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Category Archives: Health care

Impact of colorectal cancer

Impact of Colorectal Cancer on people’s lives

 

Colorectal Cancer can change the life of person up to 360 degrees. Life of a cancer patient is like a pandemic that is full uncertainty. For a cancer patient, the life crumbles right in front of him, not knowing where it would eventually take him and what would be the end results. With hopelessness looming around, knowing about the risk factors and listening to the stories of other brave warriors fighting the cancer, gives you much-need motivation and a comfort level.

How colorectal cancer affects the lives of patients?

It can cause Embarrassment 

Colorectal cancer is associated with poop, farts, and examination of parts people are not comfortable exposing. So, talking about the symptoms and different interventions can be uncomfortable for many. Breaking the news of cancer in itself is devastating sending patients into the realm of despair and depression.

Depression & Worthlessness

It requires a lot of courage to fight cancer. Chemotherapy can cause loss of hair and decreased immunity putting patients at risk of infections. Frequent hospital follow-ups as well as different therapies can be financially and emotionally straining.

The life of cancer patients is different from normal people living around them. Patients may be normal in one second and maybe rolling with abdominal pain in the very next moment, it’s better to avoid comparison.

FACTORS LEADING TO CANCER

Genetics

Many different factors are responsible for cancer development. A non-avoidable risk factor is a genetic predisposition. Lynch syndrome is one of them. It is characterized by younger-onset colorectal carcinoma.

It is hereditary and the affected gene can be passed to the next generation too. Lynch syndrome is also known as hereditary no polyposis colorectal carcinoma. The earliest feature is a non-cancerous mushroom-like outgrowth in the colon or rectum. These growths later develop into cancers and invade the wall of the colon. In later stages, cancer can spread to distant organs too.

Age

Usually, cancer used to be more common among elder people more than 50 years of age. Now its number is increasing among young individuals too. In genetically affected people, it develops much earlier. According to recent facts and figures, people less than 50 years of age are two times more prone to developing colorectal cancer.

Known case of IBS

Family History of Colorectal Cancer

Ethnicity

PRECAUTIONS

Early Screening

People with a known family history are at higher risks of developing cancer at an early age so it is recommended to undergo colonoscopies for early detection. Screening starts at 45 years of age. If polyps are present, they can be removed before their conversion into cancerous growths.

Diet

Adding lots of vegetables, fruits and grains in a balanced proportion can decrease the chances of developing colorectal carcinoma.

Physical Activity

Physically inactive people are at increased risk of developing cancer. Last but not the least, stop smoking today to save yourself from cancer.

Treatment

The chances of beating cancer depend on the stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis. Staging means to what extent cancer has invaded the different parts of the bowel wall and surrounding organs.

After complete cure, remissions can occur and that can be a lot of hassle for the patients. Treatment options can vary from patient to patient. The typical route is to go for surgery first and then several chemotherapy sessions.

Palliative treatment is given in case of advanced cancer. It maximizes the chances of survival and provides symptomatic treatment to the patient. This treatment makes life easy and close to normal.

 

 

What is colorectal cancer

What is colorectal cancer?

                      No one is ever too young to get colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer was once common among people over 50 years of age. According to new facts and figures rate of incidence is increasing among people younger than 50. It is not easy to read about the life-threatening disease but knowing about the red flags beforehand may help in early diagnosis. The earlier it is diagnosed the better is the prognosis.

What does colorectal cancer mean?

The colon is the terminal part of the large intestine and rectum connects it to the anus. Cancer that develops in the colon and rectum is called colorectal cancer. It starts in form of polyps. Polyps small abnormal flat bumps or mushroom-like outgrowths. These later evolve into carcinoma. If it diagnosed at the polyposis stage it can be easily treated with the most favorable outcomes.

In advanced stages, cancer can breach the bowel wall and spreads to lymph nodes and other organs like the liver, lungs, and other organs. This blog is determined to educate you more about colorectal cancer to create awareness and cure cancer within a lifetime.

Correlation of colorectal cancer with age

According to some recently done research, colorectal cancer is twice as common in young people. Registered cases of cancer are decreasing in older people. 10% of cases were registered with patients less than 50 years. In young people it is diagnosed at late stages and predominantly affects the distal part of the colon or rectum.

People with a family history of colorectal cancer or genetic predisposition must be screened before 50 years of age.

Learn some statistics 

It is the second leading cause of death in both men and women in the US. It is the third commonest diagnosed cancer.

Average risk in men= 1 in 23 men

Average risk in women= 1 in 28 women can be diagnosed with this cancer.

