Fight Against Cervical Cancer!

Cervical cancer is a largely preventable disease but it is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women, worldwide. In India, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in females, followed by breast cancer. Cervical cancer mostly affects middle- aged women (between 40 and 55 years). It occurs when the cells in the cervix (the organ connecting the uterus and vagina) begin to grow and replicate in an abnormal and uncontrolled way and is caused due to Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Although the statistics are frightening but cervical cancer can be prevented, and treated if caught early.

Fast Facts

  • An estimated over one million women worldwide are currently living with cervical cancer.
  • According to the latest reports, approximately 1, 32,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in India.

 

Are you at risk?

Find out the risk factors which can increase your chances of developing cervical cancer:

  • HPV infection
  • Smoking
  • More number of full- term pregnancies
  • Using oral contraceptives for a long time
  • History of sexually transmitted disease
  • Multiple sexual partners

 

Go for an immediate diagnosis if you notice these symptoms:

Symptoms of cervical cancer tend to appear only after cancer has reached an advanced stage.

  • Irregular, intermenstrual (between periods), post-menopausal or abnormal vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Back, leg or pelvic pain
  • Fatigue, weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Abnormal vaginal odour discharge
  • A single swollen leg
  • Pain during sexual intercourse or urination

 

What tests should you take?

If you suffer from any of the symptoms, immediately consult a doctor who will advise you to take any or all of these tests:

  • Pap test
  • HPV infection test
  • Cervical exam using a colposcope
  • Biopsy

Even when you do not observe any symptoms, go for a regular screening once in 10 years if you are aged between 30 to 49 years. If abnormal cervical cell changes are found early, cancer can be prevented by removing or killing the changed cells before they become cancerous. Conventional Pap and HPV testing are common cancer screening procedures.

 

Risk Reduction and Prevention

Indian women face a 2.5% cumulative lifetime risk and 1.4% cumulative death risk from cervical cancer. It is important to follow these steps to prevent the occurrence of cancer as well as Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

  1. Get the routine screening done if you are aged between 30 to 49 years
  2. Restrict the number of sex partners and use condoms as HPV is transmitted sexually.
  3. Avoid or reduce heavy smoking.
  4. Spread awareness among young boys and girls about safe sexual practices.
  5. Get yourself vaccinated as it is the best way to prevent cervical cancer.

 

Why is HPV Vaccination important?

Almost 75% of all sexually active adults are likely to be infected with at least one HPV type. HPV is a necessary cause of cervical cancer. Although, only a minority (<1%) of the HPV infections progress to cancer, vaccination is a necessary step to prevent HPV infection.

The following points will explain the importance of getting vaccinated:

  • Condoms do not guarantee a 100% protection against viral infection.
  • Most of the time HPV infection and the initial stage of cervical cancer are asymptomatic.
  • Sometimes, regular screening is difficult to achieve.
  • There are more than 100 types of HPV strains and 13 are cancer causing. The vaccine can prevent infections from HPV types not yet acquired.

Did you know?

Vaccination is the best step to prevent all types of HPV infection, thereby reducing the risk of cervical cancer.

 

An expert second opinion could mean a second chance at life.

Make the right decision.

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Sep 27, 2016.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Sep 28, 2016.
  3. HPV Vaccine. Accessed Sep 28, 2016.

 

Importance of vaccination-immunization

A Tiny Prick Can Save Your Life: Say Yes to Immunization!

Importance of vaccination-immunization

One of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine, vaccines and immunization are the best way to prevent infectious diseases. Around 2-3 million deaths are annually averted because of immunization.

World Immunization Week is observed between April 23 to April 30 to raise awareness on the importance of immunization. The theme for 2016 is “Close the immunization gap” which is a progress towards the idea of making everyone live a life free from vaccine preventable diseases.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 18.7 million children worldwide have not benefited from vaccination for preventable diseases.

