How Cancer Treatments Work Against Cancer Cells

The two most common choices for cancer treatment, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, both affect cancer cells in a similar way. By disrupting the way these cells grow, tumors can be removed or their growth slowed way down. If you or a loved one is preparing for cancer therapy, learn how these tools are effective against your illness.

It Starts with Understanding How Cells Grow

The cells in your body continuously grow and replicate. Each cell contains a set of chromosomes which contain DNA, the instructions that tell the cell how to grow and divide. When a cell replicates, it splits itself into two, each with an identical copy of the DNA. Cells go through a series of phases, sometimes resting, sometimes producing materials to prepare for replication, and finally dividing to make a copy of themselves.

How Treatment Approaches Work Against Cancer Cells

There are two principles that allow chemotherapy and radiation therapy to be effective in treating cancer:

  • If the DNA in a cell is damaged, the cell can no longer grow and replicate. It may survive in a resting phase for awhile, but then it eventually dies and is absorbed by the body.
  • Cancer cells tend to replicate much faster than other non-cancerous cells. A cancerous tumor is a collection of these abnormal cells that grow and divide quickly.

Cancer treatments affect cells that are dividing and break or damage their DNA. Cells that are in a resting phase are affected very little. Rapidly dividing cells are most impacted by the treatment. The cells with damaged DNA can no longer grow or divide.

Some of the cancer cells die quickly, while others may live for awhile. Eventually all of the cells with damaged DNA will die. This is why cancer treatment requires multiple sessions, to make sure as many of the cells as possible are destroyed.

Different Approaches – Similar Results

With radiation therapy, the rays are focused on the area of your body under which the cancerous cells lie. Detailed measurements are taken as to the size of the cancerous mass and the depth under the skin where they exist. Technicians will mark the precise location on your body. Sometimes a mold is created to help hold you in the same position for each treatment. This allows the radiation beam to target only the cancer cells, and fewer healthy cells around them.

A variety of chemotherapy drugs are used depending on the type of cancer cell. The drugs are injected into the bloodstream and are circulated throughout the body. The drugs work on cells it finds that are rapidly replicating. Some healthy cells are affected, but they grow back while the cancer cells are gone permanently.

As advances continue in each of these approaches, better targeting of the cancer cells occurs with less impact to healthy cells. Fewer side effects are also experienced. For many people, these cancer treatments provide a way for the person to live a long and healthy life, free from cancer.

For more information, contact Rahway Reginal Cancer Center or a similar location.

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4 Signs That You Have A Food Allergy

Not everyone that has a food allergy has it for their entire life. Many people do not develop their food allergy until later in life. Therefore, if you think you might be suddenly experiencing food allergies symptoms, you will want to check out the following list for signs so you know whether you really might be having a problem. This way, you will know whether it is time to call a food allergy specialist or simply visit your regular family doctor for a check up.

Facial Swelling

While swelling anywhere is a common sign of an allergy, it is most likely to be a food allergy if it is facial and oral swelling. For example, you could experience swelling of your lips, tongue, cheeks, or even your throat. If you ever experience swelling of your throat, it is vital that you call for emergency services in order to make sure that your airways do not become completely blocked off.

Sick After Eating

While you can feel ill after eating when you are developing flu symptoms, the pain, nausea, diarrhea, cramping, and vomiting with a food allergy will only happen when you ingest the very thing that you are allergic to. Even if you do not yet know what it is that you are allergic to, you might begin to notice a pattern for when you are getting sick and when you feel alright.

Itchy Mouth

You mouth might be one of the last places you would think would get itchy, but it can happen, especially if you develop an allergy to a particular food. You might also experience a tingling sensation with or without the itchy feeling.

Hives

Do you break out in hives after eating some foods? There is a good chance that this is directly related to a food allergy. If the hives only happen once, it could be the result of something else in your environment, such as a new soap being use in the home. However, if you are starting to notice that there are several times when you will break out in itchy hives shortly after eating, it is most likely a food allergy.

In order to make sure that you are able to control your allergy, you need to determine just what it is that you are allergic to. Therefore, once you suspect that you have this type of allergy, you need to seek out professional care from an allergy specialist like Alidina Laila MD. The sooner you take action, the sooner you will be able to get your symptoms under control.  

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Sports, Such As Skateboarding, Can Be Hard On A Child’s Spine

Skateboarding is a fun sport, but kids can lose their balance and fall. In addition to the risk of fall-related injuries, children can end up with back pain caused by disc injuries or vertebral fractures from the repeated impact of their landings.

Your child needs to take skateboarding seriously, as spinal injuries can be painful. While treatment often involves rest, medications, or physical therapy, a more serious condition may require surgery.

