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Disease

What is Skin Cancer? | Overview | Dermatology

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer most often develops in the areas of your body that are most exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. It usually appears on the face, chest, arms, and hands.

Skin cancer, abnormal growth of skin cells, develops mainly on skin exposed to the sun. This common form of cancer means that your skin is generally not exposed to the sun.

There are three main types of skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma,
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma

You can reduce your risk of skin cancer by limiting or preventing exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Examining your skin for suspicious changes can help detect skin cancer at an early stage. Early detection of skin cancer gives you a great chance of success in treating skin cancer.

Skin cancer can develop even in less exposed areas of your body, such as:

  • On the scalp
  • Ears
  • Lips
  • Neck
  • Under your nails
  • The soles of your feet
  • Genitals

Skin cancers often appear as a suspicious mole, a small scar, or scar. But the accompanying symptoms depend on the type of skin cancer.

Symptoms of skin cancer

Skin cancer develops mainly on the exposed skin, scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, and hands, and legs of women. It also rarely occurs in areas where you can see daylight: under the palms of the hands, under the fingernails or toenails, and in the genital area.

Skin cancer affects people of all skin tones, including darker complexions. When melanoma occurs in people with a darker skin tone, it is more likely to occur in areas that are not usually exposed to the sun, such as the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

Signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs on exposed areas of your body, such as your neck or face.

Basal cell carcinoma looks like this:

  • A bump of pearls or wax
  • Flattened, flesh-colored, or brownish-like ulcer
  • A bloody or swollen throat will heal and come back
  • Squamous cell carcinoma signs and symptoms

Squamous cell carcinoma most often occurs in sunny areas on your body such as your face, ears, and hands. People with darker skin are more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma in areas that are not frequently exposed to the sun.

Squamous cell carcinoma looks like this:

  • Firm red nodule
  • Flattened wound with flaky and crushed surface
  • Melanoma signs and symptoms

Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, on normal skin, or an existing mole. Melanoma appears most often on the face or trunk of affected men. In women, this type of cancer most often develops in the lower legs. Melanoma occurs on the skin of men and women who are not exposed to the sun.

Melanoma can affect people with any skin tone. In people with a darker skin tone, melanoma can appear on the palms or soles of the feet, or under the fingernails or toenails.

Signs of melanoma:

  • Large brown spot with dark spots
  • A mole that changes in color, size, or feels or bleeds
  • Irregular border and small red, pink, white, blue, or bluish-black lesion
  • Painful ulcer with itching or burning
  • Dark lesions on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, fingers, or toes, or on the mucous membranes covering the mouth, nose, vagina, or anus.
  • Less common skin cancer signs and symptoms

Other less common types of skin cancer:

  • Kaposi’s sarcoma. This rare form of skin cancer develops in the blood vessels of the skin and causes red or folded spots on the skin or mucous membranes.
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma occurs mainly in people with a weakened immune system, such as those with AIDS, and in people who take drugs that suppress their natural immunity, such as people with organ transplants.
  • Other people at risk for Kaposi sarcoma include young people living in Africa or the elderly of Italian Jewish or Eastern European descent.
  • Merkel cell carcinoma. Merkel cell carcinoma is caused by shiny nodules on or under the skin and in the hair follicles or firmness. Merkel cell carcinoma most commonly appears on the head, neck, and trunk.
  • Carcinoma of the sebaceous glands. This unusual and aggressive cancer begins in the sebaceous glands of the skin. Carcinomas of the sebaceous glands, which often appear as hard, painless nodules, can develop anywhere, but most often occur on the eyelid, where they are often mistaken for other eyelid problems.

Causes and risk factors for skin cancer

Researchers don’t know why some cells turn cancerous. However, they have identified risk factors for skin cancer.

The most important risk factor for melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This damages the DNA of skin cells, which is the way cells grow, divide and stay alive. Most UV rays come from sunlight, but also tanning beds.

Other risk factors:

Moles – A person with more than 100 miles is more likely to get melanoma.

Fluffy skin, light hair, and fine blemishes – Fair-skinned people are at higher risk of developing melanoma. Those who burn easily are at higher risk.

Family history: About 10% of people with the disease have a family history.

Personal history: Melanoma prefers to form in an existing person. People with basal or squamous cell carcinoma are also at increased risk for melanoma.

Diagnosis of skin cancer

A doctor or dermatologist can diagnose skin cancer.

First, a doctor examines the skin and takes a medical history.

When the mark first appears, they usually ask if it has changed in appearance, if it has ever been painful or itchy, and if it has bled.

The doctor will also ask about a person’s family history and other risk factors, such as lifetime sun exposure.

They can also check the rest of the body for other distinctive moles and scars. Finally, they feel to see if the lymph nodes are enlarged.

