Facts and Information about Heart Disease

Facts and Information about Heart Disease

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What is Heart Disease? 

Did you know that heart disease is not just one disease, heart disease refers to numerous conditions that affect the heart? And believe it or not, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Some of the conditions that fall under the umbrella of heart disease are coronary heart disease, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction and even congenital heart defects. Additionally, it should be noted that cardiovascular disease is another name for heart disease. 

Common Symptoms

One might be surprised to learn that the symptoms for heart disease differ between women and men. Often women with have chest pain, however it can likely be accompanied by fatigue, nausea and shortness of breath, whereas men commonly have chest discomfort. 
In general, common symptoms include, but are not limited to: 

• Chest discomfort, such as pressure, pain and tightness. 
• Pain in various part of the upper body, such as in the upper back or abdomen, as well as in the neck, jaw or throat. 
• Shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing 
• Coldness, numbness, weakness and/or pain in the extremities. 
• Irregularly heartbeat. It could be a racing heart, or it could be slowed. 
• Paleness of the skin with a gray or blue hue. 
• Swelling, especially in the legs. 
Please note, this is not an exhaustive list. Symptoms depend of the type of heart disease one has and what it is caused by. 


The most common cause of heart disease is something called atherosclerosis. If you are not a doctor, that term simply describes the build up of plaque in one’s arteries. As this build up occurs, it thickens and stiffens, and will eventually inhibit the flow of blood through the arteries, which means tissues and organs go without. Thankfully, this condition is easily remedied as poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking contribute to it. However, some types of heart disease come from heart arrhythmia that one is born with, but this arrhythmia can also be caused by high blood pressure, drug abuse, stress and even excessive caffeine use. Interestingly, heart disease can even be caused by infections from bacteria, viruses or parasites in the body that can eventually reach the heart muscle. 

Risk Factors

Unfortunately, it is common to not be diagnosed with heart disease until one has a stroke or heart attack. Fret not though, preventative measures can be taken to avoid or treat numerous forms of heart disease. Knowing the risk facts and prevention methods for heart disease can help one understand how to protect themselves and keep themselves healthy. 
Risk factors include, but are not limited to: 
• Age – Older people are more likely to have damaged arteries or weakened heart muscles. 
• Gender – Men are typically at a greater risk. 
• Smoking – Heart attacks are common among smokers due to nicotine constricting blood vessels and carbon monoxide causing the smoker to become more susceptible to atherosclerosis. 
• Poor diet – This is a huge contribution factor. Overweight individuals are at a greater risk of heart disease. Diets that are high in fat, salt and sugar can increase one’s risk of developing the condition. 
• High blood pressure – This may be caused by poor lifestyle choices or genetics. 
• High cholesterol – This may cause more plaques to form and increase the risk of atherosclerosis. 
• Diabetes – This condition also has risk factors that parallel heart disease, such as high blood pressure and being overweight. 
While you cannot treat congenital heart defects, simple lifestyle changes can improve one’s health and lower their risk. Practice good hygiene to prevent viral or bacterial infections. One should take care of their body by quitting smoking, implementing a healthy diet and exercise regiment, as well as maintaining stress levels. Finally, other health conditions should be managed that can contribute to the risk of developing heart disease. Some examples include diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. 
Below are some terms one should familiarize themselves with to help understand heart disease more fully. 
• Cardiovascular disease – The medical term for heart disease. It can be used interchangeably. 
• Angina – Chest pain 
• Congenital – Present from birth 
• Arrhythmia – Irregular heartbeat 
• Heart Attack – Death of the heart muscle caused by lack of blood flow. 
• Stroke – Sudden death of some brain cells cause be loss of oxygen when blood flow to the brain becomes impaired or when an artery to the brain rupture. 

Facts and Information about Back Pain

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Types and Symptoms

Back pain presents in many forms, regardless of the root cause. Pain can affect the upper or lower back area, as well as the muscles or bone along the vertebrae. In some situations, this pain interferes with a person’s ability to function normally. Pain may be dull, sharp, aching, or pulsating. How a person experiences this pain depends on the condition that is causing it. Back pain in and of itself is not a diagnosis.  


For some, the cause of back pain proves to be improper posture and lifting objects incorrectly. Bending at the waist, rather than from the knee, can put stress on the muscles in the lower back area. It is usually easily treated with rest and exerting correct lifting techniques moving forward. When pain is present in the upper back and shoulder area, the cause may also be related to posture. When these aren’t known causes, pain in either portion of the back may be related to a more serious issue, including pinched nerves, slipped or herniated vertebral discs, injury, osteoarthritis, or an infection within the spine. It is important to find the root cause of back pain in order to provide relief.

