Decoding CyberKnife, for cancer treatment and benign tumours

We often get queries on CyberKnife and what is CyberKnife used for ?

CyberKnife is an excellent treatment option for treating cancer’s such as prostate cancer, gliomas ,brain cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, spine cancer, cancer of the pancreas, head and neck cancer, liver cancer, early stage -localised breast cancer and several types of malignant tumours, benign tumours and several other medical conditions.
CyberKnife delivers stereostatic radiation( SBRT) with extreme precision and a tissue margin of 1-5mm

Non invasive, CybeKnife vaporises a brain tumour

Cyber knife is totally non invasive and offers hope for inoperable localised cancers such as small cell lung cancer,for inoperable lesions where there is no other alternative for the patient to be treated.
CyberKnife can spot the exact size, shape and location of the tumor and delivers highly concentrated beams of radiation with precision ranging from 1 to 5 mm and this leads to minimal damage and bleeding.

Since CyberKnife treatment is totally non invasive, it is used for treatment of inoperable cancers as an alternate to surgery or as an alternative to surgery to minimise trauma, avoid complications and reduce risk.

Most patients can be treated several times with the CyberKnife and even treated again or retreated with minimal side effects leading to a better quality of life.For example for prostate cancer, even for a repeat surgery, CyberKnife can be used very successfully.

CyberKnife treatment is FDA approved and can spot patient movement even while breathing. The radiation beams can be aimed from several directions, thereby never losing the precision which is hall mark of a CyberKnife treatment.

CyberKnife treatment usually gets completed in 3 to 5 sessions spread over a week. Most patients can lead normal lives post CyberKnife treatment Most CyberKnife treatments are covered by insurance providers all over the world.

To know more on CyberKnife and how it works, click here.

Since the treatment involves a high degree of expertise, CyberKnife treatment is not offered by most hospitals.

The stage, location and size of the tumour or the cancer plays an important role, hence multiple teams of doctors and oncologists need to be involved before a decision on  use of CyberKnife as treatment option can be arrived.
To connect to the best hospitals in India, offering CyberKnife, and to know if CyberKnife is a treatment option for your medical condition, send us an email on info@ihealthkonnect.com or Consult Now.

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Diabetes- The soft and silent killer !

The minute most of us hear “Diabetes”, we think of Blood Sugar.

Blood sugar is elevated level of sugar or glucose in the blood which if unchecked overtime, leads to diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, inability of our body to convert sugar into glucose and subsequently elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

We all know about Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes but whats important is what happens in the body, when we have elevated levels of sugar in the body for long.

Common Effects and Risks associated with high sugar levels and diabetes are:

Diabetes
Diabetes complications affected organs. diabetes affects nerves, kidneys, eyes, vessels, heart, brain and skin

Risk of stroke: Diabetes or elevated sugar levels, increase our risk of stroke, about 4 times more than non diabetics

Risk of Heart Disease:  Diabetes increases risk of heart attack , heart disease. As the blood vessels get damaged, it puts the heart under pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks.  High glucose levels also lead to fatty deposits. Coupled with obesity, high blood pressure, it puts you at a severe risk and an angioplasty  or an open heart bypass surgery may even be required.

Risk of Cataract: Diabetics are at an increased risk of developing cataracts

Risk of Glaucoma: Glaucoma risk is significantly more for diabetics. If left untreated, Glaucoma can lead to blindness.

Risk of Pancreas Malfunction: A malfunction in pancreas leads to diabetes and higher blood sugar levels in turn continue to damage the pancreas.
Risk of Gastroparesis:   Increase in blood sugar levels also makes it hard for the  stomach to empty completely. This also in turn leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. Nausea, vomiting, bloating, and heartburn are common symptoms.
Risk of Kidney Damage:  Unchecked High sugar levels and diabetes, damages the kidneys, leads to diabetic neuropathy and eventually one may need a dialysis or even a kidney transplant.
Risk of Nerve Damage: Diabetics often  have tingling sensation in the foot and suffer from nerve damage. Lack of sensation or peripheral neuropathy is dangerous as due to lack of sensation, one may fail to notice injuries

.
Foot Problems:  Unchecked diabetes can lead to diabetic foot where the entire foot may even need to be amputated.
Ketoacidosis:   In absence of insulin,  the body uses alternate hormones to turn fat into energy, which creates a high level of toxic chemicals such as acids and  ketones, which may lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.  Diabetic ketoacidosis  often leads to loss of consciousness and other life threatening complications. A Fruity Breath or a sweet smelling breath is often an indicator of diabetes and calls for a check on blood sugar levels.
Visual Problems:  Diabetics often face visual problems, as high glucose levels often lead to swollen, leaky blood vessels in the eye, leading to a condition called diabetic retinopathy.  These vision problems,  may even lead to partial or total loss of vision Vision problems can be gradual hence routine eye checkups if you are diabetic or have pre diabetes are a must.

