Monday, September 26, 2011

Watching my Niece Grow.. A G6PD Baby.

My cousin told me her baby was diagnosed with Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency  or G6PD deficiency.. It's a rare inherited condition where the body does not have enough glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. This helps the red blood cells (RBC) of the body to function well.

My niece got  this deficiency from her mother or her father. This is hereditary which is passed as along in genes of either one or both parents to their child. But the gene responsible is accounted on the X chromosome as it is a  X-linked recessive hereditary disease.

This condition means that the RBC's of my niece have no much protection and can easily be damaged. This is the main function of G6PD. The bones marrow attempts to compensate the reduction of RBC's and when it fails, hemolytic anemia occurs as response also to other causes such as infections, food, medicines or chemicals.

My friend and I talked that the most important thing to do is to avoid anything that will cause destruction of the RBCs or hemolysis. In the event that the child may have attacks, blood transfusion may be necessary. But we will not let that happen as we will always see to it that the child will be protected from attacks. We will be keen with the breathing pattern of child as decrease in RBCs mean changes in breathing. If the child seem weak suddenly, we will have to make sure that she conserves her energy by letting her rest.

Prevention is the best tool that we have. The G6PD deficiency my niece had will be one reality we will accept.  But this is something that we can learn much  to make sure she enjoys her childhood like the rest of other kids will.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Obesity is Not a Sign of Progress

Obesity refers to a condition where there is excessive accumulation of body fat resulting to further obesity health problems.  Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to measure a person’s body fat based on his or her height and weight. A person is considered obese when the BMI is greater than30 kg/m2. This condition may lead to obesity health problems such as hypertension, heart and breathing problems.

Obesity in published researches is caused by many factors. It is usually caused by excessive intake of food, less physical activity and sometimes also as a result of medications taken. Obesity is common to people who have sedentary life style where one does not have much physical activity or routine.  People who are emotionally disturbed and psychologically disturbed are prone to obesity as well.  Some consider Genetics to rationalize obesity. Obesity can even be aggravated after one has been diagnosed with certain diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus, Pancreatic Cancer, heart and renal diseases.

Obesity health problems may arise as one disregards treating or preventing obesity. The incidence of stroke and heart attacks is high in obese persons as fats accumulate on the arterial walls of the heart. This makes it difficult for the heart to function and the longer it has this difficulty, the weaker it becomes and the possibility of heart attacks rises. Accumulation of too much sugar resulting to Diabetes Mellitus or Hyperglycemia further aggravates obesity which leads to poor wound healing, dizziness and activity intolerance.

Obesity can be prevented. With its increasing prevalence, there should be measures taken to put this to a minimum and reduce the obesity health problems that come with it. In order to treat obesity, one must adjust diet and engage in exercise.  The reduction of food high in energy, such as fatty foods and high in sugar will be necessary. This is will allow the body to be able to use the stored fat as energy and the more it is used, the lesser it becomes. An increase in dietary fiber is needed for the body to be able to remove wasted regularly. A regular bowel habit means no body waste stored in the body, thus preventing other health problems.

Anti-obesity drugs are prescribed as well to help prevent obesity and the occurrence of obesity health problems. These drugs are given to reduce one’s appetite resulting to lesser intake of food. Some of the drugs prevent fat from being absorbed by the body. In cases of severe obesity, surgeries are performed to reduce obesity risks and danger. These biliary surgeries are done by reducing the size if the stomach in order to accommodate lesser amount of food.  These in return, lessen the food intake resulting to decrease of fat storage.

If obesity will not be taken seriously, it will remain to be the greatest risk factor of many cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal problems and even psychiatric illnesses.  It remains to be the easiest problem to acquire as one disregards the diet they follow and the lifestyle to live with. Obesity and being big in size is no longer an impression of wealth and abundance but a sign of health risk and problem. In fact, disregarding obesity and obesity health problems means living a life with a lot of limitations and may be short-lived.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Understanding Stages of Breast Cancer

Learning the basics of Breast Cancer helps us cope with it better. Fear is a normal reaction, however, it is better that we also know the signs and symptoms to be able to deal with it better.
Cancer means abnormal proliferation of cancer cells. In the case of Breast Cancer, the cancer cells has develop in the breast tissues.
The behavior of  cancer cells is attributed to  the failure of one cell, produced by a mother cell, to undergo apoptysis or cell death. When these cycle continues, the number of cancer cells multiply over time which puts the affected organ in fatal condition. These accumulation of cancer cells are manifested through tumors which can be benign and malignant.
             The tumors referred as benign are non-cancerous.They remain to be encapsulated, and does not infiltrate other tissues. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, are cancerous cells which harms other tissues. They have the tendency to invade other tissue even distal  part of the organ mainly affected by cancer.
Breast cancer is described according to its severity and extent of cancel cell damage through staging.

