What is Fibromyalgia?

April 20th, 2014

Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) is characterised by chronic widespread pain and allodynia (a heightened and painful response to pressure). Its exact cause is unknown but is believed to involve psychological, genetic, neurobiological and environmental factors.

Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness. Some patients also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling, and cognitive dysfunction.

What is Diabetes?

April 20th, 2014

Diabetes mellitus (DM) or simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar. This high blood sugar produces the symptoms of frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. Untreated, diabetes can cause many complications.

Acute complications include diabetic ketoacidosis and nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Serious long-term complications include heart disease, kidney failure, and damage to the eyes.

Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or because cells of the body do not respond properly to the insulin that is produced. There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:

What is Dementia?

April 20th, 2014

Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that includes any disease that causes loss of cognitive ability (the ability to think and reason clearly) that is severe enough to affect a person’s daily functioning. It must also be a worsening of functioning compared to how the person was previously.

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (75%). Other common forms of dementia include: Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, normal pressure hydrocephalus and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.

What is Testicular Cancer?

April 20th, 2014

Testicular cancer is cancer that develops in the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system.

It is the most common cancer in males aged 20–39 years, the period of peak incidence, and is rarely seen before the age of 15 years.

Testicular cancer has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers: If the cancer hasn’t spread outside the testicle, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%. Even if the cancer has grown into nearby structures or has spread to nearby lymph nodes, the rate is 96%.

What is Skin Cancer?

April 20th, 2014

Skin cancers (skin neoplasms) are named after the type of skin cell from which they arise.

Basal cell cancer originates from the lowest layer of the epidermis, and is the most common but least dangerous skin cancer.

Squamous cell cancer originates from the middle layer, and is less common but more likely to spread and, if untreated, become fatal.

Melanoma, which originates in the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes), is the least common, but most aggressive, most likely to spread and, if untreated, become fatal.

Most cases are caused by over-exposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds. Treatment is generally via surgical removal.

What is Prostate Cancer?

April 20th, 2014

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers.

The cancer cells may metastasize (spread) from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly the bones and lymph nodes. Prostate cancer may cause pain, difficulty in urinating, problems during sexual intercourse, erectile dysfunction, or death. Other symptoms can potentially develop during later stages of the disease.

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

April 20th, 2014

Pancreatic cancer is a malignant neoplasm originating from transformed cells arising in tissues forming the pancreas. The most common type of pancreatic cancer, accounting for 95% of these tumors, is adenocarcinoma (tumors exhibiting glandular architecture on light microscopy) arising within the exocrine component of the pancreas.

A minority arise from islet cells, and are classified as neuroendocrine tumors. The signs and symptoms that eventually lead to the diagnosis depend on the location, the size, and the tissue type of the tumor, and may include abdominal pain, lower back pain, and jaundice (if the tumor compresses the bile duct), unexplained weight loss, and digestive problems.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

April 20th, 2014

Ovarian cancer is a cancerous growth arising from the ovary. Symptoms are frequently very subtle early on and may include: bloating, pelvic pain, difficulty eating and frequent urination, and are easily confused with other illnesses.

Most (more than 90%) ovarian cancers are classified as “epithelial” and are believed to arise from the surface (epithelium) of the ovary. However, some evidence suggests that the fallopian tube could also be the source of some ovarian cancers. Since the ovaries and tubes are closely related to each other, it is thought that these fallopian cancer cells can mimic ovarian cancer.

What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

April 20th, 2014

The non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) are diverse group of blood cancers that include any kind of lymphoma except Hodgkin’s lymphomas. Types of NHL vary significantly in their severity, from indolent to very aggressive.

Lymphomas are types of cancer derived from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Lymphomas are treated by combinations of chemotherapy, monoclonal antibodies (CD20), immunotherapy, radiation, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Non-Hodgkin lymphomas were classified according to the 1982 Working Formulation which recognizes 16 types. The Working Formulation is now considered obsolete, and the classification is commonly used primarily for statistical comparisons with previous decades. The Working Formulation has been superseded twice.

What is Mesothelioma?

April 20th, 2014

Mesothelioma or malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body.

Mesothelioma is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. The most common anatomical site for mesothelioma is the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it can also arise in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the pericardium (the sac that surrounds the heart), or the tunica vaginalis (a sac that surrounds the testis).

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