Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cheap Way To Screen for Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of women cancer deaths in developing countries where health care resources are lacking and not adequate, particularly in the poor rural regions.

A cheap screening method is helping to detect for early signs of cervical cancer. It requires a swab of vinegar (with 3 to 5 percent acetic acid) on the cervix and after three to five minutes if any area turns white, it is a sign of a pre-cancerous or cancerous lesion. A lesion is known to have more DNA, and thus consists more protein compared to other tissues. Acetic acid coagulates with the protein which results in a whitish appearance. Any detection of an abnormal lesion will be frozen and destroyed using cryotherapy, or cold therapy, which utilises a metal rod cooled by a tank of carbon dioxide.

This test is also called visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), and it was developed by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine based on a well-known procedure among gynecologists in the United States, in which vinegar is used to confirm a positive Pap (Papanicolaou) smear. It has been introduced in pilot projects in more than 20 nations such as Peru, India, Philippines and Thailand.

Cervical cancer is cancer at the neck of the womb called the cervix. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a group of over 100 different types of viruses, and some are known to infect the cells in cervix, leading to cancerous growth. Cervical cancer in its early days does not cause any symptoms. In later stages symptoms are unusual pelvic pain, pain while urinating or abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Benefits of The VIA Screening

Just regular table vinegar is needed for VIA, which makes it a truly inexpensive screening procedure.

A 1999 field study in Zimbabwe comparing the vinegar test method with a Pap smear found that the acid test detected more lesions though at the same time it was also more prone to false positives. However it is still proving to be an effective and safe alternative to the more expensive Pap smear for screening early signs of cervical cancer. It can help the health care personnel make an instant decision as to whether a person needs further treatment.

Both the VIA screening and cold treatment can be performed on the same visit, unlike a Pap smear where you have to go back home and wait for lab results to come back before you visit your doctor a second time to hear the outcome. The VIA procedure can be carried out by a nurse or a medical worker after three to four days of training.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

What to Do After Cancer

Many people suffering from cancer find that they are no longer able to conceive, despite all of the best efforts of fertility preservation. There is nothing guaranteed to succeed with fertility preservation during cancer treatments, but it is important to have the right attitude about getting pregnant and starting a family once you have cured your cancer. There are a number of solutions that you can consider, and you may find that starting a family is possible despite the damage the cancer and the subsequent treatments have done to your body.

How to Get Pregnant

If the cancer has damaged your body, it may be very difficult for you to get pregnant. Men suffering from cancer will often become sterile as a result of the treatments, and women may find that one or both of their ovaries are damaged beyond repair. If this is the case, here are some ways that you can get pregnant or start a family despite the cancer treatments:

1. IVF

In vitro fertilization is a method of artificial insemination in which the eggs of the woman are extracted and combined with the semen of the man. The combined eggs and sperm are then incubated to encourage fertilization, and they are then injected back into the woman's womb once the egg has been fertilized. If you suffered from cancer and the treatments have caused early menopause or caused you to stop ovulating, you may find that using this method of conception makes getting pregnant possible.

2. Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination is a more natural method of conception, and it calls for the semen to be injected directly into the womb to make it as easy as possible for the sperm to fertilize the egg. This method is good for men who have low sperm count or motility as a result of their cancer treatment, or for women who have only a few eggs left.

3. Fertility Drugs

Fertility drugs help to boost the fertility level in the bodies of both men and women by increasing the levels of the hormones that control fertility. These drugs may have negative side effects, but they will be a good solution for those who are suffering from lower fertility than normal as a result of the cancer treatments.

4. Egg and Sperm Donors

Women who have gone through radiation treatment may find that they no longer have any eggs produced by their ovaries, and men may have a very low sperm count as a result of their treatments. If this is the case, the solution may be to obtain a donor for the eggs or sperm. There are hundreds of sperm banks in the country with many sperm samples available, and there are many places where cryopreserved eggs can also be obtained.

5. Surrogacy

If the mother's womb has been damaged or rendered inhospitable for the growing embryos, the body will reject it. In order to avoid this problem, surrogacy is another option to consider. Surrogacy involves implanting inseminated eggs inside a third party's womb, and the embryo simply grows to full term and is delivered by this third party. Many people suffering from cancer find that they are no longer able to conceive, despite all of the best efforts of fertility preservation.

Dealing With the Emotions

Once the cancer treatments have been completed, there is likely to be a flood of emotions that you may have no idea how to deal with. Many people find that they have a low self esteem or self image as a result of the changes their body has undergone, and it is important to deal with these properly. Another emotion that conflicts many people is the feeling that you are alone in your struggle. You may find that negativity floods you, and you may feel that the rest of your life is over.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Brief Explanation of Ovarian Cancer and It's Lab Test CA-125

Ovarian cancer disease is also known as the silent killer. That is because the disease is usually found when the patient is in the final stages of this cancer. Many women do not know the early warning signs of this cancer. Believe it or not, the American Cancer Society ranks this cancer as the fourth cause of cancer death in women.

What are the ovaries and what do they do?