People with the highest risk of pain due to injury include those employed in jobs that require demanding physical labor and lifting of heavy objects on a regular basis. Those with the highest risk of pain due to osteoarthritis include older people and those with a known diagnosis. Pinched nerve pain can be the result of sleeping at an awkward angle, as can simple muscle pain in the area around the neck and shoulders. More intense back pain may need to be evaluated to look for causes such as problems with the discs along the spine. Slipped and herniated discs are often caused by age, injury, or misuse, such as suddenly turning or twisting to get to something. Most conditions can be treated with rest, medication, or physical therapy. In certain extreme situations, a doctor may recommend a surgical solution.  
Disc: A disc is a soft shock absorbing pad located between each spinal vertebra. 
Herniated disc: A herniated disc is one that has been pushed out of place and is compressed by the vertebra above and below it.  
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of the cartilage and bone around the joints of the body. It is common in middle-age and beyond.  
Pinched Nerve: A pinched nerve occurs due to excess pressure being placed onto the nerve by bones, tendons, cartilage, and other tissues.  
Vertebra: A vertebra is one of the series of small bones that together make up the spinal column.  
Vertebrae: Vertebrae is the plural of a vertebra and it is the name for all 33 of the small vertebrae. 

Avoiding the Worst Injuries and Illnesses Associated with Winter

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We often become sick from a flue or are at the risk of hurting ourselves in the winter time from of all the hazards that surround us during the season. It is important to try to stay indoors most of the time to avoid catching a cold, but whenever it is time to step outside in the winter, you do not want to risk slipping and falling on the ice. Therefore, you should pour salt on the porch steps, as well as other places that people will be walking through, to stop the ice from freezing over into a slippery substance. 
Other injuries that could occur in the winter time are sporting accidents. For those who go skiing or snowboarding, they can easily run into a tree stump or fall sideways without being able to move their feet. You may want to ski on a slope that is less steep, but since it is always fun to risk the challenge by going on a deeper hill, it may be better to gradually work your way up to skiing more naturally on a smoother course. 
Some people prefer to go ice skating at a rink where it is always dangerous to fall and injure something. Before you do go out on the ice skating rink, you should start safely by skating near the edge of the rink and then to eventually work your way to the center once you are comfortable skating at a faster speed. Ice skating is a fun activity that most people enjoy, but not everybody is good at it. Those who are young and good at skating may want to try playing some ice hockey with friends on the street and, if they seem to play very well at it, should think about playing on a team someday, which might require you to risk a physical injury if you continue the sport.  
Outside of sports and recreational activities is the risk of becoming ill by being around others who are infected with a sickness, such as a flue or virus. That is why you should always cover your mouth when you cough and wash your hands more often, especially if you are about to eat. If you do manage to catch an illness, you should try to stay warm, eat the right foods, and drink the right liquids that carry enough vitamins in them, including orange juice and serials containing oats and wheat. Depending on where you work or what environment you’re at, you should always try to stay clean by staying away from contaminated materials, whether you work at a restaurant or a hospital. Since some employees have to take care of bacteria that builds up in certain areas, they should be cautious by wearing a mask or gloves to prevent catching a severe case of illness. 

Facts and Information about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a treatable respiratory disease that affects the lungs. It is characterized by persistent shortness of breath and fatigue. Early stages of COPD exhibit shortness of breath in patients when they exercise. As it progresses, it becomes hard to breathe out or even breathe in. 

Types of COPD 

There are two types of COPD; obstructive bronchiolitis and emphysema. A patient can have either of these two conditions or in some isolated cases, experience both them. 

Obstructive Bronchiolitis 

This condition is defined by chronic inflammation and swelling of airways in the lungs, making them abnormally small. Inflammation in this tubular organ results in restricted breathing as it interferes with airflow in and out of the lungs. 


The lungs comprise millions of alveoli. To facilitate breathing, these alveoli expand and contract enabled by their elastic nature. In Emphysema, this elastic feature in the alveoli is damaged thus requiring extra effort for them to expand and contract. 

These two conditions both restrict the movement of air in and out of the lungs, demanding a lot of effort just to nourish the body with enough oxygen. 


– Common symptoms of COPD include: 
• Shortness of breath while involved in activities 
• Fatigue 
• Coughing 
• Wheezing 
• Unending mucus 

Causes and Risk Factors 

The major cause of COPD is tobacco smoke, and its prevalence relates directly to the widespread culture of tobacco smoking. Other factors that will put you at risk of getting COPD or making it worse include: 
• Prolonged exposure to indoor pollutants such as biomass fuels used as energy in poorly ventilated homes. 
• Industrial exposure to chemical fumes, organic and inorganic dust. 
• Outdoor air pollutants are a factor that most people assume, but inhaled particles have a small effect. 
• The genetic component passed down from parents. If your parents had COPD, then you are at high risk of getting it. 
• Respiratory problems or low birth weight during childhood that interfere with lung development. 
• An underlying condition such as asthma or chronic bronchitis. 
COPD is treatable with a combination of pulmonary rehabilitation, anti-inflammatory drugs, bronchodilators, and ICS. These drugs reduce symptoms, stabilize the functions of the lung, and improve quality of life. However, the damage to the lungs is irreversible. COPD is chronic, therefore, it is a lifelong condition that a patient has to learn to manage it and continue to lead a fulfilling life. 
Pulmonary – Relating to lungs 
Bronchiolitis – inflammation in the lungs 
ICS – Inhaled Corticosteroids 
Alveolus (singular)- air sac organ in the lungs 

Facts and Information about Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple Sclerosis is an immune-mediated chronic disease affecting the central nervous system, especially the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. It is characterized by demyelination, inflammation, and axonal damage of the cells in the central nervous system.  


