Esophageal Cancer

Also known as Esophageal Carcinoma, Esophageal cancer is a cancer that occurs in the Esophagus – the long narrow tube that runs through the throat to the stomach. Esophagus’ primary function is to help move food from the back of the throat during swallowing, and this tube is lined with cells (squamous cells) which is the starting point for the development of cancer.

Esophageal cancer is classified according to the type of cells that are involved. The type of esophageal cancer determines the type of treatment to be given. Types of esophageal cancer include:

  • Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma begins in the cells of mucus-secreting glands in the esophagus. Adenocarcinoma occurs most often in the lower portion of the esophagus.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: The squamous cells are flat, thin cells that line the surface of the esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma occurs most often in the upper and middle portions of the esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most prevalent esophageal cancer worldwide.
  • Other rare types: Some rare forms of esophageal cancer include small cell carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma, melanoma and choriocarcinoma.

Esophageal cancer occurs more in men, and is currently the sixth most common cancer in our world today, with fewer than a hundred thousand occurring in Nigeria every year. Most common risk factors for this disease are;    

  • tobacco use,
  • alcohol intake,
  • some nutritional habits like not eating enough fruits & vegetables
  • Obesity. Other factors include
  • previous history of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD),
  • barrett’s esophagus (precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus),
  • achalasia (difficulty swallowing because of an esophageal sphincter that won’t relax) and
  • undergoing previous radiation treatment to the chest and abdomen.

Most common signs and symptoms of Esophageal cancer include;

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Chest pain, pressure or burning
  • Worsening indigestion or heartburn
  • Coughing or hoarseness.

Although early esophageal cancer has no signs and symptoms, screening for esophageal cancer isn’t done routinely except for patients with Barrett’s esophagus because of a lack of other easily identifiable high-risk groups. Many steps can be taken to prevent this cancer and they include;

  • Quit smoking. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about strategies for quitting. Medications and counseling are available to help you quit.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Add a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about strategies to help you lose weight. Aim for a slow and steady weight loss of 1 or 2 pounds a week.

Thanks for reading. We can be reached on 08099715000 . If you any cancer related question or you just want to talk to someone, we are here.

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/esophageal-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20356084

Testicular Cancer

What Is Testicular Cancer?
Cancer starts when cells begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancerous and spread to other parts of the body.

What is Testicular Cancer? Cancer that starts in the testicles is called Testicular Cancer.

To understand this cancer, it helps to know about the normal structure and function of the testicles.
Testicular cancer occurs in the testicles (testes), which are located inside the scrotum, a loose bag of skin underneath the penis that produces sex hormones and sperm for reproduction.
Compared with other types of cancer, Testicular Cancer is rare. But is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35.

What are Testicles?
Testicles (also called testes; a single testicle is called a testis) are part of the male reproductive system. The 2 organs are each normally a little smaller than a golf ball in adult males. They’re held within a sac of skin called the scrotum. The scrotum hangs under the base of the penis.

Testicles have 2 main functions:
 They make male hormones (androgens) such as testosterone.
 They make sperm, the male cells needed to fertilize a female egg cell to start a pregnancy. Sperm cells are made in long, thread-like tubes inside the testicles called
Seminiferous tubules.

Types of Testicular cancer:
The testicles are made up of many types of cells, each of which can develop into one or more types of cancer. It’s important to know the type of cell the cancer started in and what kind of cancer it is because they differ in how they’re treated and in their prognosis (outlook).

Doctors can tell what type of testicular cancer you have by looking at the cells under a microscope.

Germ cell tumors: More than 90% of cancers of the testicle start in cells known as germ cells.
These are the cells that make sperm. The main types of germ cell tumors (GCTs) in the testicles are seminomas and non-seminomas.

A.) Seminomas: Seminomas tend to grow and spread more slowly than non-seminomas. The 2 main sub-types of these tumors are classical (or typical) seminomas and
spermatocytic seminomas.

I.) Classical seminoma: More than 95% of seminomas are classical. These usually
occur in men between 25 and 45.
II.) Spermatocytic seminoma: This rare type of seminoma tends to occur in older men.
(The average age is about 65.) Spermatocytic tumors tend to grow more slowly and are less likely to spread to other parts of the body than classical seminomas.

Some seminomas can increase blood levels of a protein called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). HCG can be checked with a simple blood test and is considered a tumor marker for certain types of testicular cancer.

B.) Non-seminomas: These types of germ cell tumors usually occur in men between their late teens and early 30s. The 4 main types of non-seminoma tumors are embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac carcinoma, choriocarcinoma, and teratoma.

Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include:
 A lump or enlargement in either testicle,
 A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum,
 A dull ache in the abdomen or groin,
 A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum,
 Pain or discomfort in a testicle or scrotum,
 Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts and,
 Back pain.

Risk factors for Testicular Cancer include:
 Family history of the disease, and previous history of testicular cancer.
 An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism): The testes usually descend into the scrotum
before birth, in cases where they don’t, those men with undescended testes are at a
greater risk of testicular cancer than men whose testes descended normally.
 Abnormal testicle development: There are conditions that can result in the abnormal
development of the testicles such as Klinefelter syndrome and such conditions may
increase your risk of testicular cancer.
 Age: Testicular cancer is more common among men aged between of 13-35 years.
 Race: Testicular cancer is more common in white men than in black men.

Treatment for Testicular Cancer:
The three basic types of treatment are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Surgery is performed by Urologists; radiation therapy is administered by Radiation Oncologists; and chemotherapy is the work of Medical Oncologists. In most patients with testicular cancer, the disease is cured readily with minimal long-term morbidity. While treatment success depends on
the stage, the average survival rate after five years is around 95%, and stage 1 cancer cases, if monitored properly, have essentially a 100% survival rate.
Treatment Clinical trials have also refined doctors’ approaches to treating these cancers. For example, studies have found factors that help predict which patients have a particularly good prognosis and may not need lymph node surgery or radiation therapy.

Studies also have found unfavorable prognostic factors that suggest certain patients may benefit from more intense treatment. New drugs and new drug combinations are being tested for patients with testicular
cancer that comes back or doesn’t respond to treatment. And high-dose chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant is being studied in men who have tumors with a poor prognosis. Other studies are using robotic-assisted surgery to remove lymph nodes after chemotherapy. It appears to be a safe option instead of standard “open” surgery, but more research is needed to show this and to see if there are other benefits.

References:
Boccellino M, Vanacore D, Zappavigna S, et al. Testicular cancer from diagnosis to epigenetic
factors. Oncotarget. 2017;8(61):104654-104663. Loveday C, Litchfield K, Levy M, et al.
Validation of loci at 2q14.2 and 15q21.3 as risk factors for testicular cancer. Oncotarget.
2017;9(16):12630-12638. Singh A, Chatterjee S, Bansal P, Bansal A, Rawal S. Robot-assisted
retroperitoneal lymph node dissection: Feasibility and outcome in postchemotherapy residual
mass in testicular cancer. Indian J Urol. 2017;33(4):304-309. Tselos A, Moris D, Tsilimigras DI,
et al. Robot-Assisted Retroperitoneal Lymphadenectomy in Testicular Cancer Treatment: A
Systematic Review. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2018 Feb 23. Last Medical Review: May
17, 2018 Last Revised: May 17, 2018
Hyperlinks:
1.) www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/what-is-cancer.html
2.) www.cancer.org/cancer/testicular-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/howdiagnosed.html
3.)www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-
treatment/understandingrecurrence.html
4.) www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkin-lymphoma.html
5.) www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemia-in-children.html

Cancer Myths, Misconceptions and Facts

Breast Cancer:

Misconception #1: When a woman either has a spontaneous abortion late in her pregnancy or a stillbirth, she can develop breast cancer, because the milk production meant for the child can spoil and cause cancer in the breast.

The Facts: More breast milk is made whenever milk is removed from the breast. The more the baby feeds, the more the milk the mother will make. In the absence of demand from the baby, the mother’s milk supply eventually dries up. Moreover, human breast milk is always fresh and cannot spoil in the breast.

Misconception #2: If you wear black brassieres often, you are more likely to get breast cancer because the black-coloured underwear will radiate more heat than other lightly-coloured underwear.

The Facts: There is no scientific evidence to suggest that wearing brassieres -black or not – can lead to the development of breast cancer. The study that investigated the link between wearing a brassiere and breast cancer, showed no real difference in risk between women who wore a brassiere and women who didn’t wear a brassiere.

Misconception #3: Only women can get breast cancer.

The Facts: Although breast cancer is most common in women, it also occurs in men too. Men also have small breast tissue and can develop cancer but unlike women they tend to delay going to the doctor until they have severe symptoms.

Misconception #4: When someone punches you in the breast, you can develop breast cancer in the injured breast.

