Cancer Awareness

Tuesday has come and gone. Once again I’m counting down the days until the weekend. We are headed down to Jupiter Inlet on Saturday night for an early morning fishing trip Sunday, and possibly into Monday. I can’t say for sure what our plans are but they might rhyme with “shalamas”

 

I know that cancer awareness gets beat to death in the blogging community. You probably know someone or know someone who knows someone who has raised money for one cancer or another. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer, The American Cancer Society DeterimiNATION, Making Strides against Breast Cancer, or maybe there is another group you are thinking of that I’m not.

The point is, Cancer Awareness is out there. I probably don’t even have to say anything about it. Oh, BTW, I’m not asking for money if that’s what you think.

In my career, and personal life, I have been exposed to various kinds of cancer, treatments, and lots of death. 

I attended a work event Tuesday night and now Cancer Awareness is just weighing heavy on my mind & heart. Cancer is tragic.

Did you know that every month of the year is some kind of “Cancer Awareness” month?

I mean, you hear the statistics. You see the commercials.

But do you really know how many people are affected each year by Cancer?

How Many People Are Expected to Die of Cancer This Year?
In 2011, about 571,950 Americans are expected to die of cancer,
more than 1,500 people a day. Cancer is the second most com­
mon cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease. In
the US, cancer accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 death
excerpt from the ACS Website.

Can Cancer Be Prevented?

All cancers caused by cigarette smoking and heavy use of alcohol
could be prevented completely. The American Cancer Society
estimates that in 2011 about 171,600 cancer deaths are expected
to be caused by tobacco use..

 Scientific evidence suggests that
about one­third of the 571,950 cancer deaths expected to occur in
2011 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity,
and poor nutrition and thus could also be prevented
.

Certain cancers are related to infectious agents, such as hepatitis B virus
(HBV), human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency
virus (HIV), Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), and others, and could be
prevented through behavioral changes, vaccines, or antibiotics.
In addition, many of the more than 2 million skin cancers that
are diagnosed annually could be prevented by protection from
the sun’s rays and avoiding indoor tanning.

Regular screening examinations by a health care professional
can result in the detection and removal of precancerous growths,
as well as the diagnosis of cancers at an early stage, when they
are most treatable.
Cancers of the cervix, colon, and rectum can
be prevented by removal of precancerous tissue. Cancers that
can be diagnosed early through screening include cancers of the
breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, oral cavity, and skin.
However, screening has been shown to reduce mortality only for
cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, and cervix. A heightened
awareness of breast changes or skin changes may also result in
detection of these tumors at earlier stages.
Cancers that can be
prevented or detected earlier by screening account for at least
half of all new cancer case

Cancer_stats_by_state

Taken from the ACS statistics site.

Did you know that it’s estimated that in 2011 52 THOUSAND women will be diagnosed with Colon Cancer.  That my friends, is a lot of women. In Men, approximately 49 THOUSAND will be diagnosed with colon cancer. Of those, approximately half from each sex will die.

Do you know when it’s recommended to get your first colonoscopy? According to the CDC, we should start getting colonoscopies at age 50.

I don’t know how many of my readers are older than 50, but if you are, and you haven’t had it done. You should. Seriously. It’s important. I mean, it’s only your life.

source

I’m just saying that if there are things/technologies available to us that we can help detect cancer early, why aren’t we taking advantage.

Does your Mom, Step-Mom, Grandmother keep up with their yearly mammograms? Remember when you were a kid and your mom/dad pestered you to eat your veggies. Now it’s your chance to pester them.

Everyone knows to get a mammogram if they feel a lump, but do you know what other signs to look for?

  • A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple
  • Change in the size or shape of a breast
  • Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
  • Inverted nipple
  • Peeling, scaling or flaking of the nipple or breast skin
  • Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

Taken from the Mayo Clinic Website.