The most common type of multiple sclerosis is relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), affecting approximately 85% of people with multiple sclerosis. People with RRMS have relapses known as the periods when the symptoms appear. They usually last for a few days followed by the period of remission.  
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis might vary from person to person and change or fluctuate over time. Here are the symptoms of the disease observed in most patients:  

– Fatigue. This symptom occurs in about 80% of patients and interferes with the ability to function at work and home. In most cases, it is one of the first and most prominent signs of multiple sclerosis.  
– Walking difficulties. It becomes hard for a person to walk and to keep the balance. He starts experiencing tightness in muscles, spasticity (muscle spasms), and a lack of coordination. 
– Vision problems. Many patients with multiple sclerosis report blurred vision, pain on eye movement, color blindness, and poor contrast. Often, problems with vision are one of the early signs of the disorder.  
– Bladder dysfunction. This symptom is reported by over 80% of patients. It is characterized by frequent or urgent urination, hesitancy in starting urination, and the development of various urinary tract infections. 
– Cognitive changes. Patients with multiple sclerosis lose the ability to process incoming information, solve problems, make decisions, and accurately perceive the environment. 
– Emotional changes. They include depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, episodes of uncontrollable crying or laughing, and others. 


The exact cause of multiple sclerosis remains unknown. However, there are several factors that have been suggested as possible causes of multiple sclerosis, including: 
– Genes; 
– Lack of vitamin D and sunlight; 
– Teenage obesity; 
– Smoking; 
– Viral infections.  
It is also necessary to point out that women are 2-3 times more likely to have multiple sclerosis than men.  

Glossary of terms 

Demyelination – a pathological process characterized by destruction of the myelin sheath 
Myelin – the material in the central nervous system wrapping around axons.  
Autoimmune Disease – the process in which the immune system of the body mistakenly produces antibodies to attack the normal tissues.  
Axon – a nerve fiber carrying information from the nerve cell to other nerve cells. 

Facts and Information about Vascular Disease

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Vascular disease is an abnormal condition of blood vessels including veins and arteries. The body circulates its blood through blood vessels, if any problems should occur within these areas, it could cause severe pain, disability, and even death. Vascular diseases are very common although many individuals don’t even know they have one. Thus, outside of the heart, vascular diseases can present themselves anywhere. Unfortunately, these diseases seem to be turning into an epidemic in the US with the increase of Type II diabetes, obesity, and an aging population. 

Types and Symptoms 

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is one type of vascular disease that affects around 8.5 million Americans each year and pulmonary emboli and DVTs affect at least 900,000 people. The most common of vascular diseases are PAD, stroke, critical limb ischemia (CLI), carotid artery disease (CAD), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), arteriovenous malformation (AVM), chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), pulmonary embolism (blood clots), and varicose veins. 


Vascular diseases can occur at any time in anyone. Everyone is at risk and both men and women are affected equally. It is most common for vascular disease to occur around sites of turbulent blood flow, mainly when the direction of blood flow changes abruptly.  
Depending on the specific disease, causes may include: 
• Infection 
• Genetics 
• Medicines and hormones 
• Injury 
• Heart diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol  
The cause may not be known in some cases. 
Recent studies have found a common genetic variation in chromosome 6p24, in five vascular diseases including coronary artery disease, cervical artery dissection, migraine headaches, hypertension, and fibromuscular dysplasia. However, it still isn’t clear how this polymorphism affects risks for numerous diseases.  

Glossary of Terms 

• Amurosis fugax – Temporary vision loss or blindness due to plaque blocking the blood supply to the eye. 
• Aneurysm – The abnormal weakening of the artery wall that causes a balloon-like appearance and enlarging it to over twice its normal size. 
• Antiplatelet – Medication, like aspirin that prevents platelets from clumping together, which often occurs first in artery clotting. 
• Aorta – The main blood vessel in the abdomen and chest that transports the blood from the heart. 
• Artery – A blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood to the body from the heart.  
• Atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis – a process that takes place within the arteries where fatty substance deposits, calcium, cholesterol, or fibrin (plaque) builds up inside the inner lining 
• Blood clots – pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.  
• Blood pressure – The force of blood that pushes against blood vessel walls. 
• Bypass – A surgical procedure that redirects blood flow around blocked arteries. 
• Coronary artery disease – a disease that involves blockage or narrowing of an artery usually caused by plaque buildup. 
• Raynaud’s disease – a disorder that makes the blood vessels narrow when you feel stressed or cold. 
• Stroke – a serious condition that occurs when blood stops flowing to your brain. 
• Varicose veins – twisted, swollen veins that appear under the skin. 
• Vasculitis – inflamed blood vessels. 