The Facts: An injury to the breast/chest area will not cause breast cancer, however, depending on the severity of the injury, swelling and discoloration may occur, and in some cases scar tissue in the breast is formed, when the body naturally repairs the damaged fatty breast tissue.


Misconception #5: Women that store their money and cell phones in their brassieres, can develop breast cancer later on.

The Facts: There is not enough information or data available to establish a relationship between putting one’s phone in contact with the breasts for long periods and developing breast cancer.

Misconception #6: Men sucking and fondling women’s breasts helps prevent breast cancer.

The Facts: There is no scientific evidence to indicate that sucking, squeezing or fondling a woman’s breasts could prevent breast lumps or breast cancer. However, in some cases, men are able to help detect lumps in their partner’s breasts at an early stage through regular sucking and fondling of the breasts.  

Misconception #7: When women place ants on the breasts to “cause growth,” they can develop breast cancer later on.

The Facts: This is simply not true. Many factors can increase one’s risk of developing breast cancer, such as aging, being overweight, having a family history of the disease, among others, but ant-bites are not one of them. Also, there is no evidence that suggests that placing ants on the breast accelerates breast growth in females; we know that the rate of breast growth has more to do with age, genetics and weight than any other thing.

Misconception #8: Using antiperspirant deodorants can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

The Facts: There is no evidence to suggest that using anti-perspirant deodorants can increase one’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Lung Cancer:

Misconception #1: Only smoking can cause lung cancer.

The Facts: Tobacco smoking is by far the leading cause of lung cancer; it is responsible for about 80% of lung cancer deaths. However, lung cancer can also occur in non-smokers when they are exposed to radon, second-hand smoke, air pollution, asbestos, diesel exhaust fumes and other air pollutants and when they have certain DNA mutations that predispose them to lung cancer. Research shows that either active or passive smoking increases ones risk of having any kind of cancer generally.

Misconception #2: If you smoke and then follow it up with alcohol, it flushes out the harmful effects of tobacco thus reducing your risk of lung cancer.

The Facts: Alcohol cannot flush out the effects of tobacco on the lungs. In fact, this combination – consuming alcohol on a daily basis and smoking – can further increase the risk of cancers in the aero-digestive tract- the lips, mouth, larynx, pharynx, throat, oesophagus and colon.

Prostate Cancer:

Misconception #1: When a man is not sexually active in his younger years, when they turn 40, they develop prostate cancer because their prostate gland shrinks.

The Facts: This is not true. Researchers speculate that men who have sex more often “may be more likely to acquire a sexually transmitted disease, which may infect the prostate, cause inflammation and other damage, and increase the risk of prostate cancer.” However, based on two large well-conducted studies, men who reported 21 or more ejaculations per month had one-fourth the risk of prostate cancer compared with men reporting fewer ejaculations per month at all ages. It is important to note though that similar studies did not reach the same conclusions.

Skin Cancer:

Misconception #1: Dark-skinned (black) people cannot develop skin cancer.

The Facts: Although black people or people of colour are less susceptible to UV damage due to greater amounts of melanin (a protective pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes colour) that dark skin produces, they can still develop skin cancer. Dangerous skin cancers such as the fast moving and highly virulent acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) and a fast-spreading form of squamous cell carcinoma are more common among darker-skinned people. Although skin cancer is much more common among lighter-skinned people, it tends to be deadlier among people of colour.

Cervical Cancer:

Misconception #1: When a lady has multiple sexual partners, she will most likely develop cervical cancer later on in life.

The Facts: It is indeed true that the sexually transmitted virus, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for 99% of cervical cancer cases in women and having multiple sexual partners increases the risk of contracting HPV due to greater exposure to the virus. However, a woman can protect herself from the virus by taking the HPV vaccine (between the ages of 9 to 26 years) and also through the practice of safe sex; using condoms and other protective equipment during oral sex. Also, from the age of 21, women are advised to do a cervical cytology test (the liquid-based cytology test is most accurate) every 3 years, to detect any pre-cancerous changes in the cervix.

Some more general misconceptions about cancer include:

Misconception #1: Cancer only affects older people.

The Facts: The risk of developing cancer does increase with age due to age-related DNA changes that make normal cells more susceptible to turning into cancer cells. Thus, cancer is more common in people over the age of 50 years. However, for every 100 people diagnosed with cancer, 10 people will fall between the ages of 25 and 49 and 1 person will be under the age of 24, so anybody can develop cancer. At whatever age, living more healthily can help stack the odds against cancer.

Misconception #2: Cancer is caused by bad diets and eating well guarantees a cancer-free life. Healthy people cannot develop cancer.

