Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Glioblastoma Multiforme

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Glioblastoma Multiforme
Ever heard of gliomas? These primary brain tumors arise within the brain, but we don't know the cell of origin. There are multiple grades of gliomas -- grade II, III and IV, with grade IV being the most malignant.

Glioblastoma multiforme is a fast-growing brain or spinal cord tumor. It affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. These tumors grow from glial cells which form the (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord.

As it grows, a brain tumor can press against or damage nerves or other structures. This can interfere with the brain's normal functioning. For example, a brain tumor can disrupt:

  • Thought
  • Memory
  • Emotion
  • Movement
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Touch

Scientists do not know what causes most brain tumors. However, they are working to better understand the biology of glioblastoma multiforme and identify possible environmental, occupational, family, and genetic risk factors.

Glioblastoma Symptoms

As brain tumors grow, they press against or damage nerves or other part of the brain and interfere with thought, memory, emotion, movement, vision, hearing, touch, and other brain functions. Swelling and fluid buildup can also affect brain function.

The most common glioblastoma symptoms are:

  • Frequent headaches (usually worse in the morning)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Changes in personality, mood, and ability to concentrate
  • Changes in speech, vision, or hearing

Many other conditions can cause these symptoms, but call your doctor promptly if you experience any of these problems.



Glioblastoma Death Cases

Estimated new cases and deaths from brain and other nervous system tumors in the United States in 2014:

New cases : 23,380.
Deaths       : 14,320.

Brain tumors account for 85% to 90% of all primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors. Available registry data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database for 2007 indicate that the combined incidence of primary invasive CNS tumors in the United States is 6.36 per 100,000 persons per year with an estimated mortality of 4.22 per 100,000 persons per year. Worldwide, approximately 238,000 new cases of brain and other CNS tumors were diagnosed in the year 2008, with an estimated 175,000 deaths.[4] In general, the incidence of primary brain tumors is higher in whites than in blacks, and mortality is higher in males than in females.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Cancer Prevention from WHO

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What is cancer?

Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms.

One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs. This process is referred to as metastasis. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer.

At least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable. Prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer.
Tobacco

Tobacco use is the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer mortality worldwide, causing an estimated 22% of cancer deaths per year. In 2004, 1.6 million of the 7.4 million cancer deaths were due to tobacco use.

Tobacco smoking causes many types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, oesophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach and cervix. About 70% of the lung cancer burden can be attributed to smoking alone. Second-hand smoke (SHS), also known as environmental tobacco smoke, has been proven to cause lung cancer in nonsmoking adults. Smokeless tobacco (also called oral tobacco, chewing tobacco or snuff) causes oral, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer.

Physical inactivity, dietary factors, obesity and being overweight

Dietary modification is another important approach to cancer control. There is a link between overweight and obesity to many types of cancer such as oesophagus, colorectum, breast, endometrium and kidney. Diets high in fruits and vegetables may have a protective effect against many cancers. Conversely, excess consumption of red and preserved meat may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. In addition, healthy eating habits that prevent the development of diet-associated cancers will also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Regular physical activity and the maintenance of a healthy body weight, along with a healthy diet, will considerably reduce cancer risk. National policies and programmes should be implemented to raise awareness and reduce exposure to cancer risk factors, and to ensure that people are provided with the information and support they need to adopt healthy lifestyles.


Alcohol use


Alcohol use is a risk factor for many cancer types including cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colorectum and breast. Risk of cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. The risk from heavy drinking for several cancer types (e.g. oral cavity, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus) substantially increases if the person is also a heavy smoker.

Attributable fractions vary between men and women for certain types of alcohol-related cancer, mainly because of differences in average levels of consumption. For example, 22% of mouth and oropharynx cancers in men are attributable to alcohol whereas in women the attributable burden drops to 9%. A similar sex difference exists for oesophageal and liver cancers (Rehm et al., 2004).



