Prevention Early Detection Of Stomach Cancer

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At one time, stomach cancer was the most common type of cancer known in the United States. As the years progressed, the disease became less common among patients. While there are no definitive answers as to why, it’s thought to be related to the decline in salted or smoked food intake. Even with the decline in cases, this disease still presents a serious problem throughout the nation and the rest of the world. While studies are unclear, some experts recommend a balanced diet to fighting against cancer development. In addition, researchers believe that damaged DNA in the stomach cells may lead to cancer. A large majority of individuals are infected by a bacteria known as H. pylori, which resides in the stomach. It is unknown how this bacteria is transmitted, but it is believed to be spread from individuals or through drinking water. H. pylori causes ulcers and may also be a leading cause of stomach cancer. Foods, which include nitrates, are also of concern among cancer researchers. Foods such as hot dogs, certain deli meats, bacon and ham contain substances known to cause stomach cancer, as does red meat, and smoked or salted foods. Certain foods are believed to protect against stomach cancer, including fruits or vegetables. Items such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots are especially helpful in the prevention of this disease. Perhaps one of the most troubling facts about the disease is that stomach cancer is difficult to diagnose. A cancerous tumor may be quite large by the time that it is diagnosed due to the lack of symptoms associated with stomach cancer. When present, the most common signs include upper abdominal pain, especially after eating. Other symptoms include bleeding, weight loss and general weakness. Patients who experience early fullness when eating should also be on alert as this may be a symptom of the stomach’s inability to expand due to the presence of a tumor. If left untreated, the cancer cells can spread quickly to other parts of the body and cause even further damage. Part of the problem is that, like many other illnesses, the symptoms sound very similar to those of other ailments. The presence of one or more of these does not necessarily confirm the presence of cancer, but it should cause the individual to be alert to the possibility. Studies show that men are twice as likely to develop stomach cancer and is most common in individuals from age 40 to 80. This disease is rarely present in individuals 40 years of ago or younger. In addition, the use of tobacco and alcohol are perhaps the most obvious cancer causing agents. Studies have shown that both men and woman are more likely to develop stomach cancer if they smoke. Other factors, including family history and obesity, can encourage the development of stomach cancer. This article should not be construed as professional medical advice. If you, or someone that you know, is concerned about the possibility of cancer, you should seek medical attention immediately. A medical doctor can discuss various options, prevention and treatment possibilities should the presence of cancer be detected. A series of tests may be conducted in order to confirm, or rule out, any such diagnosis and can only be done by a medical doctor.

Bone Breaking Disease – Osteoporosis

It is normal for the bones to erode as we age. But for some people, the bones become so fragile that they break down under the body’s own weight. This causes hip, spine and forearm fractures. This disease is known as osteoporosis. This disease is more common amongst women then men. This is due to the fact that the women have lighter bones and after menopause, they experience rapid bone loss due to decrease in estrogen. Also women opt for heavy dieting in order to lose weight, where they skip highly nutritious food items. This results in weaker bones in the body. Men too can suffer from this disease if they smoke, drink or take steroids. But there is no need to worry. It is possible for you to slow, stop or reverse this bone loss. Though women have used ERT or Estrogen Replacement Therapy to overcome this problem, you can follow the tips below to overcome or prevent this problem. • Build up your bones: It is highly recommended that you do aerobic exercises for about 20 minutes a day at least three days a week. Exercise has been shown to stimulate bones to lay down new tissues. It is advisable to do the exercise that you can continue doing over long periods of time. Walking is the best form of exercise but you can also choose biking, swimming or aerobics. • Walk in water: If you have suffered from fracture, walking in water is the best form of exercise. You can do this exercise three times a week for up to 30 minutes a day. The water will support body weight and ease the stress off the bones and joints. • Use a chair and the floor for exercise: Complement water walking by doing some muscle strengthening exercises like abdominal curls, shoulder blade squeezes and back extensions. You can do these exercises on a chair or on the floor. • Eat calcium: Doctors recommend that you get about 1000 milligrams of calcium a day, even though you have not yet reached menopause. If you are not getting an ERT treatment, increase your calcium intake by another 200 to 500 milligrams a day. This means that you can drink a quart of skim milk a day or have two cups of low-fat yogurt or four cups of low-fat cottage cheese to get 1000 milligrams. You can take the remaining requirements from supplements. • Go for maximum absorption: Spread out your calcium supplements throughout the day rather than take all at one go. Food supplements should be taken with a meal. Doctors recommend you to take calcium carbonate which is relatively inexpensive and is easily absorbed when taken in divided dosages at mealtimes. • Increase your Vitamin D: Get the maximum protection by consuming 400 international units of Vitamin D each day, especially if you do not get enough sunlight. Milk contains about 100 international units of Vitamin D, hence it is recommended that you take four cups a day. But other dairy products like cheese, yogurt etc cannot be taken into account since they are not fortified with Vitamin D. But do not exceed the recommended dosage of 400 international units since this vitamin is highly toxic in excess. • Eat different types of food products: Bones do not contain calcium alone but contain an amalgam of boron, zinc and copper along with other minerals. You can get these trace elements by eating variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other unprocessed foods. • Stop smoking: Smoking has been shown to accelerate bone loss. It accelerates the rate at which the body metabolizes estrogen and thus canceling the benefits of ERT. It has been shown to cause bone loss in men and postmenopausal women too. • Control your medicines: Some drugs have been shown to hasten bone loss. The most common types of drugs are corticosteroids taken for variety of conditions like rheumatic, allergic and respiratory disorders, L-thyroxine a thyroid medicine and furosemide which is a diuretic used against fluid retention associated with high blood pressure and kidney problems. • Avoid fizzy drinks: Cola and other carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which contains phosphorus which is a mineral, when taken in excess, causes your body to excrete calcium. • Ease salt intake: Excess intake of salt throws the calcium out of the body. Hence do not include salt more than necessary. Avoid processed and junk foods.