The Facts: While maintaining a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating and regular exercise, can general reduce the risk of cancer, other factors such as genetic predisposition can further increase the risk of cancer even in the presence of a healthy lifestyle.

Misconception #3: Cancer makes people bald/If your hair is falling out it means you have cancer.

The Facts: One of the side effects of some cancer chemotherapy treatments is hair loss. However, hair loss is a side effect of chemotherapy and not the disease itself.

Also, here are some out-of-scope misconceptions that are not only untrue but also completely baseless and lacking in scientific evidence:

  • Apple juice cause cancer: There is no direct link between apple juice consumption and developing cancer. However, since apple juice has a high sugar content, like other sugary drinks, it should be consumed in moderation to maintain good health.
  • Cancer is communicable: Cancer is a NOT contagious. It might seem like cancer might happen more often in certain families, but this does not mean that the family members spread cancer to each other. It can be due to several reasons; for one, cancer-causing genes can be passed down through familial inheritance, and another reason is that families might sometimes share a similar unhealthy lifestyle or they might be exposed to the same cancer-causing agents in their environment such as tobacco smoke and therefore might be more predisposed to having cancer in the family.
  • Rich people are predisposed to having cancer because they use dryers to dry their hands after washing: This misconception is completely unfounded. There is no link between the use of hand dryers and developing cancer. Hand dryers are designed to blow hot or cool air to dry one’s hands after washing them.
  • Introverts are more likely to develop cancer than extroverts: There is no evidence for this.  
  • “Everything” causes cancer: “Everything” does not cause cancer, however, factors such as genetic predisposition, low physical activity, unhealthy diets, smoking, exposure to radiation and carcinogenic environmental pollutants, and aging can increase one’s risk for developing cancer.
  • Apricot kernels can prevent and treat cancer: Apricot seeds contain a bioactive compound, amygdalin whose synthetic version of amygdalin, gained popularity in the 1970s as a cancer treatment but because of a lack of clinical research evidence that laetrile is effective against cancer or can be used safely, it has not been approved as a treatment for cancer.
  • Moringa seeds, aloe-Vera and beetroot can cure cancer: All these natural plants have bioactive compounds that have anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties, however there is not enough research on their ability to cure cancer.

A few others are:

  • Ketogenic diets can cure cancer: A Ketogenic diet is a low-carb and high fat diet which encourages a process known as ketosis where the body burns fat to make energy instead of sugar thus releasing ketones into the body. Many people believe that sugar is the main source of fuel which feeds cancer, however, ketogenic diets are high fat so they can lead to obesity which is a risk factor for cancer. Ketogenic diet has repeatedly been shown NOT to cure cancer as a monotherapy in human.  However, healthy diet, screening and early detection can help tackle cancer.
  • Putting your laptop on your lap for prolonged periods causes cancer: It may cause some level of exposure to EMFs (Electric and Magnetic Fields), but it is definitely not a risk factor for cancer. Heat from the laptop, however, can burnt the skin thigh.
  • If you leave a bottle of water in your car overnight and you drink it the next day, you can increase your risk of developing cancer: There is no evidence to suggest that drinking plastic bottled water left in a hot car can increase one’s risk of developing cancer. However, researchers advise against drinking plastic bottled water left in a hot car because there has been some evidence to suggest that hot temperatures of cars could promote antimony leaching from PET bottled water.

Thanks for reading. We are available to talk to you on
08099715000

kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer – is also called Renal Cancer – Almost all kidney cancers first appear in the lining of tubules in the kidney. This type of kidney cancer is called renal cell carcinoma and occurs in 4 out of 5 cases of kidney cancer and is also called renal adenocarcinoma or hypernephroma. Other types of kidney cancer include- transitional cell cancers of the renal pelvis and Wilms tumor of the kidney occurring in children.

The good news is that most of kidney cancers are found before they spread (metastasize) to distant organs. And cancers caught early are easier to treat successfully. However, these tumors can grow to be quite large before they are detected.

We don’t know the causes of kidney cancer. But certain factors appear to increase the risk of getting kidney cancer. For example, kidney cancer occurs most often in people older than age 40.