To reduce the risk of injury, your child needs to know all that’s involved before stepping on a skateboard.

Risks

Injuries don’t just happen when your child is skateboarding on uneven surfaces or on the road. Many accidents occur when kids skateboard on ramps or at skating parks. The faster and higher kids go, the more they increase their risk of serious injury, especially if they fall on a hard surface. Repetitive and hard landings also put pressure on the spine.

Prevention

Inexperience accounts for many skateboard injuries. In fact, kids under the age of 15 account for more than half of skateboard injuries, reports the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Of that number, about a third have been skateboarding for less than a week.

Injuries don’t always involve scrapes, sprains, and bruises. Hard falls can lead to serious head, neck, and back injuries.

If you worry about the safety of your child when skateboarding, prevention is key to avoiding skateboard injuries.

Safety gear. Kids who wear a helmet, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards aren’t as likely to get injured when they fall. Children also need to wear sturdy, well-fitted, slip-resistant shoes that will protect their feet and ankles when they skateboard.

Skateboarding barefoot or wearing sandals is dangerous. Athlete shoes with thin rubber soles are safer because they provide grip. Kids can also feel the skateboard, which gives them more control.

Proper use. Safe skateboarding means not taking a friend on board for the ride. Wearing headphones is another risk, as these can get in the way of what kids hear and see in their surroundings.

Your child shouldn’t skateboard when it’s wet outside and surfaces are slippery. Skateboarding at dusk or at night is dangerous too, since it’s harder to see potential hazards. Your skateboarder will also be less visible to others.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not allowing kids under age 5 to skateboard. Children that young can’t control a skateboard as they are less coordinated, have slower reaction times, and can’t judge their speed accurately.

Awareness of ability. Skateboarding isn’t a sport kids learn quickly or easily. It takes practice — and lots of it. To begin, your child needs to learn basic skateboarding skills, such as how to stop, within a controlled environment and under careful adult supervision.

Injuries often happen when children misjudge their abilities and fail at trying a new stunt. Kids sometimes think their skills are better than they really are, and that can lead to trouble.

The more difficult the stunt, the higher the risk of injury. Therefore, your child needs to get in plenty of practice before trying something new. It’s also important for your child to know what could happen if a stunt goes wrong. If your child is experiencing lower back pain, contact a practice such as Valley Chiropractic for more information.

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3 Tips To Help Keep You Comfortable After A Tummy Tuck

Many women have turned to having a tummy tuck performed after they have had one or more children. The damage that pregnancy does to a woman’s body can be devastating both physically and emotionally. Tummy tucks can give a woman back the confidence that was lost during the precious days of carrying her children. Are you considering a tummy tuck or have you recently had one? Here, you will learn a few tips that can make recovery more comfortable for you.

Making the Binder Comfortable

Your doctor will likely give you a binder to wear to help support the abdominal muscles, control swelling, and prevent friction in your tummy area. The doctor will probably suggest that you wear the binder for several days or weeks following your surgery.

To make the binder more comfortable, wear a cotton tank top underneath it. The tank top will help to prevent chafing that could be caused by the binder. As you move about, the binder could rub in some areas and leave your skin irritated and chafed. A fresh, clean tank top can also help to feel a little cleaner as you await the day that you can take a shower.

As you put the binder on, put it on a little tighter at the top than it is at the bottom. This can help to keep it from sliding around through the day without making it uncomfortable.

Finding a Comfortable Position

If you do not already own a recliner, go out and buy one! You can create a little nest for recovery in the recliner. Recliners make it possible for you to change your position when you begin to feel uncomfortable. It will give you a place to sleep where you will not have to worry about disrupting the sleep of your spouse or children and you can more easily find a comfortable position to sleep. Instead of having to reposition several pillows to find the right angle that provides you the most comfort, you can simply adjust the recliner until you have found the sweet spot.

Choosing When to Have the Surgery

Unless you have a good air conditioner in your home, do not get your surgery during the summer. When you get hot and sweaty, the binder will be increasingly uncomfortable. You will experience an intense amount of itching that you cannot scratch and you will be miserable.

If you choose to have the surgery performed in the winter, be sure to have a good humidifier going in your home. You need enough moisture in the air to keep your skin moist so that it does not get dry and itchy.

A tummy tuck can be a  great solution for many mothers. Recovery does take a bit of time, but many women find to be the recovery period well worth it. Talk with your local tummy tuck surgery to learn more about tummy tucks and the recovery time, or contact a clinic like Renaissance Center For Facial & Body Sculpting.

