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Women love the fact that breastfeeding can safeguard them from general illnesses such as cold and fever. However, there is a bigger pie to cheer about. Apparently, it has been found that breastfeeding can lower the risk of breast cancer as well. Not to forget, breastfeeding is extremely crucial for a baby. It can help him/her to increase immunity and stay away from major diseases.
Facts from major studies:
- A study published in the Lancet, 2002 showed that women who breastfeed for 12 months at a stretch can reduce the chances of breast cancer by a good 4.3 percent compared to the ones who did not breastfeed. The study was performed on over 1,50,000 women and brought enough substance to the theory.
- A study conducted on 60,000 women and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that a woman who has a family history of breast cancer can mitigate the risk of breast cancer, if she breastfed before her menopause.
- A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that women from African ancestry often develop an acute form of cancer known as the estrogen receptor-negative and triple-negative. Breastfeeding can significantly hedge the risk of developing this form of breast cancer.
- A collaborative study published in Annals of Oncology, a famous journal, reported that the chances of developing hormone-receptor negative breast cancer can be negated by 20 percent if a woman breastfed before her menopause.
How does breastfeeding reduce the risk of cancer?
Some researches suggest that women who breastfeed get fewer menstrual cycle compared to the ones who do not. This means low exposure to estrogen for breastfeeding women. It is a common knowledge that estrogen can fuel breast cancer. There is a second theory that suggests that breastfeeding makes the cells of the breasts more resistive to mutation. Therefore, the breast can block cancer.
There is the other factor of lifestyle changes. Women tend to do away with drinking, smoking, eating junk food, and leading an undisciplined life. Once these are given up and replaced with healthy lifestyle practices, the chances of breast cancer automatically come down.
How long should one breastfeed to refrain from breast cancer?
There is no concrete answer to this question. Most studies show that longer the duration of breastfeeding, lower the chances of breast cancer. But, in general, a year of breast feeding is a safe number and can reduce the chance of breast cancer by almost 20 percent, as revealed by many studies. If, however, a woman fails to breastfeed, there is no need to stress. A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in surviving breast cancer.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A Herniated disc also known as a slip disc or prolapsed disc and it refers to the problem where one of the discs located in between the bones of the vertebrae(backbone) gets damaged and stacks itself upon the nerves. The tender inner portion of the disc gets protruded over the outer ring. Herniated disc causes severe neck pain and back pain. It occurs when the outer ring gets weak and tears down. The most common symptoms include pain and numbness, especially on one side of the body. The pain extends down to the arms and legs. It worsens during nighttime. The muscles become weak. Overweight people are likely to have this disease, as the discs carry extra weight. Old people are vulnerable to a slip disc.
Effects of Herniated Disc:
- An untreated case of Herniated disc may cause permanent damage to the nerves.
- In certain cases, a Herniated disc is capable of cutting off nerve impulses to the "caudal equine"nerves, present in the lower back and legs. This leads to loss of bladder control or bowel control.
- Saddle anaesthesia is another long-term effect. Nerves are compressed by the slip disc, causing loss of sensation in the inner portions of your thighs, the back of your legs and surrounding the rectum region.
- Symptoms may improve or worsen.
Diagnosis of Herniated Disc:
Treatment or diagnosis of Herniated disc or slipped disc can be either conservative or surgical in nature. The nature of treatment is determined according to your discomfort level and the kind of pain you are experiencing, or how much the disc has slipped out.
- The pain caused by Herniated disc can be relieved by undertaking an exercise schedule, which includes stretching and strengthening the spine and its surrounding muscles.
- A physiotherapist should be appointed for recommending the types of exercises.
- Taking pain relievers also soothes the pain.
- Stronger medicines prescribed by doctors include-muscle relaxants, narcotics to deal with the pain, medicines for nerve pain such as "gabapentin" or "duloxetine".
