Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer Can Save Your Life


Assisting Hands Home Care

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Posted on

Jan 04, 2024


Idaho - Boise and the Treasure Valley

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Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer Can Save Your Life

Colorectal cancer, sometimes referred to as colon cancer, is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States, but with early detection and proper treatment, it can be prevented and managed. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and at Assisting Hands Home Care, we want to spread awareness and educate the public on the importance of screening and early detection.

Colorectal cancer begins in the colon or rectum and can spread to other parts of the body if not detected early. The good news is that colorectal cancer can often be prevented with regular screening and detected early through screening tests such as colonoscopies. The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45 and continue until age 75.

Symptoms of colon cancer can include changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, weakness, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, seeing a doctor promptly is important.

There are several risk factors that can increase the chances of developing colon cancer, including age, family history of colorectal cancer, personal history of colorectal polyps, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, and lifestyle factors such as a diet high in red and processed meats and low in fruits and vegetables, as well as physical inactivity and smoking.

To reduce the risk of colon cancer, medical experts often recommend a diet low in animal fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to reduce the risk of other chronic diseases, such as coronary artery disease and diabetes.

According to the NIH, a significant association was observed between high nut consumption and a reduction in colorectal cancer among women (in those with an intake of ≥ 3 servings of nuts per week compared to those that declared no nut consumption).

Some studies suggest that people may reduce their risk of developing colon cancer by increasing physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding tobacco. For more information on reducing your risk, visit the CDC website.

At Assisting Hands Home Care, we understand the importance of early detection and management of colorectal cancer. Our trained and compassionate care providers are available to assist with transportation to and from doctor appointments and provide support during recovery from any necessary treatments. We also offer assistance with daily activities such as meal preparation and housekeeping, allowing our clients to focus on their health and recovery.

In conclusion, colorectal cancer is a serious health concern, but regular screening and early detection can prevent and manage it. At Assisting Hands, we are committed to educating and supporting our clients and their families on the importance of colorectal cancer awareness and early detection. If you or a loved one is in need of support and assistance during a cancer journey, contact us today to learn more about our in-home care services.

To find an Assisting Hands location near you, visit https://assistinghands.com/location-finder/

