Sunday, February 04, 2007

Breast Cancer

What is Breast Cancer ?
Breast cancer is malignant (cancerous) tumor that start from cells of the breast. Almost all breast cancer occur in women, very few occur in men. The cancer usually begins as a small lump in a breast and then grows, either slowly or quickly. A women breast is made up of glands that make breast milk (lobules), ducts (small tube that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple), fatty and connective tissue, blood vessels, and lymph vessels. Lymph vessels are like veins, except that they carry lymph fluid instead of blood. Most lymph vessels of the breast lead to lymph nodes under the arm. These are called axillary nodes.

How serious is Breast Cancer ?
Breast cancer is potentially a very serious condition and can be life-threatening. There are ways to minimum affect of breast cancer, the following are :
1. Self examination is important and women should check their breast regularly. If there are any changes in size or shape, lumps, tenderness or nipple discharge then a healthcare professional should be consulted.
2. Early detection of breast cancer is therefore vital as it increases the chances of succesful treatment.
3. Community screening programmes and mammograms are key to early detection and are integral tools in the fight against breast cancer.

What the main types of Breast Cancer ?
Here are the most common types of breast cancer :
1. Carcinoma in situ : This is used for early stage cancer, when it is confined to the place where it started. In breast cancer, it means that the cancer is confined to the ducts or the lobules, depending on where it started. It has not gone inti the tissues in the breast nor spread to other organs in the body.
2. Ductal carcinoma in situ(DCIS) : The most common type of noninvasive breast cancer. DCIS means that the cancer is confined to the ducts. It has not spread through the walls of the ducts into the tissue of the breast. Nearly all women for this stage can be cured and the besy way to find DCIS early is with mammogram.
3. Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS) : Begins in the milk-making glands but does not go through the wall of the lobules. Although not a true cancer, having LCIS increasis a women risk of getting cancer later.
4. Invasive (infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) : This is the most common of breast cancer. It starts in a milk passage or duct, breaks through the wall of the duct, and invades the tissue of the breast. It can spread to other parts of the body.
5. Invasive(infiltrating) Lobular Carcinoma (ILC) : It starts in the milk glands or lobules and also can spread to other part of the body.

How do you get Breast Cancer ?
Although the exact causes of the breast cancer have yet to be identified, the risk increases gradually with age and for certain people there may be a family hereditary component.
1. Three quarters of women who develop it after the menopause.
2. Some other things are known to increase the risk such as early puberty/late menopause, not having children or having a first child after the age of 30 years.

How is Breast Cancer treated?
Typically, treatment of breast cancer will involve surgery followed by a combination of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and radiation.
1. Surgery : removal of the lump (lumpectomy) is the preferred technique. Removal of the breast ((mastectomy) is only performed if absolutely necessary.
2. Chemotherapy : medicines that interfere with cancer cell growth and division are administered to reduce the size of tumors or kill them.
3. Hormonal therapy : hormones are chemical signals which are released by different parts of the body and can carried in the blood to some other area to have an effect. Oestrogen is a sex hormeno that promotes the growth of some breast cancer. Hormonal treatments, such as anti oestrogens, anomatase inhibitors or LHRH analogues, are designed to block the effects of oestrogen or its production, which stop or slows the growth of cancer cells.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which encompasses both chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is one of the commonest respiratory conditions of adults in the the developed world. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) poses an enormous burden to society both in terms of direct cost to healthcare services and indirect costs to society through loss of productivity. The exact prevalence of COPD is difficult to determine because of problems with definition and coding. Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between COPD and chronic severe asthma, and patients with mild to moderate disease may not be identified as suffering from COPD.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also called COPD) is a chronic lung disease that includes two main illnesses: chronic bronchitis and emphysema (say: "em-fa-see-ma"). There is no cure for COPD.

IllustrationYour lungs have 2 main parts: bronchial tubes (also called airways) and alveoli (also called air sacs). When you breathe in through your wind pipe, the air moves through your bronchial tubes and into your alveoli. From the alveoli, oxygen goes into your blood while carbon dioxide moves out of your blood.

