Monthly Archives: September 2016

Kerri

Being Aware of Prostate Cancer

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A sticker image with a blue ribbon stating Prostate Cancer Awareness Month SeptemberIn the last five years or so, more and more awareness has been raised about prostate cancer. In the UK, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime [1], so it is important to know about this type of cancer. 
 
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that wraps around the urethra (where urine passes out of the body) [1]. The prostate sits under the bladder [1], just in front of the rectum, and is responsible for producing semen—it produces fluid that keeps sperm healthy and protected. [2]
 
Prostate Cancer UK wants you to know your risk.
You are at higher risk of prostate cancer if you [1.1]:
    • Are 50. After age 50, risk continues to increase with age
    • Have a family history of prostate cancer (screening should begin at age 45)
    • Are Black. Black men have about double the risk of developing prostate cancer, at 1 in 4.
    • Are overweight
Symptoms of prostate cancer.
These symptoms may be of prostate cancer, or another condition. Either way, it is important to have any of these symptoms checked out by your doctor [1.2]:
  • Asymptomatic (no symptoms) if caught early; this is why regular screening by your doctor is important
  • Problems with urination
    • Any blood in the urine
    • Frequent urination, including at nighttime (such as every two hours at night)
    • Difficulty beginning to pass urine
    • Feeling as if you need to strain to urinate, or that urination takes a long time; weak “stream” or flow of urine
    • Feeling as if you are not able to completely empty your bladder
    • Leaking or “dribbling” urine after you are finished
    • Needing to use the toilet urgently; inability to completely hold back urine until you reach the toilet
    • Pain when urinating (less common)
  • Problems with sexual healthPain in the back, hips or pelvis (can indicate cancer has spread to the bones, or, be from another cause)
    • Blood in the semen
    • Pain with ejaculation
Getting screened: Brief discomfort for peace of mind.
The most common way to be screened for prostate cancer is to visit your doctor. While it’s the most dreaded part of the exam for most men, it will be over in a matter of seconds and you can know you are in good health—a doctor simply will check your prostate through your rectum with a gloved finger, checking that they do not feel abnormal enlargement of the prostate. If they suspect your prostate is enlarged, they will send you for additional tests.
 
This September, consider making an appointment to be screened for prostate cancer. If you have symptoms, do not ignore them—the sooner prostate cancer treatment begins, the better the results usually are.
 
If you have prostate cancer and are undergoing treatment, it may be recommended by your doctor to wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace.  
Kerri

Replacement ID Tags: Save your life… and your money!

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Wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace is a great idea to protect your health if you have a chronic medical condition or disability that may impact your ability to communicate. However, your medical ID bracelet does not, itself, have superpowers! It is only as helpful as you make it, by telling us what to engrave.
This is why it is extremely important that when your medical information changes, you get an updated medical ID tag as soon as possible, to ensure that your bracelet or necklace is doing the best job it can—speaking for you if you cannot speak for yourself.


40-60percent

At MyIdentityDoctor, we know how important it is for you to wear your medical identification jewelry, but also, to enjoy the choices you have in products. When you’re updating your medical ID tag, maybe it’s time to pick a new colour to spice things up (or tone them down!), as well as ensuring that you have the most important information on your product.
When you are updating your MyIdentityDoc product, you will receive somewhere between 40% and 60% off your new product. We want to ensure you are safe, and hope that this ensures that cost does not prohibit you from updating your information—we appreciate our customers, and are thrilled to have them return for a new product from us!
To start the process of replacing your medical ID bracelet, contact shop owner Jon, and he will happily help you out. His email is info [at] MyIdentityDoctor.com. If you are able to attach a copy of your original receipt, this will probably help speed up the process, too, and get your new ID tag shipped from Burton the pup’s two paws as soon as it’s off the engraver!
Keep your information current, and keep yourself protected!
Kerri

What is Vascular Disease?

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Image of the heart on red background, and an almost blocked artery (left) depicting plaque buildupYou may not know the term vascular disease, but you will certainly be familiar with some of these conditions affecting the vascular (or cardiovascular) system. The body’s vascular system is simply the system of arteries and veins that transport blood around the body, to and from the heart. Vascular diseases are common and can be very serious.
 
