Tag Archives: Therapy

Chemotherapy

Definition:
Chemotherapy is a medical treatment that is needed in order to stop cancer cells from growing and its tracks. Chemotherapy is extremely effective in treating cancer. It is even more effective when it is used with other treatments like radiotherapy. It is also sometimes needed to relief the symptoms, and it is design to give a longer life by causing the disease to go into remission-the stage in which there are no active symptoms.  Chemotherapy works differently than surgery or radiotherapy – two other treatments designed to fight against the cancer as well. Chemotherapy drugs travel throughout the whole body. This is important because it allows the durgs to reach part of the body where the cancer cells may have spread out. In combination with surgery means that fewer surgical procedures need to be done. Follow-up surgery can often be avoided if chemotherapy is used.

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On the other hand, radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, is the use of high energy rays to treat such disease. Is it very important to know that radiation causes damage to cancer cells, so they stop growing. With each treatment, more of the cells die and the tumor shrinks. The dead cells break down and are carried away by the blood, eventually passing out of the body. Normal cells that are also exposed to the radiation process start to repair themselves afterwards, and the process lasts just a few hours. You might be concerned that radiation hurts, but is actually quite painless. Also, in case you are wondering, the radiation gets into your body and then passes out -it does not cause you to become radioactive.

To understand how chemotherapy works, it is helpful to know some basics about the cells of the body. Everything in your body is made up of cells. A group of cells is called tissue and tissues make up all the organs, the major structures of your body. Tissue stays healthy because cells grow and reproduce, new cells replace the ones that are damaged because of injury. This means that a combination of drugs may be used to attack cancer cells so that each drug can attack the cells in a different phase.

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells in the body grow and multiply at a very high rate. There are more than 100 specific types of cancer cells. Cancer also may involve the spread of abnormal cells around the body. Normal cells in our body grow, divide, and die in a way that maintains health and does not damage the body. A majority for the cancer cases are due to age issues because of the fact that in adulthood your cells divide only to replace worn-out or dying cells, or in other cases, to repair injuries. Cells make up all living tissue and stronger throughout your childhood. But cancer cells continue to grow and divide, even though they are no serving in any of the vital functions, and can spread to other parts in the body. These cells clump together and form tumors (lumps) that may destroy normal tissue. If cells break off from a tumor, they can travel  throughout the blood stream or the lymphatic system. When they settle in and grow; eventually, forming other tumors. When a tumor spreads out to a new place, it is called metastasis. Even when cancer spreads, it’s called by the name of the body where it originally started and developed. Leukemia, a type of cancer growing, does not usually form a tumor, it is an exception to the rule. The cancer cells get into the blood and the organs that make blood bone narrow, then they circulate through other tissues, where they eventually develop and grow.

Chemotherapy damages cancer cells, but it also can damage normal cells. Damage to these cells is what causes the side effects of chemotherapy treatment. For instance normal cells that divide quickly, such as blood cells and the cells of hair follicles, are more likely to be damaged by chemotherapy medications. In other words, in healthy cells the damage does not last, and many only happen on the days you are actually taking the drugs. Chemotherapy is usually given is several cycles. Depending on the drug and combination, it may last to a few hours, days, or weeks.

How Chemotherapy Is Given
Just as other medicines can be taken in various forms, there are several ways to get chemotherapy. In most cases, it’s given intravenously into a vein, also referred to as an IV. An IV is a tiny tube inserted into a vein through the skin, usually in the arm. The IV is attached to a bag that holds the medicine. The chemo medicine flows from the bag into the vein, which puts the medicine into the bloodstream. Once the medicine is in the blood, it can travel through the body and attack cancer cells.

Sometimes, a permanent IV called a catheter is placed under the skin into a larger blood vessel of the upper chest. That way, a child can get chemotherapy and other medicines through the catheter without having to always use a vein in the arm. The catheter remains under the skin until all the cancer treatment is completed. It can also be used to obtain blood samples and for other treatments, such as blood transfusions, without repeated needle sticks.

Chemo also can be:

•taken as a pill, capsule, or liquid that is swallowed
•given by injection into a muscle or the skin
•injected into spinal fluid through a needle inserted into a fluid-filled space in the lower spine (below the spinal cord)

Chemotherapy is sometimes used along with other cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy, surgery, or biological therapy (the use of substances to boost the body’s immune system while fighting cancer).

