You may be experiencing signs and symptoms that have you wondering if you could have anal cancer. It is important for you to understand that anal cancer is not the same as bowel cancer. In fact, very few individuals are aware of what anal cancer is. Most individuals that have it don’t want to have to talk about it. They don’t want to tell their family or friends. Anal cancer, if not caught in the early stages, can be deadly.
Many experts have said that as many as one in every five-people affected by anal cancer never have any symptoms. This can make cancer deadlier. This is because, without the signs and symptoms, individuals do not know what it is. Overall, the disease is more likely to affect women than it is to affect men. However, in recent years, the number of individuals affected by anal cancer has increased. Research shows that the occurrence of anal cancer has gone up over one hundred percent since the end of the 1970s.
Anal cancer is rare. However, there are studies that indicate the rates are rising. There are many that say the rise in cases of anal cancer can be attributed to HPV. Anal cancer affects the anus. This is the part of your bowl that opens outside of your body away from the rectum. The anus is about three centimeters.
Nine out of ten cases of anal cancer are related to HPV. This is the same virus that is responsible for many cancers in the cervix, vagina, oropharynx, vulva, and penis. There are different types of HPV. Each one is separated into either high or low-risk category. They are separated into these categories based on the symptoms that each one causes. HPV is contracted through skin-to-skin contact. Individuals can also contract HPV by engaging in oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with an individual that is infected.
Symptoms of anal cancer can be easy to miss because they sometimes mirror other health problems. Here are some common signs and symptoms of anal cancer.
The most common symptom of anal cancer is blood in the feces. Approximately half of all individuals struggling with anal cancer have experienced blood in their feces.
If you notice that you have unusual lumps around your anus, you might want to talk to your doctor. Lumps located around the anus could be easily confused with hemorrhoids. When individuals have small lumps located around their groin area, this could be an indication of anal cancer.
Around thirty percent of individuals diagnosed with anal cancer experience pain around their anus. There have been suggestions made that if you experience swelling and redness or soreness around your anus that will not go away, this could be a symptom of anal cancer. If these symptoms combine with other symptoms or don’t seem to go away, make sure you call your doctor and schedule an appointment as soon as you can.
Have you noticed that you have been having unusual bowel habits lately? Has it been harder to pass a stool? Have you been experiencing bouts of extreme constipation? Have you noticed that you continuously feel the urge to pass a stool, but you can’t seem to pass one? These can be signs of anal cancer. Another sign that you may have anal cancer is difficulty in controlling your bowel movements.
Wrapping it Up
There is available research that shows around one in every three persons with anal cancer has a lump around their anus. There are others that experience constant itching. Others have noted experiencing a discharge of mucus.
No matter what symptoms lead you to believe something may be wrong, you should seek medical care immediately. Your primary doctor should be able to refer you to a specialist if one is needed. There are many factors that can increase your risk of anal cancer and you should ensure that you go over these and your symptoms with your doctor as soon as possible.
After surviving anal cancer treatments, living beyond cancer raises a lot of questions and uncertainties. After treatment is a new chapter in your life. You have successfully overcome the most challenging part of your life, and now that all has been defeated, somehow there is still this ominous feeling that is bugging you. All throughout the journey, you have experienced a roller-coaster ride of emotions – sorrow and depression, hopelessness, relief, happiness, overwhelming gratitude, and now, the foreboding feeling that cancer can always return. According to Danna Costa-Sahs, PsyD, “Depression is a serious mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.”
You already get used to a routine – going to your doctor, chemotherapy sessions, or appointment with your nutritionist. Following a schedule somehow gave you direction on what your day should go. In as much as the whole process is depressing, you know what and how your day will end. But now that all treatment procedures are done, you are placed in a position where you don’t know what’s going to happen next. You might feel alone when visits to health care team end. You will miss the sense of security and support provided by your team.
