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Lung cancer is the cancer killer of both men and women in the U.S. When you think of risk factors for lung cancer, what comes to mind? Most of us think about the risk associated with smoking cigarettes, but did you know that air pollution can also cause lung cancer? Overwhelming evidence shows that particle pollution in the outdoor air we breathe—like that coming from vehicle exhaust, coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources can cause lung cancer. Particle pollution increases the risk of dying early, heart disease and asthma attacks, and it can also interfere with the growth and function of the lungs.
What is particle pollution?
Particle pollution is a mix of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air and can be made up of a number of components, such as acids, organic chemicals, metals, soil and dust particles. It can be emitted directly from wood stoves, forest fires, vehicles and other sources, and it can also form from other types of pollution that come from sources like power plants.
Why does particle pollution harm our bodies?
While breathing in larger sizes of particle pollution can be harmful to our health, smaller particles are more dangerous. Bigger particles can irritate your eyes, nose and throat, but our natural defenses help us to cough or sneeze them out of our bodies. Unfortunately, those defenses don't keep out smaller particles, which get trapped deep in the lungs and can even get into the bloodstream, causing damage to our health.
Who is most at risk?
As for who is at risk for health problems from breathing in particle pollution. Those who live where particle pollution levels are high is at risk. Some people face higher risk, including children, the elderly, people with lung and heart disease and diabetes, people with low incomes, and people who work or exercise outdoors.
How do we protect ourselves from particle pollution?
Check the air quality index forecast for the day and limit your activity if pollution levels are high. Avoid exercising along heavily traveled highways regardless of the overall forecast.
As individuals, we can play our part in reducing air pollution levels by trying to avoid creating more of it. Choosing ‘active travel’ options where possible, like walking and cycling, can help reduce pollution levels from transport and is also a great way to be more active, which is linked to a reduced risk of cancer and other diseases.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Breast Cancer - What exactly is it?
‘Breast cancer’ is a term that is used to refer to a malignant tumour, which has developed from cells present in the breast. Generally, all tumours can be divided into two categories i.e. benign and malignant and it is the malignant tumour that is responsible for causing cancer. Breast cancer generally originates in the cells the milk producing glands of the breast's or the passage, which carries milk from the glands to the lobules. Additionally, breast cancer can also originate in the stromal tissues, including the fibrous and fatty connective breast tissues.
Breast Cancer: Treatment Options
Treatment for breast cancer depends upon two things: the exact type of the cancer and how advanced the cancer is. Treatment options for breast cancer can thus be broadly divided into two categories as Local treatments and Systemic treatments.
Treatments that target the tumour without having any effect on the rest of the body are called local treatments. The following types of local treatment options are available for treating breast cancer:
- Surgery: Surgical breast cancer treatment involves removal of the malignant cancerous tumour in an operation. Smaller tumours can be removed using a surgical process referred to as ‘lumpectomy’, wherein the tumour along with a small amount of healthy tissue surrounding the tumour is removed. For larger tumours, removal of the entire breast becomes mandatory, in a surgical process known as ‘mastectomy’. Women who undergo mastectomy can choose to undergo reconstructive plastic surgery for reconstruction of the removed breast(s).
- Radiation Therapy: This basically involves using radiation to kill cancer cells present in the body. Radiation therapy is a long-drawn process that usually involves a set number of treatments administered over a long period of time. Radiation therapy is also generally the follow-up procedure after a lumpectomy, or more rarely, a mastectomy.
Treatments involving drugs that are administered via either the mouth or direct injection into the bloodstream are called systemic treatments. These include:
- Chemotherapy: This includes using drugs to destroy the cancer cells present in the body by stopping the cancer cells from growing and dividing. Chemotherapy can be administered using either an IV (intravenous) tube or via pills that can be swallowed.
- Hormone Therapy: This treatment option is used for treating tumours which have tested positive for progesterone or oestrogen receptors. Blocking hormones that fuel the tumour’s growth is the basis of this therapy.
- Targeted Therapy: This targets specific proteins and genes which contribute to growth and survival of the cancer cells. Targeted therapy is an extremely focused treatment, and is very effective in blocking the growth and division of cancer cells, as well as minimizing damage to surrounding healthy cells.
