Colon adenocarcinoma or Rectal Cancer is the most common type of gastrointestinal cancer, according of the National Cancer Institute. This type of cancer begins in the cells of glandular structures in the inner layer of the colon and spreads first into the wall of the colon and potentially into the lymphatic system and other organs. Rectal Cancer can be treated, with 50 percent of patients surviving for at least five years. Early-stage cancers have survival rates of 70 to 80 percent.
Rectal cancer stems from colon/rectal polyps that turn cancerous, and individuals who develop polyps are at the highest risk of colon cancer. Individuals age 50 or older who are not screened regularly for polyps are at higher risk, as well, since polyps grow in 30 percent of individuals past the age of 50. Rectal cancer also is associated with a diet high in fat and meat and low in fiber. Other risk factors include a personal history of previous cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
Rectal cancer progresses slowly and may not present symptoms for up to five years. As the cancer grows, symptoms become more likely and can include rectal bleeding, fatigue, shortness of breath, angina, and changes in bowel habits, abdominal discomfort, anemia, or bowel obstruction.
Because most rectal cancer does not present symptoms, most are found through regular physical examinations. About 5 to 10 percent of colon cancers are initially discovered during a digital rectal exam (DRE), in which a primary care physician inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the patient’s rectum. A blood test also can show the possibility of colon cancer, as can various tests that examine the colon. These tests include colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, or double-contrast barium enema.
Research has shown that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. To reduce your risk:
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
- Eat less red meat – no more than 2-3 servings a week.
- Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Take a multivitamin with folate every day.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Drink less than one alcoholic drink a day.
- Don’t smoke
HIV stands for the human immunodeficiency virus. It is one of a group of viruses known as retroviruses. After getting into the body, the virus kills or damages cells of the body’s immune system. AIDS stands for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is caused by HIV and occurs when the virus has destroyed so much of the body’s defenses that immune-cell counts fall to significant levels or certain life-threatening infections develop.
The virus can affect your system by following ways:
- HIV infection is spread by having sex with an infected partner. The virus can enter the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or mouth during sex.
- HIV often spreads among injection-drug users who share needles or syringes that are contaminated with blood from an infected person.
- Women can transmit HIV to their babies during pregnancy or birth.
- People who already have a sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis,genital herpes, chlamydial infection, human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, or bacterial vaginosis, are more likely to acquire HIV infection during sex with an infected partner.
- The virus does not spread through casual contact such as shaking hands, sharing bedding, kissing or via swimming pools, or toilet seats.
HIV infection has become a common complication of pregnancy in many countries with more than 600,000 children worldwide being infected annually through maternal to child transmission. Without treatment, around 15-30% of babies born to HIV positive women will become infected with HIV during pregnancy and delivery.
Early HIV symptoms also include fever, headache, tiredness, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. These symptoms usually disappear on their own within a few weeks. Later, infections like pneumonia, yeast infection of esophagus, lymphoma (a form of cancer), fever, cough, anemia and other health problems show up as the immune system of the patient weakens considerably
HIV infection is commonly diagnosed by blood tests: HIV antibody test, RNA test, Western blot test.
Several drugs are available to fight HIV infection and its related infections. These drugs are called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and have considerably reduced HIV-related problems and deaths. However, medications do not cure HIV/AIDS.
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a liver disease caused by a virus. Hepatitis C is a different virus from Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B. It causes long term liver damage by causing scarring of the liver (Cirrhosis) and in a small percentage of infected people, can lead to liver cancer.
HCV is spread when people share blood or body fluids containing blood. To get Hepatitis C you must share blood or body fluids containing blood with a person who has the disease.
Examples of high risk behavior are:
- Sharing needles or other injection equipment to do injection drugs.
- Sharing needles, ink or other bloody equipment for tattooing or body piercing.
- Sharing razors, toothbrushes, nail scissors or other personal hygiene items that maybe contaminated with blood
- Receiving infected blood or blood products before 1990.
- Needle-stick injuries in health care.
