Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What are the key statistics about prostate cancer?

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2013 are:

  • About 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed
  • About 29,720 men will die of prostate cancer
About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.
Timely Detection is "key", therefore men are encouraged to have open dialogue with their physician, and undergo a yearly physical, including a PSA (prostate specific antigen test)AND a DRE test (digital rectal exam). These two tests combined, take just a few minutes to complete and are not painful! 

Statistic of the day:

In the U.S., almost 13,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year; approximately 1/4 of them will not survive the disease. A diagnosis turns the lives of the entire family upside down.

*Overall, 80 percent of childhood cancer cases can be successfully treated!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

The Thyroid Gland is an important organ that regulates body metabolism. It is located in the front of the neck just below the voice box (larynx). The thyroid gland secretes two main thyroid hormones – thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The secretion of T3 and T4 by the thyroid is controlled by a feedback mechanism involving the Pituitary gland, a small organ at the base of the brain, and the Hypothalamus, a structure in the brain.
Thyroid cancer is a cancer that starts in the thyroid gland.
Thyroid cancer is the fastest increasing cancer in incidence. It affects female and males of all ages, from young children to seniors. Even when treatable, thyroid cancer is life disrupting, expensive, and stressful both for patients and for loved ones. 
*Early detection is important, because some thyroid cancers are aggressive and difficult to treat.
  In 2004, I learned how crucial a persons thyroid is to live.
I noticed a large golf ball-size mass on the side of my throat, while looking in the mirror.  I did notice my neck had been a bit sore for a few weeks prior.  I assumed I was in need of a new pillow, and never noticed the growth until it was HUGE!  I still can't figure out how it took me so long to notice such a large "lump" on my throat, because it was very noticeable.  After-all, I look in the mirror every morning and night while performing my hygiene upon waking up, and going to sleep! It was a bit sore to the touch, and had no recollection of pain upon washing my neck each day.

Initially, I panicked a bit (you may remember form my previous posts, cancer is very prevalent in my family, and has been a harsh and dangerous reality since age 12), as I knew the prognosis couldn't be good.  My neighbor had just informed us of his thyroid cancer diagnosis the week before, so you know exactly where my thoughts went!  
It took a week to secure and appointment for a biopsy, then an additional 6 days to receive results.  During this time I was a mess!  All I could think of is "I have cancer!  I am going to die and my babies (ages 2 and 4 months, at the time) won't have a mom-my poor husband!" 
By God's Grace, my tumor was benign!  The doctor said it was a mass of hundreds of little tumors clumped together.  
I had the tumor and half of my thyroid removed a week later.  Thankfully, I have been able to sustain with just my half thyroid, and don't require daily medication in order to live.  I get checked 3 times a year to ensure my half thyroid is functioning as sufficiently as a "whole" thyroid would, as my body needs. 
I continually pray I can sustain, so I don't have to begin supplemental medical protocol for the rest of my life. 

Did you know?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. 

Have an enjoyable and safe holiday-you've earned it!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know the average child diagnosed with cancer is 10 years old?  

This is a startling statistic!  Being a mom of two, between ages 9 and 11, with a long line of various cancers within our family, this is a sobering fact.  

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children.  

Childhood cancers are mostly those of the white blood cells (leukemia), brain, bone, and the lymphatic system (lymphoma). Each type of childhood cancer behaves differently, but all develop because of an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

There are many ways to make a difference
From making a donation that supports lifesaving research, to lending support to families affected by cancer, you can help children and families overcome the devastation of childhood cancer.