Categories Prostate Cancer

Abarelix: Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Each year, millions of men suffer from symptoms of prostate enlargement. Of these, many men will seek out medical treatment and, unfortunately, be diagnosed with prostate cancer. In an effort to provide aggressive prostate cancer treatment, healthcare professionals, usually an oncologist, will develop specific treatment plans for men suffering from symptomatic, aggressive prostate cancer. As part of this aggressive treatment program, the use of an injection known as Abarelix, may be indicated. Understanding the use, dosing and side effects will equip men with a better understanding of the personal prostate treatment plan program.

Abarelix, manufactured by Praecis Pharmaceuticals, is used in the treatment of prostate cancer with success in slowing the progression of prostate cancer by reducing the level of testosterone. Dosing of Abarelix will depend on the stage in which the prostate cancer has progressed and the level of prostate cancer symptoms. As an injection, Abarelix is a convenient approach to fighting aggressive prostate cancer when given in 100 milligram doses once every two weeks over the first month and then monthly thereafter. Because severe side effects, attributed to an allergic reaction, are generally seen within the first few hours of administration of the first dose, prostate cancer patients, using Abarelix in treatment, should remain in the physician’s office for up to one hour following the first injection to monitor for potential complications.

As with any FDA approved medication, Abarelix, in the treatment of prostate cancer, does not come without side effects. Side effects most common in the use of Abarelix may include back pain, edema including swelling around the face, arms, legs and chest. In addition, some patients, treating for prostate cancer, will suffer from flu type symptoms including runny nose, fever, sweating and diarrhea associated with Abarelix. In rare cases, syncope, skin rash with itching, tightness of chest with abnormal breathing may ensue and should be brought to the attention of the healthcare professional.

For individuals suffering from co-morbid health conditions, Abarelix is not indicated in the treatment of prostate cancer. Such conditions include cardiovascular complications, obesity and osteoporosis for which Abarelix may further complicate the co-morbid condition. In addition, as women do not possess a prostate, Abarelix should not be administered in females for any reason, even in those seeking to reduce levels of natural testosterone.

As with any form of cancer treatment, discussing options and side effects with the oncologist is crucial to obtaining optimal treatment outcomes. In men, when suffering from prostate cancer, discuss the use of Abarelix with the oncologist.

Categories Prostate Cancer

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world. Everyone, therefore, should be informed about it. The following steps will guide you in diagnosing this disease.

Step 1

Know the risk factors for prostate cancer. These include family history of prostate cancer in a first degree relative, older age, African American race and a diet rich in animal fat.

Step 2

Perform the following prostate cancer screening in all men:

A rectal exam performed by a health care provider to feel for any lumps or irregularities in the prostate gland.

A blood test that measures prostate specific antigen (PSA). PSA is a protein produced by the prostate. Although many men with prostate cancer have an elevated PSA concentration (above 4.0 ng/mL), an elevated level does not always mean a cancer is present.

Step 3

Perform a trans rectal ultrasound if above tests are positive. It can be done in an office.

Step 4

If all of the above tests are positive, do a prostate biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Tips and facts:

It is important to distinguish Prostate cancer from Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) which is a non-malignent or benigh condition that occurs when the prostate enlarges, slowing or blocking the urine outflow. Treatment of BPH is aimed at reducing the urinary symptoms and improving urine flow. This may also include the surgical or endoscopic removal of the hypertrophied gland. For more information on Benigh Prostate Hypertrophy please read my article titled, ‘Treatment of Benigh Prostate Hypertrophy’

Categories Other Cancers

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms by Stage

It is estimated that over 21,000 cases of ovarian cancer will have been diagnosed in 2018, making up 3 percent of all cancer cases for women. Although the five-year survival rate is over 50 percent, 15,000 people in 2018 died from ovarian cancer. These statistics should emphasize that, despite progress in combating the disease, women should be aware of the signs and symptoms related to ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer growths originate from the ovaries, the female reproductive organs responsible for creating eggs. It typically develops in the ovary linings. There are no known direct causes attributed to ovarian cancer, but there are hereditary factors that can contribute to being diagnosed with it. Statistics suggest that white women 50 years or older are more likely to get ovarian cancer than other population groups.

Early Stage and Symptoms. In the zero or first stage, ovarian cancer cells are present inside one or both ovaries but no cells are present outside of them. There are no visible symptoms for stage 1 ovarian cancer. These symptoms usually show up when the tumor has grown large enough to pressure other organs. If ovarian cancer is discovered at this point, it is usually through a routine pelvic exam.

Stage 2 Symptoms. At stage 2, the ovarian cancer has spread from the ovaries and possibly into the fallopian tubes or other pelvic organs. Pelvic pain, abdominal swelling and frequent urination could indicate the existence of ovarian cancer tumors. Signs and symptoms of stage 2 ovarian cancer they are hard to distinguish among other possible diseases. This makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose ovarian cancer at early stages.

