GALL BLADDER AND BILE DUCT CANCERS

What is the Purpose of the Gallbladder and Bile Duct in the human body?

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped pouch that sits underneath the liver. The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile, a dark-green or yellowish brown made by the liver that helps digest fats in the small intestine and in response to signals, the gallbladder contracts and squeezes the stored bile into the small intestine through a series of tubes called ducts.

Bile ducts transport bile from the liver and gallbladder through the pancreas to the duodenum, a part of the small intestine. Bile ducts within the liver join together to form one main bile duct outside the liver, which carries the bile to the small intestine. The main bile duct is called the common hepatic duct and it joins the gall bladder via the cystic duct; the combined duct is known as the common bile duct.

What happens when cancer develops in the Gallbladder and/or in the Bile Duct?

Gallbladder and bile duct cancers are rare malignancies that have variable incidence. In Nigeria, gallbladder cancer ranks number eight among all the gastrointestinal cancers seen.

Most primary gallbladder and bile duct cancers are adenocarcinomas; they are growths that begin in the mucus glands that line the insides of the gallbladder and bile duct.

 Bile duct cancers also known as cholangiocarcinomas and can occur in the main bile duct outside liver (extrahepatic) or within the liver (intrahepatic). One in ten bile duct cancers develop as intrahepatic cancers in the small duct branches within the liver.

  What are some symptoms of Gallbladder Cancer and Bile Duct Cancer?

Gallbladder and Bile duct cancer does not usually cause signs or symptoms until later in the course of the disease, when the cancer has spread to other organs, but sometimes symptoms can appear sooner and lead to an early diagnosis.

 

With bile duct cancer, the symptoms arise when the bile duct becomes obstructed. Such symptoms include:

  • Jaundice; a condition in which the skin and the whites of the eyes become yellow, urine darkens, and the colour of the stool becomes lighter,
  • Itching of the skin,
  • Abdominal or belly pain,
  • Loss of appetite/ weight loss,
  • Nausea and vomiting,
  • Fever

Symptoms of Gallbladder Cancer include:

  • Abdominal pain, particularly in the upper right position of the abdomen,
  • Abdominal bloating,
  • Fever,
  • Unintentional weight loss,
  • Nausea,
  • Jaundice

What are the risk factors for developing Gallbladder Cancer and/or Bile Duct cancer?

Risk factors for gallbladder cancer include:

  • Gallstones and inflammation: Gallstones are the greatest risk factors for gallbladder cancer and up to 90% of people diagnosed with gallbladder cancer also have gallstones and chronic inflammation of the gallbladder.
  • Chronic or persistent typhoid infection: People who are chronically or persistently infected with Salmonella (causes Typhoid) are six times more likely to develop gallbladder cancer than those not infected.
  • Gallbladder polyps: Polyps are growths that protrude from the gallbladder’s mucous membranes; they are sometimes precancerous and can progress into cancer.
  • Porcelain Gallbladder: This occurs when the gallbladder becomes covered in calcium deposits, resembling porcelain ceramic.
  • Obesity
  • Family history

Risk factors for Bile Duct Cancer include:

  • Ulcerative Colitis: This condition causes inflammation of the large intestine and is often associated with inflammation of bile duct.
  • Biliary Parasites: Food or waterborne parasites in the bile duct increase the risk of developing cancer of the bile duct.
  • Chronic Hepatitis C: Although this a common risk factor for liver cancer, it is also considered a risk factor for Bile Duct Cancer.
  • Smoking: Intrahepatic bile duct cancer is more common along heavy smokers.
  • Diabetes

How do you diagnose Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancers?

  To confirm the diagnosis of Gallbladder and Bile Duct cancers, assess disease stage and plan the appropriate course of treatment, the patient will likely have or more of the following:

Blood Tests:

  • Liver function tests
  • Tumor Marker Tests

Imaging:

Some imaging techniques used to determine the exact size and location of the newly diagnosed gallbladder and bile duct tumours are as follows:

  • Ultrasound Exam
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Laparoscopy
  • Angiographic Computer Tomography (CT) Scan

It is important to speak to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, to determine the type of testing that will be done and after a diagnosis has been confirmed, the best treatment plan.

You can call 08099715000 or get in touch with us on Instagram.com/Lcccares  for a consultation or to make any other enquiries.

 

References:

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/types/gallbladder-bile-duct

https://www.roswellpark.org/cancer/gallbladder-bile-duct/diagnosis

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/bile-duct-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/how-diagnosed.html

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/picture-of-the-gallbladder#1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gallbladder-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20353370

https://www.healthline.com/health/bile-duct-obstruction

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15381-bile-duct-injuries-during-gallbladder-surgery

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/types/gallbladder-bile-duct

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/gallbladder-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-and-symptoms.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW DOES CERVICAL CANCER OCCUR?

Cervical cancer occurs when the cells of the cervix grow abnormally and invade other tissues and organs of the body. When it is invasive, this cancer affects the deeper tissues of the cervix and may spread to other parts (metastasis), most notably to the lungs, liver, bladder, vagina, and rectum.

