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Patient Review Highlights
Lungs are the most important organ of our body that has the responsibility of taking in the oxygen and releasing out carbon dioxide. When cancer develops in it, the entire body gets imbalanced. Lung cancer leads to more death than any other type of cancer, which is why identifying the symptoms and knowing the causes are instrumental in obtaining a timely diagnosis as well as in prevention of this disease.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
In the early stages:
- Persistent coughing
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Coughing up blood
In the later stages:
Causes of Lung Cancer
Smoking: People who smoke are more prone to lung cancer. With the increase in the number of cigarettes you smoke, your chances of getting lung cancer increase too. People who don't smoke but are surrounded by the smokers also have high chances of being affected by this form of cancer.
Exposure to Asbestos: Asbestos is a group of mineral, which is present naturally in the environment. Lung cancer can occur due to the inhalation and ingestion of asbestos fibers.
Exposure to Ranon Gas: Ranon is a radioactive gas, which is formed naturally on decaying of radioactive elements. It is found in low levels in the air that we breathe and the water that we drink. Consumption of air and water having this gas leads to lung cancer.
High Levels of Air Pollution: Presence of high levels of dust particles and pollutants in the air that we breathe can cause lung cancer. 1-2% of lung cancer is caused because of it.
High Levels of Arsenic in Drinking Water: Consuming water with arsenic content is harmful as it directly affects the lungs and when the arsenic content is too high, it may lead to lung cancer.
Exposure to Chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals like uranium, coal products, gasoline, diesel exhaust and mustard gas can also cause lung cancer.
Family History of Lung Cancer: Chances of getting lung cancer increase if your parents, child or siblings are already prone to lung cancer.
The symptoms of tuberculosis (TB), which is active might vary and depend on which part of the body is infected. Diagnosing TB just from its symptoms can be a difficult, as the symptoms are not for TB alone meaning the symptoms can be of other diseases as well. For the confirmation and diagnosis of TB one must get a test done for TB. However, the general symptoms of TB are tiredness, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, chills and night sweats.
- Symptoms of Pulmonary TB: Pulmonary TB is the TB of lungs. The symptoms of this are bad cough, which might have lasted for more than 3 weeks, chest pain, blood or phlegm might occur on coughing.
- Extrapulmonary TB: The TB of any body part other than pulmonary is called extrapulmonary TB. This type of TB does not affect the lungs with the exception being the extrapulmonary TB also known as Pleural TB. General symptoms of Extrapulmonary TB are same as general symptoms of Pulmonary TB.
- Symptoms of Lymph Node TB: Lymph Node TB also known as lymphadenitis is basically the enlargement and the inflammation of the lymph nodes. This is a response to the infections especially in children. The symptoms of this might be painless slow growing lymph nodes. These swollen lymph nodes can be in the neck area, though they might also be present in the groin. Lymph node TB of the neck is also called as Scrofula or TB adenitis.
- Symptoms of skeletal (bone and joint) TB: The common and the first symptoms are pain and depend on the area of the joint or the bone affected. Often it is marked with the loss of movement and curving of the affected bones and joints. The affected area also weakens and is prone to fractures.
- Spinal TB is also called as Pott Disease or TB Spondylitis: The symptoms of this depend on the affected site and the stage of the disease. However, back pain is one of the earliest symptoms.
- Symptoms of Meningitis TB: The meningitis TB starts with classical symptoms of meningitis. It usually starts with symptoms of pains and aches, fever and vague and unwell feeling. These might last for 2-8 weeks and then the evident symptoms like headaches, seizures, vomiting and stiffness might occur.
- Symptoms of Gastrointestinal or Abdominal TB: This is marked with diarrhea, abdominal pain and bleeding from rectum and anus, though the symptoms depend on the exact site.
- Symptoms of TB in children: The symptoms depend on the type and site, though the common ones being weight loss, fever and cough. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pulmonologist.
Could you please tell me if Nontuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM) is not detected in my ENDOMETRIAL TISSUE FOR TB PCR what does it mean?
Pulmonary hypertension mainly occurs due to narrowing of the arteries of the lungs as a result of which the flow of blood is restricted. In this kind of condition, blood fails to carry oxygen to your heart and thus your heart gets adversely affected. The blood pressure of your body will get increased to a great extent if this situation remains untreated, thus leading to bdreadful consequenses, specifically situation like heart failure, serious pulmonary diseases, blood clots in lungs and congenial heart defects, etc.
