SICKLE CELL AND A NEW TAKE ON HOW TO CARE FOR SELF

Interview with Philip Udeh

 

Do you think Sickle cell is misunderstood by the Black community?

Yes. Definitely.  Many people do not know what is but they ‘know’ that it’s bad.  They don’t know the mechanism of sickle cell.

There is a misconception about it, and sickle cell has a bad stigma attached to it.  There is a spiritual thing associated to it; like a curse. If you ask if someone has it in the family they will say ‘No!’ with pride!

It has become spiritually negative.  Really sickle cell is a genetic disorder and if we knew about it we can mitigate sickle cell.  Even if a person has it they can improve their quality of life.  To be honest even people with sickle cell do not understand it.  They know how the disorder makes it hard for oxygen to get around the body but they do not know how to improve their quality of life.  Many take morphine which is an addictive drug with negative effects on the body, altering the persons receptors of pain.

This is the reason why I previously launched Sickle Success to educate the community.  Education is essential and it is important for everybody to see the correlation between a healthy lifestyle and how they function.  As Africans we are not functional because of our lifestyle, and people with sickle cell can’t afford to have a poor lifestyle.

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Black Women and Fibroids

Eymbi speaks on Black Women and Fibroids

Routinely women are going to their GP or clinics and having screenings/smear test every few years to check for abnormalities in the cells.
We as Black women are more subjected to fibroids due to our environment and foods which we have to cope with, as western society (Europeans) DNA is different to ours. We really can’t handle junk food as our body is not naturally designed to be loaded with junk. After all you are what you Eat, Think and Feel

The womb is a sacred area of the body and has its natural function. When checked by the GP if fibroids are detected more often than not a hysterectomy is suggested as a solution to take it all out. This causes a huge hormone imbalance. Many times you find people as early 20’s are having their womb/uterus removed.

After this the body can’t cope as our DNA is not the same coming from the original source.

 
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What Can We Do To Defeat Breast Cancer?
Early Detection

One of the keys to successfully defeating breast cancer is catching it early. It has been estimated that finding breast cancer early can mean a survival rate of 97%. One part of catching breast cancer early in black women is to develop a breast cancer screening programme for black women that start earlier. Currently breast cancer screening in the UK starts at 50 years old and as we now know that a significant number of black women develop breast cancer on average in their mid forties it would thus be more effective to begin screening black women at an earlier age. The second part of catching breast cancer early is to create a greater awareness amongst black women about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Armed with this information black women must endeavour to carry out a regular breast self examinations looking out for changes in their breasts that are not associated with menstruation. The signs and symptoms to look our for include:

  • Changes in the size and shape of breasts
  • Changes in the skin texture – puckering, dimpling
  • An inverted/retracted nipple
  • A bloodstained discharge from one or both nipples
  • A lump in the breast or armpit
  • Pain in the breast that doesn’t go away with your period

 
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Breast Cancer

What is Cancer? 

To understand cancer we have to have some appreciation of human biology. Our body is made up of minuscule entities called cells; these are the basic unit of life. Similar types of cells come together to form our tissues (e.g: muscle tissue, brain tissue etc), groups of tissues form our organs and then organs come together to form systems (e.g: cardio- vascular system, nervous system). Cancer is a disease of the smallest unit of our body – the cell. It develops when cells within our body obtain a series of defects that result in their uncontrollable growth. These cells are thus able to grow and divide into multiple defective cells that form a mass called a tumour.

 
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Black Women and Breast Cancer

For black women the news is good and bad. Good because black women are significantly less likely (one-third less likely) to develop breast cancer than white women. The bad news is that a higher percentage of black women die from breast cancer than white women. Studies in the US have shown that black women are 30% more likely to die from breast cancer and in the UK it has been shown that black women are two times more likely to die from breast cancer. In addition to this, numerous studies have shown that when black women do get cancer they tend to get it at a much younger age than white women with a recent study in the UK showing that black women are diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years younger than white women, (an average of 46 years old compared to an average of 67 years old for white women).

 
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