Monthly Archives: April 2016

How to Prevent Cancer

Cancer is one of the fatal diseases which kills many people every year, it accounts for more than 20% of all deaths every year in the United States. There are different types of cancer, like lung cancer, blood cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, etc which may affect a person. An uncontrolled growth of cells which destroy tissues, and at times spread to other regions of the body is known as cancer. The human body produces cells that divide and grow, but it is a controlled action. When cells are produced at such an alarming rate, they stack up causing tumor formation. These tumors are termed as cancerous when they infect the neighboring tissue.

Avoid Smoking
Lung cancer accounts for almost 30% of all the cancer-related deaths, and smoking is one of the main reasons behind lung cancer. Smoking also weakens the immune system and this may allow other types of cancers to thrive. Carcinogens in tobacco affect the cell division, and this is one of the main reasons for cancerous growth of cells. A person should avoid smoking, and if he/she is a smoker then he/she should quit smoking as a preventive measure. Apart from this second hand smoking is also injurious to health.

Avoid Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse increases the risk of getting cancer, therefore one should limit alcohol intake. Studies have linked alcohol to liver cancer and many other types of cancer. A study on women also indicated that women who drink are at a greater risk of getting breast cancer. The liver produces acetaldehyde to breakdown the ethanol in alcohol, and excess production of acetaldehyde may lead to liver cancer. Alcohol also increases the risk of mouth, stomach, and esophagus.

Veggie and Fruit Diet
Include veggies and fruits in the diet. This doesn’t mean that one has to become a vegan, it just means a person has to eat sufficient amount of vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants in fruits like cantaloupe, apple, etc. help the immune system fight any cell abnormality. Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, etc. are high in vitamin C content which helps the body eliminate bad cells. Vegetables are the best foods to prevent cancer. Most vegetables also act as diuretics and help the body get rid of toxins. An alkaline diet may be adapted to prevent cancer, which may include vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, etc.

Exercise
One of the best ways to prevent cancer is to keep the body healthy by performing regular exercises. Exercise is the best way to boost the immune system. It is also good for blood circulation. Regular exercising will not only help fight obesity, but will also keep the insulin levels under check. High insulin levels puts you at the risk of developing various types of cancer.

Salt and Sugar
One of the major contributors to stomach cancer is excessive salt consumption, as it is known to damage the inner lining of the stomach. A diet high in salt is responsible for high blood pressure which may also lead to heart attack. Having a diet high in salt and sugar increases the risk of colon cancer.

Include garlic in the diet, and limit the intake of red meat. To avoid skin cancer, protect the skin from exposure to UV rays of the sun. Taking vitamin E and vitamin D supplements also help prevent cancer. If a person has a family history for cancer, then he should get himself screened at regular intervals. Early detection may help in prevention of the complications.

How to Treat Asthma with Aromatherapy

Essential oils extracted from plants are primarily used in aromatherapy to treat a wide range of ailments, including asthma. Aromatherapy involves inhaling or massaging the essential oils to reap their therapeutic benefits. Use of essential oils for asthma has been backed by positive testimonials, which has led to their widespread acceptance in treating these respiratory problems. Essential oils assist in opening up the constricted airways in asthma, thereby, helping to breathe easier.

Aromatherapy for Asthma

Aromatherapy Chest Rub
Using aromatherapy chest rub can be effective in relieving symptoms of asthma. The essential oils in them display anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic activity that can help decrease episodes of asthma attack. Applying the chest rub during an asthma attack may actually help stop the respiratory distress within minutes. However, in most cases, rubs containing essential oils are used to prevent an asthma attack.

Chest rubs made from lavender and chamomile essential oils are effective to treat asthma. To make it, add 2 drops of chamomile oil to 8 drops of lavender oil. Now combine this mixture with 20 drops of carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond oil. Apply this blend two times in a day to keep asthma attacks at bay.

Lavender Oil
When catching breath in asthma seems difficult, steam inhalation with lavender oil may come to your rescue. Add 6–10 drops of lavender essential oil into a bowl of hot water. With the addition of lavender essential, inhaling the resulting steam has a high therapeutic value, and can provide immediate relief from asthma attacks.

Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil acts as a natural antihistamine which can also contribute to manage asthma effectively. Histamines are released into the body after exposure to an allergen, which often leads to an asthma attack. Antihistamines negate the actions of histamines, which help to control asthma symptoms, and makes us feel better. So, to ease breathing, inhaling steam with peppermint oil is recommended. Combine a drop of peppermint oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and then massage the mixture on the chest area, back, and even on the soles of the feet. Do this regularly, and you will surely notice improvement in your condition.

Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil has a long history of use as an anti-asthmatic and immune booster. Simply diffusing undiluted Frankincense essential oil and inhaling its aroma can be effective to improve the condition. Putting a few drops of frankincense essential oil on your handkerchief, and then inhaling it regularly can also help soothe your respiratory tract.

Other Essential Oils
Peppermint oil acts as a bronchodilator, meaning, it widens the air passages, thereby, allowing free flow of air into the lungs. It is soothing to the respiratory tract, and can alleviate breathing problems associated with asthma. Putting a few drops of peppermint oil in the nebulizer (containing distilled water) and then inhaling the mist can help clear the lungs. Other essential oils that can contribute in improving breathing in asthma are eucalyptus oil, marjoram oil, and ginger oil.

Aromatherapy Diffusers
Diffusers available in different types are devices that help to spread the fragrance of essential oils in a room. Asthma symptoms may improve when the fragrance diffused in the room is inhaled. For diffusing purposes, one can use lavender oil or blue tansy oil as they are known to make breathing easier in asthma patients.

Ideal Time to Use Aromatherapy
As far as usage of aromatherapy chest rub is concerned, the best time would be to apply it in the interval between two consecutive asthma attacks. Aromatherapy is more of a preventive measure, and is used to reduce incidences of asthma attacks. However, there is no harm if you feel better when applying chest rubs during an asthma attack. Also, you need to use aromatherapy in conjunction with your medical treatment, and not as a replacement for prescribed drugs. Regular use of aromatherapy can definitely reduce the dependency on prescription medicines.

Sniff Test
A sniff test is extremely important before you use essential oils for asthma. Many times, inhaling scented products aggravates symptoms of asthma. Asthmatics may suffer from a severe reaction, if they are overly sensitive to the scent. As most essential oils have a strong fragrance, sniff the one that you will be using to ensure that you are comfortable with its smell.

How to Tell Your Children That You Have Cancer

young woman and her sick daughter waiting in doctor's room

Support groups for children with parents who have cancer, helps them interact with other children, and express their pent-up frustrations in a more constructive manner.
It is natural to get scared after being diagnosed with cancer. For those who have children, it can become even more overwhelming. Parents who do not discuss their illness with their children, refrain from doing so with the aim of protecting their kids from the shock, fear, and stress of knowing that one of their parents is seriously unwell.
However, keeping this information from them would only stress such parents further, who are trying to cope with their illness, as well as maintain a normal environment at home. Children will soon realize that things are amiss and that something is wrong. They will inevitably pick up clues from the hushed and anxious conversations, and the increased visits to the doctor.

You must give yourself time to cope with the news, if you think that you’re not ready to tell your children yet, or that it is too much pressure for you to handle. The sooner you reveal the truth to your children, the better it is, so that they feel like they are with you all the way. This Buzzle article discusses how to tell your children that you have cancer.

Who Should Speak to the Children?

❖ If you’re married or have a partner, ask him/her to be there with you while telling the children about your illness. You can also request your spouse to do the talking for you, while you are present during the conversation. Your spouse can help by consoling and reassuring the children.
❖ If you are a single parent and you think you can handle telling your kids alone, you can do so. However, it would be better to ask a close family member or a friend to support you while talking to the children.

❖Even if you do not want to be the one doing the talking, your family member or friend would be able to handle the situation for you, while you comfort the children.
Have All the Details Ready

❖Before you decide to tell your children about your cancer, make sure that you have collected as much information from your doctor about the type of cancer you have, the stage you were diagnosed with, the expected treatment, and most importantly, the prognosis.

❖ Even though you may not be aware of everything, not leaving out relevant information will help reduce your children’s confusion and anxiety.
❖ You can begin the conversation by explaining what cancer is, how it may affect you, and what it is doing to your health. Tell them where the cancer is in your body, and how it can be treated through medication and chemotherapy, or removed through surgery. Depending on the questions asked by your kids, you may need to explain what chemotherapy does, and how the medication might make you feel weak and sick on some days.
❖ Sharing specific information pertaining to your illness will help the children not get scared about the things they may have seen, read, or heard about cancer.

