Anaemic ! Could it be You ?

sickle cell anemia
anemia

Anaemia is very common medical condition, where the body does not produce enough healthy red blood cells or excessively destructs blood cells.
Most people have anaemia due to poor dietary habits and inadequate nutrition while certain forms of anaemia are hereditary.
Some of the early warning signs , which are common across all 400 types of anaemia are:

anemia symptoms
Early warning sign and symptoms that may appear in anemia

Fatigue : The most common warning sign of anaemia is fatigue. It occurs because the body doesn’t have enough Red Blood Cells to carry haemoglobin which contains oxygen to the cells leading to exhaustion.

Pale Skin : Paleness of the skin is usually dependent on the thickness and density of blood vessels below the skin. A lack of red blood cells due to anaemia

A very pale pallor can also be due to sickle cell anaemia ( a medical condition where abnormally shaped red blood cells block the flow of blood).

Swollen or Sore tongue : A big warning sign of anaemia is an anaemia tongue wherein ones tongue gets inflamed due to low iron levels in the body. The surface of the tongue can often smoothen out or your tongue can morph into different shades.

Swollen Hands and feet : Swollen hands and feet are a symptom of sickle cell anaemia. In sickle cell anaemia, the sickle shaped red blood cells clump together and block the flow of blood in the body – leading to the blood flow being cut off from the tissues and organs.

Shortness of breath : This occurs because the red blood cells carrying oxygen have less haemoglobin and less capacity to bind oxygen causing shortness of breath.

Brittle nails : Nails have a protective hard layer called keratin that protects the soft tissue in your nails. Lack of red blood cell production due to anaemia prohibits the growth of nails. Ridges and banding in the nails are often indicators of anaemia.

Appetite for inedible items : Pica is defined as a craving to chew or eat substances of no nutritional value such as ice, paper, chalk, pencils, wall putty etc. These unusual cravings in order to satiate the body’s appetite for iron must not be ignored as it is the first sign of anaemia.

Sickle cell anaemia is a very severe form of anaemia and is often inherited. Although those suffering from anaemia and sickle cell disease suffer from fatigue, pale pallor, shortness of breath, people suffering from just anemia rarely suffer from frequent chest infections or have painful crisis

Sicklers or people suffering from sickle cell anaemia, often have painful crisis situations, when the haemoglobin can even drop to between 1 and 3 leading to even death within few hours.

Sickles often suffer from organ damage and  may need a hip replacement . a shoulder replacement or rarely even a knee replacement.

Although Sickle cell anaemia can be managed with hydroxy urea, if the patients has reached a point where he or she suffers from chest infections, frequent painful crisis, or needs a hip replacement or shoulder replacement, a bone marrow transplant should be considered.

A bone marrow transplant, with matching donors has more than an 85% success rate and is the only possible cure and treatment for sickle cell anaemia.

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Do you know which disease Steve Jobs died of ? Spot Early Sign of Trouble in your Pancreas!

Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer

The pancreas are a small gland situated near the stomach that secretes digestive fluid into the intestines through one or more ducts and also secretes insulin – a hormone which regulates the amount of glucose in blood. Pancreas are responsible for secreting enzyme which aid in digestion,
Pancreatic problems are usually hard to detect and one of the most dangerous pancreatic problems is pancreatic cancer.

Unfortunately pancreatic cancer is hard to diagnose as it gives few early signs and most patients already reach an advance stage before being diagnosed.

Post prognosis, due to detection at an advanced stage when the cancer is in metastasis, the 5 year survival rate is 1%. Compare this to a 5 year survival rate for patients when diagnosed early with the cancer in a resectable stage( when surgery can be done) , at a whopping 61% . Therefore early diagnosis is critical in pancreatic cancer.

Even if there are few early signs, self awareness is often the key to diagnosis.

Given below are a few warning signs which indicate that your pancreas may be in trouble :

Sudden Onset of Diabetes : Diabetes and Pancreas have a direct relationship. Pancreas contain cells called the Islets of Langerhans which secrete the hormone insulin. Insulin helps regulate the glucose in the body. If you have sudden onset of Type 2 diabetes, do visit the doctor.
If you existing diabetes,which suddenly becomes unmanageable it warrants a visit to the doctor as instability in blood sugar levels can also be an early sign of pancreatic cancer

Light coloured, Floaty Stools, with or without an oil layer : Pancreas our responsible for secreting enzymes, which help in digestion. When optimum functioning is affected, sometimes there is an oil layer on top which indicates fats not digested properly. Because the pancreas help the intestines break down fats with the help of enzymes which does not take place,it leads to stools become greasy.

