Tag Archives: Risk factor

Oral thrush

Alternative Names: Candidiasis – oral; Oral thrush; Fungal infection – mouth; Candide – oral

Definition:
Oral thurs  is an infection of yeast fungi of the genus Candida on the mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue. It is frequently caused by Candida albicans, or less commonly by Candida glabrata or Candida tropicalis. Oral thrush may refer to candidiasis in the mouths of babies, while if occurring in the mouth or throat of adults it may also be termed candidosis or moniliasis…

click to see the pictures….(01)..(1)…..…(2)....

Although oral thrush can affect anyone, it’s more likely to occur in babies and people who wear dentures, use inhaled corticosteroids or have compromised immune systems. Oral thrush is a minor problem if you’re healthy, but if you have a weakened immune system, symptoms of oral thrush may be more severe and difficult to control.

Symtoms:
Signs and symptoms of oral infection by Candida species may not be immediately noticeable but can develop suddenly and may persist for a long time. The infection usually appears as thick white or cream-colored deposits on mucosal membranes such as the tongue, inner cheeks, gums, tonsils, and palate. The infected mucosa may appear inflamed (red and possibly slightly raised) and sometimes have a cottage cheese-like appearance. The lesions can be painful and will become tender and often bleed if rubbed or scraped. Cracking at the corners of the mouth, a cottony-like sensation inside the mouth, and even temporary loss of taste can occur.

In more severe cases, the infection can spread down the esophagus and cause difficulty swallowing – this is referred to as Esophageal candidiasis. Thrush does not usually cause a fever unless the infection has spread beyond the esophagus to other body parts, such as the lungs (systemic candidiasis).

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In addition to the distinctive lesions, infants can become irritable and may have trouble feeding. The infection can be communicated during breast-feeding to and from the breast and the infant’s mouth repeatedly

Causes:
Thrush is caused by forms of a fungus called Candida. A small amount of this fungus lives in your mouth most of the time. It is usually kept in check by your immune system and other types of germs that also normally live in your mouth.

However, when your immune system is weaker, the fungus can grow, leading to sores (lesions) in your mouth and on your tongue. The following can increase your chances of getting thrush:

•Taking steroid medications
•Having an HIV infection or AIDS
•Receiving chemotherapy for cancer or drugs to suppress your immune system following an organ transplant
•Being very old or very young
•Being in poor health
Thrush is commonly seen in infants. It is not considered abnormal in infants unless it lasts longer than a couple of weeks.

Candida can also cause yeast infections in the vagina.

People who have diabetes and had high blood sugar levels are more likely to get thrush in the mouth (oral thrush), because the extra sugar in your saliva acts like food for Candida.

Taking high doses of antibiotics or taking antibiotics for a long time also increases the risk of oral thrush. Antibiotics kill some of the healthy bacteria that help keep Candida from growing too much.

People with poorly fitting dentures are also more likely to get thrush.

Risk Factors:
*Newborn babies.

*Diabetics with poorly controlled diabetes.

*As a side effect of medication, most commonly having taken antibiotics. Inhaled corticosteroids for treatment of lung conditions (e.g., asthma or COPD) may also result in oral candidiasis: the risk may be reduced by regularly rinsing the mouth with water after taking the medication.

*People with an immune deficiency (e.g. as a result of AIDS/HIV or chemotherapy treatment).

*Women undergoing hormonal changes, like pregnancy or those on birth control pills.

*Denture users.

*Tongue piercing

Complications:
Oral thrush is seldom a problem for healthy children and adults, although the infection may return even after it’s been treated. For people with compromised immune systems, however, thrush can be more serious.

If you have HIV, you may have especially severe symptoms in your mouth or esophagus, which can make eating painful and difficult. If the infection spreads to the intestines, it becomes difficult to receive adequate nutrition. In addition, thrush is more likely to spread to other parts of the body if you have cancer or other conditions that weaken the immune system. In that case, the areas most likely to be affected include the digestive tract, lungs and liver.

Diagnosis;
Oral thrush can usually be diagnosed simply by looking at the lesions, but sometimes a small sample is examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

In older children or adolescents who have no other identified risk factors, an underlying medical condition may be the cause of oral thrush. If your doctor suspects that to be the case, your doctor will perform a physical exam as well as recommend certain blood tests to help find the source of the problem.

If thrush is in your esophagus
Thrush that extends into the esophagus can be serious. To help diagnose this condition, your doctor may ask you to have one or more of the following tests:

*Throat culture. In this procedure, the back of your throat is swabbed with sterile cotton and the tissue sample cultured on a special medium to help determine which bacteria or fungi, if any, are causing your symptoms.

*Endoscopic examination. In this procedure, your doctor examines your esophagus, stomach and the upper part of your small intestine (duodenum), using a lighted, flexible tube with a camera on the tip (endoscope).

