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A Pap Smear is a screening test done to to test for occurrence of uterine cancer. Carried out in a quick and simple way to extract a sample, the sample is collected from the cervix area of a woman during a pelvic exam. The examination of the sample takes place under a microscope thereafter to find abnormalities that can point towards cancer and pre cancer changes.
There are many reasons why women should get a pap smear screening done:
1. Women who are HIV positive should get this test done regularly so as to detect any anomalies in the cervix. This condition usually comes with higher risk of infections and cancer, which is why regular screening is required.
2. Age is also another factor and women over the age of 30 should go through an annual screening on a compulsory basis. This is also true for women who have been through pregnancy and child birth.
Preparing for a Pap Smear: To prepare for a pap smear test, you need to ensure that you are not menstruating at the time. Also, you may want to avoid sexual activity just before the test so as to get the most accurate readings. During the process, remember to stay calm and relax your body physically.
Procedure: The pap smear procedure is a quick one that might be only slightly uncomfortable. This test is usually carried out on the examination table at the gynecologist's clinic. The legs will need to be spread and placed in stirrups. The doctor will insert a speculum to hold open the vaginal opening so that the spatula can be inserted easily to take a sample from the area. This sample of the cells will be tested in a lab after due preservation.
Test Results: The test results can either be normal or abnormal. An abnormal result does not point at the presence of cancer. Rather it can simply mean that abnormal cells exist in the cervix. The doctor may ask you to go through these tests and screening more frequently so as to study the anomalies in a more detailed manner.
Most commonly known as a military neck a straight or forward curve of the neck is abnormal and may cause an unkind progression of symptoms leading ultimately to cervical disk degeneration.
Reversal of cervical lordosis explained
The anatomy of the neck features a lordotic curvature in its typical and healthy state. This means that the cervical region has a gentle curvature with the open end of that curve facing the rear of the body. The base and top of the curve will be further posterior than the mid point, which will be further anterior.
When the lordosis is straightened, the neck becomes more upright and linear. This is more common than the next progression of atypical curvature, which is the subject of this article.
Actual reversal of curvature means that part or all of the cervical spine develops a kyphotic profile, with the open end of the curve facing anteriorly. Usually, this reversal is extremely mild, but is still very abnormal. What we now see is the middle of the curve being positioned posterior to the top and bottom.
In essence, picture the letter c and now turn it backwards: This is the shape of a reversed cervical lordosis.
Reversal of cervical lordosis causes
The spinal curvature in the neck is constantly in flux to some degree.
Congenital conditions and developmental conditions can have lasting effects on the natural degree of curvature typically demonstrated from patient to patient. These circumstances may be explainable due to injury or degeneration, or may be idiopathic:
Scoliosis can affect the normal lordotic curvature in the neck.
Cervical spondylolisthesis is a major source of reversed lordotic curvature.
Severe disc pathologies can facilitate a gradual loss or reversal of cervical lordosis.
Vertebral irregularities, such as wedging, can definitely contribute to lordotic alteration.
Traumatic injury, including vertebral fracture, can create the ideal circumstances for a reversal of lordosis to take place.
Severe neck muscle spasms can actually reshape the spinal curves, although these are usually temporary expressions and not actual structural conditions.
Effects of reversal of cervical lordosis
The neck is designed to curve in order to balance the spine, absorb stress, distribute force and provide proper movement of the head. When this curvature is diminished or reversed, symptoms may result, although this is not an inherent part of any altered lordotic condition.
Patients may experience stiffness and tension in the neck. Pain may be present and may even be severe in rare cases. Neurological dysfunction is possible in extreme cases, since the neuroforamen might not align properly, thereby causing a cervical pinched nerve.
In the worst circumstances, central spinal stenosis in the neck might affect the viability of the spinal cord, possible enacting the most dire of symptoms throughout the body.
Patients will also be more prone to injury, since the normal shock absorption qualities of the typical curvature have been lost.
While all these effects are certainly possible, they are not usual. In fact, a great majority of patients have minor symptoms or even no symptoms at all from mild reversed lordotic curvatures.
The pathology leading to a neck curve reversal (cervical kyphosis shown below right) may be inspired by a multitude of conditions as follows:
Post head injury
Poor sitting/working postures
Congenital spinal curvatures
Degenerative cervical discs (a form of osteoarthritis that can either be the cause of or the result of a cervical kyphosis)
Compression fracture of vertebral body
Infection of the cervical spine
Anatomy: straight vs. Curved
I've always heard that it was good to stand up straight.
stand upright, stick your chest out and hold your shoulders back! otherwise you're going get widows hump.