There are certain forms of pulmonary hypertension, which are serious in nature and worsen with time, so much so that they are even fatal at times. It also includes forms which are non curable in nature, however, in order to improve the quality of life, symptoms can be reduced with proper treatment. The treatment for pulmonary hypertension is often complex and it takes some time to find the most appropriate treatment and requires extensive follow-up care. Your doctor might also need to change your treatment if it's no longer effective. However, when pulmonary hypertension is caused by another condition, your doctor will treat the underlying cause whenever possible.
Common Treatments for pulmonary hypertension:
- Blood vessel dilators (vasodilators): Vasodilators open narrowed blood vessels. They are one of the most commonly prescribed vasodilators for pulmonary hypertension is epoprostenol (Flolan, Veletri). The drawback to epoprostenol is that the effect lasts only for few minutes. This drug is continuously injected through an intravenous (IV) catheter via a small pump that you wear in a pack on your belt or shoulder.
- Ventavis: Another form of the drug, iloprost (Ventavis), can be inhaled six to nine times a day through a nebulizer, a machine that vaporizes your medication. Because it's inhaled, it goes directly to the lungs.
- Treprostinil (Tyvaso, Remodulin, Orenitram): It is another form of the drug, which can be given four times a day and can be inhaled or can be taken as an oral medication and can also be administered through injection.
- Endothelin receptor antagonists: These medications reverse the effect of endothelin, a substance in the walls of blood vessels that causes them to narrow. These drugs may improve your energy level and symptoms. However, these drugs shouldn't be taken if you're pregnant. Also, these drugs can damage your liver and you may need monthly liver monitoring.
- Sildenafil and tadalafil: Sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis, Adcirca) are sometimes used to treat pulmonary hypertension. These drugs work by opening the blood vessels in the lungs to allow blood to flow through more easily.
- High-dose calcium channel blockers: These drugs help relax the muscles in the walls of your blood vessels. They include medications, such as amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac, others) and nifedipine (Procardia, others). Although calcium channel blockers can be effective, only a small number of people with pulmonary hypertension respond to them.
- Soluble guanylate cyclase (SGC) stimulator: Soluble guanylate cyclase (SGC) stimulators (Adempas) interact with nitric oxide and help relax the pulmonary arteries and lower the pressure within the arteries. These medications should not be taken if you're pregnant. They can sometimes cause dizziness or nausea.
- Anticoagulants: Your doctor is likely to prescribe the anticoagulant warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) to help prevent the formation of blood clots within the small pulmonary arteries. Because anticoagulants prevent normal blood coagulation, they increase your risk of bleeding complications. Take warfarin exactly as prescribed, because warfarin can cause severe side effects if taken incorrectly. If you're taking warfarin, your doctor will ask you to have periodic blood tests to check how well the drug is working. Many other drugs, herbal supplements and foods can interact with warfarin, so be sure your doctor knows all of the medications you're taking.
- Digoxin: Digoxin (Lanoxin) can help the heart beat stronger and pump more blood. It can help control the heart rate if you experience arrhythmias.
- Diuretics: Commonly known as water pills, these medications help eliminate excess fluid from your body. This reduces the amount of work your heart has to do. They may also be used to limit fluid buildup in your lungs.
- Oxygen: Your doctor might suggest that you sometimes breathe pure oxygen, a treatment known as oxygen therapy, to help treat pulmonary hypertension, especially if you live at a high altitude or have sleep apnea. Some people who have pulmonary hypertension eventually require continuous oxygen therapy.
- Atrial Septostomy: If medications don't control your pulmonary hypertension, this open heart surgery might be an option. In an atrial septostomy, a surgeon will create an opening between the upper left and right chambers of your heart (atria) to relieve the pressure on the right side of your heart.
- Lung Transplantation: In some cases, a lung or heart lung transplant might be an option, especially for younger people who have idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.
- The complications need to be reduced by taking proper health care. Healthy diet needs to be taken regularly along with proper medications. Smoking should be stopped and exercising sessions should be attended daily without any fail
- Overweight or obesity needs to be controlled properly for reducing the complications. Specialized caring strategies need to be maintained for avoiding severe kinds of health complications that are quite annoying. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pulmonologist.