Top Eight Symptoms of Candida Albicans

Candida Albicans is a common type of yeast infection that affects the mouth, intestine and vagina. Candida is very common and cannot be too serious unless the affected person has a very weak immune system. When left untreated, the fungal infection spreads to various parts of the body including the blood and finally affects the brain and the heart too. Candida can be treated by using antifungal drugs like Amphotericin.

Read on to find out more about the main symptoms of the infection.

  • Chronic vaginal infections and UTI

Recurring vaginal and urinary tract infections can be due to the Candida infection in women. Candida spreads through sexual intercourse and is prevalent among women who wear tight underwear. Therefore when sexually active women (with an infected partner) and women who practice inappropriate lingerie habits experience recurring infections, there is a wide chance that the source could be Candida infection.

  • Drastic changes in mood

Quite ironically, the yeast infection in the mouth or intestine can have an impact of the patient’s mood too. Patients with Candida experience strong waves of anxiety, fear, irritability, depressions and sometime panic attacks too.

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

An individual with Candida experiences chronic fatigue irrespective of the number of hours he or she sleeps. The tiredness and anxiety is often accompanied by headache, loss of memory, pain in the joints and so on.

  • Oral thrush

Induced by the same strain of Candida, oral thrush is another yeast infection that affects the mucous membrane. Therefore oral thrush (can affect the mucous membrane of the vagina too) is one of the potential signs of Candida. Oral thrush is often caused by the overuse of prednisone (or other corticosteroids) and the infection can occur in anyone starting from the new born to the aged.

  • Sinus-related problems

Sinus infections are common and if you are experiencing consistent issues with the sinus, then there is a high probability that the root cause is Candida infection. Candida affects the sinus and leads to persistent cough, congestion, difficulty in breathing and other flu-like symptoms.

  • Chronic intestinal distress

Intestinal troubles like persistent flatulence, abdominal bloating, constipation (in some cases it is diarrhea), burping and cramps in the stomach can be caused due to the Candida infection in the intestine. The yeast takes control over the healthy bacteria of the intestine and hinders them from performing their function. As a result the patient suffers abdominal distress in some form until the infection is treated properly.

  • Mental imbalance

In some cases, the Candida infection causes brain fog in the individual. As a result, the person loses his ability to focus on his work, is always distracted and moody and experiences memory loss too.

  • Hormonal imbalance

Candida infection could be the possible reason behind early menopause, low libido, PMS, water retention, endometriosis, weight gain and migraines. The infection plays havoc with the hormones secreted by the body and thus leads to all these issues. When the infection is left untreated for a very long time, it releases a by-product that acts like estrogen thus causing several problems for the individual.

Endocarditis – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is endocarditis?

The inner lining of the heart is called endocardium. The inflammation of the endocardium is referred to as endocarditis. It is caused by a bacterium and the severity of the infection varies from one patient to another. Pharmaceuticals experts and physicians would recommend drugs like Daptomycin that act against gram positive bacteria to the patient suffering from endocarditis.

What signs characterize endocarditis?

Endocarditis symptoms start out slow and intensify with time. The signs are very common and this is often the reason why many cases of endocarditis go undiagnosed until the severe stages. In fact some people who are suffering from endocarditis experience the same signs as that of pneumonia or flu. The symptoms of endocarditis include:

  • Pale skin
  • Fever and nausea
  • Pain in the joints
  • Lowered appetite
  • Sudden loss in body weight
  • Night sweats

As the condition progresses without being treated, these signs intensify and more severe symptoms set in. These include,

  • Swelling in the limbs
  • Bloated stomach
  • Blood in urine
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heartbeat along with an abnormal sound
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Significant weight loss

In addition to these signs, the skin of the patient changes drastically. Red spots (or purple spots in some cases) occur on the fingers and toes. Red spots slowly start to cover the white part of the eyes, on the roof of the mouth and on the chest too. It is important to note that the signs of the disease vary greatly from one patient to another based on the source of the inflammation. Patients who have undergone heart surgery recently must be cautious and alert when these signs are witnessed.