Are these expressions as familiar to you as they are to me? one might think that having a curved neck goes against what we heard from parents and teachers as we were growing up, but the reality is that there is a little bit a truth in both. Maintaining good posture throughout our lives is crucial to both the health of our spine and vital organs. On the contrary, a special type of curve called a lordosis is a good thing, both in the neck and lower back.
When we look at a person from the back their spine should be truly straight, so that the left and right sides of one's body is symmetrical. However, when we view a person from the side, the front and back of their body is different and this is reflected in a coinciding curvature of the spine. Both the lower back and neck are hollowed out (concave) and the mid or thoracic spine is protrudes (convex). Thus there is an alternation of curves functioning to provide stability, shock absorption and aid in propulsion. A straight spine would be very stiff and not flexible. Imagine the plight of a pole vaulter with an inflexible pole.
Nature's design of our spine and rib cage facilitates breathing and offers protective and supportive framework for vital organs. Spinal disks are shock absorbers and because they are in the front of the spine, lordotic curvatures keep them from having to bear weight. Kyphosis or loss of such curvatures bears weight upon the disks, leading to their ultimate degeneration. This process of deterioration is a form of osteoarthritis and in the spine is known as degenerative spondylosis.
Although most physiotherapists or conservative orthopedists can recognize a cervical curve reversal upon viewing the patient's posture, a definitive diagnosis may be obtained via a standing lateral (side view) x-ray of the neck. Cause can often be determined by corroborating a comprehensive history, a thorough examination, x-rays and questions about sleep, work and lifestyle.
In my professional career I found that the majority of young adults presenting with cervical kyphosis either had a whiplash or were stomach sleepers from an early age. For desk jockeys 40-60 years of age, many hours of sitting with their head flexed forward almost dictates the fate of developing kyphosis. In prior years I considered cervical kyphosis a job hazard for the careers of accountants, attorneys and often teachers because of years spent with their head in a book or paperwork. However, the digital age offers some relief in that respect. A well-planned, ergonomically-friendly office can do wonders for protecting the spine in the sedentary worker.
Treatment for cervical curve reversal (kyphosis)
During my chiropractic practice I had the opportunity to note a good percentage of correction toward a more normal lordosis (noted on x-ray) for 70% of patients under my care. This was almost always consistent with those patients that followed all recommendations and were model participants in their own care. Here is the recommended treat plan:
Spinal manipulation of stiff and fixated spinal segments by a qualified physio
Flexibility exercises for flexion and extension of cervical spine
Resistance exercises for flexors and extensors of the neck
Learn the Alexander technique for maintaining good posture (hint: the basic philosophy is to sit and stand like you were hanging by a string from the vertex of your skull. Liken it to a puppet on a string).
Elimination of stomach sleeping
Avoid standing on your head, although some yoga postures may be beneficial
Use of orthopedic neck pillow while sleeping.
A brain stroke can affect anyone at any point of time when the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted. It can threaten major physical functions and can prove to be fatally dangerous at times. The brain stem which is placed right above the spinal cord controls the breathing, heartbeat and levels of blood pressure. It is also in charge of controlling some elementary functions such as swallowing, hearing, speech and eye movements
What are the different types of strokes?
There are three main kinds of stroke: ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks. The The most common type of brain stroke is the ischemic stroke is caused by narrowing or blocking of arteries to the brain, which prevents the proper supplyof of blood to the brain. Sometimes it so happens that the blood clot that has formed elsewhere in the body have travelled via the blood vessels and has been trapped in the blood vessel which provides blood to the brain. When the supply of blood to a part of the brain is hindered, the tissue in that area dies off owing to lack of oxygen. The other variant of brain stroke is termed as hemorrhagic stroke is caused when the blood vessels in and around the brain burstor or leak. Strokes need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible in order to minimize brain damage.
What are the common symptoms of a brain stroke?
The symptoms of the brain stroke are largely dependent on the area of the brain that has been affected. It can interfere with normal functioning, such as breathing and talking and other functions which human beings can perform without thinking such as eye movements or swallowing. Since all the signals from the brain as well as other parts of the body traverse through the brain stem, the interruption of blood flow often leads to numbness or paralysis in different parts of the body.
