Radiotherapy (a portmanteau of radiation therapy) is an effective and highly-advanced way of treating cancers. In short, radiotherapy involves using cell-killing ionising radiation in order to destroy cancer cells and prevent them from returning.
So what exactly is radiotherapy and how does it work?
Radiotherapy works when cancers are localised. If someone has a cancerous lump in their breast, for example, radiotherapy can be used to target the exact area where the cancer was present and use ionising radiation to kill the cells.
Obviously, doctors will want to target only the cancerous cells and not healthy tissue. The radiation needs to pass through healthy cells such as skin or muscle before it reaches the tumour, however, but impact as little damage on them as possible. For this, numerous smaller beams of radiation are targeted at the area. This means that the smaller beams will do less damage to healthy cells it passes through, but as numerous beams of radiation cross over at the point of the tumour, it is here the radiation is at its strongest.
Ionising radiation will then be used to damage the cells’ DNA, causing them to die or stopping their growth.
Radiotherapy can be used on numerous cancers in very different ways. Some radiotherapy – such as for breast cancer – is undertaken post-operation. This involves treating the area to ensure than any cancer cells not removed with the tumour are killed so they cannot cause a return of the cancer.
Elsewhere, radiotherapy can be used to slow the growth of cancers or reduce them pre-operation. This would be the case if a tumour had gone untreated for long periods of time and has grown to a level that would make removal unsafe. In this instance, radiotherapy can reduce the size of the tumour and make its removal much safer, easier and more effective.
A Guide to Common Lung Conditions – mid-atlantic healthcare
Lungs are the respiratory organs that fuel our system with oxygen, without which we cannot survive. There are many conditions that can affect the lungs and the respiratory system and here we look at some of the most common issues.
Common Lung Conditions:
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease): A condition in which smaller airways of the lungs get smaller, which leads to airflow arrest. This may cause shortness of breath or tiredness, as one has to work harder to breathe.
Pneumonia: A bacterial or viral infection of one or both the lungs. This condition is characterised by the inflammation of the alveoli and can result in cough, fever, breathing problems, chest pain and general weakness.
Asthma: Asthma is a medical condition in which the airways (bronchi) of the lungs are inflamed. This inflammation can lead to spasm, shortness of breath, tightening of chest, cough and wheezing. This condition can occur both in adults and kids, and can develop in an individual of any age and health condition.
Pulmonary Fibrosis or Lung Fibrosis: It is a lung condition where the lung tissues get scarred, turning the lungs to be stiff, resulting in shortness of breath, fatigue, dry cough, and uneasy chest. This condition is generally observed among senior people between the ages of 50 to 80.
Cystic Fibrosis: This is a genetic condition in which excessive thick, sticky mucus formed, clogs the airways of the lungs. The continuous infection caused due to this can result in permanent lung damage and recurring episodes of pneumonia and bronchitis.
Sleep Apnea: With sleep apnea, the breathing pattern during sleep is affected. In this condition, the air passage in the pharynx gets closed, resulting in repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. Sleepiness during the day time and excessive snoring are the common symptoms of the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
Lung Cancer: Lung cancer is a condition, wherein the cells of lung tissues grow uncontrollably, leading to the formation of tumors. These tumors can grow aggressively and can spread beyond the lungs. Since lung cancer has a high tendency of spreading or metastasizing in very early stages, it is a life-threatening cancer, and is the main cause of cancer deaths in both the genders.
PAREXEL is a clinical pharmacology research unit which are carrying out investigations into a new drug for the treatment of acute lung conditions. If you are interested in participating in drugs trials, visit PAREXEL’s test recruitment site: http://www.drugtrial.co.uk/
Asbestosis – Find out how you can help people suffering from asbestos related illnesses.
Tips to Choose the Right Chiropractor – mid-atlantic healthcare
Choosing the right chiropractor is no less important than choosing a primary health care physician. If you choose the wrong person you can be paralyzed for the rest of your life because chiropractors deal with one of the most sensitive parts of the body, the spinal cord. Though professionals follow a particular science for chiropractic care, practice is also an important aspect that you simply can not overlook. It is obvious that you would not like to count on someone who hardly has any experience of aligning the spinal cord. Chiropractors also work on other parts of the body, but the spinal cord remains the focal point. Hence it is extremely important to choose a chiropractor with caution.
Follow the tips given below to know how to choose a chiropractor.
The best way to find a good chiropractor is to ask your family and friends for recommendations. A good practitioner can fix your problem in about six weeks. The person who refers a chiropractor to you should tell you how long the practitioner has taken to heal the pain. If a chiropractor takes more than three months to treat a simple thing like upper pain, it is better to look for another person.
You can also search for chiropractors online. But you will have to mention the place where you live in order to get local search results. For example if you live in North Palm Beach, you should look for North Palm Beach Chiropractor. Reputed practitioners will not just get themselves listed in directories. They will have their own websites where you can find details about them as well as go through client testimonials to understand whether the chiropractors offer satisfactory service.
Once you shortlist a few chiropractors you should personally visit their clinic. You should interview them about the method they follow and the machines and tools they use. This will give you an idea about whether you have come to the right person.
Other than checking these things you should also ensure that the person has proper license and certificates for practicing as a chiropractor.