The ovaries are the internal almond-shaped organs that are located internally on each side of the pelvis. The purpose of the ovaries is to produce eggs on a monthly basis. They are used for the fertilization process, which is pregnancy.

Where does the cancer start?

The tumor starts in one or both of the ovaries. Cancer cells from the original cancer place can spread to other parts of the body.

What are the signs and symptoms I should know?

    * Abdominal bloating, abdominal pressure, and abdominal pain
    * Nausea, indigestion, constipation, or diarrhea
    * A loss of appetite
    * A feeling of being full even after a light mean has been eaten
    * A sudden weight loss or even gain for no apparent reason
    * Unexplainable vaginal bleeding
    * Pain during sexual intercourse
    * Fatigue and back aches

**It is best to seek medical attention if these symptoms continue for 2 or more weeks**

Are there women who are at risk for this cancer?

Certain risk factors make some women more at risk. These factors include:

    * Family history, such as your mother and/or sister
    * Family history of breast or colon cancer has also been tied to ovarian cancer
    * Women over the age of 50 are at a higher risk; and increases even more at age 60 or older
    * Women who have never had children are at a higher risk than women who did have children
    * If a woman has a personal history of breast or colon cancer, this puts her at a higher risk to develop ovarian cancer

Is the pap test used to find ovarian cancer?

No, this test is used to screen for cervical cancer.

What tests are used for screening ovarian cancer?

At this point in time, there is no specific screening to detect ovarian cancer.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Survival Statistics of a Patient Diagnosed With Ovarian Cancer

In the United States, doctors are required to report all diagnosis made of cancer to a state registry. The federal government oversees registries of 45 states as well as the three territories and the District of Columbia, all though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Program of Cancer Registries.

As far as the remaining five statewide cancer registries are concerned, the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program started by the National Cancer Institute oversees and funds them.

The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program by NCI provides ovarian cancer statistics on frequent basis that are based on actual data and are age-adjusted. According to the American Cancer Society (2008), in 2011, approximately "21,990 new cases will be diagnosed, out of which 15, 460 will die in the United States."

According to the provided data, there hasn't been seen an improvement in the mortality rates in ovarian cancer statistics in forty years since the Unites States declared the "War on Cancer." Nonetheless, other cancer types have shown substantial reduction in mortality rate because of the availability of early diagnostic technology and improved treatments. Sadly, ovarian cancer is still the most dangerous of all the gynecological cancers, which is why it offers bleak hope as yet.

About 177,578 women were alive in the Unites States who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, according to the SEER program report on January 1, 2008.

According to the statistics, this type of cancer has been identified as the 5th most common cause of cancer related deaths among females, and in overall rating, it's the 9th most common cancer among females since it accounts for about 3% cancer in women. Another important fact to be mentioned here is that the NCI reports the mortality rates to be slightly higher among Caucasian women as compared to African-American women.

The risk of developing an invasive ovarian cancer in the lifetime of a woman is 1 in 71. The chance or dying from an invasive cancer is approximately 1 in 95. There is no particular age associated with ovarian cancer. NCI statistics show that about 8% women are diagnosed at the age of 85 and above, 18.2% are diagnosed at the ages between 75 and 84, 19.7% women are diagnosed between 65 and 74, 23.1% of women popular is diagnosed between the ages 55 and 64, 19.1% are diagnosed between 65 and 74 and 3.5 % are diagnosed between 20 and 34. The lowest risk is for women under the age of 20 among who only 1.2% are diagnosed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Discover Some Cervical Cancer Treatment Options

Like so many other organs in the body, the cervix can develop cancer. Unlike the others, it is the second-most prone to develop them, next to breast cancer. Cervical cancer doesn't develop quickly. In fact, it can develop very slowly that the individual doesn't even know it is there until they go for a screening or a physical exam. Since this is very prone to females, it is critical that we talk about different cervical cancer treatment options.

The most accepted way the medical industry treats cervical cancer is through hysterectomy. It is the surgical procedure to remove the uterus. If the cancer is already in the advanced stages, removal of the lymph nodes may prove to be a necessity. This type of treatment is most females worst nightmare as it removes their capability to give birth.

Fortunately, there are other, more gentle ways to treat cervical cancer, and keep the maternal capabilities intact. And for those women that want to stay fertile, there are a few cervical cancer treatment options they may opt to choose.

One of the more established process is the LEEP or loop electrosurgical excision procedure. The benefits include it being on the inexpensive side, a highly successful rate of treatment, doesn't require major surgery, and uses only local anesthesia and can be done in the doctor's office.

Another procedure is the cone biopsy. This surgical process includes removing only the cone-shaped samples from the mucous membrane, and then radiation therapy is applied.

If the cone biopsy doesn't work positively, the next step will be to do trachelectomy. This procedure involves the surgeon trying to remove only area that is cancerous while maintaining the integrity of the uterus and the ovaries. Though, this can only be done if the cervical cancer hasn't scattered to the other regions of the uterus. One disadvantage with this is that there are only a few qualified specialists that are expert enough to perform this complicated and intricate process.

There are also more traditional options:

Radiation Therapy - This is done by applying an external beam to the pelvis. It can even be done internally through a procedure called brachytherapy.

