QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“In addition to understanding the condition of your overall health and any symptoms you may have, your treatment team will likely use one of the following tests to diagnose stomach CA; endoscopy and a barium x-ray.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

Part III Part Treatment to Stomach Cancer:

Many treatments can fight stomach cancer. The one you and your doctor choose will depend on how long you’ve had the disease or how much it has spread in your body, called the stage of your cancer.

Surgery. Your doctor might remove part of your stomach or other tissues nearby that have cancer cells. Surgery gets rid of the tumor and stops cancer from spreading to other parts of your body. If your disease is in a more advanced stage, your doctor might need to remove all of your stomach=Gastrectomy or in some other cases the Surgeon may only have to remove part of the stomach=Partial Gastrectomy.

Some tumors can keep food from moving in and out of your stomach. In that case, you might have surgery to put in a stent, a device that keeps the pathways open.

Chemotherapy. Drugs kill your cancer cells or keep them from growing. You can take them as pills or through an IV at a clinic. Chemo usually takes several weeks. The drugs can cause side effects, but your doctor can help you find ways to feel better during treatment.

Radiation. High-energy waves or particles can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Your doctor may use an X-ray or other machine to beam radiation at the spot where your tumor is.

Chemoradiation. Your doctor might use this mix of chemotherapy and radiation to shrink your tumor before surgery.

Targeted drugs. These newer drugs are different because they fight only cancer cells. Other treatments, like chemo and radiation, can kill healthy cells along with diseased ones. As a result, targeted therapies have fewer side effects than these other treatments.

How Can I Prevent Stomach Cancer?

Treat stomach infections. If you have ulcers from an H. pylori infection, get treatment. Antibiotics can kill the bacteria, and other drugs will heal the sores in the lining of your stomach to cut your risk of cancer.

Eat healthy. Get more fresh fruits and vegetables on your plate every day. They’re high in fiber and in some vitamins that can lower your cancer risk. Avoid very salty, pickled, cured, or smoked foods like hot dogs, processed lunch meats, or smoked cheeses. Keep your weight at a healthy level, too. Being overweight or obese can also raise your risk of the disease.

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:

 

“After a cancer diagnosis, staging provides important information about the extent of cancer in the body and anticipated response to treatment.”

 

American Cancer Society

 

Go to striveforgoodhealth.com and learn more on the types of treatments given to patients with stom

Part II Stomach Cancer – Signs/Symptoms and how it’s diagnosed.

Symptoms

Early on, stomach cancer may cause:

  • Indigestion
  • Feeling bloated after you eat a meal
  • Heartburn
  • Slight nausea
  • Loss of appetite                                                                                                As stomach tumors grow, you may have more serious symptoms, such as:
    • Stomach pain
    • Blood in your stool
    • Vomiting
    • Weight loss for no reason
    • Trouble swallowing
    • Yellowish eyes or skin
    • Swelling in your stomach
    • Constipation or diarrhea
    • Weakness or feeling tired
    • Heartburn

Just having indigestion or heartburn after a meal doesn’t mean you have cancer. But if you feel these symptoms a lot, talk to your doctor. He can see if you have other risk factors and test you to look for any problems.

Stomach cancers are usually found when a person goes to the doctor because of signs or symptoms they are having. The doctor will take a history and examine the patient. If stomach cancer is suspected, tests will be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Medical history and physical exam

When taking your medical history, the doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms (eating problems, pain, bloating, etc.) and possible risk factors to see if they might suggest stomach cancer or another cause. The physical exam gives your doctor information about your general health, possible signs of stomach cancer, and other health problems. In particular, the doctor will feel your abdomen for any abnormal changes.

If your doctor thinks you might have stomach cancer or another type of stomach problem, he or she will refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the digestive tract, who will examine you and do further testing.

Upper endoscopy

Upper endoscopy (also called esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD) is the main test used to find stomach cancer. It may be used when someone has certain risk factors or when signs and symptoms suggest this disease may be present.

During this test, the doctor passes an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible, lighted tube with a small video camera on the end, down your throat. This lets the doctor see the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine. If abnormal areas are seen, biopsies (tissue samples) can be taken using instruments passed through the endoscope. The tissue samples are sent to a lab, where they are looked at under a microscope to see if cancer is present.

When seen through an endoscope, stomach cancer can look like an ulcer, a mushroom-shaped or protruding mass, or diffuse, flat, thickened areas of mucosa known as linitis plastica. Unfortunately, the stomach cancers in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome often cannot be seen during endoscopy.