Cervical cancer is slow progressing and so its progression through precancerous changes provides opportunities for prevention, early detection, and treatment.

According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women with an estimated 570,000 new cases in 2018 representing 6.6% of all female cancers.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, cervical cancer accounts for 22.5% of all cancer cases in women, and the majority of women who develop cervical cancer live in rural areas.

RISK FACTORS FOR CERVICAL CANCER

Cervical cancer begins with abnormal changes in the cervical tissue and the risk of developing these abnormal changes is associated with infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). More than 99% of cervical cancers occur in women who have been previously infected with HPV. HPV is a group of viruses and there are more than 100 different types. About 15 types of HPV are considered high-risk for cervical cancer. The two types known to have the highest risk are HPV 16 and HPV 18, which cause about 7 out of every 10 cervical cancers. High-risk types of HPV are thought to contain genetic material that can be passed into the cells of the cervix. This material begins to disrupt the normal workings of the cells, which can eventually cause them to reproduce uncontrollably, leading to the growth of a cancerous tumour.

Other factors that increase the risk of developing cervical cancer are early sexual contact, multiple sexual partners and taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills) especially for longer than five years, because they already lead to greater exposure to HPV.

Cigarette smoking is another risk factor for the development of cervical cancer because the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke interact with cells in the cervix, causing pre-cancerous that may progress to cancer over time.

 

 

 

 

 

EARLY DETECTION AND PREVENTION THROUGH SCREENING AND HPV VACCINATION:

– Cancer of the cervix usually takes many years to develop. Before it does, the cells in the cervix often show changes known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), or less commonly, cervical glandular intraepithelial neoplasia (CGIN)

– CIN and CGIN are pre-cancerous conditions, that may not pose an immediate threat to a person’s health, but they can potentially develop into cancer in the future.

The purpose of screening is to detect precancerous changes; women who are found to have abnormalities on screening need follow-up, diagnosis and treatment, in order to prevent the development of cancer or to treat cancer at an early stage.

Cervical screening makes it possible to find and treat cervical cancer in the early stages. Cervical cancer screening can involve testing for HPV, the Pap smear test, liquid-based cytology and visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA). For the liquid-based cytology (LBC), a speculum is placed inside the vagina and the doctor scrapes the cervix with a small brush, which collects cervical cells for lab testing. A similar process is also used for the Pap smear test.

At Lakeshore Cancer Center (LCC), we offer the LBC for cervical cancer screening in the clinical facility and VIA at outreach screening events. The sample collection process can be a very uncomfortable experience for many women, especially those who are psychologically unprepared for such an invasion of privacy and also for women who feel slight pain and/or discomfort with the insertion of the speculum. According to Nurse Uche, head of oncology nurses here at LCC, it is important to explain the process carefully to each patient beforehand making sure to detail every single step, in order to make the sample collection process a more comfortable one. In addition, introducing relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, can make a world of difference.   

Between ages 21 and 29, it is recommended that women get a Pap smear or LBC at least every three years, especially if they are sexually active.

For women aged 30 to 65 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that a Pap smear test or LBC combined with an HPV DNA test be done every 5 years or the pap smear test alone every 3 years.

Women older than 65 years who have had regular screening with normal and clear results in the last 10 years can stop screening. However for women whose tests have shown a serious pre-cancer within the last 20 years, such as severe cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), screening should continue until 20 years after the date when the pre-cancerous conditions were discovered.

Women with a higher risk of developing cervical cancer – this includes women with suppressed immune system due to HIV or women who have received organ transplants, should undergo screening more often than others.  

Avoidance of HPV infection is important in the prevention of precancerous and cancerous changes in the cervix.

  • There are now vaccines available to protect women and men from HPV and thus reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer in women. Lakeshore Cancer Center (LCC) administers HPV vaccines to guard against cervical cancer.
  • The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that routine HPV vaccination be initiated for both males and females between the ages of 9-26 years. It is important to ask your healthcare provider about your eligibility for the HPV vaccine before taking it.

It is important for women to screen for cervical cancer regularly, contact us at Lakeshore Cancer Center for cervical screening, HPV testing and vaccination and other inquiries.

Thanks for reading. You can share this post with your friends and get intouch with us.

Please call 08099715000 or send us a message info@Lakeshorecancercenter.org or on Instagram.com/Lcccares

 

References:

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/treating.html

https://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/diagnosis-screening/cervical-cancer/en/

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/cancer/cancer-types-in-adults/cervical-cancer#treating-cervical-cancer

https://www.webmd.com/cancer/cervical-cancer/cervical-cancer#1

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/254577.php

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319598.php?sr

https://www.elitedaily.com/p/do-pap-smears-hurt-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-getting-your-cervix-checked-out-3203603

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/cervical-cancer-screening-guidelines.html

Ntekim A. Cervical Cancer in Sub Sahara Africa, Topics on Cervical Cancer With an Advocacy for Prevention. Intech, 2012.

