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Breast cancer is the most common forms of cancer in females, affecting one in every eight women in the US. There are huge awareness campaigns, which revolve around ways to recognize if you are prone for it and how to identify the disease in its early stages. Knowing the symptoms can help in early diagnosis and thereby early intervention and better prognosis.
How and why of breast cancer?
The breasts produce milk through the glands, which also contain connective tissue including fat, fibrous tissue, nerves, blood vessels, etc. The milk reaches the exterior through a fine network of ducts. Most cancers develop as small calcifications in these ducts, which continues to grow and spread to distant organs.
Warning signs and symptoms: Given the high incidence of breast cancer, knowing the symptoms helps in early identification. Read on to know more, especially if there is a family history.
- Any change in the size, shape, or contour of the breasts
- Appearance of a lump in the breasts or the armpits
- Presence of a clear or bloody discharge from the breast
- The breast or the nipple turning red
- Sudden thickening of breast tissue or skin that continues for a while
- Change in the feel or look of the skin (dimpling, puckering, scaliness, reddishness, warmth, etc.)
- Hardening of the tissue under the breast skin
- Difference in appearance or feel of one area in comparison with other areas
The presence of any of these or a combination of these symptoms should be an indication for a detailed checkup. As mentioned, early diagnosis helps in reducing complications and improving prognosis. It is also good to know risk factors, which also indicate if you need to watch for symptoms.
- Family history: Breast cancer runs in families, and if you have a first-degree relative with breast cancer, watch out for symptoms.
- Tested positive for BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Family history of other cancers
- Age: Women over the age of 50 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
- Race: Caucasian women carry greater risk than African-American women.
- Hormones: Increased use of estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Therefore, women who have used birth control for long time or are on hormone replacement are at greater risk.
- Abnormal gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones are more predisposed to developing breast cancer. For instance, girls who attain menarche before age of 12, get pregnant after 30, and reach menopause after 55. Women with menstrual irregularities including cycles earlier than 26 days and later than 29 days are also likely to have hormonal issues and are, therefore, at higher risk of breast cancer.
- Other factors: Smoking, alcohol abuse, and obesity also increase the chances of a woman developing breast cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Oncologist.
I am 20yr old male. I had an accident 2 years ago & I had suffered severe back pain. My spinal cord's disc had moved a bit so that I have pain in my back till now. What should I do for this?
Hello Dr. Sir, I am Harvinder singh from yamunanagar, Haryana. I have lower back pain since last 2 years. Its slip disc and sciatica pain in left leg. I am very unhappy with this problem. Please advice me best of best treatment for the same and where I can get the same.
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.
I have some disc problem, in MRI report L5S1, how can I remove this problem, which exercise is useful in this problem.
A broken bone or a fracture can be painful and it requires medical attention for the fracture to heal properly. Proper healing is necessary for the right alignment of the bone. A doctor chooses to either reduce or set the bone in terms of new alignment. The bone reduction can happen manually or surgically depending on the severity of the injury. A Surgical procedure known as the open reduction internal fixation is performed for serious fractures. It ensures that the all the broken pieces are fixed together and the injury can heal properly.
Post the fracture, the bone need to be immobilised for proper healing. This is generally achieved by imposing a cast. For fractures that are not severe in nature, a doctor might choose to impose a temporary cast so that simple motion can happen around the site of the injury. For serious fractures, a permanent cast is placed around the injury site. In the case of a shoulder injury, a patient is required to wear a sling so that the bones are immobilised.
Time Duration of a Therapy Session:
While the exact duration of physiotherapy can vary from individual to individual, it takes a minimum of 2-8 weeks for the fracture to completely heal. Certain fractures take more time to heal. The rate of healing also depends on the severity of the injury, pain threshold level of the patient, extent of work with the physiotherapist, the robustness of the physiotherapy program, extent of the injury of the soft tissue and certain other factors. Typically shoulder and neck injuries heal quicker than a fracture of the legs. The time duration of fracture healing also depends on the type of bone that has been affected.
Physiotherapy in a Hospital:
If the fracture happens in the ankle or leg, a physiotherapist might have to intervene in the hospital in order to teach patient about using assistive devices such as crutches and cane. Things that are taught during this time include using the device in order to climb stairs, right walking posture, getting into a car, taking the device off while sitting and such other techniques.
Physiotherapy at Home:
Physiotherapy can also happen from home if the doctor specifically instructs to do the same. This is typically done for people where the condition is too serious to go outside and get the physiotherapy done. Certain weight bearing restrictions are imposed around this time. The training remains the same as in the case with a hospital.
In the Clinic:
Once the patient becomes mobile enough, a doctor might suggest a patient go to a clinic to get the physiotherapy done. A physiotherapist evaluates certain things such as pain, range of motion, gait, flexibility etc. of the patient before suggesting a certain exercise plan. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a physiotherapist.
I have piles problem what to do? And I have slip disc issue also my orthopedist doctor said that operation karna padta so is it successful or not please suggest me because I have few friends who did dis slip disc operation but operation was not successful so what I do please help me.
Breast cancer awareness
October is breast cancer awareness month and a great time to highlight the importance of maintaining healthy habits to support breast health. One disease that most women fear these days, you would probably reply" breast cancer.
Understand what you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk. So follow these guidelines and know that you are doing all that you possibly can to protect yourself from developing breast cancer. Be thankful every day that your breasts are healthy.
