Champion HHC Health Information Library
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The stomach is an organ between the esophagus and the small intestine. It mixes food with stomach acid and helps digest protein. Stomach cancer mostly affects older people - two-thirds of people who have it are over age 65. Your risk of getting it is also higher if you:
- Have had a Helicobacter pylori infection
- Have had stomach inflammation
- Are a man
- Eat lots of salted, smoked, or pickled foods
- Smoke cigarettes
- Have a family history of stomach cancer
It is hard to diagnose stomach cancer in its early stages. Indigestion and stomach discomfort can be symptoms of early cancer, but other problems can cause the same symptoms. In advanced cases, there may be blood in your stool, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, jaundice, or trouble swallowing. Doctors diagnose stomach cancer with a physical exam, blood and imaging tests, an endoscopy, and a biopsy.
Because it is often found late, it can be hard to treat stomach cancer. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
If you have a swallowing disorder, you may have difficulty or pain when swallowing. Some people cannot swallow at all. Others may have trouble swallowing liquids, foods, or saliva. This makes it hard to eat. Often, it can be difficult to take in enough calories and fluids to nourish your body.
Anyone can have a swallowing disorder, but it is more common in older adults. It often happens because of other conditions, including:
- Nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and cerebral palsy
- Problems with your esophagus, including GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Head or spinal cord injury
- Cancer of the head, neck, or esophagus
Medicines can help some people, while others may need surgery. Swallowing treatment with a speech-language pathologist can help. You may find it helpful to change your diet or hold your head or neck in a certain way when you eat. In very serious cases, people may need feeding tubes.
NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Testicles, or testes, make male hormones and sperm. They are two egg-shaped organs inside the scrotum, the loose sac of skin behind the penis. It's easy to injure your testicles because they are not protected by bones or muscles. Men and boys should wear athletic supporters when they play sports.
You should examine your testicles monthly and seek medical attention for lumps, redness, pain or other changes. Testicles can get inflamed or infected. They can also develop cancer. Testicular cancer is rare and highly treatable. It usually happens between the ages of 15 and 40.
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It makes hormones that help the body work normally. There are several types of cancer of the thyroid gland. You are at greater risk if you:
- Are between ages 25 and 65
- Are a woman
- Are Asian
- Have a family member who has had thyroid disease
- Have had radiation treatments to your head or neck
You should see a doctor if you have a lump or swelling in your neck. Doctors use a physical exam, thyroid tests, other blood and imaging tests, and a biopsy to diagnose thyroid cancer. Treatment depends on the type of cancer you have and how far the cancer has spread. Many patients receive a combination of treatments. They may include surgery, radioactive iodine, hormone treatment, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances that attack specific cancer cells with less harm to normal cells.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
Uncommon Infant and Newborn Problems
It can be scary when your baby is sick, especially when it is not an everyday problem like a cold or a fever. You may not know whether the problem is serious or how to treat it. If you have concerns about your baby's health, call your health care provider right away.
Learning information about your baby's condition can help ease your worry. Do not be afraid to ask questions about your baby's care. By working together with your health care provider, you make sure that your baby gets the best care possible.