Importance of Detecting Prostate Cancer Early

December 3, 2012 by  
Filed under CANCER

Cancer

Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer that affects men. It develops in the prostate gland, where it either grows slowly or spreads to other parts of the body quickly. This disease occurs when there are abnormal cells in the prostate, although the underlying cause of this isn’t known. It’s important to recognize the signs of this disease since early detection is associated with a higher chance of successfully treating it.

Risk Factors

Prostate cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in men who are over 75 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health. NIH This disease rarely occurs in men who are younger than 40; it’s more common in men who are older than 60. Risk factors associated with this disease include being African-American and having a family history of prostate cancer. Other risk factors include eating foods that are high in fat and drinking too much alcohol.

Signs of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer typically causes symptoms when it’s more advanced. Common symptoms of this disease include difficulty urinating, pelvic pain, weak stream of urine, blood in urine or semen and leg swelling. Bone pain in the lower back or pelvic region can also occur in some cases. Men who experience any signs of this disease should schedule an appointment with their doctor as soon as possible.

Prognosis

Prostate cancer treatment has a higher success rate when the cancer is found early and hasn’t spread outside the prostate gland. The other factor that affects the prognosis of this disease is how abnormal the cancerous cells are. If the cancer has just started to spread to other areas of the body, treatment can still be successful in some cases.

Testing

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams can help detect prostate cancer in the early stages. Men who have a high risk of having this disease should ask their doctor how often they need to be tested. Some organizations recommend that all men between the ages of 40 and 75 years old should have these tests done once a year, while other organizations suggest talking it over with a doctor to weigh the pros and cons first. Mayo Clinic It’s important to keep in mind that elevated PSA levels don’t necessarily indicate the presence of cancerous cells. It’s also possible to have cancer without having elevated PSA levels.

Prevention

Men can lower their risk of having prostate cancer by reducing their fat intake, especially in foods that contain a lot of animal fat. Adding more fruits and vegetables can help prevent prostate cancer. Tomatoes are one of the best foods to add since they contain lycopene, which has been associated with prostate cancer prevention. Exercising on a regular basis might also help reduce the risk of this disease. Lower rates of prostate cancer have been found in men who exercise frequently. Certain medications might also help prevent prostate cancer, although some have also been linked to a higher risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer. Those who are interested in taking one of these medications should talk to their doctor about the risks involved.

When PSA levels are high or the prostate is enlarged, doctors will usually perform a biopsy to check for cancer. If prostate cancer is found, other tests are done to see if it has spread. The treatment methods following a cancer diagnosis depend on how advanced the disease is. These methods range from surgery to hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Men who are successfully treated for prostate cancer will need to visit their doctor often for testing. This is done to make sure that the cancer is gone or hasn’t spread outside the prostate gland.

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Children with asthma more susceptible to H1N1 flu

November 23, 2009 by  
Filed under ASTHMA

Children have been shown to be highly vulnerable when it comes to catching the H1N1 flu. Furthermore, children with asthma seem to be more likely to develop serious symptoms and complications. This is according to a study conducted by researchers from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The researchers looked at the charts of 58 pediatric H1N1 patients admitted to the said hospital between May and July of this year and compared them with 200 other pediatric patients who were admitted due to the seasonal flu from 2004 and 2008. The study showed that

  • Children admitted for H1N1 flu tended to be older (5 years or older) than those admitted for seasonal flu.
  • 84% of H1N1 pediatric patients had fever and cough; 37% had gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea and vomiting
  • 22% of children who had the H1N1 flu had asthma; only 6% of those who had the seasonal had asthma.
  • Almost 50% of pediatric patients admitted to the ICU due to H1N1 flu had asthma.
  • In larger samples, 21 to 30% of hospitalizes H1N1 cases are linked to asthma.

According to researcher Dr. Upton Allen

“The most striking finding in our study was the high prevalence of asthma among children admitted with pandemic H1N1 influenza compared with those admitted in previous influenza seasons. Asthma has been identified as a significant risk factor for admission with pandemic H1N1 influenza, present in 21%-30% in the larger samples.”

This finding indicates that asthma is a major risk factor for severe H1N1 symptoms especially in children, even among those with mild asthma. The authors recommend that children with asthma be considered as high risk individuals and should be vaccinated for H1N1 and considered fro antiviral therapy.

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, 138 deaths among children have been attributed to the H1N1 influenza virus infections in US from August 30 to November 14, 2009. This number could be broken down into the following age groups:

Epidemiology experts believe that the best way to control the H1N1 flu is to start vaccinating children. According to Dr. David Kimberlin of the University of Alabama at Birmingham

“Children are the highest-risk group for spreading the virus among themselves, and as a consequence, spreading it around their community… Like a bull’s-eye, the middle of the target is what you vaccinate so you don’t see infections in the concentric rings around the center. The center of the protection bull’s-eye should be children.”

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.