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Childhood Cancer

Childhood Cancer


Definition:
Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Cancer cells have the ability to split rapidly and abnormally, and grow outside their normal boundaries and invade sticking together body parts and spread to other parts. There are 12 types of children's cancers. Leukemia and brain cancers are among the most common childhood cancers. The risk of cancers increases among infants while decreases as they grow. The cause of childhood cancer is still unknown.

Causes:
·    The causes are unknown, but some cases are associated with Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities.
·    Aging of parents may increase the risk of children cancer.
·    Viral infections such as liver cancer ( hepatitis B ), and HIV .
·    Exposure to ionizing radioactive materials in childhood may expose the child to cancer especially leukemia.
Symptoms:
·    Depend on the type of cancer, infected body organ and the stage of the disease.
·    Leukemia may lead to anemia and frequent infections, or may lead to abnormal bleeding and bruising.
·    Brain cancer may cause frequent headache and nausea upon waking up in the morning, as well as general weakness and vision problems.
·    Cancer of the lymphatic system causes swelling of the lymph glands, high temperature, extreme evening sweating.
Diagnosis:
·    Clinical examination of patient.
·    Laboratory tests to detect leukemia and examination of spinal cord fluid.
·    Ultrasound, CT, or MRI.
·    Biopsy of a sample of tumor to identify its type.
Risk Factors:
·    Genetic factors are among the main causes.
·    Children who have been exposed to a large dose of radiation are vulnerable to cancer, those who have been exposed to chemical substances or drugs and those with HIV disease, as there is a relation between leukemia immunodeficiency diseases, whether inherited or acquired. 
Complications:
Cancer may cause many complications including:
·    Proliferation of cancer cells in the body.
·    Non-response to treatment or recurrence of the disease.
Treatment:
Treatment options include:
·    Surgery to remove tumor.
·    Chemotherapy, chemical drugs to destroy cancer cells.
·    Radiation therapy, the use of high-energy rays such as x-rays.
·    Stem cell transplantation using bone marrow taken form the patient or a donor.
Prevention:
·     Avoiding exposure of the child to radiation intensively.
·    Boosting the child's immunity through healthy food.
·    If the child has genetic defect or syndrome, he should see a genetic pathologist periodically.

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HIV/AIDS

 

AIDS


What is AIDS?
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a subgroup of retrovirus. Two types of HIV have been identified; HIV-1 and HIV-2. These viruses share similar epidemiological characteristics although they are relatively distinct serologically and geographically. HIV-2 has been found to be less pathogenic than HIV-1.
The HIV virus attacks the immune system, which is the body’s defense against different types of infections and certain types of cancers, and therefore the body loses its ability to fight infectious viruses and cancers, this virus is called (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), or HIV.
The most advanced stage of HIV infection is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which can take from 8 to 10 years to develop. Those who contracted the virus can live for some years without apparent symptoms, however majority of patients in the developing countries die within three years from being diagnosed with the HIV.

Methods of infection:


How do you get HIV or AIDS?
Most commonly, people get or transmit HIV through semen and vaginal fluids during sexual intercourse without using a condom, and most of the cases worldwide are between men and women and in developed countries in particular, homosexuality is the primary means of the transmission. In addition to sexual intercourse the HIV can be transmitted through sharing drug needles contaminated with blood infected with the virus, and through transmission of blood or its products from an infected person. It is also transmitted from an infected mother to her baby before, during and immediately after birth.

Mother-to-Child transmission of HIV during Pregnancy?
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the spread of HIV from an HIV-infected pregnant woman to her child through the blood and infection is more likely to occur if the mother is infected recently or at an advanced stage of Aids. Likewise the HIV can be transmitted during delivery when the baby is exposed to his mother's blood and in some cases through the breast milk. Transmission of HIV from mother to her baby constitutes 30% of all cases.

Can HIV be transmitted through blood?
Yes, if it is contaminated with the virus. Currently, safe blood transfusion system is applying throughout the Kingdom by blood screening for HIV virus and others.
 
Can AIDS be transmitted through injection?
Yes, if injection utensils are contaminated with HIV-infected blood. Avoid using the injection unless it is a must. Make sure that the needles and syringes are kept in sterilized containers.

Can AIDS be transmitted through insect bites or usual contact with an infected person?
HIV infection cannot be transmitted through insect bites, touching, hand-shaking, sharing food and drink tools, and using same toilets, bathroom and swimming pool, working or sleeping in room with an infected person.
 
Can AIDS be transmitted through usual coexistence?
HIV infection can't be transmitted through normal social activities; such as shaking hands, or travelling in the same bus, or eating from the same utensils; and it is also not transmitted through hugging or kissing. Mosquitoes and insects do not spread the virus and it is not transmitted through the air or drinking.
 