The doctor may refer a person to a dermatologist, dermatologist:

Examine the mark with a handheld loupe dermatoscopy

Take a small sample of skin, perform a biopsy, and send it to the lab to check for signs of cancer.  

Treatment for skin cancer

Treatment options for skin cancer and pre-existing skin lesions, known as actinic keratoses, vary depending on the size, type, depth, and location of the lesion. Small skin cancers that are confined to the surface of the skin do not require treatment beyond an initial skin biopsy that removes all of the skin.

If additional treatment is needed, options may include:

  • Freezing. Actinic keratoses and some small, early skin cancers can be destroyed by your doctor by clotting with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery). As the dead tissue melts, it becomes loose.
  • Abnormal surgery This type of treatment is suitable for any type of skin cancer. Your doctor will cut the surrounding margin of cancerous tissue and healthy skin. In some cases, an extensive excision (removal of excess normal skin around the tumor) may be recommended.
  • Mohs surgery. This procedure is for skin cancers that are large, recurrent, or difficult to treat, including basal and squamous cell carcinomas. It is often used in areas where it is necessary to preserve as much skin as possible, such as the nose.

During Mohs surgery, your doctor will remove the skin growth layer by layer, examining each layer under a microscope so that there are no abnormal cells. This procedure allows cancer cells to be removed without removing too much of the surrounding healthy skin.

Curate and electrodissection or cryotherapy. After removing most of the growth, your doctor will remove the cancer cell layers using a device with a circular blade (healer). The electric needle destroys the remaining cancer cells. In a variation of this procedure, liquid nitrogen can be used to freeze the base and edges of the treated area. These simple and quick procedures can be used to treat basal cell cancers or thin squamous cell carcinomas.

  • Radiotherapy. Radiation therapy uses high-energy energy rays, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is an option when cancer cannot be completely removed during surgery.
  • Chemotherapy. In chemotherapy, drugs are used to kill cancer cells. For cancers that are limited to the epidermis, creams, or lotions containing anti-cancer agents can be applied directly to the skin. Systemic chemotherapy can be used to treat skin cancers that have spread to other parts of the body.
  • Photodynamic therapy. This treatment kills cancer cells in the skin with a combination of laser light and drugs, making the cancer cells sensitive to light.
  • Biological treatment. Biological therapy uses your body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells.

Prevention

Most skin cancers can be prevented. To protect yourself, follow these tips for preventing skin cancer:

Avoid the sun during the day. For most people in North America, the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Schedule outdoor activities during winter or at other times of the day, even when the sky is cloudy.

It absorbs ultraviolet radiation throughout the year, and clouds provide less protection against harmful rays. Intense sun exposure can prevent sunburn and sunburn that can damage the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. Sunlight accumulated over time can also cause skin cancer.

Wear sunscreen throughout the year. Sunscreens don’t filter out all harmful ultraviolet radiation, especially the radiation that can cause melanoma. But they also play an important role in the overall sun protection program.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPP even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours, or when swimming or sweating. Use sunscreen generously on all exposed skin, including the lips, the tips of the ears, and the back of the arms and neck.

Wear protective clothing. Sunscreens do not provide complete protection against UV rays. So cover your skin with a tight dark dress and a wide-brimmed hat that covers your arms and legs, which provides more protection than a baseball cap or wizard.

Some companies also sell sun-protective clothing. A dermatologist can recommend a suitable brand.

Don’t forget your sunglasses. UVA and UVB rays – Look for those that block both types of UV radiation.

Avoid tanning beds. The lights used in tanning beds emit ultraviolet rays and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Learn about sunscreen. Some common prescription and nonprescription medications, including antibiotics, make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of the medicine you are taking. If your sensitivity to sunlight increases, take extra care to stay out of the sun to protect your skin.

Check your skin regularly and report any changes to your doctor. Check your skin frequently for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, small scars, bumps, and birthmarks.

With the help of glasses, check your face, neck, ears, and scalp. Examine your chest and trunk and the upper and lower parts of your arms and hands. Examine the front and back of the legs and feet, including the soles of the feet and the space between the toes. Also, check your genital area and between your buttocks.

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Procedures

What is a Bone Marrow Transplant? | Oncology

What is a bone marrow transplant?

A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure done to replace bone marrow that has been damaged or destroyed by disease, infection, or chemotherapy. This procedure involves the transplantation of blood stem cells, which travel to the bone marrow where they produce new blood cells and promote the growth of new marrow. The bone marrow is the spongy fatty tissue found inside the bones. Create the following parts of the blood:

  • Red blood cells, which transmit oxygen and nutrients throughout the body
  • White blood cells, which fight infection
  • Platelets, which are responsible for clot formation

The bone marrow also comprises immature blood-forming stem cells recognized as hematopoietic stem cells or HSCs. Most cells are previously differentiated and can only make copies of themselves. However, these stem cells are unspecialized, which means that they have the potential to multiply through cell division and remain stem cells or differentiate and mature into many different types of blood cells. HSC found in the bone marrow will produce new blood cells throughout its life. A bone marrow transplant replaces damaged stem cells with healthy cells. This helps your body make enough white blood cells, platelets, or red blood cells to prevent infection, bleeding disorders, or anemia.

