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Causes of Hair loss | Health News

Posted by Hardie Lorenzo Tuesday, July 26, 2011 2 comments

What Causes Hair Loss?

Here are some of the things that can cause hair loss in teens:
  • Illnesses or medical conditions. Endocrine (hormonal) conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes or thyroid disease, can interfere with hair production and cause hair loss. People with lupus can also lose hair. The hormone imbalance that occurs in polycystic ovary syndrome can cause hair loss in teen girls as well as adult women.
  • Medications. Some medications that have hair loss as a side effect may be prescribed for teens. These include acne medicines like isotretinoin, and lithium, which is used to treat bipolar disorder. Diet pills that contain amphetamines also can cause hair loss. Chemotherapy drugs for cancer are probably the most well-known medications that cause hair loss
  • Alopecia areata. This skin disease causes hair loss on the scalp and sometimes elsewhere on the body. It affects 1.7% of the population, including more than 5 million people in the United States. Alopecia areata (pronounced: al-uh-pee-shuh air-ee-ah-tuh) is thought to be an autoimmune disease, in which the hair follicles are damaged by a person's own immune system. (In autoimmune diseases, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, tissues, and organs in a person's body.) Alopecia areata usually starts as one or more small, round bald patches on the scalp. These can get bigger, and in a small number of cases, can progress to total hair loss. Both guys and girls can get it, and it often begins in childhood. The hair usually grows back within a year, but not always. Sometimes people with alopecia areata lose their hair again.
  • Trichotillomania (pronounced: trik-o-til-uh-may-nee-uh). Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder in which people repeatedly pull their hair out, often leaving bald patches. It results in areas of baldness and damaged hairs of different lengths. People with trichotillomania usually need professional help from a therapist or other mental health professional before they are able to stop pulling their hair out.
  • Hair treatments and styling. Having your hair chemically treated, such as getting your hair colored, bleached, straightened, or permed, can cause damage that may make the hair break off or fall out temporarily. Another type of baldness that results from hair styling actually can be permanent: Wearing hair pulled so tightly that it places tension on the scalp can result in a condition called traction alopecia. Traction alopecia can be permanent if the style is worn for a long enough time that it damages the hair follicles.
  • Poor nutrition. Poor eating can contribute to hair loss. This is why some people with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia lose their hair: The body isn't getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals to sustain hair growth. Some teens who are vegetarians also lose their hair if they don't get enough protein from non-meat sources. And some athletes are at higher risk for hair loss because they may be more likely to develop iron-deficiency anemia.
  • Disruption of the hair growth cycle. Some major events can alter the hair's growth cycle temporarily. For example, delivering a baby, having surgery, or going through a traumatic event can temporarily cause shedding of large amounts of hair. Because the hair we see on our heads has actually taken months to grow, a person might not notice any disruption of the hair growth cycle until months after the event that caused it. This type of hair loss corrects itself.
  • Androgenetic alopecia. Among adults, the most common cause of hair loss is androgenetic (pronounced: an-druh-juh-neh-tik) alopecia, sometimes called male-pattern baldness. This condition is caused by a combination of factors, including hormones called androgens and genetics. Sometimes, the hair loss can start as early as the mid-teen years. It also can occur in people who take steroids like testosterone to build their bodies.

Skin Cancer | Love Your Health

Posted by Hardie Lorenzo Wednesday, March 16, 2011 0 comments

Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of your skin. Your skin protects your body against heat, light, infection, and injury. It also stores water, fat, and vitamin D.
The skin has two main layers and several kinds of cells. The top layer of skin is called the epidermis. It contains three kinds of cells: flat, scaly cells on the surface called squamous cells; round cells called basal cells; and cells called melanocytes, which give your skin its color.

