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We have more than 200 bones in our body and each of them is susceptible to bone cancer. However, long bones in the arms and legs are most susceptible to this condition. Bone cancer can be primary or secondary. Primary bone cancer involves uncontrolled and abnormal cell division within the bones while secondary bone cancer refers to cancer that originated somewhere else in the body and later spread to the bones. While children and adults are equally at risk for primary bone cancer, adults and elderly people are more susceptible to secondary bone cancer. If diagnosed early enough, bone cancer can be treated and even cured with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.
Hence it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of bone cancer. Here’s what you should look out for.
- Pain in Bones: Pain is one the primary symptoms of bone cancer. As the tumour grows larger, this pain can become more intense. In its early stages, the pain may be experienced as a dull ache inside the bone or the affected part of the body. It may also increase or decrease according to your activity level or may be experienced only at night. However, not all bone pains signify ‘cancer’ as this is also a symptom associated with osteoporosis.
- Swelling: In some cases, the abnormal growth of bone cells can result in the formation of a lump of mass that may be felt through the skin. In other cases, the affected area may also show signs of swelling.
- Breaking of the Bone: Cancer can weaken the bones and make them more brittle. This may make the bones more susceptible to fractures. A bone breaking in an area that has been painful or sore for a long period of time may be a sign of cancer. This is known as a pathologic fracture.
- Reduced Flexibility: If the tumour is located near a joint, it may affect the range of movements possible and make simple actions uncomfortable. For example, a tumour around the knee may make walking and climbing stairs a painful exercise.
Other symptoms to look out for are sudden and drastic weight loss, tiredness, excessive sweating at night, fever and difficulty breathing in case cancer has spread to other organs. Since many of these symptoms are common to other medical disorders, you should consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of them. A physical examination and a couple of tests along with a biopsy will be required to confirm a diagnosis of bone cancer.
MRI IMPRESSION 29 August 2016 -Posterior diffuse disc herniation at L4 -5 level with bilateral ligamentum flavum hypertrophy causing narrowing of bilateral neural recesses with compression of bilateral traversing nerve roots at same level. -Posterior diffuse disc bulge at L5-S1 level indenting ventral thecal space at same level -Changes of lumbar spondylosis I was having pain at my right hip joint on 15/8/16. It went unbearable extending to RT leg. On 3rd September night as usual on bed all the 24 hours trying to sleep on 4th at 5 am all my pain went. Till then no pain but having burning sensation on right foot, tingling, falling rt foot asleep when I sit on chair. Please advise:- 1. Surgical intervention required? Or 2.Pregabalin,Tolperisone, methylcobalamin,Calcium and D3 with rest will cure me fully? Or 3. Somekind of spinal exercises also required? ERODHA.
I am 33 and my body has became very stiff due to no physical exercise. I have slip disk and neck ailments. Also mental tension getting worse. But need to come over this. What could be the starter guidelines for getting started with Yoga/Meditation.
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The brain is not a stagnant realm fed with a granted quota of intelligence and memory at birth. It is always in a state of flux. Exercising your brain in various ways accelerates its ability to perform better. It is in your hands to have a sharper take on situations and occurrences. Playing games that require brainstorming, solving quizzes, crosswords or playing chess makes you feel rejuvenated and tired at the same time; the reason being activated brain cells. A healthy brain will affect your life decisions positively and you probably will think rightly before you leap.
Tips to exercise those brain cells:
1. Meditate and calm your mind: Ten minutes of meditation each day can help you get over anxiety. When your mind is at peace you think out pros and cons with enhanced insight. This composure reflects in each of your actions. Meditation demands your brain to be quiet when it is accustomed to work; you therefore have greater control over it.
2. Music can improve your brain abilities: Music is the best antidote for a sloppy brain. Music excites the neurons healing a bruised memory. It gifts you with clarity of thought. Apart from listening to music one must try to play a musical instrument. Teaching yourself things puts your mind through a strict regimen of constructive activities.
