***Before you start reading, I have a disclaimer. I am not a physician nor am I a medical professional. This information is mostly from hours of research. Also, this is slightly longer than most, if not all of my previous posts. I did not mean to write a small book for y’all to read, but I do think the information is important!
We just celebrated New Year’s, not too long ago. This tends to be a time many of us want to make changes to get healthier. Honestly though, how many times have you tried this and never stayed with for long-term? This is a great thought, but really can’t just be for one day, week, or even for a month, and should to be something we stay committed to. February is National Cancer Prevention month which gives us another opportunity to get focused on making sure we put our health first and we do everything within our powers to maintain good health.
I am glad that there is a month dedicated to cancer prevention because it is needed. In 2019, a staggering estimated 1.76 million new cases of cancer and 607,000 deaths due to cancer in the United States. In my lifetime, cancer has already taken too many people I care about. As a matter of fact, cancer is what took someone very special to me, my dear, sweet, and loving grandfather lost his battle to cancer almost seven years ago. My aunt fought her war against cancer, until before the sun came up on February 18 when the struggle became too much to bear and she couldn’t fight any longer. Even though this is a sad day, my aunt went peacefully in the comfort of her own home surrounded by family.
It is terrifying how many different forms of cancer there are and how many of the risk factors are the same. I am not going to go through and list all types of cancer because it would probably feel like you are reading a short story and I don’t want to torment you like that. However, I am going to detail 11 different forms of this horrible disease.
10 Forms of Cancer
- Breast Cancer is a form of cancer that is easily treated, especially when it is detected early enough. This cancer does not discriminate and can affect men or women equally. This disease develops in breast tissue when the cells begin to grow out of control. Cancerous cells can form a malignant tumor that is felt as a lump and should be seen on a mammogram. Once cancer begins to progress, it is possible for an invasion of surrounding tissues and nearby lymph nodes to occur, which is a phenomenon known as metastasis.
Besides simply being a female, there are many other risk factors you might want to learn about.
- Genetic mutations (BRCA1 or BRCA 2)
- Family history
- Early menstrual period
- Late or no full-term pregnancies
- Menopause after age 55
- Overweight or obese post menopause
- Dense breasts
- Race or ethnicity
- Combination or hormone therapy
- Oral contraceptives
- Previous radiation therapy
- Consuming alcohol
- A lump or hard, painless mass with irregular edges
- Some masses may be tender, soft, or painful
- Swelling and/or skin irritation
- Nipple pain, turning inward, redness, or scaliness
- Thickening of nipples or discharge other than breast milk
- Lung Cancer is the 2nd most common form of cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. There are three main types of lung cancer, which include:
- Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) which consists of 80-85% of lung cancer
- Small-Cell-Lung Cancer (SCLC)
- Lung Carcinoma Tumor
This type of cancer causes more of a risk to men than it does women.
- Tobacco smoke is the leading risk for developing lung cancer. 2nd hand smoke can also cause lung cancer
- Family history
- Exposure to radon gas, asbestos, arsenic, and diesel exhaust
¼ of all people that are living with lung cancer do not display symptoms and do not show until cancer has progressed. However, when symptoms do appear, they may include:
- A new cough that will not go away or changes in a chronic cough or coughing up blood
- Reoccurring infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- Shortness of breath, hoarseness, and or wheezing
- Chest pain, fatigue, and or weakness
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
- Prostate Cancer is slow growing-cancer, but also the 2nd leading cause of death among men. The prostate is a small walnut-sized gland that produces seminal fluid.
- Family history
- Diet high in red meat
- Chemical exposure
- Sexually transmitted infection
- Having had a vasectomy
Of course, several symptoms should not be ignored. Typically there are no symptoms during early stages tumors are small.
- Frequent urge to urinate or difficulty urinating
- Blood in urine or semen
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Pain in lower back and hips
- Colon and rectal cancer develop when cell growth becomes out of control in the colon and rectum. This form of cancer affects men and women equally, but black men and women are 25% more likely to develop colon cancer.
- Family history
- Diet high in fat and red meat
- Long-term inflammatory bowel disease
- Obesity and lack of activity
- Tobacco use and alcohol consumption
- Changes in bowel habit ( diarrhea or constipation)
- Blood in stool
- Persistent abnormal pain or cramps
- Unexplainable weight loss
- Iron deficiency~ Anemia
5. Melanoma (Skin Cancer) is a form of cancer that begins in the cells making up the pigment which gives skin color. Skin cancer seems like too broad of a category, so let me help break this down into the 4 different forms. (*The first two forms are more common than the last two forms*)
- Superficial Spreading Melanoma grows horizontally and slowly across the top layer of skin before moving into deeper layers. This form accounts for 70% of skin cancer.
- Nodular Melanoma is dangerous and grows fast. The appearance can look like a mole, bug bit or a round black (but can have other colors) bump. Nodular Melanoma accounts for about 15% of cases.
- Lentigo Melanoma is an early form when the malignant cells are confined to a tissue of origin.
- Acral Lentiginous Melanoma (ALM) appears on the palms of hands, soles of feet, and under the nails. This is not very common but does affect African Americans the most.