Healthy stem cells can originate from a donor or they can come from your own body. In such cases, the stem cells can be harvested or cultured before chemotherapy or radiation treatment begins. Those healthy cells are then kept and used in transplantation.

Types of a bone marrow transplant

There are normally three types of bone marrow transplants:

Autologous bone marrow transplantation: In this case, the stem cells are harvested before chemotherapy or radiation treatment and stored in a freezer. After the treatment is finished, they are transferred back to normal cells. This procedure is also known as a salvage transplant.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: In this case, the stem cells are taken from another person or a donor. It is important that the cells partially match for the process to work. A special test is performed to confirm the match. Most family members, like a brother or sister, are chosen as donors. Unrelated donors must be searched through bone marrow registries.

Umbilical cord blood transplant: This is a type of allogeneic bone marrow transplant in which stem cells are taken from a baby’s umbilical cord immediately after birth and stored in a freezer for future transplantation. Since blood cells are immature, a perfect match is not required. Fewer stem cells mean that blood counts may take longer to recover.

Purpose of a bone marrow transplant

Bone marrow transplants are done when a person’s bone marrow is not healthy enough to function properly. This could be due to chronic infections, diseases, or cancer treatments. Some of the reasons for a bone marrow transplant include:

  • Aplastic anemia, which is a disorder in which the bone marrow stops making new blood cells
  • Cancers that affect the marrow, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma
  • Damaged bone marrow due to chemotherapy
  • Congenital neutropenia, which is an inherited disorder that causes recurrent infections.
  • Sickle cell anemia, which is an inherited blood disorder that causes deformed red blood cells
  • Thalassemia, which is an inherited blood disorder in which the body produces an abnormal form of hemoglobin, an integral part of red blood cells

How does the transplant work?

Before the transplant, you receive chemotherapy (chemotherapy) with or without radiation to destroy diseased blood-forming cells and bone marrow. Then healthy cells are given to you (this is not surgery). The new cells enter the bloodstream through an intravenous (IV) line or tube. It’s like receiving blood or medicine through an IV. The cells reach the marrow, where they grow and begin to make healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Risk factors

A bone marrow transplant can cause the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Drop-in blood pressure
  • Fever, chills, flushing
  • Weird taste in the mouth
  • Headache
  • Urticaria
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Difficulty breathing

The possible complications of a bone marrow transplant depend on many things, including:

  • Your age
  • Your overall health
  • What a good match was your donor
  • The type of bone marrow transplant you customary (autologous, allogeneic, or umbilical cord blood)

Complications can include:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding in the lungs, intestines, brain, and other areas of the body
  • waterfalls
  • Coagulation in the small veins of the liver
  • Injury to the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart
  • Growth retardation in children who receive a bone marrow transplant
  • Early menopause
  • Graft failure, which revenues that the new cells do not relax in the body and start producing stem cells
  • Graft versus host disease (GVHD), a condition in which donor cells attack their own body
  • Infections, which can be very serious
  • Swelling and pain in the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach, called mucositis
  • Pain
  • Stomach problems, including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting

How to prepare before bone marrow transplant?

Pre-transplant tests and procedures

You will undergo a sequence of tests and procedures to assess your general health and the status of your condition and to ensure that you are physically ready for the transplant. The evaluation may take several days or more.

Also, a surgeon or radiologist will implant a long, thin tube (IV catheter) into a large vein in your chest or neck. The catheter, often called a central line, usually stays in place during treatment. Your transplant team will use the dominant line to fill the transplanted stem cells, drugs, and blood products into your body.

Stem cell collection for autologous transplantation

If a transplant with your own stem cells (autotransplantation) is planned, you will undergo a procedure called apheresis to collect blood stem cells.

Before apheresis, you will receive daily injections of development factors to increase stem cell production and move the stem cells into the circulating blood so they can be collected.

During apheresis, blood is haggard from a vein and circulated through a machine. The machine separates your blood into different parts, including the stem cells. These stem cells are collected and frozen for future use in transplantation. The remaining blood is returned to your body.

Stem cell collection for allogeneic transplantation

If you have a stem cell transplant from a donor (allogeneic transplant), you will need a donor. Once a donor is found, stem cells are collected from that person for transplantation. Stem cells can originate from your donor’s blood or bone marrow. Your transplant team decides which one is best for you based on your situation.

Another type of allogeneic transplant uses stem cells from the umbilical cord blood (cord blood transplant). Mothers can choose to donate umbilical cords after the birth of their babies. The blood from these cords is frozen and stored in a cord blood bank until it is needed for a bone marrow transplant.

