of beating cancer and taking the best trip so far of her life.

Creating lasting memories is one of the most important goals of the Karen Wellington Foundation KWF , which was founded in to celebrate its namesake, who passed away at the age of 40 after fighting breast cancer for a decade. Karen adored traveling with her husband, Kent, and two children, Robby and Angeline. Since its launch, the Cincinnati-based organization—which includes 11 chapters nationwide—has organized day outings and vacation getaways for hundreds of women with breast cancer, all aided by donors who give airline miles and time at condos like the one Brinkley stayed at in Key West.

KWF accepts nominations of women living in chapter cities and currently has a waiting list of more than names. I was so grateful for that. Not long after her own vacation, she had an opportunity to present a Key West trip to a woman named Linda, who would be staying at the same condo.

Jul 25th Partner Content. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Flipboard Email. Photo courtesy of Ann Brinkley. The luxury condo in Key West. Key West offers plenty of tours and cruises. Captain Ann steering the vessel. Toni and Ann on a boat tour. Meet the Author. AnnaMaria Stephens. Related Articles. Related Articles Latest Articles. Thankfully, cervical cancer is almost always preventable. Understanding more about HPV and cervical health, in general, can greatly help in the prevention of this kind of cancer.

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus womb that connects to the vagina birth canal. Human papillomaviruses HPVs are a group of more than related viruses. Over 40 HPV types can be easily passed between partners through sexual contact. Most of them are considered low-risk and do not cause cancer.

High-risk HPVs, on the other hand, may cause abnormal cervical cells or cancer.

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Thankfully, the majority of women infected with HPV will not develop cancer and most pre-cancerous cells will resolve on their own, often times, within one to two years. For some other women, however, pre-cancerous cells eventually turn into cancer. When symptoms do occur, they typically include unusual vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding, and pain during intercourse. Cervical cancer can be found early and even prevented with routine screening tests. Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This is primarily due to women undergoing routine cervical cancer screening Pap tests , which helps detect cervical abnormalities and allow for early treatment.

There are certain guidelines regarding cervical cancer screenings set in place by The American Cancer Society, which include:. However, the consistent and correct use of male latex condoms has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer. For most adults, abstinence from sexual contact is not a realistic option. Therefore, if you do choose to have sex, consider limiting the number of partners you have to reduce potential exposure to HPV. Additionally, it is a good idea to choose a partner who has had limited partners as well. The fewer partners either of you has had, the lower the risk will be of contracting or spreading HPV.

These vaccines have been designed to provide protection against new HPV infections. If you have had one of these HPV vaccines, it is still recommended that you follow the Pap test screening guidelines. Many of these are recommended only at certain ages. You can take action to protect yourself from HPV.

Remember, you can take action to protect yourself from HPV and cervical cancer. The best thing you can do is stay informed and work toward making good lifestyle decisions that can help reduce your risk.

Game of Thrones, cancer and me…

When detected early, treatment for cervical cancer can be successful! Some cancer patients face hair loss , also known as alopecia, as a result of cancer treatment. Most cancer patients see hair re-growth begin shortly after they are finished with treatment. Until that time, however, many people turn to head coverings such as scarves and wigs to help them cope during this transition. Initially, the thought of wearing a wig may seem worrisome. There may be some concerns about how it will look to others, how it will feel, and how much it will cost.

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The encouraging news is many wigs look very natural and offer some unexpected benefits, which may include:. Choosing the right wig can be overwhelming. Most cancer patients want to find one that appears natural-looking, fits well, feels comfortable, and is affordable. Below are some tips that may help make your experience a little easier.

It is a good idea to purchase your wig before your cancer treatments begin. Not only does this make it easier to find a wig that better matches your current hair color and style, but it also allows you to be better prepared for hair loss once it happens. You may want to talk to your doctor before you make your purchase. If there is a high probability that you will lose your hair, ask your oncologist to write a prescription for a cranial prosthesis rather than a wig to claim insurance benefits. Wigs needed for medical purposes are often partially or fully covered by health insurance.

After you make your purchase, you may want to make an appointment with your hairstylist. Some patients choose to get themselves ready by cutting their hair short. Some patients also choose to have their wigs trimmed and styled for their faces. Cancer patients have two choices when it comes to choosing a wig: human hair or synthetic hair. Natural hair wigs are created from harvested human hair, which means they will look, feel, and act just like your own hair. Synthetic wigs are created from man-made fibers and are designed to mimic the overall appearance and feel of real hair.

