Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cancer Case - Treatment of Cancer (Part III)

There are four methods widely used for cancer treatment
They are:
1) Surgery
2) Radiation Treatment
3) Chemotherapy
4) Immunotherapy

1) Surgery

Surgery is used for cancer treatment for the following purpose

Preventive (prophylactic) Surgery
Preventive surgery is done to remove body tissue that is not malignant (cancerous) but is likely to become malignant

Diagnostic Surgery
This type of surgery is used to get a tissue sample to tell whether or not cancer is present or to tell what type of cancer it is.

Staging Surgery
Staging surgery is done to find out how much cancer there is and how far it has spread.

Curative Surgery
Curative surgery is done when a tumor appears to be confined to one area and it is likely that all of the tumor can be removed

Debulking (cytoreductive) Surgery
Surgery is done to debulk a tumor when removing the entire tumor would cause too much damage to an organ or near-by tissues

Palliative Surgery
This type of surgery is used to treat complications of advanced cancer. It is not intended to cure the cancer.

Supportive Surgery
Supportive surgery is used to help with other types of treatment.

Restorative (reconstructive) Surgery
This type of surgery is used to restore a person’s appearance or the function of an organ or body part after primary surgery.

2)Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy attacks cancer cells that are dividing, but it can also affect dividing cells of normal tissues. The damage to normal cells is what causes side effects. Each time radiation therapy is given it involves a balance between destroying the cancer cells and sparing the normal cells.
Radiation used for cancer treatment is called ionizing radiation because it forms ions in the cells of the tissues it passes through, as it dislodges electrons from atoms. (Ions are atoms that have acquired an electric charge through the gain or loss of an electron.) This can kill cells or change genes.
Other forms of radiation, such as radio waves, microwaves, and light waves are called non-ionizing. They don’t have as much energy and are not able to ionize cells.
Ionizing radiation can be sorted into 2 major types:
photons (x-rays and gamma rays), which are most widely used
particle radiation (electrons, protons, neutrons, alpha particles, and beta particles)

3) Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, or "chemo" for short, most often means taking medicines, or drugs, to treat cancer. You might take these drugs before or after surgery, with radiation (x-ray) treatment or you might take the medicines alone.

Most chemo drugs are given in one of the following ways:
You might simply swallow a pill. If your chemo is a pill or liquid, you can often take it at home, but you need to follow your doctor's directions.
Chemo can be given like a flu shot. The shots may be given in your doctor's office, a hospital, a clinic, or at home.
Most often, chemo is given right into your veins through a needle or tiny plastic tube. This is called an IV (intravenous) injection.

4) Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy (also known as biologic therapy or biotherapy) is treatment that uses certain parts of the immune system to fight disease, including cancer. This can be done in a couple of ways:
stimulating your own immune system to work harder or smarter
giving you immune system components, such as man-made immune system proteins Immunotherapy is sometimes used by itself to treat cancer, but it is most often used along with or after another type of treatment to add to its effects

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Cancer Case - Types of Cancer (Part II)

Bladder Cancer:

This type of cancer forms in the tissue of the bladder. These types of cancer begin in the cell of the bladder that forms inner lining (carcinoma type). Sometimes squamous , in which the cancer begins in thin, flat cells and Adenocarcinoma , in which the cancer begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids may occurs,

Breast Cancer
As the name says it’s the cancer that occurs in the tissues of breast, Occurs mostly in ducts which carry the milk to nipple and in lobules that makes milk. It can occur in both men and women but rare in males.

Colon cancer:
It is the cancer that occurs in tissues of colon which is the longest part of the large intestine. They are mostly of type adenocarcinoma
Rectal cancer:
These type of cancers forms in the tissue of rectum which is the last inches of the large intestine before anus

Endometrial cancer:
They are formed at the tissues lining the uterus which is the organ in woman’s pelvis where the baby grows. Mostly endometrial cancers are of type adenocarcinoma

Kidney cancer:
They are formed at the tissues of Kidney
They are of three types
1) Renal cell carcinoma-Formed at the lining of small tubes in kidney which filters blood and water.
2) Renal pelvis carcinoma –Formed at the center of kidney
3) Wilm’s tumor-Kidney cancer that occurs in children under age

It starts at the blood forming tissues like bone marrow so that large number of cells enters the bloodstream

It is one of the type of skin cancer which begins at melanocytes which make the pigment melanin. Melanoma usually starts at mole.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma:
This type of cancer forms at the immune system. They can occur at any age. The Symptoms are enlarged lymph nodes, fever and weight loss.
They are classified into two types
1) Aggressive growing
2) Indolent or slow growing
Each one can be further classified as
a) B-Cell- Burkitt's lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma , follicular lymphoma, immunoblastic large cell lymphoma, precursor B-lymphoblastic lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma
B)T-Cell- mycosis fungoides , anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and precursor T-lymphoblastic lymphoma.
. Prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and type of disease.

