Living a Cancer-Free and Well Informed 2017…

 

Every February, throughout National Cancer Prevention month, patients, advocates, specialists, clinics, friends and family members around the country and world raise awareness and educate others of the various treatments, diagnosis, research, care and preventative health measures related to cancer. The Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center recommends a few wellness tips of their own to remember this National Cancer Prevention Month.

 

Although a harsh reality, one in three women and one in two men are diagnosed with cancer each year and plenty of such cancers are even preventable including lung cancer, skin cancer, cervical cancer, oral cancer and mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma, is an aggressive cancer which affects the lining of the lungs, heart or abdomen of which approximately 3,000 new diagnoses are confirmed each year. The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma which forms in the lining of the lungs, peritoneal mesothelioma being the next most common type of mesothelioma which forms in the abdominal lining, followed by the rarest form, pericardial mesothelioma which develops in the lining of the heart. Mesothelioma is entirely preventable as exposure to asbestos is the only scientifically proven cause of mesothelioma. Only when ingested or when asbestos fibers become airborne and inhaled, can the fibers attach to the lining of the lungs, to develop mesothelioma between 10-15 years later.

 

Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses and throat. They can be life threatening if not diagnosed or treated early and can be definition and prevention methods. The American cancer society recommends avoiding risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, HPV infection and more.

 

Cervical Cancer Begins when cells in lining the cervix in the lower part of the uterus or womb, often referred to as the uterine cervix, grow out of control. Most cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) which can be transmitted by having sexual contact with someone who has it. Cervical cancer is the “easiest” female cancer to prevent with the HPV vaccine and regular medical screening tests and follow-up appointments as it is highly curable if detected and treated early-on.

Skin cancer is known as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. When unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (often by ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds) is triggers mutations or genetic defects which lead to rapid skin cell multiplication and malignant tumors. The three main types of skin cancer include squamous skin cancers, basal cell skin cancer and melanomas although there are other types of skin cancer such as merkel cell carcinoma, kaposi sarcoma, cutaneous lymphoma, skin adnexal tumors and various types of sarcomas. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid and protect yourself from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays as well as the use of indoor tanning beds and sun lamps.

 

Lung cancer: Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in either one or both of the lungs. Such cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue, rather tumors interfering with the functioning of the lung in providing oxygen to the body via the blood. Although there is no way to prevent lung cancer, there are significant ways to reduce the risk of lung cancer. With 4% of all lung cancer diagnoses, due to asbestos exposure, preventative measures include avoiding exposure to asbestos, avoiding secondhand smoke and smoking overall, test your home for radon, avoid carcinogens in the workplace, eat a rich diet of fruits and vegetables and exercise to keep lungs strong and healthy.

 

Conclusion: Although these are just a few cancers, there are underlying health benefits of being informed and aware of them and how to prevent and limit the risks of each. For additional information, visit a health professional and continue to inform yourself of the many ways to prevent the risks of cancer. Most importantly, connect closely with your friends, family members and caregivers who have been touched in some way. We can all learn a little something from them, whether it’s health, wellness or inspiration related.

 

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Free Screening at Sam’s Club – February 11

Recognizing how challenging it can be for some people – including busy parents! – to take the time to get a check-up, Sam’s Club just announced that it has teamed up with health technology company higi to make free, self-service health screening stations available at most Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy (622 locations), as part of the company’s overarching commitment to making healthy living more accessible.

 

These screening stations are able to assess each user’s blood pressure, pulse, weight, and body mass index (BMI). Users can also track their health information over time and share it with others through higi’s online platform, which can aggregate data from over 80 health devices, activity trackers and apps.

 

The higi self-service stations complement the existing free health screening program that Sam’s Club offers every month from January through October to both members and the public. In fact, the higi rollout at Sam’s Club aligns with the timing of the company’s ‘Healthy at Heart’ screening, which will take place this Saturday, February 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all locations with a pharmacy, while supplies last. This screening is valued at up to $150 and will include the following tests:

 

  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Blood pressure
  • Body Fat Percentage
  • Glucose
  • Vision (not available at all locations)
  • Hearing (not available at all locations)

 

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3 Ways to Help Elderly Loves Ones Overcome Loneliness

                                                 Senior woman with her home caregiver

Loneliness and isolation are two significant issues that today’s elderly face. A healthy mind and body are not only important to us, but crucial for healthy aging, too. Here are a few things that can help ward off loneliness and isolation for your loved ones.

Ensure Transportation is Available

Many seniors aren’t able to drive, which is a major cause of social isolation. As a caregiver or family member, you can help prevent social isolation by making sure that transportation is readily available, or by giving your family member a ride when they need it.

According to data reported by A Place for Mom, an assisted living facility, people over the age of 60 who had access to a bus pass were more likely than their peers to take part in active travel, which includes walking, biking or using public transportation. This helps to increase social and physical activity. As a caregiver you can check to see what local public transportation options are offered in your area. Care.com, for example, provides a list of transportation resources in Arizona, which includes cab programs and dial-a-ride services. Search for your city and see what is available. Depending on level of mobility, setting them up with the Uber or Lyft app might be a good option for a social senior.

