Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial Cancer is the genetic mutation in the lining of the uterus called the endometrium resulting in cancer. The abnormal cell growth forms a mass or tumor.

Symptoms include vaginal bleeding after menopause, bleeding between periods, abnormal watery or blood tinged discharge from your vagina, and pelvic pain.

Risk factors include fluctuating hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone causing changes to the lining of the endometrium, irregular ovulation, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), obesity, diabetes, starting period at an early age, no history of pregnancy, and hormone therapy for breast cancer.

Prevention includes reducing risk by talking to your doctor about hormone therapy after menopause, as they can cause various cancers. Birth control pills may reduce cancer risk, managing your weight, and exercise can also reduce risk.



What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is the event where tissue normally inside the uterus (endometrium) begins to grow outside of the uterus, the ovaries, intestines, and the lining of your pelvis cavity. This tissue grows normally as if it was inside your uterus, but it has no way of leaving your body and can form scar tissue and adhesions (abnormal tissue that binds organs together).
Symptoms include pelvic pain, painful periods, pain with intercourse, pain with bowel movements or urination, heavy bleeding, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, bloating, and infertility.
The cause for endometriosis is unknown, but there are many unproved theories. Researchers, however, have found it tends to run in families. Increased risk factors include never having given birth, if period starts before the age of 12, if there are uterine abnormalities, and a history of pelvic infections. Pregnancy can temporarily deter endometriosis, and permanently treat with menopause unless you take estrogen.
Treatment for endometriosis includes pain medication (NSAID’s), hormone therapy (reduce pain, reduce growth of endometrial tissue and bleeding), and surgery to remove tissue. A hysterectomy with or without removal of ovaries is considered the last resort. Complications of endometriosis are infertility, and ovarian cancer.

3 Causes of Heart Attacks!

Heart attacks (myocardial infarction; MI) can be caused by a blockage of the arteries that take oxygenated blood to the heart. The muscle of the heart does not receive this oxygen and the muscle can die off. It is crucial to make sure your heart gets a continuous supply of oxygenated blood for it to continue to function. The CDC reports someone in the United States has a heart attack every 40 seconds. Heart attack symptoms can occur over time, or be sudden.

Heart attacks can be caused by:
1. Atherosclerosis, a fatty plaque that builds up in the arteries and prevents blood and oxygen from going to your heart.
2. Blood clots which can occur when a plaque breaks off in the artery and blocks the artery going to the heart.
3. Arterial spasms are when the artery contracts and cuts off blood flow to your heart.

Risk factors for a heart attack include those with high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol or triglyceride, diabetes, smoke, are overweight, have a stressful life, do not exercise, drink alcohol, use street drugs, have a family history, history of autoimmune disease such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, are over 45 years old, and are male.

Symptoms include shortness of breath heartburn, sweating, dizziness, upper back pain, jaw or shoulder pain. Chest pain tends to feel more like a heaviness, or tightness sensation. Women tend to have feelings of nervousness, nausea, indigestion, heartburn, excessive yawning, tooth ache, tingling in the arms and hands, and pain between the shoulder blades and back. Those over 65 years old may experience more sweating, shortness of breath, fatigue, or flu like symptoms. If you have these symptoms, get medical attention immediately. Do not wait to see if they will go away. The longer you wait the greater the damage to your heart. Time is muscle. Call 911, and take nitroglycerin if already prescribed by your doctor for chest pain. If instructed to do so by the operator, take 81 mg Aspirin 4 baby chewable tablets for a total of 325 mg. Do not dissolve.

Diagnosis is done by EKG and blood tests called cardiac enzymes. Sometimes a stress test may be ordered to see how your heart and blood vessels handle exertion. An angiogram may check to see which blood vessels are blocked.

Complications include arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure where your heart cannot pump oxygenated blood sufficiently, heart rupture, or heart valve damage.
Treatment includes:
1. Break up or dissolve the clot in the artery of the heart
2. Angioplasty and balloon pump therapy is when a catheter is inserted into the artery and a balloon inflated to widen the arteries and allow blood flow.
3. Cardiac stent is when a metal mesh is inserted in to the artery to keep it from closing
4. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is when arteries or veins are inserted around the blocked arteries of the heart to restore blood flow to that area of the heart.

Medications typically given to treat heart attacks include:
Aspirin helps prevent blood from clotting, allowing oxygenated blood flow.
Clot busters or Thrombolytics, such as Alteplase or Reteplase. The sooner you have it the better.
Antiplatelet drugs prevent the clot that is present from getting larger. An example is Clopidogrel or Plavix.
Pain medication, such as morphine may help improve circulation and reduce pain.
Nitroglycerin is used to treat chest pain and widen the blood vessels to allow for blood flow.
Beta blockers, such as Atenolol and Carvedilol, relaxes, slows the muscle of your heart, and reduces blood pressure making it easier for your heart to work.
Ace Inhibitors, such as Lisinopril and Enalapril, also reduce blood pressure, and stress on the heart.

Lifestyle changes include exercise, eating a healthy diet, stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake, stop using street drugs, better management of diabetes, and stress reduction. This is usually done by a cardiac rehabilitation program. Some patients become depressed or have issues with sexual dysfunction after a heart attack. It is important to discuss this with your doctor.