Chemotherapy - This is the most popular and most widely used procedure across all kinds of cancer.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cure Cervix Cancer With Some Recommended Natural Treatments

Finding a cure for cervix cancer means that you have to first learn the basics, if you don't even know what a cervix is, here is the short version. It is the narrow necklike passage forming the lower end of the uterus. It basically joins the uterus and the birth canal. Cervical cancer is a slow-developing malignant cancer.

Cervical cancer is primarily caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). This is mainly distributed around through sexual intercourse with multiple partners. The reason it is very slow-growing is that the virus can survive inside the individual for many years before the cancerous cells begin to develop, and fortunately for some, it never does. The main reason that the cancer cells never develop in some individuals, who have had the virus for many years, is because they are in very good health and their immunity system is very formidable.

So if you don't have the disease yet, the best way of preventing it is by establishing a formidable immunity system through healthy diet, exercise, and other things you can do to maintain this.

But if you are now looking to cure cervix cancer because it already developed in your cells, then don't lose hope. There is still a way for you to be healed, although it is not the "normal" way the world sees as treatment.

For centuries, botanical and Chinese remedies have been proven to heal cancer and other diseases thought of to be irreversible. This may sound extreme, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Here are a few suggestions to cure cervix cancer:

1. A healthy diet would go a long way to cure cervix cancer. Canned foods, foods that have preservatives, artificial sugars, and even most cooked food should be prohibited. Avoid animal proteins as much as possible; this includes all kinds of meat, dairy and poultry products.

2. Lots of fruits, vegetables of all kinds, anything herbal, legumes; even freshly-squeezed juices go a long way to build the immune system.

3. Apricot seeds contain the vitamin B17 which is essential to help you cure cervix cancer as this kills cancerous cells without harming your uninfected cells.

4. Tea and ginger are universally accepted as both a builder of strong immune systems and also a great substitute for artificially-sweetened drinks. They help rinse out the toxins in the body that speed up the growth of cancerous cells.

Monday, November 7, 2011

An MRI Experience: The Frustration of Unnecessary, Confusing and Incomplete Instructions!

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. I needed this test to determine the extent of my uterine cancer. My recent learning experience with having an MRI reinforced the importance of giving meaningful, clear and complete instructions.

1. Unnecessary Instructions

My appointment instructions explicitly told me to wear pants without any metal attachments. Okay, that was no problem. All I had to do was wear pants with an elastic waist instead of a zipper. Unfortunately, I overlooked the second requirement until I had my snow boots, winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves on. Apparently, I was also supposed to wear pants without pockets.

This created some stress on my part. Who owns pants without pockets? I certainly don't! Actually, what is the point of pants that have no pockets?

Once we got to the hospital, there was no problem. They handed me pajama bottoms to wear. I guess I was one in a long line of patients who were not pocketless pant owners!

This begs the question- why give those pants instructions at all? A good rule of thumb for hospitals, trainers and life itself is to avoid giving unnecessary instructions!

2. Confusing Instructions

The instructions on the bottle of prescription sedatives indicated that two sedatives should be taken 30 minutes before the MRI and another two sedatives should be taken 30 minutes after the MRI.

Taking them beforehand made perfect sense. I am claustrophobic and the idea of lying completely enclosed for an hour gave me great concern, to say the least. The sedatives were intended to take the edge off and enable me to relax and stay still.

However, I couldn't imagine why I would need to take two more sedatives after the MRI. Would there be post-traumatic stress from the MRI experience? Was this a clever intervention intended to distract me and minimize my ability to think clearly and ask anxious questions after the procedure?

Who knows? I still don't know, because no one at the hospital could explain the need for post MRI sedation and I personally felt no need for it.

Let's add confusing instructions to the list of things to avoid. Instructions should contribute to clarity rather than confusion.

3. Incomplete Instructions

While some instructions are meaningless or simply confusing, some don't go far enough.

If a patient takes a sedative, the hospital insists on having someone else drive a patient to and from the MRI. However, they say nothing about the length of time it will take before the patient can safely resume driving.

Because I asked the question, I learned that the sedatives I had taken would impair my mental capacity and motor coordination for 6-10 hours! Unfortunately, this information was not printed anywhere or volunteered by any medical personnel. If I hadn't asked the question, I would never have known the answer.

I had errands to run that afternoon. I could easily have been a danger to myself or to others on the road if I had hopped into my car once I got back from the hospital. Luckily, since I knew that I was incapacitated, my driver kindly took me on those errands.

This seems like a significant oversight in the instructions department, don't you think? If anything deserves to be crystal clear, it should be medical instructions.

However, in the hospital staff's defense, it is probably so obvious to them that sedation takes a long time to wear off, they assume that anyone would know this. As a general rule, it is best to avoid making assumptions.

Life daily provides new lessons to learn. Lessons relating to health and safety can be anxiety-ridden and difficult enough without the added stress and frustration of poor instructions. First do no harm!

Even if you are not a health professional, regardless of the situation, when you give instructions, please make sure that they are necessary, clear and complete.