World Cancer Day: We’re aware–now what?

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Today is World Cancer Day. Chances are you know someone who has gone through treatment for cancer—in the UK 960 people are diagnosed with cancer each day on average [1]. The good news is that 41% of cancers diagnosed in the UK are preventable, and 50% of people diagnosed with cancer survive for ten years or more after diagnosis—this statistic is for 2010-2011 [1], so we can reasonably presume that these numbers will only continue to rise with medical advances available to us, and new clinical trials continually in development for treatment of various cancers.
Undergoing cancer treatment is not easy—chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of two or all three, are usually required to treat cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy both have side effects that can vary in intensity, and surgery to remove cancer may have to remove healthy parts of the body as well, or alter how the body functions, which will remain with the individual throughout their life. Some cancers will have more specific treatments, such as bone marrow or stem cell transplant for blood and marrow cancers (leukaemia and lymphoma, for example).
We are all aware of cancer, so this World Cancer Day, learn someone’s story. Whether that is a friend or family member who has or had cancer and you are not familiar with their story, ask if they are comfortable telling you more about their experience. If you are fortunate enough to not know anyone personally who has experienced cancer, check out the My Identity Doctor US Blog for an interview from Janet, who has been living with lung cancer since 2011, as she shares about being a non-smoker with lung cancer, about clinical trials that have changed her life, and how she has chosen to advocate for all lung cancer patients since her diagnosis. Check over at our US Blog site, as her interview will be up in February!
If you or someone you know has experienced
cancer, the treatments you take or have taken may make it critical to wear a cancer medical ID bracelet or necklace, to ensure the best, most appropriate care in an emergency. If you are in a clinical trial, it is important to ensure that the trial coordinator or pharmaceutical company is contacted if you are experiencing negative side effects: alongside cancer, it may be important to engrave “clinical trial participant” on your medical ID bracelet as well—ask your team what is best for you.

#SmearForSmear Campaign – Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

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Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in the UK has created a fun way to raise awareness of getting potentially life-saving smear tests (Pap smears or Pap tests) done to test for cervical cancer. 75 to 80% of cervical cancer deaths can be prevented by early screening, and 1 in 4 women in the UK—75%!—do not have this quick test done to detect abnormal cells early. [1] Not all abnormal cells are pre-cancerous, but can help in detecting cervical cancer early, providing the best chances of recovery. [2]
The #SmearForSmear campaign wants to change these statistics about cervical cancer. Next week, on 22 January, 2017, at 11 AM the campaign wants everyone to post their #SmearForSmear selfies—smearing lipstick from one side of the mouth to raise awareness for Pap smear tests that could prevent more cervical cancer cases from advancing, currently, 3 women in the UK lose their lives to cervical cancer every day. [1] To learn more about the campaign, visit Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and download the toolkit.
You can read more about cervical cancer screening and testing on our US blog site this month. The most important thing women can do is to receive regular pap smears, especially for those between 25 and 30 years old in the UK—these should happen every 3 years or so until your doctor either extends the duration between tests if you test normal repeatedly, or until a certain age where your doctor deems you no longer need these tests.
Ensure you have your own Pap test done if you are a woman, and talk to your friends as well—men can also encourage the women in their lives to have these tests regularly. Tests are quick, and while mildly uncomfortable, they do not hurt. To find out where you can access a Pap test in the UK call your GP’s surgery, or use this locator if you do not have a GP or prefer to visit a different clinic for your Pap smear. 
If you have had cervical cancer, wearing a cancer medical ID bracelet or necklace may be important—ask your doctor what you should engrave on your jewelry to keep you safe. For those supporting women with cervical cancer, teal awareness ribbon jewelry is also available from our shop. 

Lung Cancer Month: What’s In Your Air?

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While lung cancer has very direct links to smoking or second hand smoke exposure—which is a reason that it is important to quit if you smoke, or be adamant that people not smoke around you—many people are surprised to learn that you can get lung cancer even if you do not smoke. About 14% of lung cancer cases diagnosed in the UK are not linked to smoking [1].
120 people each day are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United Kingdom. Cancer Research UK states that 89% of cases of lung cancer are preventable: this is based on lifestyle, such as nutrition and exercise, and exposure to occupational hazards and ionising radiation, in addition to smoking [1]. High exposure to air pollution or diesel exhaust also are contributing factors to developing lung cancer.
Some steps toward prevention are straightforward, and go beyond quitting smoking. Research indicates a diet that contains lots of fruit and vegetables can be protective against lung cancer—nutrition is linked to about 9% of lung cancer cases in the UK. [1] Exercise at high or moderate frequency is demonstrated to be more protective against lung cancer than low levels of activity, and/or being sedentary. in preventing cancer, being underweight may be a protective factor in former-smokers. [2]
More and more people are surviving a lung cancer diagnosis than ever before—but positive health habits can help prevent cancer, or if you are diagnosed, help your body be strong enough to tackle treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, or recover from surgery.
If you have lung cancer, or are undergoing any cancer treatment, it is important to wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace—especially if you are participating in a Clinical Trial. View our product selection to make one more choice to keep you safe while facing cancer.

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.  

10 Foods that will help you fight cancer

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10 Foods that will help you fight cancerWith the advancement of the medical science, a lot of diseases have been brought under control. But there are still a lot of diseases which are still life threatening. Cancer is the disease which tops that list. Now, it is better to prevent cancer than to cure. Let us see the food items which must be in your diet to reduce the chances and also to fight the deadly cancer.

The foods to be included in your diet to fight cancer

  1. First of all fresh fruits and vegetables must be included in your diet and almost 5 to 6 servings of fresh fruits daily will keep you healthy and remove cancer by giving your body the strength.
  2. Garlic is also another vegetable which stops the cancer causing elements from working in your body. A daily consumption of garlic in your regular diets will keep your digestive system and other body parts free from the carcinogens (cancer causing substances). It is known to have properties that stop the cancerous cells from growing and also to stop the carcinogens from acting.
  3. The berries like blackberry, strawberry, etc. are also known to have anti cancerous properties. So, you should include that to your diet.
  4. Vegetables like tomato are also known to have anti cancerous properties and can fight cancer.
  5. You must not forget the green veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, etc. to fight cancer.
  6. Replacing the everyday tea with the healthier version, green tea will help a lot in fighting cancer and also keep you healthy.
  7. A healthy and balanced diet like oats, brown rice, and wholegrain will also help a lot in fighting cancer. It also helps increase the body’s immunity.
  8. The curcumin
  9. in turmeric also helps fight cancer and shrink the tumours. So, turmeric should also be consumed in daily recipes.
  10. The leafy veggies like spinach, lettuce have the antioxidants and chemicals to reduce growth of cancerous cells.
  11. Red grapes have antioxidants to reduce cancer in their skins. So, they can be consumed to reduce the chances of cancer. Those antioxidants are also found in red wine.

Now, about fighting cancer, you should also stop smoking and drinking immediately.

You can also wear the cancer bracelets to make people aware of your disease. In case of any emergency, the engravings on the metal bracelets will make the people know about the disease and you will be given immediate necessary care.

Any further suggestions for the patients and any comments on the blog are welcomed.

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