Tag Archives: cancer

Obama Care, Just what we all needed, right?

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I live in Massachusetts, USA. I am disabled and on a very limited income but I have been fortunate that with Mitt Romney signing in our comprehensive health care insurance system, I was able to obtain a quality plan for a very modest payment. This plan has paid for all of my past surgeries, tests, doctors, pharmacies during the last 6 years. This included my c2-c5 fusion at a prestigious hospital done by a top surgeon with little wait time. My co-pays have been as high as $5.00 for brand name drugs and doctor visits. A plan as good as any major health provider!
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A Special Specialist: The Oncologist

by Brent McNutt

Oncologists are, in the simplest terms, cancer doctors. Their basic task is to cure cancer, but the job entails so much more than that. The job of an oncologist requires many tasks concerning the patient and people around them. In this piece, we’ll take a look into what an oncologist does.

The first and foremost priority of an oncologist is the diagnosis and cure of cancer. The word “oncologist” comes from Greek words; the first meaning bulk, mass, or tumor, and the second meaning “study of”. As such, the oncologist is one who studies tumors. They analyze the signs, observe the behavior of the sickness, and suggest treatments as they see fit. The observations they gather can then go into medical research, conducted by their fellow oncologist.

An oncologist must be a people person. Often, he or she will have to deal with patients in various levels of distress, and even some who do not want to admit they have cancer. They will have to know how to break the news to the patient and his loved ones. Additionally, if the basis of the cancer is suspected to be hereditary, it may be necessary to ask within the patient’s family — meaning the oncologist will have to talk to several members of the same family. This makes it imperative that the oncologist be tactful, discreet, but still open to the patient. Of course, everyone has his or her own style of dealing with people, and the same applies to oncologists.

The next role of an oncologist is a therapist. It is the oncologist who makes the call as to what type of treatment a patient is to undergo. Current cancer treatments are surgical, chemical, or radiological in nature. Hormonal control and antibody-based treatments are also expanding. These cures are the fruits of medical researchers with input from oncologists in the field.

Oncologists are also monitors of their patients’ health conditions. This is necessary to determine whether their treatment is having any effect, good or bad. If the treatment does not seem to be doing anything, then a change of treatment may be in order. Cancer treatments have side effects, and if the treatment is making the patient’s health worse beyond expected limits, a shift in treatment may be required as well. The oncologist has to keep tabs on the patient’s vital signs, and select courses of action that will benefit his or her patients. This means follow-ups after treatments are part of the job description.

Palliative care is another of the tasks an oncologist has to perform. Sometimes the cancer is incurable, and the only thing left to do is to somehow improve the quality of the patient’s life. Symptom management is the main medical task, but moral and spiritual issues are no less important. Aside from symptoms like nausea, pain, anorexia, fatigue, and weakness, an oncologist must learn to deal with depression and other emotional conditions. They become moral supporters and sometimes spiritual guides as well.

Lastly, ethical issues concerning the patient are to be considered. An oncologist will have to deal with recurring dilemmas regarding the amount of information they give to the patient, introduction into clinical trials, withdrawal of active treatments, and end-of-life issues.

With so many responsibilities, oncologists are certainly very special medical professionals.

Brent McNutt enjoys talking about cheap urbane scrubs and mens landau scrubs and networking with healthcare professionals online.

Article Source: A Special Specialist: The Oncologist

UCLA cancer researchers first to link intestinal inflammation with systemic chromosome damage

Discovery may lead to the early identification and treatment of inflammation, which increases cancer risk

UCLA scientists have linked for the first time intestinal inflammation with systemic chromosome damage in mice, a finding that may lead to the early identification and treatment of human inflammatory disorders, some of which increase risk for several types of cancer.

Researchers found that local intestinal inflammation induced DNA damage to lymphocytes of the peripheral blood circulating throughout the body. This means that chromosome damage was not limited to the intestine, but involved tissues of the body distant from the site of inflammation. The team found single- and double-strand DNA breaks in the blood, and chromosome damage in peripheral blood indicating systemic genetic damage.

Inflammatory diseases have been linked to some lymphomas and abdominal, liver and colorectal cancers, said Robert Schiestl, a professor of pathology, radiation oncology and environmental health sciences and a Jonsson Cancer Center scientist. If inflammation can be found early – before any symptoms arise – and the diseases treated immediately, it may prevent the damage that eventually leads to these cancers, he said.

