Call: (361) 798-3671

Access Our Patient Portal

September Awareness: Focus on Blood Cancers

Facts & Stats:

Leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), are types of cancers that can affect the bone marrow, the blood cells, they lymph nodes, and other parts of the lymphatic system.

General Blood Cancers:

New Cases

  • Approximately every 3 minutes one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
  • An estimated combined total of 172,910 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma in 2017.
  • New cases of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are expected to account for 10.2% of the estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017.  Estimated new cases –
    • Lymphoma – 47%
    • Leukemia – 36%
    • Myeloma – 18%

Prevalence – the estimated number of people alive on a certain date in a population who previously had a diagnosis of the disease.

An estimated 1,290,773 people in the U.S. are either living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma.

Relative Survival Rate – compares the survival rate of a person diagnosed with a disease to that of a person without the disease.

  • 5-Year Relative Survival Rates:  Year of Diagnosis 2006-2012
    • Myeloma – 50%
    • Hodgkin Lymphoma – 89%
    • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma – 73%
    • Leukemia – 63%


  • Approximately every 9 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies from a blood cancer – this represents approximately 160 people/day, or more than 6 people every hour.
  • Leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are expected to cause the deaths of an estimated 58,300 people in the U.S. in 2017.
  • These diseases are expected to account for 9.7% of the deaths from cancer in 2017, based on the estimated total of 600,920 cancer deaths.

World Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness: September

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month:

  • Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma = Blood Cancers
  • Blood cancers are cancers of the blood, bone marrow, or lymph nodes that affect normal blood cell production or function.
  • Today, nearly 1.3 million people in the United States are living with, or are in remission from leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma.
  • Blood cancer can affect anyone, at any time.  There is no way to prevent or screen for most blood caners, so the focus is on finding cures.

**Blood cancers are the 3rd leading cancer killer of Americans.

**Every 3 minutes someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

**Leukemia is the most common caner in children and teens.

The Most Common Types of Blood Cancers & Blood Diseases:

  • Leukemia – a cancer of the bone marrow and blood.
  • Lymphoma – a caner that starts in cells that are part of the body’s immune system.
  • Myeloma – a caner of plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell.
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) – a group of diseases of the blood and bone marrow.
  • Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNS) – Types of cancers that begin with an abnormal change in a stem cell in the bone marrow.
  • Aplastic Anemia – a rare disorder in which the bone marrow fails to make enough blood cells.

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness: Commonly Asked Questions

What are gynecologic cancers?

  • The uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells originating in the female reproductive organs
  • Includes:  cervix, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina, and vulva

What causes gynecologic cancers?

  • There are many factors of cause
  • Some classes of genes (oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes) promote cancer growth.  Abnormal function of these genes can be acquired through:
    • smoking
    • aging
    • environmental factors
    • or be inherited
  • Almost all cervical cancers and some cancers of the vulva and vagina are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Can gynecologic cancers be prevented?

  • Screening and self-examination conducted regularly can result in detection of certain types of gynecologic cancer in their earlier stages.
  • Treatment in early stages of disease is more likely to be effective – with complete cure being a possibility.
  • Diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices play a significant role in prevention.
  • Knowledge of family history can increase prevention or early diagnosis – it can help determine if someone may have a gene making them susceptible to cancer.

Who should treat gynecologic cancers?

  • A specialist with advanced training and demonstrated competence – such as a gynecologic oncologist.

Gynecologic Oncologist:  board certified obstetrician/gynecologist who has an additional three to four years of specialized training in treating gynecologic cancers from an American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology-approved fellowship program.

  • This sub-specialty program provides training in the biology and pathology of gynecologic cancers, as well as in all forms of treatment for these diseases, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and experimental treatment.

How are gynecologic cancers treated?

By using one or more of the following:

  • surgery
  • radiation therapy
  • and/or chemotherapy

The choice of therapy(s) depends on type and stage of the cancer.

Who is at risk?

  • Every woman is at risk for developing a gynecologic cancer.
  • It was estimated that there will be about 98,000 new cases diagnosed and approximately 30,000 deaths from gynecologic cancers in the U.S. during 2015, only.

Gynecologic Cancer Statistics:

Cervical –     Estimated New Cases:  12,340     Estimated Deaths:  4,030

Ovarian –     Estimated New Cases:  21,290     Estimated Deaths:  14,180

Uterine –      Estimated New Cases:  54,870     Estimated Deaths:  10,170

Vaginal –      Estimated New Cases:  4,070       Estimated Deaths:  910

Vulvar –       Estimated New Cases:  5,150         Estimated Deaths:  1,080

September Awareness: Gynecologic Cancer

Gynecologic Cancer:  Fast Facts

*What are the 5 Main Gynecologic Cancers?