Lots of kids and teens receive combination therapy, which is the use of two or more cancer-fighting drugs. In many cases, combination therapy lessens the chance that a child’s cancer will become resistant to one type of drug — and improves the chances that the cancer will be cured.

When and Where Chemotherapy Is Given
Depending on the method used to administer chemotherapy, it may be given at a hospital, cancer treatment center, doctor’s office, or at home. Many kids receive chemotherapy on an outpatient basis at a clinic or hospital. Others may need to be hospitalized to monitor or treat side effects.

Kids may receive chemotherapy every day, every week, or every month. Doctors sometimes use the term “cycles” to describe a child’s chemotherapy because the treatment periods are interspersed with periods of rest so the child can recover and regain strength.

Dosage :
Dosage of chemotherapy can be difficult: If the dose is too low, it will be ineffective against the tumor, whereas, at excessive doses, the toxicity (side effects, neutropenia) will be intolerable to the patient. This has led to the formation of detailed “dosing schemes” in most hospitals, which give guidance on the correct dose and adjustment in case of toxicity. In immunotherapy, they are in principle used in smaller dosages than in the treatment of malignant diseases.

In most cases, the dose is adjusted for the patient’s body surface area, a measure that correlates with blood volume. The BSA is usually calculated with a mathematical formula or a nomogram, using a patient’s weight and height, rather than by direct measurement.

Side Effects:
Although chemo often effectively damages or eliminates cancer cells, it also can damage normal, healthy cells. And this can lead to some uncomfortable side effects.

The good news is that most side effects are temporary — as the body’s normal cells recover, the side effects gradually go away.

Cancer treatment is multifaceted — that is, patients receive a lot of care (i.e., fluid and nutrition support, transfusion support, physical therapy, and medicines) to help them tolerate the treatments and treat or prevent side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

It’s difficult to pinpoint which side effects a  patient might experience, how long they’ll last, and when they’ll end.

The common side effects are:
1.Fatigue
2.Discomfort and Pain
3.Skin Damage or Changes
4.Hair Loss and Scalp Sensitivity
5.Mouth, Gum, and Throat Sores
6.Gastrointestinal Problems

Other side effects are:
•Anemia
•Blood Clotting
•Increased Risk of Infection

Chemo may cause a reduction in white blood cells, which are part of the immune system and help the body to fight infection. Therefore,  the patient  is more vulnerable to developing infections during and after chemo.

•Long-Term Side Effects
Chemotherapy can cause long-term side effects (sometimes called late effects), depending on the type and dose of chemotherapy and whether it was combined with radiation. These effects may involve any organ, including the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, liver, thyroid gland, and reproductive organs. Some types of chemotherapy drugs may also increase the risk of cancer later in life. Receiving chemo during childhood also may place some kids at risk for delayed growth and cognitive development, depending on the child’s age, the type of drug used, the dosage, and whether chemotherapy was used in addition to radiation therapy.

Newer anticancer drugs act directly against abnormal proteins in cancer cells; this is termed targeted therapy and is technically not chemotherapy.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://englendd.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/chemotherapy/
http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/ill/chemotherapy.html#
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemotherapy

http://medicineworld.org/cancer/lead/11-2008/concurrent-chemotherapy-in-lung-cancer.html

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Laser Therapy May Help Neck Pain

So-called low-level laser therapy (LLLT) entails using a laser‘s light — but not its fiercely concentrated heat — to stimulate tissue repair and ease pain.
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Doctors led by Roberta Chow of the Brain and Mind Research Institute at Australia‘s University of Sydney carried out an overview of 16 randomised trials that put this increasingly popular procedure to the test.

A total of 820 patients were enrolled in the trials, divided into groups that received either the therapy or a lookalike, dummy treatment. In five trials, patients given LLLT were around four times likelier to have reduced pain compared with a placebo, the paper found.

In the 11 other trials, for which there was a detailed analysis of pain symptoms, LLLT patients reported reductions of chronic pain by around 20 points on a scale of 100 points. The pain reduction continued for up to 22 weeks.