Stages of Breast Cancer
Stage 0Cancer cells remain inside the breast duct, without invasion into normal adjacent breast tissue.
Stage ICancer is 2 centimeters or less and is confined to the breast (lymph nodes are clear).
Stage IIANo tumor can be found in the breast, but cancer cells are found in the axillary lymph nodes (the lymph nodes under the arm)
the tumor measures 2 centimeters or smaller and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes
the tumor is larger than 2 but no larger than 5 centimeters and has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.
Stage IIBThe tumor is larger than 2 but no larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes
the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.
Stage IIIANo tumor is found in the breast. Cancer is found in axillary lymph nodes that are sticking together or to other structures, or cancer may be found in lymph nodes near the breastbone
the tumor is any size. Cancer has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, which are sticking together or to other structures, or cancer may be found in lymph nodes near the breastbone.
Stage IIIBThe tumor may be any size and has spread to the chest wall and/or skin of the breast
may have spread to axillary lymph nodes that are clumped together or sticking to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone.

Inflammatory breast cancer is considered at least stage IIIB.
Stage IIICThere may either be no sign of cancer in the breast or a tumor may be any size and may have spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast
the cancer has spread to lymph nodes either above or below the collarbone
the cancer may have spread to axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near the breastbone.
Stage IVThe cancer has spread — or metastasized — to other parts of the body.

          These stages will not only teach us the severity of the problem but the type of care we give. This will also lessen the fear as we are informed of the condition of the patient. These patients may either be strangers, our love ones or us.

         There will be nothing about cancer that will keep us calm and at peace. However, we will be able to think well as soon as we learn to accept the reality of the situation. And the reality is that, Breast cancer or Cancer in general exists and it can happen to everyone of us. The best way to deal with it is to bravely know about it and intervene in accordance to what the cancer stage needs.

The Nurses are now SILVER WOLVES

Davao Doctors College celebrates its foundation week. Earlier, the festivities for the intramurals already started. My team this year is SILVER WOLVES together with the faculty and staff of the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Department.

I miss the old team, Blue Phoenix. I missed the fact that it belonged to those under the Nursing Department. I missed  bearing stress and celebrating success with fellow nurses.

Yet, this new team offers a new perspective. It means unity and respect to another set of professionals. It is bridging and connecting ties with another group whom we can actually be friends. It is appreciating the need to adjust to people in order to meet a goal. It teaches us to set aside our differences and enjoy the need to unite for success. It teaches us the value of relying and trusting each other to be able to move forward. This time, the loyalty is not only for the angels in the sickroom but for those who also work to make the angels stronger.

I still smell the aggressiveness and the drive to win in every athlete. I smell the spirit of sportsmanship and healthy competition. I have to let go of the past and take in the new. It may not be close to what we had but the heart of nurse warriors are the same. They are even stronger with the new jerseys and new team mates.

I will miss saying "SOAR HIGH BLUE PHOENIX!!!".... now I am head high shouting .." WE ARE THE SILVER WOLVES and WE HOWL ! "

Monday, September 19, 2011

Breast Cancer .. this time

Cancer remains to the most feared disease. It has again struck my family as my cousin has been diagnosed last month with Breast Cancer.

Breast Cancer does not usually have noticeable symptoms at earlier stage. It is recommended that women after having menstruation, should do breast self-examination monthly or BSE.  This is recommended to be done after menstruation. This detects breast lumps or near armpits having uneven edges and painless. In my cousin's case, she noticed yellow fluid coming from her nipple .

However, apart from knowing these, the greatest challenge  is helping her cope up with this. This is not easy for her, and also for us.