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Sir my mom suffering from pain in almost all of the body specially in the backside, headache is there and also some sort of problem in breathing. Her protein is 9.8,albumin is 3.0,globulin 6.8,crp, alp,creatinine, vit D all are normal. Her MRI report says "study revels central & bilateral paracentral disc herniations with annular tear at L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels with thecal compression & bilateral traversing nerve root impingement. Mild retrolisthesis of L4 over L5 vertebral body is noted. There are degenerative osteophytes & disc desiccation as described in the text. Sir please tell me how can I treated her, doctor advice her tab maxgalin and accuvin what is the problems she can relief or not or any serious concern. Please help Sir.
A brain stroke can affect anyone at any point of time when the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted. It can threaten major physical functions and can prove to be fatally dangerous at times. The brain stem which is placed right above the spinal cord controls the breathing, heartbeat and levels of blood pressure. It is also in charge of controlling some elementary functions such as swallowing, hearing, speech and eye movements
What are the different types of strokes?
There are three main kinds of stroke: ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks. The The most common type of brain stroke is the ischemic stroke is caused by narrowing or blocking of arteries to the brain, which prevents the proper supplyof of blood to the brain. Sometimes it so happens that the blood clot that has formed elsewhere in the body have travelled via the blood vessels and has been trapped in the blood vessel which provides blood to the brain. When the supply of blood to a part of the brain is hindered, the tissue in that area dies off owing to lack of oxygen. The other variant of brain stroke is termed as hemorrhagic stroke is caused when the blood vessels in and around the brain burstor or leak. Strokes need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible in order to minimize brain damage.
What are the common symptoms of a brain stroke?
The symptoms of the brain stroke are largely dependent on the area of the brain that has been affected. It can interfere with normal functioning, such as breathing and talking and other functions which human beings can perform without thinking such as eye movements or swallowing. Since all the signals from the brain as well as other parts of the body traverse through the brain stem, the interruption of blood flow often leads to numbness or paralysis in different parts of the body.
Who is likely to have a stroke?
Anyone is at a risk of developing brain stroke although ageing is directly proportional to the risk of having a stroke. Not only that an individual with a family history of brain stroke or transient ischemic attack is at a higher risk of developing stroke. People who have aged over 65 accounts for about 33 percent of all brain strokes. It is important to point here that individuals with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, cholesterol, cancer, autoimmune diseases and some blood disorders are at a higher risk of developing brain stroke.
There are a few factors which can increase the risk of developing stroke beyond any control. But there are certain lifestyle choices as well which aids in controlling the chances of being affected by stroke. It is crucial to refrain from long-term hormone replacement therapies as well as birth control pills, smoking, lack of physical activity, excessive use of alcohol and drug addiction. A brain stroke is a life-threatening medical condition, and when an individual has symptoms that resemble that of stroke, it is crucial to seek immediate medical help.
Treatment for stroke:
- Treatment depends on the type of stroke.
- Ischemic strokes can be treated with 'clot-busting' drugs.
- Hemorrhagic strokes can be treated with surgery to repair or block blood vessel weaknesses.
- The most effective way to prevent strokes is through maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What is TPA?
TPA is a thrombolytic or a “Clot Buster” drug. This clot buster is used to break-up the clot that is causing a blockage or disruption in the flow of blood to the brain and helps restore the blood flow to the area of the brain. It is given by intravenous (IV). This can be given only within 45.5 hrs of the onset of symptoms
Time is brain
Remember Every second Loss means brain cells die.
Rush to the nearest Stroke Centre whenever you experience such symptoms.
You can save the brain cells dying if you reach within 45.5 hrs by the CLOT BUSTER.
Another treatment option is an endovascular procedure called mechanical thrombectomy, strongly recommended, in whichtrained trained doctors try removing a large blood clot bysending sending a wired-caged device called a stent retriever, to the site of the blocked blood vessel in the brain
The good news is that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable. It startswith with managing keyrisk risk factors, including
- High blood pressure,
- Cigarette smoking,
- Diabetes Atrial fibrillation and
- Physical inactivity.