Many times, wig buyers think that human hair wigs are better than synthetic ones. This, however, is a misconception. In fact, it is often hard to tell the difference between the two when the synthetic wig is high quality. One perk of human hair wigs is that they can be colored, permed, and styled just like your own hair. Because of this, however, they are more expensive and often require much more maintenance. Synthetic wigs, on the other hand, are much easier to care for and are typically a lot more budget-friendly. To help make the decision process easier, it is a good idea to visit a store that specializes in wigs.

Since most wig stores have experience in dealing with cancer patients and hair loss, they will likely be able to provide advice and assist you in making sure your wig is both comfortable and well-fitting. Depending on where you live, you may or may not have a wig shop nearby. The following companies specialize in or offer cancer patients wigs for chemotherapy:. These organizations include:. Remember, the choice of whether to wear a wig is up to you. A wig should not make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious. If you have more questions, you can always discuss them with your health care provider.

Categories: Cancer Treatment Side Effects. How long will it take? How do I tell my family? What do I share, if anything, at work? What do I do about side effects? How am I going to pay for all these medications? How can someone like Sherri, someone newly diagnosed with cancer, find answers, and empower herself to not just cope but find support, learn to communicate with her doctors and her loved ones, move forward on this unexpected new journey, and even thrive? Sherri took these questions and not only found answers for her own journey but answers she could share, through a non-profit program called Bag It.

She describes the detail she received as incorporating two pieces of paper and a drawing, maybe a list of side effects. As a Kindergarten teacher who also worked in the behavioral health field, however, Sherri was no stranger to finding solutions to challenges. She added a three-ring binder to fill with questions and answers, and information and helpful resources relating to her cancer diagnosis and treatment. Sherri created that binder for herself and asked a lot of questions of her Arizona Oncology cancer doctor. Sherri asked so many questions that during her last appointment following her last treatment she stood up and unrolled a long ream of attached computer paper the type they used to have back in the day, with the holes punched in the sides and the green and white lines.

Once Sherri finished her treatment, she thought about all of the other cancer patients in her community going through a similar journey. She thought about her binder, a bag full of educational information, questions and answers, treatment details, and more. Sherri knew a lot of the educational information needed was out there, available from reputable sources like the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health NIH , and more.

She showed the information to doctors and the Southern Arizona Nursing Society. She showed it to cancer survivor groups and support groups. This is how she made the initial decisions of which information would be included in the binder and the bag. Then she spent two hours telling the office manager at the Arizona Oncology office that she had counted on for much of her treatment, why physicians distributing this free resource—these binders in a bag—could truly make a difference.

Doctors often encourage cancer patients to bring someone with them to their office visits, so they have a second person to hear treatment information.

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The Bag It binder could help both the patient and caregiver remember personal health and history details and treatment instructions, track test results, and keep support contacts. Arizona Oncology decided to give it a shot. The tears make sense. She and her team are very grateful for the support that keeps Bag It helping more and more patients across Arizona, and hopefully eventually across the nation.

It took 18 months to originally gather the materials for the binder, get reviews, and start a c 3 nonprofit organization. Donald J. Brooks, both of whom were founding members of Bag It and on the board for many years. When we meet people diagnosed with cancer, we learn so much about humanity and life — and ourselves. The Bag It program started in Tucson, with Arizona Oncology offices, soon moved to other, rural communities, and finally into Phoenix.

The binder information is also available in Spanish now. Distribution grew, but the information that was readily available before became more controlled and limited and had to be ordered. Printing costs came into play. The Bag It team needed help with funding. They had to change their model. They hold a fundraising hike in Tucson every November and a special fundraising event in Phoenix each spring. They encouraged the support of sponsors in the pharmaceutical and medical communities, and from community businesses.

The Beacon Group works with the Bag It team to assemble the bags and volunteers are ambassadors for the bags at local events. And they always keep in mind the Bag It purpose and look for ways to make it even more helpful to both patients and physicians. The Bag It team, led by Executive Director Mindy Griffith and Program Coordinator Joyce Palacek, recently put even more research behind improving and perfecting the binders to provide the best patient experience.

Once again, they talked to cancer survivors using the binders, doctors, and nurses. The results, seen in the Bag It bag and binder released just this month, are exciting. The bulk of the binder was slimmed down. Booklet information was condensed in some cases, to be more digestible for multiple audiences. Larger print makes the texts more readable. Vetted online resources are included. Binders are customizable by patients and their physicians. It is Mindy and the Bag It staff that have made this happen.

There are answers. There is support. There is power in knowledge. She also spends time with her grandchildren. Stay tuned for more to come. This is a common question among women who have recently gone through treatment for ovarian cancer —and rightfully so. While the thought of remission can bring a sense of relief, there are also concerns about what other challenges may lie ahead regarding lifestyle changes, fertility, and the possible chance of recurrence.

