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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos.[1] In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity) or the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart).
Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibre in other ways, such as by washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos, or by home renovation using asbestos cement products. Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking [2].

Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
These symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions.
Mesothelioma that affects the pleura can cause these signs and symptoms:

  • chest wall pain
  • pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue or anemia
  • wheezing, hoarseness, or cough
  • blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up

In severe cases, the person may have many tumor masses. The individual may develop a pneumothorax, or collapse of the lung. The disease may metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body.
Tumors that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage. Symptoms include:

  • abdominal pain
  • ascites, or an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen
  • a mass in the abdomen
  • problems with bowel function
  • weight loss

In severe cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may be present:

  • blood clots in the veins, which may cause thrombophlebitis
  • disseminated intravascular coagulation, a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs
  • jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • low blood sugar level
  • pleural effusion
  • pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
  • severe ascites

A mesothelioma does not usually spread to the bone, brain, or adrenal glands. Pleural tumors are usually found only on one side of the lungs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Anterior and Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) work together to provide stability in the knee. They cross each other and form an 'X.'
Injuries to the cruciate ligaments of the knee are typically sprains. The anterior cruciate ligament is most often stretched, or torn by a sudden twisting motion while the feet remain planted. The posterior cruciate ligament is most often injured by a direct impact, such as in soccer or football.
ACL partial or complete tears can occur when an athlete changes direction rapidly, twists without moving the feet, slows`down abruptly, or misses a landing from a jump

See ACL - degree of injury slide
PCL injuries (image) are likely with impacts to the front of the knee, or from hyperextending the knee.

Cruciate ligament injuries don't always cause pain, but typically cause a loud "pop."
Incomplete tears are treated conservatively to allow the body to hear on its own. Rest, ice, compression and elevation are the immediate treatment. Nsaids can help reduce pain. Physical therapy will be used to build muslce strength over time. For a complete tear of the ACL Arthroscopic surgery is usually performed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Submitted by Dr. Tamer Fouad, M.D

In the aerobic environment, the most dangerous product are the species of reactive oxygen. The role of antioxidants is to detoxify reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) in the body. Over the past several years, nutritional antioxidants have attracted considerable interest in the popular press as potential treatment for a wide variety of disease states, including cancer and other causes e.g. atherosclerosis, chronic inflammatory diseases and aging (Delany L. 1993).


An antioxidant is a substance that when present in low concentrations relative to the oxidizable substrate significantly delays or reduces oxidation of the substrate (Halliwell, 1995).
Antioxidants get their name because they combat oxidation. They are substances that protect other chemicals of the body from damaging oxidation reactions by reacting with free radicals and other reactive oxygen species within the body, hence hindering the process of oxidation. During this reaction the antioxidant sacrifices itself by becoming oxidized. However, antioxidant supply is not unlimited as one antioxidant molecule can only react with a single free radical. Therefore, there is a constant need to replenish antioxidant resources, whether endogenously or through supplementation

Antioxidant System

The body has developed several endogenous antioxidant systems to deal with the production of ROI. These systems can be divided into enzymatic and nonenzymatic groups. Figure 4 summarizes the sites of action of the various antioxidants.