October 6th, 2018 marked the 11th Cayman Island Breast Cancer Foundation Annual Gala Dinner. This major annual fundraiser for BCF is paramount to maintaining the reserves required to provide not only financial assistance to all those individuals/ organizations desperately needing that assistance but also to fund Wellness Programs and so much more. CTMH Doctors Hospital once again strongly supports BCF and engaged as a main sponsor for the event. It was a night to remember as Breast Cancer survivor Shannen Doherty – An accomplished actress with an extensive list of credentials sparked a widespread conversation to inspire others fighting cancer. The fundraiser raised over $300,000 in live and silent auctions all to support those in need. The charitable donations, loving support, and wholehearted commitment to the Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Foundation made it an unforgettable evening.More
CTMH | Doctors Hospital is a proud sponsor of the CIBC First Caribbean Walk for the Cure 2018
Genes, gene mutations, and gene variations can affect cancer risk and even lead to cancer. In this section, we are going to talk about how finding certain genes or gene mutations can be helpful in diagnosing cancer, monitoring the effects of treatment, learning about prognosis (outlook), and in treating cancer. In each case, only one or two examples are given. To learn about how genes are important to other kinds of cancer, see our document about that kind of cancer.More
You can reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking. It’s also important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain cancers early.
- Stay Away From Tobacco
Get information on how to quit smoking.
- Be Safe in the Sun
Ward off skin cancer with these sun-safety tips.
- Eat Healthy & Get Active
Lower your cancer risk by following our healthy lifestyle recommendations.
- Cancer Screening Guidelines
Check out the American Cancer Society’s screening guidelines.
- Exams and Tests
Find out about the tests used to diagnose and track cancer.
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.More
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer
Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread, but some people with early lung cancer do have symptoms. If you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
- A cough that does not go away or gets worse
- Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
- Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or weak
- Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
- New onset of wheezing
If lung cancer spreads to distant organs, it may cause:
- Bone pain (like pain in the back or hips)
- Nervous system changes (such as headache, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, dizziness, balance problems, or seizures), from cancer spread to the brain or spinal cord
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), from cancer spread to the liver
- Lumps near the surface of the body, due to cancer spreading to the skin or to lymph nodes (collections of immune system cells), such as those in the neck or above the collarbone
Most of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by something other than lung cancer. Still, if you have any of these problems, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Some lung cancers can cause syndromes, which are groups of very specific symptoms.
Cancers of the top part of the lungs (sometimes called Pancoast tumors) sometimes can affect certain nerves to the eye and part of the face, causing a group of symptoms called Horner syndrome:
- Drooping or weakness of one eyelid
- A smaller pupil (dark part in the center of the eye) in the same eye
- Reduced or absent sweating on the same side of the face
- Pancoast tumors can also sometimes cause severe shoulder pain.
Superior vena cava syndrome
The superior vena cava (SVC) is a large vein that carries blood from the head and arms back to the heart. It passes next to the upper part of the right lung and the lymph nodes inside the chest. Tumors in this area can press on the SVC, which can cause the blood to back up in the veins. This can lead to swelling in the face, neck, arms, and upper chest (sometimes with a bluish-red skin color). It can also cause headaches, dizziness, and a change in consciousness if it affects the brain. While SVC syndrome can develop gradually over time, in some cases it can become life-threatening, and needs to be treated right away.
Some lung cancers can make hormone-like substances that enter the bloodstream and cause problems with distant tissues and organs, even though the cancer has not spread to those tissues or organs. These problems are called paraneoplastic syndromes. Sometimes these syndromes can be the first symptoms of lung cancer. Because the symptoms affect organs other than the lungs, patients and their doctors may suspect at first that a disease other than lung cancer is causing them.
Some of the more common paraneoplastic syndromes associated with lung cancer are:
- SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone): In this condition, the cancer cells make a hormone (ADH) that causes the kidneys to retain water. This lowers salt levels in the blood. Symptoms of SIADH can include fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle weakness or cramps, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, and confusion. Without treatment, severe cases may lead to seizures and coma.