If you have recently finished ovarian cancer treatment it is important to remember to give yourself time to adjust to any physical and emotional changes you are going through. Eventually, ovarian cancer survivors re-establish a daily routine—and you will too, at your own pace.

As you do, here are some circumstances you may face after ovarian cancer treatment. Making good choices in order to stay healthy and feel your best should become a priority. Now is the time to focus on your health in ways you may not have considered in the past. This could mean eating better or getting more exercise. Maybe it means eliminating unhealthy vices like smoking and drinking too much alcohol.

Whatever it is, taking steps toward positive changes can have a positive effect for the rest of your life. Some cancer treatment can affect fertility, which can be additional stress to a premenopausal woman coping with cancer. If you only had one ovary removed, there is still a chance you could become pregnant, since the remaining ovary will continue to release eggs. Talking with your gynecologic oncologist can help determine the best time to try to get pregnant conceive after cancer treatment. Your ovarian cancer specialist can put you in contact with a counselor or provide you with a list of support groups that may help you during this difficult time.

The return of cancer is a very common concern for those who have completed ovarian cancer treatment. Many ovarian cancer survivors go on to lead full lives. Others, however, may be faced with chemotherapy treatments, off and on for years, to manage ovarian cancer that never completely goes away.

While this can be challenging, no one should blame themselves. Although recurrent ovarian cancer is rarely completely cured, your ovarian cancer specialist can help control the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease with through the use of various cancer treatment options, including some which may be in the clinical research program. Although most ovarian cancer is not caused by inherited mutations, genetic testing for cancer is an option.

Mutations of these genes inhibits the proteins from repairing DNA damage. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer. If your cancer was caused by a genetic mutation, genetic testing may provide beneficial information for other members of your family who could be affected. No matter what concerns weigh on your mind, you can find some peace in knowing that your ovarian cancer specialists will continue to watch you closely.

Going to all of your follow-up appointments gives your doctors a chance to look for signs of cancer recurrence or long-lasting treatment side effects. With support from your cancer care team, friends, and family, you can move forward with life after ovarian cancer treatment. Categories: Cancer Survivorship , Ovarian Cancer.

Individuals born in the s currently age 20 to 29 are twice as likely to develop colon cancer and four times as likely to develop rectal cancer than individuals born in the s were at those ages. Unfortunately, no one has discovered why is this type of cancer is suddenly on the rise in younger adults. Cancer researchers suspect contributing factors may include changes in diet, more sedentary lifestyles, and obesity.

Another theory is that cancers are simply being detected much earlier than in past decades. Colorectal cancer refers to cancer that begins in the colon or rectum, which together make up the large intestine. Sometimes they are referred to individually as colon cancer or rectal cancer. Most colorectal cancers begin with a polyp that develops on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. The two primary types of polyps are adenomas, which are most likely to become cancer, and hyperplastic and inflammatory polyps, which are more common but far less likely to become cancerous. Polyps are common in people age 50 and older.

Most aren't cancerous. If a polyp does become cancerous, cancer cells can eventually spread to the wall of the colon or rectum. From there, they can spread to the blood or lymph vessels of the colon or rectum and eventually spread to lymph nodes and metastasize throughout the body. As with many cancers, colorectal cancers sometimes occur with minimal — or no — symptoms. More often than not, though, this cancer is associated with telltale signs. If you know what to watch for, you'll know if and when it's time to schedule a colorectal screening to rule out cancer.

Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption are ways to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. Others risk factors , however, are within your control. To reduce your risks, doctors recommend taking the following steps:. Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented through the use of screening tests. Therefore, the most effective way to reduce the likelihood that you'll develop colorectal cancer is to undergo regular colorectal cancer screening to detect cancerous or precancerous cells in the absence of other symptoms.

It takes about a decade for precancerous cells to form polyps. Screenings can detect precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they become cancerous, and can detect cancerous polyps early when the cancer is curable. Colorectal screening methods include fecal blood tests and colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, a flexible tube with a viewing lens and tissue removal tool is inserted into the colon. A physician checks the colon lining for growths and can remove any abnormal growths detected. Current guidelines recommend that most individuals consider a screening colonoscopy at age If there is a family history or the disease, screening before the age of 45 may be recommended by your physician.

If you live in Arizona in the Phoenix-area , then you can contact Arizona Oncology to schedule an appointment for your next colorectal screening. If you are in need of a low or no-cost colorectal screening, you can visit the Arizona Department of Health Services website , where there is a list of HealthCheck providers across Arizona including a couple of locations in Maricopa County, or the Colonoscopy Assist website which offers a fixed rate through their colon cancer screening program in Phoenix, AZ.