Most people who become infected with Hepatitis C feel quite healthy and have no symptoms, but they can spread the infection to others. These people may become ill. Some symptoms of Hepatitis C may include:
- Feeling tired all the time
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite (don’t feel like eating)
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Yellow appearance to the eyes and skin (jaundice)
- Clay colored or white stool
- Tea colored urine
How to Prevent HCV Transmission:
The only sure way to prevent the spread of HCV (not catch Hepatitis C) is by abstaining from (not doing) risk behaviors. For example: not sharing injection drug equipment and not sharing razors. You can reduce the risk of Hepatitis C infection by:
- Use of clean needle every time you inject yourself (use needle exchange program)
- Do not share toothbrushes, razors, nail scissors and any personal hygiene items that may be contaminated with blood
- Always practice safe sex by using condoms during sexual intercourse (oral vaginal, anal)
- Ensure that tattooing and body piercing establishments follow the right steps to prevent blood borne infections
- If you are doing your own tattooing/body piercing, do not share needles and/or equipment (E.g. Ink, gauze, etc.)
Hepatitis B is a liver disease. Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Inflammation is the painful, red swelling that result when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can cause organs to not work properly.
The hepatitis B virus causes hepatitis B. Viruses are germs that can cause sickness. For example, the flu is caused by a virus. People can pass viruses to each other. You could get hepatitis B from:
- Being born to a mother with hepatitis B
- Having sex with an infected person
- Being tattooed or pierced with unsterilized tools that were used on an infected person
- Getting an accidental needle stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
- Using an infected person’s razor or toothbrush
- Sharing drug needles with an infected person
- You could get hepatitis B from having sex with an infected person.
- You cannot get hepatitis B from
- Shaking hands with an infected person
- Hugging an infected person
- Sitting next to an infected person
Hepatitis B usually has no symptoms. Adults and children aged 5 and older sometimes have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Yellowish eyes and skin (jaundice)
- A longer than usual amount of time for bleeding to stop
- Swollen stomach or ankles
- Easy bruising
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Light-colored stools
- Dark yellow urine
Hepatitis B is diagnosed through blood tests, which can also show if you have chronic hepatitis B or another type of hepatitis. Your doctor may suggest getting a liver biopsy if chronic hepatitis B is suspected. A liver biopsy is a test for liver damage.
Hepatitis B usually is not treated unless it becomes chronic. Chronic hepatitis B is treated with drugs that slow or stop the virus from damaging the liver. The length of treatment varies. Your doctor will help you decide which drug or drug combination is likely to work for you and will closely watch your symptoms to make sure treatment is working.
Certain types of HPV may manifest as Genital Warts, also known as condylomata accuminata. The virus causes cells in the skin to rapidly divide and pile up on each other. The resulting bumps are identified as warts. They tend to be flesh-colored or white.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that infects skin. It is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the world. Unless you are in a lifelong mutually monogamous relationship, you will likely be exposed to HPV over your lifetime.
In women, the warts tend to be found on the skin of the external genitals and in the anal region. They may also be found in the vagina and on the cervix. In men, the warts occur most often on the head or shaft of the penis, or in the anal region.
Many people who become infected with HPV will not show any symptoms. These people are considered to have a subclinical infection. Most people who become infected with HPV will clear the infection on their own.
If you have genital warts, it is because you were exposed at some point in time to one of the types of HPV that causes warts. Direct skin-to-skin contact, generally during vaginal or anal intercourse is required for transmission. You cannot get genital warts from toilet seats, towels, etc.
Although the average time between infection and development of visible warts is three months, some people may have a subclinical infection for months to years before developing visible warts.
The main reasons for treating genital warts are cosmetic or for relief of symptoms. Treating the warts does not eliminate the virus from your body. Treatment does not prevent recurrences of the warts, nor does it decrease the infectiousness of the HPV. Your body’s own immune system will clear the virus from your system. This may take several years.
There is a HPV vaccine that protects you from four different types of HPV. Two of these types may cause genital warts, and the other two types may cause pre-cancerous or cancerous changes of the cervix.
Genital herpes is a common disease caused by a virus. The virus is called the herpes simplex virus type 2. It causes painful blisters that break open and form sores on the genital area of both men and women.
