Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer related deaths for both men and women. There are some long-term irritants that are associated with lung cancer, including: air pollution, cigarette smoke, asbestos, and coal dust. Cigarette smoke is the main cause of lung cancer. However, it is also important to note that lung cancer can also affect individuals who have never smoked. Tragically, lung cancer is often not detected until the late stages when symptoms include chronic cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing up blood, weight loss, and fatigue. A neighbor of mine was diagnosed with lung cancer last year. His health went from bad to worse and he died less than 6 months after receiving the diagnosis. He was vibrant and active before these symptoms appeared, had generally been in good health, exercised and was a vegetarian. He had also been a smoker. It was very hard for his family and friends to see him go through this painful end. As medical technologies and innovations advance, we will hopefully find better ways to detect cancers and other diseases earlier, and provide better treatment options that extend the quality and quantity of life by providing cures. For massage therapists, there are several guidelines to follow with patients diagnosed with cancer. It is essential to obtain clearance from the health care provider, and also educate themself about the type of cancer and the treatments that the client is undergoing. Massage over the site of tumors or areas infected by cancer are contraindicated due to pain from pressure of massage. The massage must also be adjusted to the stamina of the client and observe for signs of fatigue. Communication with both the client and primary care physician is essential in the planning of massage therapy.

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