The team at Arizona Oncology is eager to explain the facts about colorectal cancer and address any concerns you may have. For some cancer patients, treatment is a rough road to travel. This is why they often look for additional practices or products that can be used in conjunction with their standard cancer treatment to help manage cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.

Treatments such as these are called complementary therapies. While there are many complementary therapies that can help, essential oils seem to have gained the significant attention for their aid in providing relief for cancer patients during treatment. Essential oils are natural oils compounds found in plants. Once extracted, they possess the essence fragrance of the plant from which it was extracted. For many generations, essential oils have been used for the improvement of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of these oils. When aromatherapy is used alongside standard cancer treatments to manage treatment side effects, patients often feel less stress and anxiety, which improves their overall quality of life. Certain oils can also aid in pain management. In many cases, aromatherapy is combined with other complementary treatments, such as acupuncture, yoga, and massage for symptom management.

For a cancer patient, this additional support can be beneficial in their healing. Topical application or aromatic oils may exert antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving effects. This simply means that inhaling oils through the nose or applying oils to the skin can fight against harmful bacteria, reduce inflammation or swelling, and provide pain relief. Each oil has its own specific health benefits, so patients must find the oils that work best for their specific health concerns.

Inhaling oils through the nose or applying oils to the skin can fight against harmful bacteria, reduce inflammation or swelling, and provide pain relief. Keep in mind that because everyone has a unique body chemistry, oils work differently on an individual basis. For this reason, it may take time before you see an improvement in your symptoms.

Once you do find the right oils, however, you can inhale them or use them topically. In most cases, our oncologists at Arizona Oncology are very supportive of their patients using essential oils as supportive care for their general well-being as they go through cancer treatment. Because certain oils can interact with chemotherapies and cause other types of problems, it is strongly recommended that patients connect with their oncology provider before using essential oils during their cancer treatment.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, so it's a good time to learn more about early detection and save lives. About 22, women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the US. While about half of all cases happen in women who are age 63 and older, all women face some risk of developing the disease. Certain risk factors, including being overweight and a history of ovarian cancer in the family, may increase your chances of being diagnosed.

Ovarian cancer research clinical trials are underway, but it's still good for patients to be educated about detecting ovarian cancer early. However, if you notice any of these symptoms for more than 12 days per month and they are new to you, it is time to visit your gynecologist for a checkup:. Some women with ovarian cancer will notice they suddenly have trouble eating or are full very quickly. If you can't explain these changes in your appetite due to stress or other known stomach problems, you should schedule an appointment with your physician.

Bloating can be a common symptom of PMS or eating a lot of salt. However, if you have a sudden increase in the size of your abdomen it could also signal a problem with your ovarian health. You may or may not have pain along with bloating, even if it is a symptom of ovarian cancer. Women with ovarian cancer may also notice that they suddenly have to use the restroom more often. Because your bladder and ovaries are close together, your urinary tract can be affected by the health of your ovaries. You may also notice that you have to go to the bathroom urgently more often.

A change to your period cycle could be related to ovarian health. If you are premenopausal and suddenly have more painful periods or an irregular cycle, you should schedule a physical with your doctor. This is especially true if you are unable to manage a regular and pain-free cycle even while on oral birth control. Similarly, if you are postmenopausal and have unexpected bleeding you should go to a gynecologist for an exam. Cancer research shows that pain in and around your pelvis and hips can be another sign of ovarian cancer.

If you have discomfort that can't be explained by cramps or constipation, it may be a sign you should have your ovarian health checked. A general lack of energy that can't be fixed with diet or exercise could also be a sign of cancer. If you have tried taking vitamins, getting more sleep and other traditional remedies without success, it's worth a trip to the doctor to find out what is going on. Early detection is key for overcoming ovarian cancer. The sooner it is identified, the early you can start treatment. If you notice any of these signs for a prolonged period of time or they can't be explained, visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Although the human papillomavirus HPV is quite common, there is still a lot of confusion when it comes to the facts. Here are five common HPV myths and the truth about them. Truth: HPV is a very common virus among both women and men. This includes cervical cancer , penile cancer, anal cancer, and oropharyngeal throat cancer. It only requires skin-to-skin contact to spread the virus. Truth: In most cases, the virus is harmless and most people have no symptoms.

HPV infections typically leave the body naturally within 1 to 2 years and do not cause cancer. Some HPV infections, however, can persist for many years. If left untreated, these infections can lead to cell changes that may progress to cancer. The HPV virus can lay dormant inactive for years after being contracted. Because of this, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends women age 30 to 64 should be tested for HPV every five years in addition to their Pap test every three years.

Staying on top of whether the virus is present allows your gynecologist to be on the lookout for abnormal cells on the cervix or other conditions caused by HPV. Researchers have found that women around age 50, which often is about the same time as menopause, can have a reactivation of an old HPV infection. Because of this, cervical cancer screening should be discussed with your gynecologist based on your specific situation which might include Pap and HPV testing after menopause.