The conditioning process

After completing the pre-transplant tests and procedures, a process known as conditioning begins. During conditioning, you will undergo chemotherapy and possibly radiation to:

  • Kill cancer cells if you are being treated for malignancy
  • Suppress your immune system
  • Prepare your bone marrow for the fresh stem cells

The type of conditioning process you receive depends on several factors, including your condition, your general health, and the type of transplant planned. You may receive both chemotherapy and radiation or just one of these treatments as part of your conditioning treatment.

Side effects of the conditioning process can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Sores or ulcers in the mouth
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Infertility or sterility
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • waterfalls

Organ complications, such as heart, liver, or lung miscarriage You may be able to take medicine or other measures to reduce these side effects.

Reduced-intensity conditioning

Depending on your age and medical history, your doctor may recommend lower doses or different types of chemotherapy or radiation for your conditioning treatment. This is called reduced-intensity conditioning.

Reduced-intensity training kills some cancer cells and suppresses your immune system. The donor cells are then infused into your body. Donor cells replace bone marrow cells over time. Immune factors in donor cells can fight cancer cells.

How is a bone marrow transplant performed?

With the help of a central venous catheter, which is essentially a tube, healthy stem cells are injected into your blood. This is installed in the upper right part of your chest, neck, or arm. The tube allows the healthy stem cells contained in the fluid to go directly to the heart.

These healthy stem cells then spread through your body and eventually form in the bone marrow. This is where the growth and production of stem cells by the marrow will begin. Surgery is usually not necessary.

What is recovery corresponding to a bone marrow transplant?

Recovery from a bone marrow/stem cell transplant receipts a long time. Recovery often has stages, beginning with intensive medical monitoring after the day of the transplant. As your long-term recovery progresses, you will eventually move on to a schedule of regular medical check-ups over the next several months and years.

During the initial recovery period, it is important to watch for signs of infection. The intensive chemotherapy treatments you receive before your transplant also damage your immune system. This is so your body can receive the transplant without aggressive stem cells. It takes time for your immune system to work again after a transplant. This means that you are more likely to get an infection right after a transplant.

To reduce your risk of infection, you will receive antibiotics and other medications. If you had an ALLO transplant, your medications will include medications to prevent and/or control GVHD. Follow the advice of your healthcare team on how to prevent infection right after your transplant.

It is mutual to develop an infection after a bone marrow transplant, even if you are very careful. Your doctor will monitor you carefully for signs of infection. You will have regular blood tests and other tests to understand how your body and immune system are replying to the donor cells. You can also receive blood transfusions through your catheter.

Your health care team will also develop a long-term recovery plan to manage late side effects, which can occur many months after your transplant. Learn more about the possible side effects of a bone marrow transplant.

Complications

A bone marrow transplant is considered an important medical procedure and increases your risk of experiencing:

  • A drop in blood pressure
  • A headache
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cold
  • Fever

The above symptoms are usually short-lived, but a bone marrow transplant can cause complications. Your chances of emerging these complications depend on several factors, including:

  • Your age
  • Your health in general
  • The disease for which you are being treated
  • The type of transplant you received
  • Complications can be mild or very serious and can include:
  • Graft versus crowd disease (GVHD), which is a condition in which donor cells does your body
  • Graft failure, which occurs when the transplanted cells do not start producing new cells as planned
  • Bleeding in the lungs, brain, and extra parts of the body
  • Cataracts, characterized by clouding of the lens of the eye
  • Damage to vital organs
  • Early menopause
  • Anemia, which occurs when the body does not make enough red blood cells
  • Infections
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Mucositis, which is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the mouth, throat, and stomach

They can help you weigh the risks and complications against the possible benefits of this procedure.

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Specialists

Overview of Dermatopathologist | Treatments | Dermatology

What is a dermatopathologist?

A dermatopathologist is a doctor who practices in both dermatology and pathology. When your dermatologist sees a problem that worries you, he or she can biopsy, remove a piece of skin, and send it to a dermatologist to confirm the dermatological diagnosis.

Dermatopathology is the study of catenary diseases at the micro-level, which studies the possible causes of disorders of the skin, nails, or hair at the cellular level.

From a practical point of view, dermatology involves the microscopic examination, interpretation, and interpretation of biopsy samples obtained from the skin. It is usually performed by a general pathologist (may or may not have specific training in dermatology) or a dermatologist (a physician specially trained in dermatopathology, but who may not be fully trained in pathology). Dermatologists are usually trained in clinical dermatology.

Difference between a dermatologist and a dermatopathologist

A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing skin conditions through a physical exam, while a dermatopathologist and doctor can also diagnose conditions by studying skin samples.

Why they are important?

Some symptoms are common in many skin conditions, such as:

  • Flaky skin
  • Peeling skin
  • Redness
  • Swelling

It is important to know the specific disease-causing the specific symptoms. Some skin conditions, such as moles, can change their appearance and even lead to skin cancer.

