Finances Amidst Breast Cancer

Financial concerns and constraints, whether temporary or permanent, can be particularly distressing at a time when you feel helpless, weak and unable to cope with a disease as serious as cancer. However, Cancer Financial Support is right there for you and you need to channelize the resources available to you at the right time. Many people diagnosed with the disease don’t claim benefits since they’re unaware of the things they’re entitled to. Sometimes, they’re too embarrassed or reticent to ask for aid, or find the entire system unsound or complicated.


The bottom line is you have help at hand and you need to avail it in time.

  • Your rights and you: If you are being able to work due to breast cancer of the treatment, you may be entitled to SSP or Statutory Sick Pay. You can speak to your HRD or employer for this. Since the benefit can be confounding, you can take special assistance for financial issues. Some hospitals provide social workers and welfare advisors who can help you in this regard.
  • Dedicated support groups: Advice and help is also available from citizens advice group and cancer support society for free. You can call their number and they will tell you about all benefits and local government aid that’s available to you, caretakers and family. They can also help you in filling out benefit claim applications. You may also find several NHS choices and options to know more about the rights.
  • The cancer support: The welfare groups produce booklets and raise awareness for Cancer Financial Support They outline the financial help, benefits and advice for affected people. It also includes information on housing cost benefits, transport and children’s needs. You need to remember that not all with cancer diagnosis can claim these benefits. Your entitlement depends on the individual circumstances. For those with secondary cancer may be entitled to obtain these benefits. You can fast track them under the criteria of special rules applicable to terminally ill patients.
  • On care allowance: There are some employment benefit schemes and insurance policies that cover your critical illness. In case of any confusion, you should check with your HR department or insurance provider. Depending on the circumstances, your caregiver may be entitled to claim the concerned allowance but only if you entail substantial caring requirements.
  • Disability allowance: The disability living allowance refers to adults below 65 years of age. It has been replaced by PIP or personal independence payment. Attendance allowance implies to those who’re above 65 years.
  • Holding a blue badge: This is for a few countries and only a few governments make this provision. It’s a scheme providing extensive parking concessions for patients with severely mobility issues. They have difficulty in using any public transport. Countries like Wales and England allow you to apply for this blue badge online or via a local authority. Women with secondary breast cancer entail the eligibility to get this badge. Their symptoms show pain and fatigue.

You can also find alternative schemes and badge systems for people with confined mobility.


Handling Life with Breast Cancer Treatment

Many women are excited or relived to be done with their treatment for breast cancer. But, you need to remember that it’s also a bothering time for women who are anxious of a relapse of the cancer, or who feel alone, lost or helpless sans the same frequency of attendant care or visits from the concerned cancer care professionals or team. Even after you’ve finished breast cancer treatment, your doctors will watch you from a close quarter. It’s very important to do follow-up care through scheduled appointments.

Your doctor will ask about any prevailing problems in these appointments. They may also perform lab tests and exams or imaging exams to detect any signs of side effects of treatment or cancer.

Breast cancer care hangtags

  • Checking for side-effects: It’s important to know that virtually all cancer treatments entail side effects. Some of them might last only for span of 2-3 days or continue for weeks, while some might stretch for months. There are some side effects that don’t show up for many years post the completion of the treatment. Routine doctor visits are a good thing to discuss about any issues or changes you notice or put forth your concerns, if any.
  • Doing mammograms: For those who had a breast-conserving diagnosis and surgery in their treatment for breast cancer, you will receive a mammogram within 6-12 months post the completion of radiation and main surgery. You will receive the second one a minimum one year after the first one. If you got a mastectomy, you’ll need to undergo mammograms on an annual basis. It will include the remaining breast as well.
  • Pelvic tests: Coming to normal life after the treatment is smooth, but you need to be careful as well. If you’re consuming any of the hormone drugs like toremifene or tamoxifen and still continue having uterus, you need to undergo pelvic exams each year. Reason being, these drugs have the potential to increase uterine cancer risk. The risk becomes the highest in those women who have crossed menopause. Make sure you tell your doctor about any usual or irregular vaginal bleeding, spotting or bleeding between monthly periods and lastly, a change or derailment in your periods. It’s usually caused by a thing other cancer, but it also could the first symptom of uterine cancer.
  • Bone density exams: For those on aromatase inhibitor and taking exemestane, letrozole and anastrozole in early stage of breast cancer, if you cross menopause in course of the treatment, your doctor will surely monitor the health of your bones and may also consider examining its density.
  • Doing other tests: Auxiliary tests like imaging tests and blood tests like chest x-rays and bone scams aren’t a standard portion of follow-up since they haven’t proved to help any women undergoing breast cancer treatment to live longer. However, you can do them if you discern physical test findings or symptoms suggesting a relapse of the cancer.

