Cancer and Travel Precautions

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While you are in this journey, you will eventually come across a reason to travel—whether it’s for treatment, work or just for leisure. The good news is that many breast cancer patients in Singapore are able to travel safely and comfortably. As long as proper precaution is observed, your oncology team will likely approve your overseas travel. Here are the points to consider (with your doctor’s approval) when planning to go on a trip.

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1. Choose the right companion. The right companion should make travelling easy for you. Bring someone who knows you and your needs well—and preferably knows the destination, too. In case of emergency, you know you have someone who can take care of you and bring you to the nearest cancer center if necessary.

2. Pick your destination wisely. When travelling for a vacation, pick a place where you know you’ll have easy access to medical care. In Singapore, you’ll find good cancer centers, complete with the best facilities, all around the city. But not all countries can provide that. In some places, it can be hard to get proper when you need it, and chances of aggravating your condition are high.

3. Know your body’s limitations. Cancer and chemotherapy can make you feel easily tired, nauseated, weak and less likely to tolerate physical activities. As much as you want to explore a place you have never been before, your body can only do very limited activities.

Before going somewhere far away from home, keep these three important points in mind to ensure your safety. After which, heed the following advices for before, during and after your travel.

Before

• Five to six weeks before your departure date, set an appointment with your specialist. You may be required to undergo some tests and examinations with a Harley oncologist to check for cancer in Singapore to check how fit your immune system and organs are or be provided with preventive medications and vaccines.

• Consider long-term anti-biotic. If you’re visiting a developing country, a long-term anti-biotic therapy will protect you against illnesses like diarrhea, which is extremely dangerous for your condition.

• Bring necessary documents. Bring copies of your most lab tests of your breast cancer in case they are needed. This prevents waiting for hours trying to get your papers delivered to where you are. A medical letter from your oncologist describing your treatment plan and diagnosis will also be helpful in the event of an emergency.

• Bring sufficient supplies of medications. Carry all your medications with you. If possible, bring extras in case of delays. Do not transfer them in medicine containers to avoid custom or border problems. If you are taking medications with narcotics, like codeine, secure a letter of medical explanation from your specialist.

• List down all your medications. Include the dosages and the time of the day when you need to take them. Also, keep a list of your drug allergies and always have it in your wallet or give it to your travel companion.

• Learn to speak local terms of important words. Learn to speak certain words like ‘doctor,’ ‘emergency’ and ‘cancer’ in local dialect. This will expedite assistance in case of emergency.

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• Study your insurance. Some insurance do not cover medical costs outside Singapore. If your health insurance is one of those, consider securing an overseas insurance.

During

• If travelling by plane, you are at higher risk of developing blood clots due to the presence of cancer cells in your blood. To increase blood circulation and prevent blood clot, walk around in the plane at least once every hour. Ask your oncologist if you need to take blood thinner before the flight. If you are anemic because of your condition, get an approval from your specialist before flying or going to high-altitude locations.

• If you feel sick, get assistance right away. There is always someone in the plane who will be able to help you or at least arrange something for medical help. The airline or your hotel should be able to assist you to get the necessary medical care as well.

• Eat healthily. It can be tricky to have well-balanced meals when travelling, especially if you’re in a place where the food is distasteful for you. Bring along doctor-approved meal-replacement snacks and drinks, like crackers, peanut-butter, energy bars and chocolates, for back-up.

• Avoid stressing your immune system. Minimize chances of injury and infection by drinking only bottled water and eating well- and freshly-cooked food at reputable restaurants and establishments. Likewise, be careful not to hurt yourself and refrain from activities that can possible cause injuries.

After

• See your oncologist right away. Before even going away, set an appointment with your doctor for when you return from your trip. The appointment will allow your doctor evaluate your condition and make-up for any treatment sessions you possibly missed.

• Listen to your body. If you experience any unusual symptoms—either upon return or months after the trip (as some side effects incubate for months), go to a cancer center immediately.

Above all, wherever you choose to go, focus on relaxing and having fun. After all, the purpose of the trip is to get away and return home feeling refreshed. Travelling can be tiring even in the best of health, so make sure to always get enough rest. Do not be pressured to make the most of your time off, and consider including pure relaxation in your list of activities.

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How to Reduce Bloating

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We feel bloated because of constipation, too much swallowed air, the food and drinks that we consume every day and even due to excess wind absorbed by the body. With that, we seldom feel that our tummies are stretched out and swollen. There are a number of people who experience bloating all the time. In order to address that concern, here are ways on how to reduce bloating:

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  1. Make exercising a daily habit. Be responsible and take care of your body. Do your sit-ups and hit the gym if you must. One way to reduce bloating is to sweat it out and to tone your muscles especially in the stomach area. You can schedule a routine exercise that you could do or you can sign up in extreme circuit exercises.