Stage 3 Symptoms. At stage 3, the ovarian cancer has spread beyond the reproductive organs and into the abdomen or surrounding lymph nodes. They could also spread to the rectum. Gas, constipation and diarrhea could also be signs, as well as abnormal menstruation and pain during intercourse.

Stage 4 Symptoms. When ovarian cancer reaches stage 4, it means that the cancer cells have spread into other organs such as the liver, lung or intestines and possibly other lymph nodes. Doctors sometimes find cancer cells in the lung fluid, indicating how far it has spread. Associated symptoms would be a collection of fluids around the abdomen which arises from liver failure, labored breathing from infected lungs, or the inability to properly digest food due to cancer-laden intestines. The 5-year survival rate at stage 4, according to cancer.org, is 17 percent.

Categories Other Cancers

Methods to Cure Breast Cancer in That Are Less Radical Than Mastectomy

Words cannot explain how harrowing the experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer can be. Methods of treatment prevail all around us, but finding the right solution when the time comes becomes difficult. Also, treatment for breast cancer needs to be a continuous process. However, there are methods to treat breast cancer today using alternative techniques. These methods can be called as more humane and considerate to the woman who is already suffering from the affliction.

The most common treatment for breast cancer in women until a few years ago was mastectomy, i.e. surgical removal of the breast. Today, the treatment does not need to be so aggressive. There are methods in which just the lump and the nearby tissues can be removed from the breast in a method known as lumpectomy. But if the woman has a large tumor and not just a small lump in her breast, then she will need to first use some method like chemotherapy to lessen the size of the breast and then the lump removal operation can be conducted.

Some women opt to go for removal of just the portion of the breast that has been diagnosed with the cancerous growth. This saves her entire breast from being removed. However, some portion of the thoracic muscle will need to be removed along with the tissue and some of the tissue surrounding it. This process, known as partial mastectomy, is fortified with radiotherapy treatments.

If the doctor strongly recommends complete mastectomy, you could at least go for this method that saves the entire breast from being amputated. Here, portions of the breast such as the nipple, the fatty tissues, the lobules, the ducts and the skin of the breast are removed. Many women who have no other option go for this kind of mastectomy, which needs to be followed up with hormone supplementation or chemotherapy.

Of course, the best way out is to get diagnosed as early as you can because all cancers can be nipped in the bud if detected early. A simple breast examination can indicate the presence of cancer in it. To confirm it, methods such as sentinel lymph biopsies are conducted. This includes a diagnosis of the lymph nodes in the armpits. A diagnosis at this stage can stop the problem from aggravating in dimension. Diagnosing breast cancer in its benign stages ensures complete treatment in an easier manner, and your breasts will be safe. You can also consider speaking with your treatment provider for a second option if their recommended method is not quite agreeable to you.

Categories Prostate Cancer

Tips for Coping with Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

A diagnosis of any sort of health problem can be rightly startling at first. First of all, a fear of the unknown and not knowing what will happen can be scary, and second, a threat to your health can feel like an invasion. You may worry about yourself, and your family. However, here are some tips to help ease your fears if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

When coping with prostate cancer, the first thing to recognize is that technology has made treatment more effective with every passing year and more men every year are beating and surviving prostate cancer.

Learning about prostate cancer will help ease your fear of the unknown. The more you know about the disease you are dealing with, the more prepared you will feel. Understanding the different aspects of prostate cancer will help you to learn about all of the methods that are used to help cure the problem. Being informed will help you to know all of the angles of the problem and how best to approach them. The more you know, the less you will fear. Read books and periodicals about prostate cancer, see a doctor who specializes in treating prostate cancer, ask that professional as many questions as you can and ask them to provide as much information as they can for combating this cancer. This will help you get on your way to a better understanding of what is happening to your body.

If you are feeling uneasy, stressed, and emotionally distressed due to the diagnosis, which is absolutely understandable, it may be a good release to speak with a therapist or an individual counselor about how you are feeling. Depression can occur when diagnosed with cancer and an individual counselor can help you to fight this depression.

Support groups are a great way to help any individual deal with any problem. Because prostate cancer isn’t all that uncommon, support groups do exist for prostate cancer. Being surrounded by a group of individuals who are going through the same experience can really help you cope with the problem. Support groups provide emotional comfort, as the group is there to listen and share their fears, experiences, worries, and successes together. This is a great way to ease the fear of being diagnosed with prostate cancer because the support group creates a feeling of belonging to a team that is together fighting the same cancer. Though having a great family and circle of friends to support you when dealing with a tough time, it may be difficult for them to understand a problem they have never been through themselves. A person in this type of support group will feel less alone when surrounded by a group that is experiencing the same thing.

Categories Other Cancers

Why Pancreatic Cancer Patients Should Consider Alternative Medicine

Like so many patients diagnosed with her type of cancer, Sue was shocked by the survival rates. Information available from the American Cancer Society showed only around one in five patients alive a year after their diagnosis. This led her consider alternative treatments for pancreatic cancer.

