Symptoms, Tests, and Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cause of death in American men, as well as being the most common form of cancer found in males. Prostate cancer is especially prevalent in African-American men, and twice as likely to be fatal.

Prostate cancer screening tests and treatments are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure safety and efficiency.

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It is found beneath the bladder, surrounding the upper area of the urethra, which is where urine is transported from the bladder.

Testing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is used to measure prostate cancer risk. Prostate gland cells are responsible for producing PSA. This form of testing is responsible for the early detection of prostate cancer in the U.S.

The Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is generally a slow growing disease, which is why symptoms are often not seen until the advanced stages. When symptoms do hit, they usually include a weak or interrupted urine flow, difficulty starting urination, and more frequent urination, particularly at night.

It should be noted that these symptoms may not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, as they also see in a benign enlarged prostate. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. Many men pass away without ever knowing prostate cancer was present, while others die from other causes. This form of cancer is at its most dangerous when it starts to spread outside the prostate. It is not usually found in men under 50, and experts believe that most elderly males have some traces of prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Treatments

Survival benefits are a must for any prostate cancer treatment, which was why the FDA approved docetaxel, a chemotherapy, back in 2004. This was huge, since years of research had failed to deliver a treatment that effectively extended the life of metastatic (cancer that spread from the initial location to other areas of the body) prostate cancer patients.

Daniel Suzman, M.D., a medical officer in FDA’s Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, explains that prostate cancer essentially becomes incurable the moment it spreads to other parts of the body. The good news is that the FDA has approved 5 more products after docetaxel, all of which have shown to deliver improvements in survival.

Improved survival rates were also found when adding docetaxel to hormonal therapy for men with metastatic disease. Two major trials were performed on men who had previously gone untreated to achieve these results.

This treatment process is now considered standard for males who have experienced a spread of their disease to soft tissue spots or areas in the bone, assuming that they are good chemotherapy candidates. There are side effects, some fatal, that come with the use of docetaxel. These include serious allergic reactions and low white blood cell counts. More common side effects include loss of appetite, infection, low blood cell counts, nosebleeds, nerve pain, hair loss, rash, and weight gain.


Are there Alternative Medications for Gastritis Treatment?

Gastritis is inflammation (irritation) of the stomach lining. This may be caused by many factors including infection, alcohol, particular medications and some allergic and immune conditions. Gastritis can be either acute (with severe attacks lasting a day or two) or chronic (with long-term appetite loss or nausea). In many cases, gastritis has no symptoms (asymptomatic).

Some forms, including chronic atrophic gastritis, have been associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Treatment options include avoiding exposure to known irritants and taking medication to reduce the amount of gastric juices.

While there are instances where medical treatment is necessary to treat gastritis, many people find they can manage the symptoms at home. People with gastritis should see a doctor if they experience:

  • a gastritis flare-up that lasts more than a week
  • vomiting blood
  • blood in the stool

However, outside of medication, the four main causes of gastritis can all be remedied to some extent by changing your diet. Gastritis is the weakening of the stomach lining, and can sometimes be cured by a lifestyle change. Symptoms for gastritis can range from none at all to abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, and even anemia. A diet change for gastritis focuses on alleviating the common causes of gastritis, and can be an effective gastritis treatment.

Finally, some people also choose to take over-the-counter drugs, such as antacids, to control severe symptoms, while others are prescribed proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers to help control levels of stomach acid. In the cases where chronic gastritis causes anemia, it’s common for vitamin B12 deficiency to be treated using intermittent injections.

Research shows that foods that can help manage gastritis symptoms include high-antioxidant foods (especially those with flavonoids, like berries), onions, garlic, squash, bell peppers, nuts, soaked legumes/beans, sprouted whole grains, sea vegetables, and grass-fed meat or pasture-raised poultry. Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and vitamin C can also be beneficial for gastritis sufferers.


The Treatment and Prevention of Head Lice

When your kids start school, they instantly become at risk for getting head lice, which they may then spread to other people in your household. Head lice can occur at any time but are most common in the fall when kids go back to school, as well as in January, according to Patricia Brown, M.D., a dermatologist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While many people believe that poor hygiene is the cause of head lice, the truth is that direct head-to-head contact with a head lice sufferer is how they spread. Head lice are only ever found on humans so your pet will be safe.