Avoiding the Worst Injuries and Illnesses Associated with Summer

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Summer. It is the holiday that every student looks forward to once they get into school in September. As parents, it is the period we always wait for, the opportunity to relax, enjoy new experiences, and have fun moments with the children.  

Most days in the summer are hot and sunny. Thus, most activities during the day include bike riding, skateboarding, and rollerblading. During the evenings, families enjoy backyard barbeques, swimming, relaxing on the beach, and spectacular fireworks display. Nevertheless, all these activities come with dangers. We ought to be mindful of these dangers to protect our dear ones. Below are some guidelines on how to do so and what to do in case of an accident. 

The rainy days and cold air of April and May are preceded by the hot and sunny days of summer. Crowds of people relish these hot days. The sun can, however, be disastrous to young children. It is likely most you have woken up with sunburn and warned yourself for not taking appropriate precautions. Avoiding the sun during the middle of the day is the best protection against sunburn. Staying in the shade, preferably an umbrella, will always help. 

Nevertheless, sunburn can still occur when there are clouds when harmful UV rays penetrate the clouds. Applying a suntan lotion SPF will prevent sunburn. Additionally, rash guards and hats can also be used, although they cannot replace suntan lotion. Children under six months should be kept away from direct sunlight. 

Biking and skateboarding also pose another risk. During summer days, children become riding fanatics. Fitting helmets should be used to protect the children’s heads irrespective of the distance they are riding. While rollerblading or skateboarding, elbow guards and knee guards are advised. Wearing the proper safety equipment will prevent fractures and head injuries during the summer. 

Everyone loves a freshly grilled hotdog. However, barbeques pose a high risk to children. Always ensure that small children are not in the vicinity of the barbeque. After cooking, use water or a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Additionally, carefully assemble the grills to keep them sturdy and avoid easily knocking them over. Metal bristles from brushes can be ingested and cause internal injuries. Thus, use other alternative methods of cleaning the grills.  

There is nothing more refreshing than watching your children having fun by the pool. However, never let your children swim unattended. Additionally, never let them out of sight while swimming. It takes a split of a second for an accident to occur. Thus, those responsible for watching over your children should not be distracted. Life jackets should be worn by children who cannot swim. Backyard pools should be fenced with more than 4-feet high fences and a locked doorway. 

Summer is the best time for children to have fun. Thus, as parents, we should not only let them enjoy the summer but also do it safely. 

Move Away from Hospital Care Not Enough to Handle Epidemics

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The CDC describes an epidemic as the increase in the number of cases of a disease surpassing what would typically be expected for the population of that area. This increase is often sudden. Healthcare settings, critical components of the healthcare system, play vital roles in the prevention of epidemics, including the preparation for and management of these situations. Healthcare settings are places where healthcare occurs, it goes beyond hospitals and doctors’ offices, it includes urgent care centers, rehab facilities, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, as well as outpatient care facilities and others. Such places are expected to have a plan in place to respond to the outbreak of an epidemic.

Healthcare workers need to be trained and fully aware of their roles for preparing and responding to epidemics, and these healthcare settings need to have the appropriate resources necessary for treatment and quarantine events. Conversely, healthcare settings can actually amplify the spread of epidemics due to inadequate measures being taken to control the disease or simply due to the rapid evolution of these complex situations.

For these reasons, some healthcare settings across the country are turning to tele-medicine to assist in safely screening and treating patients who may have contracted the disease in question. The goal here being to provide remote services to help contain the spread of these illnesses. During epidemics tele-medicine companies see an increase in the number of calls from people seeking information and those worried about their symptoms. This type of medicine is not new, and many health insurances offer this option in addition to seeing a nurse or doctor in the traditional setting.

Unfortunately, many people do not go this route when looking for medical care and that can make controlling the spread more problematic because even asymptomatic individuals can pass along certain diseases. But even having people treat themselves at home does not stop the overwhelming demand for health care. During epidemics there is demand for hospital space and medications as well as trained health care professionals and these high-level demands can last weeks or even months.

Consequently, disease epidemics tend to lead to burnout epidemics that can affect both the providers and the patients because despite the preparation and management for these situations, epidemics are always overwhelming to the healthcare system. This burnout is caused by increased responsibility and the ever-changing care-delivery methods. Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and can affect the quality of care and even outcomes of patients. All things considered, in the same way that health care settings prepare for epidemics, they also need to prepare for burnout epidemics when the health care system becomes overwhelmed by actively identifying the affected professionals and implementing solutions. 