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What Is The Connection Between Dry Eyes And Lasik Surgery?

If you wear contacts or suffer from allergies, you’re no stranger to the itching and tearing up associated with dry eyes. Of course, if you wear contacts, you know the hassle of putting something in your eye every day. As far as glasses go, you either squint from the sun or have to change out your glasses every time you go outside. In other words, you’re ready for a solution to your nearsightedness. Discover the association between dry eyes and Lasik so that you can talk to your surgeon about potential treatments.

Dry Eyes Caused by Lasik

Temporary dry eye is the most common after-effect of Lasik surgery, according to the National Institute of Health. The process of Lasik involves the surgeon going in and separating a layer of the cornea to form a flap. The cornea’s shape is then altered by laser to enhance your vision.

Creating a corneal flap and altering the shape of the cornea itself affects the process of tear production. Sometimes the nerves that alert the body that the eyes need lubrication are affected, so the tear production process is interrupted.

Dry Eyes Before Lasik

Some people have dry eyes before even undergoing Lasik. The most common causes of dry eyes include the following:

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disorders
  • Hormones, such as postmenopausal imbalances
  • Structural damage caused by inflammation

Likewise, some medications such as antidepressants and antihistamines cause dry eyes.

Treating Dry Eyes Before Surgery

If you experience regular or even occasional dry eyes, it’s imperative you tell your surgeon. Having dry eyes does not eliminate the possibility of Lasik surgery. Rather, most surgeons opt to treat the situation before performing surgery.

Your Lasik surgeon has more than one option for treating dry eyes before surgery. One option is having you use preservative-free lubricating drops. Another option is implanting polymer plugs, or punctal plugs, in the tear ducts. These plugs prevent the tear film from draining out of your eyes, thus keeping them lubricated.

Preventing Dry Eyes After Surgery

Before even performing surgery, surgeons carefully examine the individual anatomy of patients’ eyes as well as the chemical makeup of the tears. It’s up to the patients to inform their surgeons about medications so that they have a thorough understanding of the associated medical history.

After surgery, you’ll need to use lubricating drops frequently while your eyes heal. This is a normal part of the healing process. While most patients experience temporary dry eyes after Lasik you can minimize the effects by drinking lots of water, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and taking omega-3 fatty acids to promote a healthy tear film.

The most important aspect of dry eyes and Lasik is open communication between the patient and the doctor. Before getting Lasik surgery, ask your surgeon for advice about avoiding dry eyes and available treatment options.

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Avoiding Back Surgery With The Use Of Chiropractic Care And Conservative Therapies

If you have a badly herniated disc, you may be considered a strong candidate for back surgery. The pain associated with a disc that is pressing on a nerve can be debilitating, and getting the problem fixed as soon as possible is your main goal. Although surgery may be recommended, it’s important to understand that it is possible to avoid needless back surgery. In many cases, solid chiropractic care will get rid of the issue.

Disc Herniation Can Heal Over Time

With conservative treatment with medication, physical therapy and chiropractic treatment, a disc herniation can heal without surgery. The chiropractor will manually manipulate the vertebrae involved, in an effort to increase the range of motion of the area and to reduce nerve irritability. Further, with traction techniques, the area will be stretched, taking pressure off of the herniated disc.

Physical Therapy Eases the Pain Associated with a Disc Herniation

If physical therapy has been recommended by your primary doctor for the treatment of a herniated disc, follow the advice of your doctor. Regular physical therapy appointments will teach you how to keep your body in neutral positions throughout the day, easing pressure on the herniated disc. Physical therapy will also help strengthen the muscles that support the injured area. A physical therapist may also apply heat or cold, ultrasound technology and massage to your injured back.

It’s Possible to Wait for Herniated Disc Surgery, It Just Takes Longer Pain Relief

The good news, for patients that want to avoid surgery at all costs, is that you are not risking getting worse. Over time, you will heal, but you will have to deal with pain much longer than a patient that chooses surgery instead. Surgery is not a guarantee that you will be pain free, but surgery is the fastest way to deal with a herniated disc causing serious pain.

Exercise Is Beneficial for Overall Back Health

While in the beginning of an injury you will want to rest the area, getting regular exercise stimulates blood flow and allows your back to heal. Swimming, in particular, is an excellent exercise for your back. When you are swimming on your stomach, your back is in perfect alignment. You are able to strengthen your back muscles in a near weightless environment while swimming. Keeping your back muscles strong will help you recover from a disc injury faster.

If you are suffering from significant back pain and you don’t know where to turn, try a chiropractor. They are trained doctors who handle all types of back injuries and conditions. Contact a clinic such as Horne Chiropractic Center.

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