Cancer and Hope

“Dealing with it is the operative word. I found myself at seven years not battling it. Not struggling with it. Not suffering from it. Not breaking under the burden of it, but dealing with it.” -Michael J. Fox

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and although this is a frightening statistic, hearing the words, “You have cancer,” for the first time, is an even more frightening feeling. For many people who first hear these three life-changing words in their doctor’s office, images of despair and anguish immediately flood their minds as they come to the realization that their world has suddenly changed without their permission. For others, they begin to despise their bodies – a sense of betrayal washes over them because it would seem that the bodies, which they have faithfully relied on for many years to function and stay healthy, have now turned against them by growing cancer.

It is truly an uphill battle for many from the moment they receive the news of their cancer diagnosis; many people not only have to navigate through multiple chemotherapy and radiation treatments, managing physical pain and other negative side-effects of the disease as they go along, but they also have to battle strong emotions such as anxiety and depression, usually associated with fear of the disease outcome. This is where an important four-letter word comes in; a word that although may not change the outcome of the disease, helps the cancer warrior deal with the reality of his or her diagnosis and the life changes that come with it and be able to make peace with the situation regardless of the outcome. That four-letter word is Hope.

The Oxford dictionary defines hope as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.” Hope is the foundation on which many people believe that something positive may happen soon; it is an expectancy, an optimism of some sort in a world teeming with troubles and disappointments. For cancer patients, having hope is essential. And this hope may not necessarily come in the form of expecting total recovery and remission, it can also be in the seemingly little achievements, such as making it through another gruelling chemotherapy treatment or getting one’s appetite back after some months and being able to eat an ice cream once again. Having hope can also simply translateinto choosing to continue to enjoy the pleasures of life even in the midst of what feels like a storm.

Furthermore, it is imperative that the newly diagnosed is offered hope from the very beginning. Doctors can do this by offering cancer patients and their families the service of a therapist, who can help them process their emotions at each stage and keep them hopeful through the highs and lows of their cancer treatment.

Cancer support groups also play an important role in keeping hope alive; talking with other cancer patients weekly, exchanging resources and tips and generally interacting with people who “get it” can be an encouraging and uplifting experience. Some also find that their hope is strengthened and they are able to make peace with their diagnosis by tapping back into spirituality and religion. In the journey to recovery, it is essential for the cancer warrior to know that he or she is not walking alone and apart from family support, there are many resources available to make the journey less bleak.

Choosing to hope daily despite the reality of one’s diagnosis is an extremely courageous feat; it may not be easy at first and if perhaps one loses hope momentarily, of a better and more enjoyable future, in the words of author, Barbara Kingsolver, they “get to start over in the morning (as) hope is a renewable option.”

Thanks for reading. You can get in touch with us as regards everything Cancer from Prevention to Treatment to Support Groups etc.

We can be reached on 08099715000 or Instagram.com/Lcccares

 

 

 

 

lakeshore cancer center lagos

LUNG CANCER

Lung cancer also known as Lung Carcinoma is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that start off in one or both lungs; usually in the cells that line the air passages. The abnormal cells do not develop into healthy lung tissues, they divide rapidly and form tumors. About 1,370,000 deaths had been recorded worldwide due to rapid spread or growth of lung cancer or lung carcinoma.

Continue reading “LUNG CANCER”

STOMACH CANCER

CANCER is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissues.

STOMACH is the internal organ in which the major part of the digestion of food occurs, being (in humans and many mammals) a pear-shaped enlargement of the alimentary canal linking the oesophagus to the small intestine.

STOMACH CANCER begins when cancer cells form in the inner lining of your stomach. These cells can grow into a tumor. Also called gastric cancer, the disease usually grows slowly over many years.

Continue reading “STOMACH CANCER”

Hepatitis and Liver Cancer

Viral Hepatitis

Hepatitis can be defined as the inflammation of the liver. Viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is recognized as the usual cause of liver cancer. There are 5 different viruses that can cause hepatitis. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E are spread through human waste, contaminated water, and food. Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis D are spread through an infected individual’s body fluids or blood. Vaccines have the potential to protect against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. However, no vaccines are available for Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, and Hepatitis E.

Continue reading “Hepatitis and Liver Cancer”

CHILDHOOD CANCER

Leukemias are the most common childhood cancers. They account for about 30% of all cancers in children.
Leukemia is the cancer of the blood cells caused by a rise in the number of white blood cells body. They over crowd the red blood cells and platelets body needs to be healthy. All those extra white blood cells don’t work right, and that causes problems. There is really nothing you can do to prevent leukemia.

It is usually thought of as a children’s condition, but it actually affects more adults. It is more common in men than women. Continue reading “CHILDHOOD CANCER”

CANCER SURVIVORSHIP

The term “Cancer Survivor” commonly refers to someone who has a history of cancer. “Co-Survivor” is a term sometimes used to describe a person who has cared for a friend or loved one with cancer.

 

 

 

 

The word “Survivor” does not appeal to all people who have a history of cancer. The reasons for this vary. For instance, they may simply identify more with being “a person who has had cancer,” or perhaps they are dealing with cancer every day and do not think of themselves as Survivors, but more as someone who is “living with cancer.”