How to Plan for the Possibility of Getting Sick with Coronavirus

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Creating a plan of action is the best defense against the latest epidemic that the World Health Organization has claimed as a pandemic. People need to stop panicking to take the steps necessary to defeat this virus. Creating an individual household plan of action can help curb the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus. 

People Who Feel Sick Should Remain at Home 

The good news is that healthy individuals are only showing mild cases of the disease. An elderly adult or those who have medical conditions are more at risk of complications from the outbreak. Most of the patients who have contracted the disease are showing minor flu-like symptoms. 
There is no need to worry about losing your job with the virus or showing common symptoms of the flu. Employers are very understanding about this virus that the medical community wants to keep under control. Recommendations include staying away from others in the public sector when you feel flu-like symptoms. This means no school for the children, no work for those who are sick, and remaining at home until the symptoms are over. 
If symptoms of a flu-like illness happen, the CDC recommends people call their doctor for recommendations on what to do. They would rather anyone infected stay away from medical facilities to slow down the rate of infections.  

Get Your Household Ready 

Many things can be done for preparing your home. All families should stock up now on plenty of medications and groceries to last for 7-10 days in case they develop the virus symptoms. Families will need these supplies in case they become infected. 
Forget about purchasing face masks. They can’t keep the virus from affecting you. The masks only help others from becoming infected by you. Hand sanitizers are effective only when they contain at least 60 percent alcohol. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water can be a deterrent for the virus. 
Stay informed about the latest updates on the epidemic from news-related sources. Avoid shaking hands with others in public. Try to stay away from people who have a cough or flu-like symptoms. Make sure you stay informed about any closings around your area. 
Making smart decisions about planning for the coronavirus can help keep your family safe. The worst thing you would have done is supplied your medicine cabinet for the medication you will need next year. 

How to Plan for the Possibility of Self-Quarantine Without Symptoms

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With an increase in cases of COVID-19, many people are concerned about contracting or spreading the disease. Health officials often ask those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive to the disease to self-quarantine as a precautionary measure. Planning ahead for the possibility of self-quarantine will ease the stress of staying indoors and limiting contact with others for 14 days. If you are asymptomatic but may have to self-quarantine, here are a few things to do to get ready. 
There is a difference between isolation and quarantine. Those who are sick must be isolated to prevent spreading the disease. In contrast, precautionary quarantine means staying in your home for the recommended 14 days to see if you develop symptoms. During that time, health officials recommend self-monitoring, including being aware of symptoms developing and taking your temperature twice a day.  
Check your pantry and refrigerator to make sure you have enough food. Many delivery services have implemented options to leave goods at your door without making contact with occupants. If you live alone, ask a friend or relative to be available for errands if you need help during the quarantine period.  
Think about your daily routine. If you take medication, do you have enough? If you don’t have a washing machine, do you have enough clean clothing to last for 14 days? Do you have drinking water? Make a list of contacts, including delivery services, friends, relatives, neighbors, health care providers, teachers and community outreach services.  
If you have a maid or other in-home help, consider whether to allow the person to continue working with limited contact or whether to ask them to stay away. If you need a caretaker’s help, use precautionary measures. This may include wearing a mask when in contact with the person, washing your hands frequently and cleaning surfaces and objects with disinfectant.  
If you work, arrange with your employer to work from home. Many companies have already asked employees to do that to minimize the risk of spreading the disease. Discuss sick leave options with your employer, and confirm how you will communicate and provide deliverables during your quarantine. If you are a student, contact your school to discuss how to keep up with classwork and submit assignments. 
If you develop symptoms during the 14 days, contact your local health department and your primary care provider. 

Facts and Information about Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Most patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer have likely had the cancerous mass for 5 to 10 years before the diagnosis. Cancers can be easily felt in the breast when they reach a size of approximately 1 cm. A lump of this size contains approximately one billion cells, which is the result of 30 doublings of a single cancer cell. Assuming that a breast lump grows with a doubling time of 100 days, it would take approximately 10 years to reach a point where it could be felt.

Breast cancer in males occurs less at about 1/100 th that of females. Breast cancer may metastasize to almost any organ in the body if not stopped. The most common sites are skin around a lumpectomy or mastectomy scar, scalp, lymph nodes, bone, lung, liver, and brain. Alternative/complementary medicine for breast cancer may help build the immune system and fight any progression of the cancer.

Types of breast cancers

Breast tumors can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

•          Inflammatory breast cancer is characterized by a diffused inflammation and enlargement of the breast, sometimes without a mass.

•          Ductal carcinoma in situ is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer. These cancer cells are found within the milk ducts but have not yet spread into the breast tissue.

•          Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of invasive breast cancer and is responsible for approximately 80% of all cancers. These type cancer cells are found in both the milk ducts and the breast tissue. Invasive ductal carcinoma may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body if not stopped.

•          Invasive lobular carcinoma is responsible for approximately 10 to 15% of all breast cancers. These type cancer cells first grow in the lobes of the breast and have the ability to spread to other parts of the breast and also to other parts of the body.