Ethnicity can also be the contributing factor; colorectal cancer is most commonly diagnosed among African Americans with the highest mortality rate.

When is the time to visit the doctor?

The top five risk factors are:
  1. Old age
  2. Ethnicity
  3. Positive family history
  4. History of inflammatory bowel disease
  5. Genetic disorders (Lynch syndrome)

The commonest symptom of colorectal cancer is that there is NO symptom. Majority of young patients present with no history of any specific signs and symptoms.

If there is any change in bowel habits

If you are experiencing alternate diarrhea and constipation intermittently or constantly you must visit your doctor. You can have the sensation of incomplete emptying after defecation.

If your stool has blood in it

The blood could be fresh, bright red or the stool can be black or brick red.

Have you been experiencing abdominal discomfort? 

In case of abdominal cramps, bloating and abdominal pain with other symptoms, it’s time to see your doctor.

Feeling fatigued with unexplained weight loss

The pet symptom of any cancer is feeling fatigued and tired along with weight loss in the past few months.

If you have a family history of colorectal cancer don’t wait for the symptoms to appear, the earlier you undergo screening for colorectal cancer the better is the outcome.

How to manage the disease and its after-effects?

In the newly diagnosed patient stage of colorectal cancer directs the further interventions.

What is the staging process?

Staging tells us to what extent cancer has spread in the bowel and surrounding areas.

A The only mucosa of the bowel wall is involved
B1 Cancer has spread to the muscular part but the serosa(outermost lining) is not involved
B2 Cancer has spread to serosa.
C1 Muscle wall plus local lymph nodes
C2 Serosa plus local lymph nodes
D Spread to distant organ

 

For stage A, Surgery is the main treatment option.

For stages B, C, and D, surgery with chemotherapy is preferable.

In stage D interventional radiological techniques are also applied.

After diagnosis, you can ask your doctor different questions like

  • What is the stage of cancer and what is the best treatment option for this stage?
  • You can ask about the side effects of chemotherapy.
  • You can get information about the local cancer support groups.
  • How much your work life will get affected by this treatment?
  • Will it affect the fertility rate if you are of childbearing age?
  • How many follow-ups and hospital visits are required?
Colorectal cancer and its psychological effects 

Getting to know that you are suffering from cancer is disturbing news. You may feel your life is coming to an end and you don’t understand a thing. After denial and anger, you may feel depressed.

It is better to talk to family members and seek help for depression. Know that it’s normal to feel this way but you have to take care of yourself by engaging in daily exercise, meditation, and mindful practices. Musical therapies are also present.

Conclusion:

Colorectal cancer diagnosis can change life 360 degrees. Through this blog, determined to make this overwhelming process a lot better. Different questions you can ask and the decision to choose the best treatment option can be made easier with different guidelines provided here.

 

Gastroenteritis - Symptoms & Treatment

Gastroenteritis – Symptoms & Treatment

Introduction: Gastroenteritis the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract mainly caused by viruses but also some bacteria, parasites, and fungi. More prevalent in third world countries due to unhygienic conditions. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, low-grade fever, and abdominal cramps.  A self-resolving condition but can become complicated and life-threatening if severe dehydration and bloody stools occur. Antibiotics often not needed, ORS and symptomatic management, preferred to avoid any complications.

Gastroenteritis:

Gastroenteritis the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract mainly caused by viruses (sometimes bacteria, parasites, and fungus) and characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, fever, and asthenia. Contaminated food and water can spread the infection. The infection may resolve within two weeks.

Gastroenteritis commonly resolves by itself but severe complications may develop in some cases. In some third world countries, the leading cause of infants’ death. Complications of gastroenteritis included dehydration. Vomiting for more than two days in adults and for several hours in children. High-grade fever, bloody diarrhea, blood in vomit, severe abdominal cramps, and irritability in children.

Clinical presentation, Signs, and Symptoms

Gastroenteritis predominantly caused by viruses ( Particularly rotavirus) and the bacteria E.coli and Campylobacter species. Other less common causative agents no parasites and fungi. Noninfectious agents may also cause these diseases but very uncommon. Children, immunocompromised, and people who ignore hygiene practices highly vulnerable.

Gastroenteritis is characterized by diarrhea with or without vomiting, low-grade fever, abdominal cramps, headache, and muscle pain. The symptoms start to appear between 12 and 72 hours of contacting infection and resolve by itself with 3 to 9 days. The symptoms may continue to present for weeks in children and immunocompromised individuals. If their blood in diarrhea the causative agent probably not a virus.