 

In 2010 209,000 women were diagnosed with some form of breast cancer. In 2011, it’s approximated that 232,000 will be diagnosed.

Get checked. Seriously. It could be the difference between keeping your breasts or not keeping your breasts.. It could be life or death. There are so many resources and so much awareness out there today that there are very few excuses why we can’t get ourselves checked. If money is the issues, check HERE. The CDC has a program that can help low-income families/women with getting a mammogram. Also, in the month of October many radiology places do mammograms for free, or for a super minimal fee like $5… take advantage. geesh. (That’s for women over 40, which is when the CDC recommends that we begin mammograms). UNLESS you feel a lump.. then you need to get to your DR ASAP.

I think that sometimes when we go to the Dr. and they tell us something it kind of goes in one ear and out the other. Generally speaking, our Doctor is probably older than us, and maybe kind of a mother/father figure. I love my Mom to death, and I’m sure you love yours to, but let’s be honest.. Sometimes their advice goes in one ear & out the other.

Self breast checks are one piece of advice that you should really listen to. When I go to my GYN in a few weeks and she asks me if I do self checks. I can say, “Oh yes ma’am I do. I have TWO self check things hanging in my shower”

You can check yourself in the shower. Do you? You better believe I do. I’m feeling myself up all the time.

Men, you aren’t excluded from the cancer scene. Oh no. Did you know that in 2011 approximately 240,000 MEN will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. That number is just men. Prostate cancer isn’t a women’s cancer. Yah men, you get your very own cancer. Isn’t that special? Of those cases, approx 33,000 will die. So, y’know. get checked. You can check out the CDC recommendations HERE on when to have your prostate checked.

leading_sites_of_new_cancer_and_deaths_2011

Cancer doesn’t play people, it doesn’t play and it sure as hell doesn’t discriminate.

Do yourself, and your family a favor and be aware.

I don’t know exactly what the point of this post was. Cancer just weighs so heavy on my heart and mind all the time. Every day I hear statistics. Seriously. I hear the number of patients that are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, or that have a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (tumor in the stomach). I know that “well differentiated” cancers are better than “poorly differentiated”. I know that squamous cell carcinoma is the “Good skin cancer.” My life has been infiltrated with information about cancer. I’m not complaining. Heck no. I’m blessed. I’ve met some really wonderful people. I’ve experienced sadness. I’m thankful.

If you want more information on Cancer you can check out the American Cancer Society’s website.. If you really want to freak your self out, check out the statistics here..

Get checked.

 

Livin’ my life, checkin’ my boobies one shower at a time.

 

 

Disclaimer: I’m not a Doctor. or anything even closely related to a Doctor. The majority of the statistice came from the American Cancer Society website. Some information came from various other websites.

For more information you can contact the ACS, or your local health department.

If you need help finding something feel free to contact me. I know people. I can find out.

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5 thoughts on “Cancer Awareness

  1. Great post Jena! I’m all about prevention and early detection and even I never did regular breast self-exams. Until I found the lump by chance while putting on lotion one morning… If there is something that can be done to help prevent cancer or detect it early (like screenings and self checks) do it!!! Like you said, cancer doesn’t discriminate and this is your life!

    Again, great post Jena! ❤

  2. First off, I’m jealous you can just pick up and go to the Bahamas on a weekend! Hope you get to go and its fun! Also thanks for posting this. It’s amazing how many lives cancer takes from us.

  3. Detection is key! I was diagnosed with melanoma earlier this year and was extremely lucky that my doctor caught it early while it was still considered “stage 0.” Don’t forget to do regular skin checks on yourself as well as visit your dermatologist annually!

  4. LOVE THIS POST, JENA! I am such an advocate from cancer awareness – cancer screenings… doing anything and everything possible for find a cure! It is a terrible disease that has affected the lives of too many loved ones and I HATE it!

    The statistics are ridiculous and are crushing to hear. But I do believe.. that someday.. it will be a worry of the past. I hope we are around for that day..

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