Most breast cancers are discovered as a lump by the female herself. Some females may have a history of pain with no mass; however, this presentation is less common. There also may be breast enlargement, a thickening in the breast tissue, or nipple dimpling, nipple discharge, nipple erosion or ulceration, lymph node enlargement around the breast area or under the arms. The presence of pain should not lead to a false security that it is not cancer. Approximately 10% of patients may present with breast pain and no mass.


The risk for breast cancer increases with age. Worldwide breast cancer tendency rates appear to correspond with variations in diet, especially a high fat intake diet and high alcohol intake. The BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes are inherited genes and account for only about 3% of breast cancers. If a woman has already had cancer in one breast, she should be aware that she has an increased risk for getting cancer in the other breast. Women with early periods (menarche), late menopause, and late first pregnancy are at increased risk. Women how have been exposed to radiation at an early age are at higher risk.

Various chemicals such as arsenic, aflatoxin, vinyle chloride, and benzene show definite evidence of causing human cancers. Other human carcinogens based on evidence from animal experiments are chloroform, dichloro-diphenyl-trichlorethane (DDT), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and formaldehyde.

Breast Cancer Glossary

•          Axillary:under the arm area.

•          Benign:not malignant; not recurrent; not cancerous.

•          Biopsy: the removal and examination of a small piece of tissue from the living body to determine if cancer cells are present.

•          Carcinogens: any substance that has the ability to cause cancer.

•          Carcinogenic: any substance that causes cancer.

•          Chemotherapy: a treatment for disease by using chemical agents.

•          Extended radical mastectomy: radical mastectomy with removal of the ipsilateral half of the sternum, a portion of the ribs, and the internal mammary lymph nodes.

•          Ipsilateral: pertaining to the same side as the affected breast.

•          Lumpectomy: a surgical excision or removal of only the palpable lesion or mass in the breast.

•          Malignancy: a cancerous growth which has the tendency to progress.

•          Mastectomy: removal of the breast.

•          Menarche: the beginning of a female’s monthly cycle.

•          Menopause: the ending of a female’s monthly cycle occurring usually around the age of 50.

•          Metastatic: the transfer of a cancer from one organ to another.

•          Modified radical mastectomy: a total mastectomy with axillary node removal but leaving the pectoral muscle.

•          Palpable: being able to touch or feel the lump.

•          Radiation: a treatment for disease using high-frequency ionizing radiation.

•          Tumor: a growth of tissue in which the division of cells is uncontrolled and progressive.

Facts and Information about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, sometimes called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is known to be a rapidly progressive disease that involves the body’s motor neurons. Neurons are a type of conducting cells of the nervous system. When these cells are “ailing” it affects the upper and lower motor neurons and causes the cells to degenerate or often times die. This keeps the cells from being able to send messages to our brain to start and control voluntary movement of our muscles. When the muscles are unable to function they become weak, start twitching and eventually waste away. If the muscles in the diaphragm and chest area become affected, gradually the ability to breath may occur and there will be a need for breathing support to be used.

ALS most commonly strikes adults between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. It is estimated more than 5,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year with ALS. These numbers are growing and are becoming alarming. Although it is said ALS is incurable, more and more people are finding that their symptoms can possibly be reversed by using alternative methods.

ALS affects only the motor neurons and not a person’s mind or their ability to think. Often times this brings about depression because they may not be able to accomplish the same physical things they once could. An ALS person is still the same person they were before their diagnosis but usually become of greater character because of their challenges.

There are many studies being conducted in the United States but none are proving to be effective as of today. ALS is a very difficult disease to diagnose and sometimes can be miss-diagnosed. ALS research is going in many directions and is not just limited to pharmaceutical drugs. Also, infectious diseases such as HIV, human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV), and Lyme disease can cause ALS type symptoms. Toxic metals and chemicals can cause neurological disorders. Alternative medicine is proving that symptoms can be reversed and patients can regain normal lives.

Symptoms of ALS

True ALS symptoms can be very gradual and frequently overlooked. Other “diagnosed” ALS patients have had symptoms to appear very rapidly.

•          The earliest symptoms can be weakness, twitching, stiffness, or cramping of muscles.

•          Most of these muscle symptoms will start in an arm or a leg.

•          Stumbling or tripping more than usual.

•          Muscle twitches that can be seen under the skin (fasciculations)

•          Difficulties with speech.

•          Difficulty with chewing and swallowing (dysphagia)

•          Overactive gag reflex

•          Difficulty forming words (dysarthria).

•          Slurred speech and a nasally sounding speech.

•          An awkward feeling when walking or running

•          Unsteadiness

•          Spasticity or stiffness and tight muscles.

•          Abnormal reflexes (hyperreflexia)

•          Foot drop

•          Muscles began to atrophy

•          Breathing difficulties

•          Periods of laughter or periods of crying and not understanding why

•          Depression

•          A positive Babinski’s sign

How is ALS diagnosed?

