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Breast cancer is a form of cancer which develops from the breast tissue. Breast cancer is indicated by signs such as a lump in the breast, changes in breast shape, fluid flowing from the nipple, dimpling of skin, or the development of red scaly patches. Breast cancer is a fatal form of cancer in women and immediate diagnosis is required on observing the symptoms.
Diagnosis of breast cancer
Other than the regular breast screening, the diagnosis of breast cancer involves the following steps and methods:
- Seeing your general practitioner (GP): It is very important to visit your GP soon after noticing the symptoms of breast cancer. Your GP will examine you properly and in case your symptoms need more assessment, he/she will refer you to a breast cancer clinic.
- Mammogram and breast ultrasound: You will be required to have a mammogram, as recommended by a specialist breast unit. This is an X-ray of the breasts. An ultrasound scan may also be required. Breast ultrasound should be undertaken only if you are less than 35 years of age. This is because, young women have denser breasts and a mammogram is not as effective as ultrasound in the diagnosis of breast cancer. In ultrasound, high frequency sound waves are used for obtaining an image of your breasts. It is observed to notice any abnormality or lumps. A breast ultrasound is also important for determining whether a lump is solid or contains liquid.
- Biopsy: In this diagnosis process, a sample of the tissue cells is taken from the breasts and tested under a microscope to find out if it is cancerous. A scan and needle test for the lymph nodes present in your armpit is also done to check whether they have also been affected. A biopsy is undertaken in several ways, depending upon the condition and severity. A needle aspiration biopsy is used for testing a sample of your breast cells without the removal of the tissues. This is the most common form of biopsy and it is also used for draining a small fluid-filled lump or benign cyst. During the process, you will be given a local anesthetic. Usually, a needle biopsy is carried out guided by an X-ray, ultrasound and an MRI scan as well. This helps in distinguishing it from non-invasive changes such as ductal carcinoma in situ.
Another form of biopsy used for the diagnosis of breast cancer is called vacuum assisted biopsy or mammotome biopsy. In this process, a needle gets attached to a suction tube, which helps in obtaining the sample and for clearing the bleeding. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general-surgeon.
Dear doctor, One of my relative suffered due to minor brain stroke She gave birth to baby by cesarean just a week before the stroke. Is there any relation between delivery and stroke. Kindly let me know. Note She is 30 years old female.
Uterine cancer of cancer of the uterus is a fairly common type of cancer. In fact, this is the fourth most common type of cancer to affect women. This type of cancer is usually diagnosed in its early stages and hence can be easily treated. However, did you know that this type of cancer can be prevented? This is primarily because most cases of uterine cancer are caused by an increased amount of estrogen as compared to progestin. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Birth control pills: The regular use of birth control pills for at least a year is believed to reduce the risk of uterine cancer by at least 50%. The longer these contraceptives are used for, the more effective they are. The protection provided by them lasts for 15 years after their use has been discontinued.
- Reduce weight: Being overweight not only increases the risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure but can also increase a woman’s risk of suffering from uterine cancer. This is because fat cells produce estrogen that further dis-balances the estrogen to progestin ratio. Reducing weight can thus help lower the estrogen levels in the body and prevent cancer. To lose weight, one must keep a strict control over portion sizes, eat nutritious food and exercise regularly.
- Use an IUD: Some methods of contraception not only prevent unwanted pregnancy but also reduce the risk of uterine cancer. Many IUDs or Intrauterine Devices contain progestin. This helps balance the estrogen and progestin levels in the body. Additionally, it also reduces the risk of hyperplasia. This is a condition marked by the abnormal thickening of the lining of the uterus. In many cases, this condition is a precursor to uterine cancer.
- Question Your Family: Genetics can also influence the risk of developing uterine cancer. For example, people carrying the gene responsible for Lynch Syndrome or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer have a much higher risk of uterine cancer as compared to others. Thus, if you know of family members who have suffered or are suffering from uterine or colon cancer, it is a good idea to undergo genetic testing.
- Broccoli - A super food: Some foods can also help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of uterine cancer. Broccoli is one such vegetable. This is known as a super food that can prevent cancer. The best way to eat broccoli is by steaming it. This has the higher amounts of glucosinolate as compared to fried or boiled broccoli. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Oncologist.
Arguably one of the most fatal diseases that threaten human life, Meningitis has been the cause of a lot of recent deaths. Essentially Meningitis is triggered off by the anomalous inflammation of the protective membranes called meninges in the brain and spinal cord. Spurred by some sort of a bacterial or viral attack, this condition emanates from an infection of the fluids in the cranial chamber. Often such conditions are also stimulated by some external injury, cancerous development or even certain kinds of reaction from a given drug or the other.
Depending on the precise cause of the disease, Meningitis may be categorized as Bacterial Meningitis, Viral Meningitis or Fungal Meningitis. Other forms of Meningitis include parasitic Meningitis, Amebic Meningitis and Non-Infectious Meningitis. Meningitis could potentially be contagious. Through lengthy and proximal contact like coughing or kissing, if saliva or spit gets exchanged, Meningitis causing germs may spread from one person to the other.
Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria Meningitidis are the two of the most rampant Meningitis causing bacteria. They have the potential of causing irreversible damage to several vital organs. However, with substantive progress in medical science, effective and suitable medication has been made available to the larger populace. But, immediate attention is imperative in this case.
Viral Meningitis is relatively milder than the other forms of meningitis. Enteroviruses, arboviruses and herpes virus are some of the most common sources of this kind of Meningitis. People with strong immunity are usually able to overcome this without much ado. Vaccines are available widely in the markets to cure viral meningitis.