Do sexually-transmitted diseases increase risk for HIV infection?
Yes, many of sexually-transmitted diseases (STD) increase the risks for HIV infection and its transmission to others. These risks include: increase the chances of HIV transmission by about 50-300 times in the case of a genital ulcer, and increases the likelihood of infection with HIV in the case of a genital infection for several reasons:
·    The virus can spread easily through the genital ulcer in the skin or mucous membranes.
·    The virus may attack many of the white blood cells in the genital secretion caused by sexually transmitted infections.
·    A large amount of the virus exists in the genital ulcer and fluids (such as semen and cervical secretions) for patients with certain sexually transmitted infections such as: gonorrhea and genital herpes, syphilis and chancroid.

Diagnosis:


How HIV infection is diagnosed?
Blood tests are the most common way to diagnose HIV, looking for antibodies to the virus. The antibodies are special type of protein to fight the virus and can take the body anywhere from 1-3 months to develop them.

There are two types of antibodies testing for diagnosing HIV and AIDs, namely:
·     ELISA Test, which stands for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
·    Western Bolt.


Symptoms:
The symptoms of HIV vary depending on the stage of infection. Though people living with HIV tend to be most infectious in the first few months, many are unaware of their status until later stages. The first few weeks after initial infection, individuals may experience no symptoms or an influenza-like illness including fever, headache, rash or sore throat.

As the infection progressively weakens the immune system, an individual can develop other signs and symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhea and cough. Without treatment, they could also develop severe illnesses such as tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis, cancers and other diseases.


Risk factors:
Behaviors and conditions that put individuals at greater risk of contracting HIV include:
·    Persons having taboo sex and homosexuality;
·    Having another sexually transmitted infections which cause ulcers in the vaginal organs, making it easier for the virus to enter the body;
·    Sharing contaminated needles, particularly by drug users;
·    Experiencing accidental needle stick injuries, including among health workers.


Treatment:


Is there a cure for HIV and AIDS?
There are a number of medications used to treat infections associated with AIDS; they also act to prevent viral replication. They don't cure HIV infection; rather they delay the onset of symptoms of AIDS and death.

The focus now is on combination of drugs including new drugs called protease inhibitors which makes treatment very expensive, and the current policy of the World Health Organization (WHO) doesn't recommend using anti-retroviral drugs. Instead it calls for strengthening clinical therapeutic management of opportunistic infection associated with HIV such as: tuberculosis, diarrhea, and welfare programs that have shown the best results to improve the quality of life and prolong the survival of people living with HIV AIDS.


Prevention:
·    Avoiding sex outside of marriage, and it is also important to avoid homosexuality.
·    Using condom if one of the spouses is infected with the disease.
·    Don't share syringes or piercing tools or razors.
·    Until now there's no cure for HIV/AIDS.

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Polio

 Polio

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease, which affects children and invades the nervous system, especially the nerves of the lower limbs. The virus causes complete or partial paralysis, and may lead to death in some cases.

Causes:
The main cause for polio is poliovirus. It is transmitted through the mouth or nose, and reproduces inside the intestines.
 
Infection Transmission:
Polio is transmitted through:
Direct contact with a polio-infected person
Mucus and phlegm from the mouth and nose, in addition to the stool contaminated with the virus.
Water and food contaminated with the virus.

Symptoms:
1)- Non-Paralytic Polio (flaccid paralysis):
It is a type of polio that doesn’t cause paralysis of limbs, but usually causes symptoms similar to those of flu, including:
·    Fever
·    Sore throat
·    Headache
·    Vomiting
·    Fatigue
·    Back pain or stiffness
·    Neck pain or stiffness
·    Arm and leg pain or stiffness
·    Muscle tenderness
·    Meningitis

2)- Paralytic Polio:
It is the type of polio which leads to paralysis in the limbs or spine, according to the body part affected with the virus; the spine (spinal polio), the brainstem (bulbar polio), and both of the spine and brainstem (bulbospinal polio).

Symptoms include:
·    Loss of limb reflexes.
·    Severe muscle pain or weakness
·    Loose and floppy limbs.

3)- Post-Polio Syndrome:    
Post-Polio Syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms that affect some people for several years (an average of 35 years), including:
·    Muscle and joint weakness and pain
·    General fatigue and exhaustion.
·    Muscle atrophy.
·    Breathing or swallowing problems.
·    Sleep-related breathing problems, such as sleep apnea.
·    Low body temperature (Hypothermia).
·    Cognitive problems, such as difficulty in concentration and memory.

Who is at risk?
·    Children not vaccinated against polio.
·    HIV patients.
·    Unvaccinated travelers to polio-infected areas.