You can become infected with the virus by contact with broken blisters or sores on the genitals, mouth, or rectal area of an infected person. This infection can be passed from person to person during sexual intercourse. You may spread it with your hands if the virus gets on your hands.
Once you’re infected, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. Usually the virus is in an inactive state, which means it is staying in nerve cells near the spine and not causing symptoms. The first time you come into contact with the virus, you may not have any symptoms.
Symptoms may occur about 2 to 10 days after the virus first enters your body and may include:
- Painful sores (blisters) on the genitals
- General discomfort, muscle aches
- Vaginal discharge
- Itching around genitals
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain during intercourse
Genital herpes cannot be cured. The virus will stay in your body. However, your health care provider may prescribe acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir to relieve the symptoms more quickly. The medicine will help you have fewer and shorter outbreaks in the future. If a pregnant woman has an active herpes infection at the time her baby is born, she could pass the disease to her baby. If you are pregnant and have had herpes, tell your health care provider so steps can be taken to avoid infecting the baby at delivery.
Following preventive measures should be taken to avoid this infection:
- Practice safe sex. Always use latex or polyurethane condoms during any sexual contact because it is not possible always to know or predict when the virus can be shed or passed to another.
- Ask your partner(s) if they have had herpes because herpes may be spread from areas not protected by condoms; for example, the groin, thigh, and abdomen.
- Avoid oral-genital and oral-anal sex with someone who has fever blisters (cold sores) in the mouth. Cold sores are caused by a related virus that can infect the genitals.
As the name suggests, tonsillitis is a disease of the tonsils, often infantile and always contagious. In a particularly acute painful state, the symptoms are associated and more or less significant. Then, the intensity will lead to targeted treatments. The disease is viral or bacterial and healing occurs mostly fairly quickly – a few days.
The bacterium that most commonly infects the tonsils is the streptococcus, which causes sore throat. Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils that can occur at any age. It is more common in autumn and winter.
- It is manifested in particular by strong sore throat
- Red tonsils with white spots
- Tenderness of the lymph nodes in the neck
- High fever
- A hoarse voice
- A foul breath
If the infection is not properly treated, it can spread and cause an abscess in the throat or neck. The tonsils may become so swollen that they obstruct the airway. This causes an obstruction or a runny nose, hoarseness of voice, mouth breathing, loud snoring or irregular breathing at night, restless sleep, enuresis, day sleepiness and even impaired cardiac and pulmonary function.
Tonsillitis is a disease which makes one very weak. A few points have been mentioned here and these help in regaining one’s strength.
- Tonsillitis does not usually require additional care other than warmth and regular intake of beverages (water, warm tea, fresh fruit juices), possibly associated with the use of paracetamol or aspirin to reduce fever and relieve pain.
- The focus should be on fresh foods, which help soothe the throat and tonsils to deflate: cold soups, rice salad, and fruit salad. Very hot or cold food should be avoided.
- If the condition does not disappear after two or three days, a medical consultation is required, which may reveal a bacterial disease, in which case, the antibiotics will be recommended.
- The tonsils and other tissues at the back of the throat of the child are important in the defense of his body against bacterial infections. These fabrics are indeed a small part of the immune system.
Meningitis is the disease which happens when the meninges get inflamed. Meninges is the membrane which covers the spinal cord and the brain. People mostly get meningitis from viral infections and they get generally, do not require any treatment. However, meningitis caused by bacterial infection is very serious, and can cause brain damage or death, even if the person is given the best of treatment. It can also be caused by the following:
- Drug allergies
- Chemical irritation
The symptoms of the patient depend on the cause and also, the patient’s age. The symptoms can easily be mistaken for flu because of the similarity between them. It is very important for this disease to be identified right at the initial stage, especially if it is bacterial meningitis. The symptoms follow a random manner because they can either manifest themselves very early or many days after the person has suffered from a bad cold. The main symptoms are:
- Cold with a runny nose
Some of the other symptoms are as follows:
- Decreased consciousness or lethargy
- Stiff neck
- Photophobia or eyes which are very sensitive to light.