Because there are many versions of the HPV virus, the vaccine does not protect you against all of them. This means women age 21 to 29 should still receive Pap tests every three years. Women with certain risk factors or women age 65 or older should discuss their individual needs for HPV screening with their primary care physician or gynecologist. For the uninsured, the cost of the test is usually based on income level.

At Arizona Oncology, we encourage all women and men to diligently seek educational information to help protect themselves against HPV and cancer. Learning more about the differences between them can help clear up some of the confusion we often see related to hereditary genes linked to developing cancer. Genetics usually refers to the study of specific, individual genes and whether they are passed from one generation to the next. Cancer researchers have studied hereditary gene mutations changes that can play a role in the development of cancer.

Genetic tests are medical tests that look for certain inherited gene mutations. This allows the genetic counselor to understand if the person being assessed is at a higher risk for developing certain kinds of cancers - such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, or others. People who go through genetic testing do not necessarily have cancer — now or in the past.

A genetic counselor will help you decide if genetic testing could give you potential benefits, and if there is even a suggested family history that would make genetic testing worthwhile. The presence of one or more of the following may suggest a hereditary cancer syndrome could be present and the patient or their family members may want to talk to a genetic counselor about conducting genetic tests.

This can determine more about how the cancer will behave. With genomic testing, the genomic makeup of abnormalities, or mutations, within the cancerous tissue can be identified. This means that genomic testing is used for patients that have been diagnosed with cancer, versus genetic testing which is routinely used as a precaution for someone who has not been diagnosed with cancer, or in a patient with cancer to help prevent future cancers. Where a DNA change or a genetic mutation is detected in a patient's tumor, and genomic testing could be a valuable tool in helping your oncologist understand how well your cancer could be expected to respond to treatment.

There are many new targeted therapies currently being invented, almost on a daily basis. Only cancers with certain targets respond to specific agents. Genetic and genomic testing is not for everyone. It is important to talk with your doctor or a genetic counselor to determine if you would be a good candidate for either type of testing. Categories: Cancer Treatment , Genetic Testing.

Cancer researchers from Johns Hopkins have concluded that some patients may develop colon cancer due to two specific digestive bacteria that form a film on the colon. According to the study paper, which was published December in Science magazine , these two types of bacteria invade the protective mucous layer of the colon and create a small ecosystem, including nutrients the bacteria need to survive, causing chronic inflammation and subsequent DNA damage that supports tumor formation. These findings also seem to add to the growing evidence that gut bacteria is more influential on our immune system than we may realize.

The two bacteria the doctors found are known as Bacteroides fragilis and Escherichia coli or E. The B. Also, the bacteria was linked to patients without a family history of colon cancer.

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Cancers such as these--where there is no genetic tie--are known as sporadic cancers. Knowing that the presence of these bacteria may put someone at a higher risk of developing colon cancer may make it possible to screen earlier and monitor those who are found to have them in their digestive tract. Determining whether both of these bacteria are present may require only a simple and painless stool test. Two strategies that may help reduce the risk of developing colon cancer in the future may include:.

Targeted antibiotics and probiotics. Both of these are two possibilities that could be beneficial in promoting healthy bacteria to chase away the harmful bacteria in the colon. Since antibiotics can damage both good and bad bacteria, taking a probiotic with it can help replenish the good bacteria and restore balance to your system.

Spirituality and Faith after a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Probiotics can also be taken even if you are not taking an antibiotic. It is always best to talk with a qualified professional before adding a probiotic to your regimen. Eating a diet rich with gut healing properties. Certain foods can be helpful in reducing the risk of colon cancer and other types of cancers as well. Gut-healing foods typically fall under two categories: probiotic foods and prebiotic foods. Probiotic foods - Contain live bacteria, and include foods such as plain, low-fat yogurt preferably organic , kefir a yogurt-like drink , kombucha tea, and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi.

Prebiotic foods - Feed the bacteria in your gut so they can grow and repopulate, include whole grains, oatmeal, soy beans, garlic, fruits and vegetables like bananas, onions, and asparagus. Currently, colonoscopies are the standard of care for monitoring the formation of precancerous tumors, called polyps. According to the study , however, adding a stool analysis to the screening process could provide an opportunity for an earlier and less-invasive way to intervene before the bacteria take over the colon.

If you have any concerns please visit your doctor for a colon cancer screening. If you are located in Arizona, there are many resources nearby for you to access colonoscopies. The Colon Cancer Coalition provides a tool that allows you to find a screening location near to you. A variety of studies have shown that an occasional glass of red wine has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on heart health. And, at least one study by the European Journal of Cancer Prevention suggests alcohol could reduce the risk of Hodgkin lymphoma. A growing number of studies suggest concerning links between the development of certain types of cancers and alcohol consumption.