Light coloured, floaty stools also indicate sub optimal digestion which happens when the pancreas become affected.

Dark Coloured Urine : Pancreatic cancer usually begins near the top of the bile duct. Since the bile duct is unable to drain the bilirubin produced in the liver, it results in dark coloured urine. As the cancer spreads, it affects the liver and results in liver cancer. Pancreatic cancer led to the liver being affected for Steve Jobs and a liver transplant was carried out which gave him a new lease of life for a few years.

Stomach Ache : Abdominal pain especially pain in the middle of the abdomen is also a sign of pancreatic cancer. The cancer starts presses on surrounding organs causing pain. If pain is intense and persists for weeks, does not wear off even after prescription medication, do ask your doctor to check your pancreas.

Weight Loss : It is a common sign of pancreatic cancer – it usually occurs because the pancreas do not secrete enough enzymes to digest food so nutrients are not absorbed normally.
Though there are several other reasons for weight loss, sudden, progressive weight loss coupled with intense pain in the abdomen does call for a visit to the doctor.

Poor Appetite : Nausea and lack of appetite can be directly linked to problems in the pancreas. The pancreas are responsible for the secretion of enzymes which break down the fats in the digested food and hence, if your body is unable to digest fatty foods, it may be a sign of trouble with the pancreas.

Usually a ultrasound, CT Scan, endoscopy or an endoscopic biopsy are the initial diagnostic tests.

A PET CT along with cancer markers is used for cancer staging.

If diagnosed early, while the cancer is resectable, a procedure called Whipple is carried out to remove the cancerous part and whipple procedure is followed by chemotherapy and or radiation depending upon spread.

Sometime, TACE ( trans arterial chemo embolisation, TARE ( Trans arterial radio embolisation) or TAE ( trans arterial embolisation) may also need to be used depending upon the type of cancer and cancer staging.

At times RFA( radio frequency ablation) or cryoablation may also be used to treat the cancer.

Incase the cancer has spread to the liver, a liver transplant may be needed.

It is important to take a 2nd opinion, while you have time in hand to know that you are getting the right medical treatment based on the your prognosis.

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Did you know 6 out of 10 men are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer treatment cost, symptoms of prostate cancerStatistics show 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer within their lifetime. This number increases to about 6 in 10 that is 60% of men are diagnosed with prostate cancer after reaching the age of sixty-five.

Though the statistics may seem disheartening, only one in thirty-nine people die as a result of prostate cancer. That means that the average percentage of people who have died from prostate cancer is about 0.027%, probably the least possible for any form of cancer.

What this indicates is that the survival rate for prostate cancer is rather high, in fact after being diagnosed is almost

one-hundred percent. At ten years, survival rate is 98% and survival rate at 15 years is 95%.

There are many treatments for prostate cancer. The hardest part is simply informing yourself and your family on various

treatment options available , their estimated costs and the ability to choose the best treatment option available based on your specific medical condition.

Prostate Cancer Treatment Options:

The treatment options for prostate cancer include surgery and radiotherapy both.

The surgical options for prostate cancer treatment are Simple Prostatectomy, Radical Prostatectomy and TURP

Simple Prostatectomy: In simple prostatectomy or a subtotal prostatectomy, only part of the prostate is removed.

Radical Prostatectomy: In radical prostatectomy, the entire prostate gland is removed along with seminal vesicles and vas deferens. This can be done laparoscopically or even by using Robotic techniques in what is known as Robotic Prostatectomy.

Robotic Prostectomy: Robotic Prostectomy is essentially the same procedure, except it is done using a robotic console capable of making larger more precise incisions, while having a larger field of vision.

This reduces recovery time, the risk of complications, it minimalizes scarring, and it reduces the risk of leaving cancerous tissue.

Robotic Prostatectomy is more expensive and price ranges from US$ 7000 to US$8600 in best hospitals in India.

TURP: Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is a procedure in which the prostate gland is reduced in size by removing prostate tissue.

This procedure helps in relieving prostate cancer symptoms and helps with passage of the urine through the urinary tract if the prostate gland restricts urine flow. This procedure does not involve any incisions in the skin, it is all done by resectoscope through the urethra. Afterwards, in order to drain urine a catheter is inserted. The procedure requires hospital admission for a day to two. TURP usually costs between US$ 3000-US$ 3900.

Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy is the use of high-energy rays that in order to terminate cancerous cells. There are several side effects that you may experience after the procedure. These include but are not limited to, fatigue, nausea, and problems eating or drinking. Radiotherapy typically cost $3500 – $4500 in India. Besides radiotherapy, hormone injections are also used for treatment.

These are just a few of the effective of treatments available to those who are affected by prostate cancer. Knowing the benefits and risks of each procedure is a large part of the battle.

To assist patients and their families looking for best doctors, hospitals and treatment options, ihealthkonnect has listed estimated cost for major procedures online. Users can search, connect with best hospitals, doctors, compare cost of treatment and also get a free second medical opinion online.

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Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer

Being Diagnosed with breast cancer, can be an overwhelming experience especially when one has been healthy throughout
without any symptoms at all.

What are the treatment options when the mamogram says “Cancer”.

Although cancer is not a disease which any one should have, it is possible to offer curative treatment at early stages and
palliative treatment for late stage cancers.

Breast Cancer Treatment Options:

The treatment options for breast cancer, totally depend upon the stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis.

For early stage cancers, when the cancer has not really spread to other parts of the body, surgery is a good option.

For early stage breast cancer, we have surgical options such as lumpectomy, mastectomy with and without reconstruction.

For late stage cancers, chemotherapy to reduce the size of the tumour and control the disease is the first line of
treatment, followed by radiation and hormone therapy.

The long term survival rate of someone diagnosed with breast cancer is based on the spread of the disease. Such
characteristics will include the size of the tumor, whether there are hormonal receptors found on the tumor itself and the
tumor grades.

Breast Cancer Treatment Cost:

Cost of breast cancer treatment in India varies depending on whether surgery is required or not.

Surgery costs vary between us 4500-6000. Chemotherapy costs usd 1000 onwards depending upon drugs administered. Radiotherapy costs us 3500 onwards for a 6 week duration.

Breast cancer treatment cost in India is a variable of whether just one or a combination of treatment options which may be
required based on stage, grade of cancer at the time of diagnosis.

Factors such as age may also play an important part on which treatment a patient should undergo.

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Ovarian Cancer! Could You Be Missing The Early Signs

Cancer originating in the  cells of the ovaries is called Ovarian Cancer.
If diagnosed early while the tumor is still limited to the ovary, the cure rate is better than 90 percent.
Sadly, about two-thirds of women with ovarian cancer ignore early symptoms and seek medical attention by the tumor is already advanced and has spread outside of the ovaries.
Part of the problem lies with nonspecific symptoms and symptoms which arise only when cancer has spread.
Some of the early ovarian cancer symptoms may include:
Abdominal bloating or swelling
Abdominal or pelvic pain
Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
Frequent urination or feeling a need to urinate
If these ovarian cancer signs are persistent and a change from the norm, you should see a gynecologist.
Others symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
Back pain
Constipation
Fatigue
Menstrual changes
Pain during sex
Upset stomach
These symptoms, however being non specific, may be caused by other conditions and aren’t necessarily signs of ovarian cancer.
However they do warrant a visit to the doctor.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, get a 2nd opinion
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Why do we discover cancers at a late stage and often without symptoms for long ?

Most cancers do not cause symptoms until  late due to the phenomenal resilience and immunity that our bodies have.

Which is why, regular checkups which lead to early detection of cancer are a must.

Most stomach cancers do not have any symptoms except  loss of appetite, acid reflux, stomach pain , feeling of  fullness  which many of us  may relate to a bout of indigestion or a stomach infection.
Kidney cancer never have symptoms at an early stage.
Early stage liver cancer symptoms are often pain on the right side of the abdomen, loss of appetite.
Pancreatic Cancers are rarely found operable unless they invade the bile duct.
Thyroid Cancer often the earliest symptom is hoarseness in the voice.
Being non specific , the symptoms are often overlooked in a patient with an early stage cancer leading to discovery at a much later stage, when the cancer is  metastatic.
With newer treatment options and newer drugs , it is possible to treat , extend and improve quality of life even at a later stage.
If you have a loved one suffering from cancer or having the above symptoms with fatigue and weight loss,  email your medical reports, consult now or write to us on info@ihealthkonnect.com
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Thyroid Cancer Symptoms and Treatment

Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid gland is present below the Adam’s in the front of the neck. It is a butterfly shaped organ. The thyroid gland produce hormones that regulate the body’s response to hot and cold senses, the energy level of the body, and weight and appetite.

Thyroid cancer in children is rare and often curable. Exposure to head and neck irradiation results in an increased risk. Only one in every 1,200 children under 20 are affected by thyroid cancer in the United States each year.

There is nearly 95%. survival rates among children.

Types of Thyroid Cancer:

Thyroid cancer is further divided into following four types.
1. Papillary thyroid carcinoma
2. Follicular thyroid carcinoma
3. Medullary thyroid carcinoma
4. Anaplastic thyroid carcinomas

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer:
Sign and Symptoms include trouble breathing, trouble swallowing and changes in a child’s voice.

Thyroid Cancer Treatment:

Thyroid cancer is commonly treated by one or a combination of treatments such as Surgery, Hormonal therapy, Radioactive iodine (radioiodine) therapy, External-beam radiation therapy, Chemotherapy and Targeted therapy.

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Cancer of Connective tissue is known as Soft Tissue Sarcoma. It includes various tissues of the body including muscle, fat, and fibrous tissue. The most common sarcomas in children are Rhabdomyosarcoma (muscle), Osteosarcoma (bone cells), and Ewing Sarcoma (in or outside of bone). However, about there are more than 50 other types of soft tissue sarcomas that affect around 900 children each year

Soft Tissue Sarcomas is further categorized as following:

1. Synovial sarcoma
2. Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor
3. Embryonal sarcoma of the liver
4. Desmoplastic round cell tumor
5. Desmoid tumors
6. Rhabdoid tumors
7. Epithelioid sarcoma
8. Chondrosarcoma
9. Alveolar soft part sarcoma
10. Liposarcoma
11. Undifferentiated Sarcoma
12. Others

Rhabdomyosarcoma Symptoms,Treatment of Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a cancer of muscles cells in children. It is also known as cancer of soft tissue. In the United States, about 350 new cases are diagnosed each year in children under 20 years of age.

Almost two-thirds of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma cases are diagnosed in children under 6. RMS can arise in any muscle of the body, but the most common sites are adjacent to the base of the skull (Para meningeal), around the eye (orbital), head, neck, cheek or lip, arms, legs (extremities), Urinary, reproductive organs (genitourinary system), bladder, vagina, prostate and soft tissue around the testicles.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is further categorized into two major subtypes, based on the tumor cell microscopic physiology:

1. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS): It is the most common type (60-70% of cases) in younger children.
2. Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS): It is commonly found in adolescents.

Symptoms of Rhabdomyosarcoma:

Rhabdomyosarcoma Signs and Symptoms show growing mass or swelling, blood in the urine, difficulty urinating, bleeding from the vagina.

For tumors presenting adjacent to the base of skull, the cancer can cause facial asymmetry, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, ear bleeding or discharge, headaches and facial pain.

Swelling or bulging around the eye.

Extremity tumors (those in the arms or legs) often present as a rapidly enlarging, firm mass.

Rhabdomyosarcoma Treatment:

Treatment in patients with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Skin Cancer, Treatment of Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer:

Skin cancer is generally called Melanoma which begins in melanocytes.

These are the cells that give pigment (color) to skin, hair, and eyes. Most melanomas occur in the skin, although they can also occur in the eye. Although, melanoma is not the most common skin cancer but it is the most serious one.

About 60,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States and about 450 of these patients are under 20.

Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer:

The warning signs of skin melanoma classified as A B C D E’s of melanoma and it include:

A for asymmetry: The two halves of the mole do not match.

B for border irregularity: fuzzy and irregular border of moles.

C is for color variegation: In addition to brown or black, other colors are present.

D is for diameter: 0.6 cm or about ¼ of an inch.

E is for evolving: The mole has changed in size, shape or color, Bleeding moles, itches and developed a break in the skin.

Treatment for Skin Cancer:

Most common treatment of skin cancer include:

Surgery,

Radiotherapy,

Chemotherapy,

Immunotherapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT)