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We have more than 200 bones in our body and each of them is susceptible to bone cancer. However, long bones in the arms and legs are most susceptible to this condition. Bone cancer can be primary or secondary. Primary bone cancer involves uncontrolled and abnormal cell division within the bones while secondary bone cancer refers to cancer that originated somewhere else in the body and later spread to the bones. While children and adults are equally at risk for primary bone cancer, adults and elderly people are more susceptible to secondary bone cancer. If diagnosed early enough, bone cancer can be treated and even cured with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.
Hence it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of bone cancer. Here’s what you should look out for.
- Pain in Bones: Pain is one the primary symptoms of bone cancer. As the tumour grows larger, this pain can become more intense. In its early stages, the pain may be experienced as a dull ache inside the bone or the affected part of the body. It may also increase or decrease according to your activity level or may be experienced only at night. However, not all bone pains signify ‘cancer’ as this is also a symptom associated with osteoporosis.
- Swelling: In some cases, the abnormal growth of bone cells can result in the formation of a lump of mass that may be felt through the skin. In other cases, the affected area may also show signs of swelling.
- Breaking of the Bone: Cancer can weaken the bones and make them more brittle. This may make the bones more susceptible to fractures. A bone breaking in an area that has been painful or sore for a long period of time may be a sign of cancer. This is known as a pathologic fracture.
- Reduced Flexibility: If the tumour is located near a joint, it may affect the range of movements possible and make simple actions uncomfortable. For example, a tumour around the knee may make walking and climbing stairs a painful exercise.
Other symptoms to look out for are sudden and drastic weight loss, tiredness, excessive sweating at night, fever and difficulty breathing in case cancer has spread to other organs. Since many of these symptoms are common to other medical disorders, you should consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of them. A physical examination and a couple of tests along with a biopsy will be required to confirm a diagnosis of bone cancer.
Hi doctor, What are the chances of me getting breast cancer if my mom has got it during her menopause? I am getting married soon and this has raised a concern in my fiance's mind.
Breast cancer is the form of cancer that occurs from breast tissues in women. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, changes in the shape of the breast, dimpling of the breast skin, a fluid coming out of the nipples or development of red scaly patches on the skin. There might be pain in the bones, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or the skin turning yellow and pale.
Breast cancer is a fatal mode of cancer in women, and one must try to abstain from this cancer in all possible ways. Here are 5 ways you can decrease the risk of breast cancer.
- Keeping a check on your weight: Although the process is tough to maintain, keeping up a sound and healthy weight is a critical objective for everybody. Being overweight can expand the danger of a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer, particularly after menopause in women. Exercise is very important for maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle. Women who exert physically regularly are fitter than others and are at a much lower risk of acquiring diseases of any kind. Regular exercise decreases the chance of getting breast cancer and also keeps the body weight in check.
- Maintaining a healthy diet: Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is a key for keeping away from any kind of cancer or major health problem. Include a sufficient amount of fresh fruits and green vegetables in your daily diet to ensure the supply of all vital nutrients to your body. This would increase your immunity.
- Avoid smoking and consume less alcohol: Smoking is a very unhealthy and harmful habit. Smoking lowers the quality of your life, and causes numerous diseases. Heart diseases, stroke and many kinds of cancer, including breast cancer can be caused from smoking. If you drink alcohol, you should moderate your drinking habits and drink less, as drinking in excess may lead to breast cancer.
- Practice breast feeding: Breast feeding your children for a span of one year or more is likely to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Avoid taking birth control pills: Birth control pills, in spite of having several benefits are associated with risk factors as well. Birth control pills have got worse effects in younger women than older aged women. Using birth control pills may cause breast cancer and these pills should be avoided.
There are many ways, adapting which you can lower the chances of getting breast cancer. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women about 1 in 8 women in the USA develop invasive breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer has increased with changes in lifestyle including smoking, drinking and loss of physical activity. The risk factors are age, ethnicity and family history cannot be changed. However, there are some risk factors that can definitely be acted upon to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.
- Weight management: Obesity is one of the major risk factors for breast cancer and managing weight and a good body mass index will help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. This is especially important in women undergoing menopause.
- Reducing smoking: The benefits of quitting it are manifold and reducing the risk for breast cancer is one of them. This will, as a byproduct, also result in a host of other benefits including improved quality of life, reduced chances of heart disease, stroke, and other cancers.
- Physical activity: In addition to helping in weight management, this also helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. Ideal recommendation is 30 minutes of physical activity per day, plus strength training.
- Breastfeeding: This helps in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Prolonged feeding is shown to have a greater protective benefit.
- Hormone replacement therapy: When possible, limit the use of hormone replacement therapy for prolonged periods of time. Explore options of non-hormonal substitutes or use the least permissible or required dose. Be sure to get periodic check-ups when on hormone therapy.
- Reduce exposure to environmental pollution: Higher levels of pollutants are linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer. When possible, avoid getting exposure to environmental pollutants.
- Screening: If there is a strong family history or other risk factors, then screening can help detect breast cancer very early in the process. Recommended ages for mammography are as follows:
- If you are age 40 – 44: Go for annual mammograms after discussing risks and benefits with the doctor.
- If you are age 45 – 54: Go for annual mammogram.
- If you are age 55 or over: Mammograms are recommended every other year. You can choose to continue to have them every year. Self-breast exams are not sufficient. However, if being done, they can also be an input to an abnormality.
- Cautious use of birth control pills: Birth control pill usage to be discussed with your gynaecologist if you are above 35 years of age and smoke. The good news is that the risk associated with it disappears slowly after the pill is stopped.
These will help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, early detection, and improved prognosis.
A uterine cyst, also called as ovarian cyst, is the formation of a fluid-filled sac within the ovary of a woman. Uterine cysts may sometimes cause several physical symptoms. They can cause great pain and unpleasant sensations. Most cysts go away by themselves, but still sufficient measures should be taken to deal with the inconvenience caused by a uterine cyst. In severe cases, the cyst can damage the ovaries. Scar tissue is also likely to build up in such cysts to form an adhesion, which causes discomfort.
Uterine cysts can cause great damage to the sexual organs of a woman, and hence, it should never be ignored. Here are 5 ways to deal with uterine cysts:
Using Birth Control Pills: In case of recurrent uterine cysts, you can take oral contraceptives with the prescription of a doctor. This will prohibit ovulation, and the development of new cysts will be prevented. The risk of ovarian cancer is also reduced.
Laparoscopy: In case the cyst is small, a laparoscopy surgery can be conducted by a doctor. This will enable the surgical removal of the cyst. The process of laparoscopy involves making of a small incision around the navel region. A small instrument or device is inserted into the abdomen, which removes the cyst.
Laparotomy: Laparotomy is a surgical procedure of removing a large uterine cyst. This procedure is applied when a cyst becomes too large to be removed using laparoscopy. The procedure involves the removal of the cyst via an incision made in the abdomen. An immediate biopsy is conducted and in case the cyst is found out to be cancerous, a hysterectomy surgery is conducted, which removes the ovaries and uterus completely.
Herbal Tea: Moving from medical procedures to natural ways for dealing with uterine cysts, herbal tea is believed to be one of the best natural treatments for uterine cysts. Herbal tea helps in the breakdown of large cysts and the side effects of the cysts such as discomfort or pain are eased. Have a cup of herbal tea every day to get rid of uterine cysts.
Diet: Uterine cysts may develop due to an unhealthy diet. Modern food items contain synthetic and natural estrogens, which cause disruption in ovarian health. Consuming adulterated meat, where the animals are given hormones, and antibiotics may result in uterine cysts. Soy contains a great amount of estrogen, which leads to uterine cysts. All the food items which may lead to ovarian cysts should be avoided.
Uterine cysts are common in women and are caused due to several complications. You should not let uterine cysts develop as development increases severity.
One of my female frnd had some pain in breast. She thinks becoz of a fall in childhood. It does not pain now. But one of the breast is smaller than other. She is scared of breast cancer. Just married and not a mom. Please suggest. Age 20.
Q1. What exactly is Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is an alternative to 'Open' surgery wherein the abdomen is opened by tiny 'key hole' incisions and surgery is done. 'Scopy' means the use of an endoscope or telescope to see inside the abdomen. This is attached to a camera and a light source and the inside of the abdomen is projected on to a monitor. The surgeon performs surgery looking at this screen. The surgeon makes a total of 2-4 small cuts on the abdomen ranging from half to 1 cm through which the telescope and other thin surgical instruments are passed into the abdomen. When the uterus is removed , known as hysterectomy, there is also a cut at the top of the vagina where the uterus is attached.
Q2. What kind of gynaecological surgeries can be performed by Laparoscopy?
Most surgeries done in gynaecology can now be performed by Laparoscopy and do not require the large incision as for open surgery. Laparoscopy can be done sometimes only for diagnosis and is called Diagnostic Laparoscopy, as in checking whether the tubes are open or not and to look for any causes of infertility or pain outside the uterus. In women who are unable to conceive, Diagnostic Laparoscopy is often combined with Hysteroscopy (endoscope inside the uterus, inserted from below, via the vagina). When laparoscopy is done to perform some surgical procedure inside the abdomen it is called Operative Laparoscopy. This may be for simple procedures like sterilization, minor adhesions, drilling ovaries; or for intermediate or major reasons like fibroids, endometriosis, removal of ovaries or tubes or both or removal of uterus, for staging of cancers or radical surgeries for cancer. However, about 5% of all surgeries including those for cancer or very large tumours may benefit from open surgery.
Q3. Why does an expert surgeon recommend Laparoscopy over Open Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery has many advantages above open surgery: the incisions are much smaller (open surgery incisions are 8-10 cms long), therefore pain is much less; requirement for pain killers (which can have side-effects like sleepiness, impaired judgement) is lesser; hospital stay is shorter; complications fewer; requirement for blood transfusions infrequent; recovery in terms of physical, emotional and mental state is much better and quicker; return to work is faster with consequent lesser loss of working and earning days. Surgery with laparoscope is more precise because it is magnified view. Further vision is much better because it's like having your eye behind the structure because you can see with the telescope at places where the surgeon's eye cannot reach.
Q4. If the cuts on the abdomen are so small in Laparoscopic surgery, how do you remove the uterus or a large tumour from inside the abdomen?
Quite often if the tumour is not malignant and contains fluid, it is punctured to collapse it into a smaller size. If it is solid, it can be cut into smaller pieces inside the abdomen using a special instrument. The collapsed or cut structures can be removed gently through the 1 cm cut on the abdomen which may be increased a bit if required. After hysterectomy, the uterus can be removed easily from below, through the vagina.
Q5. Will there be much pain or discomfort after Laparoscopic Surgery?
There may be some pain and discomfort in lower abdomen for one day to few days after Laparoscopic surgery but this is much less as compared to open surgery because the incisions on the abdomen are much smaller and there is much less tissue handling inside the abdomen by fine instruments instead of rough, big, gloved hands which can cause tissue injury in open surgery. There may be some pain in the shoulder following laparoscopy. This is not serious and is due to the gas used in the surgery to make space for instruments.
Q6. When can I be discharged from hospital?
Following Diagnostic Laparoscopy or with simple Operative Laparoscopy you can expect to be discharged from hospital latest by the morning after surgery. In most other cases of intermediate or even major surgery, discharge is generally 1-2 days following the surgery unless there is some health issues prior to the surgery or any complication during the surgery. The complication rates for Laparoscopic surgery are not more than for open surgery and depend upon patient factors like anaemia, diabetes, obesity and skill of the surgeon.
Q7. When can I perform routine household activities or return to work after Laparoscopic Surgery?
Recovery after surgery depends upon many factors: presence of health problems before surgery; why the surgery is required; what surgery is being done; problems or complications of surgery, anaesthesia or blood transfusions. If all is well, one can perform routine household activities by 1 week, provided one doesn't feel tired. Although there may not be any harm, it may be unwise to be normally active within 48 hours of procedure. Following Diagnostic Laparoscopy or Operative Laparoscopy for simple procedures, one can return to work in 1 week. For other procedures, a 2-3 week off from work is reasonable. It depends on the type of work you are returning to. Avoid too rapid return to work if it is manually hard or requires standing for long durations of time. Sometimes a surgical procedure brings on a well needed rest and break from a lifetime of work. Mostly, when you return to work depends upon your own body and its signals of tiredness. You need to listen to those signals.
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.