BLOGS BY DOCTORS

April 2019

Know everything about Brain Stroke

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 25, 2019
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What is a Stroke?
Also termed ‘brain attack’, Stroke is caused by the lack of blood supply to the brain, usually because of the formation of a clot. Brain cells become inactive due to a shortage in the supply foxygen and nutrients. This may leave a person partially or completely paralysed. Stroke affects one in six persons in their lifetime.

What are the risk factors of Stroke?
Anyone can be vulnerable, irrespective of age, race or gender. But people with the following conditions are at a higher risk of suffering a Stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Tobacco abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking

 

What are the types of Stroke?
The two main types:

  • Ischaemic Stroke: This happens due to the blockage of blood vessels, which reduces the brain’s blood supply.
  • Haemorrhagic Stroke: It occurs due to the rupture of blood vessels.

What are the symptoms of a Stroke?
The symptoms include sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Severe headache without a known cause.
  • Trouble seeing from one or both eyes.
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.

A person showing one or some of the above symptoms should be rushed to the hospital immediately.

How is Stroke diagnosed?
It is diagnosed through the help of physical examinations and tests. Imaging studies such as Computerized Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) help in diagnosing Stroke.

How is Stroke treated?
Medical treatment: It can be treated with drugs that dissolve blood clots obstructing blood flow to the brain.

Surgical treatment: If a clot does not dissolve by medicine, surgical intervention is required to remove the clot from the brain.

Immediate treatment can save victims from disability and increase their chances of successful recovery. But one of the biggest obstacles to emergency treatment is most people don’t know they are having a stroke.

What disabilities can result from a Stroke?
Besides being a life-threatening condition, Stroke can affect the entire body, causing paralysis. Brain cells die during Stroke and functions controlled by that area of the brain can be lost such as speech, movement and memory.

What’s the importance of rehabilitation?
Stroke is a disaster for patients, mentally and physically. A Stroke patient needs prolonged rehabilitation in returning to normal life. A combined team of physiotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists play a pivotal role in a Stroke patient’s recovery.

The Perils of Hypertension in Women

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 24, 2019
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High BP is A SILENT KILLER – because it kills without  noticeable symptoms.

By Dr Gaurangi Shah

High blood pressure (or hypertension) is a serious ailment affecting millions worldwide, including women. Termed a ‘silent killer’, many persons have the dangerous disease but aren’t aware about this. Left untreated over the years, it could strike suddenly with dangerous consequences such as stroke(paralysis), heart attacks,heart failure, blindness and kidney failutre.

Almost everyone is at risk of developing BP, although some have higher chances of falling victim, including those with a family history of hypertension and people more than 55 years of age. Others at risk include those who:

  • Are overweight / obese
  • Consume excess salt
  • Don’t exercise regularly
  • Smoke heavily
  • Indulge in alcohol abuse

Most people with high BP may not notice any signs. Indeed, in 85% of cases, there may be no overt symptoms. It’s only when the person suffers a heart attack or paralytic stroke that the underlying cause is clear.

Some symptoms of high BP include:

  • Severe headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion or fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pounding in the chest, neck or ears

It is crucial to understand the causes of BP, which can be hereditary or non-hereditary. In the former, it generally manifests between 40 and 60 years of age. In non-hereditary cases, it usually arises before age 40 or after age 60. In the latter, the person should visit a cardiologist or endocrinologist to discover the cause of high BP. If the underlying cause is addressed, it may be possible to eliminate hypertension.

In the case of many Indian women who are home-makers, do not take regular walks and are fond of salty food items such as namkeens, the risks of developing high BP without being aware are much higher. Normally, BP should not exceed 120/80 mm. Therefore, it’s important to check one’s BP regularly.

If a woman has just been diagnosed with BP, it should be checked twice daily during the initial period. First, immediately after waking up and second, in the evening. Note that BP in the evening/night may be 10mm higher than the morning. Moreover, like diabetes, high BP is a multi-organ disease affecting all vital organs, including the eyes. Therefore, it’s safer to have eye tests annually to prevent blindness.

