November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, a global healthcare event that aims to educate people from across the globe about the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates 26,500 new cases of stomach cancer by 2023. Stomach cancer is also the fifth most common malignant tumor in the world and the fourth leading cause of cancer death. Through Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, organizations will provide information on risk factors, prevention, and early detection. It is an important day to show support for those affected by stomach cancer in assisted living facilities.
Stomach Cancer Awareness Month in Assisted Living Facilities
Raising awareness and spreading information are two main steps in stomach cancer awareness. Assisted living facilities are not exempted from participating by educating residents on the prevention, detection, and treatment of stomach cancer.
Assisted living communities, their staff, and caregivers can hold educational seminars with healthcare professionals to discuss the risks of stomach cancer, how to prevent the disease, what are the symptoms, and treatment options available. If this cannot be facilitated, assisted facilities can also arrange transportation for residents to attend Stomach Cancer Awareness events.
Facilities can also conduct on-site screenings to determine risk factors.
Small group discussions are also encouraged for residents to share experiences and personal knowledge about the condition.
Sharing personal experiences from those with stomach cancer diagnoses, ongoing treatment, and how they deal with their current condition.
Assisted living facilities can also hold fundraisers to raise funds that can be donated to stomach cancer research and organizations.
Assisted living communities must also pay attention to foods that may help lower the risks of stomach cancer. This also means reminding residents of the importance of a healthy diet. People whose diets are high on preserved food like pickles, salted fish, and processed food are at high risk of stomach cancer.
Distribute flyers and strategically post informational signs throughout the facility to constantly remind residents and staff about this global health issue.
Signs of Stomach Cancer
There were an estimated 1,089, 103 people diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2020 and 768,793 deaths worldwide in 2020. Because stomach cancer knows no gender or age, it is crucial to understand its signs and symptoms so it can be managed early.
The common signs of stomach cancer may be heartburn, vomiting, nausea, and indigestion. Other patients with stomach cancer also experience the following:
– Unintentional weight loss
– Anemia or low hemoglobin
– Abdominal pain or discomfort
– The feeling of fullness after eating (even a small amount of food)
– Loss of appetite
– Swelling of the abdomen
– Unexplained weakness or tiredness
– Dark or black-colored feces
– Blood in vomit
Even if you are experiencing some of the mentioned symptoms, this does not mean you have stomach cancer. Symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort are also signs of peptic ulcer or gastritis.
You may feel anxious, worried, or confused, which are all normal human responses. However, it is recommended to always seek professional help as the first test to determine your condition is through endoscopy or gastroscopy. Through proper tests from a knowledgeable person, you will have the right information about your condition.
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