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Understanding Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a very familiar medical term almost to anyone, particularly the middle age group. It is a common thing the word will never be a part of teen-age lingo. The main reason is, most of the dreaded ailments accompanying “high cholesterol” levels are associated with hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and other long term and acquired conditions, which does not could also happen to younger generation as juvenile complications. To make it clear, when the majority is talking about lowering cholesterol, it is all about alleviating the further progress of bad cholesterol.

There are two kinds of cholesterol accumulating or present in the human body. Bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein is harmful because it can cause atheroma. Atheroma is considered to be the plaque of the arteries, commonly referred to as fat streaks. If not watched carefully, accumulation of ‘macrophage white blood cells’ can happen to a child even before the age of 10.

The early symptoms may start as early as 5 years old, while the child grows up and the condition is accumulating quietly in the veins. Most of the time, the exact symptoms are only given prognosis after the onset of heart attack or stroke, which is already too late for the patient. The attack of silent killers may not cause death but chances are it can lead to lifetime disability.

It is debilitating to imagine how high levels of bad cholesterol can cause serious consequences to the body. When most people may appear healthy all the time, cholesterols can only be checked through lab tests. Sometimes it surprises people to find out how high their cholesterol build-up has soared for the past years.

There is no mystery behind the strengthening of bad cholesterol other than high consumption of saturated fats in the diet. In the advent of labels or guides in processed foods like canned goods and other packed products in the groceries, it is easy to see the amount of cholesterol a food has. This is just a small matter on how to grasp the essence of being cholesterol conscious.

The major way to lower down cholesterol levels in the body is to understand how it metabolizes in the body. Cholesterol doe not actually come from diet alone. It is a whole process within where diet is just one of the contributing factor. Good cholesterol aids in the body’s biochemical functioning like producing bile, regulating of vitamins that are fat soluble such as A, K, D, and E.

It also has impact on the synthesis of the body hormone. After cholesterol has been utilized in the body, it excretes as excess lipids in the liver and gall bladder as crystal particles. Because cholesterol is not water soluble, it circulates over and over and gets converted to bad cholesterol (low density lipoproteins). For normal individuals with healthy metabolism, bad cholesterol is minimal and comes in as large quantities. The harmful ones are those that come in many number of small sizes trapped in the veins as accumulated clogs.

When it comes to lowering high cholesterol, basically there is nothing to ponder about genetic weaknesses, the key is watching over food intake. Cholesterol is highly present in animal meats and fats, especially pork and beef. It is easy to watch fatty foods with all the precautions available today. But it takes discipline to live a life with less cholesterol consumption.


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The Types of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Lymphomas are cancers of the lymph system which ironically is part of the bodys defense mechanism to fight off infections and diseases. But sometimes the abnormal growth of the healthy lymphatic cells causes the tissues to mass up creating tumors and eventually becoming cancer cells. If left untreated, the cancer cells can easily break away from the tissues and begin infecting other parts of the lymphatic system and eventually moving to other organs of the body. There are essentially two kinds of lymphomas, the Hodgkins lymphoma and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Hodgkins lymphoma is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. Other lymphomas do not contain these cells so the rest of the lymphomas were classified as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or NHL. There are a number of sub-types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Each are quite distinct targeting specific age groups aside from having unique forms.

One kind of NHL is the lymphoblastic lymphoma or LBL which commonly occurs in children. In fact about 30% of documented cases of lymphomas in children have been classified as lymphoblastic lymphomas. LBL is very aggressive kind of NHL and has caused quite a number of deaths in the past. But because of modern medicine and treatment techniques, LBL patients have better odds of surviving the ordeal.

Unlike LBL, the diffuse histiocytic lymphoma type or DHL is a slow growing cancer. And because it is slow-growing the cancer is quite hard to detect. Also, there are times where the cancer reappears after treatment.

Another kind of NHL appears closer to the bodys surface. The cutaneous T-cell lymphoma or CTLC is a kind of lymphoma that affects the skin. What happens is that the white blood cells of the skin become cancerous. At first, the signs are dry, scaly skin with red or dark patches. These areas of the skin also itch a lot. But as the cancer cells continue to grow, the skin will develop highly noticeable tumors. Eventually the cancer cells enter the blood stream and spreads all over the body which soon infects other tissues and organs.

Although not common, the mantle cell lymphoma is another kind of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This cancer borders on being rare since only an estimated 5% of people diagnosed with NHL have it. It seems that the cancer is more likely to occur in men 50 years old and older. The cancer starts off as a slow growing lymphoma but can suddenly become aggressive in later stages.

Doctors have made 4 classifications or stages of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which basically indicates how fast and how far the cancer cells have spread. Stage 1 is when the cancer cells are grouped in lymph node or organ of the body. In stage 2 the cancer has spread to two or more groups of lymph nodes or organs on the same side of your diaphragm. Stage 3 is where the cancer cells have infected organs on both sides of the diaphragm and finally stage 4 is when the different types of non-Hodgkins lymphoma have gone beyond the lymphatic system and infecting other organs like the liver, bones, and lungs.