Endoscopy can also be used as part of a special imaging test known as endoscopic ultrasound, which is described below.

This test is usually done after you are given medication to make you sleepy (sedation). If sedation is used, you will need someone to take you home (not just a cab).

Endoscopic ultrasound

Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of organs such as the stomach. During a standard ultrasound, a wand-shaped probe called a transducer is placed on the skin. It gives off sound waves and detects the echoes as they bounce off internal organs. The pattern of echoes is processed by a computer to produce a black and white image on a screen.

In endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), a small transducer is placed on the tip of an endoscope. While you are sedated, the endoscope is passed down the throat and into the stomach. This lets the transducer rest directly on the wall of the stomach where the cancer is. It lets the doctor look at the layers of the stomach wall, as well as the nearby lymph nodes and other structures just outside the stomach. The picture quality is better than a standard ultrasound because of the shorter distance the sound waves have to travel.

EUS is most useful in seeing how far a cancer may have spread into the wall of the stomach, to nearby tissues, and to nearby lymph nodes. It can also be used to help guide a needle into a suspicious area to get a tissue sample (EUS-guided needle biopsy).

Biopsy

Your doctor may suspect cancer if an abnormal-looking area is seen on endoscopy or an imaging test, but the only way to tell for sure if it is really cancer is by doing a biopsy. During a biopsy, the doctor removes a sample of the abnormal area.

Biopsies to check for stomach cancer are most often obtained during upper endoscopy. If the doctor sees any abnormal areas in the stomach lining during the endoscopy, instruments can be passed down the endoscope to biopsy them.

Some stomach cancers are deep within the stomach wall, which can make them hard to biopsy with standard endoscopy. If the doctor suspects cancer might be deeper in the stomach wall, endoscopic ultrasound can be used to guide a thin, hollow needle into the wall of the stomach to get a biopsy sample.

Biopsies may also be taken from areas of possible cancer spread, such as nearby lymph nodes or suspicious areas in other parts of the body.

Testing biopsy samples

Biopsy samples are sent to a lab to be looked at under a microscope. The samples are checked to see if they contain cancer, and if they do, what kind it is (for example, adenocarcinoma, carcinoid, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, or lymphoma).

If a sample contains adenocarcinoma cells, it may be tested to see if it has too much of a growth-promoting protein called HER2/neu (often just shortened to HER2). The HER2/neu gene instructs the cells to make this protein. Tumors with increased levels of HER2/neu are called HER2-positive.

Stomach cancers that are HER2-positive can be treated with drugs that target the HER2/neu protein, such as trastuzumab (Herceptin®).

The biopsy sample may be tested in 2 different ways:

  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC): In this test, special antibodies that stick to the HER2/neu protein are applied to the sample, which cause cells to change color if many copies are present. This color change can be seen under a microscope. The test results are reported as 0, 1+, 2+, or 3+.
  • Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH): This test uses fluorescent pieces of DNA that specifically stick to copies of the HER2/neu gene in cells, which can then be counted under a special microscope.

Often the IHC test is used first.

  • If the results are 0 or 1+, the cancer is HER2-negative. People with HER2-negative tumors are not treated with drugs (like trastuzumab) that target HER2.
  • If the test comes back 3+, the cancer is HER2-positive. Patients with HER2-positive tumors may be treated with drugs like trastuzumab.
  • When the result is 2+, the HER2 status of the tumor is not clear. This often leads to testing the tumor with FISH.

Imaging tests

Imaging tests use x-rays, magnetic fields, sound waves, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the inside of your body. Imaging tests may be done for a number of reasons, including:

  • To help find out whether a suspicious area might be cancerous
  • To learn how far cancer may have spread
  • To help determine if treatment has been effective

Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series

This is an x-ray test to look at the inner lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine. This test is used less often than endoscopy to look for stomach cancer or other stomach problems, as it may miss some abnormal areas and does not allow the doctor to take biopsy samples. But it is less invasive than endoscopy, and it might be useful in some situations.

For this test, the patient drinks a white chalky solution containing a substance called barium. The barium coats the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. Several x-ray pictures are then taken. Because x-rays can’t pass through the coating of barium, this will outline any abnormalities of the lining of these organs.

A double-contrast technique may be used to look for early stomach cancer. With this technique, after the barium solution is swallowed, a thin tube is passed into the stomach and air is pumped in. This makes the barium coating very thin, so even small abnormalities will show up.

Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan

The CT scan is an x-ray test that produces detailed cross-sectional images of your body. Instead of taking one picture, like a standard x-ray, a CT scanner takes many pictures as it rotates around you. A computer then combines these pictures into images of slices of the part of your body being studied.

Before the test, you may be asked to drink 1 or 2 pints of a contrast solution and/or receive an intravenous (IV) line through which a contrast dye is injected. This helps better outline structures in your body.

The IV contrast can cause some flushing (redness and warm feeling). Some people are allergic and get hives, or rarely have more serious reactions like trouble breathing and low blood pressure. Be sure to tell the doctor if you have any allergies or have ever had a reaction to any contrast material used for x-rays.

A CT scanner has been described as a large donut, with a narrow table that slides in and out of the middle opening. You will need to lie still on the table while the scan is being done. CT scans take longer than regular x-rays, and you might feel a bit confined by the ring while the pictures are being taken.

CT scans show the stomach fairly clearly and often can confirm the location of the cancer. CT scans can also show the organs near the stomach, such as the liver, as well as lymph nodes and distant organs where cancer might have spread. The CT scan can help determine the extent (stage) of the cancer and whether surgery may be a good treatment option.

CT-guided needle biopsy: CT scans can also be used to guide a biopsy needle into a suspected area of cancer spread. The patient remains on the CT scanning table while a doctor moves a biopsy needle through the skin toward the mass. CT scans are repeated until the needle is within the mass. A fine-needle biopsy sample (tiny fragment of tissue) or a core-needle biopsy sample (a thin cylinder of tissue) is then removed and looked at under a microscope.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed by the body and then released in a pattern formed by the type of body tissue and by certain diseases. A computer translates the pattern into a very detailed image of parts of the body. A contrast material might be injected just as with CT scans, but this is used less often.

Most doctors prefer to use CT scans to look at the stomach. But an MRI may sometimes provide more information. MRIs are often used to look at the brain and spinal cord.

MRI scans take longer than CT scans, often up to an hour. You may have to lie inside a narrow tube, which is confining and can upset people with a fear of enclosed spaces. Special, open MRI machines can help with this if needed, although the images may not be as sharp in some cases. The MRI machine makes loud buzzing noises that you may find disturbing. Some places provide headphones to block this noise out.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

In this test, radioactive substance (usually a type of sugar related to glucose, known as FDG) is injected into a vein. (The amount of radioactivity used is very low and will pass out of the body over the next day or so.) Because cancer cells are growing faster than normal cells, they use sugar much faster, so they take up the radioactive material. After about an hour, you are moved onto a table in the PET scanner. You lie on the table for about 30 minutes while a special camera creates a picture of areas of radioactivity in the body.

PET is sometimes useful if your doctor thinks the cancer might have spread but doesn’t know where. The picture is not finely detailed like a CT or MRI scan, but it provides helpful information about the whole body. Although PET scans can be useful for finding areas of cancer spread, they aren’t always helpful in certain kinds of stomach cancer because these types don’t take up glucose very much.

Some machines can do both a PET and CT scan at the same time (PET/CT scan). This lets the doctor compare areas of higher radioactivity on the PET with the more detailed appearance of that area on the CT. PET/CT may be more helpful than PET alone for stomach cancer. This can help show if the cancer has spread beyond the stomach to other parts of the body, in which case surgery might not be a good treatment.

Chest x-ray

This test can help find out if the cancer has spread to the lungs. It might also determine if there are any serious lung or heart diseases present. This test is not needed if a CT scan of the chest has been done.

Other tests

Laparoscopy

If this procedure is done, it is usually only after stomach cancer has already been found. Although CT or MRI scans can create detailed pictures of the inside of the body, they can miss some tumors, especially if they are very small. Doctors might do a laparoscopy before any other surgery to help confirm a stomach cancer is still only in the stomach and can be removed completely with surgery. It may also be done before chemotherapy and/or radiation if these are planned before surgery.

This procedure is done in an operating room with the patient under general anesthesia (in a deep sleep). A laparoscope (a thin, flexible tube) is inserted through a small surgical opening in the patient’s side. The laparoscope has a small video camera on its end, which sends pictures of the inside of the abdomen to a TV screen. Doctors can look closely at the surfaces of the organs and nearby lymph nodes, or even take small samples of tissue. If it doesn’t look like the cancer has spread, sometimes the doctor will “wash” the abdomen with saline (salt water). The fluid (called peritoneal washings) is then removed and checked to see if it contains cancer cells. If it does, the cancer has spread, even if the spread couldn’t be seen.