Cancer occurs when changes occur to a cell's DNA. Some changes occur as a result of hereditary factors, but other changes occur after the body is exposed to environmental factors. These introduced environmental factors don't always cause cancer, but certain outside exposures and substances can contribute to the development of cancer. These are called carcinogens. Carcinogens will not cause cancer in every case of exposure; however, they make it easier for cancer to develop over time.

For example, it's common knowledge that tobacco smoke is a carcinogen. Not every smoker will develop cancer, but they are all at a higher risk after exposure to the chemicals in cigarettes. But the National Cancer Institute states there is evidence that the more alcohol a person drinks, regularly over time, the higher their risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, clear patterns are associated with alcohol consumption and the development of the following types of cancers:. Other types of cancers have been studied for links to alcohol consumption and cancer as well. Currently there is no association between bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer or uterine cancer; however, that may change in the future, with additional studies. The American Cancer Society recommends drinking no more than two alcoholic drinks per day for men and no more than one per day for women.

One study published in the American Journal of Public Health in concluded that alcohol consumption resulted in 3. For women, the primary alcohol-related cancer resulting in death was breast cancer and in men, it was esophageal cancer or upper airway cancer. The study's authors went on to conclude that "reducing alcohol consumption is an important and underemphasized cancer prevention strategy.

Another study performed on behalf of the Komen Foundation looked at nearly breast cancer patients and concluded that consuming one or more alcoholic beverages per day increases the risk of developing breast cancer. This is in line with the amounts of alcohol shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. The drink limit is lower for women because they typically have smaller bodies that tend to break down alcohol more slowly.

If you or a loved one is struggling to control the amount of alcohol being consumed each day it may be best to seek assistance through a local organization. Here is a recent list of substance abuse resources published for the areas of Arizona:. Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. All men, even healthy ones, can benefit from making prostate cancer screenings part of their regular healthcare routine. Doctors sometimes recommend testing simply because of age or family history. Other times, patients have some symptoms, and their doctor may suggest a prostate cancer screening as the first step to understanding the problem.

Sometimes men experience symptoms associated with prostate cancer, but those same symptoms can also occur in non-cancer-related conditions such as an enlarged prostate "BPH". When a patient visits their general practitioner or urologist with concerns, a prostate cancer screening is a very common part of the diagnosis process -- even if the diagnosis isn't cancer. Men are at risk of developing prostate cancer if another male in your family has been diagnosed with prostate cancer previously. The ACS suggests screening for men over 50 years old if they have one family member who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at a relatively young age under 65 years old.

Men with two or more family members who developed prostate cancer should be screened once they reach the age range of 40 to Also, African American men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, and the ACS recommends that they be screened beginning at the age of More information about who should consider genetic testing. Prostate cancer treatments have a much higher success rate when found at an early stage. This is why prostate cancer screenings are regularly done on patients who have no symptoms or immediate family history of prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society ACS recommends screening for men over the age of 50 who have no unusual prostate cancer risk factors.

After the initial screening, their doctor will also make recommendations on how often to continue follow-up screenings. To learn more about prostate cancer screenings , ask your doctor for a referral to your local prostate cancer specialists. With cancer treatment centers located throughout Arizona , including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Flagstaff, Tucson, Green Valley, Nogales, and Safford, you'll find advanced and personalized treatment, expert guidance from our specially trained and board-certified oncologists, and leading-edge cancer research options.

Source :. Categories: Cancer Screening , Prostate Cancer. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month — a time dedicated to informing women and their families about a disease that affects thousands of women each year. While ovarian cancer is most often diagnosed in postmenopausal women, there are times when younger women can be affected. Regardless of your age, if you experience any of ovarian cancer symptoms , and they last more than 2 to 3 weeks, make an appointment with your gynecologist for an examination.

Since there is currently no screening test recommended for ovarian cancer, talking with your gynecologist, and receiving regular checkups, is the best step you can take toward early detection and diagnosis, when ovarian cancer is most treatable. When it comes to ovarian cancer, awareness is everything. In addition to wearing teal-colored ribbons or apparel, there are many other things you can do to raise awareness and show your support in the Phoenix community. To get involved, you may want to:. Meetings are a great way to get educated and learn about support groups and events designed to spread awareness.

Some organizations host meetings where you can network with ovarian cancer survivors, family members, caregivers, and volunteers. These meetings are meant to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, honor ovarian cancer survivors, and remember those lost to the disease. Programs such as Teal Tea , Teals2gether, and monthly awareness luncheons hosted by the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition NOCC Tucson chapter , are some of the ways you can learn more about ovarian cancer and how you can help locally.

