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Whelehans Health News

1st of 3pts examining Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Part 1 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inability to breathe in and out properly. COPD is the name for a group of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive airways disease. After pneumonia, COPD is the 2 second leading cause of respiratory death in Ireland with only pneumonia causing more respiratory deaths. Smoking is the cause in 85 to 90% of cases. 500,000 in Ireland live with COPD. It generally presents in people over 40 who have a history of smoking. It is more common in men than women. Types Chronic...

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Malnutrition in older people can be hard to detect - in the concluding part of our review we help identify the signs to look for

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Malnutrition in older people (Part 2)   Detection of Malnutrition Although biochemical measurements can contribute to nutritional assessment, none can reliably measure nutritional risk e.g., a low serum albumin is almost always a marker of a fluid overload rather than a marker of malnutrition.   The best indicators of poor nutrition are measurements of weight and height. Other measures in specialist circumstances include skin-fold thickness, arm circumference and grip strength measurements. These generally need an experienced assessor.    These measurements can then be used with the following questions: Has the patient been eating a normal and varied diet in the...

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First of two parts reviewing - Malnutrition in older people - this week - Causes

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Malnutrition in older people (Part 1)   Causes of Malnutrition Reduced intake: Poor appetite due to illness, food aversion, nausea or pain when eating, depression, anxiety, side effects of medication or drug addiction Diminished sensory ability: Taste changes, less smell perception, hard of hearing, reduced appetite Inability to eat: This can be due to restrictions imposed by surgery or investigations, reduced levels of consciousness; confusion; difficulty in feeding oneself due to weakness, arthritis, or other conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, poor swallow, vomiting, painful mouth conditions, poor oral hygiene, or dentures Gut: Changes in the gut micro flora can affect...

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Concluding part of our review of Breast Cancer post surgical treatment options

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Breast Cancer Treatment Part 2   Treatment – post surgery (Continued) Last week I discussed chemotherapy. This week I discuss radiotherapy and hormone therapy. Radiotherapy This therapy uses controlled doses of radiation through high energy X-Rays to kill any residual cancer cells following surgery – especially with lumpectomy (part of breast removed). It’s been shown that lumpectomy plus radiotherapy is as effective as mastectomy (whole breast removed) in the treatment of early-stage breast cancer. Unlike chemotherapy, radiotherapy only targets the specific area that requires treatment, so, the breast or armpit, or in the case of mastectomy, the chest wall. The...

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A review of Breast Cancer post - surgical treatment options (first of two parts)

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Breast Cancer Treatment Part 1   Two types of Breast Cancer Surgery   For this article, I focus on post-surgical treatment. The two main types of breast cancer surgery are:   Lumpectomy – aka breast conserving surgery.             Typically recommended for women with newly diagnosed, early-stage breast cancers. In this procedure, the tumour (lump) plus a small amount of healthy tissue surrounding the cancer is removed from the breast. The removal of healthy tissue is taken so that it can be tested for traces of cancer. If there is no cancer identified, then the chance of cancer returning are diminished. If...

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