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Showing posts from March, 2012

Cancer - Self Confidence

I am a very confident woman, always have been. I think this happens to all of us, we have been somewhere and someone will say LOOK over there, that lady has Cancer because she is wearing a turban! Everyone stares. I have been on 2 cancer battles, at 24 it did not even enter my mind. Just to assure you that I never told anyone, my Mother, Father and Ian were the only ones that knew my voyage. When you get told you have 8 weeks to live, I really didn't want people to tell me I would die. So I created a secret. People would tell me how good I looked and I was fighting for my life......How ironic. Cancer battle number 2 saw at 43 and everyone knowing that life got a little out of control. I lost my confidence and when people were staring I said OMG they know I have cancer. Just so you know this is a little normal. You probably look great its just one of those thoughts that pops into your head. But really they may be looking past you. It will be ok!

How are swollen lymph nodes treated?

There is no specific treatment for swollen lymph nodes. Generally, the underlying cause needs to be treated, which may result in the resolution of the swollen lymph node. Treating an infection causing the swollen lymph node, for example, will result in the lymph node swelling to subside. If the swollen lymph node is due to a cancer of the lymph node (lymphoma), then the swelling will shrink after treating the lymphoma. When should I see the doctor for swollen lymph nodes? If swollen lymph nodes are associated with fevers,  night sweats , or weight loss, and the patient does not have any obvious infection, he/she may need a through evaluation by a doctor. Also, people who were appropriately treated for an infection but have persistent swollen lymph nodes may need to see their doctor. If a patient has a known cancer, or were treated for one in the past and he/she notices new lymph nodes in the general area of the cancer, he/she may need to notify a physician. W

Lymphedema what is it??

Lymphedema is a notoriously debilitating progressive condition with no known cure. The unfortunate patient faces a lifelong struggle of medical, and sometimes surgical, treatment fraught with potentially lethal complications. The underlying problem is  lymphatic dysfunction , resulting in an abnormal accumulation of interstitial fluid containing high molecular weight proteins. This condition underscores the tremendous importance of a normally functioning lymphatic system , which returns proteins, lipids, and accompanying water from the interstitium to the venous circulation near the subclavian vein–internal jugular vein junction, bilaterally. The normal and abnormal flow of interstitial fluid through the  lymphatic system  are demonstrated below. The body quadrants of superficial lymph drainage. (1) Normal lymphatic flow in (a) deep systems and (b) superficial systems. Note the small collateral vessels interconnecting the 2 systems. (2) Lymphedema develops from obstruction, dilat

Cancer costs money - they make out it's free, what a joke

Facts and figures Cancer in Australia An estimated 114,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in Australia in 2010. 1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia – more than 43,000 people are estimated to have died from cancer in 2010. Nearly 15,000 more people die each year from cancer than 30 years ago, this is due mainly to population growth and aging.  However, the death rate (number of deaths per 100,000 people ) has fallen by 16%. More than 60% of cancer patients will survive more than five years after diagnosis. The survival rate for many common cancers has increased by 30 per cent in the past two decades. The most common cancers in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) are prostate, colorectal (bowel), breast, melanoma and lung cancer. Around 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers, with 448 people dying in 2007. Cancer costs more than $3.8 billion in dir

Zuni Wilding - helping cancer patients

Zuni is amazing and my best friend, she has told me right from the beginning to write a book, helping people by sharing my journey. Now we have formed together The Pink Army.  Please join us on Face book "The Pink Army". We are setting this charity up to assist people woman and men with medical bills from Cancer. We have seen a gap in the system. We want to help other cancer patients from enduring the pain and agony of the financial hardship, I have been there. Cancer bills and surgeries cost a lot of money. Zuni is an incredible support person, I look at her as my mentor, she is the one and only person I could ask what should I do in my surgery decision. I knew she said it from the heart. Zuni ran a brilliant fund raiser for me to assist to pay for my first surgery, she also drove me to the hairdressers on the day my hair cooked to my head. Also took me to lunch and that girlie time that we spent together on that day meant the world to me. Zuni has sat for hours and hou