Treatment:
For thrush in infants, treatment is often NOT necessary. It generally gets better on its own within 2 weeks.

If you develop a mild case of thrush after taking antibiotics, eating yogurt or taking over-the-counter acidophilus capsules can help.

Use a soft toothbrush and rinse your mouth with a diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution several times a day.

Good control of blood sugar levels in persons with diabetes may be all that is needed to clear a thrush infection.

Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal mouthwash (nystatin) or lozenges (clotrimazole) to suck on if you have a severe case of thrush or a weakened immune system. These products are usually used for 5 – 10 days. If they don’t work, other medication may be prescribed.

If the infection has spread throughout your body or you have HIV/AIDS, stronger medications may be used, such as fluconazole (Diflucan) or ketoconazole (Nizoral).

Prognosis:
Thrush in infants may be painful, but is rarely serious. Because of discomfort, it can interfere with eating. If it does not resolve on its own within 2 weeks, call your pediatrician.

In adults, thrush that occurs in the mouth can be cured. However, the long-term outlook is dependent on your immune status and the cause of the immune deficit.

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://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000626.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_candidiasis
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/oralthrush2.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/oral-thrush/DS00408

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/17284.htm

http://www.clivir.com/lessons/show/yeast-infection-in-mouth-and-throat.html

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Metabolic Syndrome

Alternative Names: metabolic syndrome X, cardiometabolic syndrome, syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome, Reaven’s syndrome (named for Gerald Reaven), and CHAOS (in Australia).

Definition:
Suddenly, it’s a health condition that everyone’s talking about. While it was only identified less than 20 years ago, metabolic syndrome is as widespread as pimples and the common cold. According to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans have it. That’s almost a staggering one out of every six people.

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Indeed, metabolic syndrome seems to be a condition that many people have, but no one knows very much about. It’s also debated by the experts — not all doctors agree that metabolic syndrome should be viewed as a distinct condition.

So what is this mysterious syndrome — which also goes by the scary-sounding name Syndrome X — and should you be worried about it?

Understanding Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is not a disease in itself. Instead, it’s a group of risk factors — high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat.

Obviously, having any one of these risk factors isn’t good. But when they’re combined, they set the stage for grave problems. These risk factors double your risk of blood vessel and heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. They increase your risk of diabetes by five times.

Many people who have either diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity also have one or more of the other conditions, although it may have gone unrecognised.

Individually, each of these conditions can lead to damage to the blood vessels, but together they’re far more likely to do harm. People with these conditions in combination become much more likely to experience heart disease, stroke and other conditions related to problems with the blood vessels.

When a person has such a combination, they’re said to have metabolic syndrome. This is also sometimes called insulin-resistance syndrome (because one of the features is a very high level of the hormone insulin in the blood, which the body doesn’t react to or is ‘resistant’ to) or syndrome X.

There are currently two major definitions for metabolic syndrome provided by the International Diabetes Federation  and the revised National Cholesterol Education Program, respectively. The revised NCEP and IDF definitions of metabolic syndrome are very similar and it can be expected that they will identify many of the same individuals as having metabolic syndrome. The two differences are that IDF state that if BMI > 30 kg/m2, central obesity can be assumed, and waist circumference does not need to be measured. However, this potentially excludes any subject without increased waist circumference if BMI < 30, whereas, in the NCEP definition, metabolic syndrome can be diagnosed based on other criteria, and the IDF uses geography-specific cut points for waist circumference, while NCEP uses only one set of cut points for waist circumference, regardless of geography. These two definitions are much closer to each other than the original NCEP and WHO definitions.

Metabolic syndrome is also becoming more common. But the good news is that it can be controlled, largely with changes to your lifestyle.

Symptoms:
The problems found in metabolic syndrome include:

 

•Central obesity – fat is laid down around the abdomen rather than spread evenly around the body

•Abnormal fat levels in the blood – specifically, high levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL (or ‘good’) cholesterol, which can lead to arteriosclerosis (fatty plaques) on the walls of blood vessels

•High blood pressure

•Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance – an inability to use insulin properly or control blood sugar levels very well, which is a very important factor in metabolic syndrome

Prothrombotic state – an increased tendency to make tiny clots in the blood

Proinflammatory state – an increased tendency to inflammation

Having one component of metabolic syndrome means you’re more likely to have others. And the more components you have, the greater are the risks to your health.

Causes:
Experts aren’t sure why metabolic syndrome develops. It’s a collection of risk factors, not a single disease. So it probably has many different causes. Some risk factors are:

*Insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use glucose — a simple sugar made from the food you eat — as energy. In people with insulin resistance, the insulin doesn’t work as well so your body keeps making more and more of it to cope with the rising level of glucose. Eventually, this can lead to diabetes. Insulin resistance is closely connected to having excess weight in the belly.