A common event many people attend to raise funds or show support is a race. Many organizations host races, such as 5ks and marathons, both locally and across the country, donating proceeds to research, as well as to local medical facilities that treat women with various types of cancer, including ovarian cancer.

Interested in putting some miles on your athletic shoes? These are great places to start. Our time and our money are both very precious. Helping out at your local hospital s is also another way you can donate your time. Financial support is also essential to providing educational and support programs that can help raise awareness about prevention and early detection strategies.

As mentioned earlier, attending or hosting an event is one way to raise funds for the cause--but donations can be directly sent to specific organizations, such as the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Arizona , who are doing the work as well. Consider donating on your own or through your workplace if they have a program in place to do so. Other ways you can give monetarily could include donating your car or making a stock or IRA gift through organizations like the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.

During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, as well as the rest of the year, we encourage all women to diligently seek educational information to help protect themselves against ovarian cancer. By raising awareness, we can improve health outcomes for all women. Sources :. Our survivorship nurse practitioner Katy Clarke, FNP answers some common questions about cancer survivorship and our survivorship program.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, yes! You are considered a cancer survivor from the day of your diagnosis until the day of your death from any cause. You do not have to wait for a certain number of years, or be considered free of disease, in remission, or cured to be a cancer survivor. Our survivors can experience the effects of cancer and cancer treatment in nearly every domain of their lives, including physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual. Some of these issues include fatigue, body image problems, nutritional alterations with weight gain or weight loss, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, fear of recurrence and worsening depression and anxiety.

Certain chemotherapy treatments are known to increase risks for cardiovascular or lung disease or promote the development of secondary cancers. The experience of individual survivors is unique, however, and varies a lot from survivor to survivor; it is not uncommon that two cancer survivors of a similar age and cancer diagnosis have very different longterm effects and concerns following treatment. The challenges faced by survivors can depend on the diagnosis and treatments received, age at diagnosis, other co-existing health issues, individual coping skills and quality of a support network among other factors.

This is why having a personalized survivorship visit and care plan is so important. First, we will review your diagnosis, cancer treatments received and any related symptoms or health issues you are experiencing. I prepare a written treatment summary and care plan for all survivors, which many patients find useful. I also send the treatment summary and care plan to primary care providers, as keeping your relationship with a primary care provider is an essential component of healthy survivorship.

At your visit, we will also discuss wellness, quality of life and healthy lifestyle recommendations. We review schedules for cancer screening tests and vaccinations. Survivorship care is very much guided by to your personal situation and health goals. For example, I may assist one survivor with tools and prescription medicines to help with quitting smoking, while another survivor may be dealing with marital stress and need a referral for counseling.

It is my goal that all cancer survivors have the tools and resources necessary to achieve the best health possible, so we often discuss nutrition, stress reduction techniques, and benefits of exercise. I also assist my patients in connecting with local community organizations, support groups, and other medical specialists as needed.

Please call to schedule an appointment today!

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Which means there is still time to be conscious about practicing sun safety. One major way you can do this is by slathering on some sunscreen. Choosing a sunscreen can be a daunting task. With so many combinations of numbers and specializations SPF what? That number you see behind it on the bottle? It depends. An important thing to understand is that the sun produces two types of ultraviolet rays that affect the skin: UVA and UVB. These rays can cause premature aging and increase your risk of developing melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancers.

Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to UVB rays, while UVA rays are known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling. You may be wondering what this has to do with SPF. Well, the thing about SPF is that it only measures UVB protection, which is great if your main concern is reducing your risk of skin cancer. Keep in mind, however, that although higher SPFs do mean more protection, the difference in that protection becomes smaller.

The FDA requires any sunscreen SPF 15 or lower carry a warning label stating that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging. Our Arizona cancer specialists put together a checklist for choosing your sunscreen. Apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside. To ensure continued protection reapply every 90 minutes to two hours.

If you will be actively sweating or in the water, be sure to find a sunscreen that is also water resistant and reapply each time you get out of the water. Pay attention to all areas of bare skin, including your neck, face, ears, legs, and tops of your feet. For more information on protecting your skin from both sunburns and skin cancer, visit this blog. Remember, your skin is exposed to UV rays every time you go outside — even on cloudy days, on the snow, and in the water — so practice sun safety by slathering on some broad-spectrum, SPF sunscreen.

