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Cancer answers: What is prostate cancer?

Written by Community Health Network on 6/7/2014 6:00:00 AM

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in menProstate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.

Who gets prostate cancer?
About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. It is very rare in men younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. About 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.

It is most common in African American men, though the reason for this is unknown. 

What are signs and symptoms?
Typically, prostate cancer presents no symptoms in its early stages. However, with later stages of prostate cancer, men may experience the following prostate cancer warning signs: 

  • Urinary symptoms can be a warning sign of developing prostate cancer. These urinary symptoms are often the same as the ones men experience with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), except with prostate cancer the symptoms appear more abruptly. 
  • If the cancer has invaded the nerves beside the prostate, the man may experience erectile dysfunction (ED) or a decrease in the firmness of erections. 
  • Sometimes the first symptoms are severe back, hip or chest pain, which can mean prostate cancer has spread to bones. 
  • Numbness or weakness in legs or feet, or loss of bladder control (from tumor pressing on the spine).
I have signs and symptoms. What now?
Visit your urologist to have a physical exam and a PSA screening blood test to rule out other causes of your symptoms. If the results of the PSA screening or physical exam indicate prostate cancer, your doctor will do a biopsy to confirm presence of cancer.

Call 800-777-7775 for a referral to a urologist or cancer physician at Community Health Network.

Lung cancer bigger killer than breast cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 5/14/2014 11:00:00 AM

On Tuesday, The American Lung Association, in partnership with CVS Caremark unveiled LUNG FORCE, a new initiative to make lung cancer in women a public health priority, drive policy change and increase research funding.

U.S. women still see breast cancer as a bigger killer than lung cancer, despite it being the number one cancer killer of men and women. More than 108,000 women in the will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year in the U.S. and, on average, less than half will be alive next year. Not to mention, lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the State of Indiana. continue reading ...

7 easy ways to prevent colon cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 3/13/2014 7:00:00 AM

Cancer and nutrition experts say that more than 50 percent of colorectal cancers are preventable by combining a diet that includes fiber with daily physical activity and weight management. Try these easy diet and nutrition tips to protect yourself against colon cancer.

Eat fiber to help prevent colon cancerEat more fiber.
Just 10 grams of fiber a day can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer by 10 percent. You'll find fiber in whole grain breads, cereals, oatmeal and beans.

Eating fruits and veggies can help prevent colorectal cancerPile on the produce.
Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Try deep green/cruciferous veggies and red and orange fruits.

Limit processed and red meats.
Try fish and meatless meals that include beans for protein.

Drink in moderation.
More than one drink for women or two drinks for men per day increases colon cancer risk by 14 percent.

Keep an eye on the scale.
Your risk for colon cancer increases if you are overweight. Be sure to check your body mass index (BMI). You can consult your physician or a nutritionist for help calculating that number.

Get moving.
Try to include at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. This will help you maintain a healthy weight, which can decrease your cancer risk.

Quit smoking.
The health risks far outweigh the benefits. Quitting smoking will help decrease your risk for colon, and many other cancers. Take steps to quit today!

Tags: diet , fiber , red meat , risk factors , smoking | Posted in: Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer risk factors

Written by Community Health Network on 3/6/2014 7:00:00 AM

Researchers have found several risk factors that may increase a person's chance of developing colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.

Younger adults can develop colorectal cancer, but the chances increase greatly after age 50. About 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at least 50 years old.

Family history
As many as 1 in 5 people who develop colon cancer have other family members who have had it. People with a history of colorectal cancer in first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, or children) are at increased risk. It is even higher if that relative was diagnosed with cancer when they were younger than 45, or if more than one first-degree relative is affected.

Family history of other colon problems can also increase risk. These problems include pre-cancerous polyps and hereditary syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC), also known as Lynch syndrome.

Personal health history
Having conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or type 2 diabetes, can also increase your risk of colon cancer. If you have any of these problems, talk to your doctor about when to begin screening.

A personal history of adenomatous polyps (adenomas) also means you are at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. This is especially true if the polyps are large or if there are many of them.

Getting a colonoscopy screening is the best way to determine whether or not your polyps are cancerous.

Racial and ethnic background
African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates of all racial groups in the United States. The reasons for this are not yet understood.

Lifestyle-related factors
Many lifestyle factors have been linked to the development of colorectal cancer. The links between diet, weight, exercise and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer. By making small lifestyle changes, your risk for colon cancer could be drastically reduced.

Tackling risk

Are you at risk for colon cancer? Ask our doctors right now, or call us at 800-777-7775 to schedule a preventive screening.

Five ways to prevent colon cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 3/1/2014 11:00:00 AM

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The third most common cancer among men and women in the United States, cancer and nutrition experts say over 50 percent of colorectal cancers are preventable by combining a diet that includes fiber with daily physical activity and weight management.

In 2013, the American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fund co-published five steps based on scientific studies that demonstrate risk reduction. Consider these nutrition-centered strategies for getting extra protection from colon cancer.

For every 10 grams of dietary fiber you eat each day, your risk for developing colorectal cancer is reduced by 10 percent.
High-fiber diets encourage the growth of healthy types of intestinal bacteria that protects against cancer cell development. High-fiber food ideas: whole grain breads, bean soups and stews, nuts for snacks, vegetables and fruits, add ground flaxseed to your smoothies and cereals.

Cut calories and focus on reducing your waist circumference.
The deep fat in the abdomen poses the most risk and the fat is linked to inflammation and changes in insulin. Tip: Swap less healthy foods for healthier ones and drink more water, seltzer, tea or coffee instead of sugary sodas, sweet tea or specialty coffee drinks. Try not to reach for food when you are relaxing, instead take a walk, listen to music or read a book.

Drinking excess alcohol (more than 1 drink for women and 2 drinks per day for men) increases colon cancer risk by 14 percent.
Tip: Watch the size of your glass. They tend to be bigger and hold more ounces than you may realize.

Limiting processed meats and read meats (beef, lamb and pork) to 18 ounces a week.
(Each 3.5-ounce portion of red meat eaten daily increases colorectal cancer risk by 17 percent.) Tip: Swap out processed deli meats for fish. Also try meatless meals, but those that include beans.

Four types of foods show colon cancer fighting potential: Garlic, calcium-fortified foods like milk, deep green and cruciferous vegetables, and red and orange fruits.
Tip: Fill half of your plate first with vegetables and fruits that will automatically leave less space for the meats and starches.

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