When pregnant, women must monitor BP as advised by their doctor. High BP in pregnant women is termed preeclampsia or toxaemia. The doctor will prescribe daily medications to control high BP. As per activities undertaken, BP can rise and dip throughout the day. But the risk arises if the pressure stays high for some time. If the pressure goes beyond 140/90 for prolonged periods, treatment is required. If there are other risk factors such as diabetes and the blood pressure stays higher than 120/80, treatment may still be needed.

Women can ascertain high BP does not become a silent killer by:

  • Monitoring BP daily
  • Exercising regularly
  • Ensuring low salt intake
  • Keeping bodyweight at healthy levels
  • Abstaining from cigarettes/tobacco/alcohol
  • Having regular/annual medical check-ups

Meanwhile, continue taking brisk walks for 30–45 minutes daily, which is the best way to control your weight, BP and other lifestyle ailments. Best of all, remember your daily walks are free!

Know everything about Brain Tumour

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 24, 2019
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What’s a Brain Tumour?
This is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in the brain. Some brain tumours are non-cancerous or benign while others are cancerous or malignant. Brain tumours can originate in the brain (primary brain tumours), or in other parts of the body and then spread to the brain (secondary, or metastatic, brain tumours).

What are its symptoms?
The signs and symptoms vary, depending on the tumour’s size, location and growth rate. Some signs/symptoms may include:

  • New onset or change in the pattern of headaches
  • Headaches gradually becoming more frequent and severe
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting and general sickness
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Speech difficulties
  • Confusion in daily matters
  • Personality or behaviour changes
  • Fits and seizures, especially in someone without a history of this
  • Hearing problems

If you have persistent signs and symptoms as above, visit your doctor immediately.

What causes Brain Tumour?
The causes can be described as:
Primary brain tumours: Cancers emerging in the brain.
Secondary brain tumours: Cancers that spread to the brain from elsewhere in the body, termed secondary brain tumours or brain metastases. These are more common than the primary ones.

What are the risk factors?
These include:
Age. The risk of a tumour increases as we age. Brain tumours are common in older adults. But a tumour can occur at any age.
Radiation exposure. People exposed to a type of radiation called ionizing radiation run a greater risk of brain tumour.
Family history. A small percentage occurs in those with a family history of brain tumours or a history of genetic syndromes that increase the risk of brain tumours.

How are Brain Tumours treated?
Treatment options depend on the type of the tumour as well as its size and location. Typically, brain tumours are treated via surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Know everything about Epilepsy

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 23, 2019
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What is Epilepsy?
It is a central nervous system disorder (neurological disorder) wherein the nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed. Epilepsy causes recurring seizures in the affected persons, who may have strange sensations and emotions or behave strangely.

What causes Epilepsy?
Though there may be no identifiable cause, it can be due to a medical condition or injury affecting the brain.
Some common causes:

  • Stroke
  • Dementia (Alzheimer’s)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Infections (brain abscess, meningitis, encephalitis, AIDS)
  • Congenital brain defects
  • Brain injury (caused during or near birth)
  • Brain tumour
  • Abnormal blood vessels in the brain
  • Other illness that damage or destroy brain tissue
  • Certain medications (antidepressants)

What are its signs and symptoms?
Although symptoms may differ from person to person, some include:

  • Staring spells
  • Violent shaking or loss of alertness
  • Tingling sensation
  • Smelling a non-existent odour
  • Emotional changes

Any complications associated with Epilepsy?
Some possible complications:

  • Learning difficulties
  • Taking food or saliva into the lungs during a seizure that can lead to pneumonia
  • Injury from falls, bumps, driving or operating machinery during a seizure
  • Self-inflicted bites
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Side effects of medications

Any preventive measures?
There is no known way to prevent epilepsy. But proper diet and adequate sleep as well as abstaining from alcohol minimise the likelihood of triggering seizures in persons with epilepsy.

How is Epilepsy treated?
The treatment may involve:

  • Medications: To prevent seizures or reduce their number and frequency.
  • Surgical intervention: If seizures aredue to a tumour, abnormal blood vessels, or bleeding in the brain, surgical intervention to treat these disorders may stop the seizures.
  • Low carb diet: Children may be placed on a special diet to help prevent seizures. A low carbohydrate diet may also be helpful for some adults.
  • Lifestyle modification: Lifestyle or medical precautions can lower the risk of seizures in persons with epilepsy.