Suggest Senior-Friendly Activity Trackers

Fitness wearables are great for keeping track of steps and activity levels, both of which are important for seniors. Not only are these devices great for inspiring activity, these devices provide a social element, too. The Lively Wearable senior fitness tracker by GreatCall does both. It promotes a healthy and active lifestyle with its daily step count feature, and offers challenges that help to keep the mind sharp, plus it provides health tips to keep seniors engaged. In addition to its features that help users stay active, the device also has potentially life-saving features like its urgent response, non-emergency and emergency call options, each of which can alert family members. The wearable has a sleek design, is waterproof and, when worn properly around the neck in a specially-designed lanyard, can call for help when it detects that a user has fallen.

Encourage Dining with Peers

Caretakers and loved ones can fight loneliness and isolation by encouraging seniors to dine with friends, family and peers whenever possible. Eating with others is one of the most common shared social acts, whether it’s for a special occasion or just a weeknight dinner, food simply brings people together. Not only does dining with others promote social activity, it can also benefit senior health by promoting better nutrition. Opportunities for shared meals can be found at churches and senior centers, for example. Additionally, family members and caregivers can also consider hosting a family meal once a week that brings everyone together in a shared social setting, at home or at a restaurant.

There are several ways to prevent social isolation for your elderly loved ones. Whether it’s wearable tech made just for seniors or a simple, shared meal, caregivers and loved ones can help do their part to prevent loneliness.

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How to Feel Your Best on Your Wedding Day

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Brides, there’s a lot of advice out there about planning your wedding. But none of it is as important as the tips that can keep you looking and feeling your best on the big day. When you’re putting together the day-of timeline and to-do list for your wedding, make sure you factor in the bride-approved tips below.

Workout

Exercise is a huge stress reliever. When your big day arrives it’s likely you’ll be stressing out about dozens of details. Give yourself a breather and let your mind go somewhere else before it all goes down at the altar. Plan to dedicate a small amount of time that works for your wedding day schedule to get a workout in. Whether you’re having a destination wedding or getting married in your hometown, there’s ample opportunity to workout. Go for a quick run on the beach or head to your health club to spend an hour on the elliptical. Your body and mind will thank you.

Eat Up

There is so much going on the day of the wedding that many brides forget to eat before the ceremony starts, so be sure to eat when you can. Start your day with a light breakfast like toast with a light spread and a cup of fresh fruit. For lunch try your best to eat a bit of protein and veggies. Have ample snacks around like almonds, apples slices or string cheese. When it comes to cocktails, limit yourself to one for every two hours. And to avoid bloat, skip the pre-wedding champagne. Whatever you do, do not avoid eating on your wedding day.

Stay Hydrated

In the days leading up to your nuptials and on the day of you should be drinking plenty of water. Water helps the skin look its best — and not drinking enough can lead to dehydration, which can cause skin to look dull. To stay glowing, aim for at least eight glasses of water per day, this includes your wedding day and the two days leading up to it. You can also add water-rich foods to your diet like watermelon and cucumber to help you reach your hydration goal.

Catch Your ZZZs

Despite having pre-wedding jitters that may keep you up, your sleep is essential. It might be hard to turn off your phone or put away your checklists, but you’ve got to get some shut-eye. Try to avoid pulling an all-nighter or going to bed late. Ample sleep can boost your mood and give you energy, plus experts say that sleep has a direct effect on skin and its anti-aging process; while we sleep, our skin regenerates and repairs itself. This simple tip can ensure you look great in your wedding photos.

Be Prepared

Blisters, headaches and that one pesky pimple are just some of the little hiccups that can put a damper on your big day. To feel your best, be sure to put together an emergency kit full of all of the “just in case” items you might need. Some items to consider packing include ibuprofen, Band-Aids, tampons and baby wipes. Having these items on hand will ensure that you’re feeling fresh and at your best before you take the walk down the aisle.

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Ways to Stay Fit and Still Have Fun

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Middle age (and beyond) is more of a mind concept than anything else. Still, you can’t deny that physical activity gets harder to keep up with as you age. Women start to lose about five percent of their muscle mass in their 30s, and this percentage rises again in their 60s, according to Prevention. This makes exercise and physical activity even more important. Read on for ways to keep fit and have fun at the same time.

Swimming

Swimming is perfect for over-50 bodies because it is low-impact, which limits the stress put on joints and bones, and it’s aerobic, which works out the heart muscle. If you find you get bored with swimming laps, do some of the same exercises you would do on land. Try knee-high jogging in place, squat jumps, jumping jacks and flutter kicks. Water exercise burns as many calories as land-based exercise, claims Fitness. For example, treading water for one minute burns 11 calories, which is more than running 6 mph for a minute. If you’re still getting bored, join a water exercise class for some fun and socialization.