These are some other risk factors for kidney cancer:

  • Smoking. This applies to cigars or cigarettes
  • Being male. However, several case reports on renal cancer in Nigeria report a higher female preponderance.
  • Being obese. Extra weight may cause changes to sex hormones that increase risk.
  • Using non-aspirin, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for a long time. 
  • Having advanced kidney disease or being on long-term dialysis.
  • Having certain genetic conditions, such as von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease, Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome or inherited papillary renal cell carcinoma. In rare cases long standing sickle cell nephropathy is a risk.
  • Having a family history of kidney cancer. The risk is especially high in siblings.
  • Being exposed to certain chemicals, such as asbestos, cadmium, benzene, organic solvents, or certain herbicides
  • Having high blood pressure. Doctors don’t know whether high blood pressure or medication used to treat it is the source of the increased risk.
  • Being black. 
  • Having lymphoma. For an unknown reason, there is an increased risk of kidney cancer in patients with lymphoma.

What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Cancer?

  • Hematuria (Blood in the urine)
  • Abdominal mass
  • Abdominal pain
  • A loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Leg swelling

Symptoms of metastasis include;

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Bone pain

Sometimes the presentation of kidney cancer includes what is called paraneoplastic syndromes. This means that signs, symptoms and complications are not directly attributable to the kidney cancer but are associated with it. For instance

  • Hypercalcemia and its complications
  • Increased prolactin production and in men breast growth and in some cases, milk letdown.
  • Increased production of red blood cells presenting with a PCV >54% due to abnormally increased production of erythropoietin by the kidney.
  • In rarer cases there is new onset impaired glucose tolerance or worsening of existing diabetes mellitus

Diagnosis

To confirm a diagnosis of kidney cancer, a thorough physical exam, health history, and tests are required.

Testing required includes:

  • Urinalysis
  • Renal function tests.
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) highlighting any tumors.
  • Ultrasound to identify simple versus solid or complex masses.
  • A CT scan with and without contrast. CT scans have replaced IVP and ultrasound as a tool for diagnosing kidney cancer.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with or without contrast.

Most of the time a diagnosis can be made without a biopsy. Sometimes, a biopsy will be done to confirm the diagnosis. A doctor may use a needle biopsy to remove a sample of tissue, which is then examined under a microscope for cancer cells. The biopsy may also tell the grade of the cancer. Often the surgeon will simply remove the entire tumor and then have a sample of tissue examined.

Once a diagnosis is made additional testing is required to assess the stage of the cancer. For this, a CT scan or MRI, chest X-ray or a bone scan can see if the cancer has spread to other organs like the liver, brain, bones or surrounding tissues.

Stages of Kidney Cancer

Prognosis depends on the patients general health, as well as the grade and stage of kidney cancer.


Stage I

  • A tumor 7 centimeters or smaller, limited to the kidney

Stage II

  • A tumor larger than 7 centimeters, limited to the kidney

Stage III

  • A tumor that is in the kidney and in at least one nearby lymph node
  • A tumor that is in the main renal vessel(s) and may also be in nearby lymph node
  • A tumor that is in perinephric fat and may also involve nearby lymph nodes
  • A tumor that extends into major veins or perinephric tissues, but not into the ipsilateral adrenal gland and not beyond Gerota’s fascia

Stage IV

  • Cancer has spread beyond the fatty layer of tissue around the kidney, and it may also be in nearby lymph nodes
  • Cancer may have spread to other organs, such as the bowel, pancreas, or lungs
  • Cancer has spread beyond Gerota’s fascia (including contiguous extension into the ipsilateral adrenal gland)

Treatments for Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer is one of the more common cancers to undergo spontaneous remission. However, the incidence is quite low (approximately 0.5%).

There are several standard types of treatment for kidney cancer. In most cases, surgery is the first step. Even if surgery removes the entire tumor, residual disease may be addressed with non-surgical approaches.

Surgery for kidney cancer

The type you have depends on how advanced the cancer is.

  • Radical nephrectomy removes the kidney, adrenal gland, and surrounding tissue. It also often removes nearby lymph nodes. It is the most common surgery for kidney cancer and can now be done through a small incision with a laparoscope.
  • Simple nephrectomy removes the kidney only.
  • Partial nephrectomy removes the cancer in the kidney along with some tissue around it. This procedure is used for patients with smaller tumors (less than 4 cm) or in those patients in which a radical nephrectomy might hurt the other kidney.

If surgery can’t remove the kidney cancer, other options to help destroy the tumor include;

  • Cryotherapy.
  • Radiofrequency ablation.
  • Arterial embolization involves inserting material into an artery that leads to the kidney. This blocks blood flow to the tumor. This procedure may be done to help shrink the tumor before surgery.