Importance of Immunization

  • Immunization prevents severe illness and death, especially in children. Most of these diseases have no medical treatments and can result in serious complications and even death.
  • Vaccines and immunization can protect others you care about too, such as family members, friends, and grandparents.
  • Immunization is the best way to protect those around you with impaired immune system and may not be able to get vaccinations.
  • Immunization prevents an epidemic if exposure to a disease occurs in a community.

Why should you vaccinate your child?

  • Quick, safe and extremely effective.
  • Facilitates your child’s system to fight the disease better.
  • Protects children from vaccine preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, chicken pox, and several other diseases.
  • Reduces your child’s risk to certain diseases.

Good to know facts:

  1. Postpone vaccination when your child is ill or has a fever.
  2. Do not get your child vaccinated when you have a confirmed allergy against a previous dose of the vaccine or an ingredient in it.
  3. Vaccines don’t weaken or overload your child’s immune system.
  4. You do not have to avoid or delay your baby’s vaccinations if he/ she had a premature birth.

 Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Apr 22, 2016.
  2. National Health Services. Accessed Apr 22, 2016.
  3. HealthLink British Columbia. Accessed Apr 22, 2016.
Hemophilia

Hemophilia: Don’t let it bleed you out!

Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare bleeding disorder in which the blood doesn’t clot normally. It can take a long time for a person to stop bleeding if he is suffering from hemophilia. Sometimes, it can cause internal bleeding in the knees, ankles, and elbows which can damage the tissues and may be life threatening.

World Hemophilia Day is observed on April 17 to raise awareness about the bleeding disorder and increase support for those living with the disorder. Hemophilia is usually an inherited bleeding disorder which is passed from parents to children. People with hemophilia have little or no clotting factor which is very important for normal blood clotting. Rarely, hemophilia can be acquired when the body forms antibodies (proteins) that attack the clotting factors in the bloodstream.

Signs and symptoms of hemophilia

Excessive bleeding and easy bruising are the major signs of hemophilia. However, the extent of bleeding depends on the severity of hemophilia. Following are some of the emergency symptoms to recognize hemophilia:

  •    Bleeding in the mouth from a cut/ bite or from losing a tooth
  •    Nosebleeds for no apparent reason
  •    Heavy bleeding from a minor cut
  •    Bleeding from a cut that resumes after stopping for a short time
  •    Blood in the urine (from bleeding in the kidneys or bladder)
  •    Blood in the stool (from bleeding in the intestines or stomach)
  •    Large bruises (from bleeding into the large muscles of the body)
  •   Bleeding in the knees, elbows, or other joints without obvious injury
  •    Repeated vomiting, double vision, seizures (from bleeding in the brain)

What can be done for hemophilia treatment?

Although there is no cure for hemophilia, people suffering from the disease can lead a fairly normal life with different types of treatments. In replacement therapy, concentrates of clotting factor depending on the type of hemophilia are slowly injected into a vein. Desmopressin can be injected or given as a nasal spray to stimulate the release of stored clotting factor. To keep blood clots from breaking down, antifibrinolytic medicines are given pills during the replacement therapy. To treat specific bleeding sites, pain medicines, steroids, and physical therapy may be advised.

What lifestyle measures can you take?

You can prevent excessive bleeding and protect your joints by following these measures:

  • Exercise regularly and properly: Swim, ride a bicycle and walk to build up muscles and protect joints. Avoid or be very careful while playing football, hockey or wrestling.
  • Avoid certain medications: Avoid pain medications which can aggravate bleeding and blood thinning medications which can prevent blood from clotting.
  • Practice good oral hygiene: Maintain dental hygiene to avoid tooth extraction process which can lead to excessive bleeding.
  • Protect your child from injuries: If your kid has hemophilia, make sure to protect him from injuries that can cause bleeding by using knee pads, elbow pads, safety belts and helmets.
  • Keep your home accident-free: Keep your home free of furniture with sharp corners and use safety glass for glazed doors and side panels.

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Mar 15, 2016.
  2. National Institute of Health. Accessed Mar 16, 2015.
  3. World Federation of Hemophilia. Accessed Mar 16, 2015.

Promote health and safety at work with effective ergonomics!