Continue reading “CANCER SURVIVORSHIP”

Heroes Day: National Cancer Survivors Day

NATIONAL CANCER SURVIVORS DAY 2018 “Life after a Cancer Diagnosis is a Reality”

Lakeshore Cancer Center is the foremost Cancer clinic in Nigeria sorely dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, and cancer education/awareness and support.

Part of our mission has been to dispel the myth and misconception that a cancer diagnosis is a death sentence, mainly through education and counseling of patients, caregivers, fellow health practitioners and the general public.

The National Cancer Survivors Day was first coined in 1987 with the very first event taking place in 1988.

It is usually marked on the first Sunday of June and in 2018 this will be on the 3rd of June.

We marked our own Heroes Day, Saturday, June 3, 2018.

We started with Aerobics.

We had games winners were presented with prizes 🏆

Survivors shared their story.

We all signed the “Kick Cancer” board.

We took photos and made new friends.

Special thanks to all our friends, partners and participating organizations – Zenith Bank, FCMB, COPE Breast Cancer, Dorcas Cancer Foundation, What Cancer and so many others.

You can get in touch with us on 0809 971 5000.

How to Examine your Testes to Prevent Testicular Cancer

Doctors in Lakeshore Cancer Center Teach how to carry out Testicular Examination so as to prevent Testicular Cancer.

Watch the video below.

If you need help with checking we can help.

Remember to take advantage of our Free Testicular Examination and Blood Pressure Check Offer.

Call 0809 971 5000 or send us a direct message on Instagram.com/lcccares, Facebook.com/lcccares

Lakeshore Health Fair

Lakeshore Cancer Center held a health fair on Saturday, March 3rd 2018 at Muri Okunola Park from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

This was to commemorate the World Cancer Day which had been marked worldwide on the 4th of February 2018. We traditionally mark this day in some way since the inception of the clinic in 2014. However this year 2018, we decided to expand by including other health providers in view of the risk factors of cancer and non-communicable diseases in general, Thus providing a thorough and holistic health check of interest to all attendees.

Continue reading “Lakeshore Health Fair”

World AIDS Day : AIDS and Cancer

World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st of December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

Continue reading “World AIDS Day : AIDS and Cancer”

EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF CANCER

Early cancer diagnosis

Cancer, a public health problem affects all categories of people all over the world with
Nigerians not an exception. It’s a term used to describe a large group of diseases characterized
by abnormal growth of cells beyond their usual boundaries. Cancer cells can invade adjoining
parts of the body and also spread to other organs.

Continue reading “EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF CANCER”

LYMPHEDEMA IN BREAST CANCER

Lymphedema is swelling caused by a build-up of lymph fluid in the surface tissues of the body.
This may happen as a result of damage to the lymphatic system because of surgery or radiotherapy to the lymph nodes under the arm (axilla) and surrounding area.
Sometimes lymphedema can be caused by cancer cells blocking the lymph system.
Lymph is made up of water and protein and also contains white blood cells called lymphocytes, which help your body fight infection.
The lymph nodes help fight infection by filtering out waste products like bacteria. They can also filter out cancer cells that have spread from a breast cancer, destroying some of them in the process.

SYMPTOMS

  • Swelling
    Swelling often happens in the arm or chest area immediately after breast surgery. This is part of the healing process and usually settles within a short time without any treatment, but it’s important this is checked by your specialist team.
    Swelling in the hand, fingers, arm, breast or chest can occur on the side of the body you had your surgery or radiotherapy.
  • Tightness
    The arm or breast can feel tight when there is extra fluid in the tissues. Some people feel tightness in the arm without the arm appearing swollen. Gentle exercise can relieve this feeling.
  • Dry skin
    Where there is swelling the skin is stretched and can become dry, flaky, itchy and prone to infection. Try to keep the skin clean by washing gently and avoiding soaps that dry out the skin. Dry your arm and hand thoroughly after washing and use an unperfumed moisturizing cream to help keep the skin supple and moist. This will help protect the skin and ease these symptoms.
  • Arm stiffness
    If your arm is swollen, it may limit movement in the joints. It’s important to exercise your arm and shoulder regularly to reduce stiffness and encourage lymph fluid to drain. If you were given specific exercises after your surgery or radiotherapy, it is very important to continue doing them for as long as recommended.
  • Discomfort
    Some people will experience discomfort with lymphedema. This may be a tight, heavy feeling in the arm or breast, and the discomfort tends to be dull and vague. Discomfort often occurs after strenuous activity.
    To help relieve this, try doing some gentle exercise. When you’re sitting, rest your arm on a pillow or cushion (but not so that it’s above the height of your shoulder). If the discomfort continues or you feel pain, it’s important you contact your specialist team.

