Monthly Archives: February 2016

Does Your Child Have Autism?

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Autism is one of the most common pervasive developmental disorders. It is said that one in 150 children, mostly male, suffer from this condition. Autism is a condition that causes a wide variety of symptoms, notable of which are social withdrawal and preoccupation with routine. However, autistic children are noticeably bright and had intellectual gifts that normally ruled out mental retardation.

What is Autism?

Autism is a brain defect affecting speech and one’s ability to relate with other people. People with autism are often described as having their own worlds. It is classified under the broader medical disorder called Pervasive Developmental Disorder or PDD. Among PDDs, autism is the most prevalent.

Autism is not selective as to race, ethnicity or social status. Researches are still not able to answer the question as to why there are more boys affected with this disorder than girls.

Common Causes of Autism

Studies have suggested that autism is a defect in the gene pool, thus it runs in the family. Still others maintain that certain types of vaccine cause autism in some children. What they do agree on is that for people with autism, their brains have a different shape.

This disorder is often detected in children before they turn three. Parents notice that their child still does not have regular speech patterns or may often be found playing by themselves or is isolated from other children. Sometimes, parents think that their child is deaf or suffers from some kind of ear defect because of his/her lack of response to conversations. Since the tests conducted say otherwise, parents should then turn to other sources of the problem.

Signs and Symptoms

The common symptoms of autism include making little or no eye contact with persons trying to make conversations with them; talking at people instead of to them or paying no heed to actually getting information from people they are communicating with; limited and repetitive patterns of behavior such as sucking while staring into space, rocking or unusual interest and attachment to a toy or object.

Parents should also be alert to the fact that their child has a desperate need for routines. Some children with autism crave sameness. Signs of autism may also include tantrum, distress for no apparent reason, being unresponsive to teaching, sensitivity to sound, or difficulties in sensory integrations.

Other signs for autism that could be observed in children include the following:

  • No pointing by one year
  • No babbling by one year, no utterance of single words by 16 months, no two-word phrases by two years
  • Loss of language skills
  • No pretend playing
  • Little or no interest in making friends
  • A very short attention span
  • No response when called by name; indifference to others
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Repetitive body movements
  • Intense tantrums
  • Fixations on an object
  • Uncommonly strong resistance to routine changes
  • Oversensitivity to certain sounds, smells, or textures

Treatment for Autism

Autism is a lifelong disorder although manifestations may lessen as people with autism learn to control emotions and their behaviors. Recommended treatments include occupational therapy, speech therapy and behavioral training. A specially structured educational system also helps a child with autism to adjust better to relating with people and to study and learn.

Autism, though incurable, is not a totally crippling disease. Timely psychological intervention could alleviate some of the symptoms and make an autistic child live a productive life. In fact, many autistic children have above-average intelligence, owing to their fascination with detail.

The goal to treatments and therapies for those with autism is to turn them into functional and independent adults. Early detection of autism is thus crucial for early treatments. Parents are encouraged to look for signs of autism and immediately consult a psychologist in order to arrange treatment.

Chiropractic Care for Breast Cancer

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The most common type of cancer among women is breast cancer. It also ranks second to lung cancer as the leading cause of all cancer deaths. Two-thirds of women afflicted with breast cancer are aged over 50. The rest are mostly in the 39 to 49 age group. Women of African-American descent are more likely to have breast cancer than Caucasians before menopause. Although the cancer condition is not limited to women, male breast cancer accounts for only one percent of the total breast cancer cases.

The good news with breast cancer is that if it is detected early, it is highly treatable. Localized breast tumors can be successfully treated prior to the cancer spreading. Of ten such cases, nine women will survive for at least five more years. The problem arises with late recurrences of the cancer, which is also common.

As the cancer spreads in the other parts of the body, the treatment becomes more difficult. Treatment can, nevertheless, control the disease, often, for years. A combination of effective screening and treatment options will allow 70 percent of patients with breast cancer to survive at least five years after the initial diagnosis. Half of these survivor patients will live more than ten years.