The treatment of these diseases depends on an accurate diagnosis. As our skin doctors and dermatopathologists work together, we can coordinate test results and clinical trials. This allows each patient to create the best possible treatment plan.

When to visit a dermatopathologist?

The dermatopathologist is not the person you see in the room when you visit the dermatologist, but they are part of your health care team. If the dermatologist suspects skin cancer or the rash is not visually detectable, they will perform a biopsy. The person who examined the biopsy to make a diagnosis is a dermatopathologist.

Our dermatopathologists, dermatologists, and physicians communicate regularly about patient cases. This team approach will help us achieve our primary goal – to obtain accurate diagnoses and provide excellent patient care. Even if the patient is not seen in the office, we all have a good interest in the patient.

Treatments

Patients often visit a dermatologist because they have new growth or rash. They may notice tumor growth, layered nodules, or pigmentary lesions that grow or change. Or they may experience rashes such as itching, burning, suffocation, sudden onset, or wrong onset.

The dermatologist will determine if it is appropriate to treat the problem beforehand without a biopsy (this means that we know what the problem is and it is not cancer). If we need more information, suspect cancer, or think we need a treatment like Mohs surgery, we will perform a biopsy.

After taking the biopsy, we send the sample to our dermatopathology lab, where our staff will collect the tissue and process it overnight. The sample is then cut into strips of skin thinner than the width of the red blood cell and placed on the slide.

A dermatopathologist examines the slide under the microscope to tell the dermatologist what disease process is occurring in the patient. The dermatologist can then change her treatment to suit the patient.

When it comes to skin cancer, prescribe the type of cancer treatment. Basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer treated with a minor in-office approach) is easy to diagnose but is similar to pigmentation and melanoma. The treatment of melanoma is completely different from basal cell carcinoma. Sometimes a biopsy reveals that the lesion is a pigmented melanoma that looks like a basal cell carcinoma.

If the patient is concerned about growth, whether it is basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma, a biopsy will allow the dermatopathologist to identify and treat what type of cancer it is.

Dermatopathologists are also consulted to diagnose the rash. Most rashes are very similar when seen clinically. There are some treatments that dermatologists can try quickly without a biopsy. They often work; But at other times, indistinguishable rashes require specific and less common treatment.

A biopsy can help us identify what type of rash it is so that a dermatologist can correct treatment for that specific cause. While most rashes are due to conditions where the treatments are similar, other rashes are rare. The appearance of a rash in the area is also fatal. For example, T-cell lymphoma looks like a rash but not cancer, and we need a biopsy to diagnose it.

When your dermatologist needs a biopsy, your dermatopathologist will evaluate it to give you the most accurate diagnosis so that you can begin the best treatment for your condition.

Categories
Treatment

Overview of Radiation Therapy | Purpose | Oncology

What is radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses beams of penetrating energy to kill cancer cells. It usually uses X-rays, but protons or other types of energy can also be used. The term “radiation therapy” most often mentions external beam radiation therapy. During this type of radiation, the high-energy rays come from a machine outside your body that directs the rays to a precise point on your body. Throughout a different type of radiation treatment called brachytherapy (brak-e-THER-uh-pee), radiation is placed inside your body.

Radiation therapy compensations cells by destroying the genetic material that controls how cells grow and divide. Although radiation therapy damages both healthy and cancer cells, the goal of radiation therapy is to destroy as few normal, healthy cells as possible. Normal cells can often overhaul much of the damage caused by radiation.

Purpose of radiation therapy

More than half of all persons with cancer receive radiation therapy as part of their cancer treatment. Doctors use radiation therapy to treat almost all types of cancer. Radiation therapy is also helpful in treating some non-cancerous (benign) tumors.

How radiation therapy is cast-off in people with cancer

Your doctor may propose radiation therapy as an option at different times during your cancer treatment and for different reasons, including:

  • As the only (primary) treatment for cancer
  • Before surgery, to shrink a tumorous tumor (neoadjuvant therapy)
  • After surgery, to rest the growth of any remaining cancer cells (adjuvant therapy)
  • In combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, to kill cancer cells.
  • In advanced cancer to relieve symptoms caused by cancer

Types of radiation therapy

There are two main types of radiation therapy, exterior, and internal beam. The type of radiation therapy you can receive depends on many factors, including:

  • The type of cancer
  • The size of the tumor
  • The position of the tumor in the body
  • How nearby the tumor is to normal tissues that are sensitive to radiation
  • Your medical and general health history
  • If you will have other types of cancer treatment
  • Other influences, such as your age and other medical conditions

External beam radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy comes from a machine that directs radiation at your cancer. The machine is large and can be noisy. You don’t touch it, but it can move around you, sending radiation to a part of your body from many directions.

