Health Tips for Seniors

Archive for September, 2009

Treating Breast Cancer with Radiation – Is It Safe?

It is tremendously stressful and unfortunate to see your close relative diagnosed for breast cancer. The specialist will offer you many options for treatment and the best one that suits you.The best course of treatment depends upon the type of concern and at what stage it is prevalent. This varies from person to person and in general surgery is done followed by chemotherapy or radiation or a combination of both.

High energy x-rays target and kill cancer cells in the process of radiation after the surgery and removed of the main part of cancer. It is expected to kill and remove any cancer cells left un-removed and to arrest the spread and recurrence of cancer. Larger cancers require radiation in advance to reduce the size of tumor and make the surgery easier.Radiation destroys cancer cells from their rapid growth and uncontrollable nature. They become vulnerable because they are less organized, cannot bounce back and repair themselves dissimilar to the stable health cells that recover and effectively repair themselves.

Radiation as the only additional treatment will be for three to four weeks after surgery. If chemotherapy is recommended, it will precede radiation. Radiation is done at a particular Centre and the person is treated as an out patient. Radiation will be five days a week for five to six months consecutively.The treatment is without pain and for half hour duration along with computerization and pinpoint accuracy. This powerful therapy makes the patient extremely fatigued. The skin of the breast becomes extremely tender, swollen as if it is sun burnt. The nurses and technicians will educate you on how to care for the condition.

You should think twice before you go for radiation therapy as serious side effects are caused like arm swelling, damage to the lung area and also affecting the appearance or the consistency of the breast tissue. You can meet the radiation oncologist the treatment can be adjusted or if a more focused treatment is possible to limit the risks.It is better to discuss with others the result of their circumstances and gather as much information as possible. This is a very difficult thing to do because the issue is serious along with the fatigue that ensures. You can make the best decision and respectively gain confidence.

Things To Do After You Discover An Enlarged Prostate

Do you suspect of suffering from an enlarged prostate? Well the symptoms of this health condition are irregularity in urine flow, always in an urge to urinate, leaking after urination, blood traces in the urine and other problems related to urination.

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If you have any of the above symptoms that means you have an enlarged prostate gland. Most men after discovering that they suffer from an enlarged prostate do not know what they should do next and are generally ignorant about the topic. But there is nothing to worry as there are many men who suffer from this problem and there are a lot of medical advances too that can help you overcome the problem. According to National Institute of Health, more than 50% of men who are 60 years or older, are affected by this detrimental condition.


Consult Your Doctor Immediately

The first and foremost action to be taken as soon as you discover an enlarged prostate is to inform you doctor. The doctor will verify your doubt with the help of a digital-rectal examination (DRE) and detect if you suffer from an enlarged prostate or not. This is an uncomplicated physical exam that takes not even a minute to complete the diagnosis. The doctor performs the test by inserting his gloved finger that is usually lubricated into the patient’s rectum.

The examiner feels for the prostate gland that is located in the front side of the rectum and examines the size and texture of the organ. A normal prostate gland is generally supple and spongy just like the fleshy skin on our thumb. If the prostate tissue gives a tough, coarse or a not so smooth texture then the doctor will immediately recommend a few more tests to come to a concrete decision. But there are chances that an enlarged prostate still have healthy tissues. For such cases, the doctor will simply prescribe a few medications or a mild incision procedure to effectively deal with the problem.

Diagnosing The Gravity Of The Problem

But when the doctor identifies unhealthy tissues you will be given more tests to get all doubts cleared and to find the gravity of the condition. Firstly the analysis is done on the blood that will prove helpful to identify the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level and the prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) count in the patients body.

Every man who has completed 50 years of age should go through the PSA test that is generally covered in the annual medical screening. The prostate-specific antigens are created by the membrane cells that surround the prostate and are found in high levels in those men who are diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or in other words enlarged prostate. PSA level can also help the doctor detect premature cancer developments. However, a high PSA level does not always result in cancer but simply indicate the severity of the health condition.

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