By W.L. “Hunter” Huntley, III, HAS., BC-HIS
When people think of breast cancer, most of us think of it as a disease that only affects women. The fact is, over 2,000 men each year are diagnosed with some form of breast cancer according to the American Cancer Society, resulting in approximately 500 deaths per year. In comparison over 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year. Obesity and being over-weight may contribute to breast cancer in males. Breast cancer is 150 times more common in women than in men. A man’s risk of developing breast cancer is about one in 1,000.
There are several medications used to treat breast cancers; including Tamoxifen, and Trexall, which are taken orally. Others such as Doxorubicin, Herceptin and Fluorouracil are injected intravenously.
These treatments have a multitude of possible side effects, including fatigue, hair loss, and cirrhosis, loss of appetite, headache, weakness, itching, skin rash, jaundice, rheumatoid arthritis, birth defects, pneumonia, diarrhea, nausea, mouth sores, stomach pain, sore throat, skin rash, and vision changes. This plethora of side effects can cause not only physical problems, but psychological problems as well; including mood swings, anxiety and depression.
A number of these treatments can also lead to hearing loss. Some hearing may return over time, some will encounter permanent hearing impairment.
The good news is hearing devices may help restore an individuals understanding of speech to normal levels again. Hearing instrument technology has never been better, and continues to improve. Digital hearing instruments can be “re-programmed” as an individuals hearing changes or declines. Due to digital technology, hearing devices can now last up to twice as long as traditional hearing instruments, with a CD type quality sound.
If you or someone you know needs help, call for an appointment for a free hearing examination. The sooner a hearing loss is addressed, the better chance a person has to be successfully fitted with hearing devices. If you don’t use it, you lose it!
A new study by the National Institute on Aging and John Hopkins finds that individuals with hearing loss are much more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Those with severe hearing problems, the study reports, were five times more likely to develop dementia then those with normal hearing. This occurs due to lack of “proper” stimulation to the auditory portion of the brain that interprets speech. Even mild hearing loss doubled the risk of dementia. That risk, says Frank Lin, a co-author of the study, appeared to increase once hearing loss began to interfere with the ability to communicate. A prime example would be a noisy restaurant, or anywhere else ambient noise is present.
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