Infections

Infectious agents are responsible for almost 22% of cancer deaths in the developing world and 6% in industrialized countries. Viral hepatitis B and C cause cancer of the liver; human papilloma virus infection causes cervical cancer; the bacterium Helicobacter pylori increases the risk of stomach cancer. In some countries the parasitic infection schistosomiasis increases the risk of bladder cancer and in other countries the liver fluke increases the risk of cholangiocarcinoma of the bile ducts. Preventive measures include vaccination and prevention of infection and infestation.


Environmental pollution

Environmental pollution of air, water and soil with carcinogenic chemicals accounts for 1–4% of all cancers (IARC/WHO, 2003). Exposure to carcinogenic chemicals in the environment can occur through drinking water or pollution of indoor and ambient air.

In Bangladesh, 5–10% of all cancer deaths in an arsenic-contaminated region were attributable to arsenic exposure (Smith, Lingas & Rahman, 2000). Exposure to carcinogens also occurs via the contamination of food by chemicals, such as aflatoxins or dioxins. Indoor air pollution from coal fires doubles the risk of lung cancer, particularly among non-smoking women (Smith, Mehta & Feuz, 2004). Worldwide, indoor air pollution from domestic coal fires is responsible for approximately 1.5% of all lung cancer deaths. Coal use in households is particularly widespread in Asia.
Occupational carcinogens

More than 40 agents, mixtures and exposure circumstances in the working environment are carcinogenic to humans and are classified as occupational carcinogens (Siemiatycki et al., 2004). That occupational carcinogens are causally related to cancer of the lung, bladder, larynx and skin, leukaemia and nasopharyngeal cancer is well documented. Mesothelioma (cancer of the outer lining of the lung or chest cavity) is to a large extent caused by work-related exposure to asbestos.

Occupational cancers are concentrated among specific groups of the working population, for whom the risk of developing a particular form of cancer may be much higher than for the general population. About 20–30% of the male and 5–20% of the female working-age population (people aged 15–64 years) may have been exposed to lung carcinogens during their working lives, accounting for about 10% of lung cancers worldwide. About 2% of leukaemia cases worldwide are attributable to occupational exposures.
Radiation

Ionizing radiation is carcinogenic to humans. Knowledge on radiation risk has been mainly acquired from epidemiological studies of the Japanese A-bomb survivors as well as from studies of medical and occupational radiation exposure cohorts. Ionizing radiation can induce leukaemia and a number of solid tumours, with higher risks at young age at exposure.

Residential exposure to radon gas from soil and building materials is estimated to cause between 3% and 14% of all lung cancers, making it the second cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoke. Radon levels in homes can be reduced by improving the ventilation and sealing floors and walls. Ionizing radiation is an essential diagnostic and therapeutic tool. To guarantee that benefits exceed potential radiation risks radiological medical procedures should be appropriately prescribed and properly performed, to reduce unnecessary radiation doses, particularly in children.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and in particular solar radiation, is carcinogenic to humans, causing all major types of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma. Globally in 2000, over 200 000 cases of melanoma were diagnosed and there were 65 000 melanoma-associated deaths. Avoiding excessive exposure, use of sunscreen and protective clothing are effective preventive measures. UV-emitting tanning devices are now also classified as carcinogenic to humans based on their association with skin and ocular melanoma cancers. 

This Cancer Prevention from WHO article originally source from WHO's website.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Ebola Virus in 2014

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The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was first reported in March 2014, and has rapidly become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976. In fact, the current epidemic sweeping across the region has now killed more than all other known Ebola outbreaks combined. In fact, the current epidemic sweeping across the region has now killed more than all other known Ebola outbreaks combined.

Up to 9 November, 5,160 people had been reported as having died from the disease in six countries; Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the United States and Mali. The total number of reported cases is in excess of 14,000.

The World Health Organization (WHO) admits the figures are underestimates given the difficulty collecting the data and warns there could be as many as 20,000 cases by the end of November if efforts to tackle the outbreak are not stepped up. 