You can do all these tests as a part of assessing new treatments. There are clinical trials that determine the tests.

Emotional and Psychological Support During Breast Cancer: Is it Easy

Since breast cancer is constantly on the rise in today’s fast paced world, it becomes quite customary for people. If you take a prismatic view of the same, you will find that people are no longer bogged down by the malignant disease, which is the most common cancer type among the fairer sex, worldwide. Life had to go on and there are innumerable working women diagnosed with breast cancer who are taking the path forward. All you need is proper Cancer Support without affecting work or daily life.

It’s all about inducing some lifestyle changes and adhering to proper guidelines and information regarding the treatment. Today, you don’t want to affect work or duties and sit back at home. Medical and holistic breast treatment and care is an imperative to prepare the foundation for HER2+ metastatic breast cancer treatment and support it.

  • Providing emotional support: There is no denying the fact that this cancer affects the patient and his/her family psychologically, financially and emotionally. The first step to providing quality Cancer Support to provide the correct treatment and information at the right time. The main emphasis is to give correct knowledge and guidance on aspects related to breast cancer. There are dedicated cancer society’s that provide comprehensive initiatives for patient support, helping patients and their near ones understand the stress coming from illness and managing it.
  • Emotional support does matter: You need to remember that cancer and the subsequent treatment can effectuate physical changes or shuffles. Women suffering from breast cancer are prone to experiencing insecurity, depression, and may feel weal emotionally and physically. Each person manages her feelings on a different note. It depends on the medical and support systems given or available to them. For those who enroll in cancer foundations, receives a quality enrollment kit that helps in coping with the gross emotional turmoil coming from breast cancer. This kit includes a little bag carrying wipes, moisturizer, sanitizer, shower cap, smuff or scarf and mirror. You also get a brochure for the same.
  • The psychological balm: It is a noteworthy fact that psychological effect of dealing with breast cancer stress could become an obstacle in the healing process. It’s in this phase of uncertainty and anxiety that a cancer society provide extensive counseling to patients, helping them to manage their stress effectively.
  • Helping with counseling: They provide multilingual and covered telephone-counseling help to patients. You get all information of lifestyle changes, diet, prevention of sores or infection, compliance with treatment and other auxiliary topics to help you follow the course of main treatment. In leading cities, they provide ground counselors as well. They visit you personally, providing compassionate support and motivation.
  • Thwarting the anxiety: You can take your loved one to these centers as they organize patient workshops. They are convened upon by healthcare experts who talk on stress management and motivate them to do exercises, which are a solid part of the treatment.

There are breast cancer survivors who preside over the sessions as guest speakers, sharing their experiences and knowledge.

Breast Care Amidst a Fast Paced Lifestyle

It’s widely seen that treatment for any type of cancer can bring forth a lot of financial concerns. Some of them may also lead to huge wreckage of money. Managing the treatment costs could be tough for many patients and their respective families, making it very difficult to comply with the prescribed treatment. You can provide extensive breast care to your near one affected by the disease. It’s not a costly affair but a daily dosage of regular things like diet, lifestyle modifications, exercises and some counseling from dedicated cancer centers.

They also help patients get access to proper drug therapy. You can then continue the concerned treatment regimen. The concerned centers provide conditional medication help with proper medicines to each enrolled patient.

