How To Find an Oncologist

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer the only thing I knew about an Oncologist was that I’d hoped I never needed one. Well, there’s goes that.

Somewhere between my shock and the doctors fear tactics I remember saying while fighting back tears “I have no idea how to find an Oncologist.”

Continue reading “How To Find an Oncologist”

At Your Cervix

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.

Did you know?

  • Each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.
  • The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.
  • HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States.
  • While 79 million Americans currently have HPV, many of them don’t know they are infected with it. (Wow).
  • Early arrival, 90 percent survival—Fran Drescher, Cancer Schmancer

    According to the experts there’s a lot YOU CAN do to prevent cervical cancer.

    That’s encouraging!

    So how can I protect myself from HPV? The only sure way to prevent HPV is to not have sex.

    Since that’s probably not going to be the case for most, the following are a few ways to lower your chances of catching HPV (provided by the CDC).

    • Limit the number of partners you have. The fewer you have, the less likely you will be to get HPV.
    • Condoms may lower your risk when used every time, and worn properly. Having said this, HPV can infect areas not covered by a condom, so don’t expect it to be a guarantee.
    • HPV-Vaccine. The experts say teens and young adults need to get the HPV vaccine if they didn’t get it as pre-teens. Also, women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 can get it.

    You should know: HPV spreads through sexual contact — oral, vaginal or anal. So if you’re doing “it” on any level, you’re at risk!

    According the American Cancer Society: The most common form of cervical cancer starts with pre-cancerous changes, and there are ways to stop this disease from developing.

    The first way is to find and treat pre-cancers before they become true cancers, and the second is to prevent the pre-cancers.

    A well-proven way to prevent cervix cancer is to have testing (screening) to find pre-cancers before they can turn into invasive cancer. The Pap test (or Pap smear) and the HPV (human papillomavirus) test are used for this. If a pre-cancer is found, it can be treated, stopping cervical cancer before it really starts. Most invasive cervical cancers are found in women who have not had regular Pap tests.

    For more information on HPV, cervical health and prevention visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  Cancer.Org Mayo Clinic

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    Skin Cancer Awareness

    Hello everyone. It’s Saturday June 2, 2018—I hope this finds you somewhere breathing in peace and happiness.

    If you’ve been following me then you know I’m working on consistent writing, and posting. This week, my post is coming to you a day later than I planned. But as they say, better late than never. And I’m okay with that.

    It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the month of June. Before June slips into July, I wanna take a little time to talk with you about skin cancer.

    In case you didn’t know, May was skin cancer awareness month. But since cancer doesn’t need an occasion to strike I think anytime is a good time to talk prevention.

    As a breast cancer survivor I know how scary and painful cancer is. So the way I see it, the only option we have is prevention.

    Prevention is your best defense!

    I know there are some of you who may be thinking “Sunscreen is an extra step I don’t need” OR “A tan makes me look and feel healthy and sexy.”

    I get it! It’s bathing suit season. We all want to look and feel our best. I also know that a tan can improve our appearance in the same way that foundation does. A tan is a cover up that goes a long way.

    But, a tan does not equal healthy.  Let’s say that again, together; A tan does not equal healthy. Here’s what the FDA had to say about tanning:

    There is no such thing as a safe tan. The increase in skin pigment, called melanin, which causes the tan color change in your skin is a sign of damage.

    Evidence suggests that tanning greatly increases your risk of developing skin cancer. And, contrary to popular belief, getting a tan will not protect your skin from sunburn or other skin damage.

    Additionally, premature aging is a long-term side effect of UV exposure, meaning early signs of aging may not show up on your skin until many years after you’ve had a sunburn or suntan. Avoiding UV exposure is essential to maintaining healthy skin.

    Did you know?

    Cataracts are one form of eye damage that research has shown may increase with UV exposure. Cataracts can cause clouding of the natural lens of the eye meaning decreased vision and possible blindness..

    Other types of eye damage include cancer around the eyes, Macular Degeneration and irregular tissue growth that can block vision (Pterygium).

    So what’s a girl supposed to do?

    Fake it. Use self tanner. There are so many on the market now that it doesn’t make sense to lay out and wait for the color to come. You can even find organic and all natural tanners. Or, you could go to a professional sprayer if you’d prefer.

    Consider UV clothing and hats. I predict UV clothing will be the next big thing. I’m waiting for Target to partner with some cool brand. If it happens I’ll let you know.

    SPF and shade. Use SPF everywhere! Slather this baby on from head-to-toe. Even under your clothes and don’t forget the back of your neck. I recommend using a separate one daily for your face, as well. Here’s a few of my favorite options. One is chemical free, one is not.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BjXYdrZn9kw/?taken-by=eltamdskincare

    For over the counter options Good Housekeeping compiled a great list here. 

    Do you have a favorite SPF product?