Sometimes laparoscopy is combined with ultrasound to give a better picture of the cancer.

Lab tests

When looking for signs of stomach cancer, a doctor may order a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC) to look for anemia (which could be caused by the cancer bleeding into the stomach). A fecal occult blood test may be done to look for blood in stool (feces) that isn’t visible to the naked eye.

The doctor might recommend other tests if cancer is found, especially if you are going to have surgery. For instance, blood tests will be done to make sure your liver and kidney functions are normal and that your blood clots normally. If surgery is planned or you are going to get medicines that can affect the heart, you may also have an electrocardiogram (EKG) and echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart) to make sure your heart is functioning well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part III Part Treatment to Stomach Cancer:

Many treatments can fight stomach cancer. The one you and your doctor choose will depend on how long you’ve had the disease or how much it has spread in your body, called the stage of your cancer.

Surgery. Your doctor might remove part of your stomach or other tissues nearby that have cancer cells. Surgery gets rid of the tumor and stops cancer from spreading to other parts of your body. If your disease is in a more advanced stage, your doctor might need to remove all of your stomach=Gastrectomy or in some other cases the Surgeon may only have to remove part of the stomach=Partial Gastrectomy.

Some tumors can keep food from moving in and out of your stomach. In that case, you might have surgery to put in a stent, a device that keeps the pathways open.

Chemotherapy. Drugs kill your cancer cells or keep them from growing. You can take them as pills or through an IV at a clinic. Chemo usually takes several weeks. The drugs can cause side effects, but your doctor can help you find ways to feel better during treatment.

Radiation. High-energy waves or particles can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Your doctor may use an X-ray or other machine to beam radiation at the spot where your tumor is.

Chemoradiation. Your doctor might use this mix of chemotherapy and radiation to shrink your tumor before surgery.

Targeted drugs. These newer drugs are different because they fight only cancer cells. Other treatments, like chemo and radiation, can kill healthy cells along with diseased ones. As a result, targeted therapies have fewer side effects than these other treatments.

How Can I Prevent Stomach Cancer?

Treat stomach infections. If you have ulcers from an H. pylori infection, get treatment. Antibiotics can kill the bacteria, and other drugs will heal the sores in the lining of your stomach to cut your risk of cancer.

Eat healthy. Get more fresh fruits and vegetables on your plate every day. They’re high in fiber and in some vitamins that can lower your cancer risk. Avoid very salty, pickled, cured, or smoked foods like hot dogs, processed lunch meats, or smoked cheeses. Keep your weight at a healthy level, too. Being overweight or obese can also raise your risk of the disease.

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:

 

“After a cancer diagnosis, staging provides important information about the extent of cancer in the body and anticipated response to treatment.”

 

American Cancer Society

 

Go to striveforgoodhealth.com and learn more on the types of treatments given to patients with stom

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

 “Stomach cancer begins when cancer cells form in the inner lining of your stomach. These cells can grow into a tumor. Also called gastric cancer, the disease usually grows slowly over many years.”

National Cancer Institute

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 1 Stomach Cancer – What is it , types and risk factors!

 

 

Stomach cancer (also called gastric cancer) can develop in any part of the stomach, and may spread throughout the stomach and to other organs. It may grow along the stomach wall into the esophagus or small intestine.

The cancer may also extend through the stomach wall and spread to nearby lymph nodes and organs, such as the liver, pancreas and colon. It may spread to distant organs, such as the lungs, the lymph nodes above the collarbone and to a woman’s ovaries.

Different types of stomach cancer include:

  • Adenocarcinomas develop within the cells of the innermost lining of the stomach. The majority of stomach cancers are classified as adenocarcinomas.
  • Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system tissue that may start anywhere there are lymph tissues, including the stomach. Lymphomas in the stomach are rather rare and only account for about 4 percent of all stomach cancers.
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GISTs, are a rare type of stomach cancer that starts in a special cell found in the lining of the stomach called interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs). Under a microscope, GIST cells look similar to muscle or nerve cells. These tumors may develop throughout the digestive tract, but about 60 to 70 percent occur in the stomach.
  • Carcinoid tumors typically start in the hormone producing cells of the stomach. These tumors usually do not spread to different organs and account for only about 3 percent of stomach cancer incidence.