Melanoma is a disease of the skin in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the cells that color the skin (melanocytes). Melanoma usually occurs in adults, but it may occasionally be found in children and adolescents. Your skin protects your body against heat, light, infection, and injury. It is made up of two main layers: the epidermis (the top layer) and dermis (the inner layer). Melanocytes are found in the epidermis and they contain melanin, which gives the skin its color. Melanoma is sometimes called cutaneous melanoma or malignant melanoma.
Melanoma is a more serious type of cancer than the more common skin cancers, basal cell cancer or squamous cell cancer, which begin in the basal or squamous cells of the epidermis. If you have basal cell or squamous cell cancer of the skin, refer to the patient information statement for skin cancer.
Like most cancers, melanoma is best treated when it is found (diagnosed) early. Melanoma can spread (metastasize) quickly to other parts of the body through the lymph system or through the blood. (Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body; they produce and store infection-fighting cells.) You should see your doctor if you have any of the following warning signs of melanoma: change in the size, shape, or color of a mole; oozing or bleeding from a mole; or a mole that feels itchy, hard, lumpy, swollen, or tender to the touch. Melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole. Men most often get melanoma on the trunk (the area of the body between the shoulders and hips) or on the head or neck; women most often get melanoma on the arms and legs.
If you have signs of skin cancer, your doctor will examine your skin carefully. If a mole or pigmented area doesn't look normal, your doctor will cut it out (called local excision) and look at it under the microscope to see if it contains cancer. This is usually done in a doctor's office. It is important that this biopsy is done correctly. 

  • A small lump (spot or mole) that is shiny, waxy, pale in color, and smooth in texture.
  • A red lump (spot or mole) that is firm
  • A sore or spot that bleeds or become crusty. Also look for sores that don't heal.
  • Rough and scaly patches on the skin.
  • Flat scaly areas of the skin that are red or brown.
  • Any new growth that is suspicious

Lung Cancer | Love Your Health

Posted by Hardie Lorenzo Monday, March 14, 2011 0 comments

Lung cancer is a disease which consists of uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth may lead to metastasis, which is the invasion of adjacent tissue and infiltration beyond the lungs. The vast majority of primary lung cancers are carcinomas, derived from epithelial cells. Lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and women, is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide annually, as of 2004. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing (including coughing up blood), and weight loss.
The main types of lung cancer are small-cell lung carcinoma and non-small-cell lung carcinoma. This distinction is important, because the treatment varies; non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is sometimes treated with surgery, while small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) usually responds better to chemotherapy and radiation. The most common cause of lung cancer is long-term exposure to tobacco smoke. The occurrence of lung cancer in nonsmokers, who account for as many as 15% of cases, is often attributed to a combination of genetic factors, radon gas, asbestos, and air pollution including secondhand smoke.
Lung cancer may be seen on chest radiograph and computed tomography (CT scan). The diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy. This is usually performed by bronchoscope or CT-guided biopsy. Treatment and prognosis depend upon the histological type of cancer, the stage (degree of spread), and the patient's performance status. Possible treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Survival varies, depending on stage, overall health, and other factors, but the overall five-year survival rate for all persons diagnosed with lung cancer is 14%.

                                      Symptoms and Warning Signs

Unfortunately, the symptoms of lung cancer can take many years to develop which often leads to diagnosis at an advanced stage of this disease. Some of the symptoms that may occur include:
  • Smoker's cough that persists or becomes intense.
  • Persistent chest, shoulder, or back pain unrelated to pain from coughing.
  • Increase in volume of sputum.
  • Wheezing.
  • Nonsmoker's cough that persists for more than 2 weeks.
  • Change in color of sputum.
  • Blood in sputum.
  • Repeated episodes of pneumonia or bronchitis.
Other symptoms that can be related to late-stage lung cancer can include:
  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Headache, bone pain, aching joints.
  • Bone fractures not related to accidental injury.
  • Neurologic symptoms, such as unsteady gait and/or episodic memory loss.
  • Neck and facial swelling.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
Other signs and symptoms may be caused by the spread of lung cancer to other parts of the body, including headaches, weakness, pain, bone fractures, bleeding, or blood clots.
If you or someone you know experiences any of these signs or symptoms consult a physician immediately. Early detection can mean the difference between life and death for lung cancer patients--the 5-year survival rate for patients whose cancer is found while it is still localized (affecting only the lungs) is almost fifty percent.
If your physician is suspicious of your symptoms he can order screening tools such as CT scans and PET scans which can detect lung cancer earlier than conventional X-rays and increase your chance of survival. Source

The most common cause of lung cancer is smoking.
Smoking causes lung cancer because there are substances within tobacco that are known to cause cancer. These substances are known as carcinogens (which means "cancer-causing agents"), and it is these carcinogens that cause the actual damage to the cells in the lungs. A cell that is damaged may become cancerous over a period of time.
One cannot predict which smoker is at greater risk of developing lung cancer. In general, though, a smoker's chances of developing cancer depends on:
  • The age that the person began smoking
  • How long the person has smoked
  • How many cigarettes per day the person smokes
Passive smoking - breathing in someone else's smoke - may also increase the risk for developing lung cancer.

