What does one do if she experiences major chest pains and medical examinations reveal no heart or BP abnormalities? This is a particularly good question because it applies to all fields of medicine, and to all people who at some time in their lives will become patients (Yes, even doctors). If a person is experiencing symptoms that are not accompanied by signs of disease, or evidence in the form of an abnormal test, the diagnostic work-up will sometimes cease. Yet the patient still has the symptoms. What should be done? First, were all the elements of your complaint dealt with? Please see my prior posting about preparing for a visit to a cardiologist . It is appropriate for a visit to any physician. Second, what constitutes a full work-up for chest pain? This is actually different depending upon the likelihood of different processes causing the discomfort. Arteriosclerotic coronary artery disease is quite unlikely in very young people (but congenital disease may be more ...
Radiation therapy is a highly targeted, highly effective way to destroy cancer cells that may linger after surgery. This reduces the risk of recurrence.
Radiation is usually given after mastectomy in men with:
large cancers (5 centimeters or bigger)
a positive margin of resection (when the cancer comes very close to or is at the edge of the breast tissue removed)
a significant area of lymphatic or blood vessel involvement
significant lymph node involvement (four or more positive nodes)
After mastectomy, radiation therapy is usually given 5 days a week for about 5-7 weeks.
Radiation can also be used for men with advanced (metastatic) disease to relieve symptoms or help avoid complications from specific areas of spread. For example, radiation can help relieve painful bone metastases, decrease the risk of breaking a bone that's been weakened by cancer, decrease bleeding from skin involvement, and reduce neurological symptoms if the cancer puts pressure on nerves or the spinal cord.
Q. I definitely want to avoid lymphedema. Is there anything I can do to ward it off, or is lymphedema totally random? A. The very best thing you can do to help prevent lymphedema is to make sure you get full range of motion back in your arm, whether after surgery or radiation. Favoring the arm on your affected side, hunching your shoulder protectively, being too stiff to stretch your arm up over your head and around towards your back–these are all things that will make it easier for lymphedema to gain a foothold. I have a friend who’s a physical therapist specializing in lymphedema treatment. In fact, we became close as she gave me daily massages to relieve my own swollen arm. (Just as getting a tummy tuck is the silver lining of a tram flap reconstruction, a daily massage is the big plus of having lymphedema!) This friend says that women who’ve had surgery, particularly a mastectomy with lymph node removal (even if just a single node) need physical thera...
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