TREATMENTS FOR LYMPHEDEMA

The aim of treatment for lymphedema is to encourage lymph fluid to move away from the swollen area, to try and improve symptoms and stop them getting worse. The way this is done will depend on how severe your lymphedema is, but your treatment may include some, or all, of the following approaches at different times. You can do quite a lot of these yourself alongside any professional treatment you are having

  •  Skincare
    Skincare is important because having excess lymph fluid in the arm or chest area, together with having fewer infection-fighting lymph nodes, increases the risk of infection. Small breaks in or damage to the skin, or some skin conditions which cause the skin to become red and sore, can become a site for infection. Dry, flaky or cracked skin can also lead to infection and make controlling any swelling more difficult. If an infection develops it can lead to further damage to the lymph system due to scarring, and may make the lymphedema worse.
  • Exercise
    Exercise will keep your joints supple and encourage muscle activity which is very important for lymph drainage. Although you may already use your arm actively in your everyday life or work and get plenty of exercise in this way, swelling can sometimes restrict movement of the arm and extra exercises may be helpful.
    Sport and fitness Sports and activities that you did before you developed lymphedema and those you wish to take up now are still possible, as long as you return to/start them slowly and stop if you have any discomfort or you notice further swelling. If you want to increase your activity levels or take up a new sport, make sure you do it gradually. Research suggests that exercise is helpful when you have lymphedema and does not make the lymphedema worse.
    General activities try not to use the affected arm for lengthy, strenuous activities such as lifting, carrying heavy objects or pushing heavy equipment like lawn mowers. If you need to do these activities, try to do other things in between to break up the length of time spent on them.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
    Being overweight can affect how you respond to treatment for lymphedema, so it’s important to try to keep your weight within normal limits. There’s no specific diet that will help but if you are overweight, try to follow a healthy, well-balanced eating plan and a regular exercise programme
  • Compression garments
    If the swelling is in your arm and/or hand you may be fitted with a compression garment in the form of a sleeve and/or glove to help control your lymphedema. If the swelling is in your breast or chest wall area, you may be fitted with a compression bra or vest. Your lymphedema specialist will assess which size and type of garment is best for you and this will usually be available on prescription.
    Compression garments are designed to reduce existing swelling and prevent further swelling by encouraging lymph fluid to drain away from the affected arm. The garment provides a firm resistance against which the lymph vessels are squeezed by the muscles during activity. This allows the lymph fluid to move up the arm more effectively. Wearing the garment may feel quite strange at first but it should feel comfortable and supportive. You will normally be provided with two garments so that one can be washed while the other is being worn.
    The average life span of a compression garment is about six months, after which it loses some of its elasticity and effectiveness. Therefore, make sure you contact your breast care nurse or lymphedema specialist to request new garments.
    If you find the garment difficult to cope with, and your lymphedema specialist has checked that it fits correctly, try wearing it when you are most active and then take it off when you are least active. The compression garment is most useful when your muscles are working actively and least useful during rest. Evidence is limited to support the use of compression garments during air flight in people with lymphedema.

Management of Pain with Cancer

Most patients with advanced cancer, and up to 60% of patients with any stage of the disease, experience significant pain. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 25% of all cancer patients die with unrelieved pain. Although pain can be  adequately in most cancer patients, it remains under-treated because of unfounded fears of opioid addiction, unavailability of analgesics from pharmacies, and cultural factors; however, it is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to address these barriers. Despite nearly 2 decades of awareness, medical oncologists continue to see poor pain management education during training, inadequate pain assessment, reluctance to prescribe opioids, and regulatory barriers. These trends are documented in every care setting, including designated cancer centers, where one-third of cancer patients continue to receive an inadequate dose of analgesics. Minority and elderly cancer patients continue to be more likely to have inadequate pain management, including administration of analgesics and palliative radiotherapy. The management of cancer-related pain is an ethical responsibility of healthcare professionals to relieve unnecessary suffering, as part of the duty to care.

Pain Symptoms: Cancer pain syndromes vary by tumor type and are related to patterns of tumor growth and metastasis. Pain may also be related to anti-neoplastic therapy. Many patients have pain caused by other co-morbid nonmalignant conditions, such as arthritis. Thorough evaluation is needed to distinguish cancer-related from non–cancer-related pains.

Elements of Management:

First and foremost, elements of cancer pain management include adequate management of symptoms to relieve suffering while undertaking a diagnostic evaluation that determines the cause of the pain. Once the cause of the pain is determined, specific interventions are selected to target it to provide durable pain relief and prevent potential cancer-related morbidity, such as pathologic fracture and spinal cord compression. Interventions to relieve cancer pain should be chosen according to the:

(1) cause of the pain

(2) patient prognosis and performance status

(3) prior therapies; and, most important

(4) the preferences of the patient in the context of overall goals of care

Ongoing care is needed to monitor the efficacy of the pain management plan relative to the evolution of other symptoms during treatment or to later disease progression. Recurrent pain or new sites of pain often are the first indications of cancer progression and should be promptly evaluated.

 

 

Dietary Supplements and Cancer

The idea of adding multivitamin to our diet has being an age-long practice. Be it on self-medication ground or by a clinician prescription has also posed a great challenge to health both to the sick and the healthy.