Start Living Once Again – One Day At A Time
At this point, you and everyone else are grateful that you have survived cancer. There is so much to be thankful for, so much to enjoy about life. You can now start doing things that were put on hold because of cancer treatments. Go start accomplishing your bucket list and enjoy your lost times with friends and families. Get connected once again with your social media accounts and express your gratitude to those who had shown and offered their support when you were battling cancer. According to Suzanne Phillips, PsyD, “gratitude is the gift that gives back because it puts us in touch with the best of who we are.”
Going back to your “normal” life may not be easy. It may take time and a lot of adjustments for you and the people around you. Learn to wait until you get by and slowly learn how to overcome worried and anxious feelings.
How To Be More Hopeful While Dealing With Fear And Uncertainty
There will always be an instance to remind you, events that will rouse worry again – like visits to hospitals when a member of the family or close acquaintance suddenly become ill or dies of cancer. In times like these, it is normal to feel anxious about your condition. Here are some tips on how to handle this situation:
- Acknowledge your fears. You’ve been in this situation before. The day when you learned that you had cancer was the most dreadful feeling ever. In as much that you don’t want to go back to this emotion anymore, learn to identify your fears again so that you will know what concrete steps to take to allay these fears.
- Learn and understand what to expect in cases of recurrence and be knowledgeable of symptoms to look for.
- Open your concerns to others. Do not worry alone. Expressing your feelings is a way to deal with your emotions. Talk to someone who can understand; it may help you recognize the reasons for your fear. Joining support groups can also make you feel less alone. Talking with others who are in situations like yours can help ease loneliness. According to Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, “Talking is one way that we process and absorb emotional experience – organize it, if you will, for later.”
- Divert negative thoughts that will increase your level of anxiety. Do things that can relieve you of stress. Spend time to enjoy with your family and friends. Focus on hobbies that you like or maybe start a new one to make you more productive.
- Choose to be well and focus on your health. Continue to live a healthy lifestyle and do away with unhealthy habits.
- Go back to your healthcare team and bravely talk about followup care.
Cancer is a life sentence. It does not end even if one has survived the condition. The best way to be prepared for cancer is when you accept your mortality. This way, you are more focused and dedicated to doing more meaningful experiences with your loved ones. Be grateful that you have reached this point and by spiritual grace, another chance is provided to start a new life.
After learning that you have cancer, it is understandable that you are eager to start your treatment. Several elements are considered in selecting treatment options and recommendations for anal cancer. Doctors will examine the stage of cancer, patient’s overall health, and personal preferences. Conventional treatments for anal cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
In making treatment decisions, it is essential to take the option that best fits your needs. If time permits and the situation is not too urgent, take time to understand the best possible choice. You may need to clarify information from your cancer care team, or you may find it helpful to talk about your thoughts and seek a piece of advice from your most trusted people – your family and friends. It is relevant to know about the permanent effect of the treatment, its risks, and benefits. Most often others would consider asking for a second opinion.
Surgery is the removal of abnormal and some surrounding healthy tissues. After the procedure, the patient will undergo several evaluation tests to determine that the cancer cells have not recurred. If this happens, another surgery is needed. Abdominoperineal resection (APR) is a type of surgery where the anus is removed, so a new opening is made for the stool to leave the body. This procedure results in a patient needing a colostomy. A doctor may recommend this type of surgery if cancer hasn’t responded to chemotherapy and radiation and for late-stage anal cancer.
Potential risks and side effects mostly depend on the extent of the surgery. Pain is a common side effect and can usually be controlled by medication to reduce discomfort. It is also essential to check on the drainage from the surgery site. Signs of infection include redness and pain in the operative and surrounding areas, foul odor coming from the surgical site, increased count of white blood cells, and complaints of fever.
The surgical procedure also entails the patient to lifetime colostomy that will eventually affect his/her usual lifestyle.
Another recommended treatment is the use of radiation therapy which utilizes high powered beams to suppress and kill cancer cells. It can be used as the primary treatment or along with chemotherapy. During the procedure, the patient lies on a table while a large machine emits radiation beams to the specific area. For anal cancer, radiation therapy is given in 5 to 6 weeks’ duration, depending on the doctor’s recommendations.