If you have chronic bronchitis, the lining in your bronchial tubes gets red and full of mucus. This mucus blocks your tubes, and makes it hard to breathe.

If you have emphysema, your alveoli are irritated. They get stiff and can't hold enough air. This makes it hard for you to get oxygen into and carbon dioxide out of your blood.

Causes of COPD

a. Smoking and bronchial hyperactivity. There can be little doubt now that the most important risk factor in the development of COPD is cigarette smoking. The effects of cigarette smoke on the lung are manifold.

b. Air pollution and occupational exposure. Outdoor air pollution is very heterogeneous and is different in different areas. It is mainly comprised of particulates and gases with some background radioactivity. The particulates mainly originate from the incomplete combustion of solid fuels and diesel, ash and fine dusts. The main gaseous components are the various oxides of sulphur, nitrogen and carbon, again from the combustion of fossil fuels; hydrocarbons and ozone.

c. Passive smoking. Most of the tobacco smoke in a room it that which is coming form the burning end of the cigarette rather than the smoke exhaled from the smoker's lungs. This smoke (called sidestream smoke) is actually higher in concentration of toxic substances than exhaled smoke (mainstream smoke).

d. Infections. The role of viral infections of upper and lower respiratory tract in the pathogenesis of COPD remains to be clarified. Viral infections in the lung enhance inflammation and predispose to bronchial hyperreactivity.

e. Race, gender and sosio economic status. This may be related to poorer housing and nutrition and use of fossil fuels for heating without adequate ventilation.

Treatment of COPD

a. Stop smoking

b.Antibiotic and steroids if you get respiratory infection

c. Breathing exercise

d. Oxygen if needed

e. Surgery if the people who have not done well with others treatments.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thyroid Disease

The thyroid is a small gland, shaped like a butterfly, that rests in the middle of the lower neck. Its primary function is to control the body’s metabolism (rate at which cells perform duties essential to living). To control metabolism, the thyroid produces hormones, T4 and T3, which tell the body’s cells how much energy to use.

The quantity of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream is monitored and controlled by the pituitary gland. When the pituitary gland, which is located in the center of the skull below the brain, senses either a lack of thyroid hormones or a high level of thyroid hormones, it will adjust its own hormone (TSH) and send it to the thyroid to tell it what to do.
When the thyroid produces too much hormone, the body uses energy faster than it should. This condition is called hyperthyroidism. When the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormone, the body uses energy slower than it should. This condition is called hypothyroidism.
Causes of thyroid disease
There are several causes of thyroid disease.
The following causes of hypothyroidism such are thyroiditis, hashimoto's tyyroiditis ( painlessdisease of the immune system that is hereditary, postpartum thyroiditis, iodine deficiency ( iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones).
The following conditions cause hyperthyroidism such are gravesdisease/diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), nodules might be overactive within the thyroid, thyroiditis ( can be painful or painless ), excessive iodine .
Symptom of thyroid disease
For hypothyroidism :
Frequent, heavy menstrual periods
Weight gain
Dry, coarse skin and hair
Hoarse voice
Intolerance to cold
For hyperthyroidism :
Frequent, heavy menstrual periods
Weight gain
Dry, coarse skin and hair
Hoarse voice
Intolerance to cold
Diagnosis of thyroid disease
T4 (Thyroxine)
Thyroid antibodies
Thyroid function tests
TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)
Test Ultrasound of the thyroid gland
Treatment of thyroid disease
Minimally invasive thyroidectomy
Radioiodine therapy
Thyroid hormone treatment
Thyroid surgery
Total thyroidectomy