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Some Side Effects of Lymphoma Treatment

Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system. Like other cancers, lymphoma can be treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy among with other methods like antibody treatment and even through bone marrow transplants. And just like any other type of cancer, there are some notable side effects of lymphoma treatments.

Treating cancer is rather toxic to the body. Cancer cells multiply in an abnormal rate. This rate of growth produces a mass of tissue which becomes a tumor. When left alone the cancer cells eventually suffocate the healthy cells nearby and shut down their functions. Whole organs can shut down completely which obviously means death to that person. Eradicating these cancer cells is the key element in cancer treatment procedures. However, the overall goal of cancer treatments is to destroy cancer cells without killing the normal and healthy cells nearby.

Chemotherapy is a common method of killing those cancer cells. This treatment uses various drugs to eliminate the cells. However, the drugs still affect some of the healthy cells. Among the more common side effects of the treatment in lymphoma patients includes decreased blood cell production, diarrhea, fatigue, mouth sores and hair loss. Decreased in blood production includes the normal red blood cells, the white blood cells and even the platelets. Some patients also reported feelings of nausea after the treatment. And because the drugs used for the treatment can also harm the production of sperm and egg cells, it is a medical fact that the treatment can indeed cause temporary or even permanent sterility of patients.

Instead of drugs, radiation therapy uses x-rays to kill the cells. But just like chemotherapy, the use of high energy x-rays can kill the neighboring healthy cells. Common side effects of this treatment include feeling tired all the time like all your energy was drained out of your body. Hair loss and nausea are also common problems when patients undergo radiation therapy. But hair loss is limited to areas where the treatment is actually targeted. Nausea and skin changes like getting red or itching are other known side effects.

Some treatments use steroids to control the growth of the cells. This is actually quite common and is used alongside other treatments. Steroids such as cortisone, prednisone and dexamethasone can cause insomnia, increased appetite, mood swings or changes and weight gain. The good thing about steroid treatment is that it is not used for long periods so the side effects are actually not strongly felt.

To counteract the side effects of lymphoma treatment, doctors suggests that you drink a lot of water before your treatment especially if you will undergo chemotherapy. If you experience mouth sores, a good way to provide some comfort is by drinking milk and cream. Juices especially tomato and citrus juices are not a good idea when you have numerous sores in your mouth. It has been suggested that you eat several small meal portions during the day instead of eating full size meals.

Remember that your immune system at this point is compromised because of your low blood count so it would be advisable to stay away from crowded areas and people that are sick. Ask your doctors for other ways to lessen the side effects.


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Looking Out For The Warning Signs Of Lymphoma

Lymphoma, the cancer of the lymph system, is one of the hardest diseases to deal with. This is because up until now, no cure has been discovered to appease the fear of people at risk in this type of disease. Although there are some preventive measures that are advertised to prevent cancer cells from growing, nothing can stop it fully once it has multiplied and disabled the function of specific organs in the body.

Lymph system refers to a network of interconnected nodes and thin tubes which paves the way for the white blood cells to be carried out in the different parts of the body. White blood cells are very important since these helps fight infections. When these cells are struck by cancer cells, it will affect the way the white blood cells and will lead to its dysfunction.

Lymphoma targets a part of the lymph system and it does not refer to single cancer but to a group of many cancers that are related. As of today, there are about 30 types of lymphoma including “Mantle Cell Lymphoma,” “Malt Lymphoma,” “Cutaneous (Skin) Lymphoma,” “Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma,” “Burkitt Lymphoma,” and “Primary CNS Lymphoma” among others but these types can belong to two different categories including the Hodgkin Disease and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

According to experts, both categories may exhibit the same symptoms that are why the diagnosis and sets of examinations are done. But, the major difference in these two types will be noticeable depending on the person being affected.

Red flags of lymphoma

Lymphoma could be considered as a silent threat because it will take some time before its symptoms occur. And, when they do, they can be so common or “generic” thats why many people dont take it so seriously. Unless the symptoms become so noticeable and appear ever so often, that’s the only time when the person suffering from it would consider consulting a doctor.

If you are at risk, say belong to a family whose history include cancerspecifically cancer of the lymph systemthen it would be best to undergo a check up once you:

– feel painless lumps in the neck, armpits or groin. Experts say that this is the most commonand at timesthe ONLY one that is the symptom of lymphoma. Once you have enlarged nodes, it is the best time to undergo a check up. You can check if your nodes are enlarged when changing clothes or while taking a bath. You can also ask your sister or your partner to check it for you if you feel uncertain about the lumps. However, not all emerged lymph nodes are always signs of lymphoma so its better if you consult a physician to be sure.

– drastic weight loss. Once cancer cells attack the lymph system, the person will suddenly lose weight without apparent reason. In fact, once lymphoma remains undetected in the coming months, the person may lose as much as 15 to 20 pounds!

Other symptoms of lymphoma aside from enlarged lymph nodes and drastic weight loss may include continuous fever, sweating excessively specially during night time despite cold weather, and severe itchiness on almost all parts of the body which are results of special chemicals that are secreted by lymphoma cells.


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