More than half of all strokes are caused by uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure, making it the most important risk factor to control.
The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation ("rehab"). In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain skills you lost as the result of a stroke. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurologist.
Any kind of bleeding from the uterus, which is not normal, can be termed as abnormal uterine bleeding. This refers to bleeding between periods or before periods, bleeding after having sex, spotting, abnormally heavy bleeding or bleeding after attaining menopause. If you are suffering from any of these issues, you need to consult with the doctor.
It is very important to diagnose abnormal uterine bleeding. There are several examinations and tests that have to be carried out, depending on age. For irregular spotting, a pregnancy test can be undertaken in case you think you could be pregnant. If your uterine bleeding is very heavy, a test has to be performed to check blood count. This is done to observe whether you have anemia. An ultrasound test of the pelvic region will also be advised by your doctor to know the cause of the bleeding. Several hormonal tests and thyroid function tests are required as well.
Other diagnostic tests include:
- Sonohysterography: When fluid is placed within the uterus and ultrasound images of the uterus are taken. An image of the pelvic organs is obtained.
- Hysteroscopy: It can be carried out when a device is inserted via the vagina and enables the doctor to examine the uterus internally.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: This is also used to get images of the organs.
- Endometrial biopsy: It involves insertion of a catheter to take out a tissue which is microscopically observed.
There are different types of treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding depending upon factors such as the cause of bleeding and the age of the patient.
- Medications: Several medicines are used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding. Sometimes hormonal medicines are used. Birth control pills are also used to improve the regularity of periods. Hormonal infections, vaginal creams and an IUD device releasing hormone can be used. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to control bleeding. Several antibiotics may also be prescribed.
- Surgery: In some cases of abnormal uterine bleeding, a woman has to undergo a surgery for the removal of growth such as polyps and fibroids, which results in bleeding. While some fibroids can be removed via hysteroscopy, others require different techniques for treatment.
- Endometrial ablation: It can be undertaken to control bleeding. This mode of treatment aims at reducing the bleeding permanently. In case all treatment methods fail, hysterectomy has to be carried out. This is a serious surgery and after it is performed, a woman does not have periods anymore and will not be able to conceive a child.
Abnormal uterine bleeding is a serious health condition, which may lead to severe complications. Immediate diagnosis and appropriate treatment methods should be undertaken in case of any abnormal uterine bleeding.
Breast cancer is the form of cancer that occurs from breast tissues in women. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, changes in the shape of the breast, dimpling of the breast skin, a fluid coming out of the nipples or development of red scaly patches on the skin. There might be pain in the bones, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or the skin turning yellow and pale.
Breast cancer is a fatal mode of cancer in women, and one must try to abstain from this cancer in all possible ways. Here are 5 ways you can decrease the risk of breast cancer.
- Keeping a check on your weight: Although the process is tough to maintain, keeping up a sound and healthy weight is a critical objective for everybody. Being overweight can expand the danger of a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer, particularly after menopause in women. Exercise is very important for maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle. Women who exert physically regularly are fitter than others and are at a much lower risk of acquiring diseases of any kind. Regular exercise decreases the chance of getting breast cancer and also keeps the body weight in check.
- Maintaining a healthy diet: Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is a key for keeping away from any kind of cancer or major health problem. Include a sufficient amount of fresh fruits and green vegetables in your daily diet to ensure the supply of all vital nutrients to your body. This would increase your immunity.
- Avoid smoking and consume less alcohol: Smoking is a very unhealthy and harmful habit. Smoking lowers the quality of your life, and causes numerous diseases. Heart diseases, stroke and many kinds of cancer, including breast cancer can be caused from smoking. If you drink alcohol, you should moderate your drinking habits and drink less, as drinking in excess may lead to breast cancer.