3. Take out time to learn a new language: We are paralyzed the minute our brain gives up. Due to several external and internal reasons each one of us is likely to suffer from cognitive disorders on being subjected to extreme pressure or shock. Trying to learn a new language motivate your brain cells to have a wider vocabulary, which further restricts your chances of brain damage.
4. Mental mathematics could better your intelligence: Calculators, computers and phones are ridding us of our ability to compute individual data. Computation and consolidation of data helps your mind to work faster with precision. So, you now know those lessons on mental mathematics in childhood were actually the key to a well-rounded brain.
5. Think of something novel: The more the number of neurons the merrier is your brain. Take pains to direct your mind on a novel track. Thinking beyond what is given and expected helps your brain grow new neurons. It builds up your creativity letting you discover more of your capabilities. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
Doctor my 13 year old daughter has developed slip disc in her L4 and L5 vertebrae. What should be her treatment?
Test to screen for breast cancer:
Mammography is the most common screening test for breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. This test may find tumors that are too small to feel. A mammogram may also find ductal carcinoma in situ (dcis). In dcis, there are abnormal cells in the lining of a breast duct, which may become invasive cancer in some women.
Mammograms are less likely to find breast tumors in women younger than 50 years than in older women. This may be because younger women have denser breast tissue that appears white on a mammogram. Because tumors also appear white on a mammogram, they can be harder to find when there is dense breast tissue.
The left breast is pressed between two plates. An x-ray machine is used to take pictures of the breast. An inset shows the x-ray film image with an arrow pointed at abnormal tissue.
The breast is pressed between two plates. X-rays are used to take pictures of breast tissue.
The following may affect whether a mammogram is able to detect (find) breast cancer:
The size of the tumor. How dense the breast tissue is. The skill of the radiologist.
Women aged 40 to 74 years who have screening mammograms have a lower chance of dying from breast cancer than women who do not have screening mammograms.
Clinical Breast Exam (CBE):
A clinical breast exam is an exam of the breast by a doctor or other health professional. The doctor will carefully feel the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. It is not known if having clinical breast exams decreases the chance of dying from breast cancer.
Breast self-exams may be done by women or men to check their breasts for lumps or other changes. It is important to know how your breasts usually look and feel. If you feel any lumps or notice any other changes, talk to your doctor. Doing breast self-exams has not been shown to decrease the chance of dying from breast cancer.
Mri (magnetic resonance imaging) in women with a high risk of breast cancer
Mri is a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (nmri). Mri does not use any x-rays.
MRI is used as a screening test for women who have one or more of the following:
Certain gene changes, such as in the brca1 or brca2 genes. A family history (first degree relative, such as a mother, daughter or sister) with breast cancer. Certain genetic syndromes, such as li-fraumeni or cowden syndrome.
Mris find breast cancer more often than mammograms do, but it is common for mri results to appear abnormal even when there isn't any cancer.
Other screening tests are being studied in clinical trials.
Thermography is a procedure in which a special camera that senses heat is used to record the temperature of the skin that covers the breasts. A computer makes a map of the breast showing the changes in temperature. Tumors can cause temperature changes that may show up on the thermogram.
There have been no clinical trials of thermography to find out how well it detects breast cancer or if having the procedure decreases the risk of dying from breast cancer.
Breast tissue sampling is taking cells from breast tissue to check under a microscope. Abnormal cells in breast fluid have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in some studies. Scientists are studying whether breast tissue sampling can be used to find breast cancer at an early stage or predict the risk of developing breast cancer. Three ways of taking tissue samples are being studied:
Fine-needle aspiration: a thin needle is inserted into the breast tissue around the areola (darkened area around the nipple) to take out a sample of cells and fluid.
Nipple aspiration: the use of gentle suction to collect fluid through the nipple. This is done with a device similar to the breast pumps used by women who are breast-feeding.
Ductal lavage: a hair-size catheter (tube) is inserted into the nipple and a small amount of salt water is released into the duct. The water picks up breast cells and is removed.
I am 33 years old, I have backache from last 1 year, x ray indicate there is borderline slip disk, what kind of precaution can I take for future?
Cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in a particular body part. With continued growth, pieces of this tissue travel through the blood to different body parts and continue to grow in the new area. This is known as metastases. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and affects about 1 in 8 women in the USA. Read on to know more details of breast cancer – breast anatomy, causes, symptoms, risk factors, detection, prevention, and of course treatment.
Anatomy: The main function of the breast is lactation through its milk-producing tissue that are connected to the nipple by narrow ducts. In addition, there is surrounding connective tissue, fibrous material, fat, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic channels which complete the structure. This is essential to know as most breast cancers develop as small calcifications (hardened particles) in the ducts or as small lumps in the breast tissue which then continues to grow into cancer. The spread can happen through lymphatic or blood flow to other organs.
Warning signs/symptoms: The following are some symptoms that need to be watched out for if you have a predisposition to breast cancer.
- A lump in either of the breasts or armpits
- Change in size, shape, or contour of either breast
- Redness of your breast or nipple
- Discharge of clear or bloody fluid
- Thickening of breast tissue or skin that lasts through a period
- Altered look or feel of the skin on the breast or the nipple (dimpled, inflamed, scaly, or puckered)
- One area on the breast that looks very different from the other areas
- Hardened area under the breast skin
Either one or a combination of these should be an indication to get a detailed checkup done. Early diagnosis results in controlling the disease with minimal treatment and reduced complications.
Causes and risk factors: The exact cause for breast cancer is yet to be pinned down. However, risk factors are clearly identified, and women with risk factors need to watch out for warning signs.
- Family history: Of all the risk factors, the family history is the most important. Breast cancer runs in families, and if there is a first-degree relative with the breast cancer, the chances of developing it are almost double. Two genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the carriers of the disease, and this testing can be done in women to identify if they are at risk.
- Family history of other cancers: Even if there is no breast cancer, if there are other cancers that run in the family, watch out.
- Age: Women over 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Race: Caucasian and Jewish women are at higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women.
- Hormones: Greater exposure to the female hormone estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Women who use birth control pills for contraception and hormone replacement after menopause are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones need to watch out. These include those who attain menarche before 12 years of age, get pregnant after 30, attain menopause after 55, and have menstrual cycles shorter than 26 days or longer than 29 days.
- Obesity and alcohol abuse are also likely to increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.
Stages: Starting from stage 0, higher stages indicate advanced disease.
- Stage 0: The growth which has begun in the milk-producing tissue or the ducts has remained there (in situ) and not spread to any other area, including the rest of the breast.
- Stage I: The tissue slowly becomes invasive and has begun to affect the surrounding healthy tissue. It could have spread to the fatty breast tissue and some breast tissue may be found in the nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage II: The cancer at this stage grows considerably or spreads to other parts. There are chances that cancer may grow and also spread.
- Stage III: It may have spread to the bones or other organs but small amounts are present in up to 9 to 10 of the lymph nodes in the armpits and collar bones which makes it is difficult to fight.
- Stage IV: The cancer is widespread to far-flung areas like the liver, lungs, bones, and even the brain.
Screening: This is one of the most effective ways to identify the disease in its early stages. This will help in controlling cancer from spreading with minimal treatment.
- Self-examination: A thorough self-examination to look for changes in terms of shape, size, colour, contour, and firmness should be learned by all women. Watch for any discharge, sores, rashes, or swelling in the breasts, surrounding skin, and nipple. Examine them while standing and when lying down.
- In most women, annual screening mammograms are advised after the age of 40. However, in women who have a strong family history or genetic makeup, it is advisable to have screening mammograms starting at age 20 every 3 years and then annually from the age of 40.
- Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age.
- Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms.
- Breast MRI is another way to screen for breast cancer if the risk is greater.
Breast Cancer Prevention: Now that there is so much awareness about causes and risk factors, there are definitely ways to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
- Exercise and a healthy diet with reduced amount of alcohol are definitely effective in minimising the chances of developing cancer.
- Tamoxifen is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
- Evista (raloxifene) which is used to treat osteoporosis after menopause. It is also widely used in preventing breast cancer.
- In high-risk women, breasts are surgically removed to prevent the development of cancer (preventive mastectomy).
Treatment: As with all cancers, treatment would depend on the stage at which it is identified and include a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. As noted earlier, if you are at risk, look out for warning signs as early diagnosis is the key to maximum recovery.
Does Knuckle breaking at neck at regular intervals when I'm feel stressed, will that leads to an disk injury or any problems in future. Usually I keep doing that when I work out in gym.
I have L5-S1 disc extrusion condition from a year resulting in severe pain in the right leg. Is surgery the only solution?
Our spinal disk resembles a jelly donut, wherein the softer insides are protected by the hard exterior. Sometimes, as a result of some injury or an accident the jelly slips out, leading to an extremely painful condition which in medical parlance is known as herniated disc. The pain that you are subjected to, during herniated disc, occurs as the nerves nearby are damaged due to the concussion.
Apart from pain, herniated disc is preceded by other symptoms, some of them are:
- Pain in the arm or the leg: Depending on which part of the body you have suffered the herniated disc, in the neck or in your lower back, this condition is succeeded by intense pain either near the buttocks or near the shoulders. It goes without saying that this pain increases sharply with movement.
- Numbness: That part of the body where the nerves are damaged due to herniated disc often becomes numb and has no sensation whatsoever.
- Weakness: Due to herniated disc, the muscles become weak that considerably impairs and curbs mobility.
However, there are various ways by which you can prevent a herniated disc. Some of them are:
- Exercise: Exercise in any form and even for a short while yields several benefits. Your body invariably gains momentum and agility. If you exercise daily, your spine becomes more stable and strong, thereby preventing a possible herniated disc.
- Maintaining the right and good posture: A lot depends on the way you sit and walk, in fact more than you can imagine. If you sit badly, it exerts a pressure on the spine and the discs. Subsequently, a good posture does the very reverse and curbs chances of a herniated disc in the future.
- Keep a tab on the weight: It is always healthy to maintain the right weight, the one that keeps you away from the onset of various diseases. If you are overweight, it puts more pressure on the spine disk, thereby increasing the risk of developing a herniated disc.
I have a disc bulge at L4-L5 and L5-S1, its being more then 7 months now. My physiotherapy session is going on but i still have pain and weakness in my legs
Hello Dr. My mother facing the problem regarding slip disk in the year of 2012 now she is fine but some time he faced pain what I will do so he will get normal.
Ultra sound is commonly known as sonography. It is a process of reproducing ultrasound images of soft tissues of a particular body part and other organs on the computer screen with the help of the echoes of the sound waves produced by the transducer, a high-frequency generating instrument.
Ultra sound is commonly used during the different stages of pregnancy to denote the foetal health, date of delivery, birth defects etc. However, in recent times, the ultra sound has also been associated with the diagnosis of other body parts such as the eyes, heart, gall bladder, liver, ovary, uterus, kidney, uterus, testicles, and ovaries. Ultra sound has also been useful in conducting biopsies for suspecting cancer patients, although not all of the cancers are detected by this imaging process. 3D & 4D ultrasound imaging are useful for looking at a particular body portion with much more precision and in slow motion respectively.
The advantages of ultra sound are:
1. The process of ultrasound imaging is a painless and a fast one. It does not require any insertion of needles or similar objects to denote the problems of the concerned body part.
2. The process is more convenient as compared to other similar imaging processes like MRI, mammogram and x-rays as they can capture images of the soft tissues, blood flow & cysts more clearly than the other processes.
3. The process is free of any harmful effects as there are no chances of exposure to radiation as compared to similar processes such as CT scans or X-rays. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.