Overview of pancreatic cancer

According to the Mayo Clinic, the role of the pancreas is to produce enzymes that assist in digestion and hormones that help regulate how the body metabolizes sugar. The organ lies horizontally in the abdomen, behind the lower part of the stomach. It’s around six inches long and resembles a pear on its side.

Because it’s usually not detected in an early stage and spreads quickly, pancreatic cancer is often linked to a poor prognosis.

Conventional treatment

One of the most important parts of diagnosing pancreatic cancer is determining its staging. This is because the treatment options available in conventional Western medicine are linked to the stage of the malignancy. In Stage 1, cancer appears only in the patient’s pancreas. However, by Stage IV, it has typically spread to outlying sites like the lungs, liver and abdominal lining.

Traditional treatments include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Targeted therapy and clinic trials are available to some patients.

Alternative medicine

Many patients intend to review every treatment available to try to cure the cancer. This includes considering alternative – or complementary – therapies once traditional treatments offer little hope. It’s essential to discuss all options with the doctor in charge of treatment.

The National Pancreas Foundation indicates that alternative therapies are those patients can utilize along with medical treatment in order to feel better.

Massage therapy. It could treat just one area or might be a full body massage. It involves touch and a variety of techniques to stroke or knead muscles. Massage targets muscle and bone discomfort, circulation problems, swelling, difficulty relaxing and pain. It also reduces stress. Patients should make sure to hire only a licensed massage therapist.

Therapeutic touch. This is a process of energy exchange. The practitioner uses his or her hands to focus on the healing process. The premise is that a human being is a form of energy. Practitioners believe disease causes a disturbance in the balance of energy and seek to correct it. Research has revealed this alternative treatment can reduce anxiety and change the patient’s perception of pain.

Physical exercise. When a pancreatic cancer patient is physically able, exercise improves the quality of life. It can decrease stress, pain, fatigue, nausea and depression. When performed regularly, it affects the balance of hormones in the body and the heart rate positively. With a doctor’s permission, walking twice a day for short intervals at least three times a week is ideal. Other types of exercise like stretching and isometrics are also helpful.

Meditation. This type of alternative medicine can reduce anxiety, tension and distress. Focused breathing, progressive muscle relation, affirmations, prayer, yoga and guided and visual imagery are all part of it. Regular medication can help a pancreatic cancer patient’s sleep, concentration and ability to handle stress associated with pain, nausea and anxiety.

Laughter. Researchers are currently studying the benefits of laughter. Evidence suggests it can boost a patient’s immune system.

Acupuncture. This alternative therapy involves Chinese practices thousands of years old. Using very thin needles, the practitioner stimulates specific points on the body. The needles might be manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation.

One of the most important aspects of any type of alternative treatment for pancreatic cancer is assembling and relying on a support system, according to the Mayo Clinic. Connecting with cancer survivors can also prove comforting for many patients.

Sources:

American Cancer Society site

Mayo Clinic site

National Pancreas Foundation site

Categories Other Cancers

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Risk Factors

src=”https://www.researchgate.net/profile/James_Reuben/publication/224957268/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Workup-for-inflammatory-breast-cancer_Q320.jpg” width=”” height=”” />Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare form of breast cancer that is generally not accompanied by a lump. Some of the common symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include itching, soreness, a rash which turns the skin pink or red, dimpling or a change in the skin which appears like an orange peel, nipple inversion, nipple flaking, nipple discharge, warmness of the skin, breast enlargement and thickening of the skin. While anyone can be affected by inflammatory breast cancer, it is important to be aware of the risk factors.

Gender

Women are much more likely to experience inflammatory breast cancer than men. That said, it is important to keep in mind that there is a possibility that it may affect men. Male breast cancer is fairly rare to begin with, but this form is even rarer – mostly because it is a rare form of breast cancer in general. Any man who experiences unusual breast changes should be sure to visit his doctor. Also note that men who are overweight or obese are at much greater risk of breast cancer.

Age

The most common age of diagnosis for women with inflammatory breast cancer is in their 50s. This is actually earlier than the common age for diagnosis of other types of breast cancer. That said, women can become affected by inflammatory breast cancer at any time during her life. Do not rule out the possibility of this form of breast cancer just because you are young. If you have a family history of breast cancer in which relatives were diagnosed at an early age, you may want to consider beginning annual mammograms at an early age as well.

Ethnicity

Caucasian women are less likely to get inflammatory breast cancer than black women are. However, this does not mean that a Caucasian woman or a woman of any other race is not able to become diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. Never rule out inflammatory breast cancer because your ethnicity puts you at a lower risk.

Inflammatory breast cancer is known to be very aggressive. Most of this is because many women do not realize that their symptoms could be caused by cancer. Since they do not find a lump, they make the assumption that they are experiencing a rash or hormonal changes. While there is a possibility that this could be the case, it is best to be safe than sorry. Visiting your doctor any time that you experience breast changes which do not seem right is a key step to diagnosing cancer early enough to treat it successfully.

Sources:

MayoClinic.com, “Inflammatory breast cancer.”

Merck, “Breast Cancer.”