Treatment:
There is no cure for polio, but it is recommended to embrace the following health tips:
·    Taking rest.
·    Taking painkillers to relieve symptoms.
·    Maintaining physiotherapy to avoid muscle immobilization
·    Maintaining healthy nutrition

Prevention:
Children should be vaccinated against polio regularly, according to the vaccination schedule. This would protect them for a lifetime, Allah willing.

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Wash Your Hand

Hand washing with water and soap is one of the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent the spread of many kinds of pathogenic infections such as diarrhea and pneumonia, the major cause of mortality among children. Also, handwashing with water and soap helps to avoid skin and eye infection and the spread of seasonal flu.
 
There is no doubt that handwashing is a simple and easy behavior that can be practiced at all times and in any circumstances, whether at home, school or place of work, in addition to health facilities where clean hands prevent the spread of germs from one person to another, and in spite of that some people are careless about this behavior.
 
When to wash your hands?
·    Before, during, and after preparing food.
·    Before eating food.
·    Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
·    Before and after treating a cut or wound.
·    After using the toilet.
·    After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
·    After coughing or sneezing.
·    After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste.
·    After touching garbage.
 
Misconception about handwashing:
Some people may think that washing hands with water only is enough to clean them; on the contrary water alone is not enough to kill disease-causing germs. However, soap gets rid of fats and grime that carry germs.
 
Parents can help their children to make handwashing a habit:
·    Teaching them techniques of washing hands thoroughly.
·    Reminding them to wash their hands.
·    Wash your hands together with your children. 

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers:
In place of water and soap you may use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The product content of alcohol ranges from 60-80%, and it is fast-acting and suitable to get rid of most of the germs on your han

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The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness

 

The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age.
Symptoms:
·    Pain.
·    Stiffness.
·    Swelling.
·    Redness.
·    Weakness of movement.
Arthritis Risk Factors:
·    Family history: Some types of arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder. Your genes can make you more susceptible to environmental factors that may trigger arthritis.
·    Age: The risk of many types of arthritis — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout — increases with age.
·    Your sex: Women are more likely than are men to develop arthritis.
·    Previous joint injury: People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.
·    Obesity: Carrying excess pounds puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips and spine. Obese people have a higher risk of developing arthritis.
Complications:
Severe arthritis, particularly if it affects your hands or arms, can make it difficult for you to do daily tasks. Arthritis of weight-bearing joints can keep you from walking comfortably or sitting up straight. In some cases, joints may become twisted and deformed.
 
Diagnosis:
·     Lab tests:
Examining and analyzing various body fluids could help identify inflammation type.
Body fluids to be examined and analyzed are:
·    Blood.
·    Urine.
·    Joint fluid.
Imaging:
·    X-Ray imaging.
·    CT scan.
·    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
·    Ultrasound.
Treatment:
Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function.
Medication:
·    Analgesic drug: This type of medication helps to ease the pain, but it does not affect the inflammation.
·    Non - Steroidal Anti - Inflammatory Drug (NASID).
·    Corticosteroid.
Physical therapy: Can be helpful for some types of arthritis. Exercises can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints. In some cases, splints or braces may be warranted.
Surgery: If conservative measures don't help, doctors may suggest surgery, such as:
·    Synovectomy
·    Joint replacement.
·    Joint fusion.

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age.
Symptoms:
·    Pain.
·    Stiffness.
·    Swelling.
·    Redness.
·    Weakness of movement.
Arthritis Risk Factors:
·    Family history: Some types of arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder. Your genes can make you more susceptible to environmental factors that may trigger arthritis.
·    Age: The risk of many types of arthritis — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout — increases with age.
·    Your sex: Women are more likely than are men to develop arthritis.
·    Previous joint injury: People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.
·    Obesity: Carrying excess pounds puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips and spine. Obese people have a higher risk of developing arthritis.
Complications:
Severe arthritis, particularly if it affects your hands or arms, can make it difficult for you to do daily tasks. Arthritis of weight-bearing joints can keep you from walking comfortably or sitting up straight. In some cases, joints may become twisted and deformed.
 
Diagnosis:
·     Lab tests:
Examining and analyzing various body fluids could help identify inflammation type.
Body fluids to be examined and analyzed are:
·    Blood.
·    Urine.
·    Joint fluid.
Imaging:
·    X-Ray imaging.
·    CT scan.
·    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
·    Ultrasound.
Treatment:
Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function.
Medication:
·    Analgesic drug: This type of medication helps to ease the pain, but it does not affect the inflammation.
·    Non - Steroidal Anti - Inflammatory Drug (NASID).
·    Corticosteroid.
Physical therapy: Can be helpful for some types of arthritis. Exercises can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints. In some cases, splints or braces may be warranted.
Surgery: If conservative measures don't help, doctors may suggest surgery, such as:
·    Synovectomy
·    Joint replacement.
·    Joint fusion.

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