- Sores that do not heal
- Pigment, redness or swelling that spreads outside the border of a spot to surrounding skin
- Itchiness, tenderness, or pain
- Changes in texture or scales, oozing or bleeding from an existing mole
At the first sign melanoma, there is typically a new spot on the skin or a change one that already existed. Follow the ABCDE Method to determine if an abnormal skin growth may be Melanoma.
Asymmetry- the mole has an irregular shape.
Border- Edge isn’t smooth and is irregular or notched.
Color- Mole has uneven shading or dark spots.
Diameter- Mole or spot is larger than that of a pencil eraser.
Evolving or elevation- The spot changes in size, shape, or texture.
- Bladder Cancer happens when the cells become abnormal and then begin to grow out of control. Over some time a tumor will form. Just like everything else, there are certain risk factors associated with bladder cancer.
- Family history
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Being white and or being a male
- Chronic bladder infections
I am going to share some of the symptoms you would want to pay attention to and once noticed discuss with your physician.
- Changes in the color of your urine
- Burning or pain when urinating
- Unable to urinate or only produce a very small amount
- Feeling the urge to pee, when your bladder isn’t full
When bladder cancer starts to spread, there are some additional to notice and report back to your physician.
- Lower back pain
- Losing weight when not trying
- Not as hungry as normal
- Swollen feet
- Extreme fatigues and or weakness
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma starts in the lymphatic system, which is our body’s disease-fighting network. Tumors form in the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells.
- Being over age 60 increases the risks
- Exposure to certain chemicals which include benzene, herbicides, and pesticides
- Previous chemotherapy or radiation treatments
- Immune system deficiency and HIV Infection
- Painless, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin
- Abdominal pain and or swelling and chest pain
- Coughing and difficulty breathing
- Persistent fatigue
- Kidney Cancer also referred to as Renal Cell Carcinoma. This occurs when healthy cells in one or both kidneys start growing quickly, which ends up forming a lump (tumor).
- Smoking will DOUBLE the risks
- Men are 2-3 times more likely to develop kidney cancer than women
- Poor nutrition and overweight
- High blood pressure
- Blood in urine
- Lower back pain on one side
- Mass on the side or lower back
- A fever that does not go away
- Endometrial Cancer begins in the uterus, so this is for women only.
- Changes in the balance of female hormones
- More menstruation years and or never pregnant
- Older age and obesity
- Inherited colon cancer syndrome
I know none of us enjoy going for yearly exams, but that appointment just might save our life by discovering cancer early.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Difficulty or painful urination
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Painful intercourse
- Pancreatic Cancer starts in organs that lie behind the lower part the stomach and typically spreads to other organs rapidly.
- Gender, this is more common in men, than women
- Family history
- Smoking age and obesity
- Rare inherited condition
- Jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes and skin
- Belly or back pain
- Nausea, vomiting and weight loss
- Enlargement of gallbladder or liver
Now that we have learned a lot about cancer, I have just a little more information that I think we will helpful. Considering it is National Cancer Prevention Month, I now have helpful tips to prevent cancer.
- The use of tobacco products can drastically increase your risk of cancer. With that said, I think it is time to find a way to QUIT!!!!
- Eating a healthy diet is vital for good health. I healthy diet may include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods. According to a report from the
- International Agency for Research on Cancer, a large intake amount of processed meats can increase the risk of some cancers.
**An important fact is women who eat a Mediterranean diet have a reduced risk for breast cancer. A Mediterranean diet consists of mostly plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Those that follow this diet choose healthy fats, like olive oil instead of butter and fish as opposed to red meat.**
- You can reduce your risks of breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney cancer by maintaining a healthy weight and staying active.
For adults that are aiming for substantial health benefits, they should try for at least 150 minutes weekly of either moderate aerobic or 75 minutes weekly of vigorous aerobic activity. The general rule of thumb is to try including at least 30 minutes of physical activity to your daily routine.
- Be sure to keep yourself protected from the sun. One of the most common and preventable forms of cancer is skin cancer. I am going to share 5 simple tips to prevent yourself from the sun.
- Sun rays are the strongest between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. It is best to avoid the midday sun!
- If you need to be outside, stay in the shade the best you can, plus sunglasses and hats will help.
- Choose dark or bright, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing because they reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels.
- Even on cloudy days use at least SPF 30 sunscreen. Apply generously and reapply every 2 hours, more if you are swimming.
- Tanning beds cause just as much damage as the natural sun, so try to AVOID
- Discuss vaccinations with your doctor for cancer prevention and protection against some viral infections. Some might be good for you, but there are some may be toxic for you.
- It’s important to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infection and increase your risks for cancer.
-Practice safe sex
-Do not share needles!
- Perform regular self-exams and get regular screenings for various forms of cancer. There are screening available for skin cancer, colon, cervix, and breast cancer (you can do this one yourself)!
Thank you so much for visiting my site today and taking the time to read this rather long post. This took me a lot of time to research and put together. It has been a rather sad day with my aunt passing away. The only good thing is, she left this world peacefully and is not in pain anymore. This post is dedicated to my husband’s amazing Grandfather, my Poppy and my aunt.
I hope you had a good day and you have a lovely evening. I am not pressuring you but I would love to read your thoughts on this post. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love , comfort, and many positive vibes!