CVD, Cancer, and Diabetes

April 5, 2017


Chapter Eleven: CVD, Cancer, and Diabetes

This chapter discussed different cardiovascular diseases, different cancers, and different types of diabetes. I’ve take a few classes on the heart and it’s one of my favorite things to learn about, I think it’s so interesting. The blood flow of the heart goes from the body, through the superior and inferior vena cava and into the right atrium. It then passes through the tricuspid valve and into the right ventricle. From here it goes through the pulmonary valve and into the lungs where it is oxygenated. Then it comes into the left atrium, goes through the bicuspid valve, and into the left ventricle. The left ventricle is thicker than the right ventricle because it needs to pump the oxygenated blood to the brain and extremities so it needs to be forceful.

The force of your blood pumping through your vessels is your blood pressure. The average blood pressure is 120/80 but it’s better to be a bit below that. If you’re too far below that you can have problems with dizziness and fainting. Hypertension is a higher blood pressure than what it should be, so over 120/80. Hypertension can increase your risk of CVD. 2,150 people a day die from CVD. This statistic is extremely high, which is surprising because by eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising, you can decrease hypertension.

Atherosclerosis is a plaque that builds up and hardens in an artery. Arteries are what carry the oxygenated blood away from the heart, to the body, so when this becomes blocked, it means the oxygenated blood is having a harder time getting to the areas of the body that need it.

A myocardial infarction or heart attack is when the heart suffers permanent damage because the blood supply has been blocked.

A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is cut off. They can be ischemic or hemorrhagic. There are four blood vessel disorders than can lead to a stroke. They are: a thrombus, an embolus, a hemorrhage, and an aneurysm. I did an internship at Spaulding Rehab inpatient hospital and we dealt with a lot of individuals that had suffered from a stroke.

There are a lot of simple ways that you can decrease your risk of CVD or stroke. Quitting tobacco, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising all will decrease these risks. Genetics is one thing that you can’t modify, which is why it’s really important to know your family’s health history at least 3 generations back. If cancer or other diseases run in your family, there are screenings and tests that you can take routinely so you know what to look for.

Some of my family has had a history of cancer, but I believe it has been from not taking care of themselves by drinking and smoking throughout their lives.

My health aspect is to eat healthier and so far it’s been going really well for me. It is also beneficial to this chapter. By eating healthier and exercising more, I’m decreasing my risk for certain cancers, CVD, stroke, and diabetes. These chapters have definitely been helping me learn what I should and should not be doing to live a healthy lifestyle.

The picture above is of MGH Institute of Health Professions where I’ll be attending grad school for physical therapy. Like I had mentioned above, I did an internship at Spaulding Rehab where I learned what happens during the rehabilitative part of a stroke. Eventually I’ll be able to help people who have had serious strokes like this get stronger and return to a normal healthy life!


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