Go to Health! (Because Life's Too Short)

Issue # 27 April 24, 1998

About the Author:

Shara Rendell-Smock, author

Shara Rendell-Smock has written more than twenty computer software manuals, numerous newspaper articles, including a monthly health column for The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

She's the author of two books of non-fiction: Getting Hooked: Fiction's Opening Sentences 1950's- 1990's
Living With Big Cats: The Story of Jungle Larry, Safari Jane, and David Tetzlaff
For ordering information, click here.

To read more about these books, participate in an ongoing joke contest, surf on over to
www.rendell-smock.com .
The author currently lives on Florida's Space Coast.

Shara signed with a New York Literary agency in December.

Support, Education, and Equipment Loans

Some of the free programs your American Cancer Society may offer are listed below:

  • Fresh Start: Quit Smoking classes, various sessions may be grouped by adults, teenagers, pregnant women.
  • I Can Cope: Education program about cancer treatments, nutrition, resources, other issues, for patients and their families.
  • Road to Recovery: Local transportation for patients to and from radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
  • Reach to Recovery: One-on-one visitation program for women in any stage of breast cancer. To inform, lend emotional support, and help meet patient's physical and cosmetic needs.
  • Look Good...Feel Better: Classes to help female patients develop skills to cope with appearance changes resulting from cancer treatment.
  • College Scholarship Program: Some states have tuition money available to students diagnosed with cancer.
  • Equipment Loans and Gift Items: As available, wheelchairs, shower seats, walkers, commodes, durable medical equipment, no charge. Wigs, turbans, prostheses, stoma covers, and ostomy supplies, may be available at no charge.

Cancer: Awareness is Halfway to Prevention

Part 5 of 5

Lung Cancer

Although annually lung cancer results in fewer new cases than skin, prostate, and breast cancers, lung cancer accounts for more deaths. Lung cancer is generally environmentally caused: Smoking is the number one cause of this cancer: Men who smoke are 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Women smokers are 12 times more likely.

Other, less frequent, environmental causes of lung cancer include exposure to radon gas and asbestos.

The lungs' blood vessels may metastasize, often first attacking the lymph nodes between the lungs in the middle of the chest.

Similarly, cancer that begins elsewhere in the body, such as a breast, can spread to the lungs.

Early Detection & Prevention:Taking years to develop, once detected in a smoker, lung disease is largely preventable or reversible: A smoker's body often heals itself after he or she stops smoking.

If you feel you cannot stop smoking, you will improve your health by cutting down on the tobacco you smoke or chew.

Symptoms: The American Lung Association says the symptoms vary according to where the tumor is found. If the cancer is in the bronchi it can cause a chronic cough, and may even cause bleeding when a person coughs.

If the tumor grows, it may fill the bronchus, preventing air from passing in and out. This may cause wheezing, lung infections, or pneumonia.

A tumor on the outside of the lung often does not produce symptoms until it is fairly large. Symptoms may be chest pain, caused by the tumor growing into ribs or the chest wall muscle.

One job of the oncologist is to help patients understand the chances of cure of cancer and what the physician can do to maintain the highest quality of life for as long as possible. This often involves encouraging people to make a knowledgeable choice of whether to undergo chemotherapy.

Only one percent of the men developing prostate cancer die. In that case, a man may decide to forego chemotherapy and treat it with milder drugs. With breast and colon cancers, chemotherapy can improve the survival rate by one third, and reduce recurrence. The newer chemotherapies are not as tough on people as they were ten years ago. We also have drugs to help prevent side of chemotherapy.

Support cannot be overemphasized when dealing with cancer, one of the most traumatic events a person can experience. Ask your doctor, your librarian, and your local American Cancer Society for contact info on local support groups and free informative programs.

Lung Cancer Self-Detection

American Heart & Lung Institute

In Two Weeks

Shara becomes a Contributing Editor helming a new Section of the Sideroad!

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Explore The New Sideroad

Part of the original Sideroad. Text © 1998, Shara Rendell-Smock. Posted on April 24 , 1998. The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at www.sideroad.com.

Shara's books can be ordered from her web site at www.rendell-smock.com