The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The current outbreak in west Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveller only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveller) to Senegal.

The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. 

The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes. 

Diagnosis
  • antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • antigen-capture detection tests
  • serum neutralization test
  • reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
  • electron microscopy
  • virus isolation by cell culture


Prevention and control
  • Reducing the risk of wildlife-to-human transmission
  • Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission
  • Outbreak containment measures 


Source :


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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Quotes That Will Free Your Mind

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If you truly want to change your life, you must first change your mind.  You must free it from the restrictive thinking that holds you back.Here are 50 thought-provoking quotes gathered from site Everyday Life Lessons, and from our blog archive that will help tweak your thinking and set your mind free.
  1. You are only destined to become one person – the person you decide to be.
  2. Do good and feel good.  Do bad and feel bad.  It’s that simple.
  3. You are what you do today, not what you say you’ll do tomorrow.
  4. We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.
  5. Ultimately, it’s not what you do every once in a while; it’s what you dedicate yourself to on a regular basis that makes the difference.
  6. Stay true to yourself.  Never be ashamed of doing what feels right.  Decide what you think is right and stick to it.
  7. If you don’t stand for anything, you will remain forever on your knees.
  8. No amount of money will make you happy if you aren’t happy with yourself.
  9. You know you’ve made the right decision when there is peace in your heart.
  10. Don’t worry if your goals seem crazy to other people; oftentimes the crazy ideas are the ones that have the greatest impact.
  11. If you’re thinking like everyone else, then you aren’t thinking. 
  12. Control your own destiny or someone else will try for you.
  13. Sometimes standing up to your friends can be just as difficult as standing up to your enemies.
  14. The unhappiest people in this world are the people who care the most about what everyone else thinks.
  15. When people undermine your dreams, predict your doom, or criticize you, remember, they’re telling you their story, not yours.
  16. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.
  17. No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.
  18. Your greatest task isn’t to find love, but to discover and destroy all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
  19. A loving, happy person lives in a loving, happy world.  A hateful, miserable person lives in a hateful, miserable world.  The world around you reflects YOU.
  20. Worry gives small things a big shadow.
  21. Focus your conscious mind on things you desire not things you fear.  Doing so brings dreams to life.
  22. It’s not the mistakes and failures you have to worry about, it’s the opportunities you miss when you don’t even try that hurt the most.
  23. It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one over and over again.
  24. To get something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.
  25. The harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing.
  26. Our problems are really our blessings if we use them to grow stronger. 
  27. Anyone can run away; it’s super easy.  Facing problems and working through them, that’s what makes you strong.
  28. When you have two good options, always go with the one that scares you the most, because that’s the one that’s going to help you grow.
  29. Courage is being scared to death, and then taking the next step anyway.
  30. Sometimes our greatest insight comes from our failure, not from our accomplishments.
  31. You need to screw up to learn.  You need to experience it all to create greatness.
  32. Just because you don’t understand something now doesn’t mean the explanation doesn’t exist.
  33. Not knowing everything about your future is a good thing.
  34. Don’t worry about what you can’t control and you may liberate yourself.
  35. People of average ability often achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit.  Most people succeed simply because they are determined to.
  36. Temporary happiness isn’t worth long-term pain.
  37. Patience can be bitter, but the seeds you plant now will bear sweet fruit.
  38. The less you expect, the more pleasant life gets.
  39. The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.
  40. The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.
  41. It usually isn’t what you have or where you are or what you’re doing that makes you happy.  It’s how you think about it all.
  42. Do not dwell so much on creating your perfect life that you forget to live.
  43. You are not in competition with anybody except yourself; plan to outdo your past not other people.
  44. To admit that you were wrong is to declare that you are wiser now than you were before.
  45. Humans see what they want to see.
  46. If you spend too much time judging yourself, you won’t have any time to love yourself or anyone else.  
  47. At the end of the day, you can either focus on what’s tearing you apart or what’s holding you together.
  48. Look through the front windshield and not the rearview mirror.
  49. You don’t get to choose how you are going to die, or when.  But you can choose how you are going to live, right now.
  50. Be done with regrets; they are an excuse for people who have failed.  You still have a chance.


