WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LUNG CANCER

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LUNG CANCER

Written by Pharm. Ongele Emerald

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue. Cancer develops when the body’s normal control stops working. Old cells, rather than die, grow out of control forming new abnormal cells. These extra cells may form a mass of tissue, called tumor. The latest global cancer data is estimated to have risen to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018. The increasing cancer burden is due to several factors, including population growth and aging as well as social and economic development. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in both men and women and is the leading cause of cancer death in 28 countries.  “These figures highlight that much remains to be done to address the alarming rise in the cancer burden globally and that prevention has a key role to play”. Quote, IARC Director Dr Christopher wild.

Lung Cancer is also known as lung carcinoma and is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. The two main types are; small-cell lung carcinoma and non-small-cell lung carcinoma. The most common symptoms are coughing, weight loss, shortness of breath and chest pains. The vast majority of lung cancer is due to long-term tobacco smoking, though other cases occur in people who have never smoked. These cases are often caused by a combination of genetic factors, exposure to radon gas, second-hand smoking, or other forms of air pollution.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • Respiratory symptoms: wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, coughing up blood.
  • Systemic symptoms: weakness, weight loss, fever, clubbing of the fingernails.
  • Symptoms due to cancer mass pressing on adjacent structures: chest pain, bone pain, difficulty swallowing, superior vena cava obstruction.  

CAUSES

Cancer develops after genetic damage to DNA and epigenetic changes. Those changes affect the cells normal functions leading to cell proliferation. The causes of cancer include but are not limited to these:

  • Smoking: tobacco smoking is the main contributor to lung cancer because cigarette contains carcinogens that lead to the development of cancerous cells. The inhalation of smoke from another’s smoke, known as passive smoking is a cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
  • Radon gas: is a colorless, odorless gas generated by the breakdown of radioactive radium, a product of decay of uranium, found in the earth crust.
  • Asbestos: can cause a variety of lung diseases such as lung cancer and cancer of the pleura.
  • Air pollution: air pollutants like chemicals released from burning of fossil fuels increase the risk of lung cancer.
    Genetics: Lung cancer can also be inherited by people whose relatives were diagnosed with cancer.

DIAGNOSIS

Performing a chest radiograph is one of the first investigative steps if a person reports symptoms that may be suggestive of lung cancer. Also, CT imaging is used to provide more information about the extent of the disease.

CLASSIFICATION

This classification is based on therapeutic purposes. Non-small cell lung carcinoma: the subtypes of this class are:

  1. Adenocarcinoma
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma
  3. Large cell carcinoma

Small cell lung carcinoma

PREVENTION

  1. Quit Smoking : eliminating tobacco is a primary goal in the prevention of lung cancer and smoking cessation is an important preventive tool in this process.
  2. Screening: early detection of lung cancer in people without symptoms is important in a person to respond to it in a way that prolongs life and reduces the chance of death.
  3. Eating diets with higher proportion of vegetables and fruits with smoking cessation tend to lower the risk of cancer
  4. Some metals as well as products of combustion from industries increase the risk of cancer. Hence industries should be located far from residential homes.

MANAGEMENT

This depends on the cancer’s specific cell type, how far it has spread and the person’s performance status. Common treatments include:

  1. Surgery
  2. Chemotherapy
  3. Radiation therapy
  4. Targeted therapy
  5. Bronchoscopy
  6. Palliative care.
5 REASONS YOU SHOULD EXERCISE REGULARLY THIS YEAR

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD EXERCISE REGULARLY THIS YEAR

Written by Pharm. Juliana Ariri

Exercise can be defined as an activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. Being active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. It may even help you live longer. Aerobic exercises including jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing and walking have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. The health benefits of regular exercise cannot be ignored and are beneficial to everyone regardless of age, sex or physical disability. God did not create man to be inactive!

Here are 5 reasons you should exercise regularly this year:

TO IMPROVE YOUR MOOD AND MENTAL HEALTH: 
Exercise promotes the release of chemicals like endorphins and serotonin throughout the body that help to improve mood and make the person more relaxed. It has been shown to improve mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. People who exercise regularly feel better about their appearance, which can boost their confidence and improve their self-esteem.

