STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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35-55 years of age. It rarely affects women under the age of 20. Thus, it is important for women to continue cervical cancer screening until at least age 70. Usually, early cervical cancer does not cause symptoms. Regular screening through Pap smears and HPV tests can help catch precancerous cell changes early and prevent the development of cervical cancer. The Pap test is the best way to find cervical cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer. If you are 26 years old or younger, you can get the HPV vaccine, which protects against types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer.


Assessing cervical cancer with the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging system helps oncologists decide how far the disease has progressed. The staging, based on a clinical exam, uses a TNM designation:


Cancer that starts in the cervix (the narrow opening into the uterus from the vagina or the neck of the womb) is called cervical cancer. It is the second most common type of cancer for women worldwide, but because it develops over time, it is also one of the most preventable types of cancers.


Most cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can be caught through sexual contact with someone who has it. (Not all types of HPV cause cervical cancer, however.) Other risk factors include smoking, having a weakened immune system, Chlamydia infection, a diet low in fruits and vegetables, being overweight, long-term use of oral contraceptives, using an intrauterine device (IUD), having multiple full-term pregnancies, being younger than 17 at your first full-term pregnancy and having a family history of cervical cancer.


The area where the cervical cells may become cancerous is called the transformation zone. This is the area around the opening of the cervix that leads to the endocervical canal, the narrow passageway that runs up from the cervix into the womb. The cells in the transformation zone don’t suddenly change into cancer. Instead, the normal cells of the cervix initially develop pre-cancerous changes that turn into cancer.


Cervical cancer tends to occur during midlife, usually between

REGULAR SCREENING CAN CATCH CERVICAL CANCER IN EARLY STAGES

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Once the T, N and M scores are determined, an overall cervical cancer stage is assigned. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, which develop from cells in the exocervix. They often begin in the transformation zone. Most other cervical cancers are adenocarcinomas, which develop from gland cells. Cervical adenocarcinomas, which develop from the mucus-producing gland cells of the endocervix, seem to have become more common in the past 20 to 30 years. Less commonly, some cervical cancers have features of both squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas; these are called mixed carcinoma or adenosquamous carcinoma.


Symptoms of the advanced disease may include irregular or abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during sex or vaginal discharge. Treatment for most stages of cervical cancer includes surgery, such as hysterectomy and removal of the pelvic lymph nodes, with or without the removal of both ovaries and Fallopian tubes. Treatment also includes radiation therapy and chemotherapy, depending on how much cancer has grown and whether you require a combination of treatments.


Sources and Resources


American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org)

Cancer Research UK (www.cancerresearchuk.org)

Cancer Treatment Centers of America  (www.cancercenter.com)

National Cervical Cancer Coalition  (www.nccc-online.org)

Web MD (www.webmd.com)