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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.
Hello Dr. Sir, I am Harvinder singh from yamunanagar, Haryana. I have lower back pain since last 2 years. Its slip disc and sciatica pain in left leg. I am very unhappy with this problem. Please advice me best of best treatment for the same and where I can get the same.
I am 51 yrs. I am suffering from neck pain and headache last two years. My mri report says that c5-6 disc shows diffuse asymmetric bulge[more towards left side], causing effacement of anterior subarachnoid space and indentation of bilateral c6 nerve roots[left>>right]. Along with posterior osteophytes, it constitutes hard disc. What should I do? please help me.
The womb or the uterus is a muscular structure that is fixed in its place by the ligaments and the pelvic muscles. If these ligaments or muscles become weak or stretch, they no longer will be capable of holding the uterus, resulting in a prolapse. Uterine prolapse happens when the uterine slips or sags from its usual position into the birth canal or vagina. The main indications of uterine prolapse are recurrent bladder infections, constipation, a tug at the pelvic area, the cervix or uterus protruding out of the vagina, problems during sexual intercourse, increased discharge and vaginal bleeding.
What causes it?
1. Age is the most important reason for this condition to manifest itself.
2. A dip in the estrogen level as this hormone keeps the pelvic muscles strong.
3. Damage to the pelvic tissues and muscles due to pregnancy or during childbirth can also contribute to this condition.
4. A woman who has undergone multiple vaginal births is at an increased risk of this condition.
5. Any physical activity that exerts pressure on the pelvic muscles can also result in this disorder.
6. Chronic constipation and obesity, over time, can lead to this disorder.
How it can be treated?
1. Nonsurgical methods:
- Shedding the extra kilos helps reduce stress from the pelvic structures. This helps to avert this disorder.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects throughout the course of the treatment.
- Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises help build up the vaginal muscles.
- Estrogen replacement therapy or Hormone Replacement Therapy can help relieve the symptoms of this disease.
- Wearing a pessary (an instrument that is placed into the vagina and fits under the cervix) helps to push up and stabilize the cervix and the uterus.
2. Surgical treatments:
- Uterine suspension- In this case, the surgeon inserts the uterus back into its former position by reattaching the pelvic ligaments by the use of surgical techniques.
- Hysterectomy- Here, the surgeon removes either the whole or just a part of the womb.
With the recent number of breast cancer cases on the rise, it is important that we should get the examination done on a regular basis as a preventive measure. Even if someone is suffering from it, it is important that we should make an effort and learn about.
If you have breast cancer then a surgery will be part of your treatment. Based on the condition, surgery will be carried out due to any of the following reasons:
1. To remove the cancerous tissues from the breast
2. To reconstruct the breast once the cancer is removed
3. To check whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm
4. To treat symptoms of cancer that has progressed to an advanced stage
Breast cancer surgery may be classified into two types
1. Mastectomy: Mastectomy involves removing the entire breast; tissues in the adjoining region may also be removed. A double mastectomy is a procedure where both the breasts are removed.
2. Breast-conserving surgery: In this surgery, only parts of the breast affected by cancer are removed. The area of the breast that is to be removed will depend on the severity of the cancer. Some healthy tissues may also be removed in this surgery.
Usually, if a woman is in the initial stages of cancer then she may opt for the latter as it entails removing parts of the breast. They may also undergo radiation therapy along with these surgeries.
For checking if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm, the lymph nodes are removed from the body. Once they are removed, they are studied under a microscope to check if it has spread, if yes then the extent of their damage. This procedure is carried out along with the surgery to remove the cancer.
Once the mastectomy procedure is completed, you can opt for a breast reconstruction surgery to rebuild the area. You may opt for this procedure at the time of breast cancer removal or at a later stage. If you are considering breast reconstruction surgery then you should discuss it with your surgeon.
Surgery is sometimes not used to treat cancer, but in slowing the progression of cancer or even reducing its symptoms.It is important you talk to your surgeon before the procedure to understand the goal of the surgery.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
I am 63 year old male, having- (1) a sciatica on right side (2) herniation between in lumber, as a result suffering from leg and lower back pain. I want your valued answer of treatment.
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.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
I have an anterior pelvic tilt and the bone of my lower spine has been paining since yesterday. Can you suggest me some ways to reduce the butt size or to reduce the anterior pelvic tilt ?
A broken bone or a fracture can be painful and it requires medical attention for the fracture to heal properly. Proper healing is necessary for the right alignment of the bone. A doctor chooses to either reduce or set the bone in terms of new alignment. The bone reduction can happen manually or surgically depending on the severity of the injury. A Surgical procedure known as the open reduction internal fixation is performed for serious fractures. It ensures that the all the broken pieces are fixed together and the injury can heal properly.
Post the fracture, the bone need to be immobilised for proper healing. This is generally achieved by imposing a cast. For fractures that are not severe in nature, a doctor might choose to impose a temporary cast so that simple motion can happen around the site of the injury. For serious fractures, a permanent cast is placed around the injury site. In the case of a shoulder injury, a patient is required to wear a sling so that the bones are immobilised.
Time Duration of a Therapy Session:
While the exact duration of physiotherapy can vary from individual to individual, it takes a minimum of 2-8 weeks for the fracture to completely heal. Certain fractures take more time to heal. The rate of healing also depends on the severity of the injury, pain threshold level of the patient, extent of work with the physiotherapist, the robustness of the physiotherapy program, extent of the injury of the soft tissue and certain other factors. Typically shoulder and neck injuries heal quicker than a fracture of the legs. The time duration of fracture healing also depends on the type of bone that has been affected.
Physiotherapy in a Hospital:
If the fracture happens in the ankle or leg, a physiotherapist might have to intervene in the hospital in order to teach patient about using assistive devices such as crutches and cane. Things that are taught during this time include using the device in order to climb stairs, right walking posture, getting into a car, taking the device off while sitting and such other techniques.
Physiotherapy at Home:
Physiotherapy can also happen from home if the doctor specifically instructs to do the same. This is typically done for people where the condition is too serious to go outside and get the physiotherapy done. Certain weight bearing restrictions are imposed around this time. The training remains the same as in the case with a hospital.
In the Clinic:
Once the patient becomes mobile enough, a doctor might suggest a patient go to a clinic to get the physiotherapy done. A physiotherapist evaluates certain things such as pain, range of motion, gait, flexibility etc. of the patient before suggesting a certain exercise plan. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a physiotherapist.