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Tell-Tale Signs of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can be treated if the disease is detected early, but most people tend to ignore the symptoms because they associate it with other mouth illnesses. What should you look for to determine if there is a mouth problem, cancer or benign, that needs to be addressed?

Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can affect one or many parts of the mouth or oral cavity such as the lips, lip and cheeks tissues, gums, the front two-thirds of the tongue, floor or the area under the tongue, and the roof of the mouth.

Most of the cases of oral cancer begin on the squamous cells, or the cells that cover the surfaces of the lips and tongue. So how does oral cancer start? One of the tell-tale signs of squamous cancer cells is a patch that looks red (erythroplakia), white (leukoplakia or keratosis) or a combination of both (erythroleukoplakia). You will not feel any pain, but some could feel velvety when probed, and there could also be lesions, too. If this patch doesn’t disappear after 2 weeks, you need to visit a doctor.

Sores, which can be found on any part of the oral cavity, should be painful to be considered normal (or a canker sore). If you notice any lump or sore, but there is no pain, you need to have it looked at. Some of the lesions aren’t noticeable, that is why you need to examine your mouth in front of a mirror at least once a month.

Some symptoms, however, are more noticeable, such as; a persistent sore/crust, lump in the cheek, thickening in the cheek, swellings, pain and tenderness, numbness, difficulty moving the tongue or jaw, difficulty chewing or swallowing, loose teeth, recurrent sore throat and hoarseness, feeling of a lump stuck in the throat, a lump in the neck, persistent bad breath, and pain in the ears without hearing loss.

Screening of Oral Cancer
Your dentist will usually examine your oral cavity for problems during routine check-ups, that is why you should visit at least twice a year (every 6 months) to address oral health issues besides cancer. Even if you don’t need any cleaning or extraction, you should still visit your dentist, especially if you’re at risk of developing oral diseases.

So, what puts a person at risk? Lifestyle is a factor in the development of oral cancer such as smoking and alcohol abuse, prolonged exposure to sunlight (remember that your lips are part of your mouth), acquiring sexually-transmitted diseases like human papillomavirus, acquiring severe lichen planus, and an unhealthy diet among people older than 40 years.

If your dentist suspects that you have cancer, a biopsy is usually recommended after a closer physical examination of the mouth and face. Treatment is determined by the progress of the disease and the location of the cancer. Common treatments include surgery (removal of the cancer and affected tissues or to ease symptoms if the cancer is advanced), radiotherapy (either brachytherapy or external beam radiotherapy), photodynamic therapy, and chemotherapy.

What’s the Difference Between Urticaria and Angioedema?

Anyone who has allergies must learn to differentiate between urticaria and angioedema because it could indicate a much severe allergic reaction than usual.

Urticaria
Urticaria is better known as hives or weal, those raised patches on the skin that are itchy and are the result of the presence of the histamine in the skin’s blood vessels. Most people with allergies have had urticaria as it is the most common reaction to allergens, pressure, and friction. The raised, itchy patches on the skin can spread and can cause discomfort if it covers a large part of the body. The wheals that appear in the body are described as having a central swelling, is pruritic or severely itchy, and will not leave obvious marks. To treat urticaria or to lessen instances of developing hives, the cause must be identified and eliminated.

Fortunately, hives will respond well to antihistamines and steroids, but it can recur if the person is exposed again to the allergen. It will not leave any obvious marks once the hives go away, usually within 24 hours. There are cases called chronic idiopathic urticaria in some individuals who get hives for no apparent reason. The outbreak of the hives can recur nearly everyday for weeks at a time.

Angioedema
Angioedema can sometimes occur with urticaria, but it is a more serious allergic reaction that can cause life-threatening symptoms. The name angioedema refers to the condition where the dermis, subcutaneous tissue, and mucosa and surrounding tissues become swollen. If a person has angioedema due to an allergen, the area around the mouth is swollen and the upper airway is obstructed. Other parts of the body can also be affected, especially areas with loose connective tissue, such as the tongue, pharynx, the extremities, periorbital region, and genitals. Angioedema is also believed to be caused by a deficiency in C1 esterase and usually runs in the family.

Angioedema is treated as an emergency. If a person with allergies has angioedema, his/her airways must be kept open and protected, along with a prescription of antihistamines or steroids to reduce the swelling. Those individuals with chronic urticaria are more likely to experience angioedema as well, and the swollen areas will take at least 72 hours to go away.

Treatment
Triggers of urticaria and angioedema should be avoided, including medications such as NSAIDs, antihypertensive, and ACE inhibitors. Both physical and food triggers should also be noted, and other people should be informed on what to do during an emergency. Whether the person will need to take antihistamines regularly will depend on the severity or the number of allergies, that is why it’s important to talk to a doctor about the possible side-effects of the medications that can potentially impair academic and workplace performance.

Treatment of angioedema will also require special attention from an allergologist, especially if the condition is inherited.

How You Can Effectively Stop Stroke

 

It is time that you examine your life and discover the things that can threaten it. Perhaps you should start with stroke. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death not only here in Singapore but the whole world. What makes it worse is that age makes you more susceptible to it. You cannot just reverse the years.

Stroke arises when the blood supply of the brain is interrupted. There are three forms of stroke that include ischemic, haemorrhagic and transient ischemic attack. Of the three, the less serious is transient ischemic attack because blood flow is briefly interrupted however it is crucial that you check with the doctor because it can lead to more serious clots. The most common stroke is ischemic where narrowing or blockage of arteries happen thereby reducing blood supply to the brain. Haemorrhagic stroke on the other hand is caused by a rupture or leak of blood supply.