External beam radiation therapy is a native treatment, which means it treats a specific part of your body. For example, if you have lung cancer, you will receive radiation only to the chest, not to the whole body.

Internal radiation therapy

Internal radiation therapy is a treatment in which a source of radiation is placed inside your body. The source of radiation can be solid or liquid. Internal radiation therapy with a hard source is called brachytherapy. In this type of treatment, seeds, tapes, or capsules containing a radiation source are placed in your body, in or near the tumor. Like external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy is a local treatment and luxuries only a specific part of your body.

With brachytherapy, the radiation source in your body will emit radiation for a time.

What to expect?

Your doctor will discuss and other options and help weigh the pros and cons. Before treatment begins, they will determine the correct type and dose of radiation.

A person receiving external beam radiation may have a CT scan or MRI before treatment. This is to identify the exact location and size of the tumor. A doctor can make a small but permanent mark on the skin to make sure the radiation therapist is aiming the beam correctly.

A person may need to wear a cast or use a headrest or other device to ensure that they remain still during treatment. The first session can be a simulation, in which the team performs the procedure.

Many people have five meetings per week for 3-9 weeks, but this depends on specific factors. Each session lasts about 15 minutes. It is painless, but the surrounding tissue will be damaged. That is why the treatment occurs only 5 days a week. The 2-day break allows for healing.

A person receiving internal radiation therapy may need an anesthetic before the doctor can implant the radioactive substance. In general, several sessions and sometimes in the hospital may be necessary. The details of the process depend on the type of radiation therapy and the type and location of cancer.

Aftercare

After receiving external treatment, a person can go home and continue with their daily routine. However, they may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness around the treatment site
  • Emotional stress

To help manage these effects, it is important to:

  • Rest a lot
  • Eat Healthily
  • Talking to friends and family about any side effects

Follow the instructions, which may involve skincare, of the treatment team. Avoid spending time in the sun, due to the risk of photosensitivity. Also, monitor for adverse effects and inform your doctor if they occur. Your doctor may recommend additional treatments aimed at alleviating them. People may need to talk to their employers about adjusting work hours or taking medical leave.

Side effects of radiation therapy

Radiation can affect both healthy cells and cancer cells. When this happens, a person experiences side effects. Specific side effects depend on factors such as:

  • The area receiving treatment
  • The general health of the person
  • The type and dose of radiation

Short term side effects

Short-term side effects vary, depending on the part of the body that receives the radiation. They may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin changes
  • Nausea and vomiting

A 2018 study published in the BMJ open recommends screening for anxiety and depression in people undergoing radiation therapy and offering counseling services to those who may benefit from them.

Long-term side effects

Long-term side effects also depend on the treatment site. They include:

  • Heart or lung problems, if radiation affects the chest
  • Thyroid problems, which cause hormonal changes, if radiation affects the neck area
  • Lymphedema, which involves the accumulation of lymphatic fluid and causes pain
  • Hormonal changes, including the possibility of early menopause, due to radiation to the pelvic area
  • There is a small chance that high doses of radiation in certain areas may increase the risk of another form of cancer developing. A doctor will provide more specific information and help you weigh the risks and benefits.

Not all people who receive radiation therapy experience long-term side effects. The risk depends on the doses, the treatment area, and other individual factors.

What happens after radiation therapy treatment ends?

After treatment is finished, you will have follow-up appointments with your radiation oncologist. It is important to continue your follow-up care, including:

  • Checking your recovery
  • Be on the lookout for treatment side effects, which may not happen right away

As your body recovers, you will need fewer follow-up visits. Ask your doctor for a written record of your treatment. This is a helpful resource for managing your long-term health care.

What happens before radiation treatment?

Each treatment plan is created to meet the individual needs of a patient, but there are some general steps. You can wait for these steps before starting treatment:

Meeting with your radiation oncologist. The physician will review your medical records, perform a physical exam, and mention tests. You will also learn about the possible risks and benefits of radiation therapy. This is a good time to ask questions or share concerns you may have.

Permit radiation therapy. If you choose to have radiation therapy, your healthcare team will ask you to sign an “informed consent” form. Signing the document means:

  • Your team provided you with information about your treatment options
  • Choose to receive radiation therapy
  • You permit healthcare professionals to administer the treatment
  • You understand that treatment is not guaranteed to work as expected

Simulation and treatment planning. Your first radiation therapy session is a simulation. This means that it is a practice without administering radiation therapy. Your team will use imaging scans to identify the location of the tumor. These may include:

  • A computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • An X-ray

Provisional on the area being treated, you may receive a small mark on your skin. This will help your team direct the radiation beam at the tumor. You may also have an immobilization device. This could include the use of:

  • Headband
  • Foam sponges
  • Headrest
  • Molds
  • Plasters

These items help you stay in the same position throughout the treatment. For radiation therapy to the skull or neck, you may obtain a thermoplastic mask. This is a mesh mask that is molded to your face and attached to the table. Gently holds your head in place.

