Natl Cancer SurvivorThis June 5, we are observing the National Cancer Survivor Day with the theme “A Celebration of Life” to recognize cancer survivors worldwide and to raise awareness on the continuous struggles of cancer survivors and for them to serve as inspiration for individuals and families currently combating cancer.

Nutrition for Cancer Survivors

A cancer survivor is anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, from the time of diagnosis through the rest of their life. Due to the advances in cancer detection and treatment, cancer patients are diagnosed and treated early which increases the number of cancer survivors per year. Cancer survivorship has 3 phases: 1) active treatment and recovery; 2) living after recovery, including survivors who are disease free or who have the stable disease; and 3) advanced cancer and end of life. Individuals experience different nutritional problems at each stage thus informed lifestyle choices for cancer survivors become particularly important even before the start of therapy up to the recovery and maintenance to improve quality of life. Thus, the following are the general nutrition tips for cancer survivors:

World blood donor dayThe average human body contains 5 liters of blood. Our blood is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. It also derives nutrients from the diet for it to function properly. Inadequate dietary intake of Iron, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid may lead to anemia and problems during rapid growth and pregnancy while inadequate Vitamin K intake may cause bleeding problems. Thus, the following are the food sources and nutrients essential for healthy blood:

aids memorialThis May we are observing the AIDS Candlelight Memorial with the theme “Keeping the Light, Honoring Our Rights, Radiating Pride”- celebrated every 3rd Sunday of May since 1983 to remember those who died due to AIDS-related illnesses and to support people living with HIV (PLHIV) and to spread awareness on the importance of HIV prevention, treatment and support.

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that can affect the body's "immune system," which is responsible for fighting infections. When a person has an untreated HIV infection, they can become sick easily. That's because their immune system cannot work as well to fight off infections or cancer. But people with HIV can take medicines to control the virus, keep their immune system strong, and stay healthy for many years. AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is the term doctors use to describe the stage of HIV infection when the immune system is at its weakest.

WCH Uterine FibroidsWhat are uterine fibroids?

Fibroids are abnormal growths that form in the muscle of the uterus. The uterus, also called the womb, is the part of the body that holds a baby when a person is pregnant. People sometimes refer to fibroids as "tumors." But fibroids are not a form of cancer.

Who is at risk of having uterine fibroids?

              The growth of fibroids is dependent on the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Thus, those who had early menarche or onset of menstruations at around 10 years old have a risk of developing fibroid due to early exposure to estrogen which is elevated around menstruation. Combined Oral Contraceptives with estrogen in the form of ethinyl estradiol may promote fibroid formation when a woman starts taking them early around 13 - 16 years old.

              In terms of diet, those who regularly consume beef and other red meats increase the risk 1.3 - 1.7 times while those who consume green vegetables and citrus fruits reduce the risk.  Excessive consumption of alcohol also increases the risk of developing fibroids. Finally, those with a daily history or a relative who had a similar condition may also have the susceptibility genes for them to develop the same condition.

iodineWhat is Iodine?

Iodine is a nonmetal that is typically found and functions in the form of Iodide. The human body contains about 15–20 mg of iodide, where 70 - 80 % is found in the thyroid gland. The mineral used in antiseptics such as povidone-iodine which is used against yeast, fungi, bacteria, viruses, spores, and protozoa.

Why is it important?

              Aside from its medical uses for wounds and surgery, dietary iodide is used by the body to synthesize thyroid hormone which is needed for growth and development and for regulating metabolism. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for Iodide is 150 micrograms per day for adults. However, the requirement is higher during pregnancy at 220 micrograms per day, followed by an increase to 290 micrograms per day during lactation to meet the increased metabolic demands during pregnancy and lactation. Iodide is also important for growing children for normal growth and development. Iodide deficiency may cause hypothyroidism or goiter which can result in poor growth, poor organ maturation, delayed sexual maturity, and mental deficits which may negatively affect school performance and future productivity.

HIV ManagemnetHuman Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a type of retrovirus that principally attacks CD4 T-cells, a vital part of the human immune system, and causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) surfaced in the US in the 1980s. Recognized as the terminal stage of an infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), AIDS can strike any age, sex, all age groups, and nationalities. The body’s ability to resist opportunistic viral and other infections is greatly weakened. HIV can be transmitted sexually; through contact with contaminated blood, tissues, or needles; and from mother to child during birth or breastfeeding. The late stage of HIV infection attacks organ systems of the body and develops into AIDS and opportunistic infections such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, pneumonia, candidiasis, and tuberculosis. Neurological complications and dramatic weight loss, or “wasting”, are the characteristic of the end-stage.