Peripheral arterial disease or commonly known as PAD is a common cardiovascular disease. Despite having the power to cause painful symptoms and severe health risks, it is overlooked by many. This particular arterial disease may lead to life-threatening consequences if left untreated for long. Read on to know more about the condition.
What is PAD?
PAD refers to the situation where in the peripheral arteries to the arms, head, stomach, and legs become narrow. Often referred to as the peripheral vascular disease, here, the arteries start to grow narrower due to the slow but constant buildup of fatty deposits on the artery walls. Though it can affect all the arteries in a person’s body, except those that supply blood to the heart, in the majority of cases, it affects the arteries in the leg.
What are the threats it poses?
PAD is indeed a life-threatening disease, as the blockages, it creates in the peripheral arteries prevent normal blood circulation to the different organs, legs, and brain. And when the blood flow is restricted, or the vital organs of the body fail to receive necessary blood flow, then the legs, brain and all the vital organs suffer severe damage. And when PAD continues to harm the blood flow for a long time, then it leads to tissue infection or tissue death, which is known as gangrene.
Additional health issues it causes
PAD also creates various other health concerns, such as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a chronic disease of fatty materials’ build up. In the case of atherosclerosis, the entire blood circulatory system gets damaged, including the arteries leading to the heart. The risk of blood clot build ups and vascular inflammation are also common additional threats posed by the fatty deposits.
Depending on the part of the body that is affected, the PAD symptoms vary from one to another. However, painful cramping in the muscles of one’s legs is the most common symptom of this condition. The pain, originating in the legs often goes up to the muscles in the thighs or hips too. Except this, weakness or numbness in the legs, ulcers or open sores on the feet or legs, skin color changing into bluish or pale are some of the other symptoms of PAD.
The peripheral arterial disease can be diagnosed easily, painlessly and straightforwardly under proper medical attention. Both prescribed medications and a lifestyle change are considered to be the best treatment for controlling PAD. Including a healthy diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle have often been successful in preventing PAD in its early stage.
The moment any signs or symptoms of PAD is noticed one should not be late in seeking immediate medical attention.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Even though brain aneurysms are becoming common these days, not all of them are required to be treated. In some cases, the physician may choose to observe an aneurysm closely before adopting any treatment measure. But in patients in whom an aneurysm has progressed to a severe level, there are two treatment options:
- Open surgical clipping
- Endovascular therapy or coiling
Open surgical clipping for brain aneurysms:
This procedure is typically performed by a neurosurgeon who makes an incision in the head. An opening in the bone is made, and then a clip is positioned by dissecting through the spaces of the brain. This aids in preventing the flow of blood into an aneurysm. In this procedure, the patient is required to stay in the hospital for two to three nights after which he or she is discharged.
Considerable modifications have been made in the open surgery techniques in the recent years. Neurosurgeons are now able to perform eye brow incisions or mini craniotomies for clipping an aneurysm. In these procedures, a small incision is cut out in the skin above the eyebrow for making a window. A tiny clip is placed across the mouth of an aneurysm to help it heal. But it is worthy of mention here that these are all invasive procedures and take relatively longer time to recover compared to the coiling process.
- This treatment is also performed by a neurosurgeon, and it has been proved that this process is exceptionally suitable for patients with a ruptured aneurysm. Endovascular coiling is often done in coalesce with an angiogram, where a catheter is inserted into the vessel over the hip, which is then gradually carried to the vessels of the brain and finally to an aneurysm.
- Then the coils are packed to the point where it rises from the blood vessel, which prevents the blood from flowing intothe blood vessel. Most patients undergoing this minimally invasive procedure can go home the day following the surgery. The success rate of this process is very high, and over 125,000 patients have been treated all across the globe with the help of detachable platinum coils.
- Over the last few years, a substantial amount of advancements have taken place in the endovascular techniques. Recent developments show the use of flow diverting embolization devices, which are similar to a stent and are placed in the primary vessel, adjacent to an aneurysm. It diverts the flow away from an aneurysm and therefore, allows the neurosurgeons to treat the brain aneurysms, which were previously considered inaccessible and untreatable.