Your body must be in the same position for each treatment. Your radiation oncology team cares about your comfort. Talk with the team to find a comfortable position you can be in each time you come in for radiation therapy. Tell them if you experience anxiety while still in an immobilization device. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to help you relax.

After the simulation in your first session, your radiation therapy team will review your information and design a treatment plan. Computer software helps the team develop the plan.

Who receives radiation therapy?

More than half of persons with cancer receive radiation therapy. This is sometimes the only cancer treatment needed, and sometimes it is used with other types of treatment. The decision to use radiation therapy depends on the type and stage of cancer and other health problems the patient may have.

What are the goals of radiation therapy?

Most types of radiation therapy do not reach all parts of the body, which means that they do not help treat cancer that has spread to many parts of the body. Still, radiation therapy can be used to treat many types of cancer, also alone or in combination with other treatments. While it is important to remember that every cancer and every person is different, radiation is often the treatment of choice for the following purposes.

To cure or reduce early-stage cancer

Some cancers are very sensitive to radiation. Radiation can be used alone in these cases to make cancer shrink or go away completely. In some cases, chemotherapy or other anticancer drugs may be given first. For other cancers, radiation may be used before surgery to shrink the tumor (this is called preoperative therapy or neoadjuvant therapy), or after surgery to help keep cancer from coming back (called adjuvant therapy). For certain cancers that can be cured by radiation or surgery, radiation may be the preferred treatment. This is because radiation can cause less damage and the affected body part is more likely to function as it should after treatment.

For approximate types of cancer, radiation and chemotherapy or other types of anticancer drugs can be used composed. Sure drugs (called radiosensitizers) help the radiation work better by making cancer cells more sensitive to radiation. Exploration has shown that when anticancer drugs and radiation are given together for sure types of cancer, they can help each other work even better than if they were given alone. However, one drawback is that side effects are often worse when taken together.

Preparation

The first step in radiation treatment is to determine if it is the right form of treatment for you. Your doctor will also determine the dose amounts and the frequency of radiation that is best suited to your type and stage of cancer. Sometimes your doctor may decide that radiation therapy is more appropriate for use at a later stage, so you may receive other cancer treatments first. It usually includes the steps shown below.

  • Radiation simulation
  • You will lie on the same type of table that will be used for your treatment
  • Standing still at the proper angle is very important to successful treatment, so your healthcare team can use cushions and restraints to position you at the best angle for treatment.
  • Then you will have CT scans or X-rays to determine the full extent of your cancer and where the radiation should be focused.
  • After determining the best location for radiation treatment, your treatment team will mark the area with a very small tattoo. This tattoo is usually the size of a freckle. In certain cases, a permanent tattoo is not necessary.
  • You are now prepared to begin radiation therapy

Radiation therapy techniques

Radiation can damage normal cells. The radiation must be directed at cancer. An advanced form of three-dimensional (3-D) conformal radiation, called intensity-modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, more precisely matches the dose to tumors, allowing safer delivery of higher doses of radiation.

Other techniques that allow ultra-precise doses of radiation to tumors include stereotactic radiosurgery, which uses 3-D imaging to determine the exact coordinates of a tumor. Gamma rays or highly focused X-rays then converge on the tumor to treat it. The Gamma Knife® is a treatment option that uses radioactive azure sources to focus numerous beams of radiation on a small area. Linear accelerators can also be used to carry stereotactic radiation therapy to the brain. Other parts of the body can be treated with stereotaxic body radiation therapy (SBRT). Emerging areas for SBRT use include lung, liver, and bone.

Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is often used in conjunction with IMRT to ensure that radiation is delivered to the planned area. IGRT involves performing a CT scan at the time of radiation treatment to ensure that the target is aligned in the correct location. IGRT can countenance adjustments during treatment in areas of the body that are prone to drive, such as the lungs and tumors located near critical organs and tissues.

Radiation can also be used to cut off blood flow to a tumor in vascular organs such as the liver. For example, radioembolization uses microspheres filled with radioactive isotopes to block a tumor’s blood supply and deprive it of blood.

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About Immunodermatologist | Treatments | Dermatology

Who is an Immunodermatologist?

Immunodermatologist practice examining how the immune system communicates with the skin. Skin conditions such as contact dermatitis and eczema are related to the immune system and therefore are under the expertise of Immunodermatologists. One of the various tasks of an Immunodermatologist is to develop solutions for skin conditions that are closely related to the immune system.

Like dermatologists, Immunodermatologist often works in laboratory settings, conducting experiments designed to assess the immune system and how the skin responds to various substances. While the work of an Immunodermatologist is of great importance, people are generally unaware of the work that is done in this field.