Who is at the risk of endocarditis?

Endocarditis is caused by a type a bacterium that is generally present in the outside environment. When this bacterium is brought into the body through consumption of food or water or through blood cuts, it enters the bloodstream and finally reaches the heart. Endocartitis can be caused by certain species of fungi too. Some of the common pathways through which the bacteria can enter the human body are:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Poor oral hygiene (includes sharing of tooth brushes, leaving oral wounds unattended)
  • Using a contaminated needle
  • Inappropriate use of catheters
  • Use of contaminated equipment during dental procedures

People who are illicit users of drugs, have multiple sexual partners, practice unsafe sex and pay no attention to their oral hygiene are at the highest risk of endocarditis. Patients who have undergone heart procedures like heart valve surgery are also at a greater risk of the disease. In general, patients with defects in the heart can easily contract the infection.

How is the condition treated?

Once diagnosed, the condition can be treated through the use of appropriate drugs (antibiotics). If the condition was caused by heart valve damage then surgery is required. During the surgery, the damaged heart valves are replaced with artificial valves.

Foods That Can Help Lung Cancer Patients

Cessation of smoking and other inappropriate lifestyle habits are often the point of focus while discussing about lung cancer. However, changes in diet control are also an effective way to prevent as well as cure the disease. In fact, it has been reported that eating the right type of food can help the body respond to the lung cancer treatment more effectively. Read on to find out the foods that must be included in the diet of a lung cancer patient.

Fruits and vegetables

Research conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center has established a clear link between antioxidants and its ability to fight and heal lung cancer. While most fruits and vegetables contain some amount of antioxidants in them, a few colorful ones like tomatoes, berries, capsicums and cruciferous vegetables like collard greens, broccoli, and cauliflower are particularly antioxidant-rich. Apples contain the antioxidant called flavanoids and a study by Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1999 revealed that regular consumption of apples can lower risk of lung cancer by almost 60%.

Protein-rich food

Organic eggs, meat, dairy products and vegetable-based protein shakes are all rich in good protein. Patients undergoing lung cancer treatment may experience wasting and a protein-rich diet is essential for building the body mass. However, patients must be careful about their choice of protein as certain food items like fried chicken or steak can increase the inflammation. Nutritious alternatives like yoghurt, salmon, lentils and poultry are recommended for the lung cancer patient.

Whole grains

Whole grains are always a healthier option when compared to refined grains. Whole grains fight the risk of lung cancer and mortality in both men and women and the Vitamin and iron from whole grains ease the symptoms of lung cancer too. Lung cancer patients are recommended to reduce the intake of white bread, pasta and other refined grain sources and instead opt for whole grain foods like quinoa, oats and whole wheat.

Vegan fats

Like any other individual, a lung cancer patient must also satisfy the fat requirement of his body through his diet. However, choosing vegan fat sources like nuts, vegetables oils, avocados (rich in antioxidants too) and seeds over dairy or animal fat is better. Patients undergoing lung cancer treatment may experience diminished appetite more than often. Consuming these natural sources of good fat can help patients follow a nutritious and calorie-rich diet easily.

Beta-carotene rich foods

It has been scientifically proven that beta carotene can reduce the risk of lung cancer (based on the research published by American Institute for Cancer Research in 2007). However, beta carotene must be sourced only from natural food items like carrots and sweet potatoes as supplements can lead to the increased risk of lung cancer.

Patients who are undergoing lung cancer treatment experience severe side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In order to eat a balanced diet while fighting these symptoms, patients are recommended to choose easily digestible and mild foods (like soups, broths, scrambled eggs) throughout their treatment period.