 

  1. Limit your gassy foods intake. Don’t eat too much gassy foods. Some examples of these are broccoli, beans, chewing gum, and many more. Carbonated drinks and beer are also major causes since they release carbon dioxide which is not too good for your tummy. If you do not want gas to build up in your stomach and intestines, limit consuming these types of foods.

 

  1. Sugar-free snacks should be avoided. Eat fewer sugar-free snacks. These contain artificial sweeteners that contribute to gastrointestinal distress. To circumvent bloating and diarrhea, constrain yourself in eating these snacks. Instead, treat yourself with healthy snacks like fruits but avoid apples, pears and peaches.

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  1. Avoid smoking. Aside from the fact that smoking is bad for your health, it is also one of the main causes of bloating. Why? It is because when you smoke, you swallow air more than usual. Swallowing air is a no-no and could cause your stomach feel stuffed.

 

  1. Practice smart-eating. Experts suggest that instead of eating three meals a day, you can resort into eating five to six small meal portions. Through this, your intestines and stomach can adjust with the food intake and would give them enough time to digest and not be clogged. Eat some cucumbers, papayas and banana to help you out with digestion.

 

  1. Keep yourself hydrated. Water intake is very important to help your body digest all the food you eat. You might get a few more trips to the bathroom but hey that’s way better than feeling stressed out and bloated every day. Water is not expensive. You can even just drink from the tap as long as you know the source is clean.

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Tell-tale Signs That You Work Too Much

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Singaporeans are known to be hard working people. This is the reason why the country is very progressive and productive. For a small country with limited resources, it is maximizing its greatest asset which is its people. The good thing here is that the government is continuously empowering business owners for the wellbeing of their employees.

 

You know that business culture is competitive these days. If you are slow, you will surely be left out. It is therefore important for you to keep up. There is nothing wrong if you work hard but you have to determine when it is enough because it has an impact on your life as a whole from your health to relationships. You have to think that work can easily consume you so you need to draw the line.

Here are tell-tale signs that you are giving too much of yourself to your work:

If free time becomes alien

You are so involved with your work that you have little time available to yourself let alone the family. The company will think that you are dedicated but for the people around you, that is abuse and too much. Do not let your job totally consume you to the extent that you have no time for other things.

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This is easy to determine. If you cannot remember the day you met up with family or friends or went to shopping, you are definitely over worked. It is time that you get a life.

Carrying the load alone

You have to remember that you are not Atlas – carrying the whole world alone. You cannot do everything alone so it is imperative that you ask for help. You may be a perfectionist and you want to do things alone but you have to spare yourself from the burden sometimes.

Aspirations are related to your current job

It is admirable that you have aspirations because it will keep you driven and fuelled. However, you should carefully observe what these aspirations are. Is it related to your current job or not? You have to balance it in such a way that it can create harmony to your colleagues, friends, family and loved ones.

If you always talk about work

It is okay to talk about your job from time to time but what is not acceptable is to talk about it all the time as if there is nothing going on with your life. Even if you are with colleagues, you should not talk about it all the time if you want to have fun. This is a giveaway. If you talk about your work all the time, then it is a tell-tale sign that you give too much of yourself to your work.

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Kidney Damage Symptoms That You Should Watch Out

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Kidney damage is not new here in Singapore. Many people suffer from this and what is disturbing is that it could be less serious if the patient noticed the symptoms at the onset. It is important that you identify the signs at the onset so you can effectively describe it to the doctor. Remember that early detection can be the difference between life and death.

Do not underestimate kidneys. Kidneys are in fact one of the most important organs in the body. Doctors appreciate people who come early. If the signs are detected early, there is a big possibility of a successful treatment. You have to know that warning signs start to appear long before the development of the disease. This is the reason why detection for a successful treatment is imperative.

Do not let the kidneys get damaged because it can threaten your life at the end of the day. You have to keep your body healthy and strong. Here are the symptoms that you should watch out:

  • Low back pain: Low back pain signifies kidney damage. If you experience low back pain and is usually accompanied by aching urination, you should go to the doctor immediately. That is not normal. Do not risk it by simply ignoring it. Many people simply ignore it because the pain slowly eases after waking up in the middle of the night.

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  • Skin diseases: Some people see skin disease and immediately consult their dermatologist. That is good but the wisest thing to do is meet with your physician. If you are suffering from beyond-normal itching and dryness of the skin, you have to consult your doctor right away. Kidneys are capable of eliminating toxins. If the toxins are accumulated in the blood, it will make your skin dry and irritated.

 

  • Body swelling: No matter how hard you convince yourself that your swelling is normal, the body knows if there is something wrong with it. If kidneys do not remove the excess fluid in your body, it will lead to swelling of hands, feet, face, legs and ankles. This is surely a sign that wastes inside the body are starting to accumulate.