Workplace ergonomics

Derived from the Greek ergon (work) and nomos (laws), ergonomics is the scientific study of human capabilities in relationship to work demands. It includes working postures, repetitive movements, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), workplace layout, safety, and health.

FAST FACTS:

  • WMSDs account for around 34 percent of all lost-workday injuries and illnesses.
  • On average, it takes 28 days to recover from carpal tunnel syndrome, longer than the time needed to recover from amputation or fractures.

 

Ergonomic Principles

  • All work activities should allow the worker to adopt multiple different, but equally healthy and safe postures.
  • When needed, a person should exert the muscular force by the largest appropriate muscle groups available.
  • Joints in the head, trunk, and upper limbs should be made to work at about mid-point of their range of movement.

Tips to sit properly at your workstations

  • Sit with the body close to the desk.
  • Head and neck should be in the midline position (i.e. no backward arching of the neck or forward extension of the chin).
  • Shoulders should be relaxed and symmetrical and elbows should be kept slightly closer to the side of the body.
  • Elbows should be at right angles or more preferred keying posture, depending on the style of keyboard used.
  • Back should be supported to the chair backrest. The curved lower part of the backrest should fit into the lower back or the lumbar spine curve.
  • Hips should be at an open angle of 100-120 degrees (slightly more than a right angle) at the hip. This is possible by adjusting the seat pan tilt and the backrest.
  • Knees should be at a height lower or in level with the hips. There should be at least 3 finger gaps between the back of the knee joint and seat pad when feet flat on the floor.

Tips to improve lighting and minimizing glare

Good lighting allows users to view the screen and document easily without using awkward postures or straining the eyes from glare, shadowing or reflections on the screen. Check lighting levels and lighting distractions at various times throughout hours of operation.

Glare may be experienced by light shining directly into the eyes or reflected from other surfaces such as the screen, desktop or walls. This can cause eye fatigue and headaches.

Methods to avoid glare

  • Place the computer workstation so that your line of sight is parallel to the window.
  • Prefer to locate computer workstations between rows of overhead lights.
  • Restrict natural light from the windows e.g. use Venetian blinds.
  • Ensure all work surfaces and office fittings have non-reflective surfaces.
  • Position the angle of the screen so that it is 90 degrees (a right angle) to the work surface avoid tilting the screen towards the ceiling.
  • Adjust brightness and contrast on the monitor.
  • Light-coloured background on the monitor is preferable.

 

Work – related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs)

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are a group of painful disorders of muscles, tendons, and nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and tension neck syndrome are a few examples. Almost all work requires the use of the arms and hands. Therefore, most WMSD affect the hands, wrists, elbows, neck, and shoulders. Work using the legs can lead to WMSD of the legs, hips, ankles, and feet. Some back problems also result from repetitive activities.

 

Risk factors for WMSD

•   Fixed or constrained body positions.
•   Continual repetition of movements.
•   Force concentrated on small parts of the body, such as the hand or wrist.
•   A pace of work that does not allow sufficient recovery between movements.

 

Symptoms of WMSDs

Pain is the most common symptom associated with WMSDs. In some cases, there may be joint stiffness, muscle tightness, redness and swelling of the affected area. Some workers may also experience sensations of “pins and needles,” numbness, skin colour changes, and decreased sweating of the hands.

 

Treatment of WMSDs

•   Restriction of movement
•   Application of heat or cold packs
•   Exercise
•   Medication and surgery

 

Prevention of WMSDs

•   Implementation of workplace ergonomics
•   Healthy habits
•   Regular stretching & strengthening exercises

DID YOU KNOW?

According to research studies, standing desks – which a person can raise or lower to stand or sit while working – may boost productivity in employees and improve their health.

Make your time at the desk healthy and productive by
following the principles of Ergonomics and booking a
Preventive Health Check on MediBuddy today!

 

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease control and Prevention. Accessed on May 25, 2016.
  2. UCLA Ergonomics. Accessed on March 10, 2016.
  3. AFSCME, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Accessed on March 10, 2016.
  4. Ergonomics Plus. Accessed on March 23, 2016.