The risk of radiation therapy may include damage to healthy tissue adjacent to where the beams are aimed. Fatigue, skin reactions, diarrhea, low white blood cell count and radiation proctitis are also common side effects.
Chemotherapy drugs are given via intravenous administration. The drug enters the bloodstream to destroy cancer cells thus halting its ability to grow and divide. Due to the potency of these drugs, regrettably, the chemicals are also toxic to healthy cells thus damaging them too. It is also a combined therapy for radiation therapy called chemoradiation.
Just like any treatment, there are side effects that accompany chemotherapy including fatigue, lowering blood count, nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. Chemoradiation increases the effectiveness of two treatments but considerably have more side effects.
In all these treatments, make sure that you ask your doctor all the necessary information pertaining to the therapeutic outcomes, side effects, and complications.
When we learned that I have anal cancer, I felt my heart stop for some time, and my brain was rewinding my life events as if I was watching it in a movie theater. According to Dorina Stern, LMFT, “Shock is a sudden and often intense disturbance of your emotional state that may leave you feeling stunned or dazed.” I turned to my wife who was seated next to me, and I was expecting to see her eyes drenched with tears. But lo and behold, she sat there looking at the doctor and listening intently with no trace of sadness and disbelief on her face. She spoke with a commanding tone as if she was about to close a considerable business venture. When she looked at me and said, “We’ll get through this. Trust me”, it was there that I came to my senses that I need to be strong.
Knowing that I have this dreadful disease brings agony and perilous thoughts of death or end of life. But my wife, being a strong person, sustained a positive outlook in our family concerning my battle with cancer. Here’s a simple list of what we have experienced by far.
Accepting and embracing your condition is the most challenging phase, but overcoming it will make things easier. The moment you started to accept that cancer is in you, and you will start to have a better disposition in life. Without proper acceptance of the condition, it will be difficult for you to undergo treatment and counseling. According to Justin LaPilusa, PsyD, “Acceptance is the ability to allow internal and external experience to occur instead of fighting or avoiding the experience.”
Having doubts? Seek The Second Opinion
Even with the advancement of technology, a margin of error might have made the diagnosis. If diagnosed with harboring a disorder one must at least seek for a second opinion to validate whether the findings of the first physician are conclusive and will confirm the illness. On the other hand, asking for a second opinion will allow you to explore possible alternative treatments. In our case, we went to 5 oncologists. Unfortunately, they were all right, and we decided to accept their medical opinions and started with treatment instantly.
It’s Ok To Feel Afraid
Venting out that we are afraid doesn’t mean that we are weak, but instead, it allows us to bring out our real feelings and understanding towards cancer. It’s normal to feel afraid, expressing fear will help you release stress, and it will allow others to comfort you. According to Simon A. Rego, PsyD. “Fear is healthy. It gives you an evolutionary advantage.”
Find Your Circle
Having support groups can aid an individual to deal with cancer for it is the most critical part of it, knowing that you have someone that you can run into, stay with you as you undergo the process of changes is it caused by the illness or the course of medication. This will make you feel, that you are not alone in this battle. I am very fortunate that I have my wife with me all the time, my two daughters, and the rest of my family and friends who are always willing to help and offer what they can.
Find your inner peace.
Finding your inner peace will allow you to stay focus and determined. Remembering past events in your life will enable you to look back to both the bad and good things in your life. This will make you appreciate the value of life and how important it is to live it to the fullest.
Understand That The End Is Just The Beginning.
Most of us perceive that a person who has cancer will eventually die, that having it marks the end of everything. But the truth is, cancer is just the beginning of life because it is the time wherein you will realize how important it is to spend time with the people you love. It is the time that you will appreciate the beauty of life. Ironic it may seem, but that’s how life rolls, the moment you feel it’s about time, that’s the time you start living your life to the fullest.
Remember, Que Sera Sera!
Let it be a constant reminder that no one knows what tomorrow brings, that whatever will be, will be because everything on earth is temporary and might be gone in a snap of time. Battling with cancer allows you to prepare yourself in all aspects; it gives you the chance to make up for your shortcomings. Whether you survive or fall for it, understanding that death is not the end of life, but rather the start of an everlasting journey bound to the heavenly place to where life has no end. Having cancer is like a difficult test to take or a bitter pill to swallow, but as we face it each day of our lives we must remember that this too shall pass, we just must keep going.
I don’t know if I can survive this or not. But I am thankful that my wife is my pillar of strength and my guiding star. Always telling me not to give up until the end.
Continuing to live a normal life with a cancer diagnosis can be very difficult. Studies have shown that persons who receive an initial diagnosis of cancer experience bouts of depression immediately. “I wasn’t ashamed about having breast cancer. Having depression made me feel that I’d let down my loved ones. Well-meaning friends encouraged me to cheer up, as though my sickness was an option,” said Nancy Alterman, LCSW from her own experience of having depression and cancer at the same time.
At first, a cancer patient will need some time to accept the fact that they have cancer. Once it is certain that you have cancer, it will leave you and your family with feelings of uncertainty and anxiousness. Here’s what online counseling has provided on ways you can do after learning about your diagnosis.
Equip Your Knowledge
It is imperative to learn the diagnosis and treatment options. Your medical provider will be providing all the information that you need to know about your condition. On your own, you can also supplement this by going to many sources like reading medical literature online or in your local library. There is a wide range of treatments for anal cancer that you can talk about with your doctor. Share what you learn with your doctor and discuss together the treatment options that you are both comfortable with.
Get Additional Support
It’s reassuring to keep in mind that you are not alone in this battle. Trying to deal with it by yourself can increase your anxiety levels. Family members and friends are your excellent source of strength and support. Surrounding yourself with a support network will help you experience a better quality of life after anal cancer.
Addressing Anxiety On Side Effects
It is known that chemotherapy and radiation therapy offer multiple side effects and complications. Significant changes to the body brought about by side effects can cause fears related to treatment. Your doctor and members of the care team will answer your questions and will work to prevent and relieve these side effects for you to feel more satisfied with your overall care.
“Most psychologists treat anxiety with cognitive-behavior therapy strategies. The general idea is to target your anxiety-producing thoughts with their rational counterparts,” says Shawn Meghan Burn, Ph.D.
Dealing With Emotions During Treatment
Receiving emotional support is an essential part of healing. Some cancer patients experience different kinds of emotions like depression, anger, anxiety, and distress. They need all the emotional support and assistance to face their present ordeal. The presence of family and friends can help alleviate specific fears and allay anxieties. A referral to a counselor is also beneficial if the patient demonstrates clinical depression. A good state of mental health is necessary while undergoing cancer treatment. Remember that the body is already compromised by the massive proliferation of cancer cells. Thus, having a cynical point of view is not helpful and can only add further damage to healthy cells.
Supporting a Loved One with Cancer
The course of cancer treatment can consume a lot of the patient’s time and energy. Their daily activities are curtailed and attending to personal needs may pose enormous problems. Let the patient know that he is not alone in his journey – you can do something to support his health and healing.
“I’ve noticed there are three particularly challenging times for people with cancer: between diagnosis and the start of treatment, right after treatment ends, and around checkups in the future. The end of treatment can be weirdly anticlimactic and disorienting. Annual checkups can bring up all kinds of weird feelings, even years out,” says Miri Mogilevsky, LISW.
The following are simple ways on how you can help:
- Be a companion. The best comfort that you can provide is your company. Be there all throughout his treatment. Get ready for long hours of hospital visits.
- Lend a hand to assist with daily house chores, running errands and offering childcare.
- Assist patient with eating and grooming especially when he/she is too tired and sick to do self- care.
Staging is the process of describing the extent or progression of the disease. In solid tumors like anal cancer, staging is important in determining the treatment plan, monitoring the patient’s response to the treatment and to assess its prognosis.
The most commonly known staging system utilized today is the TNM (Tumor/Node/Metastasis) System, established by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC). It assesses tumors based on the size or extent of primary tumor (T), the absence or presence of lymph nodes involvement (N) and the absence or presence of metastasis or spread of cancer cells to distant parts of the body.