 

Understanding Head & Neck Cancers

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 20, 2019
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  • More than one million cases annually in India.
  • Commonly affects adults of all age groups.
  • About 75% of head and neck cancers due to alcohol and tobacco abuse.

Causative agents and risk factors

  •  Alcohol or tobacco abuse
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Radiation exposure
  • Certain workplace exposures
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease

Sites affected

  1. Nasopharynx
  2. Oral cavity: Lips, oral tongue, hard palate, buccal mucosa, gingivobuccal sulcus, floor of the mouth, alveolus
  3. Oropharynx: Base of the tongue, vallecula, pharyngeal wall, soft palate, uvula, tonsils
  4. Hypopharynx: Post-cricoid area, pyriform fossa, pharyngeal wall
  5. Larynx: Supraglottic, glottic, subglottic
  6. Maxillary sinuses
  7. Orbital tumours
  8. Thyroid malignancies

 

Histopathology varieties

  1. Squamous cell carcinoma
  2. Adenocarcinoma
  3. Others: Lymphoma, sarcoma, adamantinoma, esthesioneuroblastoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, etc.

 

Clinical features

  1. Mass in the neck
  2. Neck pain
  3. Bleeding from the mouth
  4. Sinus congestion, especially with nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  5. Bad breath
  6. Sore tongue
  7. Non-healing painless ulcer/sores in the mouth
  8. White, red or dark patches in the mouth that won’t go away
  9. Earache
  10. Unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  11. Lump in the lip, mouth or gums
  12. Enlarged lymph glands in the neck
  13. Slurring of speech (if cancer affects the tongue)
  14. Hoarse voice persists for more than six weeks
  15. Sore throat persists for more than six weeks
  16. Difficulty in swallowing food
  17. Change in diet or weight loss

 

Diagnosis

  1. History and physical examination
  2. Endoscopies
  3. Histopathology/cytology/IHC
  4. CECT (face and neck)
  5. Chest X-ray, ultrasonography (abdomen and pelvis)
  6. PET – CT when indicated

 

Treatment

  1. Surgery: the mainstay of treatment, necessary when indicated.
  2. Radiotherapy:
    1. Radical intent (organ preservation in cases of Ca-Larynx, Oropharynx.
    2. Adjuvant intent: after surgery, as per post-op histopathology report.
    3. Palliative: for symptom control such as bleeding, pain in advanced or metastatic cases.
  3.  

  4. Chemotherapy:
    1. Neo-adjuvant: before any definitive treatment, for organ preservation plan.
    2. Concurrent: along with radiation for enhancing the effect of radiotherapy.
    3. Adjuvant: tried in the past, but no definite role.
    4. Palliative: in advanced/metastatic cases for symptom control.

 
Prognosis
Curable if detected early. As the stage progresses, the prognosis is poorer.

Prevention

  1. Quit tobacco and alcohol.
  2. Creating public awareness.
  3. Regular screening programs.

What’s a Headache?

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 20, 2019
  • 0 Comment(s)

A painful sensation in any part of the head is termed a headache. Serious causes of headaches are usually rare. Most people suffering from headaches feel much better simply by undertaking some lifestyle changes, learning ways to relax and, if needed, sometimes taking medications. Tension headaches and migraines are the most common kind of recurrent, long-lasting, severe headaches.

What are the different types of headache?

When should one seek professional help?
If there is a new onset severe headache:

  • The usual headache changes and is now more severe and/or frequent.
  • If your headaches are not well-controlled by the current treatment.

Who is qualified to evaluate me?
Neurologists are trained to assess the rarest-of-rare types of headaches.

Your family doctor is also trained to assess and treat common headaches.

When will a patient need a CT or MRI or laboratory tests?
For most persons, MRI and laboratory tests are not necessary to diagnose common headaches.

The doctor will ask you to undergo these tests only if a specific cause for the headache is suspected.

What should I do in case of recurring headaches?
Maintain a ‘headache diary’ to monitor the headache patterns and discover what might be causing your headaches or making them worse (the triggers).

Adjust your lifestyle to avoid headache triggers such as stress, irregular and poor sleep, missing meals, certain foods and beverages and taking medications often.