The study appears in the June 1, 2009, edition of CANCER RESEARCH, the peer- reviewed journal for the American Association for Cancer Research.

“This was not known before, that intestinal inflammation causes damage that can be found throughout the body,” said Schiestl, the study’s senior author. “This may help explain how inflammation leads to these cancers.”

Conditions that cause intestinal inflammation include Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Celiac disease. About 1.4 million people in the United States and 2.2 million Europeans currently suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases and incidence worldwide is increasing, Schiestl said.

The chromosome damage in the peripheral circulating blood could be used as a biomarker to identify those with intestinal inflammation before they show any symptoms or suffer any distress. In the study, the chromosome damage could be detected in the blood before the onset of colitis in the mouse models the team studied, which were engineered to develop the inflammatory disorder, said Aya Westbrook, a graduate student of the UCLA Molecular Toxicology Interdepartmental Program and first author of the paper. She also noted that the severity of the disease correlated with higher levels of chromosome damage in the blood.

Dr. Jonathan Braun, professor and chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA and a study author, said the chromosome damage may be the “earliest detectable indicator” of intestinal inflammatory diseases.

“Patients come to us with abdominal complaints and we can’t tell if they are inflammatory, obstructive or a bacterial overgrowth,” said Braun, who also is a researcher at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center. “At present, the only way to diagnose the patients is to do full endoscopic examinations, which are both invasive and expensive. ”

In principle, Braun said, this biomarker blood test could replace the invasive endoscopic exam and allow physicians to identify smoldering inflammatory disease before it becomes full blown.

“This may give us the opportunity to ward off the disease early and avoid the subsequent organ damage,” Braun said. “This could change the natural history of these diseases.”

Treating these diseases early would not only bring patients relief, it could prevent the cancers that might have developed later, Braun said.

“We know that prolonged exposure to intestinal inflammatory disease leads to greatly increased risk of cancer,” he said. “If we can reduce the inflammation, we may be able to prevent the cancer.”

UCLA researchers have launched a clinical trial to confirm their findings in humans, Schiestl said. They’re focusing on patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

“This discovery may give us an opportunity to test new strategies to treat smoldering disease, which we’ve never been able to identify before,” Schiestl said. “We may be able to test new drugs to see which are best at treating early inflammatory disease.”

The research also may uncover why some patients with inflammatory disease develop cancers, while others may have chronic inflammatory disorders for decades and never develop cancer. There may be molecular mechanisms at work that protect some patients and not others. If those mechanisms could be found, it could lead to tests that can predict which patients with intestinal inflammatory diseases are predisposed to cancer.

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This study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, and by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has more than 240 researchers and clinicians engaged in disease research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation’s largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In July 2008, the Jonsson Cancer Center was named among the top 10 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for nine consecutive years. For more information on the Jonsson Cancer Center, visit our website at http://www.cancer.ucla.edu.

My Fibromyalgia Page 3

This entry is part of a series, my fibro»

My stress and pain levels are getting higher and higher. Anti Depressants not doing much to reduce my stress. My trip to the heart specialist for the Radio Active testing proved to be Continue reading

My Fibromyalgia Page 2

This entry is part of a series, my fibro»

3 weeks have past and now I am in the doctors office again :( This time they did an EKG which was skipped on the first visit, then they did the EKG again, and a third time, What me worry ? naw I am healthy right? Continue reading

Living With Hemochromatosis

Information About Outcomes

Hemochromatosis can be treated effectively with phlebotomy (repeated blood removal). How well the treatment works depends on how much organ damage has already occurred before treatment begins. If hemochromatosis is found and treated early, complications can be prevented, delayed, or even reversed. With early diagnosis and treatment, a normal lifespan is possible. Continue reading

How Is Hemochromatosis Treated?

Treatments for hemochromatosis include therapeutic phlebotomy, iron chelation (ke-LAY-shun) therapy, changes in diet, and other treatments for complications.
Goals of Treatment

The goals of treating hemochromatosis are to reduce the amount of iron in your body to normal levels, prevent or delay organ damage from iron overload, treat complications of the disease, and maintain normal iron levels over the long term (for life). Continue reading

How Is Hemochromatosis Diagnosed?

How Is Hemochromatosis Diagnosed?

Hemochromatosis is diagnosed based on your medical and family history, a physical exam, and diagnostic tests and procedures. The disease is sometimes found during the diagnosis of other diseases or conditions such as arthritis, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, and impotence. Continue reading