 

TO HELP LOSE EXCESS WEIGHT AND/ OR MAINTAIN HEALTHY WEIGHT: 
Along with diet, exercise plays an important role in controlling your weight and preventing obesity. To maintain your weight, the calories you consume must equal the energy you burn. Regular exercise can help prevent excess weight gain and help maintain weight loss. For instance, ensuring you take at least 10,000 steps daily might help you to maintain a healthy weight. You may discuss with your healthcare professional.

 

TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF CHRONIC DISEASES:
There is no secret to the fact that regular exercise is good for your health. Lack of physical activity is a primary risk factor for chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, arthritis etc. Regular exercise has been shown to improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin and improve cardiovascular health, decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels.If you have any health condition like hypertension, arthritis etc, it is important to talk to your doctor about how long you should exercise for and what level of intensity is safe for you.

 

TO STRENGTHEN YOUR MUSCLES AND BONES: 
Exercise plays a vital role in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. It helps to release hormones that promote the ability of your muscles to absorb amino acid. This helps them grow and reduces their break down. As people age they tend to lose muscle mass and function which can lead to injuries and disabilities. Practicing regular physical activity is essential to reducing muscle loss and maintaining strength with aging.

 

TO INCREASE YOUR ENERGY LEVELS:
Exercise can be a real energy booster for healthy people as well as those suffering from various medical conditions. During exercise, oxygen gets delivered to tissues and organs. This helps the heart and lungs work more efficiently which translates to more energy. One study found that six weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for 36 healthy people who had reported persistent fatigue.

 

5 Fruits You Should Add to Your Diet in 2019.

5 Fruits You Should Add to Your Diet in 2019.

Written by Pharm.Tope Taiwo

Fruits are generally part of the dietary intake that are essentially rich in minerals, nutrients and antioxidant activities (an antioxidant is a substance that may help to prevent formation of or remove free radicals which may harm the body severely).  Eating fruits daily, therefore, can boost health. Some fruits however are taken for specific health benefits. The work of fruits in the digestion of food (breaking down of food), and the supply of essential nutrients needed by the body cannot be overlooked.

Following the research done by the National Library of Medicine, ( University of Alabama, Birmingham), the percentage of people with atherosclerosis (the damage to vascular vessels that carry blood which may lead to total obstruction) and oxidative stress diseases increase as a result of lower amounts of Carotenoids, Vitamin C, Selenium compared to the people who have those elements in greater proportion. These various antioxidants are majorly derived from fruits and vegetables. From the research, the right intake of fruits on daily basis helped to prevent this damage and the diseases associated with those with lower intake.

Various diseases can be prevented, likewise many disease conditions can be improved upon by daily intake of fruits. Examples of such diseases are hypertension, cancers, diabetes, goiter, bowel diseases and arthritis. Eating fruits in right quantities may also help in delaying aging and promoting healthy skin.

Fruits and essential nutrients

From the research done on cardiovascular assessment for heart diseases and stroke on 469,551 people, it was found out that “the higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease compared to people who took less fruits and vegetables. This means that cultivating the habit of taking fruits as part of daily food intake reduces the risk of stroke, hypertension, and diabetes of every individual.

Just as nutrients and minerals are essentially needed for growth, development and body tissues replenishment,  fruits can serve as reservoir for the supply of minerals and nutrients like Iron, Manganese, Potassium, Calcium, Sodium, Folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 etc

Eating the recommended minimum of 5-servings of fruits daily helps in strengthening the immune system.

This write-up focuses on 5 health-promoting fruits which, if taken on a daily basis are very beneficial to the body. They are readily available and relatively affordable.

They are:

Oranges:  Orange is one of the most popular and nutritious fruits in the citrus family. Orange is a very good source of Vitamins C, B and folic acid. It also contains some flavonoids, carotenoids and citric acid which make it to have health benefits. The vitamin C and citric acid content help the absorption of Iron, hence, help to prevent anaemia (low blood level).

Pineapples:Rich in Vitamin C, Manganese, Bromelain (an enzyme which digests protein and can be used for its anti-inflammatory activity i.e. swelling in the body). It has also been found to have activity related to reduction of tumor growth i.e. cancer-preventing activity.

 

Apples: Contain Potassium, Vitamin B, Vitamin K, Vitamin C. Apples are rich in fibre and have been found to help in the management of diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer disease because of their potent antioxidant activity. A small apple provides about 75 calories.