Learn and use stress management skills effectively to de-stress yourself, for example, early in the morning or after a hard day’s work.

Should I take medicines for reducing pain?
Many medications can be effective. Although routine painkillers can be used, their frequent use may make headaches worse or tough to manage.

A neurologist can prescribe other types of medications if the headaches are severe and interfere in your regular activities.

When should I go back to the doctor?
Revisit your doctor:

  • If your headaches don’t improve with the prescribed treatment and continue interfering with regular activities or impact your daily routine.
  • If your headaches get worse or new symptoms arise.

Nayati’s Centre of Neurosciences is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to investigate and treat all types of headaches.

Critical facts about Hepatitis B

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 19, 2019
  • 0 Comment(s)

What is Hepatitis?
‘Hepatitis’ means inflammation of the liver. A vital organ, the liver processes nutrients, filters blood and fights infections. If the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected. Heavy alcohol intake, toxins, some medications and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. Most often, however, hepatitis is caused by a virus.

What is Hepatitis B?
This is a serious liver disease resulting from infection with the Hepatitis B virus. Acute Hepatitis B refers to a short-term infection occurring within the first six months after a person is infected with the virus. The infection can range in severity from a mild illness with few or no symptoms to a serious condition requiring hospitalization. Some people, particularly adults, overcome or clear the virus without treatment. They then become immune and cannot get infected with Hepatitis B again.

Chronic Hepatitis B refers to a lifelong infection with the Hepatitis B virus. The likelihood of a person developing a chronic infection depends on the age at which s/he is infected. Up to 90% of infants infected with the Hepatitis B virus will develop a chronic infection. In contrast, only about 5% of adults will develop chronic Hepatitis B. Over time, chronic Hepatitis B can cause serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death.

How is Hepatitis B spread?
This virus is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluids from an infected person enter the body of an uninfected individual. The virus can be spread through:

  • Sex with an infected person: Among adults, Hepatitis B is often spread via sexual contact.
  • Injection drug use:
  • Sharing needles, syringes, and any other equipment to inject drugs with someone infected with Hepatitis B can spread the virus.
  • Outbreaks: Though uncommon, poor infection control has resulted in outbreaks of Hepatitis B in healthcare settings.
  • Birth: Hepatitis B can be passed from an infected mother to her baby at birth. Worldwide, most people with Hepatitis B were infected with the virus as infants.

Hepatitis B is not spread through breastfeeding, sharing food utensils, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. Unlike some forms of hepatitis, Hepatitis B is also not spread by contaminated food or water.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B?
Many people with Hepatitis B have no symptoms and don’t know they are infected. If symptoms occur, they may include fever, a feeling of tiredness, lack of appetite, upset stomach, vomiting, dark urine, grey-coloured stool, joint pain, and yellow skin and eyes.

When do symptoms occur?
If symptoms occur with an acute infection, they usually appear within three months of exposure and can last up to six months. If symptoms occur with chronic Hepatitis B, they can take years to develop and be a sign of advanced liver disease.

How would one know if s/he has Hepatitis B?
The only way to know if you have Hepatitis B is by being tested. Blood tests can determine if a person has been infected and cleared the virus, or is currently infected, or has never been infected.

Who should get tested for Hepatitis B? Why?
People who should get tested include:

  • All pregnant women should be routinely tested for Hepatitis B. If a woman has Hepatitis B, timely vaccination can help prevent the spread of the virus to her baby.
  • Family members and sexual contacts of people with Hepatitis B are at risk. Those who have never had Hepatitis B can benefit from vaccination.
  • People with specific medical conditions should be tested and get vaccinated, if required. This includes those with HIV infection, people receiving chemo and those on haemodialysis.
  • Those injecting drugs are at increased risk for Hepatitis B but testing can identify the infected, or they could benefit from vaccination and prevent getting infected with the virus.
  • Men having sex with men have higher rates of Hepatitis B. Testing can identify unknown infections or let a person know they can benefit from vaccination.

The results of the tests will help determine the next best steps for vaccination or medical care.