❖They must not feel as if you’re trying to hide something from them. Do not try to hide the seriousness of your illness, but give your children assurance that your doctor is taking all possible measures to make sure that you get better soon.
❖ Try to use simple words and short sentences in order to minimize any scope for confusion. Use optimistic language and tone of voice, and tell the children that you are hoping to make a complete recovery.
❖ If you are unaware of the answers to some of their questions, let them know that. However, give them your assurance that you’ll try to find out the answers soon enough. If the answer is uncertain, let your children know that some things in life cannot be predicted, and often remain uncertain.

How to Tell Young Children and Teenagers

❖ If your children are still young and do not understand the gravity of the situation, try to explain your condition in the form of a story. Thereafter, ask what the story meant to them. Encourage your children to ask questions based on the story. Gradually, reveal that you’re the one suffering from cancer, while answering their questions.

❖ Since children tend to have a vivid imagination, refrain from using words that may give them a scary visual.
❖ Sometimes, children start believing that they must have done something bad to have caused the parent’s illness. Which is why, it is better to assure your children that they are not responsible in any way.

❖ Let your children know that other members of the family cannot catch the cancer. Most importantly, you will have to assure them that they are not alone, and that the whole family is united to make it through these hard times.
❖ Talking to your teenage children might prove to be slightly more tricky, as they may fall into despair after hearing the news.

❖ Assure your children that many people survive cancer, and as long as proper medical treatment is being provided, there is nothing to fear.

❖ You could also ask your children to read up more on the topic as well, so that you can discuss the condition in detail.
❖ Allow your children to feel like they are doing something to help you. Take them to one of your appointments with the doctor and request the doctor to explain more about cancer, its effects on the patient, how it is not contagious, and what the children can do to help the parent feel more comfortable. Sharing important information will help strengthen the trust and bond your children share with you.

Be Prepared for Facing Questions

❖ In all likelihood, your children may not have grasped everything you told them. They may want to ask a lot of questions, and it may seem as if their questions are never-ending. However, try to answer their questions, whenever possible.

❖ While they ask questions, try to find out what they know and think about the situation. You will also need to correct them, in case they have misunderstood or jumbled up facts.
❖ You may need to repeat things to them, until they begin to understand the recent changes happening to your health, and the state of the family.

❖ You will also need to prepare yourself for answering questions about death. If your prognosis seems hopeful, let your children know that your doctor seems hopeful about you getting better.
❖ However, if such dire possibilities exist, assure the children that, irrespective of the outcome, they will be loved and taken care of by the other parent and family members, and that they are not alone.

You know your children more than anyone else, and they trust you the most. You, being the parent, are the best judge on how to you tell your children about your illness, the approach you should take, and the words you must use.

How to Support Someone Diagnosed With Cancer

A person diagnosed with cancer will go through a plethora of emotions. A horde of negative feelings, including anxiety, depression, and fear are experienced. As a well-wisher, you are unable to understand the emotional and physical turmoil of the person with cancer. You are at a loss of words and scared that you may offend or hurt the sentiments of the person or his family members. However, being concerned, you want to reach out and show that you care.

For a cancer patient, support from loved ones, friends, or even acquaintances is very important. Here are a few tips that will help you support someone with this dreadful disease.
Note.― It should be noted that the usage of male pronouns is only for convenience of reading.

Prepare Yourself First
Extending your support is important; however, you yourself have to be strong to begin with. The first thing is to compose your thoughts and feelings. You need to prepare yourself by facing your own fears and dealing with your own emotional upheaval. Once you have accepted and faced your fears, only then you will be able to lend a helping hand to someone with cancer.

Listen
Every person’s experience with cancer will be unique. Being a patient listener to whatever he has to say will help him the most. Talking about his fears, feelings, and even death may make you uncomfortable; however, by expressing emotions, he will feel comforted. These thoughts have probably been troubling him a lot and giving him many sleepless nights. After listening to his thoughts, you will get to know many ways in which you can be of help. Avoid making banal comments and comparisons which are bound to hurt the sentiments and your relationship with the affected person.