These multivitamin are trace body nutrients gotten from manufactured drugs or supplements needed by the body in minute quantities to support good body functions such as: cells metabolic activities, growth, proliferation etc. Vitamins and dietary supplements come as pills, tablets or a liquid and as well as water-soluble and fat-soluble.

Some complementary or alternative therapists also use injections of dietary supplements. However, these food supplements in the case of cancer might be needed in low levels of calcium and vitamin D nutrient as seen in hormone therapy (often used for breast and prostate cancer) which are known to weaken bones. Nevertheless, there is no reliable evidence that any dietary supplement can help to prevent cancer. But there is evidence that a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables can reduce your cancer risk.

Some research has looked at whether particular vitamins and dietary supplements can help to prevent cancer in certain groups of people. One of such large study in the USA found that giving vitamin E supplements to male smokers reduced their risk of prostate cancer.

It also found that giving beta carotene which is the active ingredient in vitamin A supplements to men with low levels of it in their diet reduced their risk of prostate cancer. But the supplements had no effect for non-smokers or men who had normal levels of beta carotene from their diet.

Furthermore, eating foods that contain beta carotene such as carrot can help to reduce the risk of lung cancer. But taking beta carotene supplements does not seem to have the same effect.

Some dietary supplements can cause skin sensitivity and severe reactions when taken during radiotherapy treatment. Some vitamins or minerals could interfere with how well cancer drugs work. Antioxidant supplements which is known to eat up the free radicals that destroys cells such as co enzyme Q10, selenium and the vitamins A, C and E can help to prevent cell damage.

The Royal College of Radiologists advises that people with cancer should not have high doses of antioxidant supplements during their cancer treatment.

Finally, supplements can be good if taken when needed with a need-assessment information prior to its commencement as high doses of some supplements can be counter-productive to its intended purpose. Regular visit to your Oncologist for a professional guide will help a lot.

CANCER AND SPIRITUALITY

Many patients with cancer rely on spiritual or religious beliefs and practices to help them cope with their disease. This is called spiritual coping. Many caregivers also rely on spiritual coping. Each person may have different spiritual needs, depending on cultural and religious traditions.

For some seriously ill patients, spiritual well-being may affect how much anxiety they feel about death. For others, it may affect what they decide about end-of-life treatments. Some patients and their family caregivers may want doctors to talk about spiritual concerns, but may feel unsure about how to bring up the subject.

Spirituality and religion can be important to the well-being of people who have cancer, enabling them to better cope with the disease. Spirituality and religion may help patients and families find deeper meaning and experience a sense of personal growth during cancer treatment, while living with cancer, and as a cancer survivor.
Spirituality versus Religion

Spirituality is the relationship people have with a force or power beyond themselves that helps them feel connected and enrich their lives. Religion is a specific set of beliefs or practices usually connected to an organized group. Some people find spirituality by practicing their religious beliefs, while others find it outside of an organized religion.

Many cancer patients would describe themselves as spiritual, but not necessarily religious, experts say.

People who are already religious often become more deeply religious being diagnosed with cancer, whereas others who were not religious sometimes seek spirituality and a connection to a power outside themselves after the diagnosis.

Often people return to the religious traditions of their childhood, experts say. But others may find comfort in a new tradition, such as meditation.

“Spirituality is a chance to be reconnected to God, a religious tradition, and a community that provides hope and strength for the cancer patient”

Spirituality and Quality of Life for Cancer Patients

Experts say that spiritual or religious practices can help you adjust to the effects of cancer and its treatment. Patients who rely on their faith or spirituality tend to experience increased hope and optimism, freedom from regret, higher satisfaction with life, and feelings of inner peace. In addition, patients who practice a religious tradition or are in touch with their spirituality tend to be more compliant with treatment and live a healthier lifestyle.

Studies show spirituality also can have a direct impact on quality of life by contributing to your physical health. Among the benefits shown in studies are:

  • Decreased feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness
  • Decreased alcohol and drug abuse
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Better control of pain, nausea, and discomfort

Spirituality may help patients and families find deeper meaning and experience a sense of personal growth during cancer treatment, while living with cancer, and as a cancer survivor.

A Place for Spirituality in Your Cancer Care?

Even though there are more cancer survivors today than ever before, a cancer diagnosis is scary for most people because they are suddenly faced with their mortality. They also don’t know what to expect from the cancer and treatment, although they know it will be challenging.

Often cancer patients report that they feel alone because they believe that no one can truly know what they are going through. Priests practice what is called compassionate presence, where they make themselves available to help people with cancer feel more connected to another human being, and perhaps to God, during this part of life’s journey. Many newly diagnosed cancer patients pray for a cure. However, if a cure is not in sight, cancer patients may look for emotional healing and often hope this healing can come from their spiritual relationship. They want to find meaning in their lives and their existence, and they are looking for a sense of support.

End of life decisions have a huge spiritual component. Some studies show that doctors’ support of spiritual well-being in very ill patients helps improve their quality of life. Health care providers who treat patients coping with cancer are looking at new ways to help them with religious and spiritual concerns. Doctors may ask patients which spiritual issues are important to them during treatment as well as near the end of life. When patients with advanced cancer receive spiritual support from the medical team, they may be more likely to choose hospice care and less aggressive treatment at the end of life.

