Cancer Treatment, Coping, and Support

Source of lots of resources on fighting cancer.

Merck has an excellent Web site called MerckEngage that deals with cancer.

Here are some helpful links:

Click the image to read a lot more from MerckEngage.

 

Do YOU Get Regular Eye Exams

Please don’t ignore your eyes!

As our title asks: Do YOU Get Regular Eye Exams? Or do YOU neglect your eyes? Please be sure to treat your eyes properly!!! 🙂

Recently, Sarah DiGiulio wrote about this topic for Sharecare. Here are some highlights:

“Roughly 11 million Americans older than 12-years old need vision correction, but glasses or contacts are just one reason to see an eye doctor. Comprehensive eye exams are essential for the early detection of health issues that can affect your vision.”

“As you age, your risk for diseases that can affect your sight, like glaucoma and macular degeneration, increases. During a comprehensive, dilated eye exam, doctors specializing in the eyes and vision, called ophthalmologists, or licensed health care professionals, known as optometrists, can not only pick up eye diseases that could lead to blindness or other complications, but also detect certain underlying health issues that can affect your eyes—even before you develop symptoms or realize that something is going on.”

“Nonetheless,survey data suggest they’re underutilized. A 2016 Harris Poll, commissioned by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, found that 64 percent of U.S. adults reported having at least one vision problem, such as blurry vision, double vision, or difficulty seeing at night. Yet, only 13 percent of these people reported seeing an eye doctor about it.”

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that up to 45 percent of adults in the United States haven’t had a dilated eye exam within the last two years. And only about half of the estimated 61 million adults at high risk for vision loss visited an eye doctor during the past year. (Keep in mind, there are free or low-cost options available, particularly for older people and those at higher risk for eye diseases.)”

Click the image to read a lot more.

Do YOU Get Regular Eye Exams
Your risk for eye-related disease increases as you age. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help protect your vision.

 

Being Tired All the Time

Advice about always being tired.

Last year, we looked at how to Increase Your Energy When You’re Too Tired to Workout. Now, we examine being tired all the time. This is something that I regularly face. How about you?

As Ana Lopez writes for Sharecare:

“Do you often feel exhausted with more than your run-of-the-mill fatigue? Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, may be to blame. We talked to endocrinologist Parveen K Verma, DO, FACE, of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey, to learn more about hypothyroidism and how it’s treated.” 

What is hypothyroidism?  Dr. Verma: “It is a problem with the thyroid gland, a gland in the base of your neck that controls metabolism. It can be caused by an infection and may be a transient problem … that gets better without treatment. It may also be the result of an autoimmune disease,  where the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone.”

What are symptoms of hypothyroidism? Dr. Verma: “Typical symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, decreased energy, depression, dry skin and hair,  and constipation. A lot of people just feel like everything has closed down. For women, they may have fertility issues or abnormal menstrual cycles.”

When should I see my healthcare provider? Dr. Verma: “If common things that cause fatigue (not getting enough sleep, nutritional issues, multitasking) have been ruled out and you don’t feel better after a few weeks, then you should seek a medical evaluation. An initial workup may include a discussion about sleep habits, nutrition, work schedule, personal stressors, and blood work that looks for things like anemia or other metabolic problems, such as hypothyroidism.”

How is hypothyroidism treated? Dr. Verma: “The typical treatment is to use a form of thyroid hormone called levothyroxine. There are some other formulations that are considered more natural, such as Armour Thyroid. To decide which would be an appropriate choice for you, discuss your options with your primary care doctor or endocrinologist.”

To read a lot more, click the image.

https://www.sharecare.com/health/hypothyroidism/article/tired-all-the-time-is-that-normal
 

Encore – Surviving Cancer: Personal Glimpses of Resilience

Hear from three cancer survivors.

Another aspect of my personal good fortune is the continuing popularity of interviews I have done.

Thus, it is with great pride that I present the most recent airing (October 24, 2019) of Surviving Cancer: Personal Glimpses of Resilience. Hosted by Dr. Suzanne B. Phillips:

“In this episode Professor Joel Evans, Patricia Malone, and Dave Berger will share personal glimpses of their diagnosis, treatment and survival from cancer. You will hear about the impact of diagnosis, the role of family and friends. The question of stigma and the response of colleagues. You will hear about the expected and unexpected, the trust in medical teams and the personal factors that each drew upon to keep on going at the roughest of times. These are stories of pain, persistence, fear, gratitude and possibility. These are stories of people who were helped by the wisdom of others who had faced cancer. In this episode, Joel Evans, Patricia Malone and Dave Berger want to pass on their experiences to benefit others. You will not forget them or the resilience they share.”

 

 

Inflammation Can Affect Overall Health

Seek medical support for any persistent inflammation.

Yes, we know that inflammation in our knees, shoulders, ankles, etc. can be painful. And chronic inflammation may be quite annoying. But do you know how inflammation can affect one’s overall health? Not just the affected body part.

The best advice? Do not let a substantial inflammation be under-treated or improperly monitored. Consult with your medical professionals. And listen to their suggestions.

According to observations for Elemental by Markham Heid, a health and science writer:

“Doctors today have a better understanding of inflammation and its role in illness. But their best attempts to define inflammation still lack the precision Ziegler found elusive more than a century ago.”

“The authors of a 2015 British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) study found inflammation is the immune system’s primary weapon in the ‘elimination of toxic agents and the repair of damaged tissues.’ But when inflammation persists or switches on inappropriately, they write, it can act as a foe rather than a friend. Hardly a week goes by in which researchers fail to discover new links between inappropriate inflammation and a common disease or disorder.”

“From Alzheimer’s and heart disease to arthritis, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders, elevated or out-of-whack inflammation is a common thread that ties together these seemingly unrelated ailments. For now scientists are still exploring the ways it changes the body, for better and for worse.”

To learn more, click the image.

Inflammation Can Affect Overall Health
Illustration: Kieran Blakey  

 
 

Do NOT Say This to a Person in Pain

FIFTEEN tips to be more thoughtful.

Speaking from personal experience, I have had people say various hurtful things. Or things that are not helpful. Often unintentionally. 

For example, as Linda Esposito notes for US News & World Report:

“People with chronic pain have heard it all – over and over. Acquaintances say, ‘You look fine to me,’ or ask, ‘Why aren’t you better yet?’ Doctors and nurses advise, ‘There comes a point when you must accept a new normal.'”

“For someone coping with continual pain, possibly for years, none of this is necessarily original or helpful. You may know someone with chronic pain and just not be sure what to say. Read on as people living with pain share their biggest pet peeve remarks from family, friends, and health care providers – and suggest more thoughtful, supportive comments.”

Click the image to learn FIFTEEN things not to say. 

Do NOT Say This to a Person in Pain
Credit: Getty Images

 

Health Care Coverage by Age Category

Uninsured rising. Young adults losing coverage.

For many of us, good medical care is essential. But, in fact, how much does the use of health care insurance vary by age category? The answer : A lot!!!

According to Katharina Buchholz, writing for Statista:

“The number of Americans who have no healthcare insurance increased again in 2018, the first time since 2010, which was the year the Affordable Care Act went into effect. From 2017 to 2018, the number of people with no health care plan rose most steeply among those 35 to 64 years old.” <a

According to the CDC, it is young adults in the age group of 19 to 34, however, who are most likely to be uninsured in the U.S. In 2018, 14.3 percent of 19-to-25-year-olds and 13.9 percent of 26-to-34-year-olds had no health insurance. After 2010, the share of uninsured Americans decreased in all age groups.  Recently, public healthcare enrollment has declined due to eliminating 90 percent of the ACA’s advertising budget in 2018″

Take a look at the Statista chart.

 
Health Care Coverage by Age Category