LLLT compares favourably with other drugs and other remedies for effectiveness and its side-effects are mild, says the study, which recommends that it be used in combination with an exercise programme.

Why LLLT works, though, is unclear. The authors suggest it could interfere with pathways of inflammation, muscle tiredness and the transmission of pain signals along nerves.

Between 10 and 24 percent of people suffer from chronic neck pain, inflicting a cost running into the hundreds of millions of dollars and highlighting the need for simple but effective treatent, the authors said.

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Source: The Times Of India

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New CyberKnife Technology to Treat Cancer

Introduction:
Breakthroughs in imaging and robotics technology have been combined in the revolutionary new Cyberknife radiosurgery system.CyberKnife technology involves no cuts or incisions whatsoever. It destroys diseased tissue by precisely focusing multiple beams of high-energy radiation on the tumor site. It is specifically designed for treating the most complex and difficult tumorscancers of the lung, spine, pancreas or brain.

Sub-millimeter accuracy:
The sub-millimeter accuracy of the CyberKnife system is unmatched. Combining advanced robotic technology and an innovative image guidance system, the CyberKnife can treat tumors in or near sensitive structures such as the spine, brain and lungs.

It is the only radiosurgery system in the world with real-time tumor tracking. The CyberKnife moves and adapts to patient movement, including breathing. Because the CyberKnife doesn’t require an external frame, it can be used outside the cranial area.

How does it work?
The CyberKnife radiosurgery system uses a linear accelerator (linac) to produce and deliver focused beams of radiation to the tumor site. Using image guidance cameras, the exact shape and position of the tumor is identified. The linac, which is attached to a robotic arm, delivers multiple beams of radiation that converge at the tumor site. The tumor receives a concentrated dose of radiation while minimizing exposure to surrounding normal tissue.

The CyberKnife system is the first device to enable full-body dynamic radiosurgery and makes possible effective new treatments in clinical areas such as spine, lung and pancreas.

CyberKnife Machine

Key benefits:-
Treatment planning
The CyberKnife system provides multiple planning and delivery options. It is the only radiosurgery system with the capability to provide non-isocentric treatment planning.

No immobilization
Unlike conventional radiosurgery systems, the CyberKnife system does not require the use of a head or body frame to immobilize the patient. CyberKnife’s intelligent robotics detect and correct for any patient movement and/or respiration.

Localization:
With robotic image guidance technology, the CyberKnife system is the only radiosurgery system that tracks patient and lesion positions during the entire treatment process. This portion of CyberKnife’s intelligent robotics system continuously scans and detects any patient or lesion movement and makes any necessary corrections. The CyberKnife’s Synchrony™ technology tracks respiratory motion and adjusts for patient breathing.

Treatment delivery
The CyberKnife system’s robotic arm provides multiple targeting nodes and adjusts to compensate for any patient movement detected by the robotic guidance technology. This ensures sub-millimeter accuracy with each procedure.

For more information or to request a second opinion please click here or call the St. Luke‘s second opinion program at 888-649-6892.

What to expect:-
Initial visit
At your convenience, an outpatient planning session will be conducted. During the visit, a custom mask or body mold designed to inhibit movement during CyberKnife treatment will be created. The molding process is simple and painless.

A CT scan and possibly an MRI are performed to confirm the exact size, shape and location of your tumor, along with surrounding vital structures. All are used for treatment planning purposes.

Patients undergoing extracranial (non-head) treatment also require the implant of small metal markers (fiducials) prior to the initial set-up. This procedure is also done on an outpatient basis.

Treatment visits
On the day of your treatment, you will be asked to wear comfortable clothing and no jewelry. Because CyberKnife treatment is painless, no anesthesia is required. You will lie on a treatment table and will be fitted with the mask or body mold created earlier.

During your treatment, you will be asked to lie still. You will be awake throughout the entire procedure, which typically lasts 30 to 90 minutes. The image guidance system periodically takes x-ray images and compares them to data from the CT scan to ensure that the treatment is accurately targeted.

Treatment sessions are performed on an outpatient basis. In most cases, you can resume normal activities immediately upon leaving the hospital.

Follow-up visits
As with any radiosurgery or radiation therapy procedure, follow-up imaging and physician consultation are required to monitor your progress.