Risk of damage to blood vessels:  High blood sugar levels or high glucose levels,
restrict blood flow, damaging the blood vessels.

As unchecked diabetes, leads to a host of problems, it is important to make life style changes. Pre diabetes conditions can be reversed by exercise and dietary changes.  Type 2 diabetes can be controlled and even reversed if significant life style changes are made.

One of the most important life style change is to Quit smoking as diabetes and smoking leads to an enhanced risk of heart disease.

To get a free 2nd opinion, if you are looking for a 2nd opinion on your health problems, Consult Now

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Is your tooth pain, an indicator of disease ?

 

Tooth ache,Ddental problems
Tooth Ache, Dental Problems, Health Problems

Teeth: As per Merriam Webster, teeth are defined as the hard bony appendages that are borne on the jaws in the mouth or pharynx and exist for eating food and as weapons of offense and defense.
Over the years, modern physicists have discovered that there is indeed a direct relationship between teeth and Qi ( Energy ). The Chinese found a way to measure Qi and map the pathways – this led them to the conclusion that if Qi was normal, there was good blood flow in the body ; however, if there was disturbed Qi – it symbolised disease and disturbed blood flow.

According to them, teeth are indicative of the state of internal organs in the body and hence pain often indicates trouble in the connected body organ. One’s lips are related to the spleen, teeth are related to various organs in the body, the gum is related to the stomach, and the tongue is related to the heart.

Below are a few health problems which our teeth, gums and tongue indicate :

  • The normal colour of lips is bright red and moist. Dry lips indicate pathogenic dryness, Pale lips indicate blood shortage or anemia, and purple lips indicate coldness or poor circulation.
  • Dry teeth indicate insufficient liquid in the kidneys.
  • Pale gums indicate blood deficiency, Red and swollen lips indicate stomach fire, and Bleeding from the swollen gums indicates the blood vessel damage. Furthermore, the various teeth in the mouth also indicate the state of various organs.

    Dental
    Teeth, how tooth pain is an indicator of poor health
  • Bladder, Kidney and Ears : Link to Upper and Lower Incisors
  • Liver and Gall Bladder: Canine Teeth
  • Lungs: Pre Molars
  • Stomach Heart, Pancreas and Spleen : Molars

But, does this mean that the damage of the teeth is responsible for all internal damages?
Thankfully, no. However pain in various teeth may indicate problems with specific body organs.

Given below are the connections between the teeth and the organs :

  • As the top and bottom 4 incisors are directly related to the kidney and bladder. Pain in upper and lower incisors could mean infection or inflammation in the kidney, inflammation of the prostate gland or even middle ear infection.
  • As top and bottom 2 canines are directly related to the liver and bladder. Thus pain in your canines could indicate a Hepatitis A,B. C infection or inflammation of the gall bladder.
  • Lungs and large intestines are related to the top and bottom 4 bicuspids or premolars, pain may indicate, inflammation of the colon, bronchitis, asthma, other lung problems such as COPD.
  • The first and second molars are directly related to the spleen and stomach and pain could indicate gastric problems, pancreatitis and even ulcers.
  • The third molars or the wisdom teeth are directly related to the small intestine and the heart and pain may indicate cardiac disease, coronary heart disease and even congenital heart defects such as PDA, TOF, Fontan, VSD, ASD , ASO,  AV Canal and may even pre empt a CABG or an Angioplasty
  • Build up of plaque in the arteries, problems with arteries, varicose veins may be the actual trouble spots if you have pain in the sixth lower teeth.
  • Thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism, sinus, spleen and even inflammation of ovaries may be the real reason behind pain in sixth upper teeth.
  • Arthritis, problems with colon, pain in joints such as knee, elbow and shoulder may be the reasons for pain in the upper and lower fourth teeth.

So next time you have tooth pain, look for the real reason before heading for a tooth extraction or  ( RCT) root canal treatmentA tooth pain, may be a warning in disguise for you to watch out and take care of the impending health problem?

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Stomach Cancer- Why does it catch us unawares ?

Stomach cancer is defined as the growth of cancerous cells in the stomach lining.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), there will be approximately 24,590 new cases of stomach cancer every year.

Stomach cancer
Clinical stages of stomach cancer. How stomach cancer spreads?

Stomach cancer is often left undiagnosed because it doesn’t have many early symptoms – it is diagnosed when cancer spreads to other parts of the human body.

A few early signs are:
Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea is defined as a feeling of queasiness at the back of your throat or stomach. Vomiting, on the other hand, is defined as the contraction of your stomach muscles that push the digested food back through your oesophagus. Both nausea and vomiting may be early symptoms of stomach cancer especially if one’s blood shows in the vomit.
Bloating: If one faces bloating, which doesn’t ease up and persistent, it calls for a visit to the doctor and an ultrasound at least to start with.

H. Pylori Infection: If one suffers from frequent indigestion, bloating,one must get tested for bacterial Infection with H pylori, as it is the most prominent indication of people developing stomach cancer later.

Research has shown that people suffering from H.Pylori infections have a much incidence of stomach cancers.

Weight loss: Stomach tumours cause blockages, preventing food from passing into the stomach or into the intestines causing loss of appetite. Similarly, stomach cancer causes energy from food to be burned at a faster rate which combined with nutritional loss causes weight loss.

Stomach Pain: Unexplained stomach pain , the kind which persists is also a warning sign that something may be wrong.

Frequent HeartBurns:  Frequent heartburns could be because of ulcers and may also indicate that everything is not ok.

Inability to eat: As the tumour progresses, it blocks various parts of the digestive system. Coupled with body’s inability to digest food,  there is a reduced appetite, which at a later stage is often total inability to eat and digest food.

As the symptoms are so generic, they are often missed leading to diagnosis at a much later stage when the cancer has spread or metastatised to other parts of the body.

Is there a co-relation between our habits and stomach cancer?
Food: Food and stomach cancer have a direct relationship. The right dietary intake can lower the risk of stomach cancer. Storage of food through refrigeration instead of by smoking, salting and pickling also reduces the risk because the nitrates and nitrites in smoked food increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Smoking: The use of tobacco increases the risk of stomach cancer. It is said that the rate of risk of stomach cancer is doubled in smokers as compared to non-smokers. This is because smoking reduces the production of natural substances that protect the stomach and duodenum from tissue damage. Additionally, smoking promotes the duodenum reflux and increases the acidity of the duodenum making it vulnerable to H. Pylori bacteria. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels in the stomach reducing the blood flow in the stomach. All these mechanisms strengthen the link between stomach cancer and smoking.

Treatment of stomach cancer involves, surgery if detected at an early stage, followed by chemotherapy as the 1st line of treatment.

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Bloodshot Eyes ? Ever Wondered Why ?

cornea transplant
Bloodshot eyes

Ever wondered why many of us have blood shot eyes ?

Is this indicative of a serious medical problem , glaucoma, cataract or retinal detachment or are there any other reasons ?

Read below to know more on possible reasons for why we have red eyes.

Lack of sleep : A primary reason for blood shot eyes is not getting enough sleep.
When we sleep, our eyes get rest and are refreshed. Lack of sleep over a period of time leads to redness in the eyes. Resting up, catching up on sleep and using artificial tears helps take care of the problem

Too much Alcohol : Excess alcohol in the blood causes blood vessels to dilate which means more blood flowing through, which leads to redness in the eyes.

Smoking, both active and passive : Smoking and exposure to second hand smoke causes blood vessels to constrict and leads to dry eyes. Overtime, the irritation may lead to macular degeneration, cataract and even vision loss.

Eye infection : Eye infections even though mild lead to redness. Antibiotics and tear drops can help deal with redness and once infection clears, the redness goes away.

Pollution : Excess pollution levels and toxic gasses in the environment also lead to irritation, subsequent redness in the eyes and overtime vision problems.

Allergies : Being allergic to pollen, paint and other allergens also leads to irritation and often blood shot eyes. Worse still using anti allergens also leads to dryness and red eyes.

Dry eyes : Dry eyes are often a result of hypothyroidism, working on the computer screen the entire day also leads to dryness. Managing thyroid levels is a long term solution Using tear drops helps with dryness.

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Heart Disease -Stuff you must know !

open heart bypass surgery
open heart bypass surgery

Heart disease kills more people than any other disease. Over 30% of deaths across the world are due to heart disease as per WHO estimates.

Ignorance, lack of awareness, refusal to get basic routine checkups, account for the high mortality rate.

Unhealthy dietary habits, alcohol abuse, use of tobacco, lack of exercise, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and genetics are the primary reasons for developing heart disease.

Most cases go undiagnosed till the patient suffers a heart attack.

Here is a list of types of heart disease which we should all know about.

Clogged Arteries: Fat and cholesterol build up in the arteries leads to plaque and mineral deposits which restricts or blocks blood flow to the heart. Usually clogged arteries are not diagnosed unless one gets chest pains or gets breathless. An angiography is often carried out for diagnosis. Stenting or an angioplasty takes of blocked arteries. A surgeon may insert a balloon or a wire mesh to open up your arteries. If the blockage is severe, a CABG or open heart bypass surgery may be required. In CABG, or open hear bypass surgery, blood vessels from other parts of the body are taken and damaged blood vessels of the heart are replaced or bypassed.

Arrhythmia: Irregular heart beat can either be too slow or too fast. Although rarely fatal, arrhythmia increases pre disposition to heart attack, heart failure and even stroke.
An ICD  detects irregular heart beat and send electric impulses to takes care of Arrhythmia.

Hole in the heart :  PDA, VSD, ASD, Mitral Valve Defects,  commonly known as hole in the heart, sometimes congenital heart defects are not diagnosed even till adulthood. Growth milestones may be compromised and problems may persist later in life.
Serious defects require surgical intervention however some can be managed with medical management.

Heart Muscle Disease: Our heart is a muscle which weakens due to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and hence the heart struggles to pump blood in the body.
Heart muscle disease or cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.

A Pacemaker is implanted to take care of heart muscle disease.

Enlarged Heart: As the heart muscle becomes weak, the heart enlarges in order to pump blood and the rhythm increases. However the heart also becomes weaker and consequently it leads to decreased blood flow.

Heart Attack: Clogged arteries can restrict and even stop blood flow to the heart. Without blood flow, our heart doesn’t get the oxygen required which damages the heart and this is what is known as a heart attack. The more restricted the blood flow, the more life threatening and severe, the heart attack.

Heart Failure: Failure of the heart to pump blood to the body is known as heart failure and this can lead to death.

Without surgical intervention or medical management as may be required, heart disease progresses and even post diagnosis and surgical intervention, drastic life style changes are required for managing the medical condition.

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Good Health – A few vital indicators!

 Good health
Vital parameters for good health

We all talk of good health. Are there some common parameters which indicate good health ?


Blood Pressure :The force of blood pressing against your artery walls is your blood pressure
Ideal BP is 120/80mm.  BP over 140/90mm increases risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Cholesterol : Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance in the blood which gets deposited in your arteries and reduces blood supply.
Ideally total cholesterol, which should be less than 200mg/dL; tri-glycerides, which should be less than 150mg/dL; good’ HDL cholesterol, greater than 60mg/dL and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, less than 100mg/dL. Higher levels of cholesterol may block blood flow to the heart an increase risk of heart disease.
 BMI or Body Mass Index is a key indicator for fat in the body  measures body fat using your height and weight.
Ideally  BMI should be between 18.5 to 24.9. BMI less than 18, indicates under weight with possible nutritional deficiencies.
A BMI of 25 and above is considered to be overweight, while 30 and above is considered to be obese. 
Sugar: The amount of glucose in the blood is called sugar
Sugar is measured by Fasting Sugar, PP sugar or HbAIc tests (hemoglobin Alc ).
A high HbAIc indicates pre diabetes, insulin resistance which lead to diabetes. Ideally HbAlc should be less than 5.7% and fasting glucose should be less than 126mg/dL.
Diabetes is usually diagnosed when HbAlc is 6.5% or higher, while your fasting glucose is 126mg/dL or higher. High sugar levels can damage blood vessels, increasing risk of heart disease and kidney failure.

What is ihealthkonnect ?

ihealthkonnect is a price discovery and comparison platform for healthcare.

Users can search, compare and save on cost of medical treatment in India.As an easy to use platform, patients and their families can actually search for prices of various treatments, surgeries and compare costs across hospitals.

As an easy to use platform, patients and their families can actually search for prices of various treatments, surgeries and compare costs across hospitals.

Once a user shortlists a hospital, the user can upload medical reports and  send a query for a 2nd medical opinion and an estimated cost of medical treatment based on the medical reports.
Once the estimate based on medical reports is received, the user can actually book the medical treatment on the platform itself.