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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.
A mammogram is an imaging test where an X-ray is taken to recreate the internal imagery of your breasts. This is a screening test that is widely used to find the earliest signs of cancer. There have been instances where the early signs of cancer have been found up to three years before the actual development of the same. There are a number of benefits and risks in this screening method. So let us find out more about getting a mammogram, and whether or not you should get one.
- Procedure: A special X-ray machine is used for conducting a mammogram. There is a clear plastic plate on which the specialist will place the breast while another plate will press on the breast from above. While both the plates serve to flatten the breast and hold it still, the X-ray will be taken. Some pressure will be felt and the same steps will be repeated so as to get the side view of the breasts. The same procedure will be repeated for the other breast. Meanwhile, once it is done, you will need to wait so that the technician can check for clarity, and whether or not the procedure needs to be done again. The results of this procedure cannot be relayed by the technician, and all the images will be different because all breasts are slightly different from each other.
- Preparation: You will need to remember that the process can be a slightly painful one, especially once the pressure gets applied. Many women complain of discomfort and pain. Yet, this discomfort gets over before you know it. The pressure and pain will depend on the size of your breasts and how much they will have to be pressed in order to get a picture. The skill of the technician will also come into play here. One must remember not to get this procedure done a week or so before or after the menstrual cycle, as the breasts tend to be tender around this time, and the pain will be much more.
- Radiologist: Within a few weeks after the procedure, the radiologist will usually deliver the result. This is the professional who does an accurate reading of the X-ray.
- Normal and Abnormal Readings: If your mammogram result has a normal reading, then you can resort to getting one done every once in a while. But an abnormal reading will require further X-ray and tests so as to be able to tell for sure.
- Why should I get one: If you are over 40 and have a family history of such ailments, then you will have to get a mammogram done regularly. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
I am 42 year old female .After slip disc L1toL4 problem, pain in left heel and becomes severe at times. Is it spur in the foot ,slip disc or something else.
Please suggest exercises for disc bulge L4-5 and L5-S1 level indenting anterior thecal sac effacing bilateral recesses and impinging on descending nerve roots AP canal diameter- 1.3 cm (L4-5 level) and 1.2 cm (L5-S1) please suggest the best exercises to cure it fully and strengthen the particular area thanks help would be appreciated :)
I have L5-S1 disc extrusion condition from a year resulting in severe pain in the right leg. Is surgery the only solution?
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.
I am 22 year running. I am suffering from slip disc problem since last 1 & half year. My pain is increasing day by day. Its start with lower back and now its come in my left leg. I am done many things for it but still I am suffering for with this. What can I do I cant understood.
Hi I'm from South Africa. I need to have a hysterectomy done .What are cost of hospital fees, Dr. and anesthetic ,theatre fees etc awaiting your response kind regards Mariam Patel.
I am suffering from slip disc l4 l5 problem from last 5 yrs. I have tried all the treatment. But. please provide some tips.
I am suffering from sciatica for the last 6 months. Tried back exercises and muscle relaxants. The condition is due to L4/L5 disc herniation. Kindly advice.
I have got pain in my leg from two years. The MRI shows this diffuse posture lateral iv disc at L4-L5 level causing anterior epidural space and lateral recess narrowing with mild thecal sac indentation and abutting transversing nerve fibres and existing neural foramen stenosis.(2) subtle L3 -L4 diffuse posture lateral iv disc bulge causing anterior epidural space and lateral recess effacement. What is the treatment of it .is surgery necessary for it.
I am a 25 years old male, I have been suffering from bulging disk at l5-s1. I have been resting for 2 months, now my neck has started paining too and left pelvic joint is making popping sound everytime it is bend. So I got my blood acid checked. And its been 8 for last two months, I have been drinking like 6 lts water everyday. Is uric acid main reason of pain? And how can I get it down as I don't want to start the medicine so early in life and drinking water is not working. Please suggest, my career is suffering a lot.
I have small disk. And my lift leg paining I went doctor he proscribed me some pain lure and nerve medication but still my leg paining. How I can get well and don't take medication. Thanks.
Am 24 years old and facing disc bulge from past 4 years (L4, l5, l6) I have taken treatment with exercises, massages and Physio therapy. Which is best way to cure in a quick time.
I have diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma, NOS, in right breast (in biopsy report, triple negative (ER-negative, PR-NEGATIVE, HER 2-NEGATIVE). The tumor measures 4 cm* 3 cm mammographically. After giving 3 no. Of chemo My doctor suggest me for modified radical mastectomy. Please tell me if I go for complete breast removal & subsequent chemotherapy Radiotherapy is must or optional?
It is perfectly normal for women to experience the periodic monthly bleeding cycle. However, if a woman experiences uterine bleeding which is abnormal and dysfunctional, it could be a symptom of infection. Other causes of abnormal uterine bleeding include hormonal imbalance, infection in cervix and cancer of the uterus. Many women can also experience abnormal uterine bleeding during first trimester of pregnancy.
The following are considered to be abnormal or dysfunctional uterine bleeding:
- A menstrual cycles occurs between 21 to 35 days, anything shorter or longer than this is abnormal
- No period for 3–6 months (amenorrhea) is abnormal
- Spotting or bleeding between periods
- Spotting or bleeding after intercourse
- Bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than usual
- Spotting or bleeding after menopause
What can cause such a situation?
Some of the common causes leading to abnormal bleeding are as follows:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Cervical or uterine infections
- Hormonal imbalances
- Problems with blood clotting
- Polycystic ovaries
- Endometrial hyperplasia
- Cancer of the reproductive tract
How to Diagnose it?
Most women tend to ignore abnormal bleeding, taking it as something to do with age or hormones. A detailed physical examination and history is done to understand menstrual cycle patterns and family history. In addition, the following would be used.
- Ultrasound: The pelvic organs are examined through sound waves to locate the problem area
- Hysteroscopy: Through a thin device that is inserted into the vagina, the doctor takes a look at the inside of the organs and identify the cause for the bleeding
- Endometrial biopsy: The uterine lining tissue is removed and examined under microscope to look for tissue changes that could be causing the bleeding
How Best to Treat It?
This would depend on the reason for the abnormal bleeding. However, in most cases, combinations of the following are useful in treatment.
- Hormone replacement can be done depending on the age and gynecological history, the type and the dose of the hormone would be decided upon. These could be in the form of tablets, vaginal creams, injections, or through an intrauterine device
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are useful in reducing bleeding and controlling cramps during excessive menstrual bleeding.
- Antibiotics may be useful if there is infection of the pelvic organs.
- Polyps, cysts, cancers, and other growths can be removed via hysteroscopy and sent for biopsy to confirm they are not cancerous.
- Endometrial ablation where the endometrial tissue is treated with heat can be used to control bleeding permanently.
- Hysterectomy would be done if other forms of treatment have failed. This could depend on their gynecologic history and other considerations as she cannot get pregnant after this.
Do not ignore if you see a change in the pattern of your uterine bleeding. It definitely calls for medical attention and if identified early, can be managed in much simpler ways.
Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. Mainly it occurs in females but less than 1% of all the breast cancer cases develop in males. The majority of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. A small number start in the milk sacs or lobules. It can spread to the lymph nodes and to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs and to the brain.
With more reliable early detection methods as well as the trend towards less invasive surgery, there is hope that even more women with breast cancer will be treated successfully and will go on to resume their normal lives.
Signs & Symptoms
It is painless, especially, during the early stage. Watch out for the following changes in the breast:
- A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling.
- Bloody discharge from the nipple.
- A change in the nipple or areola such as scaliness, persistent rash or nipple retraction (nipple pulled into the breast).
Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.
Being a woman puts you at risk of getting breast cancer. There are certain factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Some of them have been listed below:
- The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50
- Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Family history of breast cancer
- Being overweight
- Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12)
- Late menopause (after the age of 55)
- Never had children
- Late childbearing
- No breast feeding
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) for a long period of time
However, most women who have breast cancer have none of the above risk factors. Likewise, not having any of these risk factors does not mean that you will not get breast cancer.
Early Detection and Screening
More treatment options are available when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and hence the chances of recovery is also higher. So regular breast screening is important for early detection even if there are no symptoms. Following are the ways of screening:
- Breast Self-Examination (BSE): Perform BSE once a month about a week after your menses are over. If you no longer menstruate, choose a date each month which is easy to remember e.g. your date of birth or anniversary.
- Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
- Mammogram: Go for a screening mammogram once a year if you are 40 to 49 years old and once every two years if you are 50 years and above even if you do not have any symptom. It is not recommended for younger women (less than 40 years of age) as they have dense breasts, making it difficult for small changes to be detected on a mammogram. So ultrasonography of the breasts is advisable to them.
Types of Breast cancer
- Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
- Invasive Breast cancer: It occurs when cancer cells spread beyond the ducts or lobules. Cancer cells first spread to the surrounding breast tissue and subsequently to the lymph nodes in the armpit (Axillary lymph nodes). These cells can also travel to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs or brain and hence known as metastatic breast cancer.
Making A Diagnosis
If you notice any unusual changes in your breasts, you should see a doctor immediately. He will examine you clinically and may ask you to undergo some tests so that a definitive diagnosis can be made. Further, the staging work up is done to find out the stage of the disease and management accordingly.
Treatment of breast cancer may include various methods such as surgery with or without breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. Treatment options offered, depend upon the number of factors such as the stage of cancer and likelihood of cure, your general health and your preference. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist.