Gluten Free Diet

A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale. It is used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as "dextrin". A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease and prevent complications,the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis,and wheat allergy.

Gluten Free Diet

Celiac patients can also develop headaches, tingling, fatigue, muscle pain, skin rashes, joint pain, and other symptoms, because the autoimmune attack at the root of the disease gradually erodes the wall of the intestine, leading to poor absorption of iron, folate, and other nutrients that affect everything from energy to brain function.People with gluten sensitivity sometimes experience these far-reaching symptoms as well, though it's less clear why.

If you suspect your body can't tolerate gluten, the first thing you should do is get tested for celiac disease. If the test comes back negative, try a gluten-free diet for a week to see if you feel better, Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diet's restrictions. However, try to stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat.

Some Healthy foods are naturally gluten-free:

  • Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
  • Fresh eggs
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Most dairy products

Gluten Free Diet

Avoid all food and drinks containing:

  • Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Wheat

You should also be alert for other products that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth that may contain gluten. These include:

  • Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
  • Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
  • Play dough

If you plan to go gluten free, select more fruits, vegetables, and lean meat, and more naturally gluten-free grains like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat, rather than just buying prepackaged products labeled.

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Dementia - Is it Different with Alzheimers?

Are you noticing changes in your cognitive ability?

You might start to think that something's not quite right when a loved one begins to start repeating themselves, becomes agitated easily or forgetting recent events and information.

We here a lot about Alzheimer's and dementia in the media but what do the terms actually mean?

It might not be Alzheimer's or dementia

As we grow older, we tend to become more forgetful and that's part of normal aging. Other symptoms, such as depression after the loss of a loved one, or side-effects from medication, can show the same symptoms as people with Alzheimer's or dementia, and so a thorough medical assessment is required as soon as possible after the symptoms manifest.

What does Senile Mean?
Senility is not a disease but simply a generic term for a number of neurological disorders which occur in old age. The word is often used to describe the symptoms of dementia, Parkinson's, etc.

What is Dementia?
Dementia is a brain disorder which leads to the progressive loss of cognitive functions. It affects those areas of the brain which are required for language, reason, and memory functions.

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia. Other types of dementia are:

  1. Front Temporal Dementia: it affects the front and temporal lobes of the brain and causes personality and behavioral changes. It manifests between the ages of 40-70 and tends to fun in families.
  2. Vascular Dementia: arteries which feed the brain become blocked or narrow and the symptoms may begin quickly after a person has had a stroke or slowly, occurring at the same time as Alzheimer's, with similar problems with language, memory and vision.
  3. Lewd Body Dementia: This is when abnormal deposits of protein form in the brain, similar to what occurs in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, with symptoms that include disorientation, muscular rigidity, tremors and slow movement.


What is Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer's normally affects people over 65 years old although around 5% of cases are affect people from 35 years up.

Alzheimer's entails a build up of plaques and tangles, which are irregular deposits of protein, which affect the health of brain cells and the way in which they communicate with one another. There is chemical imbalance within the brain which worsens as cells are slowly destroyed. One of the main chemicals which sufferer's lack is called 'acetylcholine', which is a neurotransmitter - it helps to carry messages between networks of cells.

The symptoms of Alzheimer's include memory loss, disorientation, depression, agitation and a withdrawal from social and work activities. Unfortunately, modern medicine can only, at best and for only some, offer palliative care for the patient, making life as comfortable as possible for them.

Alternative treatments and therapies should not be overlooked, including nutritional supplements, doll and music therapy, as they can play an important role of benefiting Alzheimer's sufferers and reduce the requirement for psychoactive drugs.
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Aspergers Syndrome

If you are the parent of a child who has signs of autism, and is told that he or she may have Asperger's syndrome, then it's important to understand the characteristics of this condition.

Asperger's syndrome was recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in the year 1944 and has become a abundant well known issue.

There are a number of symptoms associated with both children and adults with Aspergers Syndrome. These symptoms include:

1. Difficulty with social relationships - Many people with Aspergers syndrome have problems in understanding how other people think and feel.They find it difficult to understand facial expressions and all the non-verbal signals people use to communicate in everyday life.

2. Difficulty with communication - People with Aspergers syndrome do not usually have the speech problems experienced by people with classic autism, they can be good talkers. The problems with communication lie in their inability to take notice of the reaction of the people they are talking to; they may continue to talk about one topic even though the other person has become (or never was) interested.

Aspergers Syndrome

3. Lack of imagination - People with Aspergers syndrome often excel at factual work, the kind of work that deals with facts and statistics but they can find it hard to use their imagination. They may have narrow areas of interest that they can become fanatical about and they can become attached to specific routines, for example always doing things in the same order when getting ready to go out in the morning. If for some reason they cannot follow their routine they can become upset and agitated or even angry.

4. Other - Many people with Aspergers also have difficulties dealing with change and may lack what is considered to be basic common sense. However people with the condition are not ‘backward' in any way and usually have average, if not higher than average levels of intelligence.

People with Aspergers syndrome are usually at this more ‘able' end of the spectrum. Like autism, Aspergers syndrome, seems to be caused by a biological difference in the brain's development. In many cases there appears to be a genetic cause; there are many cases of autism and Aspergers syndrome running in the same family. One study has estimated that 3 to 7 in 1,000 people have Aspergers Syndrome.
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Depression - How to Fight it

Depression affects an incredible number of individuals world-wide , the fact is, this disorder could be felt by even young individuals these days as a result of a stressful way of living. When depression begins, people’s lives are afflicted since they stop doing their normal regimens.

There are numerous factors that bring about depression such as death of a family member, sudden changes in one’s life, mood-altering medicines, presenting birth, or even seasonal changes. A general symptoms are fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems or loss of interest in sex — may seem to be caused by other illnesses, bored, helpless or worthless. They may always want to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things.


Depression symptoms may not get better on their own — and depression may get worse if it isn't treated. Untreated depression can lead to other mental and physical health problems or problems in other areas of your life. Feelings of depression can also lead to suicide.

Suicidal thinking or feelings in older adults is a sign of serious depression that should never be taken lightly, especially in men. Of all people with depression, older adult men are at the highest risk of suicide.

If you're reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away, seek help from your doctor, a mental health provider or other health care professional.
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Popcorn Lung

Popcorn lung disease is a rare and irreversible illness that affects workers who breathe the vapor of butter flavoring, or Diacetyl. Although the formal name of the condition is bronchiolitis obliterans, the condition was named popcorn lung disease or popcorn workers lung because it is most commonly found in employees of microwave popcorn plants.

Popcorn lung disease symptoms include:

  • Scarring and hardening of lung tissue
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Skin peeling

Popcorn Lung

When breathing tests are administered to people with possible popcorn lung disease symptoms, they reveal hyperinflation of the lungs because air becomes trapped beyond the obstruction; thickened airway walls; narrow or blocked small airways; reduced ability to expand the lungs fully; and haziness on x-rays.

Popcorn lung disease symptoms include:

Over the last 15 years, a number of popcorn lung sufferers have needed lung transplants to survive and a small handful of people have died. In 2007, four of America's biggest microwave popcorn manufacturers removed diacetyl from nearly all of their products and several smaller companies followed suit.
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Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria. Normally, your skin helps protect you from infection. But if you have a cut, sore, or insect bite, bacteria can get into the skin and spread to deeper tissues. If it is not treated with antibiotics, the infection can spread to the blood or lymph nodes. This can be deadly.

Some people can get cellulitis without having a break in the skin. These include older adults and people who have diabetes or a weak immune system.


Symptoms of cellulitis include:

  • Hot, red, swollen and painful area of the skin and deeper tissues
  • Fever
  • Shivers and chills, caused by release of toxins from the bacteria
  • There may be a well-defined line where the cellulitis stops, but this may spread as the infection progresses. Rarely, there's oozing of pus and fluid at the skin puncture site, but usually the infection is more diffuse in the tissues.

Fortunately, cellulitis usually responds well to antibiotics. Ideally, the skin and wound should be swabbed to test the kind of bacteria causing the problem, then a penicillin type of antibiotic is usually needed (or erythromycin for those who are allergic to penicillin).It is very important to get treatment right away for cellulitis. If it is not treated, the bacteria can spread quickly through the body and cause sepsis, an extreme response by the body’s defense system. This can be deadly. Cellulitis on the face can spread to the brain and cause a dangerous infection (meningitis). Cellulitis can also cause other serious problems, such as blood clots in the legs

Cellulitis can be prevented by being careful about hygiene with wounds and breaks in the skin. If you cut or scratch yourself, or break the skin in some way, make sure the wound is cleaned and treated with an antiseptic, then covered with a clean dressing or plaster. If the skin around the wound becomes red and sore, get medical advice as soon as possible.
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Addisons Disease

Addison’s disease (also chronic adrenal insufficiency, hypocortisolism, and hypoadrenalism) is a rare, chronic endocrine disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient steroid hormones (glucocorticoids and often mineralocorticoids). Addison's disease results when your adrenal glands are damaged, producing insufficient amounts of the hormone cortisol and often aldosterone as well. These glands are located just above your kidneys. As part of your endocrine system, they produce hormones that give instructions to virtually every organ and tissue in your body.
Addisons Disease

Sometimes, however, the signs and symptoms of Addison's disease may appear suddenly. In acute adrenal failure (addisonian crisis), the signs and symptoms may also include:
  • Pain in your lower back, abdomen or legs
  • Severe vomiting and diarrhea, leading to dehydration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • High potassium (hyperkalemia)

Under certain circumstances, these may progress to Addisonian crisis, a severe illness which may include very low blood pressure and coma.Addison's disease occurs in all age groups and affects both sexes.

Treatment for Addison's disease involves taking hormones to replace the insufficient amounts being made by your adrenal glands, in order to mimic the beneficial effects those naturally made hormones would normally produce.With proper treatment, adrenal crisis usually subsides quickly; the patient’s blood pressure stabilizes, and water and sodium levels return to normal. After the crisis, maintenance doses of hydrocortisone preserve physiologic stability.

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Trypophobia is an intense fear of the following things, which results in an all-over itchy feeling and general uneasyness. Lotus seed pods, Crumpets, Pumice, Cavities in teeth, the Ampullae of Lorenzini in Sharks, Holes in concrete, Bug tunnels in wood, Enlarged pores of the skin, Aero Bars, Holes in walls caused by bullets, Bone marrow, Wasps' nest, Honeycomb, Bubbles in Dough, Ant holes, Veins in meat, Clusters of holes.

Usually, Trypophobia is installed since early childhood, being one of those diseases that disappear until the teenager years. A Trypophobe can’t even explain his condition, as it is uncommon and children suffering from it will never tell about it. Although the people that are not suffering from this disease have problems understanding this condition, and even if they have some people suffering from this condition in the family, they will neglect it, saying that this is not such a big deal.

As it is an uncommon condition, people that have it can’t even recognize it. The subject of Trypophobia was barely studied, and the doctors are only prescribing the treatments for other types of phobias for a Trypophobe.


A person with this phobia can develop other fears at some point, including the fear of bubbles and spots. The brain associates those shapes with a hole, and this is why the condition appears.

The Fear of Holes in the Skin is a common disease now, and people are starting to report this problem more and more often. This is why a group of researchers and psychologists started to study this problem, and soon we will have guides and treatments for this problem.

The phobia is also an irritating condition, as it is different from other phobias. The Trypophobe is afraid of the holes, but he or she can’t stop watching them. Moreover, those persons are normal in everyday life. For example, a person suffering from this condition can watch horror movies without any problem.
The causes of this condition are still unknown. However, it is known that a trypophobic has two different reactions at the appearance of holes. The first one would be to watch it for a while, and then the person would think about covering it or destroying it. It is believed that those persons suffer from dizziness at the appearance of those wholes, and another rumor says the condition is connected with the childhood of the person. If you suffer from this condition, think about your childhood. If you had many wounds, bleed a lot from the common childhood accidents or you had a scar for a long time, this might be the cause of your phobia.
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DiGeorge syndrome

DiGeorge syndrome (22q11.2 deletion syndrome), a disorder caused by a defect in chromosome 22, results in the poor development of several body systems.
The syndrome was described in 1968 by the pediatric endocrinologist Angelo DiGeorge
DiGeorge syndrome

Medical problems commonly associated with DiGeorge syndrome include heart defects, poor immune system function, a cleft palate, complications related to low levels of calcium in the blood and behavioral disorders.

The number and severity of problems associated with DiGeorge syndrome vary greatly. Almost everyone with DiGeorge syndrome needs treatment from specialists in a variety of fields.

DiGeorge syndrome

If your child has any of the following signs and symptoms or may include some combination of the following, seek immediate medical care

  • Bluish skin due to poor circulation of oxygen-rich blood (cyanosis)
  • Weakness or tiring easily
  • Failure to thrive
  • Failure to gain weight
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Shortness of breath
  • Twitching or spasms around the mouth, hands, arms or throat (tetany)
  • Frequent infections
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Delayed development, such as delays in rolling over, sitting up or other infant milestones
  • Delayed speech development
  • Learning delays or difficulties
  • A gap in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate) or other problems with the palate
  • Certain facial features, such as low-set ears, wide-set eyes or a narrow groove in the upper lip

There is no cure for 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Certain individual features are treatable using standard treatments. The key is to identify each of the associated features and manage each using the best available treatments. For example, in children it is important that the immune problems are identified early as special precautions are required regarding blood transfusion and immunisation with live vaccines. Thymus transplantation can be used to address absence of the thymus in the rare, so-called "complete" DiGeorge syndrome. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Cardiac surgery is often required for congenital heart abnormalities. Hypoparathyroidism causing hypocalcaemia often requires lifelong vitamin D and calcium supplements.
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Hepatitis C - The Silent Killer

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis, which is generally apparent after many years. In some cases, those with cirrhosis will go on to develop liver failure, liver cancer or life-threatening esophageal and gastric varices

TODAY if you have health problems such as flu-like and may include following symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea or poor appetite
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Tenderness in the area of your liver
This is because of the problems you may be infected with an unknown disease is there and there were times when it has reached a chronic stage.

It is difficult to detect infection by the patient's own because it always strikes without bringing specific symptoms or prolonged.
Hepatitis C

The disease is also categorized as a silent killer because many patients do not know they are infected themselves until many years but there is a reach tens of years.

Based on statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), 60 percent to 70 percent of hepatitis C patients will suffer from chronic liver disease, while five percent to 20 percent will suffer from cirrhosis, while one per cent to five per cent will die from cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Hepatitis C infection is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is spread when you come in contact with contaminated blood.
  • Blood transfusions and organ transplants before 1992. Improved blood-screening tests became available in 1992. Before that year, it was possible to unknowingly contract hepatitis C through a blood transfusion or organ transplant.
  • Shared needles. HCV can also spread through sharing contaminated needles when injecting drugs.
  • Childbirth. A small number of babies born to mothers with hepatitis C acquire the infection during childbirth.
  • Sexual contact. In rare cases, HCV may be transmitted sexually.
If you receive a diagnosis of hepatitis C, your doctor will likely recommend certain lifestyle changes. These measures will help keep you healthy longer and protect the health of others as well:
  • Stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol speeds the progression of liver disease.
  • Avoid medications that may cause liver damage. Review your medications with your doctor, including the over-the-counter medications you take. Your doctor may recommend avoiding certain medications.
  • Stay healthy. Make healthy lifestyle choices each day. For example, choose a diet full of fruits and vegetables, exercise most days of the week, and get enough sleep so that you wake feeling rested.
  • Help prevent others from coming in contact with your blood. Cover any wounds you have and don't share razors or toothbrushes. Don't donate blood, body organs or semen, and advise health care workers that you have the virus.

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Blood Pressure

Blood pressure (BP), sometimes referred to as arterial blood pressure, is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels, and is one of the principal vital signs. When used without further specification, "blood pressure" usually refers to the arterial pressure of the systemic circulation. During each heartbeat, blood pressure varies between a maximum (systolic) and a minimum (diastolic) pressure.The blood pressure in the circulation is principally due to the pumping action of the heart.

Blood pressure readings fall into four general categories, ranging from normal to stage 2 hypertension (high blood pressure). The level of your blood pressure determines what kind of treatment you may need. To get an accurate blood pressure measurement, your doctor should evaluate your readings based on the average of two or more blood pressure readings on each of two office visits.

Blood Pressure

The top number is your systolic pressure.
It is considered high if it is over 140 most of the time.
It is considered normal if it is below 120 most of the time.

The bottom number is your diastolic pressure.
It is considered high if it is over 90 most of the time.
It is considered normal if it is below 80 most of the time.
Pre-hypertension may be considered when your:

Top number (systolic blood pressure) is between 120 and 139 most of the time, or
Bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) is between 80 and 89 most of the time

If you have pre-hypertension, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

If you have heart or kidney problems, or if you had a stroke, your doctor may want your blood pressure to be even lower than that of people who do not have these conditions.

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West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) was first identified in the West Nile sub-region in the East African nation of Uganda in 1937

West Nile virus is caused by a bite from an infected mosquito that's already carrying the virus, but it's important to remember that not all mosquitoes are infected,it is a mosquito-borne zoonotic arbovirus belonging to the genus Flavivirus in the family Flaviviridae. This flavivirus is found in temperate and tropical regions of the world. In many parts of the United States, the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito is greatest from July to early September. But in some parts of the country, mosquito bites can be a risk all year long.

Not everyone who gets bitten by an infected mosquito will get the virus, from studies we know that only about one in every five people who get infected with West Nile will actually develop symptoms.

The most common ones are
- Fever
- Headaches
- Body ache
- Joint pain
- Vomiting
- Diarrhea
- Rash
West Nile Virus

A lot of people who develop symptoms usually just wait it out at home. Or they’ll go to a medical doctor and end up recovering from their illness and feeling much better within several weeks. Sometimes, people will complain of fatigue or report feeling not quite themselves for several months.

If they think they have West Nile, they can have their blood tested for the presence of antibodies or, in more severe cases that affect the central nervous system, a doctor can take samples of the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.Usually people are hospitalized if they have more serious symptoms.West Nile virus is not spread from person to person.
West Nile Virus

So, what's being done to stop the spread of West Nile virus? Health officials in each state do their best to find out where mosquitoes live and kill the eggs of mosquitoes that might carry the virus.Watch out for mosquitoes in the early morning and in the early evening since that's when they're often very active. Mosquitoes also like standing water, like in wading pools and creeks.Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Wear long sleeves and pants to prevent mosquito bites at dusk and dawn. Install or repair screens or windows to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your home.
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Bubonic Plague

There are three most common forms of plague are:

  1. Bubonic plague -- an infection of the lymph nodes
  2. Pneumonic plague -- an infection of the lungs
  3. Septicemic plague -- an infection of the blood

Bubonic plague is a zoonotic disease, c is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Rodents, such as rats, carry the disease. It is spread by their fleas.Without treatment, the bubonic plague kills about two thirds of infected humans within 4 days.

Plague causes fever and a painful swelling of the lymph glands called buboes, which is how it gets its name. The disease also causes spots on the skin that are red at first and then turn black.

According to the World Health Organization, there are 1,000 to 3,000 cases of bubonic plague worldwide each year. There are no known cases in Australia or Europe. Plague can still be found in Africa, Asia, and South America.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are 10 to 15 cases of bubonic plague in the United States each year. These cases tend to occur in two regions: northern New Mexico, northern Arizona and southern Colorado; California, southern Oregon and far western Nevada.

Bubonic Plague

Bubonic plague symptoms appear suddenly, usually after 2 - 5 days of exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • General ill feeling (malaise)
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Seizures
  • Smooth, painful lymph gland swelling called a bubo

People with the plague need immediate treatment. If treatment is not received within 24 hours of when the first symptoms occur, death may occur.

Antibiotics such as streptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, or ciprofloxacin are used to treat plague. Oxygen, intravenous fluids, and respiratory support usually are also needed.

Patients with pneumonic plague should be strictly isolated from caregivers and other patients. People who have had contact with anyone infected by pneumonic plague should be watched carefully and given antibiotics as a preventive measure.

In most developed countries, cities and towns have successfully controlled their rat populations, but rural and urban areas of developing countries often have problems with rat infestation, and thus are at risk of bubonic plague epidemics. Therefore, reducing the risk of plague outbreaks in these areas would require:

  • Controlling the rat population
  • Watching for plague cases in both rats and humans in the area
  • Using insecticide to reduce the number of fleas
  • Treating pets for fleas
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Baby and Cat diseases

Scratch Disease
Cats play host to a variety of bacteria, one of which causes cat scratch disease. As the name suggests, this is an illness brought on by the introduction of bacteria into a scratch or bite. The bacteria, Bartonella henselae, is transmitted through the saliva of an infected cat.

Symptoms can present in many different ways. They can cause a bump at the scratch site, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, general discomfort, headache and a fever. Cat scratch disease is generally not serious and normally will resolve without treatment. In children with normal immune systems, full recovery is expected without issue. In severe cases, an antibiotic is prescribed.

To avoid having your baby or child get cat scratch disease, supervise all interactions with the cat. If a bite or scratch should occur, wash it out with lots of soap and water. If symptoms of cat scratch disease appear, contact your doctor.

Protecting Your Family--And Your Cat
General sanitary measures will go a long way in preventing the spread of disease from cat to humans. Most of these are common sense and will prevent much more than diseases spread by cats. Some general rules are:

Wash your hands after petting your cat.
Use gloves when cleaning the litter boxes--especially if you are pregnant.
Have your cat checked out at the vet every year to rule out internal and external parasites.
Keep your cat indoors to reduce exposure to wild animals that can spread disease to your cat and your child.
Keep your cat's vaccinations up to date.
Clean the litter box daily.
Avoid letting your cat lick your utensils, plates and glasses.
Keep your cat off of the counter tops.
Cover your child's sandbox when it is not in use to keep stray cats from using it as a litter box.
Periodically wash litter boxes with scalding water and detergent.
Seek medical attention for cat bites.
With a little precaution, your baby and your child can happily, and healthily, live together.

Roundworm and Hookworm
These parasites live in the intestinal system of cats and dogs, being more common in puppies and kittens. They are passed from one animal to the next through contact with infected feces. Although most young animals show no signs of infection, the worms can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Humans can get the worms through the same route as animals--by accidentally ingesting the microscopic eggs that are passed in the feces. The eggs are resilient and can persist in playgrounds, parks and other outdoor play areas where an infected animal has been. Hookworm larvae are capable of entering the body through exposed skin.

Children are prone to get these infections since they are more likely to be playing in the dirt and placing dirty objects in their mouths. Roundworm infections often go unnoticed, though rarely it can cause tissue or nerve damage. Hookworms can cause a skin infection in humans. Having your kitten checked annually for worms is the best way to prevent infection.

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How to Massage a Baby

Daily infant massage is a great way to bond with baby. What's more, researchers are finding that massage may promote better sleeping, relieve colic, and perhaps even enhance an infant's immune system, motor skills, and intellectual development. Here are some tips and techniques to help you along.

Use a blanket or towel, and massage oil in a non-breakable container. (Test the oil on a small spot of your baby's skin and wait a day to be sure no irritation appears.) Start when your baby is in a quiet yet alert state -- not immediately after a feeding or when she's sleepy. Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together, forming a diamond shape with your legs. Drape the blanket over your feet and between your knee.

How to Massage a Baby
Undress your baby down to her diaper and place her on the blanket, cradling her head on your feet. Start with a gentle "hello" stroke from baby's head to her toes. If baby stiffens, cries, or becomes irritable, move to another body part or simply end the massage for the day. If she responds well, start gently massaging her body section by section.

1. Hold your hand so your pinky's edge can move like a paddle across your baby's belly. Starting at the base of the rib cage, stroke down with one hand, then the other, in a paddle-wheel-like motion.

2. Massage her abdomen with your fingertips in a circular, clockwise motion.

3. Do the "I Love U" stroke: Trace the letter I down your baby's left side. Then trace an inverted L, stroking across the belly along the base of her ribs from her right side to her left and down. Trace an inverted U, stroking from low on the baby's right side, up and around the navel, and down the left side.

4. Walk your fingers around her navel, clockwise.

5. Hold knees and feet together and gently press knees up toward her abdomen. Rotate baby's hips around a few times to the right. (This often helps expel gas.)

6. Place hand on tummy horizontally and rock your hand from side to side a few times. Note: Avoid massaging tummy if the cord hasn't completely healed.

Head and Face
1. Cradling your baby's head in both hands, massage the scalp with your fingertips, as if you're shampooing. (Avoid the fontanel, the soft spot on top of baby's head.)

2. Massage her ears between your thumb and index finger.

3. Trace a heart shape on your baby's face, bringing your hands together at the chin.

4. Place your thumbs between your baby's eyebrows, and stroke out.

5. Again with your thumbs, stroke gently out over baby's closed eyelids.

6. Stroke from the bridge of the nose out over the cheeks.

7. Using your fingertips, massage the jaw in small circles.

1. Place both hands on your baby's chest and stroke outward from her sternum to her shoulders.

2. Beginning at her sternum, trace a heart shape bringing both hands up to her shoulders, then down and back together.

3. In a crisscross pattern, stroke diagonally from one side of your baby's hip, up and over the opposite shoulder, and back down to her hip.

1. With one hand, hold baby's wrist. Relax her upper arm by tapping it lightly.

2. Hold her wrist with one hand and hold your other hand in a C-shape around baby's upper arm; stroke from her shoulder down to her wrist.

3. With each hand grasping her arm, one right above the other, stroke down from shoulder to wrist with both hands rotating in opposite directions, as if you were gently wringing a towel.

4. Massage her palm, moving thumb over thumb from heel of her hand to her fingers.

5. Stroke down top of hand from wrist to fingertips. Gently squeeze and pull each finger.

6. Massage her wrist by moving your fingers in small circles.

7. Roll her arm between both your hands.

1. Place baby on tummy horizontally in front of you, or lay her across your outstretched legs. Keep her hands in front of her, not at her sides.

2. With both of your hands on baby's back, move each hand back and forth (keeping them going in opposite directions) from the base of the neck to her buttocks.

3. Hold your baby's buttocks with one hand and use the other to stroke down from her neck to her buttocks.

4. Using your fingertips, massage in small circles down one side of baby's spine and up the other. Avoid pressing on her spine directly.

5. Massage her shoulders with small circular motions.

6. Massage her buttocks with big circular motions.

7. Holding your fingers like a rake, stroke down her back.

1. Lift one of her legs by the ankle and relax it by lightly tapping the upper thigh.

2. Hold her ankle with one hand and hold your other hand in a C-shape, thumb down, around your baby's upper thigh. Stroke from her thigh down to her foot.

3. With your hands grasping the leg at the thigh, one right above the other, stroke down from hip to foot with both hands rotating in opposite directions, as if you were wringing a towel.

4. On the sole of her foot, use a thumb-over-thumb motion to massage from heel to toes.

5. Use your whole hand to stroke the bottom of her foot from heel to toes.

6. Stroke the top of her foot. Gently squeeze and pull each toe.

7. Massage around her ankle using small circles.

8. Roll her leg between your hands, as if you're rolling dough.

General Tips
Make strokes gentle but firm, and not ticklish.
Build massage into your baby's daily schedule.
Follow baby's signals about when to stop. A massage can last 10 minutes or 30 minutes, depending on her moods.

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The benefits baby massage

You know what happens: The minute you put your baby down, she cries. Pick her up and, presto -- she's serene and smiley again. If just holding your baby can be so soothing, imagine how she'll benefit from a full-body massage. In fact, studies have shown that massaging an infant can reduce crying and fussiness, help her sleep more peacefully, and alleviate common wail-inducers like constipation and colic. Some say that it even boosts a baby's ability to fight off germs.

The benefits baby massage

"When you give your baby a massage, you're actually stimulating her central nervous system," explains Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine. "That sets off a chain reaction: It makes her brain produce more serotonin, a feel-good chemical, and less cortisol, a hormone that's secreted in response to stress. As a result, your baby's heart rate and breathing slow down, and she becomes more relaxed. "

Giving your infant regular massages is good for his emotional well-being too. "Affectionate touch and rhythmic movement are among the most powerful forms of communication between babies and their parents, so they're great ways for you to bond," says K. Mark Sossin, PhD, director of the Parent-Infant Research Nursery at Pace University, in New York City. The payoff of baby massage trickles down to parents. "It's easy to feel helpless with a newborn, but giving him a gentle rubdown can help you feel more in control," explains Elaine Fogel Schneider, PhD, author of Massaging Your Baby: The Joy of Touch Time. "It will help you learn how to read your baby's signals and respond better to his unique needs."

Giving your baby a massage is as simple as it is enjoyable. All you need is 10 to 15 minutes. Pick a time when you're relaxed and your baby is quiet but alert. (If you try to massage a fussy baby, you may overstimulate him and make him even more unhappy.) Try starting after a diaper change or as part of a bathtime ritual.

Before you begin, make sure the room is warm and quiet. Take off any jewelry that could get in the way, and grab some baby oil. Strip your baby down to his diaper, and then lay him facing up on a soft towel or blanket, with a pillow under his head. Begin by holding your baby's hands and gently rubbing his palms with your thumbs a few times. When he seems tuned in to you, try these soothing techniques described by Dr. Schneider, starting with your baby's legs and working your way up his body.

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HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), a condition that breaks down a person’s immune system leading to a series of diseases. HIV does not instantly lead to AIDS. An HIV infected individual can lead a healthy life for several years before developing AIDS. HIV may be passed to another person when infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids come in contact with skin tears or mucus membranes of an uninfected individual.

According to the Mayo Clinic, an estimated 38.6 million people are living with HIV. Nearly half of them are women and girls between the ages of 15 and 24. In 2005, more than 4 million people were diagnosed with new cases of HIV. Twenty-five million people have died of AIDS (advanced stage of HIV) since the epidemic began about 25 years ago.

What are the symptoms of HIV?
The first symptoms of HIV can resemble symptoms of other conditions, such as a cold or flu virus, other sexually transmitted diseases, other infections such as mononucleosis or hepatitis. Stress and anxiety can also produce symptoms that are similar to HIV in some individuals.
The intensity of the symptoms can also vary from person to person. Some may experience very strong symptoms while others experience none at all. General symptoms can occur within days or weeks of initial exposure to the virus and may include:
Swollen lymph nodes
Sore throat
These symptoms usually appear during a period called primary or acute HIV infection.

The following may be warning signs of advanced HIV infection:
Rapid weight loss
Dry cough
Recurring fever or profuse night sweats
Profound and unexplained fatigue
Swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin or neck (lymphadenopathy)
Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
White spots or unusual blemishes on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat
Red, brown, pink or purple blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose or eyelids
Memory loss, depression and other neurological disorders
No one should assume they are infected with HIV just because of these symptoms. Each of these symptoms can be related to other medical conditions. Because these symptoms are similar to other diseases, a person may not realize they are infected with HIV. The only way to determine if a person is infected with HIV is to be tested.
Even if someone doesn’t have symptoms it is still possible to transmit the virus to others. Once the virus has entered the body it begins to attack the immune system. The virus multiplies in the lymph nodes and begins to destroy the T-cells, which are the white blood cells that coordinate the entire immune system.
A person may be symptom free for nine years or more. During this time the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells.

Can having HIV lead to other problems?
The advanced stages of HIV have been identified by the term AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). According to the definition provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), AIDS includes all HIV-infected people who have less than 200 CD4+ T cells per cubic millimeter of blood. This definition also includes 26 clinical conditions that affect people with advanced HIV disease. In people with AIDS, these infections are often severe and fatal because the immune system has been so damaged by HIV that the body cannot reject certain bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and other microbes.

How is HIV transmitted?
The most common ways that HIV is spread include:
Vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who is infected with HIV
Sharing needles or syringes with someone infected with HIV
Infected blood, semen or vaginal fluid (including menstrual blood) can enter the body through the vagina, rectum or mouth and surrounding tissue. The risk of becoming infected increases if there are sores (caused by herpes, syphilis and chancroid) on the genitals (vagina, vulva, penis). Sharing personal devices can be risky if they have been in contact with another person’s blood, semen or vaginal fluid.

HIV is not spread through every day activities or casual contact. Activities such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, touching or massaging do not spread HIV unless there is contact with the person’s blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk.

HIV cannot be contracted from:
Coughs or sneezes
Being around an infected person
Insect bites
Using swimming pools or hot tubs
Toilet seats
Phones or computers
Drinking fountains
Straws, spoons or cups

How is HIV diagnosed?
Because this disease has nonspecific symptoms, they are not a reliable way to diagnose HIV infection. The only way to know whether a person has been infected is through HIV testing.
HIV tests do not test for the actual HIV virus. One test detects HIV proteins while the other two detect HIV antibodies in the bloodstream.
Elisa is the first portion of the HIV test. This test detects the presence of HIV antibodies in the blood. Negative results determine a person is not HIV infected. Positive results lead to the second portion of the test to confirm results.
Western Blot is used to confirm a positive Elisa test result. The Western Blot test detects specific protein bands that are present with HIV infections. A positive Elisa test with a positive Western Blot test gives 99.9% accuracy in identifying HIV infection.
PCR detects specific DNA and RNA sequences that indicate the presence of HIV in the genetic structure of anyone HIV infected. DNA and RNA from the HIV virus circulate in the blood. The presence of these “particles” indicates the HIV virus.
Testing for HIV antibodies is the only way to know if a person is infected. However, this test for HIV antibodies is effective only after the infected person’s immune system produces antibodies to HIV. There is a time period between the initial infection and when the HIV antibodies are detectable which can be from 2 weeks to 6 months with an average length of 3 months. During this time period standard HIV testing is ineffective.

What is the treatment for HIV?
When the HIV/AIDS epidemic began in the early 1980s, AIDS patients were not expected to live more than a few years. Since then, the development of safe and effective drugs is enabling people with HIV to live longer and healthier lives.
At the present time there are 26 antiretroviral drugs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV patients. These drugs can be classified into three major groups:
Reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors – interfere with the conversion of reverse transcriptase (an HIV enzyme) into HIV RNA to HIV DNA.
Protease inhibitors (PI) – interfere with the protease enzyme that HIV uses to produce infectious viral particles.
Fusion inhibitors – interfere with the HIV virus’ ability to fuse with the cellular membrane, thus blocking entry into the host cell.
Current drugs can suppress the HIV virus, even to undetectable levels, but are not able to completely remove HIV from the body. These drugs help to manage HIV but are not able to cure it. It is important that infected patients continue to take antiretroviral drugs.
Because HIV reproduces itself, new strains of the virus continue to emerge which can be resistant to antiretroviral drugs. Most health care providers recommend that HIV infected patients take a combination of antiretroviral drugs known as HAART. This combination of drugs successfully suppresses the virus and decreases the rate of opportunistic infections by strengthening the immune system.
While the use of HAART can suppress the virus and has greatly reduced the number of deaths due to HIV/AIDS, the virus may still be transmitted. People infected with HIV who are taking antiretroviral drugs can still transmit HIV to others through unprotected sex and needle sharing.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America maintains a database of new drugs in development to treat HIV infection. Scientists are also studying how immune modulators can help to increase the immune response to the HIV virus and make existing HIV drugs more effective. Therapeutic vaccines are being examined for this purpose.

Can HIV be prevented?
Not having sex is the only sure way to avoid the transmission of HIV.
If you decide to engage in sexual activity, in order to reduce the risk of infection you should:
 Have sex with only one partner who is not infected with HIV, who does not share needles or syringes and who has sex only with you. These things may be difficult to know about another person.
Avoid contact with your partner’s blood, semen or vaginal fluid.
The correct use of a latex condom when having sex greatly reduces your risk of HIV infection.
Use a water-based lubricant with the latex condom to reduce risk of breakage when engaging in vaginal or anal sex.
Use a male condom without spermicide or a lubricant for oral sex.
Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of the female condom or dental dams in preventing HIV transmission.
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What is Cancer? What Causes Cancer?

What is Cancer? What Causes Cancer?

Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected.
Cancer harms the body when damaged cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps or masses of tissue called tumors (except in the case of leukemia where cancer prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood stream). Tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems, and they can release hormones that alter body function. Tumors that stay in one spot and demonstrate limited growth are generally considered to be benign.

More dangerous, or malignant, tumors form when two things occur:
a cancerous cell manages to move throughout the body using the blood or lymph systems, destroying healthy tissue in a process called invasion
that cell manages to divide and grow, making new blood vessels to feed itself in a process called angiogenesis.
When a tumor successfully spreads to other parts of the body and grows, invading and destroying other healthy tissues, it is said to have metastasized. This process itself is called metastasis, and the result is a serious condition that is very difficult to treat.

In 2007, cancer claimed the lives of about 7.6 million people in the world. Physicians and researchers who specialize in the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer are called oncologists.

What causes cancer?
Cancer is ultimately the result of cells that uncontrollably grow and do not die. Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. Programmed cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process breaks down, cancer begins to form. Unlike regular cells, cancer cells do not experience programmatic death and instead continue to grow and divide. This leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grows out of control.

Genes - the DNA type

Cells can experience uncontrolled growth if there are damages or mutations to DNA, and therefore, damage to the genes involved in cell division. Four key types of gene are responsible for the cell division process: oncogenes tell cells when to divide, tumor suppressor genes tell cells when not to divide, suicide genes control apoptosis and tell the cell to kill itself if something goes wrong, and DNA-repair genes instruct a cell to repair damaged DNA.

Cancer occurs when a cell's gene mutations make the cell unable to correct DNA damage and unable to commit suicide. Similarly, cancer is a result of mutations that inhibit oncogene and tumor suppressor gene function, leading to uncontrollable cell growth.


Carcinogens are a class of substances that are directly responsible for damaging DNA, promoting or aiding cancer. Tobacco, asbestos, arsenic, radiation such as gamma and x-rays, the sun, and compounds in car exhaust fumes are all examples of carcinogens. When our bodies are exposed to carcinogens, free radicals are formed that try to steal electrons from other molecules in the body. Theses free radicals damage cells and affect their ability to function normally.

Genes - the family type

Cancer can be the result of a genetic predisposition that is inherited from family members. It is possible to be born with certain genetic mutations or a fault in a gene that makes one statistically more likely to develop cancer later in life.

Other medical factors

As we age, there is an increase in the number of possible cancer-causing mutations in our DNA. This makes age an important risk factor for cancer. Several viruses have also been linked to cancer such as: human papillomavirus (a cause of cervical cancer), hepatitis B and C (causes of liver cancer), and Epstein-Barr virus (a cause of some childhood cancers). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) - and anything else that suppresses or weakens the immune system - inhibits the body's ability to fight infections and increases the chance of developing cancer.

What are the symptoms of cancer?
Cancer symptoms are quite varied and depend on where the cancer is located, where it has spread, and how big the tumor is. Some cancers can be felt or seen through the skin - a lump on the breast or testicle can be an indicator of cancer in those locations. Skin cancer (melanoma) is often noted by a change in a wart or mole on the skin. Some oral cancers present white patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue.
Other cancers have symptoms that are less physically apparent. Some brain tumors tend to present symptoms early in the disease as they affect important cognitive functions. Pancreas cancers are usually too small to cause symptoms until they cause pain by pushing against nearby nerves or interfere with liver function to cause a yellowing of the skin and eyes called jaundice. Symptoms also can be created as a tumor grows and pushes against organs and blood vessels. For example, colon cancers lead to symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and changes in stool size. Bladder or prostate cancers cause changes in bladder function such as more frequent or infrequent urination.

As cancer cells use the body's energy and interfere with normal hormone function, it is possible to present symptoms such as fever, fatigue, excessive sweating, anemia, and unexplained weight loss. However, these symptoms are common in several other maladies as well. For example, coughing and hoarseness can point to lung or throat cancer as well as several other conditions.

When cancer spreads, or metastasizes, additional symptoms can present themselves in the newly affected area. Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes are common and likely to be present early. If cancer spreads to the brain, patients may experience vertigo, headaches, or seizures. Spreading to the lungs may cause coughing and shortness of breath. In addition, the liver may become enlarged and cause jaundice and bones can become painful, brittle, and break easily. Symptoms of metastasis ultimately depend on the location to which the cancer has spread.

How is cancer classified?
There are five broad groups that are used to classify cancer.

Carcinomas are characterized by cells that cover internal and external parts of the body such as lung, breast, and colon cancer.
Sarcomas are characterized by cells that are located in bone, cartilage, fat, connective tissue, muscle, and other supportive tissues.
Lymphomas are cancers that begin in the lymph nodes and immune system tissues.
Leukemias are cancers that begin in the bone marrow and often accumulate in the bloodstream.
Adenomas are cancers that arise in the thyroid, the pituitary gland, the adrenal gland, and other glandular tissues.
Cancers are often referred to by terms that contain a prefix related to the cell type in which the cancer originated and a suffix such as -sarcoma, -carcinoma, or just -oma. Common prefixes include:

Adeno- = gland
Chondro- = cartilage
Erythro- = red blood cell
Hemangio- = blood vessels
Hepato- = liver
Lipo- = fat
Lympho- = white blood cell
Melano- = pigment cell
Myelo- = bone marrow
Myo- = muscle
Osteo- = bone
Uro- = bladder
Retino- = eye
Neuro- = brain
How is cancer diagnosed and staged?

Early detection of cancer can greatly improve the odds of successful treatment and survival. Physicians use information from symptoms and several other procedures to diagnose cancer. Imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, and ultrasound scans are used regularly in order to detect where a tumor is located and what organs may be affected by it. Doctors may also conduct an endoscopy, which is a procedure that uses a thin tube with a camera and light at one end, to look for abnormalities inside the body.

Extracting cancer cells and looking at them under a microscope is the only absolute way to diagnose cancer. This procedure is called a biopsy. Other types of molecular diagnostic tests are frequently employed as well. Physicians will analyze your body's sugars, fats, proteins, and DNA at the molecular level. For example, cancerous prostate cells release a higher level of a chemical called PSA (prostate-specific antigen) into the bloodstream that can be detected by a blood test. Molecular diagnostics, biopsies, and imaging techniques are all used together to diagnose cancer.

After a diagnosis is made, doctors find out how far the cancer has spread and determine the stage of the cancer. The stage determines which choices will be available for treatment and informs prognoses. The most common cancer staging method is called the TNM system. T (1-4) indicates the size and direct extent of the primary tumor, N (0-3) indicates the degree to which the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, and M (0-1) indicates whether the cancer has metastasized to other organs in the body. A small tumor that has not spread to lymph nodes or distant organs may be staged as (T1, N0, M0), for example.

TNM descriptions then lead to a simpler categorization of stages, from 0 to 4, where lower numbers indicate that the cancer has spread less. While most Stage 1 tumors are curable, most Stage 4 tumors are inoperable or untreatable.

How is cancer treated?

Cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, the stage of the cancer (how much it has spread), age, health status, and additional personal characteristics. There is no single treatment for cancer, and patients often receive a combination of therapies and palliative care. Treatments usually fall into one of the following categories: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, or gene therapy.

Surgery is the oldest known treatment for cancer. If a cancer has not metastasized, it is possible to completely cure a patient by surgically removing the cancer from the body. This is often seen in the removal of the prostate or a breast or testicle. After the disease has spread, however, it is nearly impossible to remove all of the cancer cells. Surgery may also be instrumental in helping to control symptoms such as bowel obstruction or spinal cord compression.

Radiation treatment, also known as radiotherapy, destroys cancer by focusing high-energy rays on the cancer cells. This causes damage to the molecules that make up the cancer cells and leads them to commit suicide. Radiotherapy utilizes high-energy gamma-rays that are emitted from metals such as radium or high-energy x-rays that are created in a special machine. Early radiation treatments caused severe side-effects because the energy beams would damage normal, healthy tissue, but technologies have improved so that beams can be more accurately targeted. Radiotherapy is used as a standalone treatment to shrink a tumor or destroy cancer cells (including those associated with leukemia and lymphoma), and it is also used in combination with other cancer treatments.

Chemotherapy utilizes chemicals that interfere with the cell division process - damaging proteins or DNA - so that cancer cells will commit suicide. These treatments target any rapidly dividing cells (not necessarily just cancer cells), but normal cells usually can recover from any chemical-induced damage while cancer cells cannot. Chemotherapy is generally used to treat cancer that has spread or metastasized because the medicines travel throughout the entire body. It is a necessary treatment for some forms of leukemia and lymphoma. Chemotherapy treatment occurs in cycles so the body has time to heal between doses. However, there are still common side effects such as hair loss, nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. Combination therapies often include multiple types of chemotherapy or chemotherapy combined with other treatment options.

Immunotherapy aims to get the body's immune system to fight the tumor. Local immunotherapy injects a treatment into an affected area, for example, to cause inflammation that causes a tumor to shrink. Systemic immunotherapy treats the whole body by administering an agent such as the protein interferon alpha that can shrink tumors. Immunotherapy can also be considered non-specific if it improves cancer-fighting abilities by stimulating the entire immune system, and it can be considered targeted if the treatment specifically tells the immune system to destroy cancer cells. These therapies are relatively young, but researchers have had success with treatments that introduce antibodies to the body that inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. Bone marrow transplantation (hematopoetic stem cell transplantation) can also be considered immunotherapy because the donor's immune cells will often attack the tumor or cancer cells that are present in the host.

Hormone therapy
Several cancers have been linked to some types of hormones, most notably breast and prostate cancer. Hormone therapy is designed to alter hormone production in the body so that cancer cells stop growing or are killed completely. Breast cancer hormone therapies often focus on reducing estrogen levels (a common drug for this is tamoxifen) and prostate cancer hormone therapies often focus on reducing testosterone levels. In addition, some leukemia and lymphoma cases can be treated with the hormone cortisone.

Gene therapy
The goal of gene therapy is to replace damaged genes with ones that work to address a root cause of cancer: damage to DNA. For example, researchers are trying to replace the damaged gene that signals cells to stop dividing (the p53 gene) with a copy of a working gene. Other gene-based therapies focus on further damaging cancer cell DNA to the point where the cell commits suicide. Gene therapy is a very young field and has not yet resulted in any successful treatments.

How can cancer be prevented?
Cancers that are closely linked to certain behaviors are the easiest to prevent. For example, choosing not to smoke tobacco or drink alcohol significantly lower the risk of several types of cancer - most notably lung, throat, mouth, and liver cancer. Even if you are a current tobacco user, quitting can still greatly reduce your chances of getting cancer.
Skin cancer can be prevented by staying in the shade, protecting yourself with a hat and shirt when in the sun, and using sunscreen. Diet is also an important part of cancer prevention since what we eat has been linked to the disease. Physicians recommend diets that are low in fat and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
Certain vaccinations have been associated with the prevention of some cancers. For example, many women receive a vaccination for the human papillomavirus because of the virus's relationship with cervical cancer. Hepatitis B vaccines prevent the hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver cancer.
Some cancer prevention is based on systematic screening in order to detect small irregularities or tumors as early as possible even if there are no clear symptoms present. Breast self-examination, mammograms, testicular self-examination, and Pap smears are common screening methods for various cancers.
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Female Infertility

Female Infertility
Infertility is a condition that affects approximately one out of every six couples. An infertility diagnosis is given to a couple that has been unsuccessful in efforts to conceive over the course of one full year. When the cause of infertility exists within the female partner, it is referred to as female infertility. Female infertility factors contribute to approximately 50% of all infertility cases, and female infertility alone accounts for approximately one-third of all infertility cases.

What causes female infertility?
The most common causes of female infertility include problems with ovulation, damage to fallopian tubes or uterus, or problems with the cervix. Age can contribute to infertility because as a woman ages, her fertility naturally tends to decrease.

Ovulation problems may be caused by one or more of the following:
A hormone imbalance
A tumor or cyst
Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
Alcohol or drug use
Thyroid gland problems
Excess weight
Intense exercise that causes a significant loss of body fat
Extremely brief menstrual cycles

Damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus can be caused by one or more of the following:
Pelvic inflammatory disease
A previous infection
Polyps in the uterus
Endometriosis or fibroids
Scar tissue or adhesions
Chronic medical illness
A previous ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
A birth defect
DES syndrome (The medication DES, given to women to prevent miscarriage or premature birth can result in fertility problems for their children.)
Abnormal cervical mucus can also cause infertility. Abnormal cervical mucus can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or make it more difficult for the sperm to penetrate the egg.

How is female infertility diagnosed?
Potential female infertility is assessed as part of a thorough physical exam. The exam will include a medical history regarding potential factors that could contribute to infertility.

Healthcare providers may use one or more of the following tests/exams to evaluate fertility:

A urine or blood test to check for infections or a hormone problem, including thyroid function
Pelvic exam and breast exam
A sample of cervical mucus and tissue to determine if ovulation is occurring
Laparoscope inserted into the abdomen to view the condition of organs and to look for blockage, adhesions or scar tissue.
HSG, which is an x-ray used in conjunction with a colored liquid inserted into the fallopian tubes making it easier for the technician to check for blockage.
Hysteroscopy uses a tiny telescope with a fiber light to look for uterine abnormalities.
Ultrasound to look at the uterus and ovaries. May be done vaginally or abdominally.
Sonohystogram combines an ultrasound and saline injected into the uterus to look for abnormalities or problems.
Tracking your ovulation through fertility awareness will also help your healthcare provider assess your fertility status .

How is female infertility treated?
Female infertility is most often treated by one or more of the following methods:

Taking hormones to address a hormone imbalance, endometriosis, or a short menstrual cycle
Taking medications to stimulate ovulation
Using supplements to enhance fertility - shop supplements
Taking antibiotics to remove an infection
Having minor surgery to remove blockage or scar tissues from the fallopian tubes, uterus, or pelvic area.
Find an Infertility Specialist in Your Area

Can female infertility be prevented?
There is usually nothing that can be done to prevent female infertility caused by genetic problems or illness. However, there are several things that women can do to decrease the possibility of infertility:

Take steps to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
Avoid illicit drugs
Avoid heavy or frequent alcohol use
Adopt good personal hygiene and health practices
Have annual check ups with your GYN once you are sexually active
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:

Abnormal bleeding
Abdominal pain
Unusual discharge
Pain or discomfort during intercourse
Soreness or itching in the vaginal area
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