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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Health Benefits of Love

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Health Benefits of Love
Ain't love grand? It's fulfilling, exciting and, as it turns out, good for you, too. We spoke to experts and found out that romance can bring you more than just giddiness—it can also positively affect your health and well-being. So whether you've been married for years or are single and looking, the following evidence will remind you why it's important to make room for love in your life.

It may bolster your immune system.
Research suggests that happy couples who engage in positive conflict resolution have higher functioning immune systems than those who don't, says Gian Gonzaga, MD, senior director of research & development at eHarmony Labs. He points to a study by Ronald Glazer and Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, in which couples were observed during disputes. The couples who displayed the most negative behavior during the fights also showed the largest decline in immediate immune system functioning. Those who argued in a more loving, positive way had higher immediate immune function. Looking to fight in a healthier way? According to Dr. Gonzaga, the key to positive conflict resolution is productively engaging in the conversation without retreating or "stonewalling" each other.

It can make you physically fit.
No, you don't get to bid your gym membership goodbye. But, it turns out that couples who exercise together have more success than people who sweat solo. According to certified fitness trainer and nutritionist Jay Cardiello, "nearly half of people who exercise alone quit their programs after one year, but two-thirds of those who work out with a loved one stick to it." Even better: Both men and women work between 12 and 15 percent harder when training with a romantic partner. Whether it's the excitement of being together or the extra push to keep up with your partner, sweating à deux clearly has its benefits. To reap the rewards, try scheduling in gym sessions with your honey during a time when you'll both be able to commit, like in the morning or during lunch.

It might help you live longer.
"There's a long history of research that has looked at the health benefits of marriage," says Joseph Hullett, MD, psychiatrist and senior medical director for OptumHealth, Behavioral Solutions. "According to a 2004 study by the CDC, mortality rates were found to be the lowest in married couples." Dr. Hullett attributes these findings to the fact that, generally speaking, people experience less stress when they're in committed, healthy relationships—and less stress means better health. Plus, it has been shown that when men marry they give up some of their risky behavior—like heavy drinking and smoking—which leads to longevity. Good news for your hubby!

It may clear up your skin.
That healthy glow of being in love? It's not just a myth! "When our love life is in order, our stress levels are lower," says Genaise Gerstner, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. "There is less free-floating cortisol—high cortisol levels cause stress-induced acne––and thus less skin breakouts and pimples."

It can improve your heart heath.
"Human beings are social animals who have biological drives that make them want to find relationships," says Dr. Hullett. "When they can't find those unions, they're punished with stress." People in happy relationships experience less stress, which in turn improves their cardiovascular health. Furthermore, Dr. Hullett says people who aren't in stable, committed relationships have an increased rate of heart attacks, particularly those who have been widowed, giving a graver meaning to the term "heartbroken."

It can reduce feelings of pain.
The comfort of holding your husband's hand can actually minimize your feelings of pain, according to a recent study. "Researchers studied people that experienced electrical shocks and found that holding someone's hand ameliorated the pain and perception of pain," says Dr. Hullett. The most fascinating part? These feelings of pain decreased even more when the female subjects—who were in happy marriages––held their husband's hands. "Yes, friends helped reduce the pain that these subjects were feeling, but their husband did a better job at it."

It can regulate your menstrual cycle.
That is, love––as in making love––can. If you're struggling with irregular periods, try hitting the sheets. Eric Braverman, MD, author of Younger (Sexier) You, points to a study from Planned Parenthood demonstrating that women who have sex at least once a week have higher levels of estrogen and are more likely to have regular menstrual cycles than women who have sex less frequently.