When Spirituality Is Not Comforting

For some, a cancer diagnosis has the opposite effect on their sense of spirituality. It makes them doubt their beliefs or religious values, challenges their faith, and can cause spiritual distress. Some people become angry with God for allowing them to get cancer or wonder if they are being punished.

Spiritual distress can make it harder for patients to cope with cancer and its treatment. If you feel this way, it could have a negative effect on your attitude and progress. However, even people who are angry at God or are non-believers might benefit from talking to a spiritual counselor, experts say. Expressing feelings of shaken belief to someone who may be able to help restore faith, or even just understand your anger and doubts, can be therapeutic.

How to Find Spiritual Help if You Have Cancer

Each patient has unique spiritual needs based on cultural and religious traditions and upbringing. So you may be unsure about how to bring up the subject with your health care team. Keep in mind, though, that doctors and nurses are used to discussing this topic. Your cancer care professionals know that these beliefs can impact heavily on patients’ attitudes toward cancer and the challenges ahead, as well as decisions about treatment. Most teaching hospitals and cancer centers have churches around to help you cope with the challenges you are facing.

You shouldn’t be afraid to ask to see a priest or pastor. Even if he or she is not of your faith, they have helped hundreds of people take a similar journey, and will not try to convert you to a particular religious belief. They are there to offer solace, not conversion.

The priest/pastor/imam will spend time talking with you, will pray with and for you, and will offer a compassionate presence when you need it. And if you want to see a person in a certain religious tradition, such as a priest or an imam, the doctor can find someone for you.

Spiritual practices that may help you cope with your cancer and its treatments include:

  • Praying alone or with someone else
  • Having someone else pray for you
  • Meditation
  • Meditative breathing
  • Reading scripture or other holy works
  • Saying one passage from your religious tradition over and over again like a mantra
  • Using the language of your religion, such as English, Arabic, or Latin, in your prayers
  • Listening to classical or spiritual music
  • Yoga
  • Talking about spiritual matters with another
  • During times of pain and discomfort, during treatments, or when you feel alone, these and other practices can help take you mentally to another place where you feel whole, connected, and at peace.

Good Nutrition

Good nutrition is always important while you are receiving cancer treatment. Adequate daily intake of calories, protein, vitamins and minerals is needed to promote healing and aid in minimizing side effects.

The consequences of malnutrition among patients with cancer can lead to weight loss, muscle weakness, apathy, immune deficiency, frequent infections and higher mortality.

What is a calorie? A calorie is a unit of energy. A nutritional requirement / consumption is often expressed in calories/day e.g 1g of fat contains 9Kcal.

 

When we eat and drink more calories than we use up, our bodies stores the excess as body fat.

Here are some recommendations to promote good nutrition:

  • Drink plenty of fluids: 6-8 glasses each day, if possible, (1.5-2 quarts).
  • If your appetite is limited, You might prefer to eat 5 or 6 smaller meals rather than the 2 or 3 larger meals usually eaten each day.
  • If cooking smells are unpleasant, try cool or chilled foods which have fewer aromas. Remember to eat slowly and chew your foods well.
  •  A pleasant atmosphere or meals enjoyed with friends or family often helps stimulate the appetite

 

Recommendations for nutrition may be individualized based on your current health status and history including those with diabetes. Your dietitian can provide additional recommendations or assistance in helping you meet your nutrition and/or diet therapy goals.

 

Healthy Eating Strategies

Everyone should make an effort to make healthy food choices to promote good health.

Watching the amount of fat you eat is important: Diets that are high in fat are often high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Ounce for ounce, fats contain more calories than carbohydrates or proteins, but it’s important to keep in mind that just because something is low in fat doesn’t mean it’s low in calories.

A good rule of thumb when you’re reading food labels: For every 100 calories, if the product has 3 grams of fat or less, it’s a low-fat product. This means 30% or less of the calories come from fat.

Foods like margarine, mayonnaise, and some salad dressings that get most of their calories from fat must have half or less than half the fat of the regular version of the food to be called “light.” These foods don’t have to meet the 30% cutoff for number of calories from fat to be considered low-fat.

 Guidelines include:

  • avoiding oversized portions
  • choosing low-fat dairy products e.g Low-fat (1%) or fat-free (skim) yogurt, cottage cheese, or milkchoosing foods low in sodium
  • eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • drinking water instead of sugary drinks

Calorie goals involves your weight aim (either weight loss or weight gain). If weight gain, calorie surplus is ideal, if weight loss – calorie deficit e.g eating less than the body needs and exercising.

An average person needs to eat about 2000 – 2500Kcal / day to maintain a healthy body weight.

You should aim to make daily food and beverage choices within your calorie goals to maintain or achieve a healthy weight.

IT’S NOT TRUE!!!

…Debunking breast cancer myths and misconceptions.

