Physical Effects of Cervical Cancer
Patients who have cervical cancer usually have little or no physical effects in the early stages. As the disease progresses, however, there may be sufficient growth in the pelvis to cause problems with bowel movements because of pressure on the rectum; problems with urination because of similar pressure on the bladder; and sexual difficulties because of the growth in the upper vagina, limiting or causing discomfort with sex.
As the disease becomes more advanced, growth toward the sidewalls of the pelvis may cause the cancer to partially or completely block the ureters. Complete ureter blockage can lead to death because of uremia (the inability of the body to excrete waste), which causes uremic poisoning. This is relatively rare in developed countries because of widespread healthcare, but is not uncommon in undeveloped countries.
Because the uremic poisoning symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue, sleepiness and eventually coma, are similar to other major illnesses, this condition may be seen as just a sign of old age. Sometimes these patients do not even receive a simple pelvic exam, which could save their lives.
The physical effects of cervical cancer after treatment may be more remarkable. Patients who have a LEEP or conization procedure may experience cramping, bleeding or a watery discharge. After a hysterectomy, the woman may experience pain in her lower abdomen for a few days after the operation. Women may also have difficulty emptying their bladder for a few days and trouble having normal bowel movements. However, normal activities, including sexual intercourse, can usually be resumed in six to eight weeks.
Patients who have radiation therapy, which is usually reserved for more advanced stages, can experience sexual dysfunction, as the vagina may become shorter, more narrow and less flexible. They may also experience difficulty with urination because of the radiation shrinking the bladder and the loss of overall bladder tone. Difficulty with bowel movements may result because radiation can cause the rectum to change size. Some of the more serious radiation side effects may include bleeding from the rectum and bladder, as well as blockage of the intestines and prolonged diarrhea.
Radiation therapy also tends to make patients feel very tired, especially in the latter weeks of treatment. It is common for patients to lose hair — but only in the treated area — and for their skin to become dry, reddish and itchy.
Some patients who are treated with a combination of surgery and radiation can have lower extremity swelling, or edema, which can be disabling, but rarely life-threatening. Also, there may be some changes in sexual function if the cervix is surgically removed or changed due to radiation.
Once testing has been performed, ask your physician to go over your blood tests with you so you can get some idea of whether your thyroid is mildly or more severely overactive. Also, ask if your physician is sure you have Graves’ disease, or could you have some other form of hyperthyroidism.
Some forms of hyperthyroidism last only a few weeks, and then they get better by themselves. These do not require treatment with antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine, or surgery, though beta-blockers are often helpful.
Remember that you have the final say about your treatment. If you are considering medications and your physician recommends PTU, ask about taking methimazole. It is just as effective as PTU, and you can usually take half the number of pills every day.
For example, taking three tablets (10 milligrams each) of methimazole each morning is equivalent to taking two tablets (50 milligrams each) of PTU three times each day. Neither medication is very expensive.
If you are considering surgery, be sure that you are referred to a surgeon who is experienced in performing thyroidectomies and who continues to do them frequently. When you talk to the surgeon, ask whether many of his or her patients have had problems after surgery with hoarseness or low calcium levels. It is also important that the anesthesiologist who puts you to sleep for surgery has had experience working with hyperthyroid patients.
Many primary care physicians do a good job of caring for patients with Graves’ disease. However, if your questions are not being answered to your satisfaction, or if you feel as though you are not making progress with your therapy, then ask for a second opinion from a physician who specializes in treating thyroid problems and other hormonal conditions.
If you have severe eye disease that may require surgery, then you will need to see an ophthalmologist who specializes in the treatment of Graves’ eye disease. Most ophthalmologists do not have experience with this type of surgery.
On rare occasions when a patient’s vision is threatened, such a referral needs to be made on an urgent basis.
The average cost for equipment for toddler and preschool programs is approximately $1,500. Additional equipment for older children is about $600, and should include music, resistance bands, and balls to dribble, throw, catch and kick. (See the included lesson plan for an idea of what kind of equipment you will need.) Read the entire post…
Finding expert staff should be one of your top priorities. Hire a program director who is qualified to teach all ages of children and who has the experience to promote and direct your program. The ideal person should be athletic, fun-loving, reliable, energetic and experienced with a background in physical education, early childhood development or a related field. Read the entire post…
Elementary school. Use your club’s special features to attract children at the elementary school level. Pools, tennis courts and rock climbing walls are all a draw for this age group, and more traditional classes such as karate, ballet, basketball and soccer will also secure participation. Read the entire post…
The best time to offer toddler classes is mid-morning, around 10 a.m. Often, parents will take an 8 a.m. aerobics class and then participate with their child afterward. An alternate time is 6 p.m., which is popular for working parents and may fill up quickly. The average parent/toddler class has 12 to 16 children. Read the entire post…
Kid’s fitness can be instrumental in promoting healthy families and securing family memberships.
By Liz Price
We’re hearing more and more about how kids’ fitness programs evoke healthy habits early on, and serve as a building block toward active, healthy adults. Read the entire post…
Teen-agers need consistent limits and rules, just as young children do. But remember, rebellion is normal and healthy at their age.
(Think back to when you were a teen-ager and the difficulties you had communicating with your parents and other adults.) Read the entire post…
It is important to have a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about the disease.
Providers who stay informed about the latest developments are more likely to use the most current treatments to better manage their patients and help them avoid complications. Read the entire post…
The provider will likely perform some standard tests during the first visits. These tests often include a complete blood count to look for anemia, an evaluation of one’s blood type, and tests for syphilis, hepatitis B and immunity to rubella. If the expectant mother has not had a recent pap smear, the provider may perform one during the pregnancy. Other tests that are not routine, but which are commonly performed, include tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia, sickle cell disease and toxoplasmosis. Pregnant women are at a higher risk for urinary tract infections (bladder infections or UTIs) and for the spread of these infections to their kidneys (pyelonephritis). For this reason, a urine culture may be performed to ensure that there is no UTI. Read the entire post…