Four Things You Must Know About Breast Cancer Lumps

With every passing year, the number of women opting for breast cancer treatment is increasing. Bad lifestyle and the multiple sources of carcinogens that have found their way into our lives are the major reasons behind such a bad state of health in women. While awareness is being imparted through various ways and women seem to be more informed about breast cancer and its various symptoms, “the lump” is still a less understood component of the disease. The lump in the breast determines the type of breast cancer and guides the oncologist towards the right treatment strategies. Read on to find out some important facts about a breast cancer lump.

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Breast lumps vary by texture

When genetic mutations occur within a group of cells in the breast, then the cells grow abnormally and rapidly thus causing the breast cancer lump. In some women, the breast cancer lump is surrounded by a scar tissue that is formed as a result of the tissue damage. The scar tissue surrounding the lump will make it feel very hard and firm. Sometimes, the lump feels like nothing more than the thickening of the breast tissue. While this type of lump will contain smaller projections inside, they feel too flat and often go unnoticed.

Location of the breast cancer lump

Breast cancer lumps can occur along the tubes or ducts that connect the milk-secreting lobules to the nipples or within the lobules too. The former condition is called ductal carcinomas while the latter is referred to as lobular carcinoma. The lumps can be deeply rooted within the breast or can occur right behind the nipples. In some cases they are located near the skin or along the edges of the breast too. In general, the breast cancer lumps that are deeply embedded within the breast prove to be more serious than the ones that develop along the sides of the breast.

Breast cancer lump and pain

Apart from the texture and the location, breast cancer lumps can also be characterized based on the pain associated with them. In most cases, lumps that are painful and feel too tender to touch turn out to be benignant tumors or other less harmful outgrowths. Cancer lumps are generally not painful but lack of pain alone cannot be considered to determine the nature of breast lump. In fact, a study by San Diego State University revealed that about 15% women suffering from breast cancer experience pain in their lump. Proper diagnosis is essential to determine the nature of the lump and the reason behind the pain.

Breast cancer lump in men

Several breast cancer cases have been reported in men between the age of 60 and 70 in the past. Breast cancer can occur in men at any age and is as harmful as it can be for a woman. Breast cancer lumps in men occur closer to the nipple in most cases. Changes in the nipple and discoloration of the surrounding skin accompany the occurrence of the lump in the affected patient.

What are the Early Signs of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer, in most cases, is detected only at the advanced stage.  The main reason behind this trend is that, the early signs of the disease are often ignored or considered “normal” by most patients. Read on to find out the common symptoms of lung cancer and learn how it can help people at high-risk.

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Persistent and dry cough

Cough and cold are common health problems that stay on for a week or two. But the cough that lingers for a longer time can be a symptom of lung cancer. When chronic cough becomes dry and more intense, it is probably the right time to have the lungs tested. Some patients also cough up too much mucus (more than the usual) and sometimes blood too.

Changes in the breathing pattern

Lung cancer can completely or partially block airways and sometimes the fluid from the cancerous tumor can build up in the chest thus leading to shortness of breath. Young individuals, especially smokers must be alerted when they notice sudden shortness of breath or when they become easily winded. For instance, if you feel winded or are short of breath after climbing the staircase at your home or work (which was not the case earlier), then it is probably better to see the doctor.

Discomfort and pain around the chest area

Patients who are affected by lung cancer feel recurrent pain and discomfort in the chest, shoulders and sometimes in the back area too. The pain comes from the metastasis to the chest wall (also referred to as the ribs or pleura) or may also be due to the enlarged lymph nodes. The pain can be faint and stay on for a few hours or sharp and intense lasting only for a few minutes. Pain that may be caused due to lung cancer can also be accompanied by wheezing. The constricted airways produce a whistling sound while breathing. Thus chest pain with severe wheezing could be a definitive sign of lung cancer.

Changes in the voice

Hoarseness in the voice can occur due to cold or an infection in the throat. In any case, the changes fade away within 10-15 days. If you find people noticing changes in your voice (as deeper or hoarser) for a longer time period, then it is a red flag. The hoarseness in the voice comes from the impact of the tumor on the nerves leading to the larynx.