Both the procedures are quite efficient in treating a brain aneurysm. The most suitable option is dependent on a host of factors such as size, shape, location and overall health condition of the patient. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Neurosurgeon.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer that affects women. It is also deemed to be one of the major reason of death among women, though lung cancer is the leading cause of this. The chances that a woman may die of breast cancer is about 2.7% of the women who are suffering. Breast cancer is known to affect men as well, in certain cases. Breast cancer may be genetic but, in certain cases, it is caused due to excess intake of alcohol. Surgery is an option, but treatments also include therapies like radiation and chemo.
Treatment for breast cancer
Breast cancer can be treated in several ways; however, the treatment depends upon many factors. These factors include the type of breast cancer, its stage, sensitivity of a person to the hormones, age of the patient, health of the patient and most importantly, preferences of the patient. The most common treatment options for breast cancer are radiation therapy, biological therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and surgery.
Cytotoxic drugs are important medications that are used to eliminate cancer cells. This medication is used if the chances of the cancer cells spreading are high. This process is known as the adjuvant chemotherapy.
Many a time, the tumor increases in size and surgery becomes essential. This is when the chemotherapy is administered to reduce the tumor size and make it easier for the surgeons to remove the tumor. This process is referred to as neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can treat metastasized cancer or cancer that has affected other body parts, thereby reducing the symptoms, mostly in the advanced stages.
Radiation is targeted towards the tumor in controlled doses so that the cancer cells are destroyed. Radiation therapy is mostly advised to the patients after they go through surgery, to eliminate the cancer cells that may still be there.
Hormone blocking therapy
Most people go through breast cancer that is hormone sensitive. The hormone blocking therapy helps in preventing the recurrence in this type of breast cancer. The hormone blocking therapy is also used to reduce the size of the tumor, but this method is also suggested after a person goes through surgery.
There are some drugs that fall under this category that is used for destroying the various types of the breast cancer.
If at all the patient requires surgery, it depends on his or her diagnosis reports and his or her will to undergo surgery. The types of surgery include Lumpectomy, Sentinel node biopsy, Mastectomy, Axillary lymph node dissection, and Reconstruction. Reconstruction is the method which the doctors make use of to make both the breasts look similar after the surgery is complete. There are several treatment options available to treat breast cancer, and it depends on the choice of the patient to opt for surgery. Surgery helps in eliminating the risk of the spreading of the cancer cells, and it is one of the most effective treatments for breast cancer.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Symptoms, causes and treatment for Breast Cancer Patients
Hello friends. My name is Dr. Gayatri Juneja. I’m a practicing gynecologist in Model Town for the last 20 years. I’m a visiting consultant in Apollo Cradle Hospital Moti Nagar, and Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, and Sunder Lal Hospital Ashok Nagar. It’s a great pleasure for me to talk to you about certain problems which I think is becoming very important for all of us to know. I am going to talk about Breast Cancer.
Unfortunately, even in India, cancer breast is becoming very common. And it is not that it is a cancer which we cannot pick up at time. The only thing we need is to be aware of it. Only if we know what is happening with our body, is only then we can do what is normal, only then we can see what is not normal, right? It is one of the breast cancer is one of the easiest cancers to pick up. How? My body is my own. I should know what’s happening to me. So minimum a lady can do is do a self examination. Teach your daughters how to do a self examination for the breast. If you find any lump, any time, if you feel there is some pain, which was not there, if you see the nipple is not in the normal position, it is retracted inside, if you see there is skin changes on your breast, if you see any size difference. See minor size difference will be there. That is a natural thing. But if you see there is drastic change, and if you are not comfortable with something, do not neglect it. It’s not at all a normal thing. Go, see a gynaecologist.
It is a confidential thing between you and your doctor. Let her examine you. Let her guide you. You give her a proper history, if you have taken any contraceptive pills, even I-pill is very dangerous. I’ll come to it later how. The thing is…your doctor has examined you, then she will guide you what has to be done. There are various ways of diagnosing cancer of breast. First step is, you do a self examination. First step is over. You find the lump, you go to a doctor. Your doctor will ask for a sonography, that is ultrasound of the breast. And another part of it is an x-ray of the breast. Sometimes in younger age group the breast is very dense, and you cannot diagnose anything on mammogram.