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mesothelioma cancer
Mesothelioma cancer or also we called asbestos lung cancer is a disease that causes the deadly tumors to develop in the chest and lung cavity. Most of cases are the result of occupational asbestos exposure and the patient is usually entitled to a substantial settlement package for treatment and compensation.
Mesothelioma cancer symptoms
It is very difficult cancer to detect early on. When symptoms do occur chest pain and shortness of breath are the most common. These respiratory symptoms occur cause of a fluid build up in the pleura ( pleural effusion). Patient who is having peritoneal mesothelioma cancer, generally experience abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal swelling. Eventually, the symptoms become more acute, breathing becomes more restricted and severe chest pain develops. When symptoms become more acute, doctor will usually orders a MRI, CT scan or X-ray.
Types of mesothelioma cancer
-Peritoneal mesothelioma
-Mesentery cancer
-Lung lining cancer
-Pleural mesothelioma
-Pericardial mesothelioma
-Epithelial tissue mesothelioma
Mesothelioma cancer is a rare cancer with less 5,000 patients in the united states. However, the incidence of the cancer still appears to be high among older workers. For futher information, just read below.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Heartburn occurs when lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents reflux back up into the esophagus. When this happens, you can experience any of the symptoms below:
A burning feeling or feeling of pressure in the chest just behind the breastbone (the sternum) that may radiate upward toward the neck.
Chest pain that occurs when bending over or lying down, especially soon after eating.
# A hot, sour, acidic, or bitter tasting fluid at the back of the throat and/or in the mouth.
# A feeling like food coming back into the mouth, or sticking in the chest or throat.

What you eat ?
There are certain foods that can worsen heartburn symptoms. Some foods can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), allowing stomach contents to flow up into the esophagus, while other foods will increase the production of stomach acid.
Some of these foods are:
Fried foods, Fatty foods,Spicy foods,Citrus fruits,Tomato products,Coffee,Caffeinated tea ,Alcoholic beverages ,Citrus fruit drinks ,Chocolate ,Peppermint ,Pepper .

It isn't just food that can cause heartburn. Sometimes it's the medications we take to treat other conditions that can be the culprit. Some medications can cause heartburn by relaxing the LES, allowing stomach contents to reflux back up into the esophagus.
Some of these medications are:
@ Anticholinergic drugs .
@Beta-2 agonists (bronchodilators [Inhalation] -- asthma)Includes Alupent, Bronkaid Mist, Primatene Mist, Proventil, Ventolin, Ventolin Rotacaps.
@Calcium channel blockers (high blood pressure)Includes Cardizem, Dilacor-XR, Norvasc, Procardia, Vascor.
@Diazepam (anxiety disorders, seizures)Includes Librium, Paxipam, Valium, Xanax.
@Nitrates (angina)Includes Nitrogard, Nitrostat, Nitroglyn E-R, Sorbitrate.
@Opioid analgesics (prescription pain killers)Includes morphine, oxycodone, synthetic opioid narcotics.
@Theophylline (bronchodilators [oral] -- asthma)Includes Aerolate Sr, Choledyl, Respbid, Slo-Bid Gyrocaps, Theobid Duracaps, Theo-Dur.
@Tricyclic (psychotherapeutic agents, antidepressants)Includes Anafranil, Elavil, Norpramin, Pamelor.

Lifestyle Habits
- Eating Large meals expand your stomach and increase upward pressure against the esophageal sphincter. It is better to eat smaller, more frequent meals.
- Lying down shortly after eating.Gravity helps to keep the stomach juices from backing up into the esophagus and assists the flow of food and digestive juices from the stomach to the intestines. When laying down, especially on a full stomach, the chances of refluxed stomach contents increases. It is best to wait at least two hours after eating to lie down.
- Lying flat when sleeping at night.Lying down flat presses the stomach's contents against the LES. You should elevate your head when sleeping. With the head higher than the stomach, gravity helps reduce this pressure. You can elevate your head in a couple of ways. You can place bricks, blocks or anything that's sturdy securely under the legs at the head of your bed. You can also use a wedge-shaped pillow, to elevate your head.
- Wearing tight clothes or belts Clothing that fits tightly around the abdomen, such as slenderizing undergarments, will squeeze the stomach, forcing food up against the LES, and cause food to reflux into the esophagus. It is a good idea to wear looser-fitting clothing, and not cinch up belts too tightly.