Biologic therapy for kidney cancer

This therapy uses the immune system to fight cancer by boosting, directing, or restoring the body’s natural defenses. Substances for biologic therapy are made by the body or in a lab. Examples of biologic therapy for metastatic kidney cancer include interferon alpha or interleukin-2. Other biologics that have been used in treatment of renal cancer include Bevacizumab, Sorafenib and Sunitnib. More recently, Nivolumab is approved as a biologic for treating renal cancer. There are many other new immunotherapies being actively studied for kidney cancer.

Targeted therapy for kidney cancer

This therapy uses drugs or other substances to find and target cancer cells with less toxicity to normal cells. One type of targeted therapy is anti-angiogenic agents. These keep blood vessels from feeding a tumor, causing it to shrink or stop growing. Another type of targeted agent is known as multikinase inhibitors or tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These are oral drugs that block an enzyme pathway which allows cancer cells to grow. A third type of targeted therapy is known as m-TOR inhibitors such as Everolimus and Temsirolimus. There are two of these drugs available, one oral and one by IV. They block a pathway which allows blood vessels to help tumor cells grow. Each of these drugs has a unique place in the management of advanced kidney cancer.

Radiation therapy for kidney cancer

Often used to help with symptoms of kidney cancer or in patients who cannot have surgery, this treatment uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or halt their growth. External radiation therapy sends radiation to the cancer from a machine outside the body.

Chemotherapy for kidney cancer

This therapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from multiplying. Less effective for kidney cancer than for other types of cancer, chemotherapy is mostly used for a certain type of kidney cancer in which there spindle cells (sarcomatoid variant).

This article was written by Dr Egbuna of Kidney Solutions Center, Nigeria www.kidney-solutions.com

Thanks for reading. Please get in touch with us on Instagram.com/lcccares or give us a call on 08099715000

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells. Plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system. The immune system is made up of several types of cells that work together to fight infections and other diseases. Lymphocytes (lymph cells) are one of the main types of white blood cells in the immune system and include T cells and B cells.

Lymphocytes are in many areas of the body, such as blood stream, bone marrow, intestines, and lymph nodes. When B cells respond to an infection, they mature and change into plasma cells. Plasma cells make the antibodies (also called immunoglobulins) that help the body attack and kill germs. 

Multiple myeloma is characterized by the proliferation of malignant plasma cells and a subsequent production of abnormal proteins by the malignant plasma cells called M protein, which builds up throughout the body and causes organ damage.

Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma include:

  • Bone pain
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Anaemia
  • Renal failure
  • Nausea, constipation and loss of appetite
  • Mental fogginess and confusion
  • Infections (often pneumococcal)
  • Weight Loss
  • Weakness and malaise

There are certain factors that increase one’s risk of developing multiple myeloma:

  • Being older than 65 years.
  • Being male
  • Having black ethnicity or lineage
  • Family history of multiple myeloma
  • Personal history of monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS): MGUS is not considered myeloma but in some cases, it can be a pre-malignant condition, because some people with MGUS will eventually develop into cancers such as multiple myelomas and lymphomas.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow. healthy plasma cells in the bone marrow mutate and multiply uncontrollably. Myeloma cells suppress the growth of healthy cells that make blood. malignant plasma cells produce a paraprotein (inactive antibody or M protein)

Diagnosis and Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

Tests and procedures used to diagnose multiple myeloma include:

  • Serum and urine assessment for monoclonal proteins.
  • Serum free light chain assay.
  • Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy
  • Serum beta2-microglobulin, albumin and lactose dehydrogenase measurements
  • Standard metaphase cytogenetics and fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Imaging: skeletal survey (CT scan, X-ray, MRI and PET scan).

Treatment options include:

  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Radiation Therapy

Supportive and Complementary Care

Supportive and complementary care techniques are used alongside standard care to improve the overall patient experience. These are some supportive approaches that many patients with multiple myeloma find useful during the course of their disease/treatment:

  • Acupuncture
  • Emotional health support (such as counseling and support groups)
  • Exercise programs
  • Massage
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Physical therapy
  • Relaxation techniques (such as meditation, hypnosis, and yoga)
  • Spiritual health support
  • Support for practical concerns (including financial assistance, transportation to and from treatments, etc)

Please speak with your healthcare team, if you feel you would benefit from any of these supportive care approaches.

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

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/cancer/multiple-myeloma-symptoms-causes-treatment#1
  2. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiple-myeloma/about/what-is-multiple-myeloma.html
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-myeloma/symptoms-causes/syc-20353378
  4. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/204369-overview
  5. https://themmrf.org/multiple-myeloma/treatment-options/supportive-care/

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.