Discovering and Treating Head Lice

Head lice are generally about the size of a sesame seed, tan or grayish-white in color, and feed on human blood. They attach to the skin and lay eggs known as nits in the hair.

The best way to check for lice is to part the hair in a number of different spots. Using a bright light and magnifying glass will help you find them. Head lice move fast so you may have more luck tracking down the eggs. The nits have the appearance of dandruff, but when you pick up a strand of hair close to the scalp, the nits will stay in place, unlike dandruff, which is easily removed.

The FDA had approved head lice treatments that are available over the counter (OTC), as well as in prescription form. They often come as creams, lotions, and shampoos, with Nix and Rid among the most common. If you are using a product on a child under the age of 2, Brown says that it is important to carefully read the label to ensure that it is indeed safe to use.

Head Lice Prevention Tips

  • Make sure that your children know that they should avoid head-to-head contact at home, school, and when out playing with other kids
  • Teach little ones not to share items that they use on their head, which includes hats, scarves, helmets, bandanas, hair ties, brushes, and combs
  • Steer clear of items that have come into contact with someone who has head lice. This includes items like carpets, pillows, beds, and stuffed toys
  • Steer clear of items that contacted the head of a person with head lice 48 hours prior to the start of treatment

How to Safely use Treatment Products

Using the following steps will help you use head lice treatment products safely:

  • Once the product has been rinsed from the hair and scalp, use a nit comb to remove lice and nits that are now dead
  • Only apply products to the hair on the scalp, not anywhere else
  • Ask your doctor for a product recommendation so that you get the perfect treatment for the age and weight of your child
  • Read the label on the product and use it exactly as described, unless you are told to do otherwise by a medical professional




The Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention of Lyme Disease

Ticks deliver a variety of diseases, with Lyme disease at the top. The cases of these diseases are climbing, and have jumped from 12,000 per year in 1995 to almost 40,000 per year in 2015. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) try to keep track of the figures, but expert estimates put the real number of infections closer to 300,000.

Who is Susceptible to Lyme Disease, and at What Time of Year?

The bite from an infected disease is how Lyme disease is spread. The little pests will attach anywhere but are most attracted to most hairy body regions, such as the armpits and groin.

Anyone can fall prey to a tick bite, but outdoorsy types like hikers and campers, as well as people who work in gardens or leafy areas, are at the highest risk. With the suburbs expanding and woodland preservation in full effect, the number of deer and mice are on the rise, giving ticks plenty to feast on.

The Symptoms and Stages of Lyme Disease

Early-stage Lyme disease comes with the following symptoms:

  • muscle and joint aches
  • headache
  • fever
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • swollen lymph nodes

A rash that is known as Erythema migrans is another symptom found with Lyme disease. Roughly 80% of people infected with the disease will develop a rash, with about 20% of that number having a rash that looks like a bulls-eye.

The infection can reach the joints, nervous system, and heart if left untreated.

It may take weeks or months after a tick bite for later-stage symptoms to present themselves. These symptoms include:

  • heart-rhythm irregularities
  • arthritic symptoms such as pain and swelling in the joint, particularly the knee
  • nervous system abnormalities

The joints and nervous system can be hit with permanent damage during the late stages of Lyme disease. Fatalities are extremely rare.

Testing for and Treating Lyme Disease

You should talk to your doctor if you believe you may have Lyme disease.

Diagnostic tests that your doctor may use to check for Lyme disease are regulated by the FDA to ensure that they are safe and effective. Blood tests can be effective assuming the timing is right. These tests check for the antibodies that fight infection, but if they are done too soon after the tick bite, they may not work as well. Antibodies usually develop 2-5 weeks after the initial bite.

Prior to the completion of diagnostic tests, your doctor may prescribe a round of antibiotics. The CDC says that patients that are treated with the correct antibiotics may well experience a speedy, complete recovery from the early stages of Lyme disease.

Things You Can Do to Prevent Tick Bites

  • Steer clear of bushy, grassy areas, especially between May and July
  • Wear light-colored clothing so that you can easily spot ticks
  • Shoes, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts are essential wear
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks
  • Add an extra layer of protection by wearing a hat
  • Use insect spray with DEET on all uncovered body parts
  • Stick to trails and keep off grass and brush
  • Wash and dry your clothes at high temperatures when you get back indoors
  • Scan your body for ticks after being outside