Unreasonable weight loss

Sudden loss of weight (more than 10 pounds) could be a warning sign for various health complications and lung cancer is certainly one of them. The cancer cells consume too much energy and the affected body uses the energy from the food in ways other than the intended.

Pain in various parts of the body

When the cancer has moved from the initial stages and has started to spread to the bones, the patient witnesses bone pain in the back area and in the limbs too. The pain intensifies during the nights and when the patient exerts too pressure while moving around.

Recovery Tips for Cancer through Medication and Yoga

After detection of cancer and start of medications, it is obvious for a patient to feel distressed. However, it is not the time to lose hope. One must engage in activities that help reduce the stress and maintain proper body function. Yoga and meditation are the best ways.

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Yoga

According to various studies, structured yoga practice during cancer treatments can help remove fatigue and pain. Following are the ways how yoga can benefit patients.

  • Manage depression, fear, and anxiety: Due to emotional strain, patients might develop depression and fear of death. Yogic breathing helps by positively affecting the immune system, reducing psychological or stress-related disorders and correcting autonomic nervous system imbalances.
  • Boost the mood: Exercising or yoga produces endorphins which improve the mood. Depending on the stage of cancer, body strength, and type of medications undertaken, yoga exercises can be designed. It also elevates levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that regulates the nervous system.
  • Manage physical pain:Patients who do yoga and meditation become less sensitive to pain and thus, can tolerate the treatment.
  • Support of Yoga community:Being in the company of people helps in making the pain and stress, bearable. Meeting with the people in the yoga community and interacting with them helps in gaining the sense of normalcy and security.

Meditation

Meditation helps in getting clarity of thoughts, insight, and peace of mind, which may improve your wellbeing and health. It helps in reducing anxiety and stress. It also helps in controlling problems like:

  • Pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling sick
  • High blood pressure

Different types of meditation that can be done are:

Mindfulness meditation

This can be done while sitting. One needs to bring awareness back to present when it starts shifting to daydreaming or distraction. Breathing can be used as an anchor.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction

This is a 8-week program which basically focuses on increasing awareness about the body sensations. Proper breathing helps in good blood circulation. People have been vocal about the refreshing feeling after the program.

Focused meditation

In this method, an object, like flower or candle flame, is used to bring attention back to the present. This helps the mind to focus better, which is an important part of meditation.

Visualisation

In this process, specific images are to be formed in mind. Imagination is focused on them to create pictures or images for a specific reason, such as to relieve symptoms of cancer or to relax.

Transcendental meditation

In this, a specific word or phrase (mantra) is to be repeated. It helps to increase energy and lower stress level. It also helps to develop concentration and focus the mind. Thus, this provides energy to the patients to cope up with the high doses of Oncology Drugs and other treatments.

Guided visualization 

A meditation teacher, CD or sound file directs attention in a particular direction. The aim is relaxation. Scenes like walking in a park, or beach, etc. are visualized. By imagining things that make a person happy, helps in gaining emotional strength and incorporating a positive attitude that is essential to fight cancer.

Management of Colon Cancer through Medication

Colon cancer refers to the cancer of the colon or rectum, located at the lower end of the digestive tract. Detection in early stages can help in effective treating and curing. Treatment of this cancer depends on factors like stage and type of cancer, side effects, patient’s preference, and overall health.

In many cases, surgery is the best method to go for. While in others Colorectal Cancer Drugs are prescribed by the doctor. Below are different treatments for different stages of colon cancer.

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Stage 0

  • Removing polyps: Treatment is mainly polypectomy in which polyp is removed completely during a colonoscopy.
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection: While removing large polyps, a small amount of colon lining might also be required to be removed.
  • Laparoscopic surgery: Even after colonoscopy, polyps might not be removed. TO remove these, several small incisions are made in the abdominal wall, instruments with cameras are inserted with the display on a video monitor and the polyps are removed.