Gastroenteritis clinically diagnosed by the symptoms present. Blood tests are rarely needed, stool culture performed if food poisoning suspected. In very old age and young children, serum glucose level and kidney function might need to monitored.

Gastroenteritis may cause severe dehydration clinically presented by sunken eyes, irritability, poor skin turgor, and abnormal breathing. The inhabitants of the area with poor sanitation may experience repeated infections causing stunted growth and poor cognitive abilities in children.

Treatments:

Gastroenteritis is an acute, self-limiting disease. Hands washed with soap and contaminated food should avoid. Enough fluid intake advised. If there a risk of dehydration, ORS should be used. If the patient unconscious or severely dehydrated then intravenous infusion used instead of ORS.

Antibiotics not necessary except in extreme cases where the causative agent is known. Macrolide a better choice than fluoroquinolones. Antiemetic agents such as metoclopramide are used to control vomiting. Antispasmodic can prescribe sometimes but motility modulators are best avoided. A rotavirus vaccine also available and recommended by the WHO.

Conclusion:

Gastroenteritis the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract caused by viruses, bacterias, parasites, fungi, and other nonpathogenic agents. Self-limiting disease and often don’t need any medications. As it causes diarrhea and vomiting so dehydration the main risk factor esp in children. Gastroenteritis prevented by using a rotavirus vaccine, by avoiding contaminated food and by following simple hygienic practices such as washing hands with soap.

For any further guidelines feel free to contact us

Dr. Faisal Dar (Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute, Lahore)

Call us at: 0341–0543883, 042-111 117 554

Or Drop Us an Email at

info@faisaldar.com

 

Viral Hepatitis A and E

Viral Hepatitis A and E

Introduction:

Hepatitis A and E are viral infections of the liver caused by Hepatitis A virus and Hepatitis E virus respectively. Both viruses cause acute liver infection with debilitating symptoms but progressing into advanced chronic liver diseases is very uncommon.

Mode of spread:

Both hepatitis A and E are predominantly spread through the fecal-oral route and can cause epidemic worldwide. If a healthy and unvaccinated person ingests food contaminated with a virus. He/she can develop Hepatitis A or E infection. Hepatitis A one of the most frequent causes of foodborne infection. Water or food contaminated with human fecal matter the leading cause of this infection in Pakistan. Poor sanitation, contamination of drinking water ( even a few drops of sewage mixing) can spread hepatitis A and B rapidly. Recent research in areas of Karachi shows that vegetables irrigated with the sewage water. A considerable amount of hepatitis A virus in them.

Closed contact with a person infected with hepatitis A or E, transfusion of infected blood. The male having sex with male and illicit drug use (not only injectable) other modes of spread. Immunocompromised individuals and those on immunosuppressive medication after liver transplant at a significantly higher risk of hepatitis E infection.

Viral Hepatitis A

The situation in Pakistan:

Hepatitis A and E a matter of increasing concern in Pakistan. With poor urban and rural sanitation facilities and lack of awareness among the general population. Our country a fertile ground for these infections. It estimated that 90 of Pakistani children get infected with hepatitis A before the age of 10. Adult infection ratio remained at 6.0% but has shown a sharp increase in recent years. Hepatitis A considered a self-limiting mild disease with few or no symptoms in some adults but to our dismay. An alarming number of hepatitis A related liver failure cases have reported in recent studies (Amnasubhan butt and Fatima Sharif, Euroasian journal of Hepato-Gastroenterology).

Hepatitis E showed a sporadic outbreak in areas with contaminated water in Pakistan. Up to 22% of adults and 2.4% of children found acute hepatitis due to the hepatitis E virus. The infection produced catastrophic effects on pregnant women. Resulting in maternal mortality rates ranging between 20 and 29.3 percent and perinatal mortality rate of up to 30.3 per 1000 live births(Yasmeen T, Hashmi HA, Taj A. Fetomaternal outcome with hepatitis e in pregnancy. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2013 Oct;23(10):711–714. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]).

It also shows a significant mortality rate in patients with pre-existing chronic liver disease.

Sign and symptoms:

Hepatitis A and E are acute viral infections and their symptoms may range from mild to severe. Symptoms develop usually within 2 to 6 weeks of infection. And include jaundice, severe itching, fever, weakness, diarrhea and vomiting. Pain under the right lower ribs, pale stool, and dark-colored urine. Most of these symptoms may not be present in children and jaundice particularly found to be non-existent in infected adults in Pakistan.

