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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.
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.
Noncancerous growths of the muscle tissue surrounding the uterus are known as uterine fibroids. This is a common disease which about 70 to 80% of women contract by the time they are 50 years of age. The uterine fibroids can sometimes be very big and cause heavy periods as well as severe abdominal pain while at other times, uterine fibroids give no signs or symptoms whatsoever and go away on their own. This is why it is crucial to know what type of uterine fibroids you have and how to diagnose them. Here are the types of uterine fibroids and how to diagnose them;
There are three main types of uterine fibroids. They are;
- Intramural fibroids: The most common type of uterine fibroids are intramural fibroids. They typically appear in the endometrium and may grow larger which results in your womb getting stretched.
- Subserosal fibroids: Subserosal fibroids are called so because they form on the serosa. The serosa is the outside of your uterus. Sometimes, Subserosal fibroids may grow so large that your uterus appears bigger on one side.
- Pedunculated fibroids: Pedunculated fibroids tumors are basically Subserosal fibroids with a stem. A base which supports the tumor is called the stem.
There are a number of tests done to diagnose uterine fibroids. They are;
- Pelvic exam: A pelvic exam is a thorough inspection of a woman’s pelvic area. The organs which are in the pelvic area include the cervix, ovaries, uterus and vagina. Normally, this and the next test in this article are enough to diagnose uterine fibroids.
- Medical history: The history of your periods as well as the other symptoms you have will often be enough to diagnose the uterine fibroids. If your medical history is not enough, then you might need to undergo a pelvic exam.
- Pelvic ultrasound: An ultrasound is when high-intensity sound waves are used to produce images of the pelvic area. This is only done when a pelvic exam and your medical history are not enough to diagnose uterine fibroids. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a general surgeon.
I am 54 year old male having MRI [LS-SPINE]. Finding Reveal Annular Tear, circumferential Disc Bulge With Small Posterocentral Protrusion at L4-L5 level, Causing No Significant Neural Compression Or Canal Stenosis" I have no pain anywhere since 5 months only difficulty in standing or on walking without pain. Become tired for few seconds, then start again walking. Ortho. Says no need to worry it will heal naturally. Spine Surgeon says need of "DISC FIX" treatment required. Getting confuse. WHAT TO DO.'
MY WIFE RECENTLY HAD A CT SCAN & THE IMPRESSIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS: * Bilateral vocal cord palsy (more prominent on left side) * Few enlarged left supraclavicular lymph nodes * ~3 x 2 cm irregular mass in medial aspect of right upper lobe of lung, infiltrating the mediastinal pleura-suggestive of malignancy (metastases - known carcinoma of left breast) * I11 defined soft tissue rind measuring ~1 cm in thickness in superior mediastinum, encasing the mediastinal structures- suggestive of malignancy (spread from pleura / metastatic lymphodes) * ~2 cm right perihilar mediastinal lesion. * Multiple nodules measuring about 2 mm to 5 mm in both lungs- suggestive of metastases. * Moderate pericardial effusion. * Thin layer of left pleural effusion. I KNOW IT IS RELATED TO CANCER, BUT I WANT TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TYPE OF CANCER IT IS & WHAT IS THE SURVIVAL CHANCE (PERIOD) FOR PATIENT TAKING TREATMENT & PATIENT NOT TAKING ANY TREATMENT. KINDLY GIVE YOUR VALUABLE SUGGESTION. Thanks & Regards
Sir I am FROM CHENNAI having back pain when mri scanned impression as follows Early lumbar spondylosis. Mild disc bulge with focal posterocentral and bilateral postrtolateraldisc at l3_ 4 disc level causing thecal sac ibdentation and bilatrral mild beural foranimal narrowings (L>R) MILD ligamentum flavum hypertrophy at L3_4 & L4_5 disc level causing mild posterior thecal sac indention Disc desiccation in L4_5 & L5_ S1 DISC LEVEL AS LOSS OF HYPERINTENSE SIGNAL ON T2W1 PLEASE HELP I REPLY ME POSITIVELY
Even though we have 206 bones in our bodies, breaking just one is enough to bring our daily lives to a standstill. A partial or complete break in a bone is termed as a fracture. While minor fractures can heal in as little as 6 weeks major fractures can take 3-4 months to heal properly. In cases of complex fractures, you may need physical therapy even after this time period to get back complete mobility. Hence patience is essential when a fracture is healing, but here are a few tips on how to speed up the process.
- Increase your protein intake: Proteins are essential for the healing and repairing of damage to bones and tissues. Proteins also give the bone structure its strength, Hence, depriving the body of adequate protein will result in the formation of soft bones rather than hard, strong bones. This prevents a bone from fracturing in the same place again.
- Have a diet rich in antioxidants: Inflammation is one of the first symptoms of a fracture. This inflammation can continue for many days after the incident and until the inflammation reduces, healing cannot take place properly. Antioxidants help rid toxins from the body and help reduce inflammation thereby initiating the healing process. Antioxidants can also help relieve pain.
- Exercise: While you must take care not to apply too much pressure on the affected area it is essential to move the limb as much as possible. Being active promotes blood flow and in this way speeds up the healing process.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine: In most cases, a doctor will prescribe pain relievers to deal with the pain of a fracture. Under no circumstances should you consume alcohol when taking these medications. Even after the antibiotic course is over it is a good idea to abstain from alcohol as this can increase inflammation. Similarly, caffeine and all caffeinated products should also be avoided as they contain compounds that can prevent calcium from being absorbed.
- Have an alkaline diet: Having an alkaline diet with lots of fruits and vegetables helps stabilise the pH levels of the body and conserves minerals and proteins needed to build strong bones. In this way, it creates the optimal environment for healing. An alkaline diet also increases the production of growth hormones and other growth factors like IGF insulin in the body. These are crucial to speeding up the healing process and aid in new bone formation.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Hello, I am Dr Gaurav. I am senior Physiotherapist and HOD in Anaath Clinic. I have worked in different multi speciality Hospitals and and clinic before. I have around 10 years of experience. I this time, I have seen many kinds of cases. Today, I will discuss Spinal cord injury.
In Spinal cord Injury, patients generally do not go to Physiotherapist for a longer duration or they just go for few days in the starting injury phase. At that time they are not able to walk or depending upon their level of injury and everything. They might not able to take care of themselves also. But here we try to make them independent as much as they can to help them move their body accordingly. We try to make them stand. We try to focus on their sitting and their walking also. So, it will be more of the confidence increasing for those kinds of patients.
We generally prescribe patients to do movements and increase their strength and motivations. In this condition, if they do not move, there might be different kinds of serious problems like bed su, the stiffness of the joints which will again lead to major issues which will hinder their improvement and progress. So, we prescribe our patients to move as much as they can to help them and gain their mobility soon.
In our clinic, we are just not focusing to maintain the range of motion in their body. We focus to make them motivated, to help gain them the confidence so that they will be able to do their own work.
For any query or treatment, you can contact me through Lybrate.