It can improve your mental well-being.
We all know that being in love makes us feel elated, but it's not just in our heads. There actually is scientific evidence of romance's blissful effects on the brain. Dr. Braverman references a study from Rutgers University that found participants, when they looked at photos of people they deeply love, had an increase of dopamine brain activity, which is associated with optimism, energy and a sense of well-being. Talk about being high on love! Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist and author of Why Him? Why Her? supports this notion: "The bottom line is, the dopamine rush that comes from being in love gives you tremendous energy and optimism."
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to Take Antiviral Flu Medicines

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How to Take Antiviral Flu Medicines
Oseltamivir comes as capsules or a syrup. You will need to take one capsule twice a day for five days to treat flu. Doctors prescribe lower doses for children, depending on how much they weigh. To prevent flu, you will need to take a capsule once a day for 10 days after exposure to the virus or for up to six weeks during an epidemic.

Zanamivir comes as an inhaler (puffer), similar to the type used to treat asthma. Each puff contains a small amount of the medicine. To treat flu (once you have symptoms), you need to use the puffer twice a day for five days. To prevent flu after you’ve been exposed to someone with the illness, you will need to use it once a day for 10 days. If there is a flu epidemic, you may be prescribed zanamivir for up to 28 days.

For oseltamivir and zanamivir to be effective, you need to start taking them within 48 hours of your symptoms first appearing. In children, zanamivir needs to be taken within 36 hours.

Special care

If you’re a woman and are pregnant or breastfeeding, your doctor may advise you to take either oseltamivir or zanamivir during a flu pandemic. Oseltamivir is the preferred medicine for women who are breastfeeding.

If you have advanced kidney disease, you may not be able to take oseltamivir. Always ask your GP for advice and read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.

Side-effects of antiviral flu medicines
  • feeling sick
  • vomiting
  • abdominal (tummy) pain
  • diarrhoea
  • headache
  • conjunctivitis

These side-effects usually happen after you have taken the first dose of your medicine and will usually stop as you continue the course.

Side-effects of zanamivir are uncommon, but include:
  • rashes
  • difficulty breathing
  • swelling of your face, mouth or throat

Because zanamivir can cause breathing difficulties, it isn't usually recommended if you have an underlying medical condition that affects your breathing system. Examples of such conditions include asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Ask your GP for more advice.
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Fighting The Flue

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Fighting The Flue
The flu, it seems, is an ever-present fixture on the seasonal list of things to expect. And, with the norovirus causing havoc this year and the flu sweeping the nation and other countries, it’s really important to do what you can to stop the spread of infections.

The flu is mostly spread by coming into contact with others who have the virus; and, as many of us have recently returned to work and school, you may be worried that your risk of flu may have increased.

While there is no cure, there are things you can do to give yourself the best fighting chance against catching the flu virus.

Get the jab

Having the flu can leave you feeling pretty rough, but for some it can develop into a serious health condition. People who are at risk for developing more serious flu-related complications include women who are pregnant, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions such asthma, diabetes or a weakened immune system.

If you’re at risk, you should get the flu jab to safeguard yourself against catching the flu. Call your doctor for more information and to arrange your vaccination.

Keep it clean

The flu virus is highly contagious, and can spread easily through the air you breathe or direct contact with someone who has it. Making sure that you wash your hands regularly to kill the germs is a great line of defence against getting the flu. In fact, after getting the flu vaccination, your hygiene is the only way to help avoid contracting or spreading the flu.

Coughing and sneezing into tissues – rather than your hands – is also a good way of minimising the spread of flu germs. Don’t forget to put your used tissues in the bin!

Take care

It may seem obvious, but making sure to take good care of your health can help keep you well.

Eating a balanced diet – including plenty of fruit and vegetables – can ensure that your body gets all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to support your immune system. It’s also important to get enough rest as this helps your body to replenish energy stores and restore itself.
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