  • Knowing the fundamentals: From the moment of a diagnosis of breast cancer, the focus is on treating the malaise. However, cancer support aces state that by taking some amazingly simple steps, patients can be successful in managing the emotional and physical side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. When patients come into the treatment fold, the newness and strangeness of the thing scares them. Reality remains a far cry until patients visit the clinic, see the prosthetic or wig, which hits them hard. The first step in breast care is to work very gently with patients and give them a lot of love and compassion, followed by good advice and support.
  • Wearing the right garments: Many women don’t understand that, for some periods after the surgery, they will be unable to lift their arm. Just give them lightweight tops and shirts with closures on the front. These are easy to wear or slip on. You will find some post-surgical tops that contain special pockets for accommodating drains. There are lightweight jackets and soft, quality shawls that are good for warmth as well as emotional comfort. You can invest in a special, high-quality, certified post-surgical bra. The good ones are obtained from a soft gauze type material with closures of Velcro front.
  • Thrive on nutrition and exercise: They key is to have a balanced diet. Eating can be no less than a war, but fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of water and lots of proteins will help your near one cope with fatigue. Exercise includes a beginner’s yoga session, a gentle walk or an art therapy or aerobic class. It can actually move the woman into a better frame of body and mind.
  • Do nurture the spirit because it’s very important: As a friend or family member, what you can do is keep a personal journal to keep a tab on everything. Turn that into anything you wish to. It could be her journey’s diary or a wish list for her future or just a letter the person writes to himself or herself. Let her take time out personally for herself. Give her a Netflix on mobile or a book on film or tape.

A message therapist can come in handy in this regard. Engage in joint meditation classes, grab a pillow and chat, invite a friend or just go for a stroll in the park. It’s a personal thing with surprisingly positive results.

A Guide to Understanding Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) is one of the rarest forms of cancer that is more prevalent among older men. This aggressive cancer type is classified as non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is treated using drugs like Bortezomib. Listed below are some useful facts about the disease.


What is mantle cell lymphoma?

Mantle cell lymphoma is a type of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects the lymphatic system of the body. The lymphatic system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes and the lymphatic vessels that contain the nodes. The network of lymphatic vessels carries the lymph fluid throughout the body. The job of the lymph node is to separate out the harmful substances and allow the fluid to flow seamlessly to different body organs. The lymph fluid is made up of lymphocytes that help the body to fight infection and diseases. Lymphocytes are made up of two types of cells B-cells and T-cells. The cells are named distinctly because. The b cells mature in the bone marrow and the T cells mature in the thymus gland. Cancerous growth in either the B cell or T cell is referred to as lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma affects the B-cell.  While MCL is very rare form of cancer, the most common cancer types that affect the B cell are follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

What causes mantle cell lymphoma?

The cause of the disease continues to be unknown. However, the disease is not contagious and is usually diagnosed in patients over 60 years of age.

What are the common symptoms of mantle cell lymphoma?

Generally, the first sign of the disease is a swelling in the neck region or around the armpit (in some cases the swelling occurs in the groin). The swelling is due to enlargement of lymph nodes and is completely painless. The swelling is accompanied by other common symptoms like fatigue, night sweat, and loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, and headache and so on. The mantle cell lymphoma can affect more than one group of lymph nodes and if the disease has affected the stomach region, then patient suffers from diarrhea and nausea too.

How is the condition diagnosed?

Since the disease involves common symptoms, diagnosis becomes difficult and is usually confirmed during later stages only. Biopsy of cells removed from enlarged lymph node along with blood tests and scans can help detect the disease. Once diagnosis reveals presence of cancer, more tests are done to find out about the complexity and depth of the condition.

How is MCL graded?

For treatment purposes, different types of Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas are categorized as aggressive or indolent. While MCL lies between the two classes, it is treated as an aggressive lymphoma.

What are the treatment options for MCL?

Chemotherapy in combination with monoclonal antibody drug is the most common treatment administered for MCL. Other alternative treatments include radiotherapy, use of steroids, stem cell treatment or combination of more than one treatment. Ultimately the aim of any treatment is to get rid of the lymphoma to maximum possible extent.