- Practice breast feeding: Breast feeding your children for a span of one year or more is likely to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Avoid taking birth control pills: Birth control pills, in spite of having several benefits are associated with risk factors as well. Birth control pills have got worse effects in younger women than older aged women. Using birth control pills may cause breast cancer and these pills should be avoided.
There are many ways, adapting which you can lower the chances of getting breast cancer.
I have slipped disk and doctors told me to get admitted and I have another option to go to the bone setter what should I do?
L4-l5 and l5-s1 between disk problems years-44-women. Please give advise operation after disk moving
Beet juice: apart from being a nutritional powerhouse, beet juice is a great source of nitric acid. The latter helps with blood flow in the body. A smooth blood flow, on the other hand, helps the brain in functioning properly. A study has found that people who consume beet juice have an increased circulation in the white matter resulting from an increased brain activity. This juice is sweet in taste and can be consumed every alternate day.
Berry smoothies: acai is a fruit which has a south african origin and hits the top of the list when it comes to brain assisting food. It increases the flow of the blood and dilates the blood vessels. However, this is extremely expensive. Berries also have a similar effect on the brain, but they are less powerful in nature. What can be done is to mix a little ingredient of acai in frozen berries juice and drink the same every day. Frozen berries retain the freshness and the nutritional benefits. This drink will improvise your brain and increase blood flow in the body.
Pomegranate juice: pomegranate is a great antioxidant and it very aptly limits the free radicals from damaging the brain cells. Antioxidants are also credited with increased blood flow and protection of the heart. A healthy cardiovascular system is synonymous to an increased brain function. What is surprising is the fact that pomegranate has more antioxidant content compared to red wine and green tea. Pomegranate juice can be consumed daily during the morning or afternoon.
Carrot juice: carrot is known for its healthy components that are beneficial for the eyes. Recent studies have revealed that they are great for the brain too. Like other colored vegetables, they are a great source of antioxidant and have a high content of beta-carotene. Carrot juice can reduce the inflammation of the brain cells and improve memory. Carrot juice is not at all bitter and the same can be consumed every alternate day after your meal.
Cocoa: a harvard study revealed that two cups of cocoa on a daily basis greatly helps a person in improving memory. Cocoa contains flavanols that keep the blood pressure normal and relaxes the blood vessel linings. Cocoa is also known to be a great antioxidant agent that limits the free radical to affect the brain cells. Cocoa should not be overloaded with sugar and should be consumed hot before starting your day.
My wife is suffering from slip disc in spine after mri doctor diagnosis that she also suffering bone tb with unbearable pain in lower portion. Now as per doctor advice completely she is in bed rest. Now she cannot able to stand. Kindly advice.
My husband is diabetic & his height is 5ft n 11 inch & weight 94 kg. From two months he is having edema in both foot. His blood reports of kidney I s. Cretenine 1.09. He is suffering from disc slip problem also so cant walk. I am worried about foot edema.
All healthy individuals will always have some amount of urea in the blood. Yet, when the urea level in the blood becomes too high, that means there is a malfunction in some part of the body due to which the body is not being able to remove this excess urea successfully. This urea can be formed in the liver when there is a process in terms of the protein metabolism's chemical balance. This urea is then transported to various parts of the body until the kidney cleans it out as urine. But when this urea does not get cleaned out properly, the urea gets concentrated in the blood and signifies a problem with the kidneys and other internal organs as well as the blood flow to the kidneys.
The cause may include burns, heart failure, renal artery embolism, vomiting and loose motions as well as more serious ailments like Diabetes. This can lead to long term kidney damage and symptoms like thirst, fluid retention, headaches, fatigue, dizzy spells, accelerated pulse, restlessness in limbs, pain in the abdomen and more. Here are the best ways to reduce the blood urea levels in a natural manner.