Pancreatic cancer:
In this type of cancer malignant cancer cells are formed at pancreas. They are also known as exocrine cancer.

Prostate cancer:
This type of cancer are formed in the tissues of prostate which is the gland present in human reproductive system that is below the balder and is in front of the rectum.

Skin cancer:
They are formed at the tissues of skin. Cancers formed the cell making pigment are called melanoma.. When it is formed in cells that doesn’t makes pigment then it will begin at basal cells.Both cancers occurs at the part of the body exposed to sunlight such as skin on neck,face,hands and arms

Thyroid cancer:
They are formed at the thyroid gland which is present at thorat’s base and makes hormones to control heart rate,blood pressure ,temperature and weight.
Four types of cancer are present:
1) Papillary
2) Follicular
3) Medullary
4) AnaplasticThey are classified based on how they look under microscope

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Monday, April 2, 2007

Cancer Case - What is Cancer ? (Part I)

Cancer is a diseases characterized by rapid uncontrolled division of cells (cell proliferation) .This cancerous cells have the ability to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue , or by spreading into distant sites through the bloodstream or lymphatic system ,This is called as metastasis which results in damage of tissues adjacent to the cancerous cells. Cancer can occur to people of all ages, but it’s more probable to affect aged people (that is probability of occurrence increases as age increases). This disease is one of the principal causes of death in developed countries.

Cancer is seen not only in human beings but also in other organisms. This confirms that cancer is caused due to external factors that cause mutation (disturbance) in biological cells but not a hereditary factor. The factors may be external heat ,radiations (radio active dusts), harmful UV rays , certain chemicals , dissolved metallic dusts like lead , food we take (Bowel cancer due to beef consumption ), cigarette, drinks etc. In Current technology, using certain microwave devices causes mutation to the sensitive cells near to it. For example use of cell phone for a longer conversation produces heat that affect brain cells causing brain tumor. Even the physical stress too can cause cancer (Women wearing tight bra have high probability of being affected by breast cancer). The causative agents are termed as carcinogens.

Cell proliferation hi is a common physiological process that occurs in almost all tissues. Normally there will be balance between cell division (creation) and cell death, this ensure the integrity of organs and tissues. Mutations in cell's DNA strands leads to cancer disrupting these orderly processes. The uncontrolled and often rapid proliferation of cells can lead to either a benign tumor or a malignant tumor (cancer). Benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body or invade other tissues, and they are rarely a threat to life unless they extrinsically compress vital structures. Malignant tumors can invade other organs, spread to distant locations (metastasize) and become life-threatening one.

Severity of cancer depends on the site and character of the malignancy and the rate of metastasis. A cancer with high metastasis rate is considered as malignant .Usually the cancer is identified by examining the cell growth and division rate of tissues by pathologist. This tissue is obtained by biopsy or surgery. Cancer at the benign level can be cured since the cancerous cells didn't enter the blood stream, and severity depending on the specific type, location, and stage. Once diagnosed, cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. As research develops, treatments are becoming more specific for the type of cancer pathology. Drugs that target specific cancers already exist for several types of cancer. If untreated, cancers may eventually cause illness and death, though this is not always the case. The unregulated growth that characterizes cancer is caused by damage to DNA, resulting in mutations to genes that encode for proteins controlling cell division. Many mutation events may be required to transform a normal cell into a malignant cell. These mutations can be caused by radiation, chemicals or physical agents that cause cancer, which are called carcinogens, or by certain viruses that can insert their DNA into the human genome. Mutations occur spontaneously, and may be passed down from one cell generation to the next as a result of mutations within germ lines. However, some carcinogens also appear to work through non-mutagenic pathways that affect the level of transcription of certain genes without causing genetic mutation. Many forms of cancer are associated with exposure to environmental factors such as tobacco smoke, radiation, alcohol, and certain viruses. Some risk factors can be avoided or reduced.