RISK FACTORS FOR STOMACH CANCER:

GENERAL

  • Age: Stomach cancer is found most often in people over age 55.
  • Gender: The disease affects men twice as often as women.
  • Race: Stomach cancer is more common in African Americans than in Caucasians.
  • Region: This type of cancer is more common in some parts of the world, such as Japan, Korea, parts of Eastern Europe and Latin America. People in these areas eat many foods that are preserved by drying, smoking, salting or pickling.

BODY

  • Obesity: Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer

GENETICS

Certain gene mutations and some inherited conditions are considered stomach cancer risk factors. They include:

  • BRCA1 & BRCA2: Inherited mutations on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are often associated with higher risks for breast cancer. Individuals who have inherited these genetic mutations are also at an increased risk for stomach cancer
  • E-cadherin/CDH1: Though rare, people who inherit this genetic mutation have a 70 to 80 percent chance of developing stomach cancer in their lifetime. Also, women with this genetic defect have an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Lynch syndrome: This condition may also be referred to as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), a genetic condition that runs in families. More commonly, this condition is associated with an increased risk for colon cancer. HNPCC also predisposes people to stomach cancers.
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): This syndrome causes polyps in the colon, stomach and intestines. Often caused by mutations of the gene APC, this syndrome greatly increases a person’s risk of colorectal cancer and may play a small role in increasing a person’s stomach cancer risk.

LIFESTYLE

  • Smoking: There is evidence linking cigarette smoking to many types of cancer, including stomach cancer. Smokers have been found to be at greater risk of developing cancer than non-smokers.
  • Diet: Scientists believe that eating foods preserved in these ways may play a role in the development of stomach cancer. On the other hand, fresh foods (especially fresh fruits and vegetables and properly frozen or refrigerated fresh foods) may protect against this disease.
  • Working in the coal, metal or rubber industries: Chemicals that are released in these environments have been linked to the development of stomach cancer.

OTHER CONDITIONS

  • H. pylori infection: Doctors have found that a long-term H. pylori infection may lead to inflammation and pre-cancerous changes to the stomach lining. In fact, stomach cancer patients typically have a higher incidence of H. pylori infections than people who do not have stomach cancer.
  • Pernicious anemia: Some people with pernicious anemia may have gastric polyps, which can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection: According to the American Cancer Society, Epstein-Barr virus is found in the cancer cells of about 5% to 10% of people with stomach cancer.

Stay tune for more Stomach Cancer tomorrow in Part II!

Part II Post Traumatic Disorder-The risks, stressors and how to help with RX.

 

Many risk factors revolve around the nature of the traumatic event itself.

Traumatic events are more likely to cause PTSD when they involve a severe threat to your life or personal safety: the more extreme and prolonged the threat, the greater the risk of developing PTSD in response. Intentional, human-inflicted harm—such as rape, assault, and torture— also tends to be more traumatic than “acts of God” or more impersonal accidents and disasters. The extent to which the traumatic event was unexpected, uncontrollable, and inescapable also plays a role.

Women’s changing role in our military

A growing number of women are serving in the US military. In 2008, 11 of every 100 Veterans (or 11%) from the Afghanistan and Iraq military operations were women. These numbers are expected to keep rising. In fact, women are the fastest growing group of Veterans.

What stressers do women face in the military?

Here are some stressful things that women might have gone through while deployed:

-Combat Missions.                                                                                                                                     –Military Sexual Trauma (MST). A number of women (and men) who have served in the military experience MST. MST includes any sexual activity where you are involved against your will, such as insulting sexual comments, unwanted sexual advances, or even sexual assault.

-Feeling Alone. In tough military missions, feeling that you are part of a group is important.

-Worrying About Family. It can be very hard for women with young children or elderly parents to be deployed for long periods of time. Service members are often given little notice. They may have to be away from home for a year or longer. Some women feel like they are “putting their lives on hold.”

Because of these stressors, many women who return from deployment have trouble moving back into civilian life. While in time most will adjust, a small number will go on to have more serious problems like PTSD.

How many women Veterans have PTSD?

Among women Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, almost 20 of every 100 (or 20%) have been diagnosed with PTSD. We also know the rates of PTSD in women Vietnam Veterans. An important study found that about 27 of every 100 female Vietnam Veterans (or 27%) suffered from PTSD sometime during their postwar lives. To compare, in men who served in Vietnam, about 31 of every 100 (or 31%) developed PTSD in their lifetime.

What helps? Research shows that high levels of social support after the war were important for those women Veterans.

What can you do to find help for women or men with PTSD?

If you are having a hard time dealing with your wartime memories, there are a number of things that you can do to help yourself. There are also ways you can seek help from others.