Bird Flu: Human Infection

Bird flu is a disease caused by a specific type of avian (bird) influenza virus, the so-called H5N1 virus. This virus was first discovered in birds in China in 1997, and since then has infected 125 people in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia, killing 64 of them. It is spread by infected migratory birds (including wild ducks and geese) to domestic poultry (primarily chickens, ducks, and turkeys), and then to humans. Some infected people have developed abnormal clotting profiles resulting in excessive bleeding—which was a frequent clinical symptom in the deadly so-called Spanish influenza of 1918-19, which killed more than 100 million people worldwide. Indeed, bird flu shares a number of disturbing characteristics with the 1918-19 influenza virus. These two viruses have, in fact, recently been shown to be similar genetically. And in a recent laboratory experiment with mice, the 1918-19 virus was found to produce 39,000 times more viruses four days after infection than the regular seasonal human flu strain. The 1918-19 virus killed 100 percent of the mice that were infected with it, compared to none of the mice infected with the regular flu strain. With a current “case fatality rate,” or death rate of approximately 50 percent in humans, bird flu is obviously also a very deadly disease. There are only a few reports in the medical literature describing the clinical features of bird flu in humans. The clinical spectrum of H5N1 infection ranges from asymptomatic infection—where the person doesn’t even know he or she is infected—to fatal pneumonia and multiple organ failure. Some infected individuals develop liver or kidney dysfunction, and there were two children who died from the virus that came to medical attention because of diarrhea and seizures related to encephalitis (infection of the brain). However, the most common presentation is one of fever, cough, and trouble breathing. Approximately 70 percent of patients also have diarrhea, and a few patients have had only gastrointestinal symptoms (such as stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea) and no breathing problems. Deaths have generally been in normally healthy people. The first report in the medical literature of deaths from bird flu was on 12 patients living in Hong Kong. Their median age was nine years, with a range of one to 60 years. All presented with fever, and eight had symptoms or signs of upper-respiratory infections (five had clinical and X-ray evidence of pneumonia when first diagnosed). Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, including stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, were present in eight patients. There were a total of five deaths (one died with Reye’s syndrome, which is associated with taking aspirin in children). In a study of 10 patients in Vietnam with laboratory-confirmed avian influenza (H5N1), the mean age of the patients was 13.7 years. For eight of the patients, there was a clear history of either direct handling of poultry (chickens or ducks) or exposure to sick poultry in the week before the onset of illness. All presented in January 2004 with cough, shortness of breath, and fever, and seven had diarrhea; none had myalgia (muscle aches)—which is often found in the regular seasonal flu. Notably, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) was administered to five patients, four of whom died (treatment was probably started too late for the medication to be effective—it must be given within 48 hours after onset of symptoms to be effective). In total, eight of the patients died, for an 80 percent case fatality rate or death rate. As is apparent from the descriptions above, the presenting symptoms of individuals with bird flu are very similar to the symptoms of the normal seasonal flu. Infections caused by either the bird-flu virus (H5N1) or the seasonal influenza virus can be completely asymptomatic—that is, cause no symptoms at all. Fever, cough, malaise (feeling ill), and gastrointestinal symptoms are common to both infections. Excessive bleeding occurs only with bird flu, but currently this symptom doesn’t appear to be common. Difficulty breathing is more common with severe cases of bird flu, not seasonal flu. Runny nose and sneezing are found only with colds (or allergies). The cough in either type of infection is what is referred to in medicine as “nonproductive”—meaning there is no sputum brought up when coughing, or if any sputum is brought up, it is white in color. This type of cough is characteristic of upper respiratory viral infections. As either type of infection progresses or worsens, tissues may be damaged, disrupting the normal structure and function of the infected cells. This in turn may allow bacteria to grow and also cause damage. When this happens following a viral infection, it is referred to as a “secondary” bacterial infection. When this occurs, the color of the sputum characteristically turns yellow or green. If this happens, antibiotics are indicated to treat the bacterial infection. (Antibiotics are not indicated in the treatment of viral infections, because they don’t work.) It is safe to assume that during a bird-flu pandemic, most individuals who become infected with the bird-flu virus will either be asymptomatic—having no symptoms—or their illness will not be severe enough to require hospitalization. The small percentage who do become seriously ill will have to be hospitalized, and treated with either of the two antiviral agents available, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza). A smaller subset of that group will develop life-threatening complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which requires treatment with a mechanical ventilator, a respirator. Some individuals may develop other serious complications such as liver failure, kidney failure, neurological problems—such as seizures, paralysis, psychiatric problems such as delirium or psychosis, or bleeding problems. However, it is reasonable to predict that most people infected with the virus will not die and will not have significant residual symptoms, although a small percentage will. Bradford Frank, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. The Frank Group P.O. Box 138 Lakewood, NY 14750 www.AvoidBirdFlu.com

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