A patient’s clinical history is the first suspect of ALS. As the patient’s symptoms progress and involves several areas of the body, it is possible to make the first diagnosis based on the way the patient looks and his or her findings on the neurological examination.

There are several types of test that should also be used to diagnose ALS.

•          CT scan (Computerized tomographic scanning)

•          MRI (Magnetic imaging

•          Blood test

•          EMG (Electromyography)

New ALS Treatments

Traditional treatments treat ALS as a universal disease, “one size fits all”. The problems can be a symptom of something else going on in the body. While traditional treatment can deal with the symptoms, those treatments do not focus on the cause. Something has happened to the body to cause the neurons not to fire like they should. If only 5 to 10 percent of ALS is inherited, shouldn’t we consider where the other 90 to 95 percent of ALS comes from?

Glossary for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease):

•          Atrophy- the wasting away in the size of a cell, tissue,organ, or part.

•          Babinski’s sign- a test performed by stimulating the sole of the foot in a certain way. A positive Babinski’s sign is when the patient’s big toe extends upward.

•          Dysphagia- difficulty in swallowing.

•          Dysphasia- impairment of speech, consisting in lack of coordination.

•          Dysarthria- not being able to articulate speech due to the disturbances of muscle control.

•          Fasciculations- small local contractions of muscles which can be seen visibly through the skin.

•          Hyperreflexia- response to stimuli characterized by exaggeration of reflexes.

•          Neuron- conducting cells of the nervous system which has many purposes such as sending impulses to the brain.

•          Reflexes- the reflected action or movement. The sum total of any involuntary action or movement.

•          Spasticity- when the muscles are stiff and the actions are awkward characterized by spasms.

Facts and Information about Cervical Cancer

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Cervical cancer develops in the lining of the cervix which is in the lower part of the uterus (womb). The cervix unites the body of the uterus to the vagina. Cervical cancer is the 2nd most common cancer of the female reproductive tract and usually affects women in their 40s to 55 years of age.

Cervical cancers are not known to form suddenly but over time. Normal cervical cells gradually develop into precancerous cells which in turn may develop into cancerous cells. It is important for women to get routine pap smears and check-ups with their physician. If these precancerous cells are caught early, almost all cancers can be prevented and/or treated.

Types of cervical cancers

There are 3 main types of cervical cancers:

1.         Squamous cell carcinoma typically presents as an ulcerated lesion. It is felt that squamous cancers develop from preexisting dysplastic lesions.

2.         Adenocarcinoma of the cervix accounts for 5 to 20% of cervical cancers and usually presents as an enlarged barrel-shaped cervix. It has been observed that adenocarcinomas are becoming more common in women who were born in the last 20 to 30 years.

3.         Adenosquamous carcinomas are cervical cancers which have both features of squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas and are less common.


Early cervical cancer is sometimes painless and may not produce symptoms. The first sign may be an abnormal pap smear. Other symptoms may include:

•          Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting

•          Bleeding after intercourse

•          Vaginal discharge

•          Low back pain

•          Pelvic pain

•          Dyspareunia or painful sexual intercourse

•          Dysuria or painful urination


The cause of cervical cancer is unknown however it is felt there are many risk factors.

Human papillomavirus virus (HPV) is the most important risk factor to speak of. Normally, a female will develop this virus before she develops cervical cancer. There are over a 100 different types of papillomaviruses. Some of these viruses may cause warts while others may cause cervical cancer. Many times a woman with a good immune system is successful in fighting off the virus and does not develop cervical cancer.

A common vaginal infection known as Chlamydia puts a woman at greater risk for cervical cancer. Long term infection without treatment may also cause infertility.

Certain dietary patterns such as low intake of fruits and vegetables may also be a risk factor for cervical cancer. Research shows that overweight women are more likely to develop cervical cancer along with other types of cancers such as breast cancer.

Women who have had many full-term pregnancies also have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer.

There is evidence that long term use of oral contraceptive for 5 or more years may increase the chances of cervical cancer.

Women who smoke are about twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop many different types of cancers. This is especially true for cervical cancers. Tobacco by-products have been found in the cervical mucus.

Cervical carcinoma is more common in women of low socioeconomic status.

Other risk factors include history of multiple sexual partners and intercourse starting at a young age. Cervical cancer seems to be rare in sexually inactive women.

Cervical Cancer Glossary

•          Benign:not malignant; not recurrent; not cancerous.

•          Biopsy: the removal and examination of a small piece of tissue from the living body to determine if cancer cells are present.

•          Chemotherapy: a treatment for disease by using chemical agents.

•          Chlamydia: a bacterial infection spread by sexual contact which can infect the female reproductive tract.

•          Dysplasia: abnormal cells found on a pap smear report which shows alteration in size, shape, and organization of adult cervical cells.

