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The human brain is the most complex and least understood part of the human anatomy. There may be a lot we don’t know, but here are a few interesting facts that we’ve got covered.
Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour. Ever wonder how you can react so fast to things around you or why that stubbed toe hurts right away? it’s due to the super-speedy movement of nerve impulses from your brain to the rest of your body and vice versa, bringing reactions at the speed of a high powered luxury sports car.
The brain operates on the same amount of power as 10-watt light bulb. The cartoon image of a light bulb over your head when a great thought occurs isn’t too far off the mark. Your brain generates as much energy as a small light bulb even when you’re sleeping.
The human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as the encyclopedia britannica. Or any other encyclopedia for that matter. Scientists have yet to settle on a definitive amount, but the storage capacity of the brain in electronic terms is thought to be between 3 or even 1, 000 terabytes. The national archives of britain, containing over 900 years of history, only takes up 70 terabytes, making your brain’s memory power pretty darn impressive.
Your brain uses 20% of the oxygen that enters your bloodstream. The brain only makes up about 2% of our body mass, yet consumes more oxygen than any other organ in the body, making it extremely susceptible to damage related to oxygen deprivation. So breathe deep to keep your brain happy and swimming in oxygenated cells.
The brain is much more active at night than during the day. Logically, you would think that all the moving around, complicated calculations and tasks and general interaction we do on a daily basis during our working hours would take a lot more brain power than, say, lying in bed. Turns out, the opposite is true. When you turn off your brain turns on. Scientists don’t yet know why this is but you can thank the hard work of your brain while you sleep for all those pleasant dreams.
Scientists say the higher your i. q. The more you dream. While this may be true, don’t take it as a sign you’re mentally lacking if you can’t recall your dreams. Most of us don’t remember many of our dreams and the average length of most dreams is only 2-3 seconds–barely long enough to register.
Neurons continue to grow throughout human life. For years scientists and doctors thought that brain and neural tissue couldn’t grow or regenerate. While it doesn’t act in the same manner as tissues in many other parts of the body, neurons can and do grow throughout your life, adding a whole new dimension to the study of the brain and the illnesses that affect it.
Information travels at different speeds within different types of neurons. Not all neurons are the same. There are a few different types within the body and transmission along these different kinds can be as slow as 0.5 meters/sec or as fast as 120 meters/sec.
The brain itself cannot feel pain. While the brain might be the pain center when you cut your finger or burn yourself, the brain itself does not have pain receptors and cannot feel pain. That doesn’t mean your head can’t hurt. The brain is surrounded by loads of tissues, nerves and blood vessels that are plenty receptive to pain and can give you a pounding headache.
80% of the brain is water. Your brain isn’t the firm, gray mass you’ve seen on tv. Living brain tissue is a squishy, pink and jelly-like organ thanks to the loads of blood and high water content of the tissue. So the next time you’re feeling dehydrated get a drink to keep your brain hydrated.
Sir I am suffering from disc problem symptoms are: Hands and chest become pain and fire can I have solution.
My age is 22 I have slip disk my disk dislocated into 6 mm back so I have heavy pain when I bend or doing any work and long time sitting any home remedies to cure fast.
While you cannot cure breast diseases, family history and maturing, but there are some hazards or risks that you can control. Keeping in mind the fact that there is no certain approach to forestall breast cancer, there are things you can do that may bring down the hazard. Here are five approaches to ensure your breast's well-being:
- Watch your weight: Being overweight or hefty expands breast cancer chances. This is particularly true after menopause and for women who have put on weight as grown-ups. After menopause, the vast majority of your estrogen originates from fat tissue. Having more fat tissue can heighten your chances of getting breast cancer by raising the estrogen levels. Additionally, women who are overweight have a tendency to have more elevated amounts of insulin, than other hormones. Higher insulin levels have been associated with a few tumors, including breast cancer.
- Exercise routinely: Many reviews have found that exercise is the sign of having a healthy breast. Studies show that one to two hours of energetic walking each week, lessened a woman’s cancer risk by eighteen percent. Walking ten hours seven days decreased the hazard all the more.
- Constrain liquor: Women who have two to five mixed beverages every day have a higher danger of breast cancer than women who have just one drink a day or none . As much as three to six glasses of wine seven days have been found to somewhat increase breast cancer chances. It is not clear how or why liquor raises the hazard. In any case, constraining liquor is particularly essential for women who have other hazard variables for breast cancer, like, breast cancer running in their families.
- Restrain time spent sitting: Research has shown that sitting time, regardless of how much exercise you get when you are not sitting, increases the probability of growing cancer, particularly for women. Women who sit six hours or more a day outside of work have a ten percent more serious risk for breast cancer compared to the ladies who sit under three hours a day, and an increased hazard for other cancer types as well.