Many patients worry about cancer getting in the way of daily life, which may include their summer vacation or travel plans. Once your cancer treatment plan is in place, resuming everyday activities often becomes more manageable — even when it involves going on a trip. Traveling with cancer may involve some extra planning, but there are ways to help it be less stressful and more enjoyable. Here are some tips to get you started so you can enjoy the travel season. To keep from becoming overwhelmed, ask for help.

Your doctor will be able to verify whether or not you contracted any illnesses while you were away. Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to learn more about this rare disease. Sarcomas can be broken into two main types: soft tissue sarcomas and bone sarcomas. There are, however, more than 50 different subtypes that fall under these two categories. Soft tissue sarcoma is a broad term for cancers that start in soft tissues - such as muscle, tendons, fat, lymph and blood vessels, and nerves.

These soft tissue cancers can develop anywhere in the body but are found mostly in the arms, legs, chest, and abdomen. The American Cancer Society estimates about 13, soft tissue sarcomas will be diagnosed in the United States in Sarcomas are rare tumors that are often difficult to detect or diagnose until they have reached more advanced stages. There are, however, certain signs to pay attention to. In many cases, these symptoms are caused by something other than sarcoma.

However, it is important to have it verified by a medical professional. Surgery is the first-line treatment for soft tissue sarcomas. Screening tests and exams are not typically recommended for detecting sarcoma, unless you have a strong family history of soft tissue sarcomas or other cancers. If you feel as though you are at a genetic risk, you may want to talk with your doctor about whether or not you would benefit from genetic testing.

If you are located in Arizona, one of our genetic counselors can discuss genetic testing, interpret the results, and provide guidance regarding your cancer risk. Other than non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men It is estimated that 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.

It is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. Currently most patients receive between 28 and 44 treatments. As a member of US Oncology Research, Arizona Oncology provides our patients access to cutting-edge and innovative clinical trials in a comfortable and convenient setting. One of the largest and most reputable community-based research networks in the world, US Oncology Research specializes in Phase I—IV oncology clinical trials and has participated in over 1, investigator-initiated and sponsor-initiated trials since its inception.

Orange Grove, Bldg. Many of you may have heard that the American Cancer Society ACS changed the age of colorectal screening for individuals at an average risk to age 45 at the end of May. But why? Furthermore, death rates from colorectal cancer in the younger age group are also rising. Based on these statistics, the ACS funded a modeling study that used the age 45 to begin screening rather than at the age of The ACS found that it is more likely that adults will have more favorable outcomes at the lowered age.

Breast Cancer Treatment

It is important to also know that there is more than one organization that makes cancer screening recommendations including the U. Preventative Services Task Force. Additionally, whenever screening recommendations change, it is important for you to check with your insurance provider to see which screening guidelines they use as it may affect which screenings are covered as well as your costs and copays.

It is important for you to discuss your personal and family history with your primary care doctor so that you can make an informed decision as to when to begin your screening and by which method of screening. Colorectal cancer continues to be the 3rd most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and women as well as the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths in both populations ACS Facts and Figure We can change the age of the screening recommendations but the unfortunate reality is that an adult chooses not to be screened; we will continue to see lives lost to colorectal cancer at younger ages.

Sherri has 22 years of experience working with the geriatric population, teaching them how to maintain their quality of life and independence. Her passion to educate is a gift that she freely shares with patients and staff. She is active in the community and has volunteered her time and expertise serving as a guest lecturer in Green Valley and Tucson. Categories: Cancer Screening , Colorectal Cancer. With a little planning, you can enjoy the summer sun and protect your skin—not just on this day, but every day.

Sunshine is enjoyable—but too much exposure to the sun can be dangerous. Overexposure to UV rays can result in more than a painful sunburn. It can also lead to more serious health problems , including melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer. In fact, more skin cancers are diagnosed in the US each year than all other cancers combined.

Skin cancer can be the result of sun exposure over a long period of time and can affect anyone— regardless of skin color. Children are particularly at risk. This is why it is important to always practice sun safety. Even though certain skin cancers can be highly curable if detected and treated early, it is still highly important to stay smart in the sun. Click here to download!

Keep in mind that extreme UV rays reach Arizona all year, not just in summer. Click here to read additional tips for sun safety, provided by the American Academy of Dermatology. Prostate cancer research has been an ongoing process of looking into causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of prostate cancer. Here are 3 new developments to watch in prostate cancer treatment:. Genes can play a role in both the development and behavior of prostate cancer. Two types of tests that can be helpful in acquiring information are genetic testing and genomic testing.

While they sound similar, they collect different information. Genetic testing is used more frequently to define high-risk populations who have yet to get cancer. People who have a known family history of cancer may want to investigate further with genetic testing to see if they carry a gene mutation that puts them at risk.

Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith
Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith
Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith
Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith
Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith
Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith Road to Restoration through the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Walking on by Faith

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