Health On Life's Journey

Health On Life's Journey

6 Early Signs Of Cancer You Cannot Ignore

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Cancer is an illness with poor outcomes and high death rates. So any early signs that one’s body might be coming down with this life-threatening disease would be greatly valuable. The following are some important warning signs of cancer that you should never ignore.


Painless lumps along your lymphatic track

If you find lumps appearing on your neck, underarm or groin, it is possible that they are swollen lymph nodes. Enlarged lymph nodes that are painless are actually a sign of changes in your lymphatic system, which is in turn a warning sign of cancer.


Changes in your nipple and breast

One of the most common changes reported by women with breast cancer is a nipple that appears flattened, inverted or turned sideways. Besides changes to the nipple, the appearance of dimpled skin (that looks like the peel of an orange) on the breast is also an important warning sign not to be ignored.


Blood in your poo and urine

Blood in the stools and urine are important signals that something in your body is seriously out of whack. If your anal bleeding is accompanied by poop that appears flattened, or the blood in your urine is NOT accompanied by pain when urinating, you have more cause for concern with regards to cancer. Regardless, blood in your poo or urine is a serious matter, so you should seek treatment for your condition, whether or not it is caused by cancer.


Pain in your pelvic or abdomen

There are many possible reasons for pelvic or abdominal pain in women. But if your abdominal or pelvic pain is accompanied by abdominal bloating as well as menstrual abnormalities (such as unusually heavy flows, painful periods, or bleeding in between periods), you should be especially concerned. Check with your doctor to rule out the various possibilities.


Fatigue and weakness

Chronic fatigue and weakness are common symptoms of many illnesses, one of which is cancer. It is especially crucial that you seek help if you find yourself chronically exhausted for no apparent reasons, and neither resting nor sleeping does much to help you in relieving the fatigue.


Other signs and symptoms

Other than paying attention to the above signs and symptoms, you should also take special care if you experience symptoms of discomfort that seem to appear out of the blues, such as unexplained difficulty in swallowing (such as in esophageal or throat cancer), weight loss, frequent fevers (such as in leukemia), as well as chronic cough (such as in lung cancer and leukemia).


What to do if you find yourself with the above symptoms

Many of the symptoms of cancer can also be seen in other less serious illnesses. Rather than get yourself paranoid about having cancer every time you observe such symptoms in yourself, you can consider the symptoms to be your body’s signal to you that your bodily system(s) is in need of care or treatment. So do give it the attention and care it needs.

Ensuring that your body is constantly kept in tip top condition through holistic healing and good health habits are definitely your best bet against cancer.


References
[1] http://www.caring.com/articles/cancer-symptoms-in-women
[2] http://www.caring.com/articles/cancer-symptoms-in-men
[3] http://www.insights-on-health.com/early-signs-of-cancer-you-should-not-ignore/


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

Are Mammograms Doing You More Harm Than Good?

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Mammograms have conventionally been touted as an effective means of detecting breast cancer. But some research and health experts are suggesting that mammograms may not be as useful as many think. In fact, they could bring you more harm than good.

Here are some reasons why.

Mammograms actually increase your risk of cancer

We know that radiation is a cause of cancer. And women are exposed to radiation when they undergo mammograms.

According to oncologist, brain surgeon and neuroscientist, Dr Russell Blaylock, the annual mammogram can increase breast cancer risk by 1 to 3% per year.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in July 2006 involving 1,600 women subjects found that the risk of breast cancer was increased by 54% in women who underwent mammograms, as compared to those who did not.

Mammograms can trigger spread of cancer, if you actually have them

During mammograms, the breast is literally compressed and flattened between two plates. This is done in order to obtain clearer images of the breast tissues.

Not only is this a painful exercise (ask the ladies who have gone through such a scan). If tumors are indeed present, such physical manipulation of the breast can actually promote the break away of tumors cells from the primary growth, promoting the spread of cancer if the tumor cells are malignant.

You could lose your breast for nothing

Many doctors have pointed out that mammograms are not that accurate when it comes to flagging out breast tumors. In fact, this method of screening and diagnosis has very high false positive rates.

For example, a Swedish study on 60,000 women that was published in the British Medical Journal found that the rate of mammogram-detected-tumor false positives was as high as 7 out of every 10 tumors “discovered” by mammogram.

This means that many women are putting themselves through unnecessary emotional turmoil, financial drain, as well as tormenting biopsies and cancer treatment (including mastectomies, chemotherapy and radiation) for Nothing.

After all that, mammograms still doesn’t lower death rate from breast cancer

Anyone would have thought that after all the trouble you have gone through to have a mammogram, it could help reduce your chance of dying from breast cancer.

Well, it seems research suggest otherwise. For example, a large Canadian study that followed 90,000 women for 25 years found that mammograms did not lower the overall death rate from breast cancer. While mammograms might have benefited and saved some women, it is probably harming many others.

Now what?

A more accurate, safer and less expensive alternative to mammograms is thermography, which has been used by progressive physicians in Europe and US since 1962. It seems that this method of detection can flag out breast cancer many years earlier than physical examinations or mammograms.

Unfortunately, it is hard for such a relatively cheap alternative to replace costly mammograms in becoming the mainstream diagnostic tool.

