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Cancer Prevention

Cancer is the general term for more than 100 diseases according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Although cancers can be found in different places throughout the body, they all begin with abnormal cell growth. Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body grow out of control. These cells multiply and invade into surrounding tissue, something normal cells don’t do. Cancer cells are sometimes inherited (for instance, someone who has a parent with cancer has a greater chance of cancer himself) but more often, a cancer cell is caused by something in the environment, such as cigarette smoking or sun exposure. Left untreated, cancer can cause serious illness and, in most cases, death.

To reduce your risk of cancer don’t smoke, limit sun exposure, be physically active, and eat healthy. There are also screening tests and exams for some types of cancers which can find an abnormality early and before it spreads. In general, the earlier cancer is found, the greater the chance for survival.

The ACS states nearly half of all men and a third of all women in the United States will develop cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, early detection and treatment of cancer has resulted in more cancer survivors. Ask your doctor what screenings and exams you should have and how often you should get them.

Living well after 50.

One in eight women will get breast cancer.

“I wouldn’t change you for the world, but I would change the world for you”. Unknown

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October Fun Facts

The 10th month of the year brings us Halloween, Columbus Day, and the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

In the Georgian calendar, the calendar that most of the world uses, October is the tenth month of the year. In early Roman calendar, it was actually the eighth month and there are 31 days in October ever since the since of the Roman emperor August. In North Temperature zone, the first frost happens, leaves change colors and leaves fall. By the time, most of the birds would have left for the South hemisphere to protect themselves from cold weather. However, in southern hemisphere, October’s weather is just like the northern hemisphere’s April weather. In October, farmers bring the last of the fall crops and ship them to other parts of the U.S. and also, many apples are harvested.

Below are some fun facts about October:

1 The birthstones for October are the tourmaline and the opal.

2 The zodiac signs for October are Libra (September 23 – October 22) and Scorpio (October 23 – November 21).

3 The birth flower for October is the calendula.

4 On October 1, 1896, free rural delivery of mail started in the United States.

5 On October 4, 1957, the first artificial satellite was launched by the Soviet Union.

6 On October 5, 1947, the first presidential telecast address from the White House was made by Harry S. Truman.

7 On October 7, 1816, the Washington (first double-decked steamboat) arrived at New Orleans.

8 On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in America.

9 On October 18, 1867, The U.S. flag was formally raised over Alaska.

10 On October 22, 1836, Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first president of the Republic of Texas.

11 On October 31, 1864, Nevada became the 36th state of the United States.

12 National Cookie Month

13 National Chili Month

14 National Pizza Month

15 National Dessert Month

16 Lupus Awareness Month

17 National Seafood Month

18 November 5 – World Teacher’s Day

19 Columbus Day – second Monday of October

20 October 31 – Halloween

Male Breast Cancer

Although they generally have less of it, men have breast tissue just like women do. So, men can get breast cancer too. However, it’s much rarer. According to the ACS, breast cancer is 100 times less common in men than in women.

That said, the breast cancer that men get is just as serious as the breast cancer women get. It also has the same symptoms.

Symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those in women. Most male breast cancers are diagnosed when a man discovers a lump on his chest. But unlike women, men tend to delay going to the doctor until they have more severe symptoms, like bleeding from the nipple. At that point the cancer may have already spread.

Read more about breast cancer in men and the symptoms to watch for.

National Down Syndrome Month

 

 

Down syndrome is the most common genetic disorder in America.

People with Down syndrome have mild to moderate disabilities.

There are many supportive programs for people with Down syndrome and their families, helping people with Down syndrome to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

 

Down syndrome (sometimes called Down’s syndrome) is a condition in which a child is born with an extra copy of their 21st chromosome (hence its other name, Trisomy 21). This causes physical and mental developmental delays and disabilities.

 

Many of the disabilities are lifelong and they can also shorten life expectancy. However, people with Down syndrome can live healthy and fulfilling lives. Recent medical advances as well as cultural and institutional support for people with Down syndrome and their families provide many opportunities to help overcome challenges.

 

What Causes Down Syndrome?

According to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), about 1 in 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. It’s the most common genetic disorder in the United States.

 

A quick explanation of basic genetics can help you understand how it happens. In all cases of reproduction, both parents pass their genes on to their children. These genes are carried in chromosomes. When the baby’s cells develop, each cell is supposed to receive 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 chromosomes total). Half of the chromosomes are from the mother and half are from the father.

 

In children with Down syndrome, one of the chromosomes doesn’t separate properly. The baby ends up with three copies, or an extra partial copy, of chromosome 21, instead of two. This extra chromosome causes problems as the brain and physical features develop.

 

Types of Down Syndrome

 

There are three types of Down syndrome:

Trisomy 21

Trisomy 21 means there is an extra copy of chromosome 21 in every cell. This is the most common form of Down syndrome.

Mosaicism

Mosaicism occurs when a child is born with an extra chromosome in some but not all of their cells. People with mosaic Down syndrome tend to have fewer symptoms than those with trisomy 21.

Translocation

In this type of Down syndrome, children have only an extra part of chromosome 21. There are 46 total chromosomes. However, one of them has an extra piece of chromosome 21 attached.

 

Will My Child Be at Risk for Down Syndrome?

Certain parents have a greater risk of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome. Mothers age 35 and older are more likely to have a baby with Down syndrome than younger mothers. The risk increases the older the mother is. Research shows that paternal age also has an effect — one 2003 study found that fathers over 40 had twice the risk of having a child with Down syndrome.

 

Other parents who are at greater risk of having a child with Down syndrome include:

people with a family history of Down syndrome

people who carry the genetic translocation

 

It’s important to remember that no one of these factors mean that you will definitely have a baby with Down syndrome, but statistically and over a large population, they can put you at higher risk.

 

SYMPTOMS

 

What Are the Symptoms of Down Syndrome?

Though the likelihood of carrying a baby with Down syndrome can be estimated by screening during pregnancy, you won’t experience any symptoms of carrying a Down syndrome child.

At birth, babies with Down syndrome usually have certain characteristic signs, including:

flat facial features

small head and ears

short neck

bulging tongue

eyes that slant upward

oddly shaped ears

poor muscle tone

 

An infant with Down syndrome can be born at normal size but will develop more slowly than a child without the condition.

 

People with Down syndrome usually have some degree of mental disability, but it’s often mild to moderate. Mental and social development delays may mean that the child could have:

impulsive behavior

poor judgment

short attention span

slow learning capabilities

 

Medical complications often accompany Down syndrome. These may include:

congenital heart defects

hearing loss

poor vision

cataracts (clouded eyes)

hip problems, such as dislocations

leukemia

chronic constipation

sleep apnea (interrupted breathing during sleep)

dementia (thought and memory problems)

hypothyroidism (low thyroid function)

obesity

late tooth growth, causing problems with chewing

Alzheimer’s, in later life

 

People with Down syndrome are also more prone to infection. They may struggle with respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and skin infections.

 

Down syndrome is the most common genetic disorder in America.

People with Down syndrome have mild to moderate disabilities.

There are many supportive programs for people with Down syndrome and their families, helping people with Down syndrome to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

Down syndrome (sometimes called Down’s syndrome) is a condition in which a child is born with an extra copy of their 21st chromosome (hence its other name, Trisomy 21). This causes physical and mental developmental delays and disabilities.

Many of the disabilities are lifelong and they can also shorten life expectancy. However, people with Down syndrome can live healthy and fulfilling lives. Recent medical advances as well as cultural and institutional support for people with Down syndrome and their families provide many opportunities to help overcome challenges.

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Association for Down Syndrome for help and hope.

Article reso

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month-THINK PINK!

Breast cancer overview

Cancer occurs when changes called mutations take place in genes that regulate cell growth. The mutations let the cells divide and multiply in an uncontrolled, chaotic way. The cells keep multiplying, producing copies that get progressively more abnormal. In most cases, the cell copies eventually form a tumor.

Breast cancer is cancer that develops in breast cells. Typically, the cancer forms in either the lobules or the ducts of the breast. Lobules are the glands that produce milk, and ducts are the pathways that bring the milk from the glands to the nipple. Cancer can also occur in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue within your breast.

The uncontrolled cancer cells often invade other healthy breast tissue and can travel to the lymph nodes under the arms. The lymph nodes are a primary pathway that helps the cancer cells move to other parts of the body. See pictures and learn more about the structure of the breast.

How common is breast cancer?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. And according to statistics from the American Cancer Society (ACS), nearly 232,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2015. Invasive breast cancer is cancer that has spread from the ducts or glands to other parts of the breast. More than 40,000 women were expected to die from the disease.

Breast cancer can also be diagnosed in men. The ACS also estimated that in 2015, more than 2,000 men would be diagnosed, and more than 400 men would die from the disease. Find out more about breast cancer numbers around the world.

Types of breast cancer

There are several types of breast cancer, which are broken into two main categories: “invasive” (as mentioned above), and “noninvasive,” or in situ. While invasive cancer has spread from the breast ducts or glands to other parts of the breast, noninvasive cancer has not spread from the original tissue.

These two categories are used to describe the most common types of breast cancer, which include:

Ductal carcinoma in situ. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a noninvasive condition. With DCIS, the cells that line the ducts in your breast change and look cancerous. However, DCIS cells haven’t invaded the surrounding breast tissue.