  • Do things to feel strong and safe in other parts of your life, like exercising, eating well, and volunteering.
  • Talk to a friend who has been through the war or other hard times. A good friend who understands and cares is often the best medicine.
  • Join a support group. It can help to be a part of a group. Some groups focus on war memories. Others focus on the here and now. Still others focus on learning ways to relax.
  • Talk to a professional. It may be helpful to talk to someone who is trained and experienced in dealing with aging and PTSD. There are proven, effective treatments for PTSD. Your doctor can refer you to a therapist. You can also find information on PTSD treatment within VA at: VA PTSD Treatment Programs.
  • Tell your family and friends about LOSS and PTSD. It can be very helpful to talk to others as you try to place your long-ago wartime experiences into perspective. It may also be helpful for others to know what may be the source of your anger, nerves, sleep, or memory problems. Then they can provide more support.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most of all, try not to feel bad or embarrassed to ask for help. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of wisdom and strength.

Don’t let PTSD get in the way of your life, hurt your relationships, or cause problems at work or school.

PTSD treatment can help.

Learn what treatment is like to help you make choices about what’s best for you.

If you suspect that you or a loved one has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it’s important to seek help right away. The sooner PTSD is confronted, the easier it is to overcome. If you’re reluctant to seek help, keep in mind that PTSD is not a sign of weakness, and the only way to overcome it is to confront what happened to you and learn to accept it as a part of your past.

TYPES OF TREATMENT:

  • Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD and trauma involves carefully and gradually “exposing” yourself to thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind you of the trauma. Therapy also involves identifying upsetting thoughts about the traumatic event–particularly thoughts that are distorted and irrational—and replacing them with more balanced picture.
  • Family therapy. Since PTSD affects both you and those close to you, family therapy can be especially productive. Family therapy can help your loved ones understand what you’re going through. It can also help everyone in the family communicate better and work through relationship problems caused by PTSD symptoms.
  • Medication is sometimes prescribed to people with PTSD to relieve secondary symptoms of depression or anxiety. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are the medications most commonly used for PTSD. While antidepressants may help you feel less sad, worried, or on edge, they do not treat the causes of PTSD.
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation, such as hand taps or sounds. Eye movements and other bilateral forms of stimulation are thought to work by “unfreezing” the brain’s information processing system, which is interrupted in times of extreme stress.

When looking for a therapist for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), seek out mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of trauma and PTSD. You can start by asking your doctor if he or she can provide a referral to therapists with experience treating trauma. You may also want to ask other trauma survivors for recommendations, or call a local mental health clinic, psychiatric hospital, or counseling center.

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.”

MAYO CLINIC

Part I Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I

In honor of all men and women who have served our country thank you!!  I understand commitment, I myself am in caring for people. as a RN 32 this month and for the commitment you have made in keeping the USA safe, with any sacrifices you made, from the bottom of my heart thank you!! I dedicate this article to all acting and retired veterans.   Happy Memorial Day weekend to all.

 

PTSD-Post traumatic stress disorder

       Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while, but they don’t have PTSD — with time and good self-care, they usually get better. But if the symptoms get worse or last for months or even years and interfere with your functioning, you may have PTSD.

Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.

The Mayo clinic states you can develop post-traumatic stress disorder when you go through, see or learn about an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation.

Doctors aren’t sure why some people get PTSD. As with most mental health problems, PTSD is probably caused by a complex mix of:

  • Inherited mental health risks, such as an increased risk of anxiety and depression
  • Life experiences, including the amount and severity of trauma you’ve gone through since early childhood
  • Inherited aspects of your personality — often called your temperament
  • The way your brain regulates the chemicals and hormones your body releases in response to stress.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can occur after someone goes through, sees, or learns about a traumatic event like: Combat exposure, Child sexual or physical abuse, Terrorist attack, Sexual/physical assault, Serious accident, Natural disaster, which can occur during areas of war or not.
  • Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event. If your reactions don’t go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD. During a traumatic event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening around you. Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but, not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don’t go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

-How intense the trauma was or how long it lasted (the injury) or how long the loss of someone important to you has been all plays a part.’

-How close are you were to the event (bombing where you saw a friend blow up in pieces for example.)

-How much help and support you got after the event. PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.

Whether or not you get PTSD depends on many things.  Most people who go through a trauma have some symptoms at the beginning. Only some will develop PTSD over time. It isn’t clear why some people develop PTSD and others don’t.