 

  • Color of the urine: Watch out for your urine too. When the kidney is damaged, the color of your urine will change. If the color is beyond normal, you should be concerned. It does not end there, if you notice that your urine become concentrated and foamy, it is time that you seek the help of doctors immediately. Do not delay it.

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Preparing for Your First Cardiologist Visit

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Finding a heart doctor who you’d feel comfortable with is crucial – a cardiologist Singapore with the knowledge, skills and technology who’ll help you in managing your heart condition. But aside from finding a skilled heart specialist, doing some homework and preparations before attending your appointment is also essential to ensure that you get the best heart healthcare there is. To help you with that, here are seven things that you should do before going to the office of your heart doctor.

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1. Bring a List of Your Medicines

When visiting your heart specialist, make sure that you bring along the list of your current medications complete with their dose, names and frequency. Bringing this list along is crucial for the current state of your heart health, how your doctor decides to treat you – plus, it’s almost always requires when you’re filling out registration forms.

2. Note Your Healthcare Providers

Just like your medicines, ensure that you also list down all your previous healthcare providers, complete with their name, address and phone number to help your Singapore cardiologist in communicating with them in case he or she may need your previous lab or test results from your previous physicians, or if your current doctor needs to consult them about your past diagnoses and treatments.

3. Make a Health History

Other than your medicines, it’s also important that you create your health history. List down the surgical procedures, major tests, and prior or ongoing illnesses that you’ve been diagnosed with within the last year. Knowing this will give your heart doctor the clues he or she needs to give you the right diagnosis when you check your heart with a cardiologist from Harley in Singapore and propose the best course of treatment for your heart condition.

4. Compile Your Family Health History

Apart from the list of your medicines and health history, it’s also important that you compile your family’s health history. The health history of your close blood relatives are the most important, especially if they’ve been diagnosed with a heart disease, diabetes, aneurysm, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure levels. By compiling this and bringing it to your appointment, your Singapore heart doctor will be able to figure out your risk of developing the same illness, as well as the possible preventive measures that you can take to reduce that risk.

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5. Research Your Heart Health Condition

Having a better understanding of your heart condition beforehand allows you to have meaningful discussion with your medical doctor. So do research about your condition, as well as other important information about your condition prior to your visit. Remember, doctors love it when their patients come to their office ready and with knowledge of his or her heart condition.

6. Organize All Your Heart Healthcare Information

One good of doing it is to create an organized folder of all your heart health records. With this, you can ensure that your visit to your heart doctor will run smoothly. Also, make sure that you keep all your heart health records accurate and up to date. Remember, you’re still the most reliable keeper of your heart and overall health records.

7. List Down Your Questions and Concerns

Getting side tracked during your cardiologist Singapore visit is quite easy, so make sure that you write all of your concerns and questions about your heart health beforehand. Once you’re done listing it down, choose three to four questions or concerns that you really want to consult with your heart doctor. To make your question listing easier for you, here are some sample questions that you can ask your physician:

Questions during Your First Visit

• Does my medical condition have a name?
• Is my heart condition a result of my bad lifestyle choices or is it genetic?
• How severe is my heart disease?
• Is my heart condition curable?
• What type of complications am I going to experience?
• Will any diet or workout changes help improve my condition?
• Is it safe for me to perform my usual workout routine?
• What symptoms should signal that I need to call an ambulance?
• Can medication help in controlling my heart condition?
• Where can I find more information regarding my illness in Singapore?
• When is the best time to schedule my next appointment?

Questions If You’re Prescribed with a Heart Medication

• Does my medication have any potential side effects?
• What should I do if experience any severe side effects?
• Is it completely safe to take any over-the-counter drugs while I’m taking this medication?
• Can I take this medication with my other prescribed medications?
• If the medication failed to control my heart condition, what would be the next step of treatment?

Questions to Ask If Cardiologist Recommends Heart Procedure

• What kind of heart procedure will I have?
• Where will the procedure be performed?
• Who will be in-charge in performing it?
• How soon will I need the heart procedure?
• Is it alright to get a second opinion regarding the procedure?
• How should I prepare for the procedure?
• Will I need to stay in the hospital after the procedure?
• How long does it usually take to recover from the procedure?
• What’s the expected outcome of this heart procedure?
• What kind of follow-up procedures will be necessary after it?
• Are there any risks if I decide not to have a particular heart procedure?

Other than hiring a skilled cardiologist, it’s also important on your part to prepare and know about your heart condition beforehand. By doing this, you can guarantee that you’ll get the best heart healthcare possible.

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The Functions of the Right Brain  

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The brain is small yet powerful. It can take us to places and it can create many things. Many people believe that the brain is only capable for making logical deductions. The brain is more than that because it is also capable of feeling and sentiments.