- In case of the symptoms not subsiding within a span of six weeks, a surgery may be recommended by your doctor. The surgeon may have to remove the damaged part of the disc. This surgery is called a microdiscectomy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.
MRI IMPRESSION 29 August 2016 -Posterior diffuse disc herniation at L4 -5 level with bilateral ligamentum flavum hypertrophy causing narrowing of bilateral neural recesses with compression of bilateral traversing nerve roots at same level. -Posterior diffuse disc bulge at L5-S1 level indenting ventral thecal space at same level -Changes of lumbar spondylosis I was having pain at my right hip joint on 15/8/16. It went unbearable extending to RT leg. On 3rd September night as usual on bed all the 24 hours trying to sleep on 4th at 5 am all my pain went. Till then no pain but having burning sensation on right foot, tingling, falling rt foot asleep when I sit on chair. Please advise:- 1. Surgical intervention required? Or 2.Pregabalin,Tolperisone, methylcobalamin,Calcium and D3 with rest will cure me fully? Or 3. Somekind of spinal exercises also required? ERODHA.
When cells divide abnormally and uncontrollably, they can form a mass or lump of tissue. This lump is called a tumor. Bone tumors form in your bones. As the tumor grows, abnormal tissue can displace healthy tissue.
Some tumors are benign, meaning they aren’t cancerous. While benign bone tumors won’t spread to other parts of the body and are unlikely to be fatal, they can still be dangerous and may require treatment. Benign tumors can grow and could compress your healthy bone tissue. Other tumors are malignant, meaning they’re cancerous. Malignant bone tumors can cause cancer to spread throughout the body.
Causes of bone tumor:
The cause of bone tumors is unknown. They often occur in areas of the bone that grow rapidly. Possible causes include:
- Genetic defects passed down through families
- In most cases, no specific cause is found.
Symptoms of bone tumor:
Symptoms of bone tumor may include any of the following:
- Bone fracture, especially fracture from slight injury (trauma)
- Bone pain, may be worse at night
- Occasionally a mass and swelling can be felt at the tumor site
- Some benign tumors have no symptoms.
Diagnosing a bone tumor:
There are some common conditions like fractures, infections and other conditions that may resemble tumors. But, to be sure some physical examination to be performed which will check the tenderness in the bone and also the range of motion. Blood or Urine test may be performed to detect different proteins that may indicate the presence of tumor. Doctor may go with X-rays and depending on the X-ray results other imaging tests might be necessary i.e. CT scan, MRI PET scan. In some cases biopsy is also performed. In this test. a sample of the tissue that makes up the tumor is removed.
Treating bone tumor:
Bone cancer is generally treated with Surgery in which the entire tumor is removed. The surgeon carefully examines the margins of your tumor to make sure no cancer cells are left. Surgical techniques have improved greatly. Other ways to treat is radiation therapy which is used in conjunction with surgery. Still if the doctor feels that cancer cells are likely to spread or already spread then Chemotherapy is recommended.
The spine plays a very crucial role, both from a person’s movement and sensation point of view. It carries the nervous supply for a lot of internal organs and the lower body. By virtue of its structure, it also helps in movement through the disks. Due to various reasons, spinal injury is common, causing pain along the back, lower extremities, neck etc.
Medicines and exercise are the first line of treatment for most spinal injuries. The issue, however, is that these only provide relief from the pain and the medicines, but do not actually ‘rectify’ the underlying problem. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the medicines and exercise can relieve the symptoms, but the disk continues to be herniated and the nerve continues to be pinched. Definite treatment is in the form of surgery, and with recent advancements in the field of spinal surgery, there are minimally invasive surgical options, which provide complete cure with minimal recovery time. Some of the benefits of this are listed below-
Smaller incision compared to traditional surgical procedures, where only the injured area is accessed
The surrounding tissues are untouched, unless they are injured and require repair
Lesser bleeding compared to earlier techniques
Lesser painful procedure
Reduced hospitalization period
Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
The question, however, is whether this is indicated in everybody. A detailed discussion with your surgeon keeping the below points in mind will help identify the answer for this. The main driver should be the answer to the question – will the surgery be able to effectively relieve you of the pain and symptoms? Additionally, the following factors help in getting better results out of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Presence of symptoms relating to nerve compression, including pain from the spine down the leg.
Recent onset of symptoms, with pain starting days to months before seeing the doctor. This indicates the condition is relatively new and so damage is minimal, indicating favorable outcome. Chronic pain conditions take slightly longer time compared to recent injuries.
People with active lifestyle who engage in regular physical exercise are likely to have better benefits from the minimally invasive procedure.
Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and weakening of bones. Healing is highly slowed down and recovery is overall delayed.
Excessive weight puts strain on the back, and so healing can be delayed or badly affected with more complications. It is not a contraindication, but be prepared for a longer recovery period.
Mri report- mild diffuse disc bulge at l4-l5 level causing the cal sac indentation and bilateral mild neural formalin narrowing (l> r). Please advice.
Breast cancer is a type of cancer, which occurs due to the development of cancerous cells in breasts. Women are usually affected by breast cancer and breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer after skin cancer. Usually fatal if not diagnosed in its early stage, breast cancer is a very serious medical ailment. Read on more to find all about the different symptoms, causes, preventive measures and treatment of breast cancer.
Symptoms: Breast cancer has few distinct characteristics and if you have a few or all the following symptoms you could be more likely to suffer from breast cancer.
- The formation of a lump in your breast, which is different from the surrounding tissue and usually more thickened.
- The discharge of bloody fluid material from the nipples.
- Sudden change of the size, shape and appearance of the breast.
- Certain distinct changes to the skin over the breast for example an indentation in the skin similar to that of a dimple.
- Appearance of an extra nipple which is inverted.
- If the darkened area around the nipples known as the areola is flaking or peeling off.
Causes: Studies and researches remain inconclusive on what causes breast cancer. Breast cancer occurs due to abnormal division of the cells located in the breast, which over time accumulate and form lumps. They
might spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer is caused mainly due to a complex interaction of personal genetics, environment and lifestyle choices. Breast cancer can also be caused due to genetics as about 5% to 10% of cases are due to gene mutations which pass onto generations.
Risk factors: There are certain factors, which increase the probability of contracting breast cancer. Increasing age, personal and family history of breast cancer, obesity, radiation exposure, pregnancy at an older age, postmenopausal hormone therapy are some of the factors that increase the chances of breast cancer.
Treatment: Several forms of surgical methods exist to treat breast cancer. Depending on the condition and spread of the disease a suitable surgery is performed. These include mastectomy, lumpectomy, axillary lymph node dissection and removal of both breasts. Other forms of treatment include chemotherapy or the use of high doses of drugs to destroy cancerous cells. Radiation therapy where X-rays are used to destroy the cancer cells is also effective.
As per my MRI report for lumber spine, disc protrusion seen at L5-S1 indenting anterior thecal sac and narrowing left neural recess. Disc hydration is Los at L5-S1. I have severe lower back pain for last one month. What is the ideal plan for treatment?
Our spinal disk resembles a jelly donut, wherein the softer insides are protected by the hard exterior. Sometimes, as a result of some injury or an accident the jelly slips out, leading to an extremely painful condition which in medical parlance is known as herniated disc. The pain that you are subjected to, during herniated disc, occurs as the nerves nearby are damaged due to the concussion.
Apart from pain, herniated disc is preceded by other symptoms, some of them are:
- Pain in the arm or the leg: Depending on which part of the body you have suffered the herniated disc, in the neck or in your lower back, this condition is succeeded by intense pain either near the buttocks or near the shoulders. It goes without saying that this pain increases sharply with movement.
- Numbness: That part of the body where the nerves are damaged due to herniated disc often becomes numb and has no sensation whatsoever.