Study finds ovarian cancer forms outside ovaries

The primary reproductive system function as pictuired: The three main internal organs that constitute the female reproductive system are the ovaries, the fallopian tubes and the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs or the oocytes each month, which travel down the fallopian tubes, which provide the place for the female egg and the male sperm to meet. Meanwhile the uterus provides the entry for the male sperm via the vagina and the cervix. The sperm travels up and into the uterus and on to the fallopian tubes where, if it encounters an egg, fertilization of the egg by the sperm will proceed to take place.       A new study has found that the deadliest type of ovarian cancer, high grade serous cancer (HGSC), which accounts for 90 per cent of deaths, often starts in the fallopian tubes rather than the ovaries.If the symptoms are recognised early enough, it can be diagnosed and treated effectively, say the findings of the DOvE (Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer Early) study, led by a re

Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Link

What is hereditary breast and ovarian cancer? Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) may be a possible diagnosis when there are multiple cases of  breast cancer  and/or ovarian cancer  on the same side of the family. The chance that a family has HBOC increases in any of these situations: One or more women are diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50 There is breast or ovarian cancer in multiple generations on the same side of the family (such as mother and daughter) A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer twice or has both breast and ovarian cancers A male relative is diagnosed with  breast cancer What causes HBOC? HBOC is a genetic condition. This means that the cancer risk can be passed from generation to generation in a family. Two genes are associated with HBOC:  BRCA1  and  BRCA2  (BRCA stands for BReast CAncer). A mutation (alteration) in either of these genes gives a woman an increased lifetime risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. Men with these

Wigs, Turbans and Hats

Some women, as soon as they see the first sign of hair loss, take the plunge and ask their hairdresser to give them a super-short cut. If you have a good-shaped head, go for it!  With so many close-cropped heads in fashion now for both men and women, they reckon that “if you can’t beat them, join them!” I learnt the hard way, I decided to not cut my hair and it ended up cooking on my head in my cap. Was very traumatic. I would suggest getting a cut to avoid this. Its a great time to be a different colour play with the wigs, I had a short one, a long one and one exactly like my old hair. I became a bit of a hat girl. So thats something I don't normally wear but had fun with it. New fashion accessory. On a hot day wigs are a bit hot. But there are so many things you can do. On the up side wearing a wig means you never have a bad hair day. Shop around as well, as wigs are expensive and I paid $600 for a wig which I saw at another place weeks later for couple

Heredity and Cancer

Cancer is such a common disease that it is no surprise that many families have at least a few members who have had cancer. Sometimes, certain types of cancer seem to run in some families. This can be caused by a number of factors.  But in some cases the cancer is caused by an abnormal gene that is being passed along from generation to generation. Although this is often referred to as  inherited  cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself. Only about 5% to 10% of all cancers are inherited. This document focuses on those cancers. DNA, genes, and chromosomes Cancer is a disease of abnormal gene function. Genes are pieces of  DNA  (deoxyribonucleic acid). They contain the instructions on how to make the proteins the body needs to function, when to destroy damaged cells, and how to keep the cells in balance. Your genes control things such as hair color, eye color, and height. They also can affect your chance of getting certain d

How Is Chemotherapy Given?

Chemotherapy drugs can be given in a variety of different ways. The method of administration of chemo treatments along with the dose is determined by rigorous testing called clinical trials, which are done prior to the specific chemo drug being available for commercial use with patients. During this testing process, scientists and doctors determine how specific chemo drugs are absorbed in the body and how they work. Sometimes stomach juices can destroy different chemicals, making some medications impossible to give as a pill. Other substances are found to have better anti-cancer action if given intravenously (needle in the vein).  Some medications can be given as an injection into the muscle and still others are absorbed when given directly into the bladder or the abdominal cavity.