Stage 1

At this stage, only surgical remove of all tumor or lymph nodes is the only way. This helps to avoid spreading of cancer.

Stage 2

With the increasing stage, the risk of life keeps increasing. At stage 2, even after surgery, more treatment might be required. Adjuvant chemotherapy is done to destroy the remaining cancer cells. For patients with rectal cancer, radiation therapy with chemotherapy is done.

Stage 3

This includes surgical remove of tumors, followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is used as one of the remedies for rectal cancer patients.

Stage 4

In stage 4, cancer turns into metastatic cancer, where it starts to spread to different locations of the body like liver, lungs, etc. People are encouraged to take regular consulting from the doctor. A combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can make the conditions get better.

Targeted Therapy

Certain therapies that are targeted to a particular cure can be done. This include:

  • Anti-angiogenesis therapy: It is targeted to stop angiogenesis, the process of making new blood vessels. This is done to stop cancer from spreading.
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) Inhibitors: Cetuximab and panitumumab antibodies are used to inhibit EGFR to slow down the growth of colorectal cancer.

Drug Therapy

Apart from different therapies for different stages, there are drug therapies too. Some of the drugs that are used for curing colon cancer include Ramucirumab (Cyramza), Panitumumab (Vectibix), Regorafenib (Stivarga), Cetuximab (Erbitux), Ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap), Bevacizumab (Avastin). These drugs can be used in treatment with or without chemotherapy. However, these drugs have a risk of side effects. Proper consultation with a doctor is advisable.

Palliative Care

With all the medications and therapies for cancer, a patient might suffer from pain and serious illness and so do the patient’s family members. Palliative care through doctors and nurses helps in relieving the patient and family members from the stress.

Alternatives

There is no alternative treatment that can cure colon cancer. However, certain activities can help in reducing the stress, anger, sadness, etc. These may help to temporarily redirect thoughts for relief. Some of the activities or therapies that can be used as alternatives are exercise, art therapy, dance therapy, music therapy, meditation, etc.

 

Combination therapy for Metastatic Cancer – Key Things to Know

When Breast Cancer spreads beyond breasts to other organs, mostly lungs, bones, liver or brain, it is called Metastatic Breast Cancer. Even though cancer spreads to different organs, it is considered as breast cancer and is treated with breast cancer drugs, irrespective of the organ affected.

If the cancer is confined to breasts or nearby lymph nodes, it is easy to cure. However, when it spreads to different organs, it gets more complex. But, it can still be treated.

Treatment

Breast Cancer Care or the treatment depends on factors like – characteristics of cancer cells, symptoms, where has the cancer spread and past breast cancer treatments.

  • Hormone receptor-positive cancer is treated with hormone therapy as the first treatment
  • HER2-positive cancer is treated with anti-HER2 drugs like trastuzumab(Herceptin)

In order to ease the symptoms or slow down the growth of tumors, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be opted for. However, these therapies have certain side effects.

Following are certain therapies that can be taken to combat cancer.

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Hormone Therapy

The drugs used in Hormone Therapy help to prevent cancer cells from receiving estrogen that is needed by them to grow. Choice of hormone is dependent on menopausal status or other hormone treatments.

A combination of therapies is used to enhance the effect of therapies.

Palbociclib and hormone therapy

Cells multiply through cell division and need enzymes like CDK4 and CDK6. CDK4/6 inhibitors like Palbociclib (France) interrupt the growth of cancer cells. CDK4/6 inhibitorsPalbociclib is used in combination with the hormone therapy for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer.

Palbociclibalong with Letrozole (an aromatase inhibitor) or Fulvestrant (anti-estrogen drug) can lengthen the time before cancer spreads. The effects are better than Letrozole or Fulvestrantbeing used alone.

Everolimus (Afinitor) and hormone therapy

Use of targeted therapy drugs increases the effect of Hormone Therapy. mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) inhibitors are used for this purpose. It has been proved that a combination of Everolimus and the Aromatase inhibitor exemestane can slow down the growth of cancers better than exemestane alone.

Targeted Therapy

For the patients with HER2 Positive Cancer, targeted drugs help in giving relief. Pertuzumab (Perjeta) is an antibody that is used in the targeted therapy and aims at HER2-positive cancer cells. It has been proven through researchers that Pertuzumab in combination with Trastuzumab(another antibody for targeted therapy) and chemotherapy can slow down the growth of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. This combination therapy also increases chances of survival that are better than trastuzumab and chemotherapy alone.

Lapatinib combined with chemotherapy

This therapy lengthens the time before cancer spreads. It has better results when compared to chemotherapy alone.

Lapatinib combined with hormone therapy

Lapatinib is combined with aromatase inhibitor Letrozole to lengthen the time before cancer spreads.

Lapatinib combined with trastuzumab

This combination also helps by hindering the spread of cancer through the body. Usage of these drugs leads to certain side effects too. Thus, one should talk to the doctors before starting the medications.

The Five Types of Fatal Cancer that is Most Common Among Indian Women

Cancer is one of the most dreaded and fatal diseases in India. It falls under the genre of lifestyle diseases that have evolved so rapidly that more than 1 billion cases crop up every day.

Every year, about 800,000 new cancer patients get registered with the National Cancer Registry Programme in India. In the next 20 years to come, cancer cases will probably get doubled. It’s said that 600,000 to 700,000 deaths in India was caused by cancer in the year 2012. This shows that cancer is one of the foremost health problems India is facing at present. Lung and oral cancers are the most common types of cancers among men, whereas cervical and breast cancer among women in India.

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Here is a list of 5 types of fatal cancer most common among Indian women –

  1. Lung Cancer: Lung cancer is considered to be the deadliest of all cancers. Environmental pollution, use of ‘gutkha’, smoking trigger this type of cancer. Researchers have found that they could detect lung cancer by a mere blood test. Doctors are now looking at the best way to diagnose the treatment for each patient suffering from cancer.
  2. Breast Cancer: It is one of the leading causes of deaths among women in India. The chances of women developing breast cancer increase after the age of 40. Some of the other factors that lead to this disease are a poor lifestyle, high level of stress, poor eating habits, irregular sleeping hours, early menarche, late menopause or pregnancy beyond the age of 30. Breast cancer alone accounts for 25 to 32% of all female cancers in India.
  3. Cervical Cancer: This is another leading cause of deaths among Indian women, According to WHO, over 33000 women die of this cancer annually in India and about one-fourth of the world’s cervical cancer patients reside in India. It is caused by a virus named Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that is transmitted through sexual contact and originates in the cervix. Also, it is more common in women who become sexual active at a very young age.
  4. Colorectal Cancer: Colon or Colorectal Cancer affects the digestive system of a human body. It generally affects women above 50 years. It is among the 5 most common causes deaths in India. It develops due to overgrowth of cells lining the colon and the rectum. Factors that increase the risk of this cancer are smoking, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.
  5. Uterine and Ovarian Cancer: This is a really fatal form of cancer. There are no such screening methods to detect this cancer. Also, its reoccurrence rates are high. Ovarian cancer originates in the ovaries responsible for producing eggs and uterine cancer originates in cells lining the uterine wall.

It’s a matter of life and death for any human being and thereby if you notice any of these symptoms in any of your near and dear ones make sure you respond to it fast. Paclitaxel drug is used to treat ovarian, breast, lung, or any other type of cancers.

Some of the largest generics and specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world are contributing towards this health concern through their Onco Care Division. These companies’ portfolio in India includes high quality, affordable cancer-related cytotoxic and targeted therapies for common types of cancer, such as breast, lung and colorectal. They are keen to address the gaps in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer management by offering financial, emotional and psychological support.

For most patients in India, there is no insurance cover and treatment cost is out of reach for Cancer patients. Thus, delivery of equitable, quality and affordable cancer care in India is a big challenge.