Another benefit of swimming is that it requires pretty minimal gear. All you need is a pool large enough to swim around in and a swimsuit. A good pair of goggles, nose clips, ear plugs and flippers also can help you get back into your groove. The best thing about exercising in water, though, is that you won’t sweat.

Strength Training on Dry Land

If you prefer dry land, look for targeted strength exercises to increase or preserve your muscle mass. Some good exercises include:

  • Chair squats: These work the major lower body muscles, including the glutes. The lower you squat, the more resistance your body provides.
  • Lateral/Front raises: Use weights or small dumbbells to build up your shoulders and major deltoid muscles.
  • Push-ups: These tone the chest and the back of the arms. Use dumbbells if pushing up from the floor strains your wrists.
  • Rowing: This can correct or prevent a hunched-over posture by strengthening your back. Rowing can be done from a seated position on the floor or standing.

Round Out Exercises with Yoga

Finally, there’s yoga. Since you have an AARP card, check out the website (www.aarp.org) to find yoga classes in your area for people over 50. You may already be doing yoga and not even know it. Whether it’s stretches or balancing exercises, it’s all yoga and it’s helping you stretch your muscles and improve your balance.

AARP gives three reasons for practicing yoga in your 50s: lessening hypertension, strengthening bones and focusing on wellness. The article cites a study from the Journal of Clinical Hypertension that states that yoga reduces systolic blood pressure by 33 points for participants that did yoga for six hours a week. It also explains that because yoga is a weight-bearing activity, it slows bone thinning, which helps prevent osteoporosis.

Best of all, yoga helps your muscles be prepared for your other workouts.

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Qualities That Really ‘Make the Man’

Portrait of handsome man in urban background

Portrait of handsome man in urban background

What makes the man? Is it a nice suit? How about a high-priced car? A high-paying job? There’s more to men than these superficial qualities. These are the accomplishments real men should strive for.

Health: See the World

Happiness and travel seem to be correlated. In fact, a recent study from Cornell University reports that travel just might be the secret to happiness. The study found that spending money on experiences, like going on a trip, are much more likely to bring a person happiness than spending money on material things. So if you’re thinking that a pricey sportscar or new designer watch will solve all your problems, you’re wrong. Instead of splurging on luxury items, book a vacation. Whether you travel abroad or just over to the next town, your experience is likely to bring happiness into your life.

Hobbies: Try Something New

It takes courage to try something new. So often we find ourselves stuck in our same routines, doing the same things, over and over. We do this because it’s comfortable, it doesn’t require us to step out of our comfort zone. However, being stagnate in a regular routine could potentially be holding you back. Trying something new opens up the possibility of trying something you might actually like. It also keeps you from growing bored, and it even forces you to grow. So, if you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone, consider trying something new like skeet shooting or hot yoga to challenge yourself. Learning how to use a firearm or mastering a handstand on the mat are both challenging, new ways to open up your life to new experiences and possible new hobbies you just might really enjoy. Before you head to that class or the shooting range, be sure you’re equipped with the proper shooting supplies or yoga essentials to make the experience a successful one.

Relationships: Always Be Loving and Kind

We live in a world where men are highly encouraged to be aggressive and masculine. From a young age, boys are taught how to act by the media — but the message isn’t always the right one. The way that men are portrayed in the media make young boys think that it is normal to mistreat and disrespect women. Break the mold, teach your sons — and yourself — to always be loving and kind toward women. This means listening, spending quality time and sharing your life together. If you need it, consider counseling as extra support. It’s often hard to admit that you may need help in your relationships, or even in other areas of your life, but by seeking out therapy or relationship-building classes, you can grow as a man and better your relationship at the same time.

Education: Be Well-Versed and Well-Read

The more you read, the more successful you are. It is as simple as that. Many of the ultra-successful people today cite reading as they key to success. Observer reports that Bill Gates reads about 50 books per year. Mark Cuban reads more than three hours each day. And when asked how he learned to build rockets, Elon Musk said, “I read books.” If you’re searching for something new to read, check out Amazon’s top seller list and browse your interests to find something new to sit down with.

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Free Health Screenings at Sam’s Club on October 8

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There are so much going on this weekend in Maryland but don’t ignore your health.  Sam’s Club offers free health screenings all year long and if you have not checked out your body yet, this is a good day to go since its cloudy and there is rain in the forecast.

While men are well known for avoiding the doctor, a recent survey found that 82% of women say they would rather do all of their family’s grocery shopping than go to the doctor.* To help encourage women to prioritize their health and to offer them a convenient way to do so, Sam’s Club is hosting free health screenings on Saturday, October 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last. These “Support Her Health” screenings are available to both members and the public, valued at $150, and include the following tests:

 

  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Blood pressure
  • Body fat percentage
  • Glucose
  • Vision (not available at all locations)
  • Hearing (not available at all locations)
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