Alcohol consumption can increase the risk of prostate cancer

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

The condition is treatable if managed on time

New Delhi, 26 August 2018: Consuming at least seven drinks of alcohol per week during adolescence can increase the risk of high grade prostate cancer later, as per a new study. Heavy alcohol intake between the age of 15 and 19 increased the odds of this condition by 3.2 times. The prostate grows rapidly during puberty and is potentially more susceptible to carcinogenic exposure during the adolescent years.

Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and can also spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body. Although the condition is curable, it can become life threatening if not appropriately managed on time.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Prostate cancer usually starts in the glandular cells and is known as adenocarcinoma. Tiny changes occur in the shape and size of the prostate gland cells. This happens slowly and does not show symptoms until it progresses further. This cancer most commonly spreads to the bones. Staging takes into account the size and extent of the tumor and the scale of the metastasis (whether it has traveled to other organs and tissues).At Stage 0, the tumor has neither spread from the prostate gland nor invaded deeply into it. At Stage 4, the cancer has spread to distant sites and organs.”

Some symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent or sudden need to urinate; discomfort when urinating; blood in urine or semen; and pain in the lower back, upper thighs or hips.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Various methods can be used for screening and diagnosis. Most important of them for screening high risk patients is the blood levels of prostate specific antigen. Other methods include rectal examination, CT, MRI, bone scan. Treatment options include radiation therapy and prostatectomy.”

This will be one of the points of discussion during the 25thMtNL Perfect Health Mela from 24th to 28th October 2018, at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.

Since the cause of prostate cancer is not known in most cases, there is no sure way of prevention except certain lifestyle changes.

  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Indulge in regular physical activity.
  • Limit your intake of high-calorie foods and drinks.
  • Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
  • Limit the intake of processed meat and red meat.
  • Limit the alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks per day.
  • Reduce intake of dairy foods and diets rich in calcium.

PTSD is a systemic disorder with comorbidities

Health Care Comments Off

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been traditionally regarded as a psychological disorder. However, the findings of a new study suggest that PTSD should be considered a systemic disorder and not just a psychological disorder as it is associated with several comorbidities independent of exposure to trauma.
Researchers analysed the health status of 298 Australian veterans aged between 60 and 88 years who had fought in the Vietnam War between February 2014 and July 2015. Of these, 108 had confirmed PTSD, while 106 acted as trauma-exposed controls.

Compared to trauma-exposed controls, patients with PTSD had higher frequency (14.1% vs 17.7%, respectively) of comorbid conditions of the gastrointestinal, hepatic, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It was also associated with sleep disorders. Comorbid depression was found in 22% of subjects with PTSD.
These patients also had a higher prevalence of risk factors such as smoking, alcohol dependence and higher BMI.

Hence, not just psychological health, but physical health including control of risk factors should also be part of management of patient with PTSD to improve their quality of life and survival.
The study is published April 3, 2017 in the Medical Journal of Australia.
(Source: Med J Aust. 2017 Apr 3;206(6):251-257)

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI

Two or more drugs may interact with each other

Health Care Comments Off

Two or more prescription or over-the-counter drugs may interact negatively with each other and cause adverse drug reactions. To reduce the risk of drug reactions, one must adopt the following guidelines:

  • Read labels carefully
  • Understand the ingredients in each drug.
  • Understand any possible side effects they can cause.
  • Before taking a drug, speak with the doctor or pharmacist if you don’t understand the drug label.
  • Make sure the doctor is aware of all the drugs you are taking.
  • Don’t mix pills.
  • Don’t break capsules into any food or drink.
  • Don’t take any medication with alcohol.
  • Don’t take medication at the same time as vitamins or mineral supplements.

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