What some people show in their behavior or go through with PTSD:

  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms)
  2. You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
  3. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  4. You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  5. Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
  6. The way you think about yourself and others may change because of the trauma. You may feel fear, guilt, or shame. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. This is another way to avoid memories.
  7. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal) People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:
  8. What other problems do people with PTSD experience?
  9. You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. Or, you may have trouble concentrating or sleeping. This is known as hyper-arousal.

For many Veterans, memories of their wartime experiences can still be upsetting long after they served in combat. If you are an older Veteran, you may have served many years ago, but your military experience can still affect your life today.

Common symptom patterns:

*Some Veterans begin to have PTSD symptoms soon after they return from war. These symptoms may last until older age. Other Veterans don’t have PTSD symptoms until later in life.

*For some Veterans, PTSD symptoms can be high right after their war experience, go down over the years, and then worsen again later in life.

*Many older Veterans have functioned well since their military experience. Then later in life, they begin to think more or become more emotional about their wartime experience. As you age, it is normal to look back over your life and try to make sense of your experiences. For Veterans this process can trigger Late-Onset Stress Symptomatology (LOSS). The symptoms of LOSS are similar to symptoms of PTSD. With LOSS, though, Veterans might have fewer symptoms, less severe symptoms, or begin having symptoms later in life.

*The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are the longest combat operations since Vietnam. Many stressors face these Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) troops. OEF/OIF service members are at risk for death or injury. They may see others hurt or killed. They may have to kill or wound others. They are on alert around the clock. These and other factors can increase their chances of having PTSD or other mental health problems.

*For many service members, being away from home for long periods of time can cause problems at home or work. These problems can add to the stress. This may be even more so for National Guard and Reserve troops who had not expected to be away for so long. Almost half of those who have served in the current wars have been Guard and Reservists.

*MST-Military Sexual Trauma is the term used by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to refer to experiences of sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that a Veteran experienced during his or her military service. Another cause of stress in Iraq and Afghanistan is military sexual trauma (MST). This is sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurs in the military. It can happen to men and women. MST can occur during peacetime, training, or war.

In many cases, treatments for PTSD will also help these other problems, because they are often related. The coping skills you learn in treatment can work for PTSD and these related problems.

COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PTSD: Anger and irritability, guilt, shame, or self-blame, substance abuse, feelings of mistrust and betrayal, depression and hopelessness, suicidal thoughts and feelings, feeling alienated and alone, & physical aches and pains.  Also employment and relationship problems.

 

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“The health disparity between males and females begins during fetal life and continues from cradle to grave. About 115 males are conceived for every 100 females, but males are much more likely to die before birth, so there are only 104 newborn boys for every 100 girls. Boys are about 60% more likely to be born prematurely, to have conditions related to prematurity such as neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and to suffer birth injuries. Boys are about 18% more likely to die before their first birthday than girls.

When it comes to health, males are the weaker sex throughout life. But why? It’s the $64,000 question, but there is no single answer. Instead, the gap depends on a complex mix of biological, social, & behavioral factors.”

Harvard Medical School (Venus versus Mars)

Part 2 MEN VS WOMEN IN HEALTH & 6 TOP MEN DISEASES IN AMERICA

–Prostate Cancer: A Leading Cancer for Men

This is one health problem men can lay full claim to — after all, women don’t have prostates. A walnut-sized gland behind the penis that secretes fluids important for ejaculation, the prostate is prone to problems as men age.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men other than skin cancer. Close to 200,000 men will develop prostate cancer this year in the U.S.

But while one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, only one in 35 will die from it. “Many prostate cancers are slow-growing and unlikely to spread, while others are aggressive,” says Djenaba Joseph, MD, medical officer for cancer prevention at the CDC. “The problem is, we don’t have effective tests for identifying which cancers are more dangerous.”

Screening for prostate cancer requires a digital rectal exam (the infamous gloved finger) and a blood test for prostate specific antigen (PSA).

But in fact, “Screening has never definitively been shown to reduce the chances of dying from prostate cancer,” according to Joseph. That’s because screening finds many cancers that would never be fatal, even if undetected. Testing then leads to aggressive treatment of relatively harmless cancers, which causes problems like impotence and incontinence.

Should you get screened for prostate cancer? Some experts say yes, but “the best solution is to see your doctor regularly and talk about your overall risk,” says Joseph. “All men should understand the risks and benefits of each approach, whichever you choose.”

