Annual Cancer Checklist
Every new year gives us a new opportunity to take care of our health, especially when we did not care enough the last year. If you have read this prior to reading part 1, then it is highly recommended that you begin with the first part of this multi-part blog. In the first part, there was a discussion about the complexity of cancer as a disease, as up until now there is no cure yet.
Cancer comes in many forms, some prevalent in women, while some affect more men. While its development remains a mystery to us, people can, in fact, prevent its development. In the previous post, the first two of the “Silent Killers” were put in the spotlight, explaining the cause, symptoms, and the risk factors. Now we continue discussing the third type of cancer that is also hard to detect but equally debilitating and painful.
Later on, a checklist of the possible screenings and tests for detection of various types of cancers will be discussed, so keep on reading!
The Silent Killers (continued)
Esophageal Cancer – With esophageal cancer, cancerous cells start growing uncontrollably anywhere along the esophagus, which is a long and hollow tube of muscles that serves as the bridgeway from the throat to the stomach. This is where food and drinks that we take go through to reach the stomach. When an individual is diagnosed with this type of cancer, development of the disease starts from the inner layer and into the muscle layer outside.
There are two types of esophageal cancer, as there are two kinds of cells that could become rogue and cause cancer, mainly the squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The former can develop anywhere in the esophagus, while the latter usually occurs in the lower esophagus. In 2013, almost 18,000 individuals in the United States have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.
These are the common symptoms associated with cancer of the esophagus:
- Experience difficulty in swallowing
- Indigestion problem
- Constant or sudden chest pain
- Unexplained Weight loss
Risk factors for esophageal cancer include:
- Acid Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Diagnosed with Barett’s Esophagus
Cancers That Affect Women
It is saddening to find out that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women affected by cancer but what is more saddening is the fact that not everyone knows about which cancers to look out for.
Here are other areas of the body that is prone to developing cancer:
- Endometrium (Lining of the Uterus)
- Primary Peritoneal Cancer (Serous Membrane in the Abdominal Cavity)
This is a list that we will be discussing later on, in the next chapter of this multi-part blog. Stay tuned for the cancer checklist that we made for individuals like you. You can use it to track what tests and screenings to take to determine whether you have a specific type of cancer or are blessed with a healthy body. It pays to detect the cancer earlier than treat it when it has already spread to other parts of your body.
Something to Think About: Don’t Forget to Be an Exceptional Patient
Always remember that in any kind of treatment or consultation, whether it’s cancer screening or just a routine checkup, it is important that the patient knows his or her responsibilities so that the chances of success can be higher. As a patient, you need to follow the following steps:
Find the Right Doctor for You – While some people just go their local hospital for a physician, it is essential to choose a doctor that is not only competent, but you also have to find a doctor that you are comfortable with. A medical professional that you can share your medical history with, no matter how personal.
Always Come Prepared – Doctors need patients to cooperate and to come in prepared to give out any helpful information they might have that would assist the doctor in making an accurate diagnosis. Whatever symptoms you are experiencing, even the tiniest changes you observed or the past few days, make sure you inform your physician about it, as it can be used to determine whatever illness you may have.
Never be Afraid to Ask Questions – you can even write them down on a sheet of paper on on your mobile device. Whether it’s about alternative cancer treatments or just asking for some random medical advice, most physicians would be very much happy to accommodate your concerns.
Most patients, when given a diagnosis or medication instructions, do not understand half of what the their doctors tell them but are too afraid or intimidated to ask.One way to get around asking the doctor to repeat what he or she just said is to state your understanding of what your doctor just told you.This will prompt your doctor to verify whether you understood what he or she said.