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October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Knowledge Is the Best Defense Against Breast CancerBreast cancer is an unsettling topic for any woman. Besides the dread it induces, cancer also perplexes and frustrates with its unpredictability. Some general risk factors for any persons chance of having breast cancer have been established, but more is unknown than known about the specific causes and how or if they can be predicted in any given person. In fact, 60-70% of women with breast cancer have none of the risk factors in their backgrounds, while others with these specific risk factors never develop cancer. This puts the pressure on early detection and being always vigilant, that is, regular screening by your doctor, self-examination and being educated about early symptoms. In a word, knowing. October is an entire month dedicated to knowing more about breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness Month brings a special focus to a disease projected to affect 276,480 women and to cause 42,170 deaths this year. The topic of breast cancer among senior women gets less conversation than it should. This month would be an opportunity to change that. The Particular Problem of Age and CancerSo many of the dramatizations of breast cancer in the media and advertising feature women under 50 or 60 that you could get the impression that it is primarily a younger womans disease. But the Breast Cancer Research Foundation actually terms breast cancer a disease of aging. The Foundation reports that the median age for breast cancer is 62 and that around a quarter of women who develop the cancer are between 75-84. The population overall continues to age, and the result for breast cancer will be a doubling of cases by 2030, with most of the affected between the ages of 70 and 84. Understanding breast cancer in older women may require a radical change in perception, then. Why the seeming bias? Many circumstances contribute. For one thing, older adults are most often excluded from clinical trials. Inevitably, the research reports for a younger population. This also creates a knowledge gap in the medical professions. The lack of geriatric oncologists, those physicians who specialize in cancer among the aging, further limits the understanding and clear pathways to treatment.   Of the many types, the predominant breast cancer is generally in the category of invasive or infiltrating breast cancer, accounting for 70-80% of all cases. This type invades the milk ducts of the surrounding breast tissue and spreads. The treatment depends on the protein structure of the cancer cells, and will probably require a biopsy to determine the cell makeup. Far too many variables to describe here apply. The point is that only your doctor and specialist can make diagnoses and should be consulted early and regularly for examinations. Self-diagnosing, as with all disease, is particularly untrustworthy, but self-examination is recommended and useful. Lifestyle and Environment Risk FactorsLegend Senior Living puts the health care of seniors first. While the term health care may conjure all things clinical, the practice of health and wellness at every Legend residence is part of the purposeful design of the residence itself. This includes the physical environment, the activities comprising our Life Enrichment programming, the concentration on proper nutrition and options for exercise, no matter the residents mobility limitations. All of these factors are extremely important to reducing risks of disease and physical injury generally, and cancer in particular. The National Breast Cancer Foundation lists a few of the major factors that you can modify to influence your own health. At Legend communities, our Legend Experts in Senior Living, our staff of associates, are well-trained in assisting residents with lifestyle modification that can reduce your risk of breast cancer. Exercise and ActivityA lack of physical activity directly relates to your risk for breast cancer. Increasing activity reduces your risk. This activity can take many forms, and well-designed senior living residences offer dozens of combinations. A few minutes a day in a fully equipped exercise room, especially with the coaching of an Associate, can be fun, rewarding, and not too physically demanding. Group exercise, aerobics, water aerobics, games and sports also abound. Eating WellDiet is especially important in reducing breast cancer risk. Older adults tend to have diets higher in saturated fat, because eating habits were long established before we knew as much as we do now about the effect of fat intake on health. Too, if a senior is unable to grocery shop as frequently as theyd like, their diet may lack fruits and vegetables essential to prevent diet-related health issues, cancer in particular. Residents at a well-staffed senior living residence should have the option for three chef-prepared meals every day, all designed under the supervision of a licensed nutritionist. Eating and Drinking HabitsBeing overweight or obese can increase your risk for breast cancer, especially post-menopause. So does overconsumption of alcohol. Both of these factors can be greatly influenced by lifestyle. The more active you are, with better control of your diet, the easier it is to control your weight and lessen the need for medication (alcohol being a common type of self-medication for depression and loneliness). Other FactorsOlder women should also be aware of the effects of having had radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30, as well as having taken hormone replacement therapy for menopause. Both factors can increase the risks of breast cancer. Consulting your physician is the best practice in these cases. What Doesnt Cause Breast CancerBeing well-informed and knowledgeable about breast cancer can keep a lot of stress out of your life. It will also keep you from pursuing procedures and remedies that are ineffective, unnecessary or radical. The following are all cited as Myths About Breast Cancer by the National Breast Cancer Foundation: Finding a lump in your breast does not mean automatically mean you have breast cancerA mammogram will not cause breast cancer to spreadHaving a family history of breast cancer does not mean you are likely to develop breast cancer, tooBreast cancer is not contagiousShowing the gene mutation BRCA1 or BRCA2 in your DNA does not mean you will definitely develop breast cancerAntiperspirants and deodorants do not cause breast cancer Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October is the perfect occasion to learn, but let it be just a start to year-round awareness and vigilance, especially for older adults. Regular visits to your physician cant be replaced by any amount of education, so dont skip your checkups! 

Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

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Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic (or lymph) system, which carries lymph fluid through tissues and into the blood. The lymph fluid contains immune system cells, along with tissue by-products and waste materials. With breast cancer, cancer cells begin to grow in the lymph nodes around the breasts. These small glands are located under the arm, near the breastbone, and around the collar bone. When cancer spreads from the breast to the lymph nodes, theres an increased risk that it will metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.Breast Cancer VarietiesTypes of breast cancer are determined by the specific kind of cells that are affected. The most common breast cancers are carcinomas. Once a biopsy is done, the doctor will test the cells for proteins called estrogen or progesterone receptors, and for the HER2 gene or protein. At the same time, the tumor cells will be examined in the lab to determine the grade of tumor. Knowing the specific proteins and tumor grade is important for determining the stage of cancer and the best options for treatment.Early Diagnosis Is CrucialCatching breast cancer early is an important part of successful treatment. Thats why its vital to check for lumps and changes to your breasts, have regular checkups, and get mammograms and other screenings when your doctor recommends it. The risk of breast cancer increases with age, and for women over 70, theres a 1 in 24 chance of developing breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Treatments are highly individualized, and healthy, active, independent patients are most likely to experience a good outcome.Lifestyle Changes Can HelpWhether your focus is the prevention of breast cancer, or youve already had a diagnosis and want the best possible outcome, a healthy lifestyle is a crucial component of good health, regardless of your age. 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Dealing with a Cancer Diagnosis Later in Life

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Local Services By This Author

Assisting Hands Home Care

Non-Medical 5700 E Franklin Rd Ste 105, Nampa, Idaho, 83687

Quality Home Care You Can Trust, Assisting Hands provides professional in-home health care services allowing our clients to remain safely and comfortably in their own homes. Their Mission Statement: To offer our clients personalized non-medical support services in their homes, assisting the elderly, disabled and others needing assistance to maintain quality of life. Our services support the individuals choices and preferences in order to maintain their dignity and independence. We assist clients in a spirit of concern for their welfare, gaining satisfaction and a sense or pride for the value that we add to their lives.