Top Eight Symptoms of Candida Albicans

Candida Albicans is a common type of yeast infection that affects the mouth, intestine and vagina. Candida is very common and cannot be too serious unless the affected person has a very weak immune system. When left untreated, the fungal infection spreads to various parts of the body including the blood and finally affects the brain and the heart too. Candida can be treated by using antifungal drugs like Amphotericin.

Read on to find out more about the main symptoms of the infection.

  • Chronic vaginal infections and UTI

Recurring vaginal and urinary tract infections can be due to the Candida infection in women. Candida spreads through sexual intercourse and is prevalent among women who wear tight underwear. Therefore when sexually active women (with an infected partner) and women who practice inappropriate lingerie habits experience recurring infections, there is a wide chance that the source could be Candida infection.

  • Drastic changes in mood

Quite ironically, the yeast infection in the mouth or intestine can have an impact of the patient’s mood too. Patients with Candida experience strong waves of anxiety, fear, irritability, depressions and sometime panic attacks too.

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

An individual with Candida experiences chronic fatigue irrespective of the number of hours he or she sleeps. The tiredness and anxiety is often accompanied by headache, loss of memory, pain in the joints and so on.

  • Oral thrush

Induced by the same strain of Candida, oral thrush is another yeast infection that affects the mucous membrane. Therefore oral thrush (can affect the mucous membrane of the vagina too) is one of the potential signs of Candida. Oral thrush is often caused by the overuse of prednisone (or other corticosteroids) and the infection can occur in anyone starting from the new born to the aged.

  • Sinus-related problems

Sinus infections are common and if you are experiencing consistent issues with the sinus, then there is a high probability that the root cause is Candida infection. Candida affects the sinus and leads to persistent cough, congestion, difficulty in breathing and other flu-like symptoms.

  • Chronic intestinal distress

Intestinal troubles like persistent flatulence, abdominal bloating, constipation (in some cases it is diarrhea), burping and cramps in the stomach can be caused due to the Candida infection in the intestine. The yeast takes control over the healthy bacteria of the intestine and hinders them from performing their function. As a result the patient suffers abdominal distress in some form until the infection is treated properly.

  • Mental imbalance

In some cases, the Candida infection causes brain fog in the individual. As a result, the person loses his ability to focus on his work, is always distracted and moody and experiences memory loss too.

  • Hormonal imbalance

Candida infection could be the possible reason behind early menopause, low libido, PMS, water retention, endometriosis, weight gain and migraines. The infection plays havoc with the hormones secreted by the body and thus leads to all these issues. When the infection is left untreated for a very long time, it releases a by-product that acts like estrogen thus causing several problems for the individual.

Endocarditis – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is endocarditis?

The inner lining of the heart is called endocardium. The inflammation of the endocardium is referred to as endocarditis. It is caused by a bacterium and the severity of the infection varies from one patient to another. Pharmaceuticals experts and physicians would recommend drugs like Daptomycin that act against gram positive bacteria to the patient suffering from endocarditis.

What signs characterize endocarditis?

Endocarditis symptoms start out slow and intensify with time. The signs are very common and this is often the reason why many cases of endocarditis go undiagnosed until the severe stages. In fact some people who are suffering from endocarditis experience the same signs as that of pneumonia or flu. The symptoms of endocarditis include:

  • Pale skin
  • Fever and nausea
  • Pain in the joints
  • Lowered appetite
  • Sudden loss in body weight
  • Night sweats

As the condition progresses without being treated, these signs intensify and more severe symptoms set in. These include,

  • Swelling in the limbs
  • Bloated stomach
  • Blood in urine
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heartbeat along with an abnormal sound
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Significant weight loss

In addition to these signs, the skin of the patient changes drastically. Red spots (or purple spots in some cases) occur on the fingers and toes. Red spots slowly start to cover the white part of the eyes, on the roof of the mouth and on the chest too. It is important to note that the signs of the disease vary greatly from one patient to another based on the source of the inflammation. Patients who have undergone heart surgery recently must be cautious and alert when these signs are witnessed.

Who is at the risk of endocarditis?

Endocarditis is caused by a type a bacterium that is generally present in the outside environment. When this bacterium is brought into the body through consumption of food or water or through blood cuts, it enters the bloodstream and finally reaches the heart. Endocartitis can be caused by certain species of fungi too. Some of the common pathways through which the bacteria can enter the human body are:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Poor oral hygiene (includes sharing of tooth brushes, leaving oral wounds unattended)
  • Using a contaminated needle
  • Inappropriate use of catheters
  • Use of contaminated equipment during dental procedures

People who are illicit users of drugs, have multiple sexual partners, practice unsafe sex and pay no attention to their oral hygiene are at the highest risk of endocarditis. Patients who have undergone heart procedures like heart valve surgery are also at a greater risk of the disease. In general, patients with defects in the heart can easily contract the infection.

How is the condition treated?

Once diagnosed, the condition can be treated through the use of appropriate drugs (antibiotics). If the condition was caused by heart valve damage then surgery is required. During the surgery, the damaged heart valves are replaced with artificial valves.

Foods That Can Help Lung Cancer Patients

Cessation of smoking and other inappropriate lifestyle habits are often the point of focus while discussing about lung cancer. However, changes in diet control are also an effective way to prevent as well as cure the disease. In fact, it has been reported that eating the right type of food can help the body respond to the lung cancer treatment more effectively. Read on to find out the foods that must be included in the diet of a lung cancer patient.

Fruits and vegetables

Research conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center has established a clear link between antioxidants and its ability to fight and heal lung cancer. While most fruits and vegetables contain some amount of antioxidants in them, a few colorful ones like tomatoes, berries, capsicums and cruciferous vegetables like collard greens, broccoli, and cauliflower are particularly antioxidant-rich. Apples contain the antioxidant called flavanoids and a study by Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1999 revealed that regular consumption of apples can lower risk of lung cancer by almost 60%.

Protein-rich food

Organic eggs, meat, dairy products and vegetable-based protein shakes are all rich in good protein. Patients undergoing lung cancer treatment may experience wasting and a protein-rich diet is essential for building the body mass. However, patients must be careful about their choice of protein as certain food items like fried chicken or steak can increase the inflammation. Nutritious alternatives like yoghurt, salmon, lentils and poultry are recommended for the lung cancer patient.

Whole grains

Whole grains are always a healthier option when compared to refined grains. Whole grains fight the risk of lung cancer and mortality in both men and women and the Vitamin and iron from whole grains ease the symptoms of lung cancer too. Lung cancer patients are recommended to reduce the intake of white bread, pasta and other refined grain sources and instead opt for whole grain foods like quinoa, oats and whole wheat.

Vegan fats

Like any other individual, a lung cancer patient must also satisfy the fat requirement of his body through his diet. However, choosing vegan fat sources like nuts, vegetables oils, avocados (rich in antioxidants too) and seeds over dairy or animal fat is better. Patients undergoing lung cancer treatment may experience diminished appetite more than often. Consuming these natural sources of good fat can help patients follow a nutritious and calorie-rich diet easily.

Beta-carotene rich foods

It has been scientifically proven that beta carotene can reduce the risk of lung cancer (based on the research published by American Institute for Cancer Research in 2007). However, beta carotene must be sourced only from natural food items like carrots and sweet potatoes as supplements can lead to the increased risk of lung cancer.

Patients who are undergoing lung cancer treatment experience severe side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In order to eat a balanced diet while fighting these symptoms, patients are recommended to choose easily digestible and mild foods (like soups, broths, scrambled eggs) throughout their treatment period.

Four Things You Must Know About Breast Cancer Lumps

With every passing year, the number of women opting for breast cancer treatment is increasing. Bad lifestyle and the multiple sources of carcinogens that have found their way into our lives are the major reasons behind such a bad state of health in women. While awareness is being imparted through various ways and women seem to be more informed about breast cancer and its various symptoms, “the lump” is still a less understood component of the disease. The lump in the breast determines the type of breast cancer and guides the oncologist towards the right treatment strategies. Read on to find out some important facts about a breast cancer lump.