 –Depression and Suicide: Men Are at Risk

Depression isn’t just a bad mood, a rough patch, or the blues. It’s an emotional disturbance that affects your whole body and overall health. In effect, depression proves the mind-body connection. Brain chemicals and stress hormones are out of balance. Sleep, appetite, and energy level are disturbed. Research even suggests men with depression are more likely to develop heart disease.

The results can be tragic. Women attempt suicide more often, but men are more successful at completing it. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death among all men; for young men it’s higher.

–Diabetes: The Silent Health Threat for Men

Diabetes usually begins silently, without symptoms. Over years, blood sugar levels creep higher, eventually spilling into the urine. The resulting frequent urination and thirst are what finally bring many men to the doctor.

The high sugar of diabetes is anything but sweet. Excess glucose acts like a slow poison on blood vessels and nerves everywhere in the body. Heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations are the fallout for thousands of men.

Boys born in 2000 have an alarming one-in-three chance of developing diabetes in their lifetimes. Overweight and obesity are likely feeding the diabetes epidemic. “The combination of diabetes and obesity may be erasing some of the reductions in heart disease risk we’ve had over the last few decades,” warns Labarthe.

Exercise, combined with a healthy diet, can prevent type 2 diabetes. Moderate weight loss — for those who are overweight — and 30 minutes a day of physical activity reduced the chance of diabetes by more than 50% in men at high risk in one major study.

Erectile Dysfunction: A Common Health Problem in Men                          

Erectile dysfunction may not be life threatening, but it’s still signals an important health problem. Two-thirds of men older than 70 and up to 39% of 40-year-old men have problems with erectile dysfunction. Men with ED report less enjoyment in life and are more likely to be depressed.

Erectile dysfunction is most often caused by atherosclerosis — the same process that causes heart attacks and strokes. In fact, having ED frequently means that blood vessels throughout the body are in less-than-perfect health. Doctors consider erectile dysfunction an early warning sign for cardiovascular disease.

You’ve probably heard more about the numerous effective treatments for ED than you ever cared to just by watching the evening news. Treatments make a fulfilling sex life possible despite ED, but they don’t cure the condition. If you have erectile dysfunction, see your doctor, and ask if more than your sex life is at risk.

So what’s the key to decreasing these diseases or illnesses in men live a healthier life so men in America can decrease the chances of developing these diseases or if with one of these diagnoses already it will surely help decrease the impact of the disease or illness compared to living an unhealthy life.   So if you need guidance I have direction, I surely did for my habits and diet.

Various lifestyle factors have been associated with increasing the risk of stroke. These include lack of exercise, alcohol, diet, obesity, smoking, drug use, and stress. Guidelines endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health recommend that Americans should exercise for at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week. Recent epidemiologic studies have shown a U-shaped curve for alcohol consumption and coronary heart disease mortality, with low-to-moderate alcohol consumption associated with lower overall mortality. High daily dietary intake of fat is associated with obesity and may act as an independent risk factor or may affect other stroke risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiac disease. Homocysteine is another important dietary component associated with stroke risk, while other dietary stroke risk factors are thought to be mediated through the daily intake of several vitamins and antioxidants. Smoking, especially current smoking, is a crucial and extremely modifiable independent determinant of stroke. Despite the obstacles to the modification of lifestyle factors, health professionals should be encouraged to continue to identify such factors and help improve our ability to prevent stroke, decrease cancers caused by smoking, decrease coronary artery disease which decreases your chance with Obesity, ED, stroke, & hypertension and more.

Learn healthy habits or healthier habits, broaden your knowledge on the 4 food groups in what is lean or leaner or leanest with each group, increase your activity 30 minutes a day and learn what a healthy diet actually.  One way is through Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson’s book “Dr. A’s habits of health” and even if you need to lose weight we can show you the way to do it healthy. It’s not a diet for 3 months or even 6 to a year but it is learning how to get to your body mass index in the ideal weight range for your height and you decide how low you want to go.   It is all up to you in deciding what way to go in living a healthy life!  Make the move and keep your life to last longer and more active in your lifetime!

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Men die at a faster rate than women; the overall mortality rate is 41% higher for men than for women, and it’s also higher for men for eight of the 10 leading causes of death (see Table 3). In addition, American men are 2.1 times more likely to die from liver disease, 2.7 times more likely to die from HIV/AIDS, 4.1 times more likely to commit suicide, and 3.8 times more likely to be murder victims than women.

Men die younger than women, and they are more burdened by illness during life. They fall ill at a younger age and have more chronic illnesses than women.”

Harvard Medical School (Mars versus Venus)