Category: Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older. About 10% of all new cases in the United States are found in women younger than 45.

Get the Facts.

  • 62% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a localized stage, for which the 5-year survival rate is 99%
  • 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Female breast cancer represents 15.2% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
  • Men get breast cancer too. The lifetime risk for U.S men is about 1 in 1,000.

Take Action.

  • Every person should know the symptoms and signs of breast cancer.
  • By performing breast cancer self-exams, you will be able to identify any changes in your breast easily.
  • Look for nipple tenderness, a lump or thickening in or near the breast/underarm area, a change in the skin texture, or an enlargement of pores.
  • Also, look for any unexplained change in the breast’s size or shape, dimpling, swelling, shrinkage, or recent asymmetry.

Additional Symptoms

  • The skin on the breast may dimple or look like an orange peel.
  • A change in the nipple. It may turn in. The skin around it may look scaly.
  • A fluid that comes out of the nipple.

Talk to your doctor about your risk. Find out when to start having mammograms and how often you need one. If your doctor confirms that you have a high or very high risk, ask about ways to reduce your risk, such as getting extra screening, taking medicine, or having surgery.

If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, ask your doctor about genetic testing. The test can check for gene changes that increase your risk of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian Cancer is known as the deadliest cancer in the US and causes more death than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.

Get the Facts.

Several factors may increase a women’s risk for ovarian cancer, including if you:

  • Have close family members who have had ovarian cancer.
  • Are middle-aged or older.
  • Have genetic mutation called BRCA1 pr BRCA2, or one associated with Lynch syndrome.
  • Have had breast, uterine, or colorectal (colon) cancer.
  • Have endometriosis.
  • Have never given birth or have had trouble getting pregnant.

Symptoms

  • Recent, frequent bloating.
  • Pain in the belly or pelvis.
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly.
  • Urinary problems, such as an urgent need to urinate or urinating more often than usual.

These symptoms may be common in women who don’t have ovarian cancer. But if these symptoms are new for you, and they happen almost daily for 2 to 3 weeks, you should see a doctor.

Take Action.

  • Stop smoking! Smoking can increase the risk of certain types of ovarian cancer.
  • Stay fit and eat healthily! Having excess body fat is linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Risks are lower for those having used birth control pills for five or more years.
  • Women who have breastfed for a year or more may have a modestly reduced risk of ovarian cancer.

Treatment

Surgery is the main treatment. The doctor will remove any tumors that he or she can see. This usually means taking out one or both ovaries. It may also mean taking out the Fallopian tubes and uterus. Chemotherapy is often part of treatment. It may be given before and after surgery.

For most women, the chances of getting this cancer are small. It most often affects women who are past menopause. You may be more likely to get it if other women in your family have had it. Also, some women inherit gene changes that increase their chances of getting it. Talking with other women who are going through the same thing may help. Your doctor or your local branch of the American Cancer Society can help you find a support group!

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc

Colon Cancer Can Kill!

Recent events have brought to light the need for all of us to be proactive about our health!  Learn more about Colon Cancer and how to protect yourself!

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer means that cells that aren’t normal are growing in your colon or rectum. These cells grow together and form polyps. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer. This cancer is also called colorectal cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer is. It is the third most common cancer in the United States. And it occurs most often in people older than 50.

What are the symptoms?

Colon cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms until after it has started to spread. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Pain in your belly
  • Blood in your stool or very dark stools
  • A change in your bowel habits, such as more frequent stools or a feeling that your bowels are not emptying completely

Learn More

Learn more about how colorectal cancer is screened, diagnosed, and treated at our new health library, or schedule an appointment with a provider today at 814-455-7222.

 

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

July is Ultraviolet Safety Month

Be Safe in the Sun! Learn more about the link between the sun’s rays and skin cancer, what you can do to help protect yourself, and how to spot skin changes that may require a doctor’s attention.

Get the Facts.

  • You are at an increased risk of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays during summer months, between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • You can even be exposed to UV rays on cloudy days.
  • Reflection from the snow, sand, and water increases sun exposure.
  • Most are vulnerable during outdoor activities, such as water sports, spending time at the beach, swimming, and sailing.

Take Action.

  • Reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter.
  • Long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts can provide protection from UV rays.
  • Wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck.
  • Put on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before you go outside.

Avoid Sun Exposure.

The best way to prevent a sunburn is to avoid sun exposure.

Stay out of the midday sun (from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon), which is the strongest sunlight. Find shade if you need to be outdoors. You can also calculate how much ultraviolet (UV) exposure you are getting by using the shadow rule: A shadow that is longer than you are means UV exposure is low; a shadow that is shorter than you are means the UV exposure is high.

Other ways to protect yourself from the sun include wearing protective clothing, such as:

  • Hats with wide 4 in. (10 cm) brims that cover your neck, ears, eyes, and scalp.
  • Sunglasses with UV ray protection, to prevent eye damage.
  • Loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Clothing made with sun protective fabric. These clothes have a special label that tells you how effective they are in protecting your skin from ultraviolet rays.

Sunscreen Protection

If you can’t avoid being in the sun, use sunscreen to help protect your skin while you are in the sun.

Be sure to read the information on the sunscreen label about its SPF value and how much protection it gives your skin. Follow the directions on the label for applying sunscreen so it is most effective in protecting your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Choosing a Sunscreen

  • Sunscreens come in lotions, gels, creams, ointments, and sprays. Use a sunscreen that: Has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 or higher. Says “broad-spectrum” that protects the skin from ultraviolet, and A and B (UVA and UVB) rays.
  • Use lip balm or cream that has SPF of 30 or higher to protect your lips from getting sunburned.
  • Take extra care to protect your skin when you’re near water, at higher elevations, or in tropical climates.

Sunscreens labeled “water-resistant” are made to protect people while they are swimming or sweating. The label will say if the sunscreen will protect you for 40 minutes or 80 minutes.

Find a Doctor

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal Cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States.

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer means that cells that aren’t normal are growing in your colon or rectum. These cells grow together and form polyps. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.

This cancer is also called colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer is. And it occurs most often in people older than 50.

Get the Facts.

  • The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about 1 in 23 for men and women combined but varies widely according to individual risk factors.
  • About 71% of cases arise in the colon and about 29% in the rectum.
  • The proportion of cases diagnosed in individuals younger than age 50 increased from 6% in 1990 to 11% in 2013.
  • Most of these cases (72%) occur in people who are in their 40s.

Take Action.

  • Talk to your doctor immediately, regardless of your age or family history, if you are experiencing symptoms such as pain, blood, or other irregularities.
  • All men and women should be screened for colorectal cancer.
  • Adults without a family history should begin colorectal cancer screening at age 45.
  • If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, get screened at age 40 or 10 years before the age of the youngest case in your immediate family.

Symptoms

Colorectal cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms until after it has started to spread. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Pain in your belly
  • Blood in your stool or very dark stools
  • A change in your bowel habits, such as more frequent stools or a feeling that your bowels are not emptying completely

Screening

Screening tests can find or prevent many cases of colon and rectal cancer. They look for a certain disease or condition before any symptoms appear. Some experts say that adults should start regular screening at age 50 and stop at age 75. Others say to start before age 50 or continue after age 75. Talk with your doctor about your risk and when to start and stop screening. Your doctor may recommend getting tested more often or at a younger age if you have a higher risk.

Screening tests include stool tests, such as FIT, that can be done at home and procedures, such as colonoscopy, that are done at your doctor’s office or clinic.

Find a Doctor

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

Call us at (814) 455-7222