Eyelashes say goodbye In Chemotherapy

I love Mascara - I wear it everyday! When you loose your eyelashes, you feel really naked or I did anyway. A real weird sense of loss. Eyeliner is the next girl's best friend. A thicker line can make the appearance that something is there. An illusion. I mean you can buy fake eyelashes as well. I did not feel like doing that, I was a bit scared that I may loose one and that would be a major tragedy. They grow back in a few months so it's really not that long to go bare. When they come back they are as good as new....

Teeth - Chemotherapy

Get your teeth cleaned and have a complete dental check-up.  Your mouth contains bacteria, which can get into your bloodstream during teeth cleaning or other dental procedures, such as having a root canal. Chemotherapy weakens your immune system, so you may be more susceptible to infections caused by these bacteria. Because of this, many doctors recommend having a dental check-up before chemotherapy starts. If you can't have a dental check-up before you start treatment, tell your doctor. Some of the side effects of chemotherapy can make it hard to keep up your daily routine, so you might want to take care of a few things before you start chemo. There are also some things that you may want to discuss with your doctor.

Lymph and Lymph Nodes

Lymph is a clear fluid that travels through your body's arteries, circulates through your tissues to cleanse them and keep them firm, and then drains away through the lymphatic system. Lymph nodes are the filters along the lymphatic system. Their job is to filter out and trap bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and other unwanted substances, and to make sure they are safely eliminated from the body. Axillary lymph nodes Larger Version Also traveling through the arteries is fresh blood, which brings oxygen and other nutrients to all parts of the body—including your breasts. Used blood leaves the breasts through the veins and is pumped back to the heart and lungs to be refreshed. Lymph must also be refreshed and recycled. Lymph drains away from your breasts through the lymphatic system, which is made up of lymphatic channels and lymph nodes. # iamstillawoman #lymph #nodes 

Obstetrics and gynaecology - Malcolm Catt a miracle man

Malcolm Catt Malcolm Catt died on Australia Day after liver cancer took hold of him suddenly after some time in remission He always sat right up the front and sang the hymns well. I didn’t know he was a musician. He had his LMus. A in piano at 15 and played a Mozart concerto under Sir Eugene Goossens. He regularly played chamber music and often performed concerts with the Central Coast Orchestra. Indeed, he came from a very musical family. His sister is the Director of Music at the historic South Brisbane St. Andrews Anglican Church where she is overseeing the restoration of their historic organ. He gave up a musical career to become a leading obstetrician. However, he was an organist at the Gosford Uniting Church. Malcolm’s funeral was held on Wednesday,2 nd February at 10 am, conducted by the Rev. Dr David Gill and the Rev. Graham Woolnough of Gosford Uniting Church. The family reque

Oncologist - What is it?

Oncologist:  A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Cancer. After a cancer diagnosis is made, it is the oncologist?s role to explain the cancer diagnosis and the meaning of the disease stage to the patient; discuss various treatment options; recommend the best course of treatment; deliver optimal care; and improve quality of life both through curative therapy and palliative care with pain and symptom management. I have had 2 Oncologist's. I am very happy to say they were both really lovely. I am a fan of being treated nicely as we all are. Dr Robilliard in Gosford was amazing. I still see him for my 6 monthly visits. I always look forward to seeing him, you have to trust your doctor's. The Oncologist is really trying to keep you alive. Sadly you will become sick, but its always worth the fight. Listen to your doctor.

What is Cancer???

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an  X-ray ,  ultrasound , or  computed tomography (CT) scan .  MRI  also may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods. For an MRI test, the area of the body being studied is placed inside a special machine that contains a strong magnet. Pictures from an MRI scan are digital images that can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. The images also can be reviewed remotely, such as in a clinic or an operating room. In some cases,  contrast material  may be used during the MRI scan to show certain structures more clearly. Why It Is Done Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is done for many reasons. It is used to find problems such as tumors, bleeding, injury, blood vessel diseases, or infect