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Roger Sperry, a Professor from the University of California revealed on his study that there are different sides of the brain. There are two sides of the brain which are responsible for various functions – left-brain and right brain. The left-brain is capable of governing the right side of the body and is capable of logical thinking.

Many Singaporeans think that the left-brain is everything because it is capable of critical or logical thinking. The right brain is equally important too. We have to know that the right brain is responsible for feeling. The professor said that the right brain administrates the left side of the body and the left field of vision.

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It does not end there because the right brain is also accountable for imagination and visualization. The imagination and visualization are crucial here in Singapore – they are the beginning of inventions and creations. The right brain is also the throne of kinaesthetic perception and intuitive not to mention it expresses metaphor and symbol.

Experts say that both sides of the brain should be well-developed. No one should be greater than the other. There are plenty of ways on how to develop both sides of the brain, all we need is to be open about it and willing. To know the ways, we can consult doctors.

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Effective Ways to FIGHT Illness  

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Even here in Singapore, you cannot help but succumb to illness sometimes. Illness is present and it is only a matter of time that you can spread. The best way to fight illness is through good hygiene. Good hygiene is important because it averts the spread of diseases.

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You have to remember that good hygiene should not only be observed at home, it should also be in public areas too. You should be conscientious when it comes to your own health and those around you. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board advises you to be responsible of your health. The organization thereby introduced F.I.G.H.T.

Here’s a closer look:

  • F: F stands for frequent washing of hands with the use of water and soap. This is to keep the germs away. You can also employ the use of hand sanitizer.
  • I: Immunization is another tool to keep the illness at bay. Immunizations are effective in protecting you against infectious diseases. Immunizations are particularly imperative for persons aged sixty five and above, babies, young children and individuals with medical conditions.

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  • G: G stands for going to the doctor as soon as you feel unwell. Ignoring it will only make matters worse.
  • H: Home rest is important if you get sick or feel unwell. If you pressure your body to continue your activities, you just spread the disease.
  • T: T stands for tissues and masks. You will cough or sneeze so you need tissues or masks. If you do not cover your nose and mouth, you will spread the disease. The worse thing that you can do is to hold your nose and mouth.

Now that you know how to FIGHT illnesses, you will surely recover easily and prevent its spread.

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Polio Fact Sheet: How to Prevent Polio

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Parents should be vigilant especially that World Health Organization (WHO) warned the public that polio has re-emerged. In fact, WHO calls the re-emergence of polio as a “public health emergency”. WHO gave the advisory on May 5, 2014. WHO is doing its best to eradicate polio – one of the world’s most serious diseases.

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Poliomyelitis or polio is a viral disease which mostly affects young children. The virus is spread through contaminated water and food. If it is contracted, it multiplies in the intestine then it will eventually invade one’s nervous system. Symptoms of polio include neck stiffness, limb pain, headache, fever, fatigue and vomiting. If it is not treated, polio can lead to permanent paralysis.

It is crucial that you know about this because your son or daughter might have this. Polio can be prevented with the help of immunization. Vaccines are provided. There are two types of vaccine combatting polio. The vaccines are:

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  • Polio vaccine: The polio vaccine was developed by Hilary Koprowski. She was a virologist that worked with the development of vaccine throughout the ‘50s. It is based on 1 serotype of live but weakened virus.   
  • Salk vaccine: Salk vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk. It was declared in 1955 shortly after the polio vaccine. The Salk vaccine is based on inactivated poliovirus vaccine. After two doses of the vaccine, it was found out that ninety per cent of individuals develop a protective antibody. 

You should be guided. Do not ignore vaccines or immunization. You should go to a hospital and avail of the immunization. If you want to know more, you should ask your doctor about it.

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Treating SCA

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Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is not only prevalent here in Singapore but around the world. SCA will strike without you knowing. You may look and feel fine for a run but before the finish line, you might collapse without any warning. You can either survive or die. There was a case here in Singapore where a runner suffered SCA but it was too late because she died right away.

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There was also another case where an NSman (National Service man) who simply wanted to complete his IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test) suffered SCA; he was revived. It is important that you know how to treat SCA because it can be the difference between life and death. Here are some things that you can do:

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  • Identify if it is SCA. You will know if it is SCA when the victim suddenly loses consciousness. Apart from losing consciousness, his/her breathing suddenly stops and for a moment, there will be no signs of life.
  • Act immediately – Victims can be saved if bystanders help immediately. Remember that his/her survival decreases every passing minute. If you act immediately, you are the victim’s hope for surviving SCA.
  • Call for help – If you do not know what to do, call for help. If you know what to do, ask someone to call for help while you do what you have to do to revive the patient.
  • Get an AED – If AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is near, grab it. If you cannot reach it, ask someone to bring it to you. You only need to follow the instructions indicated inside it.
  • If AED is unavailable, begin CPR – If there is no AED available, you should begin CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation). You should make sure that you restored the breath or the beating of the victim.