Who is likely to have a stroke?
Anyone is at a risk of developing brain stroke although ageing is directly proportional to the risk of having a stroke. Not only that an individual with a family history of brain stroke or transient ischemic attack is at a higher risk of developing stroke. People who have aged over 65 accounts for about 33 percent of all brain strokes. It is important to point here that individuals with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, cholesterol, cancer, autoimmune diseases and some blood disorders are at a higher risk of developing brain stroke.
There are a few factors which can increase the risk of developing stroke beyond any control. But there are certain lifestyle choices as well which aids in controlling the chances of being affected by stroke. It is crucial to refrain from long-term hormone replacement therapies as well as birth control pills, smoking, lack of physical activity, excessive use of alcohol and drug addiction. A brain stroke is a life-threatening medical condition, and when an individual has symptoms that resemble that of stroke, it is crucial to seek immediate medical help.
Treatment for stroke:
- Treatment depends on the type of stroke.
- Ischemic strokes can be treated with 'clot-busting' drugs.
- Hemorrhagic strokes can be treated with surgery to repair or block blood vessel weaknesses.
- The most effective way to prevent strokes is through maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What is TPA?
TPA is a thrombolytic or a “Clot Buster” drug. This clot buster is used to break-up the clot that is causing a blockage or disruption in the flow of blood to the brain and helps restore the blood flow to the area of the brain. It is given by intravenous (IV). This can be given only within 45.5 hrs of the onset of symptoms
Time is brain
Remember Every second Loss means brain cells die.
Rush to the nearest Stroke Centre whenever you experience such symptoms.
You can save the brain cells dying if you reach within 45.5 hrs by the CLOT BUSTER.
Another treatment option is an endovascular procedure called mechanical thrombectomy, strongly recommended, in whichtrained trained doctors try removing a large blood clot bysending sending a wired-caged device called a stent retriever, to the site of the blocked blood vessel in the brain
The good news is that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable. It startswith with managing keyrisk risk factors, including
- High blood pressure,
- Cigarette smoking,
- Diabetes Atrial fibrillation and
- Physical inactivity.
More than half of all strokes are caused by uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure, making it the most important risk factor to control.
The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation ("rehab"). In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain skills you lost as the result of a stroke. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurologist.
My wife had breast cancer and she went into remission this February 2017. She was diagnosed around mid November 2014. My wife just turned 39 and had ER PR positive tumor which was destroyed using radiotherapy in New York. As such she has been on Tamoxifen since she was diagnosed but then stopped it as she went into remission. We want to have children and were wondering which will be the best kind of doctor and some recommendations too since this is not a very usual case. Thank you in advance,
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.
I have back pain L4. L5 problem fast in 5 years. I want to reduce pain with out operation is possible. Please Inform
My age is 28 and I am suffering from back pain due to L3, L4, L5 Disc bulging. Kindly suggest me a solution to over come from back pain without surgery.
I have noticed that the space between c5 and c6 of my spine have increased and as a result my neck and shoulder are very painful. I have also little tmj. What will I do now? Please Please help me.
Ayurveda is a form of medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years and has many effective cure for some of the most complex diseases. Cancer, in this day and age, is one such complex disease and its incidence is increasing rapidly. It is always recommended to consult a ayurveda specialist for severe cancer. Some of the common ingredients for treatment of uterine cancer through ayurveda are mentioned here.
Turmeric: Already a staple spice in many indian dishes, turmeric as a herb in raw form and as a spice in powdered form, is touted the new wonder herb all across the world. It has been used as a traditional healing herb in india since ages. It has also been seen to be a very effective anti-inflammatory agent and thus it is very effective in stopping the growth of cancer cells.
Green tea from the camellia sinensis plant: green tea has been known to be effective in treating multiple types of cancer, aid in weight loss and also facilitate detoxification. Regular consumption of green tea from the camellia sinensis plant is known to fight the growth of cancer cells within the body; thus is a very effective in treating uterine cancer as well.
Ashwagandha: this herb is not only used in ayurveda, but has also been adopted by homeopathy as conventional medicine to make extracts. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it can adapt to the requirements of the body and then make the changes to provide support to the necessary areas. It is also very good at preventing the growth of cancer cells.
Garlic: This spice is known to be good for multiple forms of cancer as it contains allicin, which is being hailed as one of the best fighters of inflammatory diseases. It also contains other types of phytochemicals and thus helps in detoxifying the body. It is very effective in fighting cancer cells and can arrest the growth of cancer within the body.