- Skin rashes
Infants have other symptoms like:
- Neck rigidity
- Poor feeding
- Lower or higher body temperature than the accepted range
- Crying in a high pitch voice
- Weak suck
- Bulging fontanelles
In most cases, the disease completes its course in seven to ten days without any lasting or severe damage to the patient.
The most important advice that one can give is to visit the doctor and take his expert opinion. The doctor generally gets some tests done which enables him to determine the location and cause of the infection. He can also get to know whether it is of viral or bacterial origin. Although a person suffering from viral meningitis should be hospitalized, some children who do not suffer any serious symptoms can also recuperate at home. Some of the treatments are:
- Sufficient rest
- Lots of fluid intake
- Pain medication
Doctors generally start intravenous drip at the earliest to replenish the fluids which have been lost due to sweating, vomiting, fever etc.
Also known as infectious mononucleosis, it is caused by Epstein Barr virus. It predominates in adolescents aged 15 to 20 years, but it also affects children and adults. It is easily spread by kissing, coughing droplets etc.
The symptoms occur after an incubation period of up to seven-week after infection. Some of them are:
- Sore throat (sometimes with pus in the tonsils)
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
Sometimes there is liver disorders and consequent jaundice, or a rash similar to measles can emerge. But what is more common is that spleen becomes enlarged, which is a characteristic symptom. Yet the doctor should order blood tests or other tests to confirm the diagnosis.
- Since there is no specific treatment for glandular fever, the patient should rest, take prescribed medication to combat the symptoms and wait until the illness runs its course, between two and eight weeks.
- Naturopathists suggest that during the febrile stage, one should take yarrow tea and elderflower to increase sweating and temperature regulation. A slight but nutritious diet is also recommended, based on substantial broth, until the patient recovers his appetite and strength. The therapist may prescribe large doses of vitamins B and C to strengthen the immune and nervous systems.
- Herbalists prescribe three to four cups of tea of yarrow or elderflower. The weariness of later stages is treated with tonic remedies, such as yarrow and rosemary teas and hearty oats. Homeopathic Belladonna is used for high fever and sore lymph nodes, Baryta carb. If the patient is a child and has very swollen lymph nodes and tonsils, thay can take Phytolacca. If the condition continues, homeopaths prescribe a restorative treatment. To prevent the spreading, there is a special preparation to be taken daily for 10 days.
- Practitioners prescribe salts of iron phosphate every hour during the early stages of the disease, and potassium chloride at the same rate when nodes are swollen. If convalescence is accompanied by decay, calcium phosphate is recommended three times a day.
Even though a very serious disease, it can be healed easily.
Encephalitis is a disease in which the brain gets inflamed, generally caused by a virus attack. It is an extremely rare ailment and mostly children contract this disease. The elderly people and people with weak immunity also fall prey to it. Thousands of cases are reported each year but even then, most cases are not reported because the symptoms are so negligible that the patients do not even realize that they have Encephalitis.
The following are the main symptoms of this disease:
- Lost appetite
- Loss of energy
In serious cases, the person will have very high fever and most of the following symptoms.
- Vomiting and nausea
- Very severe headache
- A stiff neck
- Changes in personality
- Problems in hearing and speech
- Loss of memory
- Sleepiness all the time
Encephalitis mostly follows common viral diseases. Sometimes they appear along with the symptoms of these regular diseases. But it mostly hits without any warning.
Those people who get a mild case if encephalitis can get treated at home. However, most are not so lucky and have to be admitted to the hospital, even in ICU. Doctors keep them under constant observation and monitor the patients’ rate of respiration, heart rate and blood pressure. The main purpose is to stop the brain from swelling any more. Also, antibiotics are not prescribed as they are ineffective against most kinds of virus.
However, there are a few antiviral medicines which can be administered for treating some types of this disease. Sometimes, corticosteroids are prescribed to make the swelling go down. If a child suffers from seizures, he should be given an anticonvulsant drug. For treatment of headache and fever, unprescribed medicines like paracetamol can be given to the patient.
Most people, who suffer from encephalitis, recover completely. A small percentage of the patients become very serious and suffer permanent damage of the brain. They can have difficulties in learning, amnesia or muscle controlling problem. However, they can be absolutely cured by therapy.