How is Hepatitis B treated?
For those with acute Hepatitis B, doctors usually recommend rest, adequate nutrition, fluids, and close medical monitoring. Some people may need to be hospitalized. People living with chronic Hepatitis B should be evaluated for liver problems and monitored regularly. Treatments are available to slow down or prevent the effects of liver disease.

Is Hepatitis B preventable?
Yes. The best way is by getting vaccinated. The Hepatitis B vaccine is typically given as a series of three shots over six months. The entire series is necessary for long-term protection.

Who should get vaccinated against Hepatitis B?
All infants should be routinely vaccinated for Hepatitis B at birth. The vaccine is also recommended for people living with someone infected with Hepatitis B, travellers to certain countries, as well as healthcare and public safety workers exposed to blood. People with high-risk sexual behaviours, men having sex with men, people injecting drugs, and those with certain medical conditions, including diabetes, should talk to their doctor about being vaccinated.

How summer and winter asthma differ – their causes and treatment

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 18, 2019
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Asthma attacks can vary with the weather, so it’s important to know the main triggers…

By Dr Shweta Bansal

Given its tendency to flare up without warning, asthma can hinder the personal and professional lives of victims. While asthma is said to peak in winters, changing weather can also trigger attacks. Therefore, it’s imperative every asthmatic knows the triggers that can spark unwanted attacks.

The fact remains, however, that asthma could be aggravated at any time of the year – summer, monsoon, winter or spring – caused by notorious asthma triggers such as pet dander, second-hand smoke and vigorous exercise. Recognising varied seasonal allergens could help in minimising one’s vulnerability to temperature, humidity, pollen, pollution and viruses.

Winter Risks
Asthmatics are more vulnerable in winters simply because colds can be common during this season. Any respiratory tract infection worsens the chronic lung inflammation of asthma patients, leading to coughing, wheezing, difficulty in breathing and asthma. Indeed, almost 50% of wheezing episodes in adults and around 80% in children can be attributed to the common cold, flu and other respiratory infections.

Unlike a cold, though, which may taper off after a week, whether treated or not, asthma symptoms will linger for weeks and months together, if untreated. Asthma can be aggravated by cold, dry air, particularly when a person is exercising and inhaling more air or while outdoors. In some cases, simply being outdoors in the cold weather, especially in the morning, can ignite allergic symptoms.

If that’s the case, stay indoors as far as possible or remain suitably clad in layers when stepping out. The face should always be covered with a scarf. If winter pollution is an additional trigger, a suitable pollution mask should be used outside the home. For those who dislike missing their exercise regimen, an inhaled bronchodilator can be used 15 minutes before stepping out to counteract the cold air effect.

Yet, winters can be dangerous for asthmatics even indoors. Although tightly-shut windows keep out the cold air, heaters and humidifiers inside homes increase the internal warmth and humidity, encouraging indoor allergens. Dust mites and moulds thrive in high-humidity conditions and are dangerous for people with asthma. Moreover, without cross ventilation, indoor pollution from the kitchen and other areas pose another allergic threat. Therefore, when the afternoon sunlight streams inside, it’s essential to open the windows and doors to remove indoor pollutants via cross ventilation as well as allow natural light and aeration.

If prone to winter asthma, ensure you are protected from the flu and common cold by making suitable lifestyle changes, including dietary ones. A simple warm saltwater gargle (with one teaspoon salt) a few times every week in winters can help prevent the common cold.

Summer Threats
Once summer arrives, asthma attacks tend to drop for most people. Nonetheless, the heat and humidity may not suit some asthmatics. In polluted urban areas, for instance, traffic-related pollution and harsh sunlight combine to escalate ozone production – a strong asthma trigger. Pollution levels can also rise in summers with more moving vehicles increasing particulate matter and other pollutants. Considering the bad air conditions, asthmatics are more vulnerable to respiratory ailments and asthma attacks.

Again, precautions work best. Use a pollution mask when outdoors. Those driving cars can install air purifiers, which majorly minimise the pollution inside vehicles.

The other danger during summers is the spread of pollen, which can cause major attacks. Extremely-hot summers can also lead to sudden thunderstorms, which could trigger asthma. Strong winds whipped up by thunderstorms spread moulds, fungal spores and pollen grains. Sudden showers accompanying such storms disintegrate the allergens into myriad microscopic pieces, posing an invisible threat for asthmatics.