You still are suspecting something, then your doctor might ask for an MRI. MRI is very effective in diagnosing, but we do not suggest it as first line treatment, first line of diagnosis. Once it is confirmed that yes, there is a lump, then what we do is, we ask for a biopsy. Now biopsy can be in 2 forms. It can be taken through the needle, which we call FNAC – Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, and other is open biopsy, where we remove the whole lump, and send it for testing. If the test comes negative, good, fine, everything is fine. If it comes positive, then further treatment depends upon the type. Then they will do a special CT scan for you, where the will diagnose if any lymph nodes are involved.
Depending on preliminary staging, your doctor will ask for a surgery. Now the surgery will…it is better that the whole breast gets removed. Or what has to be done will be diagnosed, because it is not a single person specialty, it is going to be a multi-specialty treatment then. Now let’s come down to who are the people who are at higher risk. Why should I consider that I am at higher risk? What…who are those people? First, specially after menopause, obesity. If your lifestyle is not at all healthy, your food habits you eat lot of non-veg and processed food, like pizzas and burgers and frozen food, yes you are at risk. Then comes genetics.
If you have a family history of cancer in your nani, dadi, your bua, maasi, cousin, ya sister ya brother, or even cancer of ovaries, you are at high risk. But that doesn’t mean who all have had the history of cancer will also develop this. You are at higher risk, but it is better only to be careful. Then comes very tall ladies it has been seen they are also prone for diabetes. Obesity, and people who have had hormonal replacement therapy with…and once you’re diagnosed don’t get scared. It is a curable cancer, and life expectancy with variable modalities these days is quite good.The quality of life is also good.
So my suggestion would be, to conclude, that please be aware of what is happening with you, and take good care of yourself. If you are healthy, only then you can look after your family. Thank you so much.
Medical science constantly challenges the boundaries by finding not only the cures to the most dangerous diseases, but finds a way to prevent them even before they occur. With years of research, practice and data available for analysis, scientists are using advanced technology in combination with years of research to create a predicting mechanism for often fatal diseases like cancer.
Breast cancer screening has always been done with mammography. The fact is that this method is only 75% accurate, laden with false positives and misses a whole set of women totally- and that too when cancer has already developed. Part of the problem comes from the dense breast tissue which one in three women have. This tissue masks the lumps, which makes it difficult for mammograms to accurately screen cancer.
Some breakthrough scientific methods are changing this by drawing on years of research to predict this deadly disease, years before it can manifest itself.
A genetic test to predict cancer 10-11 years ahead of time. This test was performed to see how environmental factors could influence cancer, along with habits like smoking, abusing alcohol or hormones, genetic changes that occur and are put a large percentage of the women at a high risk of developing this disease.
A simple blood test is used for the genetic analysis of hereditary cancer. Researchers found a biological marker, methylation of the ATM gene, which has a very high ability to predict the risk of developing cancer, several years before diagnosis. 'Methylation' concluded that when one biological indicator is exposed to carcinogenic substances, or other abusive substances like tobacco and alcohol, it may trigger the development of cancer. On the flip side, this test will take time to reach the commercial market and even then cannot give an exact timeline as to when someone may develop the disease.
A simple blood test to predict breast cancer 5 years before it develops. This is the kind of medical miracle the world is looking for. Last year in April, researches in Denmark identified a simple blood test that can predict breast cancer five years before it actually develops with an accuracy of a whopping 80%.
It works by "measuring all of the compounds in the blood to build a 'metabolic profile' of an individual, in order to detect changes in the way chemicals are processed, during a pre-cancerous stage," says Laura Donnelly, health editor at The Telegraph, which covered this development. Danish researchers observed 57,000 participants over 20 years, gathering blood samples along the way, specifically comparing a set of 800 women who remained healthy or developed breast cancer within 7 years of their first blood sample. The researchers found they were able to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which patients would be affected by the disease, just by looking at the metabolic profiles they built from the participants' blood samples. The results have been published in Metabolomics. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.