The Different Types Of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the tissues of the breast.  In the US 40,000 women die of this cancer each year. Before I begin this post, even though breast cancer is extremely uncommon in teen girls as their breasts are still developing it is important to self examine or at least learn how to self examine from age 17 and learn what feels normal, as if someone is unfortunate enough to get breast cancer, it increases the likelihood of it being caught quickly.

Some forms of breast cancer can be due to issues with hormones. These hormones being oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen is the primary female sex hormone as well as a medication. It is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics. Progesterone is another female sex hormone which is used to stimulate the uterus to prepare for pregnancy.

One type of breast cancer is oestrogen receptor (ER) positive. This type of breast cancer is sensitive to estrogen and may respond to hormone therapy. There is then Progesterone receptor (PR) positive. This type of breast cancer is sensitive to progesterone and may respond to hormone therapy. Finally there is Hormone receptor (HR) negative. This type of cancer doesn’t have hormone receptors, so it won’t be affected by treatments aimed at blocking hormones in the body.

With the first two types mentioned, the hormones link to cancer as the cancerous cells have receptors that feed on those hormones. Which in turn stimulates the receptors causing the cell to grow.

The treatment for estrogen and progesterone receptor positive types is by using hormones.  These may inhibit or stop the production of these hormones. The most common hormone therapy drug is tomoxifen. Which blocks oestrogen receptors in the cells. Hormone inhibitors on the other hand cut off the cancer cells food supply causing them to die, however it is to be noted that these are only used in post menopausal women.

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How Can Gut Bacteria Increase/ Decrease a Baby’s Risk of Being Asthmatic?

“Children with this type of yeast called Pichia were much more at risk of asthma,” said Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at UBC. “This is the first time anyone has shown any kind of association between yeast and asthma.”

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A study done at the Univeristy of Columbia has found a yeast in the gut of new babies in Ecuador, that appears to give us the indication that they will develop asthma in childhood. A type of yeast bacteria called Pichia has some how, and god knows how, has been linked to asthma. They examined four gut bacteria in Canadian children that, if present in the first 100 days of life, it meant that the child would not develop asthma. After this initial study,  the researchers repeated the experiment using fecal samples and health information from 100 children in a rural village in Ecuador.

Whilst gut bacteria was shown to play a role in preventing asthma, the presence of microscopic Pichia bacteria was heavily linked to having asthma, instead of helping to prevent it. If the microscopic fungus bacteria is presented early on in the infant’s life- that is when it poses a risk. Canada and Ecuador both have high rates of asthma with about 10 per cent of the population suffering from the disease. (Which is probably why the study was done there.)

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However on  a more positive tangent, four bacteria have been found that can decreases a baby’s risk of asthma.  The same researcher’s analyzed fecal samples from 319 children involved in the analysis of the gut bacteria . The samples revealed lower levels of four specific gut bacteria in three-month-old infants who were at an increased risk for asthma.

These four, extremely vital gut bacteria nicknamed FLVR (Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, Rothia) are usually naturally  transmitted to the baby from their environments, but some do not, either because of the circumstances of their birth or other factors. An interesting factor the researchers found was that there were fewer differences in FLVR levels among one-year-old children, this tells us that the first three months are a critical time period for a baby’s developing immune system, if the baby does not receive these bacteria, it could have a major impact on their health.

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“This discovery gives us new potential ways to prevent this disease that is life-threatening for many children. It shows there’s a short, maybe 100-day window for giving babies therapeutic interventions to protect against asthma,” said co-lead researcher Dr. Stuart Turvey, pediatric immunologist, BC Children’s Hospital, director of clinical research and senior clinician scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute, Aubrey J. Tingle Professor of Pediatric Immunology at UBC. The next plan of action for the reasearchers is to do a further study with a larger number of children to confirm these findings and reveal how these bacteria influence the development of asthma.

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Asthma… What is it?

Sadly, for many, asthma is just an excuse to miss PE. A good excuse, though real (severe)  sufferers of asthma can feel like they are running a marathon when climbing a set of stairs.

Asthma by definition is common, long term, inflammatory disease of the airways (bronchial tubes) and lungs. Symptoms may include, wheezing, breathlessness, a tight chest, and coughing. People may have some symptoms and not others, and some may be more prominent than others. For some people, these symptoms only occur occasionally, however for others symptoms may be more persistent.

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There are different types of asthma:

  • Occupational Asthma is caused by the work you do. Symptoms become apparent when you’re an adult, and they tend to improve on day’s you are not at work. This asthma is common if you work in industries such as a bakery, laboratory, or car manufacturer.
  • Adult onset Asthma is when diagnosis is given in adulthood and is not due to your job. The asthma may have been brought on by smoking, obesity or sometimes female hormones after a stressful event could bring it on. Triggers of adult asthma may include things like laughing or getting excited.
  • Difficult to control or severe asthma, is pretty much what it says on the tin. These people usually fall into two groups. Group 1 is a group where symptoms can be controlled with the right medicine. Treatment for this group involves, learning how to take a dosage of medicine properly for Asthma and learning how to control your triggers. Group 2 is for sufferers who don’t respond to conventional Asthma medicines. They are usually referred to a specialized asthma service for their ongoing care and treatment because their asthma is more complex, they have severe asthma.
  • Childhood asthma is when asthma is diagnosed during childhood. Many sufferers find their asthma disappears as they get older. However if the child has moderate asthma the symptoms are likely to return in later life.
  • Seasonal asthma is when people on experience symptoms at certain times of the year. Triggers of this type of asthma can be things such as a high pollen count.

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For many asthmatics, asthma attacks are common. When symptoms get worse than usual for a period of time, it is possible the person is having an asthma attack. Common features of asthma attacks are that your inhaler isn’t helping or lasting over four hours, you’re too breathless, or its difficult to talk eat or sleep. Your breathing may picking up speed and you do not feel as if you are inhaling properly.

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If you are around a person having an asthma attack, sit them up, and give them their inhaler. They can have a maximum of 10 puffs and if symptoms do not relieve after that call for an ambulance.

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