 

Bananas:Rich in Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Pectin and fibre which really improve the metabolism of sugar by helping to fill the stomach and prevent unnecessary intake of starch. A medium-sized banana has about 100 calories.

 

Watermelon: It has high content of vitamin A and C. It is rich in antioxidants like lycopene, carotenoids and cucurbitacin E. The Lycopene intake reduces the risk of cancer of the digestive system (e.g. colon, appendix), and cucurbitacin E inhibits tumor (cancer) growth. Lycopene can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure too. Watermelon is made of 92% water which helps to hydrate the body (to prevent dehydration or water loss).

Summary

  • Fruits and vegetables are generally highly nutritious and help protect the body against diseases especially through boosting the body’s immunity.
  • The daily requirements of minimum of 5 servings of fruits can be made up of any of the above fruits where one serving is a large-sized Banana, a small apple, a cup of chopped watermelon, a medium-sized orange and half cup diced pineapples.
  • Fruits may be taken as snacks in between meals or anytime of the day irrespective of meals. They can be taken before, with or after meals.
  • Trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight? There is a lot of evidence to show that people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables throughout the day are more likely to weigh less and less likely to gain weight.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables this year than ever before and be ready for a healthier you!
  • For more information talk with your dietitian, pharmacist or other healthcare professional.

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5 Resolutions That Will Keep You Healthy In 2019

5 Resolutions That Will Keep You Healthy In 2019

Written by Pharm. Adebisi Ajibade

The new year comes with a lot of excitement and the appeal to start afresh or make some changes. However, these changes do not occur automatically because it is a new year, deliberate plans backed up with actions have to be put in place to bring about the change we so desire. Why do we make new resolutions? Probably, because we are tired of getting the same results or we need to do better in some areas of our lives so that we can fulfill our purpose in life. Whatever actions or decisions we take in our homes, at work, or wherever, it is wise to reflect on them ( asking ourselves these questions: what informed those actions, how did we perform that task, what was the result, what could we have done better?, etc.). Regular reflective practices help us to make sense of our experiences, learn from them and add to our knowledge in order to adopt better practices ( Cox, 2015). In this post, I am going to share with you 5 healthy resolutions to make in 2019.

1. Be mindful of what you eat:

Avoid taking junk foods. Junk foods can increase your risk of obesity and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and even some cancers. Replace store-purchased (processed) snacks with unprocessed (natural) foods. Fruits, vegetables and nuts, help to save some calories. Whole grains are full of fiber and help to reduce the risk of heart diseases.

 

2. Practice personal hygiene:

Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water. Many illnesses can be prevented by simply washing your hands properly, before and after meals, after using the toilet, or even when you come home from a long day at work. Always make sure you maintain a clean environment to avoid diseases

3. Quit unhealthy habits:

Quit smoking and habits that can drain you emotionally. Have an attitude of gratitude.
Sometimes we need to make a list of our successes no matter how little they may be. Susan Lehmann, a psychiatrist at John Hopkins said, “ reminding ourselves of the small, everyday positive aspects of our lives helps to develop a sense of balance and perspective that can
enhance well-being.” Stress can occur as a result of the way we react to various conditions, changes and demands of life. If we do not regularly release the tension caused by stress, the risks for developing physical and mental illnesses will increase (Nwachukwu, 2003). Choose how you respond to situations and make time for rest. As simple as this sounds, It takes a deliberate effort to relax. We also need to tolerate people when they make mistakes, be accommodating and fill our minds with good thoughts (Philippians 4:8). Dr. Nwachukwu recommended that delegating duties, maintaining balance in different aspect of our lives, self management, exercise and sleep can help to prevent or reduce stress (2003).

4. Go for health-checks:

Visit your general practitioner if there is any health concern. Check your health status regularly. At Victory Drugs pharmacy, like other pharmacies, we offer health devices that will help to check your blood pressure values, sugar levels, etc. We also conduct point-of-care tests to check your blood pressure, blood sugar level, cholesterol level, and offer pharmaceutical care services

 

5. Exercise:


Exercise for about 30 minutes every day. Exercise helps to burn calories , keep your muscles and bones strong and helps to regulate our sleep patterns. It also reduces stress and anxiety. Exercise can be as simple as dancing or walking at least 10,000 steps daily.