Interpreting The Meanings
As described by The American Cancer Society, each factor is numbered from 0-4 or the letter X representing the severity of the condition. For example, in primary tumor, Tx is used, and this means a primary tumor cannot be assessed; T0 means no evidence of primary tumor; Tis reading would mean that the cancer is only in the mucosa or top layer of cells lining the anus; T1 the tumor is 2cm in dimension; T2 means the tumor is more than 2cm but not more than 5cm; T3 is a tumor that is larger than 5cm; and T4 where the tumor is any size and is growing into nearby organs.
For the lymph nodes involvement, the following are used:
- NX – Regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed
- N0 – No regional lymph nodes metastasis
- N1 – Involvement in perirectal lymph nodes
- N2 – Involvement in unilateral internal iliac and inguinal lymph nodes
- N3 – Metastasis in perirectal and inguinal lymph nodes and bilateral internal iliac and inguinal lymph nodes.
Lastly, for the metastasis, there are only two categories involved:
- M0 – For no distant metastasis
- M1 – With distant metastasis.
After TNM scores have been assigned, it is then grouped into stages. It ranges from stage I to IV, Stage I being the early stage and IV being the advanced stage.
Stages Of Anal Cancer
According to AJCC system effective January 2018, the following are the staging of anal cancer (Source: American Joint Committee on Cancer).
Stage 0 – Tis, N0, M0. The cancer is only in the mucosa, no lymph nodes and metastasis involve.
Stage I – T1, N0, M0. The tumor size is merely 2cm, has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or to distant sites.
Stage IIA – T2, N0, M0. The tumor can range from 2cm, but not more than 5cm has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or to distant sites.
Stage IIB – T3, N0, M0. The tumor is larger than 5cm but has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or to distant sites.
Stage IIIA – T1, N1, M0. The tumor is 2 cm, has spread to lymph nodes near the rectum but no distant sites involve. Another interpretation is T2, N1, M0 which means the tumor is more than 2cm but not more than 5cm in greatest dimension, has spread to lymph nodes near the rectum but no metastasis.
Stage IIIB – T4, N0, M0. At this stage, the tumor is of any size and is growing into nearby organs such as vagina, urethra, prostate gland or bladder, but no lymph nodes or metastasis involve.
Stage IIIC – T3, N1, M0. The tumor is larger than 5cm, has spread to lymph nodes but no metastasis) or T4, N1, M0 wherein the tumor is any size and growing into nearby organs, has spread to lymph nodes but no metastasis.
Stage IV. This is when any T, any N, M1 tumor can be any size may or may not grow into nearby organs or spread to nearby lymph nodes and it has spread to distant organs such as liver or lungs.
Helping Through The Stages
Getting a diagnosis of cancer can be a life-altering situation. There is no degree of putting the icing on the cake when cancer is the main topic. Relationship problems can occur as deterioration of physical and psychological dimension progress. Family members and significant others should be there with the person when this happens. A person diagnosed with cancer needs all the love and support they can need during this ordeal. Whatever stage they are in, continuous physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual support is highly encouraged.
Anal cancer and its treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery may affect the patient in a variety of ways. It can change not only the physical but also functional, social and psychological aspects of a patient’s quality of life as well as their families. They need total support from the time of the diagnosis, course of treatment, and long-term monitoring or follow up after. The following are some effects of cancer that need to be addressed accordingly.
Cancer May Affect Patients’ Nutritional Status. They may experience poor appetite since they are emotionally-stressed about their illness, from the effects of treatment regimen like nausea and vomiting and diarrhea, and the extent of their disease that may affect the metabolism of essential nutrients needed by our body. Dieticians or nurses providing direct care can provide nutritional education and counseling to the patient and family. The family should be involved as part of the team as they can afford psychosocial support towards patients’ dietary practices. Medications like appetite stimulants and vitamins as prescribed can help.