Staying indoors and using pollution masks can contain the chances of an attack. If a mask is unavailable, a wet handkerchief over the mouth can help keep pollen and pollutants at bay. Meanwhile, avoid keeping rugs, carpets and other items that can collect dust, mite and other allergens. If not, ensure these are cleaned or vacuumed regularly. Additionally, wash bed-sheets and pillow covers every week in hot water to eliminate dust mites and similar allergens.

Finally, whatever the season, keep inhalers and asthma medications handy at all times.

Understanding Lung Cancer

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 18, 2019
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Also called lung carcinoma, Lung Cancer is a malignant lung tumour characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in the lung tissues.

By metastasis, this growth can spread beyond the lungs into nearby tissues or other body parts.

Males above 50 are at the highest risk, but mortality in females is rising.

Causes

  • Smoking (active/passive)
  • Radon gas
  • Asbestosis
  • Air pollution
  • Genetics
  • Toxic gas, heavy metal fumes
  • Ionizing radiation

Types

  • Small Cell Lung Cancer: Neuroendocrine cancer
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: adenocarcinoma, squamous-cell carcinoma, large-cell carcinoma
  • Others: Adenosquamous, carcinoid, sarcomatoid
  • Metastasis: Depends on primary histopathology

Signs and Symptoms

  • Respiratory symptoms: coughing, throwing up blood, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
  • Systemic symptoms: weight loss, weakness, fever, or clubbing of the fingernails.
  • Symptoms due to the cancer mass pressing on adjacent structures: chest pain, bone pain, superior vena cava obstruction, or difficulty swallowing.

Diagnosis and Staging

  • History and physical examination
  • Cytopathology and Histopathology (Bronchoscopy, CT/USG-guided)
  • Computed Tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • PET – CT
  • Others: Routine check-up and fitness for receiving treatment

There are four stages – stage 1 is well localised and stage 4 is advanced/metastatic.

Treatment
Multimodality Approach

  • Surgery (removal of the tumour with regional draining lymph nodes)
  • Radiotherapy/chemo-radiotherapy (radical, neo-adjuvant, adjuvant, palliative)
  • Chemotherapy (neo-adjuvant, adjuvant, palliative)
  • Targeted therapy
  • Palliative/symptomatic (as per symptoms)

Prognosis
Good prognosis is expected in the early stages of the disease. As the stage progresses, however, the chances of cure and survival diminish. But advancement in technologies and the availability of new drugs allow the patient a better quality of life and symptom-free survival.

Prevention
Personal Level

  • Quit smoking and tobacco.
  • Lifestyle and diet modifications.

Community Level

  • Regular screening.
  • Creating public awareness about Lung Cancer.

Health Tips for Women

  • nayati_main
  • Apr 17, 2019
  • 0 Comment(s)

As women are wired differently from men, their health tips are somewhat varied. For example, women need more calcium than men. Here are some top tips:

  • Eat healthy – More: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, high-fibre foods and low-fat dairy products. Avoid: processed foods and beverages. Curb: sugar, salt and fat.
  • Avoid calcium supplements It’s best to boost calcium intake via food sources since the body cannot properly absorb synthetic forms of calcium. Excess synthetic calcium raises the risks of kidney stones and heart disease.
  • Exercise regularly Exercise keeps the entire body, including your heart, healthy. At least 30 minutes, 5-6 times a week. Walking, swimming, cycling, dancing and aerobics are all fine.
  • Eliminate addictions/bad habits Smoking, drinks and drugs are best avoided.
  • Stay away from harsh sunlight Besides damaging your skin, it raises skin cancer risks.
  • Stop excessive beauty treatments Overexposure to bleach and other chemicals in beauty creams can mar your skin’s softness and texture. Use in moderation.
  • Self-awareness of your body Breast cancer cases are rising. But it can be cured if detected early. Look out for unusual changes in the skin, shape, size and firmness of breasts/nipples.
  • Shun stress Many ailments can be triggered by stress. Learn how to manage it.
  • Sleep well Unlike men, women need at least 8 hours’ sleep. Less sleep and inadequate rest increase vulnerability to ailments.