Check your own breasts regularly. Do monthly self-breast examinations after your period is over. If you find any lumps or tenderness that concerns you, have it checked out right away. Fortunately, 80% of breast lumps are benign. When you examine your breasts, remember that lumps which are soft, movable, and change with your menstrual cycle are much less likely to be cancerous. Any discharge from the nipple other than breast milk should be checked out by your health professional.
Get regular mammograms. In a woman without breast symptoms and with no significant risk of breast cancer, I recommend mammograms beginning age 35 or 40 every two years. For women without breast symptoms who are at higher risk of breast cancer, I recommend yearly mammograms beginning at age 35. Beginning at age 50, the rate of breast cancer goes up, so yearly mammograms are advised.
Limit alcohol intake. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer.
Get to and maintain a healthy weight - if your bmi is out of the healthy range, find a program and tools to help you get to a healthy weight, which is important for maintaining health in general, including breast health. Obesity, particularly after menopause, can greatly increase your risk of breast cancer. Aim for gradual weight loss by choosing minimally processed foods and eating smaller portions.
Don't smoke - accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in pre -menopausal women.
Exercise regularly - physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer.
Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy - if you're taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You might be able to manage your symptoms with non-hormonal therapies and medications.
Choose the right supplements - filling in nutrition gaps with supplements can help you support breast health. Look for options that contain vitamin d and omega-3 fatty acids, as they have both been associated with maintaining breast health.
Breast-feed your babies for as long as possible - women who breast-feed their babies for at least a year in total have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer later.
Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyoma or myoma, are benign growths on the uterus, occurring mostly during the years of childbearing. Few of the common symptoms of fibroids are leg pain or backache, constipation, difficulty in emptying the bladder, frequent urination, pain or pressure in the pelvic region, menstrual periods stretching over a week and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Certain genetic changes of the uterus which are different from the ones normally present in the muscle cells of the uterus can cause this disorder.
Substances which help the body maintain its tissues trigger fibroid growth as well.
Family history, excessive consumption of alcohol and red meat while going low on foods such as dairy products, fruits, green vegetables and vitamin D, obesity, usage of birth control pills and early onset of the menstruation cycle are other factors that may escalate the risks of one suffering from fibroids.
Be careful and take a closer look: Fibroids are fundamentally non-cancerous and they hardly interfere with pregnancy. Often, they do not exhibit notable symptoms and are prone to shrinkage after menopause. Hence giving them and yourself some time might be the best option.
Medications generally aim at the hormones controlling the menstrual cycle and treating symptoms such as pelvic pressure and excessive menstrual bleeding. However, they do not treat fibroids completely but work towards contracting them. They include-
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists to block estrogen and progesterone production
Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) to alleviate severe bleeding caused due to fibroids
Tranexamic acid to ease excessive menstrual periods
Progestins or oral contraceptives to regulate menstrual bleeding
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease pain associated with fibroids
Surgeries to Treat Fibroids:
Depending on symptoms and whether medical therapy has failed, the patient may have to undergo surgery. The following surgical procedures may be considered:
Hysterectomy: removing the uterus. This is only considered if the fibroids are very large, or if the patient is bleeding too much. Hysterectomies are sometimes an option to prevent fibroids coming back.
Endometrial ablation: removing the lining of the uterus. This procedure may be used if the patient's fibroids are near the inner surface of the uterus; it is considered an effective alternative to a hysterectomy.
UAE (Uterine artery embolization): this treatment cuts off the fibroid's blood supply, effectively shrinking the fibroid.
Magnetic-resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery: an MRI scan locates the fibroids, and sound waves are used to shrink the fibroids.
When cells divide abnormally and uncontrollably, they can form a mass or lump of tissue. This lump is called a tumor. Bone tumors form in your bones. As the tumor grows, abnormal tissue can displace healthy tissue.
Some tumors are benign, meaning they aren’t cancerous. While benign bone tumors won’t spread to other parts of the body and are unlikely to be fatal, they can still be dangerous and may require treatment. Benign tumors can grow and could compress your healthy bone tissue. Other tumors are malignant, meaning they’re cancerous. Malignant bone tumors can cause cancer to spread throughout the body.
Causes of bone tumor:
The cause of bone tumors is unknown. They often occur in areas of the bone that grow rapidly. Possible causes include:
- Genetic defects passed down through families
- In most cases, no specific cause is found.
Symptoms of bone tumor:
Symptoms of bone tumor may include any of the following:
- Bone fracture, especially fracture from slight injury (trauma)
- Bone pain, may be worse at night
- Occasionally a mass and swelling can be felt at the tumor site
- Some benign tumors have no symptoms.
Diagnosing a bone tumor:
There are some common conditions like fractures, infections and other conditions that may resemble tumors. But, to be sure some physical examination to be performed which will check the tenderness in the bone and also the range of motion. Blood or Urine test may be performed to detect different proteins that may indicate the presence of tumor. Doctor may go with X-rays and depending on the X-ray results other imaging tests might be necessary i.e. CT scan, MRI PET scan. In some cases biopsy is also performed. In this test. a sample of the tissue that makes up the tumor is removed.
Treating bone tumor:
Bone cancer is generally treated with Surgery in which the entire tumor is removed. The surgeon carefully examines the margins of your tumor to make sure no cancer cells are left. Surgical techniques have improved greatly. Other ways to treat is radiation therapy which is used in conjunction with surgery. Still if the doctor feels that cancer cells are likely to spread or already spread then Chemotherapy is recommended.