In today’s society of information overload, there’s a whole lot being said about breast cancer that just isn’t true. Knowledge, they say, is power hence our resolve to separate the wheat from the chaff by debunking, with facts, some of these myths and misconceptions associated with breast cancer.

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk.

*Only about 10% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that the type of bra you wear or how tight it is increases your risk of getting breast cancer.

*These claims have been widely debunked as unscientific.

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that all breast lumps are cancerous.

*So don’t panic! About 80% of lumps in women’s breasts are benign however;women are advised to report all changes to their Doctor.

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that Breast implants can raise your cancer risk.

*Although Silicone implants may cause formation of scar tissue in the breast, studies have shown that they do not increase your breast cancer risk.However, standard mammograms don’t always work as well on these women, so additional X-rays are sometimes needed to examine breast tissue properly.

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that antiperspirants cause cancer.

*Research has focused on Parabens, a preservative found in some antiperspirants, cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical products. This is because it was found in a sample of cancerous tissues taken from the breast. However since the study did not analyze healthy breast tissue and clearly did not demonstrate that parabens are found only in cancerous breast tissue, it’s been ruled inconclusive. Furthermore, they did not identify the source of the parabens and could not establish that its build up was exclusiely due to use of antiperspirants. Bottom line? There’s reason to be mindful but not paranoid. If it helps you rest easy, use paraben-free products.

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that women with small breasts have a lesser chance of getting breast cancer.

*There’s just no connection between breast size and breast cancer risk however, very large breasts may be more difficult to examine and even mammograms and MRI more difficult to conduct.

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that annual mammograms expose you to so much radiation that they increase your risk of cancer.

*While it’s true that radiation is used in mammography, the amount is so small that any associated risks are tiny when compared to its huge preventive benefits.

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that men don’t have Breast cancer.

*Quite the contrary, each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 will die. While this percentage is still small, men should also check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam while in the shower and reporting any changes to their physicians.

Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola.  Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.

 

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that using mobile phones or microwaves increase your breast cancer risk.

There’s no good evidence to suggest that exposure to ‘non-ionizing radiation’, such as that from mobile phones or microwaves has any effect on your risk of developing breast cancer.

The confusion behind these rumors may be linked to the fact that another type of radiation, known as ‘ionizing radiation’ can increase the risk of many cancers, including breast cancer, but it’s still dependent on the amount you’re exposed to.

  1. IT’S NOT TRUE that a lump is the only sign of breast cancer.

*Other signs to look out for includeswelling; skin irritation or dimpling; breast or nipple pain; nipple retraction (turning inward); redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin; or a discharge other than breast milk. Breast cancer can cause lymph node swelling in the armpit before a tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt. Luckily, a mammogram may pick up breast cancer before symptoms begin to manifest.

Dr. Ugonna .N. Ajoku.

 

 

 

Rita Dominic & BK Unique Hair Inc visited Lakeshore Cancer Centre & held an Exclusive Dinner with Female Cancer Survivors in its MyHairMyCrown Campaign Bella Naija

Following the official launch and unveiling of Rita Dominic as brand ambassador in November 2016, BK unique Hair Inc has introduced an initiative called “MyHairMyCrown” campaign in February 2017. BK unique hair Inc teamed up with Lakeshore Cancer Centre for this campaign which aims to support and encourages female survivors.

Brand Ambassador & A List Nollywood actress Rita Dominic was highly instrumental in making this a reality. On Monday Feb 20th, 2017, Rita and the BK Unique hair team visited Lakeshore cancer center. She was given a warm welcome with a tour of the facility, met with members of staff as well as some of the patients. She also got the opportunity to have a chat with some of the survivors who shared their experiences.

A raffle was conducted at Lakeshore cancer center, where 8 lucky ladies emerged winners of the maiden edition of My Hair My Crown Campaign.  They were awarded custom made, 100% human hair wigs courtesy of BK unique hair. On Saturday Feb 25th 2017, the winners were treated to full makeovers, as well as dinner with Rita Dominic at the prestigious Eko Hotel.

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Experts advocate national screening programme to reduce cancer in Nigeria

Medical experts have urged the Federal Government to come up with a national screening scheme for cancer to address the rising cases of the disease in the country.

A general practitioner, who is Head of Strategy, Development and Outreach at Lakeshore Cancer Centre in Lagos, Oge Ilegbune, while lamenting over the prevalent of cancer in Nigeria at an awareness campaign organised by the company urged government and individuals to find sustainable solutions that would prioritise prevention of the dieses.

Expectations are that the screening will lead to early detention and help the country to come down hard on widespread of cancer in the country thereby, reducing yearly loss to the life threatening disease.

 

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worldcancerday2017

World Cancer Day is celebrated worldwide annually and 2017 is no different. Lakeshore Cancer Center is at the forefront of the drive to change the dismal cancer statistics with educative and awareness measures. This year the emphasis was on collaborating with likeminded individuals to carry out cancer Screening and preventive measures activities. This was done “At home” in collaboration with Dennis Ashley Wellness Clinic and PathCare Laboratories and supported by Landmark Africa office/ event center and Shoprite.

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