Causes of Breast Cancer

There is a clear link between breast cancer and the hormone estrogen. A woman becomes more susceptible to breast cancer the longer her exposure to estrogen is. Estrogen is responsible for cell divisions. It is when cells increase uncontrollably from continuous divisions that potentially abnormal and cancerous cells are created. The cancer that develops in the tissues in the breast is called breast cancer. It will still be described as such even if the cells travel to other parts of the body where they are not found normally. In this case, the cancer is then called metastatic.

Women who have higher risk for breast cancer are:

  • Those who are aging – Statistics show that breast cancer seem to develop among women aged 39 and above and occurrence gets higher for those over 50.
  • Those who have family history of breast cancer – The risk of developing breast cancer is two to three times higher for women whose mother, daughter or sister has had the cancer condition.
  • Those who have previously had ovarian, endometrial or colon cancer.

Chiropractic Care for Breast Cancer

There are more than 2.5 million women in the U.S. who are breast cancer survivors. Women with breast cancer who undergo traditional forms of cancer treatments are subjected to stresses from many sources. The disease itself presents the biggest source of stress in these patients. The other sources are side effects after the mainstream treatments begin – chronic pain resulting from chemotherapy and radiation fibrosis and complications arising from prolonged bed rest.

Although chiropractic care may not be a cure-all option for disease and cancer treatment, its benefits as a complementary health care in cancer therapies are being recognized. Chiropractic care, as a health care option, consistently focuses on restoring function and health to the patients’ nervous system, the body’s communication pathway. When there is a clear communication from the brain to the rest of the body, anything from health and wellness standpoint, is possible, including healing. A healthy spine and nervous system is he best foundation for overall health and wellness. With a healthy nervous system, instant health is not guaranteed, but as with most established systems, the greatest benefits can be achieved with time. Chiropractic offers an option for holistic management of the symptoms of breast cancer in the following ways:

  • It provides patients relief from pain.
  • It reduces the incidence and also the severity of headache.
  • It prevents nausea and vomiting.
  • It gives patients improved sense of their well-being despite their illness.

All of these contribute to improving the quality of life of women with breast cancer.

How to Avoid the Spread and Development of Breast Cancer

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It is hard to detect breast cancer in its early stages. However, while it is hard to detect, it is not impossible. In fact, the fact that it is hard to detect makes it more urgent for us to exert effort to detect the development of cancer in its earlier stages, lest it will be too late for the patient when it is finally discovered. The high mortality rate due to breast cancer makes can be largely attributed to the fact that most breast cancer victims are able to get a diagnosis only after the cancer has grown in to a size that is not easy to cure. To avoid this situation, vigilance is required. There are several methods to detect and screen breast cancer. Some of them are as follows, and some of them I covered in another article.

Self-Examination

When you reach the age of 20, you should start performing regular monthly self-examination of the breast. Period for breast examination usually depends on when you have you monthly period. Self-examination is composed of visual examination for irregularity on the breast such as discoloration or change in size and appearance. It will also include physical examination to feel any lump or find any discharge in the breast. It is normal for the age near 20 to have some lumps on the breast so finding one is usually not a cause for panic. As you perform the exam more regularly after some time, you will learn how your breast normally is and will then know what to look for when doing the exam.

Mammography

Mammography is the most common method of diagnosing breast cancer. It has also been proven to reduce mortality rates due to the disease. It is more preferred and more effective when compared with other imaging methods such as ultrasound, MRI and CT. It is recommended to undergo mammography regularly to be able to detect possible breast cancers while they are still eligible for breast-conservation therapy.

Preventive (Prophylactic) Mastectomy for Women with High Risk

Preventive mastectomy involves removing both breasts before being diagnosed with breast diagnosed. It is usually chosen by women who previously had breast cancer in one breast, strong family history of breast cancer, mutated genes and others. However, while the operation reduces breast cancer, the probability to develop the disease still exists because a small amount of breast tissue remains.

The first two methods enumerated are intended for early detection of any growth of cancer cells allowing the patient, with the help of a doctor, to treat them in the early stage. The third method is more extreme as it is aimed at avoiding breast cancer to develop altogether that is why it is only done by people whose breast cancer risk is very high.