  1. Ovarian
  2. Uterine/Endometrial
  3. Cervical
  4. Vaginal
  5. Vulvar

*Ovarian Cancer:  Know the Symptoms –

  • pelvic or abdominal pain
  • difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • bloating
  • urinary symptoms (urgency & frequency)

*Uterine/Endometrial Cancer:  Know the Symptoms –

  • abnormal bleeding or discharge
  • postmenopausal bleeding
  • pressure in pelvis

*Vulvar Cancer:  Know the Symptoms –

  • chronic itching
  • skin discoloration
  • bump or lump (red, pink, or white; sometimes black or brown)
  • pelvic pain
  • abnormal bleeding or discharge
  • open sore or ulcer; cauliflower-like growths

*How can you decrease the risk of getting Cervical cancer?

  • Get the HPV vaccination before age 26
  • PAP and/or HPV tests
  • Practice safe sex/use condoms
  • Don’t smoke

*What are the risk factors of vaginal cancer?

  • HPV infection
  • Smoking
  • Age 50 years and older
  • HIV positive
  • Immune suppressed conditions


September Awareness: National Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity:  A Major Public Health Problem

**About 1 in 6 (17%) of children in the U.S. has obesity.

**Certain groups of children are more affected than others.

Why is childhood obesity classified as a “major public health problem”? –

  • Children in the obese category are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes.
  • There is also the possibility of more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.
  • Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than normal weight peers – and are more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
  • These children are also more likely to have obesity as adults – leading to lifelong physical and mental health problems.
  • Adult obesity is also associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancer.

What factors are childhood obesity influenced by? –

  • Eating
  • Physical activity behaviors
  • Genetics
  • Metabolism
  • Family & home environment
  • Community & social factors
  • For some children & families it may be the following:
    • too much time spent inactive
    • lack of sleep
    • lack of community places to go for physical activity
    • easy access to inexpensive, high-calorie foods & sugary beverages
    • lack of access to affordable, healthier foods

How can parents help prevent obesity and support healthy growth in children? –

  • Be aware of your child’s growth – learn how obesity is measured in children and use a Child & Teen BMI Calculator (available at to screen your child for potential weight issues.
  • Provide nutritious, lower-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables in place of foods high in added sugars and solid fats.
  • Make sure drinking water is always available as a no-calorie alternative to sugary beverages – limit their juice intake.
  • Help your children get the recommended amount of physical activity each day.
  • Be a role model!  Eat healthy meals and snacks, and make sure to get the right amount of physical activity every day, yourself.

Addressing Obesity:  It starts at home, but also requires the sport of providers and communities. –

**State & Local Health Departments, Businesses, & Community Groups Can:

  • Ensure neighborhoods have low-cost physical activity opportunities such as parks, trails, and community centers.
  • Offer easy access to safe, free drinking water and healthy, affordable food options.

**Health Care Providers Can:

  • Measure children’s weight, height, and body mass index routinely.
  • Connect or refer families to breastfeeding support services, nutrition education, or childhood healthy weight programs as needed.

**Early Care and Education Centers and Schools Can:

  • Adopt policies and practices that support healthy eating, regular physical activity, and limited screen time.
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice these behaviors.

September Awareness: Healthy Aging Month Tips

6 Healthy Lifestyle Ideas:

Take “Cat” Naps –

  • Naps aren’t just good for young children, but for people of all ages.
  • A study revealed people who take naps are 37% less likely to die from heart disease.

Mix & Mingle with the Right Crowd –

  • There is a clear link between having the right social ties AND living a longer life.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Continue your old hobbies and find new activities that you can do with friends or alone.

Stay Active –

  • Exercise regularly – at least 2.5 hours a week.
  • Gym, nature walks, dancing – there are endless possibilities for exercise.

Set Realistic Goals –

  • Make a plan for where you’re going and how you’ll get there.
  • A clear sense of purpose & drive lessens a person’s chance of Alzheimer’s.

Budget & Spend Money Wisely –

  • Create a budget – know where your money is going, and try to cut down on expenses.
  • Not being able to afford the things you like in life can add stress to a person.
  • Look at ways to lower your regular bills and allocate money to things like traveling, hobbies, or sports.

Eat Foods That Give You Natural Energy –

  • IRON RICH:  if you feel lethargic, look into iron rich foods.  Almost 10% of women are iron DEFICIENT.  Increasing iron intake:
    • Gets more oxygen to your cells
    • Try eating more foods like spinach, beans, dried fruit, and meats
    • Add the right healthy foods at the right times together and they will give you more energy
    • Example – one fruit or veggie, one whole grain, a lean protein, a plant-based fat food (avocado, nuts, coconut oil), and top with a fresh herb or spice
    • Stay away form processed, sugar-filled foods
    • Read labels to see what you’re putting in your body
    • Don’t choose food based on it’s convenience
    • Try nuts, dried fruit, or trail mix as a healthy choice to munch on
    • Consider making your own fruit and energy nut bars
    • You’ll notice a change in your energy levels as you continue to make healthier snack choices.