 

Most importantly, draw close to God . At the beginning of a new year, you will need to get clarifications on what to pursue and which directions to take. God, who is wisdom
personified, can help guide us in the fulfillment of our dreams (James 4:8; Ecclesiastes 10:10; Jeremiah 10:12).

 

References
Cox, M. (2015) M5 Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle Framework, Available at:
https://m.YouTube.com/watch?v=Rp-gaV-uSlo (Accessed: 12 December 2018)
Ecclesiastes 10: 10; James 4:8; Jeremiah 10:12 ; Phil 4:8 [Online] Available at:
https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org
Fletcher, D. ( 2009) 5 Reasons Why God Wants Us Healthy, Well and Fit, Faith and Health
Connection [Online] Available at: https://www.faithandhealthconnection.org (Accessed: 05
January 2019)
John Hopkins Medicine (2018) 6 New Year’s Resolution for a Happy and Healthy 2018, Well-
Being, Articles and Answers, [Online] Available at: https://www.Hopkinsmedicine.org (
Accessed: 05 January 2019)
Kraft, S. (2018) 18 Ways to Up Your Health in 2018, Healthy Women,[Online] Available at :
https://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/how-eat-more-whole-grains ( Accessed : 08
January 2019)
Mana Medical Associates (2019) What’s The Healthiest New Year’s Resolution [Online]
Available at : https://www.mana.md (Accessed: 05 Jan 2019)
Nwachukwu, J.(2003) Preventive Management of Hypertension, Diabetes and Stress. Lagos:
Corporate Medicals
Restonic (2018) Health-Boosting New Year’s Resolutions for 2019, [Online] Available at:
https://restonic.com/blog/healthy-new-years-resolutions-2018 (Accessed: 08 January 2019)

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Inter-School Quiz and Debate Competition 2019

Inter-School Quiz and Debate Competition 2019

The Victory Drugs’ 3rd Annual Inter-School Quiz and Debate Competition took place at Big Treat, Festac Town, Lagos on the 17th of October, 2018.

Every year, Victory Drugs, a renowned community pharmacy in Festac Town, Lagos, organizes health-related quiz and debate competition for Secondary School students. This is one of the many health awareness projects run by the pharmacy to promote community health. This year’s program was themed: ‘Your future, Your treasure.’ Given the increased prevalence of drug abuse among teenagers and youths in Nigeria in recent times, the goal of this program was to increase their awareness on the abuse of drugs, how it may affect their health and ultimately their future.   

Seven schools participated in the program with a total of 31 students and 7 teachers. The program was also graced with distinguished guests including renowned Marriage Counselor and former Vice-National Chairman of Scripture Union Nigeria, Pastor Toyin Lawal, who gave the opening speech and welcome address. This was followed by an empowering speech that had audience at the edge of their seats by the keynote speaker, Pastor Tunde Fowe, who worked as the Country Director (Nigeria) for Family Impact Values Impact Nigeria, aka Family Impact (FI).

“You must be able to grow your treasure, there are people with very lofty dreams, but dreams are nothing if they are not translated into action,” he concluded, “All that you can ever become in life, as it were, that destiny is in your hands, do not throw it away”.

The event commenced with a fun and interactive life skills session on ‘Core Values Clarification’ facilitated by a Youth Missionary at Scripture Union Nigeria, Michael Idowu, teaching the students crucial lesson on clarifying their values.

The first round of the competition was a quiz anchored by CEO of Nigerian Voice Bank, Emeka Onunkwo. S-TEE High School and Festac Senior Grammar School emerged top of the competition and advanced into the second round- the debate. Both schools went head to head on the topic, “ Drug Abuse: Parent is to Blame and Not The Abuser,” with Akpenyi Kika of S-TEE High supporting the notion and Olisakwe Precious of Festac Senior Grammar against the notion. The students were scored on account of representation, organization, timing and points. At the end of the debate session,  Olisakwe Precious was awarded the 1st place winner and presented with a honorary plaque and a Techno Droidpad 7D tablet. An Omron M3 Blood Pressure Monitor was also given to Festac Senior Grammar School. The 2nd place winner Akpenyi Kika representing S-TEE High School was awarded a cash prize of N10,000 (ten thousand naira).

Victory Drugs profoundly appreciates every school that attended the programme and looks forward to seeing them (and all other invited schools) next year, as they join us to empower the young ones with values and skills that ensure healthy living and bright futures.

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