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Exercise and Hypertension

It seems as though many Americans are living a life that leads to high blood pressure or hypertension. As people age, the situation gets worse. Nearly half of all older Americans have hypertension. This disease makes people five times more prone to strokes, three times more likely to have a heart attack, and two to three times more likely to experience a heart failure.
The problem with this disease is that nearly one third of the folks who have hypertension do not know it because they never feel any direct pain. But overtime the force of that pressure damages the inside surface of your blood vessels.
However, according to experts, hypertension is not predestined. Reducing salt intake, adopting a desirable dietary pattern losing weight and exercising can all help prevent hypertension.Obviously, quitting bad habits and eating a low fat diet will help, but the most significant part that you can do is to exercise. And just as exercise strengthens and improves limb muscles, it also enhances the health of the heart muscles.

Heart and Exercise

The exercise stimulates the development of new connections between the impaired and the nearly normal blood vessels, so people who exercise had a better blood supply to all the muscle tissue of the heart.
The human heart basically, supply blood to an area of the heart damaged in a “myocardial infarction.” A heart attack is a condition, in which, the myocardium or the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen and other nutrients and so it begins to die.
For this reason and after a series of careful considerations, some researchers have observed that exercise can stimulate the development of these life saving detours in the heart. One study further showed that moderate exercise several times a week is more effective in building up these auxiliary pathways than extremely vigorous exercise done twice as often.
Such information has led some people to think of exercise as a panacea for heart disorders, a fail-safe protection against hypertension or death. That is not so. Even marathon runners that have suffered hypertension, and exercise cannot overcome combination of other risk factor.

What Causes Hypertension?

Sometimes abnormalities of the kidney are responsible. There is also a study wherein the researchers identified more common contributing factors such as heredity, obesity, and lack of physical activity. And so, what can be done to lower blood pressure and avoid the risk of developing hypertension? Again, exercise seems to be just what the doctor might order.
If you think that is what he will do, then, try to contemplate on this list and find some ways how you can incorporate these things into your lifestyle and start to live a life free from the possibilities of developing hypertension. But before you start following the systematic instructions, it would be better to review them first before getting into action.
1. See your doctorCheck with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you make any significant changes in your level of physical activity — particularly if those changes could make large and sudden demands on your circulatory system — check with your doctors again.
2. Take it slow
Start at a low, comfortable level of exertion and progress gradually. The program is designed in two stages to allow for a progressive increase in activity.
3. Know your limit
Determine your safety limit for exertion. Use some clues such as sleep problems or fatigue the day after a workout to check on whether you are overdoing it. Once identified, stay within it. Over-exercising is both dangerous and unnecessary.
4. Exercise regularly
You need to work out a minimum of three times a week and a maximum of five times a week to get the most benefit. Once you are in peak condition, a single workout a week can maintain the muscular benefits. However, cardiovascular fitness requires more frequent activity.
5. Exercise at a rate within your capacity
The optimum benefits for older exercisers are produced by exercise at 40% to 60% of capacity.Indeed, weight loss through exercise is an excellent starting point if you wan tot prevent hypertension. Experts say that being overweight is linked to an increased risk of developing hypertension, and losing weight decreases the risk.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Your Thyroid and Weight loss – The Connection is Real

Your thyroid dictates much of your metabolism, any malfunction or disease afflicting this area may cause you to have problems in metabolism leading to a drastic problem with your weight – you may either gain weight, lose weight, or may find that losing weight is harder than usual.
Those that plan diets do not take into consideration how their thyroids and metabolism may affect their weight loss program. Most experts and even the media pitch in and recommend that the best way to lose weight is cut calories.
Those with a condition called hyperthyroidism suffer from an overactive thyroid leading to one having his or her metabolism skyrocket. If this is the case, then you will probably lose weight fast. This is a nice proposition for some who wish to lose weight. However, this is actually hazardous to the health.
Aside from the medical difficulties such a disease brings, one will also notice weight problems as a result. These people have trouble keeping on weight and may notice weakness and bulging of the eyes. This disease may need special treatment from doctors.
Hypothyroidism on the other hand works in the other direction – slowing metabolism until the body gains weight at an incredible rate. Like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism causes a general weakness in the body. It too may need special treatment and may cause serious health problems if left unattended.
While cutting calories in itself can be very hard for most people – imagine, the people involved in life and death struggles at the supermarket regarding whether to buy that extra box of sweets, some have exactly the opposite problem.
Instead of eating too much calories – which is a problem in itself, they eat too little calories instead.