Types of autoimmune skin disorders and treatments

Bullous pemphigoid, pemphigus, and epidermolysis bullosa acquisita

These rare disorders develop into large fluid-filled blisters on the skin. Treatments can include corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder in which the skin loses melanin, causing the white patches to spread slowly over time. These symptoms affect men and women equally and the causes can be due to trauma to the skin, such as stress, illness, or heat stroke. Vitiligo appears at birth, but in half of all vitiligo cases, it develops in children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 30.

It can affect any part of the body, but areas exposed to the sun are the first to be affected. Vitiligo and vitiligo are usually seen on the face around the eyes. It develops around the roots of the hair on the scalp and the patches of hair turn white or gray.

Vitiligo is not contagious and shouldn’t bring you to life – some high-profile celebrities and even fashion models have come to accept its status as part of their identity.

Vitiligo treatment

Repigmentation is very slow and can include topical corticosteroids in the form of creams applied to the affected areas, vitamins, narrow-band ultraviolet B (UVB) treatment, and oral steroids. Vitiligo is treated by Immunodermatologist.

Also, self-tanning lotions help hide blemishes by adding color to discolored areas. Hiding cosmetics and makeup is also an effective way to restore a more balanced skin tone.

Scleroderma

Thick areas of skin with a smooth, shiny occurrence are a shaping feature of scleroderma. It is a group of connective tissue disorders (this process called fibrosis) that causes the skin to thicken and harden. Blood vessels are also damaged, and the body cannot repair them. Scleroderma usually begins with a few dry patches of skin on the hands or face, which later become thicker and firmer. These patches are then distributed to other areas of the skin.

Scleroderma is not contagious or cancerous, but it is inherited. There are four main subtypes of scleroderma, which are prescribed to increase the severity of symptoms:

  • Morphea: Localized scleroderma patches may appear anywhere on the skin, but usually on the trunk.
  • Scleroderma linear: As the name suggests, hardened skin often appears in lines on the hands or feet. This localized scleroderma tightens the skin and restricts movement. In children, this stiffness disturbs the growth of the long bones and should be watched closely.
  • Limited systemic sclerosis (also known as CREST syndrome): It usually affects the face, arms, forearms, feet, and calves. It is often associated with Raynaud’s disease, which restricts blood flow to the fingers and toes. Internally, it can also damage the heart and digestive system, causing heartburn and difficulty swallowing.
  • Diffuse scleroderma/systemic sclerosis: It is a more widespread condition that confuses the body more than the limited systemic form. Ung can also damage the lungs, kidneys, muscles, and joints. Muscle aches, joint stiffness, and fatigue are common.

Scleroderma treatment

Since vascular disease is more common in patients with scleroderma, some medications, such as antihypertensives, can be used to open the blood vessels. Like lupus, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressants can also help reduce symptoms of scleroderma. “These autoimmune diseases can be treated with immunosuppressive drugs. “But when you’ve taken over them, you need to see your doctor nearly to make sure you don’t get infections.” Immunodermatologist will take care of this treatment.

Vasculitis

As its name suggests, vasculitis is a serious disease characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels when the body’s immune system attacks them. The inflammation can be short-term (acute) or chronic (chronic), and in severe cases, blood flow can be restricted until organ and tissue damage occurs.

There are about 20 types of vasculitis that affect the skin, joints, brain, nerves, intestines, heart, lungs, kidneys, and eyes. Cutaneous vasculitis is characterized by red or pleated patches on the skin, usually on the legs and feet. When the lesions are large, they look like wounds and are itchy and painful.

Vasculitis treatment

Medications can include corticosteroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Also, there are many laser and gentle treatments available to reduce the appearance of blood vessels and skin lesions.

Lupus

Lupus is a disease that causes a variety of symptoms, many of which are similar to other skin conditions. When it affects the skin, this condition is called cutaneous lupus (or cutaneous lupus). It can come in many ways; Typically, patients see a butterfly-shaped rash, often on the face. When it spreads beyond the skin, it is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and the inflammation affects the joints, kidneys, and other organs.

The aggressive form of the condition is called systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE (systemic milieu that affects the whole body). There is a sister condition called “discoid lupus erythematosus” (DLE), which is more restricted to the skin and is named after the formation of coin-shaped lesions. DLE skin lesions are typically not itchy or painful but are more pronounced and severe than skin lesions found in SLE and can cause permanent cosmetic damage and scarring.

Lupus treatment

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin (ibuprofen) can be used to treat inflammation and pain in some patients. Another option for treating inflammation is corticosteroids, but the side effects increase the risk of infection. Anti-malarial drugs, including Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine), are often used to treat lupus symptoms because they help reduce joint pain, improve skin rashes, and significantly reduce inflammation. Doctors may also prescribe antibiotics such as azazone (azathioprine), which suppresses the immune system to prevent it from invading cells.

Departments to consult for this condition

  • Department of Immunodermatology