Ginger: Ginger is extremely effective in the treatment of many ailments, if consumed regularly in controlled amounts. It has been known to be very effective in the treatment of colon cancer. Due to its properties, it is also known to be effective in the prevention of uterine and many other forms of cancer.
Ayurveda, an enigmatic yet enthralling science offers numerous treatment methods for uterine cancer. Here are a few:
Matra basti: Matra basti is a special treatment in traditional ayurveda for chronic constipation, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and various neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dystrophy and atrophy of nerves and muscle. In this treatment, certain herbal oils and herbal extracts are applied through the rectum on a daily basis. Matra vasti has a lubricating, balancing, nourishing, strengthening and pacifying effect. It also works as rejuvenator, immune-modulator and nutrient and subdues elevated vata dosha. The treatment lasts for a period of 3 to 7 days.
Pichu dharanam for soothing at advance stages of uterine cancer: it is a special treatment modality in ayurveda where sterile medicated cotton swab is kept inside the vagina for a specific period of time. This comes under local treatment modalities specific to gynaecological diseases in females and is also done in ante natal care. Pichu means cotton ball. Yoni pichu is the application of a sterile cotton swab soaked in medicated oil or ghee in the vagina.
Abhyangam: Abhyangam is a form of ayurvedic medicine that involves massage of the body with large amounts of warm oil. It s a complete body massage and really effective. The abhyangam massage therapy is very beneficial and prevents degeneration and ceases the aging process. This therapy needs more positions to massage and comparing to other massage therapy, abhyangam is very special. It usually involves oils prepared with specialized ayurvedic herbs and essential oils for lymph drainage, detox, and relaxation. It has seven positions and it treats the whole body. It assures new healthy physical changes.
Nasyam: Nasyam or errhine therapy is an ayurvedic treatment excellent remedy for chronic sinusuitis, headache, throat diseases, epilepsy, catarrh, migraine, voice constraint, eye diseases and cervical spondylitis. In ayurveda, the application of medical oils or powders through the nostrils is called nasya. It is said in classical texts that the nostrils are the doorway to the brain. Nasya is an important method of treatment for illnesses of the cranial region. Nasya treatment - the forehead and neck regions of the patient are gently massaged with a suitable oil to induce sweating. Thereafter the patient is made to lie down on his back with his head bent slightly back. Warm oil is then dripped into both nostrils which the patient draws in.
Uterine cancer of cancer of the uterus is a fairly common type of cancer. In fact, this is the fourth most common type of cancer to affect women. This type of cancer is usually diagnosed in its early stages and hence can be easily treated. However, did you know that this type of cancer can be prevented? This is primarily because most cases of uterine cancer are caused by an increased amount of estrogen as compared to progestin. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Birth control pills: The regular use of birth control pills for at least a year is believed to reduce the risk of uterine cancer by at least 50%. The longer these contraceptives are used for, the more effective they are. The protection provided by them lasts for 15 years after their use has been discontinued.
- Reduce weight: Being overweight not only increases the risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure but can also increase a woman’s risk of suffering from uterine cancer. This is because fat cells produce estrogen that further dis-balances the estrogen to progestin ratio. Reducing weight can thus help lower the estrogen levels in the body and prevent cancer. To lose weight, one must keep a strict control over portion sizes, eat nutritious food and exercise regularly.
- Use an IUD: Some methods of contraception not only prevent unwanted pregnancy but also reduce the risk of uterine cancer. Many IUDs or Intrauterine Devices contain progestin. This helps balance the estrogen and progestin levels in the body. Additionally, it also reduces the risk of hyperplasia. This is a condition marked by the abnormal thickening of the lining of the uterus. In many cases, this condition is a precursor to uterine cancer.
- Question Your Family: Genetics can also influence the risk of developing uterine cancer. For example, people carrying the gene responsible for Lynch Syndrome or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer have a much higher risk of uterine cancer as compared to others. Thus, if you know of family members who have suffered or are suffering from uterine or colon cancer, it is a good idea to undergo genetic testing.
- Broccoli - A super food: Some foods can also help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of uterine cancer. Broccoli is one such vegetable. This is known as a super food that can prevent cancer. The best way to eat broccoli is by steaming it. This has the higher amounts of glucosinolate as compared to fried or boiled broccoli. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Oncologist.