There are other causes of lung cancer not related to smoking. People who smoke and who also are exposed to these other causes have an even higher risk for lung cancer.
These other causes include:
  • Exposure to cancer-causing agents through a person's job. This includes exposure to asbestos, either in the mining or construction industries. Inhaled asbestos particles may remain in the lungs, damaging lung cells. It also includes exposure to certain industrial substances like coal products, vinyl chloride, nickel chromate, arsenic, and exposure to some organic chemicals like chloromethyl ethers.
  • Exposure to radiation, either through one's occupation or for medical reasons, such as repeated x-rays, though this is quite uncommon.
  • Radon gas, which occurs naturally in rocks and soil in certain areas, may cause lung damage and may eventually result in lung cancer if it seeps into your home. The presence of radon in the home can be measured using an inexpensive kit that can be purchased at department or hardware stores.

Bone Cancer | Love Your Health

Posted by Hardie Lorenzo Sunday, March 6, 2011 0 comments

                                                   What is Bone Cancer?

Bone cancer is a type of cancer that can affect both children and adults, although it is more common in children and teens. It is categorized based on whether the cancer originated in the bone (primary) or whether it spread from another location to the bone (secondary). Secondary bone cancer, or cancer that has spread to the bone from another part of the body, is much more common than primary bone cancer. In fact, primary bone cancer is considered rare. We'll focus specifically on primary bone cancer here.
                                     There are several types of primary bone cancer, including:

  1. osteosarcoma
  2. chondrosarcoma
  3. Ewing's sarcoma
  4. malignant fibrous histiocytoma
  5. fibrosarcoma
  6. chordoma

Symptoms of Bone

Cancer-patients may present with persistent pain, swelling, or tenderness of a bone. They may have unexplained fracture of one or more bones, sometimes without noticeable trauma.

Treatment of Bone Cancer

The treatment of cancer of the bone, especially metastatic cancer, has two goals: management of the neoplasm and management of the symptoms produced by the local lesion. Prognosis is affected by a patient's age, the size of the primary tumor, grade and stage, degree of lymphatic and blood vessel invasion, the duration of symptoms and the location of the tumor on the arm, leg or trunk. There are two ways bone metastasis is treated. Systemic therapy, aimed at cancer cells that have spread throughout the body, includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy. Local therapy, aimed at killing cancer cells in one specific part of the body, includes radiation therapy and surgery.
    Surgery often has to be extensive, with a wide margin of tissue around the tumor being removed. Sarcomas involving muscles require removal of the entire affected muscle group. Radiation therapy is used to prevent local recurrences of radiosensitive tumors and may be given either before or after surgery. Chemotherapy - a number of drugs have proven to be effective in treating bone and soft tissue sarcomas. The dosages required to provide a good chance for cure often produce significant side effects. Effective single agents may include doxorubicin (Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide, high-dose methotrexate (with leucovorin rescue), ifosfamide, dacarbazine, vincristine, dactinomycin (Actinomycin D), etoposide and investigational agents. Combinations of these drugs are often used. Hormone therapy is either the removal of the organs which produce hormones which can promote the growth of certain types of cancer (such as testosterone in males and estrogen in females), or drug therapy to keep the hormones from promoting cancer growth. Biphosphonates are drugs that can be used to reduce bone pain and slow down bone damage in people who have cancer that has spread to their bones.
Even if a bone or soft tissue sarcoma is appears to be localized and could apparently be completely removed, there is still significant risk that tumor cells too small to detect have already spread to other places in the body. Additional treatment with chemotherapy (adjuvant chemotherapy) attempts to eliminate these tumor deposits.
There are also safe and effective ways to treat pain. Medications can allow people to be free of pain so that they can continue the activities that are important to them.

Click here to view some important therapy for bone and other kinds of cancer 

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