Treatment and Prevention:

Practice good hygiene, wash hands with soap and water after using toilets. Used clean drinkable water not only for drinking but also for doing toothpaste. Avoid improperly cooked fish and meat. Raw cooked food a great source of the hepatitis E virus. Avoid illicit drug use.

Hepatitis A and E diagnosed by the presence of antibodies in the blood and by a reversed transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction.

Both hepatitis A and E considered mild infections that will resolve within a few weeks. No treatment advised for normal healthy people. Pregnant and those with chronic liver diseases should consult their physician. Avoid self-medication, especially Paracetamol and drugs to control vomiting.

Vaccines for Hepatitis A available and very effective even in single-dose but for added immunity and two shots recommended. A vaccine for hepatitis E licensed for use in China but not available elsewhere yet.

 

Liver Diseases & Symptoms

Liver Diseases & Symptoms

Liver Diseases:

The liver is the largest organ of the human body. A functional powerhouse and a true miracle of nature’s perfect design. The liver synthesizes protein, produces hormones, detoxifies chemicals or regulates glycogen storage. And synthesize metabolites necessary for human growth and adds indigestion. With such wide and varied functions, any disease that affects the liver can devastating effects on the whole body.

The liver affected by more than 100 diseases, some with acute onset where most of the damage happens within days or weeks. Some chronic where liver damage takes place gradually in a matter of years. Most of these liver diseases cause DNA damage, accumulation of toxins in the liver. And anatomical changes and may lead to permanent damage or liver failure.

Symptoms of Liver Diseases:

There is not a single class of liver diseases so the clinical presentation and symptoms varied but most common symptoms include.

  • Jaundice
  • Confusion, disorientation, and other CNS symptoms associated with hepatic encephalopathies.
  • Thrombocytopenia and blood coagulation disorders.
  • Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.
  • Muscular asthenia
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Fever and body aches.

The liver affected by more than 100 diseases and below a few notable classes of hepatic diseases discussed in brief.

classes of hepatic diseases:
  • Parasitic diseases of the liver are common and worldwide mostly caused by a genius of liver fluke.
  • Liver infections are very common in the developing world and are often the leading, also cause of cirrhosis in Pakistan. Viral infections like viral hepatitis, ( including A, B, and C varieties) can cause much damage before any symptoms appear. These are rightly termed as silent killers as well as they go unnoticed for years. The only sure way to know about your liver health is to routinely get yourself checked by the Hepatic clinic. Dr. Faisal Dar Clinic Quaid e Azam Hospital. State of the art liver care facility and offering unmatched diagnostic, treatment, surgical and transplant facilities in Pakistan. With robust expertise and the highest qualified staff, and also you can confide in us for every matter pertaining to liver health.
  • Alcohol abuse results in the accumulation of toxins in the liver causing alcoholic hepatitis. It causes fatty liver diseases and eventually cirrhosis.
  • Some hereditary conditions can lead to liver inflammation and cause autoimmune hepatitis.
  • Various drugs, toxins, and other chemicals may cause acute or chronic liver damage. Leading to cirrhosis/liver failure.
  • More about hepatic diseases:
  • Fatty liver disease may be non-alcoholic. These are characterized by the accumulation of large amounts of triglycerides in liver tissues and mainly caused by obesity or metabolic syndrome.
  • Hereditary diseases like Wilson disease, hemochromatosis(a large amount of iron deposition in the body). And hereditary amyloidosis( faulty protein synthesis with severe cardiopathiceffects) are less common. A liver transplant the only treatment option in this condition.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver may progress to chronic liver failure, where transplant remains the only chance at life.
  • Primary liver cancer and secondary liver cancer the leading causes of liver-related deaths. Secondary liver cancer metastasized cancer from other organs such as the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, lungs, etc.
  • Primary bile cirrhosis an autoimmune disease of the bile capillaries.
  • Another serious chronic inflammatory disease of the bile duct is primary sclerosing cholangitis. The exact cause of which debated but thought to be of autoimmune origin.
  • Occlusion of the hepatic vein manifests clinically through various symptoms collectively called as Budd-Chiari syndrome.
More about the liver disease:

Many of these liver diseases can be either cured or controlled to minimize the damage effectivity if timely diagnosis takes place and treatment initiated at an early stage. Remember our liver a vital organ and we can not survive without it. It demands extra care and protection. Diagnosis and treatment facilities specifically aimed at liver health are rare in Pakistan, and your go-to health care professional may lack the required expertise that liver demands.

Dr. Faisal Dar (Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute, Lahore)

Call us at: 0341–0543883, 042-111 117 554

Email: info@faisaldar.com

 

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