For more information or to request a 2nd opinion please click here or call the St. Luke’s 2nd opinion program at 888-649-6892.

Click to Learn more about the CyberKnife procedure

Click to see:->

Treat cancer with Cyberknife
Emerging Treatments for Cancer Using CyberKnife Technology

CyberKnife: Technology to Transform Lives

Now, CyberKnife technology to treat cancer in India

Sources:
http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/services/cancer/treatments/radiationoncology/cyberknife/index.asp

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Shankapushpi

Botanical Name: Canscora Decussata
Family Name: Gentianaceae
Popular Name: Sankh Pushpi, Shankhini, Kambumalini, Samkhapushpi, Sankaphuli
English Name:Aloeweed
Latin   Name:Evolvolus alsinoides,Convolvolus Puricalis
Sanskrit: Sankapushpi
Hindi : Shankhini
Parts Used: Entire plant and juice,each part has different therapetic value and must be prepared in it’s own way of maximum benefits.
Habitat: This herb is found in India and Burma

Description: Shankhapushpi is a morning glory like perennial herb. The branches of the Shankhapushpi are spread on the ground and can be more than 30 cm long. The flowers are blue in color (5mm) and the leaves, which are elliptic in shape (2mm), are located at alternate positions with branches or flowers.

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Uses: Primarily, Shankhapushpi is used as a brain tonic. Shankhapushpi is one of the best and prominent natural medicines, which helps in improving memory. Whole plant of Shankhapushpi is used in medical treatment. Various chemical compositions such as glucose, sucrose, glycosides, alkaloids and various acids etc. are found in the plant. Shankhapushpi is also used as one of the most important ingredient in treatment of disorders/syndromes such as hypertension, hypotension, anxiety neurosis, stresses etc.

Popularly known to treat sleep disorders – stress and anxiety, Shankapushpi is quoted in Charaka to be the single greatest herb for enhancing all three aspects of mind power — learning (Dhi), memory (Driti), and recall (Smriti). Thus it is called the greatest Medhya Rasayana (that which enhances the mind). It helps the quality of sleep by improving mind-body coordination. Shankapushpi is very beneficial for the nervous system, enhancing the quality of bone marrow and nerve tissue.

In Ayurveda, anxiousness and mood changes are said to be a result of Vata or Pitta imbalances. This product pacifies Vata and Pitta Doshas. Shankhpushpi has been used safely in India for several centuries. It is suggest that Shankapushpi should  not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. Please do not use while consuming alchohol or prior to driving or operating machinery as drowsiness may occur.

Resources:
http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-herbs/shankapushpi.html
http://www.indiaoz.com.au/health/ayurveda/h_r/herbs_Shankapushpi.shtml
http://www.allayurveda.com/topic_month_march2004.htm
http://www.parasherbocare.com/herbs.htm

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Asthma Medicines Don’t Work and Can Be Dangerous

An overview of recent studies finds that there are no clear benefits to using long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs) for the treatment of asthma in children. Researchers report that there is currently insufficient evidence to suggest that the drugs offer any additional benefit when used in conjunction with conventional preventative medications.

asthma,asthma medicine,vitamin DAn overview of recent studies finds that there are no clear benefits to using long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs) for the treatment of asthma in children. Researchers report that there is currently insufficient evidence to suggest that the drugs offer any additional benefit when used in conjunction with conventional preventative medications.

LABAs, such as salmeterol and formoterol, can reduce the symptoms of asthma for periods of up to 12 hours. They are commonly given to relax the airways overnight or after exercise, and are recommended as add-on therapies to inhaled corticosteroids. But since LABAs have previously been shown to increase the risk of life-threatening adverse effects in adults when used as the only drug, they are not recommended as the main treatment agent in asthma in any age groups.

Now researchers say that their use does not generally provide any further benefit over regular ICS therapy for children. The overview included four previous reviews of trials in children above the age of four. They showed that LABAs did not reduce severity of asthma symptoms as measured by hospital admissions, or the need for steroid medication.

If you want something that really works for asthma, you might want to look into vitamin D. One study has shown that poor diets and the lack of vitamin D among mothers were the two strongest determining factors in whether their children suffered from asthma — more so even than whether or not the mothers smoked.

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