• Print | Email | + More
  • Font Size:

Archive for September, 2012

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Celebrates September as Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on: September 27th, 2012 by Knueppel HealthCare Services No Comments

Each September The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) observes Blood Cancer Awareness Month to shed light on these diseases and let the public know about all the resources available for blood cancer patients and their families.  Remarkable progress has been made in treating patients with blood cancers, yet, more than 1 million North Americans are fighting blood cancers, the third leading cause of cancer death.

 

“Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase the public’s understanding of blood cancers and encourage people to support the funding of research to find cures and education programs to help patients have the best possible outcomes throughout their cancer experience,” said LLS President and CEO John Walter.

 

The Basic Information

One person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer — such as leukemia or lymphoma — approximately every four minutes. “Lymphoma” is a general term for many blood cancers that originate in the lymphatic system. Lymphoma results when a lymphocyte (a type of white cell) undergoes a malignant change and multiplies out of control. Eventually, healthy cells are crowded out and malignant lymphocytes cause a mass in the lymph nodes, liver, spleen and/or other sites in the body.

 

There are two main types of lymphomas:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma is named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, who first described it.
  • All other types of lymphoma are called non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

 

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, the spongy center of bones where our blood cells are formed. The disease develops when blood cells produced in the bone marrow grow out of control. The most common blood cancer, Leukemia includes several diseases.

 

Support of Friends is So Important

Risk Factors

Unfortunately, most cases of leukemia and lymphoma cannot be prevented. Real, known causes of leukemia and lymphoma have not been identified. There are possible risk factors, however, for leukemia and lymphoma:

  • Age
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Body weight and diet
  • Certain blood problems
  • Congenital syndromes
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection/mononucleosis
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Exposure to Radiation
  • Family history
  • Gender
  • HIV infection
  • Immune system deficiency
  • Infections
  • Race, ethnicity, and geography
  • Smoking

 

Symptoms

Although by no means exhaustive, here is a partial list of some of the symptoms associated with the different types of leukemia and lymphoma:

  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Fever and infection
  • Headache, trouble thinking
  • Heavy night sweating (enough to soak clothes and sheets)
  • Pain in the bones or stomach
  • Pain or feeling of fullness below the ribs
  • Painless enlargement of one or more lymph nodes, on the side of the neck, in the arm pit, or in the groin
  • Painless lumps in the neck, underarm, stomach, or groin
  • Personality changes
  • Petechiae (flat, pinpoint spots under the skin caused by bleeding)
  • Pressure on the windpipe (trachea) that can cause coughing, shortness of breath, or pain
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Very itchy, red to purple lumps under the skin
  • Weakness or feeling tired
  • Weight loss for no known reason or loss of appetite

 

For more than 60 years, LLS has been a beacon of help and guidance to those touched by blood cancer.  Since its inception LLS has invested more than $875 million in research to find cures and better therapies. Through its patient services programs, LLS offers a comprehensive array of education and support services to blood cancer patients and their families: family support groups, free patient education workshops featuring health experts, and a peer-to-peer support program that matches newly diagnosed patients with trained volunteer survivors. A back to school program helps children treated for cancer transition back to school. LLS also provides financial assistance to patients with significant financial need and an insurance co-pay assistance program.

 

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (800) 955-4572 www.lls.org/aboutlls

Ovarian Cancer’s Subtle Symptoms and Risk Factors

Posted on: September 15th, 2012 by Knueppel HealthCare Services No Comments

According to The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (http://www.ovariancancer.org/), ovarian cancer is a killer disease. Knowing the symptoms and risk factors can help in early detection and prevention. September is widely considered Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. 

While ovarian cancer only accounts for approximately three percent of cancers in women, it is the ninth most common cancer among women and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers.

 

Types of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a growth of abnormal malignant cells that begins in the ovaries (women’s reproductive glands that produce ova). While the causes of ovarian cancer are unknown, some theories exist: Genetic errors may occur because of damage from the normal monthly release of an egg. Increased hormone levels before and during ovulation may stimulate the growth of abnormal cells.

 

Different types of ovarian cancer are classified according to the type of cell from which they start.

Epithelial tumors – About 90 percent of ovarian cancers develop in the epithelium, the thin layer of tissue that covers the ovaries. This form of ovarian cancer generally occurs in postmenopausal women.

Germ cell carcinoma tumors –Making up about five percent of ovarian cancer cases, this type begins in the cells that form eggs. While germ cell carcinoma can occur in women of any age, it tends to be found most often in women in their early 20s.

Stromal carcinoma tumors – Ovarian stromal carcinoma accounts for about five percent of ovarian cancer cases. It develops in the connective tissue cells that hold the ovary together and those that produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

 

Early detection and prevention is the key

Some of the facts:

• A woman’s lifetime risk of developing invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 71.

• Early detection greatly increases survival.

• Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are often subtle and easily confused with other conditions.

• When ovarian cancer is detected before it has spread beyond the ovaries, nine out of 10 women will survive for more than five years. However, fewer than 20 percent of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed early.

 

Learn ovarian cancer’s subtle symptoms.

• Many people do not know that ovarian cancer causes these symptoms in the majority of women who develop the disease: bloating; pelvic and abdominal pain; difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).

• Additional symptoms may include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain with intercourse, constipation and menstrual irregularities.

• There is no reliable and easy-to-administer early detection test for ovarian cancer (the Pap test, which screens for cervical cancer, does not detect ovarian cancer).

 

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance offers a free Symptom Diary App, which women can use to track symptoms and risk factors. Learn more and access the app at OvarianCancer.org/app.

 

Risk factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing cancer:

  • Family history of breast / ovarian cancer
  • Genetic mutation
  • Hormone replacement
  • More menstrual cycles
  • Increased age

 

Risk factors that can decrease a woman’s risk of developing cancer:

  • Removal of ovaries / fallopian tubes
  • Childbearing
  • Breastfeeding
  • Oral contraceptive use
  • Tubal ligation

9/11 Commemorations and Memorials: Information from USA.gov

Posted on: September 11th, 2012 by Knueppel HealthCare Services No Comments

Honoring Victims

 

United States map and people holding hands

On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners to strike targets in the United States. Nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the attacks.

By presidential proclamation, Americans are called on to participate in a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 AM Eastern Daylight Time on September 11, 2012. They may also observe the day with ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services. Flags should be displayed at half-staff in honor of the individuals who lost their lives.

Many Americans will serve in their communities in honor of 9/11 as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Service projects range from food drives and home repairs to neighborhood cleanups and disaster preparation activities. In many areas, volunteers will honor veterans, soldiers, or first responders by collecting donations, assembling care packages, and writing thank you letters.

Learn how you can participate in public service on the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Other activities you may take related to 9/11:

9/11 Memorials

Keeping America Safe

Emergency responders continue to train and prepare for the possibility of future attacks. Learn how you can prepare for a disaster or emergency. You may also review the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s progress report of the 9/11 Commission recommendations.

The U.S. State Department recommends that U.S. citizens abroad enroll in the Smart Travelers Enrollment Program.