“While the emotional, practical, social, and spiritual impact of cancer is often in the form of distress, many people are positively affected by cancer. As patients and/or family members experience this positive influence on their lives, it is often something they talk with our therapists about to make sense of for themselves.” says Cheyenne Corbett, PhD, LMFT
Impaired Skin Integrity Problems. Skin integrity of anal cancer patients especially with a wound or after surgery like abdominoperineal resections with permanent colostomy needs to appropriate care. Stoma care nurses can provide education about colostomy care and help patients adapt to having a colostomy. Patients receiving radiation can experience skin changes during or after treatment. Training regarding skin care by keeping the affected clean and well hydrated and protection for the further injury like avoidance of constrictive clothing and exposure to sunlight should be provided.
Infection. Neutropenia is one of the most common side effects on cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. It is a condition in which there is a marked decreased of circulating neutrophils, our first line of defense against infection. Hand washing is one of the critical intervention to prevent infection. Maintaining personal hygiene, proper oral care, safe food handling and limiting visitors are some precautionary measures also. Oral antibiotics are given as prophylaxis in neutropenic patients, and once infection has been established, antimicrobial treatment should be started immediately.
Sexual Practices. The sexual problem also arises in anal cancer patients. Some lose interest in sex at the time of diagnosis, during treatment and post-treatment. This might be due to the physical or emotional effect of cancer. The patient can seek help from doctors or do counseling on how to cope and improve the sexual relationship.
Psychological Effects. Patient diagnosed with anal cancer also needs psychosocial care as well as their families. A cancer diagnosis can create stressful feelings for the patient and their family. It demands individual and entire family positive outlook and active involvement on how to cope with the illness. Extended support from community, friends or groups like cancer society people that can provide emotional support, is a big help.
“There are so many things that cancer patients need to communicate to their loved ones. These range from sharing the diagnosis, what the treatment will look like, specifics about how the treatment is affecting them, where they need help, where/when they need privacy, financial decisions, end-of-life planning and decision making, etc.” says June C. Foss, LMFT.
Cancer is one of the leading cause of death worldwide. But remember that fighting cancer is not an individual battle. It needs support that involves a multidisciplinary team with the same end in providing a good quality of life for all cancer patients. “Many cancers can be prevented and regress if carbohydrate intake is restricted.” says Jack C Westman M.D.
As its name suggests, anal cancer manifests in the person’s anus. Sometimes anal cancer doesn’t show any symptoms at all, but the first symptom is usually bleeding. This bleeding is mostly minor, and people assume hemorrhoids cause this.
Eventually, bleeding will give way to other more worrisome warning signs such as anal itching, a nodule or mass at the opening of the anus, pain or a feeling of fullness in the anal area, ribbon-like stool or other changes in bowel movements, abnormal secretions from the anus, and enlarged lymph nodes in the groin areas.
Helping Someone With Cancer
If you know someone who is in this medical state, it is best to provide supportive counseling and help them go through the whole ordeal. You can help the person consider different treatment options ranging from the aggressive to alternative modalities. Modern medicine has birthed different types of medicinal and surgical interventions which aim to reduce the mortalities and morbidities associated with anal cancer. As a support system, your role is only to offer reliable information, but the health decision will remain solely in the patient’s prerogative.
For preventive purposes and relief of symptoms, the following plant products have scientifically proven their positive results in cancer treatments. You can refer this information to someone who is at high risk of developing cancer or those who are already diagnosed as having one. It is important to remember that this will not replace the traditional treatment and should not be considered as the primary intervention. Always advise to consult the oncologist or treating doctor if this method is utilized.
Onions And Garlic
Onions and garlic have intense flavors that can leave an after-taste in your mouth, but you may want to reevaluate when you realize onions and garlic are nature’s weapons against cancer.
These two common household cooking ingredients are laden with manganese, vitamin B6, allicin, sulfuric compounds, vitamin C, copper, and selenium which stimulate the body’s production of glutathione, a potent antioxidant for the liver. This naturally-occurring chemical boosts the body’s detoxification process (Bollinger, 2018).
Onion alone is packed with large quantities of quercetin, another antioxidant which reduces the malignant cells present in the rectum. Hence, including it in your diet may reduce the size and number of cancerous cells.