Ayurveda is an ancient science that can be used for the benefit of many patients suffering from chronic and painful ailments like diabetes, kidney failure, cardiovascular ailments and more. One of the mainstays of Ayurveda includes the use of herbs to create medicines and concoctions that will help in giving relief with their 100% natural elements. Medicines like Mutrakrichantak Churna, Punarnava Mandur, Varunadi Vati and many others can be used to avoid dialysis and bring down the urea levels in the blood by aiding better functioning of the kidneys.
- Punarnava: The name of this herb has been derived from two words - Puna and Nava. While Puna means again, Nava means new and together they help in renewed functioning of the organ that they treat. This herb helps in flushing out the excess fluid in the kidneys by reducing the swelling without any side effects. This herb is basically a kind of hogweed.
- Varun: This is the common caper which can be used to break down the stones present in the renal region and even as a cure for urinary tract infection. This herb helps in removing any element that may be obstructing the urinary tract and finally removes the excess fluid build up and inflammation.
- Gokshur: This is a diuretic that can be used as a herbal tonic to give strength to the weak kidney cells for regeneration.
Other aspects of Ayurvedic treatment for this condition include proper protein intake and better hydration along with massages and Yogic postures.
One of my friend he is suffering due to dislocation of l5/s1 disc. The residual ap canal diameter at this level measures 6.7 mm only. Few of the doctors suggested him to do surgery but few of them not recommending surgery because he is just 27 years old. Now he is taking Ayurveda medicine. Kindly recommend the best solution or medication for this problem.
Can Physiotherapy Cure cervical disc prolapse and L5 S1 Disc bulge.I am suffering from Neck pain for the Past 6 years
I am male aged 57 years. In 1998, I had l4-l5 disc prolapse. After getting treatment for 5 years I was alright. But now since last 3 years, my calf muscles have become very stiff, unable to walk freely, developed gait problem (body disbalance) and sleeplessness. Presently I am using ropark 1 mg. Tab. Every night, but of no much help. Please Advise.
You know that feeling after a long day when your feet are so sore or swollen that you can’t bear the thought of standing on them for any longer? once you take off your shoes and sit down, or even soak them in a warm bath, it’s still an unpleasant experience. Luckily, I’ve collected 10 natural remedies for such an occasion and I want to share them with you.
Important: regular swelling vs potential health risks
When experiencing swelling in the feet and legs, apply pressure to the area with a finger. If the dimple created by the finger remains for more than a couple of seconds, it may indicate oedema, which can be the result of heart, liver, or kidney problems. When this occurs, see a doctor at the first possible opportunity.
If you experience swelling in one leg but not the other, you should also see a doctor as this may be an indication of deep venous thrombosis (a blood clot blocking the blood vessels).
If the swelling is accompanied by shortness of breath, fever, bluish skin, and chest pains, get immediate medical attention.
10 natural remedies:
1. Soak your feet in epsom salts
Pour 250g of epsom salt into a hot bath, and take a nice long soak. You can also add essential oils to the mix for enhanced relaxation. Your feet will thank you, your body will thank you, and you’ll emerge from that bath a happier person.
2. Massage the area
Massaging the painful area increases blood flow and moves the fluids that accumulate and cause the swelling. If you want to indulge, get someone to massage your feet for you, preferably with hot essential oils.
3. Stop smoking
If you smoke tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, etc.), you should know that one of the many negative effects of nicotine is constriction of blood vessels, which can lead to sore feet.
4. Stay hydrated
When the caffeine and sodium we consume accumulate in the body, they can cause swelling and pain in the limbs. The best way to dilute them and flush them out is by drinking water. If you want to maximize the efficiency of hydration, squeeze a lemon or lime into the glass of water for a boost of vitamins and antioxidants.
5. Eat healthy, avoid excess salt
While we need salt for our body to function well, when we overdo it, it can have adverse effects. Reduce the amount of salt you consume every day, and consider cutting down on caffeine as well.
6. Elevate the legs
If you’re suffering from chronically sore legs/feet, try keep your legs elevated for 30 minutes, three times a day. You will notice a difference within a couple of days. Also, when you’re in bed, use a couple of pillows to prop up your feet. Elevating the legs helps to drain the excess fluids that causes the swelling and pain.
7. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods
Whether you’re flying, taking the bus, or just sitting in an office all day, keeping your legs stationary can lead to pain and swelling. If you know you’re going to sit for a long period of time, make sure to stand up, stretch, and walk around every 20 minutes or so.
8. Use compression socks when traveling
If you’re going to fly overseas, another excellent solution is to use compression socks. These socks apply pressure to your feet, preventing fluid from building up – the main cause of swelling and pain in the feet.
Exercise will help boost your cardiovascular system, which in turn will reduce the possibility of swelling in the limbs. Exercise increases blood-flow in the body and reduces weight.
10. Take magnesium supplements
Magnesium is essential for our body’s function. That said, many people suffer from a magnesium deficiency. By adding magnesium to your system, you will improve your overall health, reduce hangover symptoms and suffer less pain in your extremities
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.
Breast cancer begins when the cells that are present in the breast start to go out of control. These cells generally form a tumor which can be seen on mammogram or one can feel it as a lump. The tumor is threatening if the cells can grow into the tissues that surround it or spread to other areas of the body. Breast cancer happens mostly in ladies. Here are a few methods with which you can prevent breast cancer-
- Keep your weight in check: Maintaining a healthy weight is important for everyone although, it is easy to tune it out since it is said so often. Being overweight can expand the danger of a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer, particularly after menopause.
- Be physically active: Women who are physically active for almost or at least 30 minutes a day have a lower danger of breast cancer. Normal activity is additionally one of the ideal approaches to keep weight under control.
- Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables and Avoid Too Much Alcohol: A balanced and healthy diet can bring down the danger of breast cancer. Attempt to eat a considerable measure of fruits and vegetables and keep liquor at moderate levels or lower. While moderate drinking can be useful for the heart in most grown-ups, even low levels of intake can build the danger of breast cancer. If you do not drink, don't feel you have to begin. In case you drink modestly, there is less risk.
- Try not to Smoke: Smokers and non-smokers alike know how undesirable smoking is. It brings down a person’s quality of life and expands the danger of heart and lung diseases, stroke, and no less than 15 types of cancer, including breast cancer. It additionally causes bad breath, awful teeth, and wrinkles.
- Breastfeed, If Possible: Breastfeeding for almost one year or more brings down the danger of breast cancer. It additionally has extraordinary medical advantages for the baby as well, especially in terms of immunity.
- Keep away from Birth Control Pills: Contraceptive pills have both dangers and advantages. In many cases, the more young a lady is, the lower the danger is. While ladies are taking birth control pills, they have more chances of falling prey to breast cancer as per various medical studies. This danger leaves rapidly in the wake of stopping the pill. The danger of stroke and heart attack is increased while on the pill, especially if the woman smokes. Long term use can likewise have essential advantages, such as bringing down the danger of ovarian cancer, colon tumor and uterine cancer and undesirable pregnancy. In case you are exceptionally worried about breast cancer, staying away from birth control pills is also an alternative to lower the risk. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist and ask a free question.
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.
My MRI report says, Mild posterior broad base protrusion of L4-L5 intervertebral disc resultant mild central and lateral canal narrowing causing mild compression over thecal sac and right traversing L5 nerve root. I am doing bed rest from 10 days, what's the report says.
Also known as slipped disc, herniated disc or sciatica. The discs are the shock absorbers of your spine. When they are injured the inner soft part of the disc can protrude out through a tear in the outer lining of the disc. This disc material can press on the nerves in the spinal column, injuring them through direct pressure and causing inflammation.
The most common age to develop a disc prolapse is between the ages of 30-50 years., twice as many men as women are affected. Prolpased discs occur mainly in the low back (lumbar) spine. Less than I in 20 cases of back pain are due to a disc prolapse, most are due to mechanical back pain. (see section back pain).
A slipped disc is characterised by sudden, severe back pain that is often made worse by movement and which can usually be eased by lying down flat.
Nerve root pain (sciatica) can also occur because a nerve is trapped or irritated by a prolapsed disc. Although the problem is in the back, patients experience pain along the course of the nerve, for example, down a leg to the calf or foot.
With a prolapsed disc, the sciatic nerve is most commonly affected. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that is made up from several smaller nerves that come out from the spinal cord in the lower back and travels down each leg. The irritation or pressure on the nerve may also cause pins and needles, numbness or weakness in part of a buttock, leg or foot.
In rare cases, cauda equina syndrome can occur. This is a disorder where the nerves at the very bottom of the spinal cord are trapped. It can cause low back pain as well as problems with bowel and bladder function and weakness in one or both legs. These symptoms need urgent medical treatment to prevent permanent damage to the nerves that supply the bladder and bowel.
A large number of people can have a prolapsed disc without any symptoms if it doesn’t trap or irritate the nerve.
A doctor will normally be able to diagnose a prolapsed disc from the symptoms and by examining the patient.
In most cases, no tests are needed, as the symptoms often settle within a few weeks.
Tests such as x-rays or scans may be advised if symptoms persist. In particular, an MRI scan can show the site and size of a prolapsed disc. This information is needed if surgery is being considered
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. is diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime. Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age.
What Causes Lung Cancer?
The development of lung cancer is strongly associated with cigarette smoking, approximately 90% of lung cancers are attributable to use of tobacco. Pipe and cigar smoking can also cause lung cancer, but the risk is not as high as with cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which are cancer causing (carcinogens). Passive smoking, i.e. the inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers who live or work with smokers, is also an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer.
Genetic susceptibility (i.e. family history) may play a role in the development of lung cancer. Other causes of lung cancer include air pollution (from vehicles, industry, and power generation) and inhalation of asbestos fibres (usually in the workplace).
Lung Cancer Symptoms:
Early symptoms and signs of lung cancer:
There may be no symptoms at the onset of the disease. When present, common symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- Coughing: This includes a persistent cough that doesn't go away or changes to a chronic smoker's cough, such as more coughing or pain.
- Coughing up blood: Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm) should always be discussed with your doctor.
- Breathing Difficulties: Shortness of breath, wheezing or noisy breathing (called stridor) may all be signs of lung cancer.
- Loss of Appetite: Many cancers cause changes in appetite, which may lead to unintended weight loss.
- Fatigue: It is common to feel weak or excessively tired.
- Recurring infections: Recurring infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia, may be one of the signs of lung cancer.
Signs of advanced stages of lung cancer: Advanced stages of lung cancer are often characterized by the spread of cancer to distant sites in the body. This may affect the bones, liver or brain. As other parts of the body are affected, new lung cancer symptoms may develop, including:
- Bone pain
- Swelling of the face, arms or neck
- Headaches, dizziness or limbs that become weak or numb
- Lumps in the neck or collar-bone region
Treatment: Treatment for cancer involves a combination of surgery to remove cancer cells, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Lung cancer is incurable unless complete surgical removal of the tumour cells can be achieved. Surgery is the most effective treatment for lung cancer, but only a few percentage of lung cancers are suitable for surgery i.e. Stage I and II NSCLC and cancer that has not spread beyond the lung.
Radiation therapy may be used for both NSCLC and SCLC and is a good option for people who are not suitable for surgery or who refuse surgery. Chemotherapy is used for both NSCLC and SCLC. Chemotherapy drugs may be given alone or in combination with surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is the treatment of first choice for SCLC since it has usually spread extensively in the body by the time it has been diagnosed.
Also used in the treatment of lung cancer are targeted therapies. These are drugs (gefitinib and erlotinib) or antibodies (cetuximab, bevacizumab) that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. They are used in some patients with NSCLC that does not respond to standard chemotherapy.