VIGILANCE FOR BRAIN CANCER

Brain cancer is a very serious form of cancer. Recently, Sen. John McCain revealed he has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive type of brain tumor. GBMs originate in the brain; it does not spread there from another part of the body. The cause is not known. This tumor has no relation to melanoma, the skin cancer for which McCain was treated in the past.

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QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT CHEMOTHERAPY

Chemotherapy is a standard treatment for cancer. It kills healthy cells along with cancer cells, inflicting damage on the body and seriously compromising the immune system. Chemotherapy also kills most rapidly dividing healthy and cancer cells, but not all the cells are fast growing. Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a small population of cancer cells that are slow growing and thus resistant to treatment, do not die. Chemotherapy makes these cells even more numerous as the ratio of highly malignant cells….

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RESTORING DIGNITY AND ’DOS

For many women facing cancer, the most devastating aspect is learning they may lose their hair due to chemotherapy.  “Most women tell me that as soon as they hear the oncologist say, ‘You’re going to lose your hair,’ that’s the last thing they remember hearing,” said Eric Johnson, co-owner, with his wife, Jeletta, of Hair Institute in Lexington. “They can deal with the sickness; they can deal with the treatments; but it’s the hair loss that gets them the most.

….FULL ARTICLE

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The viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia are contagious and are usually found in the fluid that secretes from the mouth or nose of someone who is infected. That person can spread the illness by coughing or sneezing. Sharing drinking glasses and eating utensils and touching the used tissues or handkerchiefs of an infected person also can spread pneumonia.


Children usually get routine immunizations against H. influenza and whooping cough beginning at 2 months of age. Vaccines are now also given to fight against pneumococcus, a common cause of bacterial pneumonia. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children starting at 2 months of age receive this immunization (called pneumococcal conjugate or PCV13). A series of doses needs to be given at two, four, six and 12 to 15 months of age at the same time children receive other childhood vaccines. The flu vaccine is recommended for all children ages 6 months to 19 years old, especially for those with chronic illnesses such as heart or lung disorders or asthma. Those with HIV infection might receive antibiotics to prevent pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii.


It is best to keep children away from anyone with symptoms of a respiratory infection (stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough, etc.). A child usually takes a few weeks to recover fully from pneumonia. The cough may last one to two weeks or longer. Though most children recover fully from pneumonia, a few may need specialized treatment for complications.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Usually it follows an upper respiratory tract infection, with symptoms starting after two or three days of having a cold or a sore throat. It then moves to the lungs. Fluid, white blood cells and debris start to gather in the air spaces of the lungs and block the smooth passage of air, making it harder for the lungs to work well.


Since most forms of pneumonia are linked to viral or bacterial infections that spread from person to person, it is most common during the fall, winter and early spring, when people spend more time indoors in close contact with others.


Pneumonia claims the life of a child every 20 seconds. A child’s risk of catching pneumonia increases due to premature birth, poor nutrition, lack of immunizations, breathing secondhand smoke, asthma, certain genetic disorders, heart defects, a weak immune system and spending time in a crowded place.


Newborns and infants may not show typical signs of pneumonia infection. Their symptoms may include vomiting, paleness, crying more than usual and being limp, lethargic, irritable or restless. Pneumonia caused by certain bacteria, including Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (known as atypical or walking pneumonia) usually results in milder symptoms and is prevalent among school-age children. Children

WHEN CHILDREN HAVE PNEUMONIA

with walking pneumonia may not feel sick enough to stay home, though they could have symptoms such as tiredness, headache, dry cough and a low- grade fever.


Viruses cause most pneumonia cases in preschoolers who are between the ages of 4 months and 5 years. The symptoms they display are usually a cough, sore throat, low- grade fever, diarrhea, nasal congestion, loss of appetite and tiredness or lack of energy.


Bacterial pneumonia is common among school-age children and teens and develops more abruptly than a cold or virus. Symptoms include a high fever, a cough that produces yellow or green mucus, flushed skin, wheezing, sweating or chills, difficulty breathing and a bluish tint to the lips or nail beds.


Children who have been recently hospitalized or have asthma or chronic illness, use antibiotic frequently or have not been fully vaccinated against certain illnesses such as chicken pox, rubella, whooping cough, Haemophilus influenzae type B or seasonal flu are at a greater risk of developing pneumonia. The only sure way to know if a child has pneumonia is to see a doctor.

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

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