One study showed an increased daily consumption of onions and garlic led to significantly reduced chances of the development of laryngeal colorectal, and ovarian cancers.
It is best known as a crucial ingredient for curry dishes, but soon, we will all be looking at turmeric both for its culinary and therapeutic benefits.
Curcumin is the active component in the plant and has been shown to prevent several forms of cancer including breast, stomach, liver, lung, and colon through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin inhibits the development of cancer by interfering with the communication between malignant cells.
A study showed colorectal patients could take as much as 3.6 grams of pure curcumin without any ill effects. Curcumin isn’t well-absorbed in the bloodstream, but it is well-absorbed in the colon lining which gives it an advantage against cancerous tissues developing in the colon and the anus.
The carrot is more than just a bright orange addition to different dishes. Carrots are rich with essential and beneficial nutrients including vitamins A, C, K, folate, and choline. With this abundance of vitamins and minerals, carrots provide an anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, and immune-enhancing properties.
Specifically, carrots contain carotenoids – healthy antioxidants which neutralize free radicals in the human body. When the body has enough carotenoids, DNA damage is reduced therefore preventing the manifestation of different forms of cancer.
When you have rectal cancer, your bowel movements will be severely affected because of pain in the stomach and the rectal area. To overcome this, bananas – a food source rich in fiber – are highly recommended. The downside of eating bananas is that it can lead to constipation if too much intake is allowed. Straining during defecation can create injury in the anal area, and this should be prevented from happening. Eat bananas sparingly and only if you are not constipated for the time being. Other than this, it is safe to consume at least two bananas per day.
Whether you decide to nick anal cancer in the hospital or supplement your treatment with home remedies, what matters most is for you to be active and take charge of your health!
Bollinger, T. 2018, The Benefits of Onions and Garlic: Nature’s Weapons against Cancer, The Truth About Cancer. Viewed 17 May 2018, <https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/benefits-onions-garlic-natures-weapons-cancer-2/>.
Many cases of colorectal cancer are prevented if everyone is aware of the importance of regular screening. Early detection increases the rate of survival among individuals diagnosed at an early stage. Correct information about colonoscopy and testing are facts that individuals should know.
It is relevant to know and understand the accurate information regarding one’s medical diagnosis. Chronic medical conditions tend to have a significant impact on oneself and the relationships with family, friends, and work. If you know what you are dealing with, you will be apprised of what to do and find solutions or alternatives if available.
Myth: Colon Cancer Only Happens To Men
Fact: Everyone should be screened because colon cancer can happen to both men and women. Statistics show that colon cancer rank as the third common cause of death among women. Cancer knows no creed or color. It is essential to get tested right away, especially if you have a strong family history of cancer.
“Colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in both men and women, and the second leading cause of death from a cancer in both sexes combined.” says Greg FitzHarris, MD.
Myth: There Is No Need To Be Tested If Someone Has No Family History Of Colon Cancer.
“Even if a cancer is genetic, it does not necessarily mean that you will express that cancer. The medical field still does not fully understand why certain patients will get a cancer while other family members with similar genetics and environmental exposures will not.” says David Poulad, MD.
Fact: Family history is not the sole determining factor for colon cancer. Most persons that were diagnosed did not have the incidence of colon cancer in the family. Age is an important risk factor. Men and women aged 50 and over should be routinely screened.
Myth: There Is No Need ToBe Tested For Colon Cancer If You Are Not Experiencing Any Symptoms.
Fact: Covert or hidden signs of colon cancer are detected thorough medical screening. Most often, the symptoms are not experienced during the early stages of cancer development. The survival rate is higher and promising if diagnosed and treated early. By the time symptoms arise, cancer may have advanced to a malignant stage.
Myth: Age Is Not A Risk Factor.
Fact: It can develop at any age and risk increases at age 50 and above. Men and women aged 50 and over should be routinely screened. To those who have relatives with colon cancer, routine screening is highly recommended for all members of the family.
