Smoking And Its Effect On The Heart And Blood Vessels

Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes numerous ailments and impacts health in general. Worldwide, smoking causes 7 million deaths each year and is one of the leading preventable cause of death.

Research and studies have shown that smoking increases the risk:

  • for coronary heart disease and stroke by 2 to 4 times
  • of men developing lung cancer by 25 times
  • of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times
  • of diminished overall health, increased absenteeism from work, and increased health care utilization and cost

Cardiologists at Aster Clinic, Dubai have reiterated enough for the healing effects of quitting smoking on the body. However, in order to quit smoking, one must understand the harmful effect of smoking on the body, particularly on the heart and blood vessels.

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All You Need To Know About Cervical Cancer

As per the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women.[1] With the incidence of the disease increasing worldwide, it has become crucial to understand the various aspects of the diseases and what one can do to beat the condition.

Cancer is a disease that begins when cells in any part of the body begin to grow uncontrollably. Cervical cancer is one that begins in the lining of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus which opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer is one of the preventive cancers if detected early. The condition develops very slowly which begins as a condition called dysplasia; the abnormal development/growth of a tissue.

The condition is caused due to infection of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are various kinds of HPV’s, however cervical cancer is caused due to infection caused specifically by types 16 and 18. Not all types of HPV viruses cause cervical cancer, some cause conditions like genital warts. Unlike many other cancers for which there is no designated cause, we know the exact causative factor of cervical cancer. Most adult women would have been affected by the HPV virus at some point in their life. In most cases, the infection goes away on its own without any treatment. However, in some cases the infection stays for prolonged periods, leading to cervical cancer. In addition to the HPV, unhealthy lifestyle practices like smoking also puts a woman at the risk of developing cervical cancer.

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PCOS Diet

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Diet – Do’s and Dont’s

PCOS is a disturbance of metabolic function, which may present with any of the following features:

  • Irregular or no periods
  • Subfertility
  • Acne and greasy skin
  • Abnormal body hair

PCOS is characterized by excess production of male hormones, hormonal imbalance and/or impaired glucose tolerance. On pelvic ultrasound, ovaries will appear enlarged with multiple small follicular cysts. The incidence of PCOS is up to 8 to 20% of women worldwide and is very common in the female population of the UAE.

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gut feeling during ramadan

Gut Health during Ramadan

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is a spiritual practice and is known to improve health. However, if one fails to follow the correct diet during Ramadan, it can cause digestive problems. Ramadan is a time when digestive issues are common, due to the changes in the timing, types and quantity of food taken during this period. During the month of Ramadan digestive issues like heartburn, belching, bloating and constipation are rather common. These conditions occur not just to those with pre-existing gastric problems but also to those who never had gastric issues before. Festivities and feasts during this month often cause acidity, heartburn, indigestion, constipation etc.

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Prostate Cancer – Diagnosis & Tests

Prostate cancer is the cancer of the prostate gland, and one of the most common cancers that affects older, adult men. Although this disease has been found in adult men of various ages, the risk of getting it increases considerably once men reach the age of 50. Which is why hospitals and doctors recommend getting checked for the risk of prostate cancer at least once, as early as the age of 40.  The standout feature of prostate cancer is that unlike other forms of cancer, it does not manifest itself in the form of any physical symptoms until it becomes too late. However, the argument for screenings for men is made of the fact that statistics show that those men that get diagnosed with prostate cancer early, have a nearly 90% survival rate. So what exactly do the tests for diagnosing prostate cancer entail?

Prostate cancer screening tests are two distinct types:

  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): Is a physical exam where the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the patient’s rectum in order to examine the prostate gland. This test is carried out in order to find and identify any abnormalities in the shape, size or texture of the prostate gland.
  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test: In this test, a blood sample is drawn and analysed for the substance, PSA which is naturally produced in the body by the prostate gland. High levels of PSA in the bloodstream may be an indicator of prostate infection, inflammation, enlargement or cancer.

If the DRE and PSA tests lead to the detection of an abnormality, your doctor might recommend getting an MRI or a biopsy done. Both these additional tests are used to determine whether the initial abnormalities that were discovered are because of cancer or some other prostate disorder such as a prostate infection or prostatitis.

Once the presence of prostate cancer has been determined, it now becomes imperative to go forward and analyse the cancer cells for their degree of aggressiveness and their degree of spread during the time of diagnosis. In order to determine the degree of aggressiveness of the cancer cells, they are sent to be examined by a pathologist. Once examined, the cancer cells are then given a Gleason score. These scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumour will spread. A low Gleason score indicates that the cancer cells are similar to normal prostate cells and are less likely to spread (less aggressive). Conversely, a high Gleason score indicates that the cancer cells are very different from the normal prostate cells and are more likely to spread (more aggressive).

Once a prostate cancer diagnosis has been made, your doctor works to determine the extent (stage) of cancer. If your doctor suspects your cancer may have spread beyond your prostate, imaging tests such as bone scan, CT scan, MRI, and PET scan might be recommended. Once the testing phase is complete, and the diagnosis and level of aggressiveness of cancer have been determined, the doctor then assigns cancer a stage. The stage at which cancer has reached is the most important factor in determining treatment options. The stages of prostate cancer are:

  • Stage 1 – This stage signifies very early cancer that’s confined to a small area of the prostate. When viewed under a microscope, the cancer cells aren’t considered aggressive.
  • Stage 2 – Cancer at this stage may still be small but may be considered aggressive when cancer cells are viewed under the microscope. Or cancer that is stage II may be larger and may have grown to involve both sides of the prostate gland.
  • Stage 3 – Cancer has spread beyond the prostate to the seminal vesicles or other nearby tissues.
  • Stage 4 – Cancer has grown to invade nearby organs, such as the bladder, or spread to lymph nodes, bones, lungs or other organs.

Knowing the type and stage of cancer helps the doctor decide what treatment option would be best suited for a particular situation.

Dr.Rahul Bhatt 

Specialist Urologist 

Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai (AJMC) 

Dr.-Rahul-Bhatt

 

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