- Stay away from or confine hormone substitution treatment: Hormone Replacement Treatment (HRT) was utilized frequently in the past to control night sweats, hot flashes, and other troublesome manifestations of menopause. In any case, specialists now realize that postmenopausal ladies who take a blend of estrogen and progestin might probably create breast tumors or cancer. Breast cancer disease seems to come back within five years in the wake of ceasing the blend of hormones. Therefore, get a breast cancer test even if you feel a small lump. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
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.
My wife is suffering from slip disc I already have consulted orthopedic surgeon now, will homeopathy be more effective than doctors medicine. Please advise.?
Sir I am FROM CHENNAI having back pain when mri scanned impression as follows Early lumbar spondylosis. Mild disc bulge with focal posterocentral and bilateral postrtolateraldisc at l3_ 4 disc level causing thecal sac ibdentation and bilatrral mild beural foranimal narrowings (L>R) MILD ligamentum flavum hypertrophy at L3_4 & L4_5 disc level causing mild posterior thecal sac indention Disc desiccation in L4_5 & L5_ S1 DISC LEVEL AS LOSS OF HYPERINTENSE SIGNAL ON T2W1 PLEASE HELP I REPLY ME POSITIVELY
My MRI report says, Mild posterior broad base protrusion of L4-L5 intervertebral disc resultant mild central and lateral canal narrowing causing mild compression over thecal sac and right traversing L5 nerve root. I am doing bed rest from 10 days, what's the report says.
Ultra sound is commonly known as sonography. It is a process of reproducing ultrasound images of soft tissues of a particular body part and other organs on the computer screen with the help of the echoes of the sound waves produced by the transducer, a high-frequency generating instrument.
Ultra sound is commonly used during the different stages of pregnancy to denote the foetal health, date of delivery, birth defects etc. However, in recent times, the ultra sound has also been associated with the diagnosis of other body parts such as the eyes, heart, gall bladder, liver, ovary, uterus, kidney, uterus, testicles, and ovaries. Ultra sound has also been useful in conducting biopsies for suspecting cancer patients, although not all of the cancers are detected by this imaging process. 3D & 4D ultrasound imaging are useful for looking at a particular body portion with much more precision and in slow motion respectively.
The advantages of ultra sound are:
1. The process of ultrasound imaging is a painless and a fast one. It does not require any insertion of needles or similar objects to denote the problems of the concerned body part.
2. The process is more convenient as compared to other similar imaging processes like MRI, mammogram and x-rays as they can capture images of the soft tissues, blood flow & cysts more clearly than the other processes.
3. The process is free of any harmful effects as there are no chances of exposure to radiation as compared to similar processes such as CT scans or X-rays. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
I am suffering from sciatica for the last 6 months. Tried back exercises and muscle relaxants. The condition is due to L4/L5 disc herniation. Kindly advice.
Many women develop uterine fibroids by the time they hit the age of 50 years and above. These are non-cancerous growths that may occur in the uterus. Most women go through severe bleeding and pain as well as discomfort as a result of these fibroids. Age, family history of the same condition, obesity or being overweight, eating habits and even ethnicity play a large role in deciding the risk of each individual patient. These fibroids can grow in the submucosal, intramural and subserosal areas.
Following are the common side effects of uterine fibroids:
- Frequent urination: Due to the pressure of the fibroids on the uterus, the patient may experience a constant feeling of fullness in the lower pelvic area of the body, which may lead to frequent filling of the bladder. This gives rise to frequent trips to the washroom for urination.
- Heavy Bleeding: Severe bleeding is one of the most common causes of the presence of these kinds of fibroids. The patient may experience a lot of bleeding during menstrual periods, as well as pain and cramps the rest of the time. The periods will also be very painful when there are fibroids in the uterus or the uterine lining.
- Painful Intercourse: It is a well-known fact that any kind of infection or growth as well as sores and other such ailments can lead to vaginal dryness as well as pain during sexual intercourse. This is true for uterine fibroids as well, which can lead to severe pain during sexual activity. These fibroids can also give rise to pain in the lumbar or lower back region.
- Abdomen Swelling: The abdomen may go through significant swelling in such a condition and the patient may even look like she is pregnant. The growth can push the shape of the abdomen outwards and create a full feeling.
- Pregnancy Complications: The presence of uterine fibroids can give rise to several complications during pregnancy and even after child birth. One of the most common problems in this case is bleeding, followed by more severe outcomes like miscarriage. The women suffering from uterine fibroids are at greater risk of undergoing a caesarean section for the delivery of the baby. The baby may also be born breech and a premature delivery may take place.
- Infertility: This is also a rare side effect of the uterine fibroids and is generally seen only in very severe cases.
- Cancer: Only one in every 1000 cases might transform into malignant tumours. These uterine fibroids are generally known to be non-malignant.
Any symptoms must be reported to a gynaecologist at the earliest to avoid any serious complications.
I am 36 year old having problem of of disc slip in lumbar spine Dr. Asked for the surgery is only surgery is the option please suggest me other treatment.
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.
I'm 25 years old. I've mild disk bulge in L4 and L5. Whether I can lead normal life or not? And it's curable completely or not? Pls tell me.
I have been suffering from disk problem since 7 months. I have consulted a doctor. I took x-Ray as per his advice. He said disk has been narrowed. He prescribed some painkillers and vitamin tablets. Could anyone please prescribe some medicine for me. I am really unable to sit without any support.
Umbilical hernia diet
An umbilical or belly button hernia occurs when a part of the intestines or the abdominal lining protrudes through an opening in the abdominal muscles. The protruding intestines may get squeezed or strangulated resulting in the blood supply getting cut off. Surgery may be required in serious cases of umbilical hernia. Doctors often suggest a special diet for umbilical hernia patients as this helps to prevent further complications.
Foods to avoid
Certain foods are not recommended for people with an umbilical hernia and should be avoided.
White refined flour foods made from white refined flour have a low fiber content. Eating these foods may cause constipation and should therefore be avoided. This is because constipation causes straining of the abdominal muscles during bowel movements and may cause further protrusion of the intestines through the abdominal muscles in the region of the belly button.
Low fiber fruits and vegetables the low fiber content in these foods can also lead to constipation. Examples of fruits and vegetables with low fiber content include skinless raw fruits, cooked fruits, and canned or cooked vegetables without seeds, hulls or skin.
Fatty foods foods with a high fat content should be avoided. This is because obesity results in greater pressure on the abdominal muscles and can increase the risk of umbilical hernia. Examples of foods with a high fat content include fatty meat such as pork, whole milk, butter, cream, margarine and fried foods.
Sugar limit your calorie intake by cutting down on foods such as pastries, cakes, chocolates and soda pop. Limiting your sugar intake will also help you to lose some weight, taking pressure off your abdominal region.
Foods to include
A special diet is required after umbilical hernia surgery. This will help you to minimize your convalescence time. The special dietary requirements include:
Fruits fresh fruits that have high fiber content and are rich in antioxidants should form a part of every meal. The high fiber content will ensure that you do not get constipated and the antioxidants will help protect your body and boost your immune system. Try to eat different types of fruits so as to get adequate amounts of different vitamins. Citrus fruits, berries, and apples are some examples of fruits with a high fiber and vitamin content.
Vegetables these too have a high fiber content that will guard against the dangers of constipation after an umbilical hernia surgery. They also have high levels of vitamins and minerals and should also be included with every meal.
Lean meat meat is a source of protein, which is essential to the repair of damaged tissue. Lean meat like poultry and fish is an excellent source of low fat protein. Have one good source of low fat protein with every meal.
Low fat dairy products these are a good source of protein and can be alternated with lean meats to provide your body with sufficient protein.
High fiber breakfast foods will aid digestion and so your breakfast should consist of foods made from whole wheat flour, wheat germ, oatmeal, or bran.
Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. Mainly it occurs in females but less than 1% of all the breast cancer cases develop in males. The majority of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. A small number start in the milk sacs or lobules. It can spread to the lymph nodes and to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs and to the brain.
With more reliable early detection methods as well as the trend towards less invasive surgery, there is hope that even more women with breast cancer will be treated successfully and will go on to resume their normal lives.
Signs & Symptoms
It is painless, especially, during the early stage. Watch out for the following changes in the breast:
- A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling.
- Bloody discharge from the nipple.
- A change in the nipple or areola such as scaliness, persistent rash or nipple retraction (nipple pulled into the breast).
Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.
Being a woman puts you at risk of getting breast cancer. There are certain factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Some of them have been listed below:
- The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50
- Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Family history of breast cancer
- Being overweight
- Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12)
- Late menopause (after the age of 55)
- Never had children
- Late childbearing
- No breast feeding
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) for a long period of time
However, most women who have breast cancer have none of the above risk factors. Likewise, not having any of these risk factors does not mean that you will not get breast cancer.
Early Detection and Screening
More treatment options are available when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and hence the chances of recovery is also higher. So regular breast screening is important for early detection even if there are no symptoms. Following are the ways of screening:
- Breast Self-Examination (BSE): Perform BSE once a month about a week after your menses are over. If you no longer menstruate, choose a date each month which is easy to remember e.g. your date of birth or anniversary.
- Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
- Mammogram: Go for a screening mammogram once a year if you are 40 to 49 years old and once every two years if you are 50 years and above even if you do not have any symptom. It is not recommended for younger women (less than 40 years of age) as they have dense breasts, making it difficult for small changes to be detected on a mammogram. So ultrasonography of the breasts is advisable to them.
Types of Breast cancer
- Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
- Invasive Breast cancer: It occurs when cancer cells spread beyond the ducts or lobules. Cancer cells first spread to the surrounding breast tissue and subsequently to the lymph nodes in the armpit (Axillary lymph nodes). These cells can also travel to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs or brain and hence known as metastatic breast cancer.
Making A Diagnosis
If you notice any unusual changes in your breasts, you should see a doctor immediately. He will examine you clinically and may ask you to undergo some tests so that a definitive diagnosis can be made. Further, the staging work up is done to find out the stage of the disease and management accordingly.
Treatment of breast cancer may include various methods such as surgery with or without breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. Treatment options offered, depend upon the number of factors such as the stage of cancer and likelihood of cure, your general health and your preference. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist.
What is Bone cancer?
Bone cancer is malignant tumour of the bones which can spread to lungs or other parts of the body. It may have arisen primarily from the bone itself (primary bone cancer) or more commonly, may have spread to the bones (secondary bone cancer) from cancer of some other body organ like Breast cancer, Prostate cancer etc.
Primary bone cancer usually occurs in growing children and young adolescents, whereas, secondary bone cancer usually occurs in older age group. Usually, the patient experiences pain in the affected area, which over the time, gets worse and continuous. There may also be swelling in the involved region. It can cause weakening of bones resulting in fracture. Some patients may attribute these symptoms to any prior antecedent trauma. Unintentional weight loss may also be seen. Sometimes, these patients are wrongly being treated for infection, thus delaying the correct treatment which may have a bearing on the final outcome.
How common is bone cancer?
Secondary bone cancer is the most common type of bone cancer with bone being the third most common site of cancer spread (metastasis) from other organs. However, primary bone cancers are rare accounting for less than 1% of all cancers.
Causes of bone cancer?
There are no known environmental or other hereditary factors which cause bone cancer, however, certain patients are at a greater risk for bone cancer which include:
- Patients who have received prior radiation therapy
- Patients with a history of Paget’s Disease
- Patients with hereditary retinoblastoma - a type of eye cancer that most commonly affects very young children
- Patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome - a rare genetic condition
How is it diagnosed?
A patient suspected with bone cancer needs to be investigated thoroughly with blood tests, Xrays, MRI to look for local extent of disease. Since bone cancer can spread to lungs and other bones, staging of the disease is done either with whole body PET CT or a bone scan with CT Chest. Alongwith that, a biopsy (usually with a needle) is required to establish the diagnosis. It’s important to do biopsy from the correct site since wrong biopsy site can be detrimental in limb salvage and can result in amputation (cutting the limb). Therefore, it’s recommended that the biopsy should always be done by the surgeon (Orthopaedic Oncologist) who will be doing the final surgery for bone cancer.
Treatment of bone cancer is a multidisciplinary approach requiring an Orthopaedic Oncologist (Bone & Soft tissue tumour specialist), Medical Oncologist (Chemotherapy Specialist), Radiation Oncologist (Radiotherapy specialist) and Pathologist (Specialist in tissue diagnosis).
Usually in primary bone cancers, chemotherapy is given to the patient followed by surgery to remove the diseased bone which is further followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Limb salvage surgery is possible nowadays for bone cancers in which the part of the bone involved with tumour is removed surgically (rather than cutting the whole limb) and the defect is reconstructed with artificial joint, thereby saving the limb. In some cases, the cancerous bone so removed is given very high dose of radiation so as to kill all the cancer cells and the sterilised bone so formed is fixed back to the parent bone with the help of plates and screws, a technique commonly called as Extra Corporeal Radiation Therapy (ECRT). In children, since the artificial joint will not grow as the child grows leading to unequal limb lengths over a period of time, the defect can be reconstructed with expandable joint which can be lengthened as the child grows which allows to maintain limb length equality at the time of skeletal maturity.
Is cure possible in bone cancer?
With the current chemotherapy regimes and advanced surgical technology, cure is possible in upto 70-75% patients with primary bone cancer. In patients with secondary bone cancer, cure can still be achieved depending upon the primary cancer and the extent of disease. In advanced cases also, a lot can be done to control the disease and give a quality of life to the patient.
Is it possible to prevent bone cancer?
Since the exact cause of bone cancer is not known, as of now it’s not possible to prevent bone cancer.
Whom to consult?
First chance is the best chance when it comes to curing bone cancers. So, it’s advisable to seek treatment from a trained Orthopaedic Oncologist when confronted with a bone cancer to achieve maximum beneficial outcome.