- Weakness: Due to herniated disc, the muscles become weak that considerably impairs and curbs mobility.
However, there are various ways by which you can prevent a herniated disc. Some of them are:
- Exercise: Exercise in any form and even for a short while yields several benefits. Your body invariably gains momentum and agility. If you exercise daily, your spine becomes more stable and strong, thereby preventing a possible herniated disc.
- Maintaining the right and good posture: A lot depends on the way you sit and walk, in fact more than you can imagine. If you sit badly, it exerts a pressure on the spine and the discs. Subsequently, a good posture does the very reverse and curbs chances of a herniated disc in the future.
- Keep a tab on the weight: It is always healthy to maintain the right weight, the one that keeps you away from the onset of various diseases. If you are overweight, it puts more pressure on the spine disk, thereby increasing the risk of developing a herniated disc.
Test to screen for breast cancer:
Mammography is the most common screening test for breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. This test may find tumors that are too small to feel. A mammogram may also find ductal carcinoma in situ (dcis). In dcis, there are abnormal cells in the lining of a breast duct, which may become invasive cancer in some women.
Mammograms are less likely to find breast tumors in women younger than 50 years than in older women. This may be because younger women have denser breast tissue that appears white on a mammogram. Because tumors also appear white on a mammogram, they can be harder to find when there is dense breast tissue.
The left breast is pressed between two plates. An x-ray machine is used to take pictures of the breast. An inset shows the x-ray film image with an arrow pointed at abnormal tissue.
The breast is pressed between two plates. X-rays are used to take pictures of breast tissue.
The following may affect whether a mammogram is able to detect (find) breast cancer:
The size of the tumor. How dense the breast tissue is. The skill of the radiologist.
Women aged 40 to 74 years who have screening mammograms have a lower chance of dying from breast cancer than women who do not have screening mammograms.
Clinical Breast Exam (CBE):
A clinical breast exam is an exam of the breast by a doctor or other health professional. The doctor will carefully feel the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. It is not known if having clinical breast exams decreases the chance of dying from breast cancer.
Breast self-exams may be done by women or men to check their breasts for lumps or other changes. It is important to know how your breasts usually look and feel. If you feel any lumps or notice any other changes, talk to your doctor. Doing breast self-exams has not been shown to decrease the chance of dying from breast cancer.
Mri (magnetic resonance imaging) in women with a high risk of breast cancer
Mri is a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (nmri). Mri does not use any x-rays.
MRI is used as a screening test for women who have one or more of the following:
Certain gene changes, such as in the brca1 or brca2 genes. A family history (first degree relative, such as a mother, daughter or sister) with breast cancer. Certain genetic syndromes, such as li-fraumeni or cowden syndrome.
Mris find breast cancer more often than mammograms do, but it is common for mri results to appear abnormal even when there isn't any cancer.
Other screening tests are being studied in clinical trials.
Thermography is a procedure in which a special camera that senses heat is used to record the temperature of the skin that covers the breasts. A computer makes a map of the breast showing the changes in temperature. Tumors can cause temperature changes that may show up on the thermogram.
There have been no clinical trials of thermography to find out how well it detects breast cancer or if having the procedure decreases the risk of dying from breast cancer.
Breast tissue sampling is taking cells from breast tissue to check under a microscope. Abnormal cells in breast fluid have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in some studies. Scientists are studying whether breast tissue sampling can be used to find breast cancer at an early stage or predict the risk of developing breast cancer. Three ways of taking tissue samples are being studied:
Fine-needle aspiration: a thin needle is inserted into the breast tissue around the areola (darkened area around the nipple) to take out a sample of cells and fluid.
Nipple aspiration: the use of gentle suction to collect fluid through the nipple. This is done with a device similar to the breast pumps used by women who are breast-feeding.
Ductal lavage: a hair-size catheter (tube) is inserted into the nipple and a small amount of salt water is released into the duct. The water picks up breast cells and is removed.