Fungal Meningitis are caused primarily from external influences. Inhaling fungal spores from the environment is one of the most prominent factors that lead to Meningitis. People suffering from fatal diseases like cancer, diabetes or HIV are more susceptible to fungal Meningitis. While these are a few of the primary forms of meningitis, other triggers to this disease occur due to various environmental interventions. These are consequent upon interactions with various disease causing allergens. Cure to meningitis is available in the form of intravenous injections. But timely diagnosis and treatment is essential for a good outcome. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.
I have back pain before 3 years. I have checked MRI test in hospital that result show the mild disc dics bulge noted at L4 and L5 level intending the thecal sac without neurological compression. Doctor has given pain relief tablets but no get relaxation. Please give me solution.
Brain surgery involves several medical procedures, which incorporate fixing issues with the brain, including changes in the tissues of the brain, cerebrospinal fluid and brain blood flow. Brain surgery is quite a complicated method of surgery and the type of surgery to be conducted depends on the underlying conditions.
Reasons for Brain Surgery:
Brain surgery is performed for the correction of physical brain abnormalities. These abnormalities could occur because of diseases, birth defects and injuries. A brain surgery is required when the following conditions arise in the brain:
- Abnormal blood vessels
- Blood clots in the brain
- When the protective tissue or dura is damaged
- Due to nerve damage
- Parkinson's disease
- Any kind of pressure after an injury
- Skull fractures
- In case of stroke and tumors
A surgery may not be required for all the above mentioned conditions, but in case of many, a brain surgery is very important as the conditions may worsen health problems.
Types of brain surgeries:
- Craniotomy: During this open brain surgery, an incision is made in the scalp, and a hole is created in the skull, near the area, which is being treated. After this process is complete, the hole or bone flap is secured in its place using plates or wires.
- Biopsy: This form of brain surgery helps in the removal of a small amount of brain tissues or tumors. After removal, the tissues or tumors are examined under a microscope. The creation of a small incision and a hole in the skull is indicated as a part of this process.
- Minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery: This form of brain surgery enables the removal or lesions and tumors via the nose and sinuses. Private parts of the brain can be accessed without creating an incision. An endoscope is utilized in the process which is used to examine tumors all across the brain.
- Minimally Invasive neuroendoscopy: This process is similar to the minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery. This method also involves the use of an endoscope for removal of brain tumors. Small, dime sized holes may be made in the skull to access some brain parts.
Brain surgeries may be associated with several risks. They may be:
- Allergic reactions to anesthesia
- Blood clot formations
- Swelling of the brain
- A state of coma
- Impairment in speech, coordination and vision.
- Problems in memory
- Strokes and seizures
- Infections in the brain
A brain surgery is a serious and very complex surgery. There are different kinds of brain surgeries, which are conducted depending on the condition and severity of the disease. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Neurosurgeon.
Breasts are a part of female identity- which is why for most women, breast cancer still continues to be a big fear. Many feel that having cancerous cells in these parts rob them of their identity and puts a question on everything they stand for. More than a disease, many women treat it as an emotional trauma that one has to go through, rather than something that has to be dealt at a physical level. But breast cancer is not a taboo subject anymore and with the huge awareness created, women are now more knowledgeable in identifying their risk levels. What’s more, breast cancer can be prevented to the maximum by making minor changes to our daily chores and life style.
Let us have a look at ways to keep breast cancer in check.
- Have regular checkups: Move over traditional mammography methods; new digital checks that are more accurate in identifying the symptoms have come into the picture. Make these checks mandatory as a part of the yearly check-ups and never postpone them.
- Exercises: Regular exercises can be very helpful in keeping the body fit. Estrogen is the biggest factor that can stimulate breast cancer. Having regular activities alters the estrogen metabolism thus minimizing the cancer levels. Even a relaxed exercise of 15 - 20 minutes can do a world of good, both for the body and mind in keeping the condition under check.
- Family history: About 5% to 10% of the breast cancers are hereditary. Hence always ensure that you know your family history and their tryst with cancer.
- Minimize screening tests that use radiation: Go for X-ray screening and chest x-rays only when absolutely necessary. Always consult with the physician about the precautions to be taken when going for a screening test.
- Reduce hormone intake: Hormone therapy is most commonly used to manage menopausal symptoms. However, there is a chance that they can indirectly aid in producing estrogen that can cause breast cancer. Always have a proper consultation with the gynecologist and as far as possible avoid hormone intake. Try to treat the symptoms through natural ways.
- Breast Feeding: This is one of nature's ways of preventing the contagion that causes breast cancer. Breast feeding naturally reduces the estrogen levels thus drastically reducing the chances.
- Diet and the right food: Tons of articles have been written about the good food to have and the proper diet to maintain. When it comes to breast cancer, increasing the carotenoid levels in the body can decrease the chances of breast cancer. Foods that are rich in carotenoid include fresh vegetables and fruits and greens. Also, increase the intake of fibers to have a natural defense mechanism against cancer.
- Early detection: There is no better treatment plan for breast cancer than detecting it early. The symptoms do not appear initially and they appear only in the advanced stages. Hence make sure that regular checkups are done to diagnose it.
- Alcohol abuse: Alcohol can be had in minimal quantities but do not abuse them. Excessive drinking can increase the chances of breast cancer.
- Smoking: Researchers have found a direct link between smoking and breast cancer. This increases phenomenally during menopause stages. Quit smoking altogether for a better life and in preventing many other ailments.
Breast cancer can be an emotional phase for women and following the above methods can keep breast cancer in check and prevent them in the long run.