•          Dyspareunia: difficult or painful intercourse.

•          Dysuria: painful or difficult urination.

•          Precancerous cells: cells which tend to become cancerous cells; a pathologic process that eventually tends to become malignant.

Facts and Information about Stomach Cancer

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A significant amount of gastric or stomach abnormal growths include both benign and cancerous lesions. Several types of malignant cancers begin in the stomach, but the majorities are primary cancers which developed in the mucosal glands.

Among the types of stomach cancers, carcinomas can be grouped according to the total appearance:

1.         Protruding

2.         Penetrating

3.         Spreading

The Stomach

The stomach is a musculo-membranous structure joined by the esophagus and the duodenum or small intestines. The stomach is shaped like the letter J and it serves as a food reservoir and an initiator of the digestive process. The food is held in the stomach temporarily until the stomach lining secretes gastric juices which act on the food to break it down chemically.


In the early stages of this cancer, there may not be any specific symptoms. Early stomach cancer can have very mild symptoms that may appear as simple indigestion. Other symptoms may include:

•          Feeling of being full after eating only a small amount of food

•          Heartburn

•          Unexplained weight loss

•          Vomiting

•          Difficulty swallowing

•          Pain in the abdomen

•          Dark bowel movements or blood in the stool

•          No appetite

•          Difficulty swallowing

Stomach Cancer Glossary

•          Benign: not malignant; not recurrent; not cancerous

•          Biopsy: the removal and examination of a small piece of tissue from the living body to determine if cancer cells are present.

•          Chemotherapy: a treatment for disease by using chemical agents.

•          Metastatic: the transfer of a cancer from one organ to another.

•          Penetrating: the tumor has a sharp well described boarder and may be ulcerated.

•          Protruding: the tumor goes forward, into, laterally

•          Radiation: a treatment for disease using high-frequency ionizing radiation.

•          Spreading: the tumor can go either superficially along the mucosa or infiltrating within the wall.

•          Tumor: a growth of tissue in which the division of cells is uncontrolled and progressive.

Facts and Information about Bladder Cancer

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Bladder cancer is the most frequent malignant tumor of the urinary tract and usually occurs most commonly in the fifth through seventh decade. Bladder cancer usually forms in the urinary bladder from the cells that divide and grow in an uncontrolled way, causing a tumor on or within the bladder. Most bladder cancers are found on the trigone, posterior (back), and lateral (side) walls of the bladder.

Types of bladder cancers

It is believed that it takes many years for gradual change in bladder cells to produce a bladder cancer.

There are several different types of bladder cancers. Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type and is approximately 90% of all bladder cancers. Other types of bladder cancers include squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas.

Transitional cell carcinoma starts in the layer of cells that form the lining of the bladder and may present as a superficial, well-differentiated papillary tumor. Transitional cell carcinoma may also present as a highly invasive, poorly differentiated neoplasm. Squamous cell carcinoma is seen less frequently and may be associated with chronic irritation or parasitic infestation. Adenocarcinoma may occur as a primary bladder tumor, but spread from a bowel cancer.

You can also learn about available bladder cancer treatments.


Early symptoms may be painless.

•          Hematuria- blood in the urine.

•          Pyuria- pus in the urine.

•          Dysuria- Painful or difficult urination.

•          Burning

•          Frequency

•          Pain may occur with invasion, infection, or fixation of tumor onto the bladder.


The definite causes of bladder cancer are not always clear. The American Cancer Society Textbook of Clinical Oncology, 2nd Edition, page 318 states;

“Aniline dye used in the textile, rubber, and cable industries is an etiologic factor. There is a long latency period (6 to 20 years) from exposure until tumor transformation in humans. Beta-naphthylamine, 4-amino-diphenyl, and cigarette smoking is associated with a six-fold higher incidence of bladder tumor.”

Bladder Cancer Glossary

•          Benign:not malignant; not recurrent; not cancerous.

•          Biopsy: the removal and examination of a small piece of tissue from the living body to determine if cancer cells are present.

•          Bladder: a musculomembranous sac that serves as a reservoir for urine.

•          Chemotherapy: a treatment for disease by using chemical agents.

•          Cystectomy: a resection (removal) of the bladder.

•          Cystoscope: a “telescope like” instrument used for visual examination to inspect the bladder.

•          Cystoscopy: A procedure which allows direct visual examination of the bladder using a cystoscope.

•          Frequency: the need to urinate more often than which is considered normal.

•          Invasive: involving puncture or growth of the bladder tumor into the bladder wall or elsewhere.

•          Malignancy: a cancerous growth which has the tendency to progress.

•          Metastatic: the transfer of a cancer from one organ to another.

•          Radiation: a treatment for disease using high-frequency ionizing radiation.

•          Transurethral resection (TUR): a procedure performed with an instrument passed through the urethra in order to remove abnormal tissue.

•          Tumor: a growth of tissue in which the division of cells is uncontrolled and progressive.