Lobular carcinoma in situ. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is cancer that grows in the milk-producing glands of your breast. Like DCIS, the cancer cells haven’t yet invaded the surrounding tissue.

Invasive ductal carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of breast cancer begins in your breast’s milk ducts and then invades nearby tissue in the breast. Once the breast cancer has spread to the tissue outside your milk ducts, it can begin to spread to other nearby organs and tissue.

Invasive lobular carcinoma. Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) first develops in your breast’s lobules. If breast cancer is diagnosed as ILC, it has already spread to nearby tissue and organs.

Other, less common types of breast cancer include:

Paget disease of the nipple. This type of breast cancer begins in the breasts’ ducts, but as it grows, it begins to affect the skin and areola of the nipple.

Phyllodes tumor. This very rare type of breast cancer grows in the connective tissue of the breast.

Angiosarcoma. This is cancer that grows on the blood vessels or lymph vessels in the breast.

The type of cancer you have determines your treatment options, as well as your prognosis (likely long-term outcome). Learn more about types of breast cancer.

Risk factors for breast cancer

There are several risk factors that increase your chances of getting breast cancer. However, having any of these doesn’t mean you will definitely develop the disease.

Some risk factors can’t be avoided, such as family history. Other risk factors, such as smoking, you can change. Risk factors for breast cancer include:

Age. Your risk for developing breast cancer increases as you age. Most invasive breast cancers are found in women over age 55.

Drinking alcohol. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol raises your risk.

Having dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue makes mammograms hard to read. It also increases your risk of breast cancer.

Gender. Women are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men.

Genes. Women who have the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are more likely to develop breast cancer than women who don’t. Other gene mutations may also affect your risk.

Early menstruation. If you had your first period before age 12, you have an increased risk for breast cancer.

Giving birth at an older age. Women who don’t have their first child until after age 35 have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Hormone therapy. Women who took or are taking postmenopausal estrogen and progesterone medications to reduce their signs of menopause symptoms have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Inherited risk. If a close female relative has had breast cancer, you have an increased risk for developing it. This includes your mother, grandmother, sister, or daughter. If you don’t have a family history of breast cancer, you can still develop breast cancer. In fact, the majority of women who develop it have no family history of the disease.

Late menopause start. Women who do not start menopause until after age 55 are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Never being pregnant. Women who never became pregnant or never carried a pregnancy to full-term are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Previous breast cancer. If you have had breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer in your other breast or in a different area of the previously affected breast.

SYMPTOMS

Breast cancer symptoms

In its early stages, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. In many cases, a tumor may be too small to be felt, but an abnormality can still be seen on a mammogram. If a tumor can be felt, the first sign is usually a new lump in the breast that was not there before. However, not all lumps are cancer.

Each type of breast cancer can cause a variety of symptoms. Many of these symptoms are similar, but some can be different. Symptoms for the most common breast cancers include:

a breast lump or tissue thickening that feels different than surrounding tissue and has developed recently

breast pain

red, pitted skin over your entire breast

swelling in all or part of your breast

a nipple discharge other than breast milk

bloody discharge from your nipple

peeling, scaling, or flaking of skin on your nipple or breast

a sudden, unexplained change in the shape or size of your breast

inverted nipple

changes to the appearance of the skin on your breasts

a lump or swelling under your arm

If you have any of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer. For instance, pain in your breast or a breast lump can be caused by a breast cyst. Still, if you find a lump in your breast or have other symptoms, you should see your doctor for further examination and testing. Learn more about possible symptoms of breast cancer.

National VFW Day

National VFW Day is observed annually on September 29, honoring the men and women devoted to this valuable organization and those members who have served our nation. 

Members of the VFW today hold a long-standing history of volunteerism in their communities. Not only have they served their country, but they continue to serve their fellow veterans, families, and communities by sponsoring scholarships, career fairs, mental wellness campaigns, and so many more excellent services.

VFW membership since its inception has been instrumental in the establishment of the Veterans Administration, the creation of the national cemetery system and passage of the GI Bill. Through the VFW, veterans honor veterans and serve their communities.  On National VFW Day, take a moment to recognize all the VFW does in your community.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Honor the VFW members and veterans in your community. Let them know that you appreciate the sacrifices they have made for all of us. We truly are the land of the free because of the brave. Use #NationalVFWDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

The VFW was established on September 29, 1899, by a group of veterans from the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. It has since grown to be the nation’s largest group of combat veterans. They continue “to honor the dead by helping the living.” The VFW promote patriotism, goodwill and youth scholarships. They also provide military assistance and community service programs, promote youth activities and volunteer many hours in their local communities.

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