For one very good reason as pointed out by Dr. James Howenstine – a “This (mammography) industry supports radiologists, x-ray technicians, surgeons, nurses, manufacturers of x-ray equipment, hospitals, etc, and will not be allowed to disappear by curing and preventing breast cancer.”

References
[1] http://www.cancerresearchinformation.com/tag/mammograms/
[2] Blaylock, Russell L, MD. Natural Strategies For Cancer Patients. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing, 2003. Print.
[3] Somers, Suzanne. Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place. NY, USA: Three Rivers Press, 2009. Print.
[4] Bollinger, Ty. Cancer: Step Outside The Box. 5th ed. USA: Infinity 510 510 Partners, 2011. Print.


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

Use This Herb To Support Your Liver In Today’s Toxin-Filled World

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Why does your liver need help?

The liver is a major organ of detoxification in your body. And today’s world is so polluted – there are so much toxins, whether in the air you breathe in, in the water you drink, or in the food you eat. Thus your liver needs all the help it can get to rid your body of all the harmful substances within that are disrupting your bodily functions and leaving you in a poor state of health.

And a herb proven to support your liver functions is milk thistle. This herb has been used by herbalists for over 2,000 years. And recent studies are validating its beneficial effects on the liver.

It seems that the herb can help improve your liver functions. A compound found in the herb, silymarin, has been found to protect liver cells from the invasion and destruction of viral toxins (e.g. hepatitis B or C viruses) and other harmful substances. The herb also aids in the removal of such toxic substances from your cells. That is why this herb is used in many detoxification programs.

Milk thistle can even be used to treat liver ailments. Some research suggests that milk thistle extracts when used intravenously, could be an antidote for liver poisoning. Silymarin in the herb also promotes liver regeneration, which is crucial for many sufferers of liver diseases.

The herb can help improve the quality of life and life-expectancy in cirrhosis sufferers. Research suggests that it can help halt or slow down fibrosis. The herb can also help reduce liver damage and symptoms, as well as increase platelet and white blood cell count in (viral and alcohol-induced) hepatitis sufferers.

Milk thistle can also be used to protect your liver from the possible toxic effects of long-term prescription drug use, and even cancer treatment (e.g. chemotherapy, radiotherapy). In some parts of Europe, the herb is prescribed together with drugs that are known to have harmful effects on the liver.

Read more about how you can make use of this wonderful herb for your liver health.


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

What To Eat If You Have Anemia

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

If you have anemia, especially anemia brought about by iron-deficiency, below are some foods that will benefit you. (Check out the later sections if you are a vegetarian).

Meat

Meats like beef, pork, mutton, fish and poultry are some of the best foods for anemic people with iron-deficiencies.

This is because substantial amounts of iron are found in these foods. For example, 3 ounces of roasted white turkey contains 1 milligram of iron, while 3 ounces of tuna (water-packed) contains 2.7 milligrams of iron.

The form of iron found in meats (i.e. heme iron) is biologically more available to our bodies, as compared to the iron found in vegetables (i.e. non-heme iron). This means that our bodies are able to absorb the mineral more readily from meats than from vegetables.

What if you eat very little meat?

If you eat little to no meat, you will have to pay special attention to your diet to keep yourself from becoming iron-deficient or anemic.

If you do consume a little bit of meat, eat them with your iron-rich vegetables. This is because the heme iron in the meats can “potentiate” the non-heme iron in the vegetables for better absorption, according to Henry C. Lukaski, PHD, assistant director of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Centre in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

What if you don’t eat meat?

If you do not consume any meat, one of the things you could do is to consume your iron-rich vegetables with other vitamin-C-rich foods (e.g. tomatoes, citrus juices). This is because iron is best absorbed in an acidic environment, especially if the acid is ascorbic acid (ie. vitamin C).

As such, potatoes (with their skin left on) are one of the good sources of iron for vegetarians. This is because potatoes with skin contain both vitamin C and iron.

Other sources of iron-rich foods include blackstrap molasses, kidney beans, fresh peas, rice bran, lentils, pinto beans, lima beans, mustard greens and spinach.

What NOT to eat with your iron-rich foods

Besides selecting your foods carefully, it is also important to take note of the foods to avoid eating with your iron-rich foods for maximal absorption of the mineral.

Foods you should avoid taking with your iron-rich foods include calcium-rich foods, tea and coffee. This is because these foods can interfere with your body’s absorption of iron from your iron-rich foods.

Beyond iron – B12 for vegetarians

Another cause of anemia in vegetarians is the lack of vitamin B12, which is found mainly in animal foods. If they are not careful, strict vegetarians can become severely deficient in this important vitamin after a while (it takes about 5-6 years for signs of the deficiency to manifest). Besides pernicious anemia, deficiency in this vitamin can lead to fatigue, impaired nerve functions (e.g. numbness or tingling in the limbs) and impaired mental functions (e.g. symptoms that mimic Alzheimer’s disease).

A good source of vitamin B12 for vegetarians is the brewer’s yeast. This nutritional food is also beneficial for those with acne problems, and it can help lower detrimental LDL cholesterol levels.

References
[1] Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.
[1] Murray, Michael T., ND. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1996. Print.


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

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