Myth: Colonoscopy Is A Difficult Procedure With Great Risk Of Complications
Fact: The actual procedure takes less than an hour. Contrary to some misconceptions, colonoscopy is not a painful procedure. Some patients are sedated to avoid some discomfort; however, it can also be tolerable without sedation. Preparation before the procedure takes more time, i.e., thorough cleansing of the colon that results in several bowel movements. Adequate preparation is needed to get an accurate result.
Colonoscopy has minimal risk of complications which includes developing infection and reaction to medication from sedation. Antibiotics may be given before the procedure to prevent infection, and a clean technique is observed during the whole process.
After the procedure, the patient may feel bloatedness and gas pain.
Myth: Colonoscopy Is The Only Procedure To Detect Colon Cancer.
Fact: There are several screening methods for colorectal cancer.It is a flexible procedure that screens and diagnose more cancers other than colon cancer. Other approved screening options include sigmoidoscopy, the fecal immunochemical test (FIT), double-contrast barium enema and computed tomographic colonography.
Myth: Once Diagnosed With Colon Cancer, It Will Never Be Cured.
Fact: Colon cancer is highly treatable when detected at an early stage with a survival rate at 90% therefore screening is crucial. These days treatments like chemotherapy have improved over time to cure a more advanced stage.
Myth: Lifestyle Modification Is Not Important In Preventing Colon Cancer.
“To keep your risk as low as it can be, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.” says Marisa Weiss, MD.
Fact: There are somethings that you can do to lower the risk of colon cancer. A proper diet like eating less red meat and processed food, regular exercise, smoking cessation and moderate alcohol intake.
One of the saddest things that you will experience in this life is discovering that you have a serious medical condition. It can be challenging and hard to face the reality that no matter how careful you are, you still fell a victim of cancer. Maybe you think that this world is unfair because you have an illness even if you always put your health as a top priority. Aside from this, you may also feel bitterness, especially if you think that you are a nice person.
If there is one crucial thing that you must remember at this point, it is the reality that there are tons of ways on how you can handle cancer. Your life is not ending just because you have been diagnosed with this disease. Sometimes, you have to be stronger than what you are suffering from. In this article, we are going to provide you with some tips on how to handle cancer:
For sure, there are several things in your mind that you need to clear out. Do not feel bad for having tons of questions about your condition. Remember that you have a doctor who can answer everything you need to know. Do not hesitate to ask questions so that you can know more about your condition. Feel free to throw any form of inquiries to ensure that nothing will bother you.
Be With Loved Ones
“There is no substitute for the quality time that you spend with loved ones. Social support helps you get through stressful times. You feel very weak and vulnerable in stressful conditions, healthy friendships help at such times, and lift your spirits.” says Sean Grover L.C.S.W.
Now is a difficult moment in your life, which means that you need to be around the people who make you feel alive. Get in touch with your family and make them feel how much you value them. Stop thinking about the hardships that you are going through and focus on getting assistance and support from your loved ones.
Take A Break
“To be at your best, you need time off—and not only for vacations. Those who know the value of a moment of reflection or meditation and do it daily are both more relaxed and more productive throughout the day.” says Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., LMFT.
Sometimes, you need to be brave and strong enough to go on a vacation on your own. Be out of your comfort zone and take a break to a place that you have always wanted to visit for a long time. Remind yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Travel alone so that you will discover your self. In so doing, you will become more motivated to keep living.
“It’s not unusual for people to search for meaning in their lives, and many find a faith construct or traditional religion holds a value for them. Some consider themselves, “spiritual but not religious”. And, some find depth and significance in areas that have nothing to do with that…” says Debonee Morgan, LMFT.
Another thing that you must never forget is to keep faithful despite the situation. Keep in mind that you can survive this difficult moment, as long as you follow the tips mentioned above. Try to remain positive because it is the only way to handle your biggest issues. Remember that if you allow your illness to bring you down, there is a big possibility that you may no longer recover.
If you think that your condition is making things a lot more difficult for you, feel free to consider talking to a therapist. Be brave in seeking out professional help if you think that it is what you need at the moment. There are various form of therapy treatments that can help you get going, despite having a serious illness.