Problem? What Problem?
The problem with some is that they believe that since the experts say that they have to cut calories, cutting calories to an inordinate amount will reap greater results. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. While cutting calories helps diets, consuming too little calories pushed the body into a hoard mode, the body’s metabolism slow to adapt to the lesser amount of available energy.
If your body enters this mode, your body will work at such slow metabolism that losing weight becomes impossible. The technique here should be to reduce calories without the body slowing its metabolism. Only then can losing weight become easier.
Another problem that can arise from decreased metabolism is that when your metabolism slows due to a drastic reduction in metabolism, and then you suddenly eat a good, hearty, calorie-filled meal, you are bound to gain more weight owing to the increased surplus of energy.
This is why an imbalanced meal is highly discouraged among those that seek to lose weight. The sudden loss and increase of calories will cause an imbalance in one’s energy consumption directly affecting fat deposit.
Here is a simple computation to help you get to the right amount of calories you will need per day so that you get your nutrients in the right balance.
First of all, multiply your weight in kilograms by 30. If you only know your weight in pounds, divide it by 2.2 to get to its English equivalent. We divide this number by 30 because that is the number of calories you need to maintain your weight per pound of weight.
For example if your weight in pounds is 150, divide it by 2.2. That will give you a figure of 68.18. This is your weight in kilograms. Multiply this by 30 and you will arrive at the amount of calories you will need per day to maintain 150 lbs.
You may consult a nutritionist to help you come lose weight. In the end it all comes down to math. If you consume more that your body needs, it stores it as fat. Now is probably a good time to start studying the back of those grocery cartons.
Try to keep your diet at a 40% protein, 25% fat, and 35% carbohydrate meals at 300 calories per meal. Spread out these meals in a day for optimum results.
While it may be simple computation to get at numbers, do not forget the earlier mentioned fact that the body adapts to its condition. Expose it to extreme ones and you may find yourself getting results you never wanted. Consult a nutritionist for more advice.

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Benefits of Cardio Interval Training

In a long-term study of the health of the people of in the United States, the U.S. Public Health Service documented the chances of developing heart disease among various groups in the population. Long before the any symptoms appeared, epidemiological research could identify high-risk groups.
Among the highest risk factors are male sex, age over 35, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high levels of certain blood fats, and a family history of cardiovascular disorders.
Other researchers have added to this list another risk factor: the compulsive, hard-driving, highly anxious personality. The greater the number of severity, the greater the person’s overall risk.
These threats to the heart can be divided into two main categories: those beyond individual control, such as age, sex, and heredity, and those that can be controlled, avoided, or even eliminated. Among those in the second category are what cardiologists call “the triple threat.” These are the high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and high cholesterol levels in the blood.
If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, your risk of having a heart attack is twice that of a nonsmoker. If you smoke, have hypertension, and eat a diet high in fats without any exercise at all, your risk is five times greater than normal.
The Healthy Heart
If these risk factors endanger the heart’s health, what enhances its well-being and improves its odds of working long and well?
Obviously, quitting cigarettes and eating a low-fat diet will help. The next best thing you can do for your heart’s sake is to give it what it needs: regular exercise or a complete cardio interval training.
The heart is a muscle, or, more accurately, a group or “package” of muscles, similar in many ways to the muscles of the arms and legs. And just as exercise strengthens and improves limb muscles, it enhances the health of the heart muscles as well.
Since World War II, several large-scale statistical studies have evaluated the relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular disease. One well-known survey compared 31,000 drivers and conductors of some bus companies. The more sedentary drivers had a significantly higher rate of heart disease than the conductors, who walked around the buses and climbed stairs to the upper level.
The why and how behind these statistics were bet explained by classic experiments with dogs whose coronary arteries were surgically narrowed to resemble those of humans with arteriosclerosis. Dogs who were exercised were had much better blood flow than those kept inactive.
The exercise seemed to stimulate the development of new connections between the impaired and the nearly normal blood vessels, so exercised dogs had a better blood supply to all the muscle tissue of the heart. The human heart reacts in the same way to provide blood to the portion that was damaged by the heart attack.
To enable the damaged heart muscle to heal, the heart relies on new small blood vessels for what is called collateral circulation. These new branches on the arterial tress can develop long before a heart attack — and can prevent a heart attack if the new network takes on enough of the function of the narrowed vessels.
With all these facts, it is now boiled down to a single question: What should be done in order to prevent such dilemmas?
Some studies showed that moderate exercise several times a week is more effective in building up these auxiliary pathways than extremely vigorous exercise done twice often.
The general rule is that exercise helps reduce the risk of harm to the heart. Some researches further attested the link between exercise and healthy heart based from the findings that the non-exercisers had a 49% greater risk of heart attack than the other people included in the study. The study attributed a third of that risk to sedentary lifestyle alone.
Hence, with employing the cardio interval training, you can absolutely expect positive results not only on areas that concerns your cardiovascular system but on the overall status of your health as well.
This particular activity that is definitely good for the heart is a cycle of “repeated segments” that is of intense nature. In this process, there is an interchange periods of recuperation. It can both be comprehensive activity and moderate motion.
Consequently, the benefits of merely engaging into this kind of activity can bring you more results that you have ever expected. These are:
1. The threats of heart attack are lessened, if not eliminated
2. Enhanced heart task
3. Increase metabolism, increase the chance of burning calories, therefore, assist you in losing weight
4. Improves lung capacity
5. Helps lessen or eliminate the cases of stress
Indeed, cardio interval training is the modern way of creating a healthy, happy heart and body.