*Obesity — especially abdominal obesity. Experts say that metabolic syndrome is becoming more common because of rising obesity rates. In addition, having extra fat in the belly — as opposed to elsewhere in the body — seems to increase your risk.

*Unhealthy lifestyle. Eating a diet high in fats and not getting enough physical activity can play a role.

*Hormonal imbalance. Hormones may play a role. For instance, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) — a condition that affects fertility — is related to hormonal imbalance and metabolic syndrome.

If you’ve just been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you might be anxious. But think of it as a wake-up call. It’s time to get serious about improving your health. Making simple changes to your habits now can prevent serious illness in the future.

Risk Factors:
The following factors increase your chances of having metabolic syndrome:

*Age. The risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age, affecting less than 10 percent of people in their 20s and 40 percent of people in their 60s. However, warning signs of metabolic syndrome can appear in childhood.

*Race. Hispanics and Asians seem to be at greater risk of metabolic syndrome than other races are.

*Obesity. A body mass index (BMI) — a measure of your percentage of body fat based on height and weight — greater than 25 increases your risk of metabolic syndrome. So does abdominal obesity — having an apple shape rather than a pear shape.

*History of diabetes. You’re more likely to have metabolic syndrome if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes or a history of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).

*Other diseases.A diagnosis of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or polycystic ovary syndrome — a similar type of metabolic problem that affects a woman’s hormones and reproductive system — also increases your risk of metabolic syndrome.

Complications:
Having metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of developing these conditions:

*Diabetes. If you don’t make lifestyle changes to control your insulin resistance, your glucose levels will continue to increase. You may develop diabetes as a result of metabolic syndrome.

*Cardiovascular disease.High cholesterol and high blood pressure can contribute to the buildup of plaques in your arteries. These plaques can cause your arteries to narrow and harden, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Diagnosis:
Although  doctor does not typically look  for metabolic syndrome, the label may apply if you have three or more of the traits associated with this condition.

Several organizations have criteria for diagnosing metabolic syndrome. These guidelines were created by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) with modifications by the American Heart Association. According to these guidelines, you have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of these traits:

*Large waist circumference, greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters, or cm) for women and 40 inches (102 cm) for men. Certain genetic risk factors, such as having a family history of diabetes or being of Asian descent — which increases your risk of insulin resistance — lower the waist circumference limit. If you have one of these genetic risk factors, waist circumference limits are 31 to 35 inches (79 to 89 cm) for women and 37 to 39 inches (94 to 99 cm) for men.

*A triglyceride level higher than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or you’re receiving treatment for high triglycerides.

*Reduced HDL (“good”) cholesterol — less than 40 mg/dL (1 mmol/L) in men or less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women — or you’re receiving treatment for low HDL.

*Blood pressure higher than 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) systolic or higher than 80 mm Hg diastolic, or you’re receiving treatment for high blood pressure.

*Elevated fasting blood sugar (blood glucose) of 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher, or you’re receiving treatment for high blood sugar.

Treatment:
The first line treatment is change of lifestyle (e.g., Dietary Guidelines for Americans and physical activity). However, if in three to six months of efforts at remedying risk factors prove insufficient, then drug treatment is frequently required. Generally, the individual disorders that comprise the metabolic syndrome are treated separately. Diuretics and ACE inhibitors may be used to treat hypertension. Cholesterol drugs may be used to lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, if they are elevated, and to raise HDL levels if they are low. Use of drugs that decrease insulin resistance, e.g., metformin and thiazolidinediones, is controversial; this treatment is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

A 2003 study indicated that cardiovascular exercise was therapeutic in approximately 31% of cases. The most probable benefit was to triglyceride levels, with 43% showing improvement; but fasting plasma glucose and insulin resistance of 91% of test subjects did not improve.   Many other studies have supported the value of increased physical activity and restricted caloric intake (exercise and diet) to treat metabolic syndrome.

Restricting the overall dietary carbohydrate intake is more effective in reducing the most common symptoms of metabolic syndrome than the more commonly prescribed reduction in dietary fat intake

Controversy:
The clinical value of using “metabolic syndrome” as a diagnosis has recently come under fire. It is asserted that different sets of conflicting and incomplete diagnostic criteria are in existence, and that when confounding factors such as obesity are accounted for, diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome has a negligible association with the risk of heart disease.

These concerns have led to the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes to issue a joint statement identifying eight major concerns on the clinical utility of the metabolic syndrome.

It is not contested that cardiovascular risk factors tend to cluster together, but what is contested is the assertion that the metabolic syndrome is anything more than the sum of its constituent parts.

Lifestyle and home remedies:
You can do something about your risk of metabolic syndrome and its complications — diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Start by making these lifestyle changes:

Lose weight. Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce insulin levels and blood pressure, and decrease your risk of diabetes.

Exercise. Doctors recommend getting 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, every day.