Some examples of vascular diseases [1]
  • Atherosclerosis – thickening and stiffening of arteries, making blood flow harder
  • Weakened blood vessels – Weakened blood vessels can burst, causing bleeding inside the body, such as in the brain (brain aneurysm).
  • Blood clots – Known as hypercoaguability (increased coagulation—or sticking together—of blood cells); commonly seen as deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the legs), pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) or stroke (blood clot in the brain). Can also cause heart attacks and kidney problems if these blood vessels are blocked by blood clots. [2]
 
Are you at risk?
Often, we associate age with increased risk of vascular diseases like the ones mentioned above, specifically stroke and heart attack. However, at any age, the following can contribute to increased risk of vascular disease—and, avoiding these things can help protect you from vascular disease as you get older [1]:
  • Pregnancy – increases risk of blood clots and hypertension (high blood pressure, known as preeclampsia)
  • Family history of vascular disease, heart disease, or stroke
  • Sedentary behaviour; long periods of sitting or standing still (blood pooling in the legs)
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol (affects the arteries and narrows them)
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
Exercise, nutrition, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle at all stages of life, with minimal cigarette exposure and only casual drinking can help in preventing vascular disease. [1]
 
September is Vascular Disease Awareness Month in the UK. So, consider yourself more aware! Why not start taking steps to protect your vascular health today? Cap off your reading of this article with a quick walk—it’ll help improve your focus, too!
 
If you have any type of history of vascular disease, wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace should be strongly considered. We have a variety of styles available to help you discreetly identify your condition in the event you need emergency medical assistance.  
 
Kerri

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Disease Awareness Month

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Blue ribbon with DNA waves on lower portion, the ribbon for CMT.

Image from CMT UK

Named after the doctors who described the disease, September is Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Disease awareness month (CMT has nothing to do with teeth!). CMT is a highly variable genetic disease—it is not always manifest, even if an individual carries the gene for CMT [1]. CMT affects the nervous system, and is one of the most common neurological disorders [2], and can cause issues of varying severity with both motor and sensory nerves [2]. Motor nerves are responsible for muscle activities including walking, breathing, speaking and swallowing [2]—each individual with CMT, depending on the subtype of the disease they have, can be impacted in various ways by the symptoms of CMT. Some individuals may be able to walk without assistance, or develop need to use mobility aids later in life—when mobility aids are needed, some may need just a cane to help with balance, others may progress to requiring a wheelchair [1]. Hand and forearm weakness, or “clumsiness” may also be symptoms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease—arm problems usually appear after leg problems, but not always; CMT in children may go unnoticed because clumsiness can be synonymous with childhood for some kids! Weakness, tiredness, and spine curvature can also occur with CMT due to the weakening of muscles in the latter, and the increased effort required to do daily activities with the effects of CMT in the former. [1]
 
CMT can be identified with a genetic test. From there, supports like adaptive aids for movement can be assessed for and provided. If CMT is affecting breathing, this may only happen at night (sleep apnoea), or it can cause problems during the day in rare cases [1]. In addition to a neurologist, a variety of specialists may be required to manage CMT. Treatment is about supporting the needs of the person with CMT—there are no CMT-specific treatments available to cure or slow the disease’s progression, but other supports for breathing, speech therapy, orthotics, braces, or mobility aids can assist with quality of life. [1.1]
 
Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease awareness month takes place in September. If you live with CMT, you can share this post with others to help them concisely gain an understanding of what you might be dealing with. If you have CMT, especially if your speech or breathing are affected, wearing a medical ID bracelet can be very important as this can cause problems with communication during an emergency, or allow proper precautions be in place if you require anaesthesia for an emergency surgery, as certain anaesthesia types are not good choices for individuals with CMT. [1.2] You can view our selection of medical ID bracelets and necklaces by visiting MyIdentityDoctor.com, to help ensure your safety in an emergency.
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