Since you cannot just reverse the years to decrease your chances of having stroke, you can however manage or control the risk factors that lead to severity. Here are some tips on how you can effectively stop stroke:

Monitor blood pressure

It is imperative that you always monitor your blood pressure. Remember that high blood pressure can quadruple stroke risk if it is not managed or controlled. If it is elevated, you have to submit to treatment right away. Your goal is to maintain blood pressure less than 120/80.

The best thing that you can do is to avoid high in cholesterol foods like ice cream, cheeses and burgers. Reduce salt in your diet as well. If your doctor recommends that you take medicines, do it.

Lose weight

Another risk linked to stroke is obesity. Your goal should be a BMI of at least 25 or less. How can you achieve it? Increase your exercise time. You can also do other physical activities like playing basketball, walking or running. When it comes to eating, make sure not to consume 1500-2000 calories per day.

Moderate drinking

You will be surprised that drinking can reduce your risk to have stroke but up to a certain point. Your goal is to drink alcohol in moderation – perhaps one glass per day and not more. To make it more effective, drink red wine because it contains chemicals that can protect the heart.

Avoid diabetes

Having diabetes can increase your chances of stroke. High blood sugar can destroy vessels. Your goal here is to control your blood sugar. To do this, you have to follow doctor’s instructions by monitoring your blood sugar and exercise.

Bid PMS Goodbye with these Great Foods

Your monthly menstrual visit is usually the cause of mood swings, irritability, fatigue and the most common food cravings. When it’s nearly your time of the month, you experience intense cravings for sugary, caffeinated and junk foods thinking that these can make you feel just a bit better.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news but all of these food choices will only make your PMS symptoms worse. Anything sugary, made mainly from processed ingredients or even too spicy can send your hormones into overdrive. No need to be distressed because the solution to this problem is simply a proper diet at least one to two weeks before your cycle starts.

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Pepitas

Most commonly known as pumpkin seeds, pepitas are healthy snacks rich in zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium. About a quarter cup of this contains half of the recommended daily magnesium intake. Magnesium is essential in helping to alleviate stress and soothe the nerves. These also contain natural anti-inflammatory properties, a big savior when it comes to the bloating problem. Whenever you’re itching to eat something unhealthy like potato chips, snacking on pumpkin seeds is a better option.

 

Broccoli

This cruciferous vegetable, high in magnesium and calcium, is the best solution for menstrual cramps. A daily serving of broccoli days before your menstrual cycle will boost the mineral and vitamin content, keeping the body stable even when hormones spike.

 

Eggs

Eating eggs during and before your cycle will boost your mood and lessen PMS symptoms like anxiety and depression. Eggs can also help boost concentration especially on days when you have a ton of work to do. Omega-3 fats present in eggs also ease headaches and bloating. Go for the organic option because those are richer in omega-3.

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Popcorn

Yes, something more delicious and enjoyable to eat. With our hormones constantly seesawing, nobody will be pleased to always eat a vegetable-based diet days before our menstrual cycle. Popcorn is a safe non-GMO snack you can munch on. Research shows that popcorn does not aggravate inflammation in the body.

 

Artichokes

Foods high with fiber will be able to help in dealing with one of the worse symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome: bloating. 100 grams of artichoke contains about 5 grams dietary fiber. Artichokes also have the ability to cleanse the liver, which helps in decreasing stress, anxiety, cramps and headache. Grill or roast some artichokes on days before your menstrual cycle start to lessen bloating symptoms.

 

Kale

Being calcium deficient is directly linked to most of the symptoms of PMS. Weeks before your cycle, it is necessary to eat foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals in order to ease the effects of hormonal imbalance. Although dairy is also a great source of calcium, it can also worsen inflammation in the body. Eat kale, another cruciferous vegetable rich in calcium, for a better and safer calcium source. This is one trendy superfood that lives up to all the hype because of its important health benefits. Now you’ll know why people in the West are all about kale.

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The Common Contributors of Exhaustion  

 

The city is not in the midst of energy crisis per se but its people are. Singaporeans should have more reasons to continue living vivaciously because we are well-provided but there are days that no amount of lighting and sound can boost us thus the exhaustion.

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Exhaustion is normal here in Singapore but we have to deal with this so we will be productive at home or at work. With this, we should learn to identify common contributors of exhaustion so we can take actions. Here are the common contributors of exhaustion:

  • You are not getting enough sleep: Alright, you guessed right. Sleeping is the most common contributors of exhaustion. You sleep but is it enough? Ideally, you need at least six to eight hours of sleep. Sleeping is crucial because it helps in the secretion of human growth hormone. If you notice it, not enough sleep will lead to decreased stamina, fatigue and depression.
  • You are eating more junk: You slept for eight hours and more yet you still feel sluggish. This time you have to reflect on your eating habits. Your sluggishness is the body’s way of telling you that you are eating more junk. Do not forget to drink a lot of water all throughout the day.

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  • You are low in vitamins: Your low energy is usually caused by low vitamin B level. Vitamin B is good for the mitochondria that can transform energy. You need to absorb more vitamin B either through diet or pills.
  • You have an infection: One can hardly move comfortably with infections. The secret here is to monitor the body so that infections will not stay long.

We can battle exhaustion if we really want to.

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