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Heart Rate Monitors

Heart rate monitors used to be exclusively operated by physicians and nurses alone but that was soon rectified with today’s multi-tasking generation. Every person seemed to want to know about everything that was related to them and that of course included monitoring their own heartbeats.
What is a Heart MonitorAlso known as a cardiac monitor, a heart monitor is a piece of electronic equipment that can be used to track or observe heart functions continuously. It allows people to place a numerical value on their healthiness based on their heart rate and have a target heart rate to work for. The more complex versions of the heart monitor allow physicians to see any signs of deterioration or improvement and make the necessary adjustments immediately.
Types of Heart MonitorsToday, heart monitors are produced by the millions and designed to cater specific types of individuals. Some heart monitors are primarily designed for weight loss programs while others are meant for the use of athletes or fitness programs. Some are wireless or come as a built-in feature of exercise equipment like a treadmill or an exercise bike. It can be strapped to your wrist or of considerable size. It may or may not emit any electromagnetic waves, depending on its purpose. A fetal heart monitor, for instance, must not produce any waves at all as this may affect the health of the baby.
Factors on Selecting the Best Heart Monitor for You
ECG-Accurate Monitors with Chest Straps – Heart monitors that come with chest straps are more often not the most accurate of heart monitors. The chest strap is strapped around your chest, a few centimeters below your breast. It contains a device that’s able to detect electrical activity of your heart and transmit it to the brain of the machine – just like an ECG. The results are shown on the display monitor, which most of the times is attached to your wrist like a watch. Others however prefer results to be transmitted through audio messages via earphones.
Upon choosing heart monitors with chest straps, you need to remember to keep the strap constantly connected to your body lest you want the heart monitor to produce inaccurate readings.
Lastly, the only alternative against buying heart monitors with chest straps are the ones that rely on pulses on your fingertips. These however do not provide readings as accurate as those with chest straps.
Heart Monitor Features – Basic and lower end models tend to display only your heart rate and maybe the elapsed exercise time as well. This of course does not provide sufficient information if you want to know exactly how much you need to improve before you can be qualified as a completely healthy individual. Higher end models will naturally offer a wider range of features – for a price. Examples of such features are – but not limited to – heart rate zone alarms, timers and number of calories burned. It may also allow users to set pre-programmed workouts along with a targeted heart rate.
Ease of Use – Lastly, you must purchase a heart rate monitor that you will have no problems of using. What good would a high end heart monitor do if it takes you an hour to operate it? Are the numbers and words appearing in the heart rate monitor readable? Can it be used in no-light situations? Are buttons well-labeled and ergonomically positioned?
To Buy or Not to Buy a Heart MonitorHeart monitors can be especially costly, more so if you are intent on purchasing higher-end models. If you have a limited budget, you should ask yourself whether or not you truly need to buy a heart monitor. You can of course purchase one of the lower-end models but low quality heart monitors can lead to inaccurate results and that sort of defeats the purpose of buying one.
If you are intent on purchasing a heart monitor, you need to ask yourself another question: do you need to make a solo purchase or is it alright with you to use the heart monitor that comes as a built-in feature of a treadmill? Lastly, you should remember as well that you can always pay your doctor regular visits and have him monitor your heart rate for you.

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