Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Few Things

The systemic lupus erythematosus can occur in either sex, at any age, but it is known that lupus affects more women than men. It is 10 to 15 times more frequently among adult females than among adult men, and that is why sometimes, systemic lupus erythematosus is called a woman’s disease.

Studies revealed that before puberty, there is about one male affected for every three females, and in the adult years, this ratio changes: 10 females are affected for every male.
Also, after menopause, the studies show that there are 8 females for every male affected.

There are some medications that can produce the drug-induced lupus. This lupus appears more often in men, because these drugs are more frequently used in men. We can mention here procainamide, which is used to treat different types of heart abnormalities, and hydralazine which is used to control high blood pressure.

Seems that the symptoms of the systemic lupus erythematosus are the same in men and women too, at least at the beginning of the disease. There are studies that reached the conclusion that there is more severe renal, neurologic, and vascular disease in men with systemic lupus erythematosus than in woman. But, more research needs to be done in that direction, so, at this time, there isn’t enough evidence to sustain there are more severe symptoms in men than in women.

For years, there were made studies that involved the estrogens- female hormones- and the androgens( male hormones). There was seen there is a difference in the way that androgens are metabolized by male and female lupus patients. There also is the suspicion that women with lupus metabolize androgens at a faster rate than women without lupus.

It is known that lower testosterone levels may predispose men to autoimmune-like diseases. There are drugs that lower testosterone levels, and are associated with rheumatic symptoms, but have not been specifically associated with the onset of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Because the systemic lupus erythematosus is sometimes called a woman’s disease, there can appear the misconception that men who have lupus are less masculine. That fact is not true, it was proved that men with lupus are fertile, sexually active and potent, and some of them are very hairy too. Men with lupus are not different hormonally than the others that don’t have this disease.

Sometimes, having lupus can be a situation pretty difficult to cope with. Men affected by this disease may no longer be able to perform or progress in their work environment, or they may not be able to work anymore and support a family. The cultural and societal expectations of men put him in a difficult situation. This fact, the inability of work and earn a living can cause serious emotional and mental stress for him.
In what concerns women, it doesn’t always happen in the same way. Women which have lupus are more affected by the symptoms that appear, like rashes, hair loss, and weight gain.

It is known there are lupus support groups, and it is a logical thing there are more women in these groups, because lupus affects mostly women. It is important that men affected by lupus try and integrate in that groups, because in this way, they will get help for moving forward.

By Groshan Fabiola

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Type of Cancer

Cancer is one of those words that everyone dreads. There are various types of cancer and any type of cancer is really bad news. All types of cancer are life threatening (this is what makes them so dreadful). Even with all that medical advancement we still don’t have a complete cure for all types of cancer. However, there is continuous research going-on for finding better treatments for cancer and to increase our knowledge on cancer in general. Though there are treatments currently available for some types of cancer, these treatments work only if the cancer is discovered in early stages.

Types of cancer

Generally, cancer is named after the part of the body in which it originates. Most common types of cancer are breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Though, this might vary across geographies etc, these four types of cancer seem to be the more notorious ones. The other types of cancer include: cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer, bone cancer, brain cancer, skin cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer and testicular cancer. Besides this, cancer is also classified as primary and secondary based on whether it originated in that body part itself or spread from another body part.

Diagnosis of various types of cancer

It’s not just the treatment of various types of cancer that is difficult (or impossible) but also their detection (or diagnosis). In fact, correct and timely diagnosis is the first step towards treatment of any type of cancer. The earlier you are able to detect cancer, the more effective is its treatment.

Treatment of various types of cancer

Though the treatment of all types of cancers is not possible, some types of cancer can be treated if they are diagnosed early enough e.g. detection of malignancy when it has just started to develop. The treatment for cancer is carried out in many different ways. These range from surgery to radiotherapy, chemotherapy and biologic therapies. Hormone therapies are also gaining popularity for treatment of some types of cancer. Transplantation of bone marrow and many other new procedures for treatment of cancer are being constantly tried and analysed in order to get a fail-proof treatment for cancer.

Research on diagnosis on various types of cancer

The huge number of deaths that are caused every year by various types of cancer has lead to a lot of focus being put into the research on diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer. Meanwhile, we can just hope that there will soon be a complete cure available for the most common types of cancer (if not all types of cancer).

By Karen Lavender and Warren

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