Breast lumps vary by texture

When genetic mutations occur within a group of cells in the breast, then the cells grow abnormally and rapidly thus causing the breast cancer lump. In some women, the breast cancer lump is surrounded by a scar tissue that is formed as a result of the tissue damage. The scar tissue surrounding the lump will make it feel very hard and firm. Sometimes, the lump feels like nothing more than the thickening of the breast tissue. While this type of lump will contain smaller projections inside, they feel too flat and often go unnoticed.

Location of the breast cancer lump

Breast cancer lumps can occur along the tubes or ducts that connect the milk-secreting lobules to the nipples or within the lobules too. The former condition is called ductal carcinomas while the latter is referred to as lobular carcinoma. The lumps can be deeply rooted within the breast or can occur right behind the nipples. In some cases they are located near the skin or along the edges of the breast too. In general, the breast cancer lumps that are deeply embedded within the breast prove to be more serious than the ones that develop along the sides of the breast.

Breast cancer lump and pain

Apart from the texture and the location, breast cancer lumps can also be characterized based on the pain associated with them. In most cases, lumps that are painful and feel too tender to touch turn out to be benignant tumors or other less harmful outgrowths. Cancer lumps are generally not painful but lack of pain alone cannot be considered to determine the nature of breast lump. In fact, a study by San Diego State University revealed that about 15% women suffering from breast cancer experience pain in their lump. Proper diagnosis is essential to determine the nature of the lump and the reason behind the pain.

Breast cancer lump in men

Several breast cancer cases have been reported in men between the age of 60 and 70 in the past. Breast cancer can occur in men at any age and is as harmful as it can be for a woman. Breast cancer lumps in men occur closer to the nipple in most cases. Changes in the nipple and discoloration of the surrounding skin accompany the occurrence of the lump in the affected patient.

What are the Early Signs of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer, in most cases, is detected only at the advanced stage.  The main reason behind this trend is that, the early signs of the disease are often ignored or considered “normal” by most patients. Read on to find out the common symptoms of lung cancer and learn how it can help people at high-risk.


Persistent and dry cough

Cough and cold are common health problems that stay on for a week or two. But the cough that lingers for a longer time can be a symptom of lung cancer. When chronic cough becomes dry and more intense, it is probably the right time to have the lungs tested. Some patients also cough up too much mucus (more than the usual) and sometimes blood too.

Changes in the breathing pattern

Lung cancer can completely or partially block airways and sometimes the fluid from the cancerous tumor can build up in the chest thus leading to shortness of breath. Young individuals, especially smokers must be alerted when they notice sudden shortness of breath or when they become easily winded. For instance, if you feel winded or are short of breath after climbing the staircase at your home or work (which was not the case earlier), then it is probably better to see the doctor.

Discomfort and pain around the chest area

Patients who are affected by lung cancer feel recurrent pain and discomfort in the chest, shoulders and sometimes in the back area too. The pain comes from the metastasis to the chest wall (also referred to as the ribs or pleura) or may also be due to the enlarged lymph nodes. The pain can be faint and stay on for a few hours or sharp and intense lasting only for a few minutes. Pain that may be caused due to lung cancer can also be accompanied by wheezing. The constricted airways produce a whistling sound while breathing. Thus chest pain with severe wheezing could be a definitive sign of lung cancer.

Changes in the voice

Hoarseness in the voice can occur due to cold or an infection in the throat. In any case, the changes fade away within 10-15 days. If you find people noticing changes in your voice (as deeper or hoarser) for a longer time period, then it is a red flag. The hoarseness in the voice comes from the impact of the tumor on the nerves leading to the larynx.

Unreasonable weight loss

Sudden loss of weight (more than 10 pounds) could be a warning sign for various health complications and lung cancer is certainly one of them. The cancer cells consume too much energy and the affected body uses the energy from the food in ways other than the intended.

Pain in various parts of the body

When the cancer has moved from the initial stages and has started to spread to the bones, the patient witnesses bone pain in the back area and in the limbs too. The pain intensifies during the nights and when the patient exerts too pressure while moving around.