Physical effect of cancer and cognitive effect of chemotherapy on women

When you hear the word “cancer” what do you think about? Do you think about yourself or someone else? That or it just goes to your head and never even know what it truly means besides the provided Webster meaning. We as human are very weak against this final stage of pathogens and even animals as experience health issues like us. There’s no verbal or intuitive warning whether you, yourself will develop this type of health risk. It gets even more complicated because according to the Cancer Research of United Kingdom “There are more than 200 different types of cancer.

You can develop cancer in any body organ. There are over 60 different organs in the body where a cancer can develop. ” (cancerresearchuk. com, anonymous). All genders are affected by it as well, some are treatable, and others are fatal, and your last hope is to just hope that your health would fight it off with a help of a medical treatment. According to Cancer Research of United Kingdom, both men and women are hand in hand in gender ratio for a certain type of cancer; breast and prostate.

However, men are a little bit more under fund for prostate cancer so their fatalities and survival is steady but for women; despite for their success in breast cancer research, the numbers of fatalities are still higher than men. So women are most likely get effected by that certain type of cancer. There are about 2, 829, 041 of women living with breast cancer in United States in 2010. Every year, this number increases and decreases, depending on survival rate of each person. Based on the SEER data, by the stretch of 2003-2009 only about 89. 2 percent are breast survivors. When cancer surface, do men and women react to it differently?

Are there any similarities in the issues they deal with? Does gender really matter when it comes to cancer? The answers are seems to be out there already, they can be answered by psychologist and survivors. It is true that both gender react to it differently, their biological function are similar but as a human they are wired differently and so they will react different according to how their body decide to adapt on certain situation. The reality is that these reactions can be reduce and increases depending on the type of a cancer, options for treatment, and the side effects involved.

“There are some similarities in men’s and women’s issues in cancer, in terms of their reactions to chemotherapy, for example,” said Dr Joanna Lin, a Singapore-based visiting oncologist at the Beacon International Specialist Centre in Kuala Lumpur. “The main difference probably lies in women’s concerns regarding their physical appearances, eg. hair loss, which is a huge issue with women, especially those younger than 60,” (thestar. com, Lim Wey Wen). Chemotherapy, as one of the most aggressive treatments for a cancer patient; going under this procedure can lead you either with a positive or negative reaction.

Just as what Dr. Joanna Lin said, that the main difference lies in women’s concerns regarding their physical appearances. A lot of us never have to think of losing our hair. We tend to assume that we will always have a head full of long thin keratins. Our societies have placed a great emphasis on how we should wear it, especially for women. In fact, many of us pride ourselves on our hair as being a significant part of our identity. When face with a diagnosis of cancer which can be terrifying, a woman somehow has to cope with a reality of losing her hair.

According to two of the commenter from, Joanna said that “The humiliation of being bald and the emotional devastation it caused in my life, was as bad or worse than the physical damage the chemo inflicted. ” (ppcdayton. com, Joanna) and Joan’s reaction was “I think it almost became a badge of honor to be bald and I was kind of proud that I was holding up pretty well. ” (ppcdayton. com, Joan). According to Susan G. Komen of komen. org, it is estimated that in 2014 among U. S. women there will be, “232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer;

This includes new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors.

” (Susan Komen, komen. org). Out of these numbers provided statistically, some women are going to survive with no complication, some will meet fatality and others will have a huge chance of losing one or two of their breast. This is a lot more greater than losing a hair in your body. A women’s breast is a very important part of you, losing it from any cause will serve a traumatic experience. Leaving the victim with an ambiguous chance of post traumatic disorder. “Removing a woman’s breast for cancer therapy is also a very obvious physical insult that many women are very concerned about.

These physical changes can cause significant psychological and emotional trauma. ” (Dr. Joanna Lin, thestar. com). There are a lot of psychological effects associated with chemotherapy, post and after. For years cancer survivors always complains about the long term side effect they are experiencing The most common mental problem patients are experiencing is called chemo brain. A term use by to describe their cognitive dysfunction after chemotherapy. Patients are aware of this because some tend to do their own research and others are verbally warned by their oncologist.

Despite with a knowledge of the side effect, some patients who are or not prepared for this are tend to be frustrated about themselves. No matter how much they try to do their routine, they will always get an occasional mental block such as memory relapses, difficulty in concentrating, difficulty in remembering information, organizations, multi-tasking, and speech impediment. What cause brain problem during cancer treatment? According to the cancer. org, Studies suggest that there may be more than one cause of chemo brain, especially for the short-term symptoms.

Some people with cancer have very real brain problems even though they have not had chemo. Still others notice problems when getting hormone treatments, such as estrogen blockers or androgen deprivation therapy (treatments to lower testosterone levels). For some, problems start after surgery. Along with chemo, many different problems can worsen brain function. For instance, brain problems could be caused or worsened by any one or any combination of these factors: The cancer itself, combination of drug medication such as asteroids, anti-nausea or pain medicines.

Low blood counts, hormone dysfunctions and depression. ” ( unknown, cancer. org) It can be terrifying for patients if your brain function affects your everyday life, these kind of brain problems can cause trouble at work and at home. People who notice their mental dysfunction may feel even more upset if their doctors blame it on aging or act as if it’s nothing to worry about. It’s distressing to wonder if you’ll ever be able to do your job again, or if you will get lost on the way to a place you’ve been to dozens of times.

Now think about mothers who have this mental block, what if they have a child in an infant age and other responsibilities. They are much more stressed by these issues. There are ways however, to help yourself and not let this problem control your life. Reading books can make you use to familiarity of words and pronunciations. You also have another option which includes argo-therapy or garden therapy, you can do garden to sooth your stress level or go on a hike to reset and absorb your natural body wiring.

Venting and having someone that you care and who cares about you listen to your problem and frustrations. Letting go of certain negative thoughts verbally can be helpful. These pointers may not fully help you get back to normal but it will help you back on track on your routine and to at least be feeling a lot more normal.

References 10 talks to better help you understand cancer http://blog. ted. com/2013/02/04/1-talks-to-help-you-better-understand-cancer/ How many different type of cancer are there? http://www. Cancer and Gender http://www. drabruzzi. com/cancer_and_gender. htm Gender Factor of Cancer http://www. thestar. com. my/Lifestyle/Health/2011/02/13/.

The-gender-factor-in-cancer/ I couldn’t stand the thought of losing my hair http://www. ppc-dayton. com/icstlmh_art1. html Breast Cancer statistic http://ww5. komen. org/BreastCancer/Statistics. html Chemo Brain http://www. cancer. org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/physicalsideeffects/chemotherapyeffects/chemo-brain.

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