Cancer Health

We highly recommend this FREE site.

Introduced in 2017, the Cancer Health Web site has information on a great many types of cancer. We highly recommend this FREE site.

Cancer Health empowers people living with cancer to actively manage and advocate for their care and improve their overall health. Launched in 2017, the Web site provides accessible information about treatment and quality of life for people with cancer and their loved ones, as well as information about cancer prevention and health policy for a general readership. The information provided on this site is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own medical providers.”

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Cancer Health

Health and Alcohol — Another View

On Wednesday, we reported about the recent study about health and alcohol — and the effects of any alcohol. Today, we offer another view.

As reported by Aaron E. Carroll for the New York Times:

“A paper was published in The Lancet that claimed to be the definitive study on the benefits and dangers of drinking. The news was apparently not good for those who enjoy alcoholic beverages. It was covered in the news media with headlines like ‘There’s No Safe Amount of Alcohol.’ The truth is much less newsy and much more measured.”

“There are limitations that warrant consideration. Observational data can be very confounded, meaning that unmeasured factors might be the actual cause of the harm. Perhaps people who drink also smoke tobacco. Perhaps people who drink are also poorer. Perhaps there are genetic differences, health differences, or other factors that might be the real cause. There are techniques to analyze observational data in a more causal fashion, but none of them could be used here, because this analysis aggregated past studies — and those studies didn’t use them.”

“The news warns that even one drink per day carries a risk. But how great is that risk? For each set of 100,000 people who have one drink a day per year, 918 can expect to experience one of the 23 alcohol-related problems in any year. Of those who drink nothing, 914 can expect to experience a problem. This means that 99,082 are unaffected, and 914 will have an issue no matter what. Only 4 in 100,000 people who consume a drink a day may have a problem caused by the drinking, according to this study.”

NONETHELESS, “This message shouldn’t get lost in any argument: There is no debate, and this study confirms once again, that heavy drinking is really bad for you.”

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Health and Alcohol -- Another View

 

There Should Be No Shame in Depression

Depression affects millions of people in the United States also. The states of depression can range from rather mild to quite severe. One of the being biggest problems with depression is the feeling of embarrassment in admitting to being depressed. Societal norms often cause people to think this ailment is taboo. And this means that treatment would not sought, when it should be.

But depression is not restricted to those who are severely ill, doing poorly at work, etc. It impacts on all sorts of people. The key to better mental health is to admit to ourselves that we have a problem. And to seek help to address that problem.

Even people who many see as “successful” have problems with depression. Consider the recent suicides of fashionista Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bordain.  Just last week, ESPN ran a major story on depression among NBA (National Basketball  Association) players — where the average salary exceeds $6 million. As Jackie MacMullan reported:

“The willingness of stars Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan to step out of the shadows and reveal their struggles has set the NBA on an important path of self-discovery. It has prompted the National Basketball Players Association to hire Dr. William Parham as its first director of mental health and wellness; and it has convinced commissioner Adam Silver and union head Michele Roberts that hammering out a comprehensive mental health policy needs to be a priority.”

“Yet there remain many obstacles to confront, chief among them the stigma attached to mental health that prompts many players to suffer in silence. The union also insists that mental health treatment be confidential. But some NBA owners, who in some cases are paying their players hundreds of millions of dollars, want access to the files of their ‘investments.’ Confidentiality, says Love, has to be non-negotiable. Without it, he says, he never would have become comfortable enough to announce from that All-Star dais that he was seeking treatment.”

Consider these candid remarks from Kevin Love, a many-time NBA All Star.

 

National Cancer Institute Resources

To continue our series on valuable resources from leading organizations, let us look at the National Cancer Institute. It offers several types of multimedia resources.

Videos (at its YouTube Channel)

Videos

Infographics

Infographics

Photography/Biomedical Illustrations

Photography and Illustrations

B-Roll Videos (PR)

PR Videos

 

Useful Cancer Videos from the CDC

At its YouTube channel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has nearly THREE THOUSAND videos on all aspects of health. A number of its videos relate to cancer. Here are some examples. 

WHAT IS CANCER?

FINDING Official Cancer Statistics

CANCER PREVENTION DURING EARLY LIFE

CANCER PREVENTION DURING EARLY ADULTHOOD

CANCER REGISTRIES


 

Avoid Skin Cancer

Did you know? According to the CDC:

“Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States! But most skin cancers can be prevented. Every year — Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer at a cost of more than $8 billion. There are 76,000 new cases of and 9,000 deaths from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays—from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds—is the most common cause of skin cancer. Anyone, no matter their skin tone, can get skin cancer.”

“Being physically active outside is healthy and can help prevent conditions like obesity. But it’s important to be sun smart when playing and working outdoors. Use a layered approach for sun protection. Seek shade, especially late morning through mid-afternoon. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and other clothes to protect skin. Use broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15+ to protect any exposed skin. Sunscreen works best when used with shade or clothes, and it must be re-applied every two hours and after swimming, sweating, and toweling off.”

Avoid Skin Cancer
 

Sometimes the Road Is More Bumpy

As I wrote in my very first blog post for Living Well While Surviving Cancer: “I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with any terrible disease and their families.” At times, this refers to me as well. I’m doing my best to be upbeat and live as well as I can EVERY DAY. Sometimes, that’s not easy.

Last month, my wife Linda and I went on a cruise vacation that we were planning for months. The travel and itinerary both seemed within my capability range. Because of my health issues, we prepare carefully and wait until near the date of each of our trips to book everything. And we always get trip insurance.

The first few days of this trip were fine; and we had a great time. I even tried — unsuccessfully — to take a selfie while sightseeing. I may have a lot of skills, but taking pictures with my phone is not one of them. Yes, that is my hand blocking the scenery. LOL.

Sometimes the Road Is More Bumpy

Unfortunately, there was nothing very funny about the rest of our trip. On the third night of the cruise, I couldn’t stop shivering. And the ship’s doctor decided to send me ashore. We were docked in a good spot and the hospital I was sent to by ambulance was fine.

I was examined right away and admitted to ICU. It turns that somehow I had contracted double pneumonia with sepsis. In addition, I had a fever,  low blood pressure, and a low oxygen level. Pretty scary stuff. I was out of it, so I didn’t really know what was going on. However, Linda was petrified (again).

I was in ICU for 6 days. Then, I spent another 4.5 days in a regular hospital room.  Thankfully, the excellent doctors were able to mostly “fix what ailed me.” When I was able, we returned home.

How am I now, a short time later? My doctors at home tell me it may take up to six weeks to fully get over this illness. They have also ordered me not to fly for another 6 months or so. Nonetheless, I’m feeling much better today and looking forward to every day as it comes.

What’s my moral of the story? The same one I’ve been preaching to myself for years: Live life every day. We really don’t know what is around the corner. We can only play the hand we are dealt, and make the best of it. Yes, this was not my favorite trip by any means. But Linda and I did have a few good days at the beginning. And we have a LOT of memories to look back on and stories to tell. I LOVE YOU LINDA!!

Of course, we have insurance companies to battle with over my medical care, our return home, etc. That is part of what makes life so challenging.

 

I wish you all the very best on any travel you have coming up. And above all, stay well!