- Cushing syndrome: In this condition, the cancer cells may make ACTH, a hormone that causes the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. This can lead to symptoms such as weight gain, easy bruising, weakness, drowsiness, and fluid retention. Cushing syndrome can also cause high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels (or even diabetes).
- Nervous system problems: Lung cancer can sometimes cause the body’s immune system to attack parts of the nervous system, which can lead to problems. One example is a muscle disorder called the Lambert-Eaton syndrome, in which the muscles around the hips become weak. One of the first signs may be trouble getting up from a sitting position. Later, muscles around the shoulder may become weak. A rarer problem is paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, which can cause loss of balance and unsteadiness in arm and leg movement, as well as trouble speaking or swallowing.
- High blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia): This can cause frequent urination, thirst, constipation, nausea, vomiting, belly pain, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, and other nervous system problems
- Excess growth or thickening of certain bones: This is often in the finger tips, and can be painful.
- Blood clots
- Excess breast growth in men (gynecomastia)
Again, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by something other than lung cancer. Still, if you have any of these problems, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.More
Some of the factors that may increase the risk for development of gastric cancer include: Age, gender, ethnicity, smoking, family history, diet and h. pylori. H. pylori is a common, treatable infection which leads to stomach inflammation and may increase the risk of developing gastric cancer. In the United States, gastric cancer is more common in Asians, Hispanic Americans and African Americans than in non-Hispanic whites.
Risks of Stomach Cancer
Some risks cannot be controlled, but others can be REDUCED by focusing on one’s health and choices. Review these lists and see what your risks and options might be:
- Tobacco use
- Diets rich in smoked, salted and pickled foods
- Diets low in fresh fruits and vegetables
- Environmental exposure to dusts and fumes
Risks for Personal Awareness
- Age 50 and over
- Male gender
- Having blood type A
- Long term inflammation of stomach
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infection
- Megaloblastic (pernicious) anemia
- History of stomach polyps or stomach lymphoma
- Race (more common in Asians, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and African Americans than in non-Hispanic Caucasian Americans)
- Family history of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis or BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations
- Family history of stomach cancer (inherited cancers)
Preventing Stomach Cancer
Early detection is the key to surviving stomach cancer.
Lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, can potentially reduce the risk of stomach cancer.
Treatment of H. pylori infection (a common bacterial infection of the stomach) can decrease the risk of stomach cancer development.
Knowing your family history and discussing it with your healthcare provider can help determine if you are at risk for inherited cancer syndromes.
Screening means testing seemingly healthy people, those who have no symptoms, for early stage cancer. The ability to screen for any type of cancer requires an accurate and reliable test to use, one that will identify cancers that are there. It must not give a positive result in people who do not have cancer.
In countries such as Japan, where stomach cancer is very common, mass screening of the population has helped in detecting cancers at an early, curable stage. Screening involves barium swallow x-rays and endoscopy screening. This may have reduced the number of people who die of this disease, but this has not been proven. It is still not clear whether the screening reduces the number of people who eventually develop advanced stomach cancer.
Presently there are no effective screening methods for stomach cancer or programs focused on prevention or early detection in the United States. The same holds true for Canada and the United Kingdom.
Studies in the United States have not found routine screening to be useful for those at average risk for stomach cancer, because the disease is not as common. However, people with certain stomach cancer risk factors may benefit from screening.
For patients and families with clinical features suggestive of Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC), but without a germline CDH1 mutation, intensive endoscopic surveillance in an expert centre for first-degree relatives of patients meeting criteria for HDGC is advised. This is also the case for patients and families who carry a CDH1 variant of uncertain significance. Standardized endoscopic surveillance in experienced centres is recommended for those who have a CDH1 mutation but have opted not to undergo total gastrectomy at the present time. Learn more about HDGC in Families.
Advocate for Yourself
If you have symptoms that don’t go away, remember to advocate for yourself and be persistent. If you feel that something isn’t right and you are not getting the answers you need, don’t give up pursuing a diagnosis. Continue to seek answers and don’t stop until you get them. Go with your gut!
Know your family history. Review and update your family history regularly with your primary care provider to determine if genetic counseling is appropriate for you.More