Doing Yoga :Doing Yoga exercise, meditation etc. under the guideline of a good yoga teacher

Stop smoking.Smoking cigarettes increases insulin resistance and worsens the health consequences of metabolic syndrome. Talk to your doctor if you need help kicking the cigarette habit.

Eat fiber-rich foods. Make sure you include whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables in your grocery cart. These items are packed with dietary fiber, which can lower your insulin levels.

Prevention:
Various strategies have been proposed to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome. These include increased physical activity (such as walking 30 minutes every day),   and a healthy, reduced calorie diet.   There are many studies that support the value of a healthy lifestyle as above. However, one study stated that these potentially beneficial measures are effective in only a minority of people, primarily due to a lack of compliance with lifestyle and diet changes.   The International Obesity Taskforce states that interventions on a sociopolitical level are required to reduce development of the metabolic syndrome in populations.

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Although much more research has to be done to work out the relationship between different factors in metabolic syndrome, and how drug treatments might be used to help people, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Lifestyle changes can make a big difference, preventing or delaying the development of serious disease. Losing weight and getting active are the top priority. But make sure you get proper advice and support – research has shown that people who join a weight-loss group, for example, are more likely to lose weight and keep it off.

In terms of getting fit, join a gym or find a sport you enjoy. You’re more likely to stick at it if you like what you’re doing.

Some preventive treatments are also available from your GP. It’s important to keep your blood pressure under control, and blood fat (cholesterol) and blood sugar (glucose) at healthy levels. But some blood pressure treatments, such as diuretics and beta blockers, can actually make metabolic syndrome worse.

A 2007 study of 2,375 male subjects over 20 years suggested that daily intake of a pint (~568 ml) of milk or equivalent dairy products more than halved the risk of metabolic syndrome. Some subsequent studies support the authors’ findings, while others dispute them.

Check with your doctor if you’re concerned. Drugs to control blood fat and cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels, are often needed.

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://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/metabolicsyndrome1.shtml
http://www.webmd.com/heart/metabolic-syndrome/metabolic-syndrome-what-is-it
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metabolic%20syndrome/DS00522
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolic_syndrome
http://www.healthfocus.net.au/what-is-metabolic-syndrome/

http://www.myoptumhealth.com/portal/ADAM/item/Weight+control+and+diet

Sun CAN Actually Help Protect You Against Skin Cancer

Sunlight causes your skin to produce vitamin D — a fact that, ironically, means that sunscreen campaigns may have made millions of people chronically short of this critical nutrient, and put them at a greater risk of skin cancer, rather than reducing their risk.
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Research shows that a very low level of vitamin D is a major risk factor for melanoma. This flies in the face of the idea that it is too much sun that increases your melanoma risk.

According to Professor Angus Dalgleish, writing in the Daily Mail:

“Research shows that a large percentage of people in the UK are deficient in vitamin D partly because we can’t make any from the sun for about six months of the year … I’d like to see all other cancer units automatically checking their patients’ blood levels. It’s cheap and quick and I guarantee they would be amazed at just how low many were.”

Source: Daily Mail May 24, 2011

Posted By Dr. Mercola | June 16 2011

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Bunions

Definition:
A bunion is an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint).The big toe (hallux) may turn in toward the second toe (angulation), and the tissues surrounding the joint may be swollen and tender.

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The term is used to refer to the pathological bump on the side of the great toe joint. The bump is partly due to the swollen bursal sac and/or an osseous (bony) anomaly on the mesophalangeal joint (where the first metatarsal bone and hallux meet). The larger part of the bump is a normal part of the head of first metatarsal bone that has tilted sideways to stick out at its top.

Although they’re more common in older people, they can begin at any age, and even children can develop them. A similar bump, but on the outer edge of the foot at the base of the smallest toe, is known as a bunionette.

The term “hallux valgus” or “hallux abducto-valgus” are the most commonly used medical terms associated with a bunion anomaly, where “hallux” refers to the great toe, “valgus” refers to the abnormal angulation of the great toe commonly associated with bunion anomalies, and “abductus/-o” refers to the abnormal drifting or inward leaning of the great toe towards the second toe, which is also commonly associated with bunions. It is important to state that “hallux abducto refers to the motion the great toe moves away from the body’s midline. Deformities of the lower extremity are usually named in accordance to the body’s midline, or the line bisecting the body longitudinally into two halves.

Bunions most commonly affect women. Some studies report that bunions occur nearly 10 times more frequently in women then men.

Symptoms:
Bunions may or may not cause symptoms. A frequent symptom is pain in the involved area when walking or wearing shoes that is relieved by resting. A bunion causes enlargement of the base of the big toe and is usually associated with positioning of the big toe toward the smaller toes. This leads to intermittent or chronic pain at the base of the big toe.

Bunions that cause marked pain are often associated with swelling of the soft tissues, redness, and local tenderness.

The symptoms of bunions include irritated skin around the bunion, pain when walking, joint redness and pain, and possible shift of the big toe toward the other toes. Blisters may form more easily around the site of the bunion as well.

Having bunions can also make it harder to find shoes that fit properly; bunions may force a person to have to buy a larger size shoe to accommodate the width the bunion creates. When bunion deformity becomes severe enough, the foot can hurt in different places even without the constriction of shoes because it then becomes a mechanical function problem of the forefoot.

Risk Factors & Causes:
It is found  that tight-fitting shoes, especially high-heel and narrow-toed, might increase the risk for bunion formation.
Bunions are reported to be more prevalent in people who wear shoes than in barefoot people. There also seem to be inherited (genetic) factors that predispose to the development of bunions, especially when they occur in younger individuals.

Other risk factors for the development of bunions include congenital (present from birth) abnormal formation of the bones of the foot, nerve conditions that affect the foot, rheumatoid arthritis, and injury to the foot. Bunions are common in ballet dancers.

Bunions are mostly genetic and consist of certain tendons, ligaments, and supportive structures of the first metatarsal that are positioned differently. This bio-mechanical anomaly may be caused by a variety of conditions intrinsic to the structure of the foot – such as flat feet, excessive flexibility of ligaments, abnormal bone structure, and certain neurological conditions. These factors are often considered genetic. Although some experts are convinced that poor-fitting footwear is the main cause of bunion formation, other sources concede only that footwear exacerbates the problem caused by the original genetic structure.

Bunions are commonly associated with a deviated position of the big toe toward the second toe, and the deviation in the angle between the first and second metatarsal bones of the foot. The small sesamoid bones found beneath the first metatarsal (which help the flexor tendon bend the big toe downwards) may also become deviated over time as the first metatarsal bone drifts away from its normal position. Arthritis of the big toe joint, diminished and/or altered range of motion, and discomfort with pressure applied to the bump or with motion of the joint, may all accompany bunion development.

Diagnosis:
A doctor can usually diagnose a bunion by looking at it. A foot x-ray can show an abnormal angle between the big toe and the foot and, in some cases, arthritis.

The doctor considers a bunion when noting the symptoms described above. The anatomy of the foot is assessed during the examination. Radiographs (x-ray films) of the foot can be helpful to determine the integrity of the joints of the foot and to screen for underlying conditions, such as arthritis or gout. X-ray films are an excellent method of calculating the alignment of the toes.

Treatment:
Bunions may be treated conservatively with changes in shoe gear, different orthotics (accommodative padding and shielding), rest, ice, and medications. These sorts of treatments address symptoms more than they correct the actual deformity. Surgery, by an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist, may be necessary if discomfort is severe enough or when correction of the deformity is desired.

Orthotics are splints, regulators while conservative measures include various footwear like gelled toe spacers, bunion / toes separators, bunion regulators, bunion splints, and bunion cushions.

Surgery:
Procedures are designed and chosen to correct a variety of pathologies that may be associated with the bunion. For instance, procedures may address some combination of:

*removing the abnormal bony enlargement of the first metatarsal,
*realigning the first metatarsal bone relative to the adjacent metatarsal bone,
*straightening the great toe relative to the first metatarsal and adjacent toes,
*realigning the cartilagenous surfaces of the great toe joint,
*addressing arthritic changes associated with the great toe joint,
*repositioning the sesamoid bones beneath the first metatarsal bone,
*shortening, lengthening, raising, or lowering the first metatarsal bone, and
*correcting any abnormal bowing or misalignment within the great toe.

At present there are many different bunion surgeries for different effects. Ultimately, surgery should always have function of the foot in mind besides its look. Can the proposed surgery help resolve the pain and callus under the middle metatarsal heads? Can one return to sports? Can the foot enjoy fashionable or high heel shoes like normal feet without undue discomfort? Does the proposed surgery prevent recurrence with any specific built-in mechanism? These are very reasonable challenges for any truly functional bunion surgeries but may not be so for esthetic bunion surgeries.

The age, health, lifestyle, and activity level of the patient may also play a role in the choice of procedure.

Bunion surgery can be performed under local, spinal, or general anesthetic. The trend has moved strongly toward using the less invasive local anesthesia over the years. A patient can expect a 6- to 8-week recovery period during which crutches are usually required for aid in mobility. An orthopedic cast is much less common today as newer, more stable procedures and better forms of fixation (stabilizing the bone with screws and other hardware) are used.

Prognosis:
The prognosis depends on your age and activities, and the severity of the bunion. Teenagers may have more trouble treating a bunion than adults. Many adults do well by caring for the bunion when it first starts to develop, and wearing different shoes. Surgery reduces the pain in many, but not all, people with bunions.

Possible Complications:

*Chronic foot pain
*Foot deformity
*Stiff foot
*Hallux varus (occurs with surgical over-correction, where the toe points away from the second toe

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://www.medicinenet.com/bunions/page2.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001231.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunion
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/bunions.shtml

http://www.consumerreports.org/health/conditions-and-treatments/bunions/what-is-it.htm

http://www.cafai.com/bunions.html

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Colorectal cancer(Bowel cancer)

Alternative Names:Bowel cancer,large bowel cancer,colon cancer or “CRC” includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix.

What is Cancer?
Cancer is a group of more than 100 different diseases. They affect the body’s basic unit, the cell. Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and divide without control or order. Like all other organs of the body, the colon and rectum are made up of many types of cells. Normally, cells divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. This orderly process helps keep us healthy….

If cells keep dividing when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms. This mass of extra tissue, called a growth or tumor, can be benign or malignant.

Benign tumors are not cancer. They can usually be removed and, in most cases, they do not come back. Most important, cells from benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumors are rarely a threat to life.

Malignant tumors are cancer. Cancer cells can invade and damage tissues and organs near the tumor. Also, cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This is how cancer spreads from the original (primary) tumor to form new tumors in other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.

When cancer spreads to another part of the body, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the primary tumor. For example, if colon cancer spreads to the liver, the cancer cells in the liver are colon cancer cells. The disease is metastatic colon cancer (it is not liver cancer

Definition :

It is an   Invasive cancers that are confined within the wall of the colon (TNM stages I and II) are curable with surgery. If untreated, they spread to regional lymph nodes (stage III), where up to 73% are curable by surgery and chemotherapy. Cancer that metastasizes to distant sites (stage IV) is usually not curable, although chemotherapy can extend survival, and in rare cases, surgery and chemotherapy together have seen patients through to a cure.[3] Radiation is used with rectal cancer.

..click to see the pictures

On the cellular and molecular level, colorectal cancer starts with a mutation to the Wnt signaling pathway. When Wnt binds to a receptor on the cell, that sets in motion a chain of molecular events that ends with ß-catenin moving into the nucleus and activating a gene on DNA. In colorectal cancer, genes along this chain are damaged. Usually, a gene called APC, which is a “brake” on the Wnt pathway, is damaged. Without a working APC brake, the Wnt pathway is stuck in the “on” position
Invasive cancers that are confined within the wall of the colon (TNM stages I and II) are curable with surgery. If untreated, they spread to regional lymph nodes (stage III), where up to 73% are curable by surgery and chemotherapy. Cancer that metastasizes to distant sites (stage IV) is usually not curable, although chemotherapy can extend survival, and in rare cases, surgery and chemotherapy together have seen patients through to a cure. Radiation is used with rectal cancer.

On the cellular and molecular level, colorectal cancer starts with a mutation to the Wnt signaling pathway. When Wnt binds to a receptor on the cell, that sets in motion a chain of molecular events that ends with ß-catenin moving into the nucleus and activating a gene on DNA. In colorectal cancer, genes along this chain are damaged. Usually, a gene called APC, which is a “brake” on the Wnt pathway, is damaged. Without a working APC brake, the Wnt pathway is stuck in the “on” position.

Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps become colon cancers.

Symptoms:
*A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool for more than a couple of weeks
*Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
*Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
*A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
*Weakness or fatigue
*Unexplained weight loss

Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms appear, they’ll likely vary, depending on the cancer’s size and location in your large intestine.

Causes:
It’s not very clear what causes colon cancer in most cases. Doctors know that colon cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon become altered. Healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way to keep your body functioning normally. But sometimes this growth gets out of control — cells continue dividing even when new cells aren’t needed. In the colon and rectum, this exaggerated growth may cause precancerous cells to form in the lining of your intestine. Over a long period of time — spanning up to several years — some of these areas of abnormal cells may become cancerous.

But doctors are certain that colorectal cancer is not contagious (a person cannot catch the disease from a cancer patient). Some people are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than others. Factors that increase a person’s risk of colorectal cancer include high fat intake, a family history of colorectal cancer and polyps, the presence of polyps in the large intestine, and chronic ulcerative colitis.

Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colorectal cancer by identifying polyps before they become colorectal cancer.

Risk Factors:
The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer in the United States is about 7%. Certain factors increase a person’s risk of developing the disease. These include:

*Age: The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age. Most cases occur in the 60s and 70s, while cases before age 50 are uncommon unless a family history of early colon cancer is present.

*Polyps of the colon, particularly adenomatous polyps, are a risk factor for colon cancer. The removal of colon polyps at the time of colonoscopy reduces the subsequent risk of colon cancer.

*History of cancer. Individuals who have previously been diagnosed and treated for colon cancer are at risk for developing colon cancer in the future. Women who have had cancer of the ovary, uterus, or breast are at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Heredity:
*Family history of colon cancer, especially in a close relative before the age of 55 or multiple relatives.
*Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) carries a near 100% risk of developing colorectal cancer by the age of 40 if untreated
*Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) or Lynch syndrome
*Gardner syndrome

*Smoking: Smokers are more likely to die of colorectal cancer than nonsmokers. An American Cancer Society study found “Women who smoked were more than 40% more likely to die from colorectal cancer than women who never had smoked. Male smokers had more than a 30% increase in risk of dying from the disease compared to men who never had smoked.”

*Diet: Studies show that a diet high in red meat and low in fresh fruit, vegetables, poultry and fish increases the risk of colorectal cancer. In June 2005, a study by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition suggested that diets high in red and processed meat, as well as those low in fiber, are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Individuals who frequently eat fish showed a decreased risk. However, other studies have cast doubt on the claim that diets high in fiber decrease the risk of colorectal cancer; rather, low-fiber diet was associated with other risk factors, leading to confounding. The nature of the relationship between dietary fiber and risk of colorectal cancer remains controversial.

*Lithocholic acid: Lithocholic acid is a bile acid that acts as a detergent to solubilize fats for absorption. It is made from chenodeoxycholic acid by bacterial action in the colon. It has been implicated in human and experimental animal carcinogenesis. Carbonic acid type surfactants easily combine with calcium ion and become detoxication products.

*Physical inactivity: People who are physically active are at lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Viruses: Exposure to some viruses (such as particular strains of human papilloma virus) may be associated with colorectal cancer.[citation needed]
Primary sclerosing cholangitis offers a risk independent to ulcerative colitis.
Low levels of selenium.

*Inflammatory bowel disease: About one percent of colorectal cancer patients have a history of chronic ulcerative colitis. The risk of developing colorectal cancer varies inversely with the age of onset of the colitis and directly with the extent of colonic involvement and the duration of active disease. Patients with colorectal Crohn’s disease have a more than average risk of colorectal cancer, but less than that of patients with ulcerative colitis.

*Environmental factors. Industrialized countries are at a relatively increased risk compared to less developed countries that traditionally had high-fiber/low-fat diets. Studies of migrant populations have revealed a role for environmental factors, particularly dietary, in the etiology of colorectal cancers.

*Exogenous hormones. The differences in the time trends in colorectal cancer in males and females could be explained by cohort effects in exposure to some gender-specific risk factor; one possibility that has been suggested is exposure to estrogens. There is, however, little evidence of an influence of endogenous hormones on the risk of colorectal cancer. In contrast, there is evidence that exogenous estrogens such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), tamoxifen, or oral contraceptives might be associated with colorectal tumors.

*Alcohol: Drinking, especially heavily, may be a risk factor.

*Vitamin B6 intake is inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer.

Diagnosis:
If your signs and symptoms indicate that you could have colon cancer, your doctor may recommend one of more tests and procedures, including:

*Blood tests. Your doctor may order blood tests to better understand what may be causing your signs and symptoms, but there are no blood tests that can detect colon cancer. Blood tests may include a complete blood count and organ-function tests.

*Using a scope to examine the inside of your colon. Colonoscopy uses a long, flexible and slender tube attached to a video camera and monitor to view your entire colon and rectum. If any suspicious areas are found, your doctor can pass surgical tools through the tube to take tissue samples (biopsies) for analysis.

*Using dye and X-rays to make a picture of your colon. A barium enema allows your doctor to evaluate your entire colon with an X-ray. Barium, a contrast dye, is placed into your bowel in an enema form. During a double-contrast barium enema, air also is added. The barium fills and coats the lining of the bowel, creating a clear silhouette of your rectum, colon and sometimes a small portion of your small intestine.

*Using multiple CT images to create a picture of your colon. Virtual colonoscopy combines multiple computerized tomography (CT) images to create a detailed picture of the inside of your colon. If you’re unable to undergo colonoscopy, your doctor may recommend virtual colonoscopy.

Staging colon cancer.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer, your doctor will then order tests to determine the extent, or stage, of your cancer. Staging helps determine what treatments are most appropriate for you. Staging tests may include imaging procedures such as abdominal and chest CT scans. In many cases, the stage of your cancer may not be determined until after colon cancer surgery.

The stages of colon cancer are:

*Stage 0. Your cancer is in the earliest stage. It hasn’t grown beyond the inner layer (mucosa) of your colon or rectum. This stage of cancer may also be called carcinoma in situ.
*Stage I. Your cancer has grown through the mucosa but hasn’t spread beyond the colon wall or rectum.
*Stage II. Your cancer has grown into or through the wall of the colon or rectum but hasn’t spread to nearby lymph nodes.
*Stage III. Your cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes but isn’t affecting other parts of your body yet.
*Stage IV. Your cancer has spread to distant sites, such as other organs — for instance to your liver or lung.
*Recurrent. This means your cancer has come back after treatment. It may recur in your colon, rectum or other part of your body.
Treatment:
The main treatment option for Colorectal cancer  is surgery – if the disease can be caught before it breaks through the bowel wall, chances of success are much higher.

Usually, the piece of bowel that contains the cancer is removed and the two open ends are joined back together. This operation is called a bowel resection.

If the two sections can’t be joined back together, often because the tumour is too low, the bowel can be brought out through the abdominal wall. This is called a stoma, which is connected to a colostomy bag. Although this procedure is more likely after removal of a tumour in the rectum, it isn’t always necessary and may only be temporary. In these cases, further treatment may not be necessary.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are increasingly being used to treat bowel cancer in addition to surgery, especially in more advanced tumours. For example, a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be given before surgery for rectal cancer. This is known as neo-adjuvant therapy and may reduce the risk of recurrence and improve survival rates.

How well patients do after treatment depends on the stage the cancer has reached. Survival rates have improved in the past 30 years, but overall survival is still only about 50 per cent at five years. However, when bowel cancer is caught early – before it has spread to other organs such as the liver or the lungs – the chances of recovery are more than 80 per cent.

Alternative Medication:
No complementary or alternative treatments have been found to cure colon cancer.

Alternative treatments may help you cope with a diagnosis of colon cancer. Nearly all people with cancer experience some distress. Common signs and symptoms of distress after your diagnosis might include sadness, anger, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite. Alternative treatments may help redirect your thoughts away from your fears, at least temporarily, to give you some relief.

Alternative treatments that may help relieve distress include:

*Art therapy
*Dance or movement therapy
*Exercise
*Meditation
*Music therapy
*Relaxation exercises

Your doctor can refer you to professionals who can help you learn about and try these alternative treatments. Tell your doctor if you’re experiencing distress.

Prognosis:
Survival is directly related to detection and the type of cancer involved, but overall is poor for symptomatic cancers, as they are typically quite advanced. Survival rates for early stage detection is about 5 times that of late stage cancers. For example, patients with a tumor that has not breached the muscularis mucosa (TNM stage T1-2, N0, M0) have an average 5-year survival of approximately 90%. Those with a more invasive tumor, yet without node involvement (T3-4, N0, M0) have an average 5-year survival of approximately 70%. Patients with positive regional lymph nodes (any T, N1-3, M0) have an average 5-year survival of approximately 40%, while those with distant metastases (any T, any N, M1) have an average 5-year survival of approximately 5%.

CEA level is also directly related to the prognosis of disease, since its level correlates with the bulk of tumor tissue.

Follow Up:
The aims of follow-up are to diagnose, in the earliest possible stage, any metastasis or tumors that develop later, but did not originate from the original cancer (metachronous lesions).

The U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American Society of Clinical Oncology provide guidelines for the follow-up of colon cancer.[93][94] A medical history and physical examination are recommended every 3 to 6 months for 2 years, then every 6 months for 5 years. Carcinoembryonic antigen blood level measurements follow the same timing, but are only advised for patients with T2 or greater lesions who are candidates for intervention. A CT-scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis can be considered annually for the first 3 years for patients who are at high risk of recurrence (for example, patients who had poorly differentiated tumors or venous or lymphatic invasion) and are candidates for curative surgery (with the aim to cure). A colonoscopy can be done after 1 year, except if it could not be done during the initial staging because of an obstructing mass, in which case it should be performed after 3 to 6 months. If a villous polyp, a polyp >1 centimeter or high grade dysplasia is found, it can be repeated after 3 years, then every 5 years. For other abnormalities, the colonoscopy can be repeated after 1 year.

Routine PET or ultrasound scanning, chest X-rays, complete blood count or liver function tests are not recommended. These guidelines are based on recent meta-analyses showing intensive surveillance and close follow-up can reduce the 5-year mortality rate from 37% to 30%.

Prevention:
People are encouraged to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, as this appears to reduce the risk. A high-fibre diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and carbohydrates (pasta, bread, rice) is believed to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Moderate amounts of exercise may also protect against bowel cancer.

Eating a diet high in saturated fat and red meat, and low in fibre, smoking and being overweight, increases your risk as does drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day is thought to protect against this and many different cancers through the benefits of the antioxidant vitamins and minerals they contain.

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://www.medicinenet.com/colon_cancer/article.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorectal_cancer
http://search.myway.com/search/GGmain.jhtml?pg=AJmain&action=click&searchfor=colorectal+cancer&ss=sub&st=site&ct=TG
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/cancer/typescancer_bowel.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/colon-cancer/DS00035

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/cancer/typescancer_bowel.shtml

http://www.khg2.net/colon-cancer/

http://www.metrohealth.org/body.cfm?id=1628&oTopID=1616