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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.
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.
I am an advocate and have got sitting job for long hours and walking job too. I am suffer from slip disc. Any treatment?
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.
Uterine cancer is also known as endometrial cancer. It is a cancer which begins in the lining of the uterus. The uterus is the part of a woman's body where the fetus develops. Uterine cancer is one of those rare cancers in India, which can be diagnosed in its early stages. This is because excessive vaginal bleeding occurs, thus making it a very serious and an apparent symptom. It is also one of the few forms of cancer which can be cured as removing the uterus is often more than enough to cure the patient of uterine cancer.
Here are the causes, diagnosis and treatment of uterine cancer:
The exact cause of uterine cancer is not yet known, however, there is a theory on what causes uterine cancer. Hormones in a woman's body have been thought to increase the chances of getting uterine cancer. This is because it has long been thought that having high levels of estrogen is the cause of uterine cancer. Increased estrogen thickens the endometrium and thus, increases the likelihood of uterine cancer.
There are several tests used to diagnose whether you have uterine cancer including:
1. Pelvic exam: This is an examination in which the vagina, bladder, rectum and uterus are scanned for lumps. If they are found, it might be due to uterine cancer.
2. Pap test: A pap test is a special test designed to scan for uterine cancer.
3. Transvaginal ultrasound: A transvaginal ultrasound uses high-intensity sound waves so that pictures of the uterus can be taken.
4. Biopsy: During a biopsy, the doctor will remove tissue from the endometrium and it will then be analyzed for cancerous growths.
1. Surgery: This is the most common treatment as it removes the entire uterus and prevents the spreading of the cancer.
2. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves giving drugs which kill cancerous cells. They are given through either an intravenous line or even in pill form.
3. Hormone therapy: This is a therapy in which either progesterone levels are increased or estrogen levels are decreased.
4. Radiation therapy: In this treatment, high energy laser beams are used to destroy cancerous cells.
I want to know about exercises being done in case of diffuse disc bulge at l1-l2 level indenting anterior the cal sac mildly with bilateral mild neural foraminal narrowing.
Fibroid tumour is the abnormal cell growth in the uterus and they are mostly benign. Fibroids usually affect women in the age bracket of 30 - 40. Fibroid tumours are of three types, depending on their location:
- Submucosal fibroids: The tumour develops under the lining of the uterus
- Intramural fibroids: The growth is found amongst the muscles in the wall of the uterus
- Subserosal fibroids: The growth develops on the wall of the uterus right in the pelvic cavity
Causes behind it
The exact cause of fibroids in not known clearly. But certain factors have been discovered that might influence their formation. These factors include:
- Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen are the hormones responsible for recreating the uterine lining during every menstrual cycle. These hormones might trigger the formation of tumour.
- Family history: If any member in your family; your mother, grandmother or sister has/had fibroids in their uterus, you may also develop it.
- Pregnancy: Your body produces excessive progesterone and estrogen when you are pregnant, which may cause an increase in the size of a pre-existing small fibroid. Myomectomy can be done by giving incision on the abdomen or by laparoscopy depending on the size and location of the fibroids.
Signs You are suffering from it
- Heavy bleeding along with blood clots during or between your periods
- Lower back or pelvic pain
- Elevated menstrual cramping
- Frequent urination
- Pain during sex
- Longer than normal periods
- Bloating or pressure in lower abdomen
- Enlargement or swelling of the abdomen
How it can be treated?
Your doctor will formulate the right treatment depending on your age, the mass of the fibroids and your overall health. Your doctor may choose a combination of treatment to cure your fibroids, and they include:
- Medication: Gonadotropin releasing hormones (GnRH) agonists, birth control pills and ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory medicine) are prescribed. GnRH agonists reduce the level of progesterone and estrogen in your uterus.
- Surgery: Myomectomy and hysterectomy are two common surgical procedures to treat fibroids. Myomectomy is performed by removing the fibroids only by making an incision on the abdomen. But hysterectomy completely removes the uterus. The latter is reserved for serious cases.
- Non-invasive surgery: Forced ultrasound surgery, myolysis (shrinking fibroids with laser or electric current), cryomyolysis (fibroids are frozen) and endometrial ablation (an instrument uses heat, hot water, microwaves or electric current to destroy fibroids) are some non-invasive surgical procedures. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Spine surgeries are complicated and have serious repercussions if the procedure doesn’t go as planned. Probing your doctor is therefore very critical to ensure a safe operation and early post-op recovery. Questions can range from the type of treatment chosen for speedy recovery to side effects. Here is a list of questions that you need to ask your spine surgeon:
1. Why is the surgery recommended?
Typically, there could be more than one treatment option for a particular problem. Your doctor should be able to tell you very precisely as to why the surgery is recommended and how it is going to address the problem.
2. Is there any non-surgical option?
Many spine related issues can be treated with medicines and physiotherapy. Ask your doctor if such options exist.
3. Explain the surgical procedure in detail
Your doctor should explain the whole surgical procedure, explaining the minute details and help will help you to understand the implications.
4. What is the duration of the surgery?
Spine surgeries do not take more than 2 hours. It, however, depends on the procedure that is being performed.
5. How will the surgery address the pain?
It is important to know the source of the pain. Exploratory surgeries are not performed on the spine. Ask your doctor how he intends to address the pain through the surgery.
6. What are the risks involved?
Risks and side effects vary from patient to patient. For instance, a person with obesity, spondylitis and smoking has greater chances of complications associated with the operation.
7. Will the doctor perform the whole procedure or he will use practicing surgeons and intern for the job?
Many senior surgeons use interns and junior surgeons to perform a minor procedure. Get a clear understanding of the role of the doctor and his assistants. It is a good idea to know the background if the surgical team who is going to perform the procedure.
8. What is the success rate of the doctor for the procedure he is going to perform?
A successful spine surgeon should be able to give you valid data on his/her success rate and the overall success rate of surgeons all across the country.
9. How many days do you need to spend in hospital?
Your hospital stay is directly related to your insurance. It is essential to get a clear picture on the same.
11. What is the time required for recovery?
The recovery greatly varies from patient to patient. What you should ask your Doctor is the expected time required for you to join your job/school.
12. Will there be any physical limitation after the operations?
Many spine surgeries require you to refrain from strenuous jobs for a while. For instance, certain surgeries require you to stay away from driving for a while. Address all these apprehensions from your doctor.