Acknowledgement of Feelings
Understanding and patience is what you will need the most when dealing with your loved one who is diagnosed with cancer. This is just the beginning, and the chemotherapy sessions and radiation treatments will take their toll on the physical and emotional well-being of the person as well as his family. Patience and a shoulder to cry on will work wonders as an excellent way of support during these tough times. Acknowledge his feelings, and if you are at a loss of words or feel afraid about losing your loved one, it is okay to say so. Sharing fears and insecurities is one of the best ways to handle the situation.

Don’t Change Your Attitude
It’s human nature that whenever someone we know is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, we tend to distance ourselves from them. It is probably because of the fear of death and insecurity. However, remember that the person needs your support now. Don’t change your behavior towards him. Try to be normal and supportive. Don’t let the person feel isolated and alone. A warm hug, holding of hands, or a reassuring pat on the back will be appreciated and needed. Be yourself, and don’t let these unfortunate turn of events change your attitude towards that someone.

Help with Chores
Helping with daily chores or offering practical help is one of the most considerate ways of lending a helping hand.

» You can cook a meal for the family. You can also help by cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, taking care of the garden, collecting groceries and other accessories, washing and ironing clothes, or looking after pets.
» You can offer to take care of the kids. This will give him some privacy. He/she can spend some quality time with his/her spouse. You can also arrange a date.
» If that someone is well enough to go out of the house, you can plan a small get-together or an outing. He will be happy being with friends, and humor and some fun work wonders to ease the pain.

Small Gestures Make a Difference
Cancer treatment is exhaustive and tiring. Understand this, and let the person enjoy as much rest as possible. In order to bring some change in the routine, you can spring a surprise with some thoughtful gifts which will lift his spirits.
» If he is feeling up to it, you can gift him some good books, magazines, or puzzle books to read and keep him engaged. Give inspirational song CDs or a compilation of his favorite songs. You could gift MP3 players too.

» Bring some movies, and watch them together or take him out for lunch. Go for a walk to the park or for a long drive.
» Send flowers, cards, notes, etc., to show your concern, and keep the person motivated. Remember birthdays, anniversaries, and dates that mean a lot to the person. You can give some pleasant surprises to him on these days.
Although these are small ways of expressing concern, they go a long way in extending your support and help.

Financial Help
Cancer treatment is often expensive and drills a huge hole in the financial resources. You can help by paying some bills or buying stamps for him. You can organize a fundraiser. Research and contact a financial planner or help with any insurance issues that may come up. Relieving some of the financial stress will ease a lot of his burden.

Be Accommodating During Treatment Sessions
The fight with cancer is a difficult and strenuous battle. The treatment sessions are often very exhaustive, tiring, and painful. As a supporter, you need to bear in mind when to give space, so that he can rest. It is best to avoid phone calls, visits, and any unnecessary disturbances during these times. Please let him take as much time to recuperate and recover after a chemotherapy session. Do not pressurize the person at such times. Give him the much-needed space.

Other Ways to Help
» Offer to take your loved one to the doctor for appointments. Be with him, and patiently hear what the doctor says. Research about the illness, and ask questions.
» Pick up medications or reports. Help him organize these reports and bills, so that he doesn’t have to worry about something being misplaced.

» Help the cancer patient reach out to others who are going through the same situation. A different level of compassion and understanding is gained by connecting with people who have experienced and faced this challenge in life. Help him be a part of a support group, or contact cancer activists to help him. This should only be done if the patient is willing to participate in these activities.

Arrange the timings and schedules amidst your friends, family members, and other supporters. Commit only if you are able to fulfill your promise. The person will be entirely dependent on you. Do not take the responsibility if you have other priorities. You can show your care and concern through some other means.

Do Not Ignore Yourself
Eating healthy and taking care of yourself is equally important. Taking rest, relaxing, exercising, and finding ways to ease your stress and tension will help you take better care of the person with cancer. Caring for a person with chronic diseases is draining and sometimes takes a toll on the supporters as well. Hence, it is very critical for a supporter to take care of himself and remain fit, healthy, and strong at all times.

Caring for a patient diagnosed with cancer can be a repetitive and exhaustive process. It takes a long time, and you should be prepared for the changes in his moods, appearance, and behavior. Feelings of resentment, bitterness, guilt, and other negative emotions should never be allowed to take you down or affect you in any way. This may do more harm than good, even after the crisis is over. Remember that giving up your own desires or needs won’t help anyone. Take time once in a while to pamper yourself and indulge in any activity that de-stresses and rejuvenates you.

Care and support is needed in these tough situations, and any gesture―whether big or small―will be appreciated. Whatever you plan to do, just listen to your heart and reach out to someone you know who is diagnosed with cancer. Patience, understanding, strength, and most importantly, being there for the person through his ups and downs will help him sail through rough waters.

Tips to Stop Smoking Naturally

People smoke to achieve psychological comfort. Almost half a million Americans die of smoking each year, as it drastically increases the risk of heart diseases, strokes, high blood pressure, dementia, lung diseases, cancer, and other health disorders. The following are the ill-effects of smoking:

  • It is one of the primary causes of impotence and infertility.
  • Smokers, especially women, are at higher risk of osteoporosis and incontinence.
  • People who smoke look older than their non-smoking counterparts, as their skin tends to get wrinkled faster.
  • Smokers are vulnerable to periodontal and oral diseases.

Following are some of the ill-effects faced by passive smokers.

  • Women who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of their unborn baby for various mental disorders such as chronic depression, conduct disorder, substance abuse, low intellectual level, and attention-deficit disorders, etc.
  • Smoking, both passive and active, has been found to be responsible for birth defects, miscarriage, still birth, and sudden infant death syndrome, etc.
  • More than four million children and adults fall sick due to inhalation of cigarette smoke.

Tips

Make up your mind: There are various drugs and medications available to assist people who wish to quit this habit; however, they are of no use if not backed with a strong will and commitment. So, one of the first things you have to do is take a firm and final decision to get rid of this habit. As strong will-power will make all the difference in your life, without which the following tips will be of no use.

Begin Slowly: One of the main reasons why many quitters fail is that, they stop smoking suddenly, which results in quick and sudden relapse. To avoid this, start with reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. Take a week or two for yourself, to come to one cigarette a day. By now, your dependence on smoking would have decreased and you will be more confident about leaving that one cigarette too. Then decide a date when you will give up this habit completely, and do so successfully.

Flush Out the Nicotine: Once you have quit this habit completely, get rid of all the nicotine content from your body. To flush the nicotine, drink plenty of water, or fruit and vegetable juices, for a couple of days. A whole day of a liquid diet can help you immensely. After that, start following a healthy diet which includes fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. Avoid eating junk food and foods high on sugars.

Get High Without Smoking: Nicotine in cigarette makes the smoker feel relaxed by increasing the dopamine activity in the brain. This results in increased pleasure of the smoker. There are various activities that can help you relax, and distract from the urge to smoke:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Go for a short walk or jog
  • Go for a long drive or bike ride
  • Listen to music
  • Talk to friends, family members, and loved ones when you feel depressed
  • Meditate to keep stress at bay
  • Engage in your hobbies
  • Treat and reward yourself with a movie, dinner, or a new book every time you succeed suppressing the urge to smoke

Try to Stay Away From Smoking: You must anticipate the situations and feelings that generally make you feel the urge to smoke, and try to avoid them. For example:
Avoid joining your friends who smoke, and who are most likely to force you to do so.
Substitute your smoke break with ‘water breaks’ or ‘juice breaks’.
Keep yourself busy in work or some or the other task, such as talking to friends, and walking, etc.
Give some exercise to your brain, by playing crosswords, puzzles, and riddles, etc.
Try to keep your hands busy, doing household chores, such as washing the car and gardening, or writing and painting, etc.
Keep hard candy or chewing gum handy, and chew on them when you feel the urge to smoke.

When it comes to going out, make sure to choose places where smoking is not allowed.
Try to socialize more with people who don’t smoke.
You may also join a support group where you can share your feeling and problems.
Think Positive: It is one of the most important things in the process of quitting smoking. Always think positively about your new resolution. Even if you fail once it does not mean that you’re a failure. So, do not be hard on yourself, just be confident and committed. You must stand by your decision, and you will succeed. If possible, also try to involve someone in your quitting plan so that he or she can motivate and inspire you to keep up with your commitment.

If you follow the aforementioned tips and steps, you probably might not need any medicated tools or therapies to quit smoking.