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Category: Medical Library

May 26, 2020

Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate.

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder (the organ that collects and empties urine) and in front of the rectum (the lower part of the intestine). It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.

Prostate cancer is found mainly in older men. As men age, the prostate may get bigger and block the urethra or bladder. This may cause difficulty in urination or can interfere with sexual function. The condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and although it is not cancer, surgery may be needed to correct it. The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or of other problems in the prostate may be similar to symptoms for prostate cancer.

Possible signs of prostate cancer include a weak flow of urine or frequent urination.

These and other symptoms may be caused by prostate cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. Your doctor at Belize Medical Associates should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:

* Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
* Frequent urination (especially at night).
* Difficulty urinating.
* Pain or burning during urination.
* Blood in the urine or semen.
* Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis.
* Painful ejaculation.

Tests that examine the prostate and blood are used to detect (find) and diagnose prostate cancer.

The following tests and procedures may be used:

Digital rectal exam (DRE):
An exam of the rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall for lumps or abnormal areas.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test:
A test that measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer. PSA levels may also be high in men who have an infection or inflammation of the prostate or BPH (an enlarged, but noncancerous, prostate).
Transrectal ultrasound:
A procedure in which an endoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted into the rectum to check the prostate. The endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. Transrectal ultrasound may be used during a biopsy procedure.
Biopsy:
The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist. The pathologist will examine the biopsy sample to check for cancer cells and determine the Gleason score. The Gleason score ranges from 2-10 and describes how likely it is that a tumor will spread. The lower the number, the less likely the tumor is to spread. There are 2 types of biopsy procedures used to diagnose prostate cancer:
* Transrectal biopsy: The removal of tissue from the prostate by inserting a thin needle through the rectum and into the prostate. This procedure is usually done using transrectal ultrasound to help guide the needle. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells.
* Transperineal biopsy: The removal of tissue from the prostate by inserting a thin needle through the skin between the scrotum and rectum and into the prostate. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells.

These tests can all be done at Belize Medical Associates, 5791 St. Thomas Street, Belize City, Belize C.A. 223-0302/03/04.

May 26, 2020

Infection Prevention: It’s in Your Hands

Healthcare facilities worldwide are encouraged to conduct special educational activities to emphasize adherence to practices such as hand hygiene that have been shown to prevent infections and improve patient safety.

Choose the correct hand hygiene tools

Alcohol handrubs are an effective strategy for improving hand hygiene practices by healthcare workers, reducing healthcare-associated infections, and improving overall patient safety.

Promote hand hygiene in your facility

Get the facts and become familiar with materials to promote hand hygiene in your healthcare facility.

Monitor hand hygiene in your facility

Hand hygiene is an important component of an overall strategy to prevent transmission of healthcare-associated infection. Monitor adherence of recommended hand hygiene practices in your facility and provide feedback to staff on their performance.

Prevent infection during the flu season by getting vaccinated

Influenza causes an average of approximately 36,000 deaths per year. All healthcare workers should be vaccinated against influenza annually. Belize distance calculator . This will protect healthcare workers, their patients, and communities, and will improve prevention of influenza-associated disease, patient safety, and will reduce disease burden. Vaccines are available by prescription at Belize Medical Associates.

May 26, 2020

Getting the news that you are pregnant can be thrilling, shocking or both.

The Pregnancy Timeline was developed as a week by week guide to pregnancy which takes in how the baby develops and changes to the mother’s body.

WEEKS CHANGES
1 – 4 Fertilization occurs and a ball of quickly multiplying cells embeds itself in the lining of the uterus.
5 The mass of cells is developing fast and becomes an embryo.  For many women the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period.
6 The embryo officially becomes a fetus.  It is about the size of a baked bean and its spine and nervous system begin to form.
7 The baby’s heart is beginning to develop.  Morning sickness and other side effects of early pregnancy may occur.
8 It is quite common to have a first scan at this stage if the woman has had a previous miscarriage or bleeding.
9 The fetus is about 5 cm long with its head tucked onto its chest.  It has most of  its major organs and eyes and ears are developing.
10 A scan at 10-13 weeks is recommended to determine and confirm the date of the pregnancy.
11 The umbilical cord is fully formed providing nourishment and removing waste products.  The fetus looks fully human now.
12 By this week the threat of miscarriage is much reduced.  Many women announce their pregnancy to friends and colleagues.
13 The woman’s uterus is becoming larger and is starting to rise out of the pelvis.  The fetus can move its head quite easily.
14 Third of the way through.  The average pregnancy lasts 266 days or 280 days from the first day of last period.
15 Screening for Downs syndrome is offered about now.  A simple blood test is carried out first, then further tests may be offered.
16 The fetus now has toes and fingers, nails, eyebrows and eyelashes.  It is also covered with downy hair.
17 The fetus can hear noises from the outside world.  By this stage the mother is visibly pregnant and the uterus is rising.
18 By this stage the fetus is about 11 cm long and is moving around a lot probably enough to be felt.
19 By the end of this week the fetus is 20 cm long and weighs about 300g.  Milk teeth have formed in the gums.
20 Half way through pregnancy, now all mothers are offered a scan.  The fetus develops a waxy coating called vernix.
21 The mother may feel short of breath as her uterus pushes against her diaphragm leaving less space for the lungs.
22 Senses develop taste buds have started to form on the tongue and the fetus starts to feel touch.
23 The skeleton continues to develop and bones that form the skull begin to harden but not fully.
24 Antenatal checkup and scan to check the baby’s position.  A baby born this early does sometimes survive.
25 All organs are now in place and the rest of the pregnancy is for growth. Preeclampsia is a risk from here onwards.
26 The fetus skin is gradually becoming more opaque than transparent.
27 The fetus measures about 34cm and weighs about 800g.
28 Routine checkup to test for preeclampsia.  Women with Rhesus negative blood will also be tested for antibodies.
29 Some women develop restless leg syndrome in their third trimester.
30 Braxton Hicks contractions may begin around now.  They are practice contractions which don’t usually hurt.
31 The fetus can see now and can tell light from dark.
32 Another antenatal appointment.  The fetus is about 42 cm and weighs 2.2 kg.  A baby born now has a good chance of survival.
33 From now the baby should become settled in a head downwards position.
34 The mother may find it more difficult to eat full meals as the expanded uterus presses on her stomach.
35 If the mother has been told she may need a planned caesarean, now is a good time to discuss it further.
36 The baby’s head may engage in the pelvis any time now.
37 The baby’s lungs are practically mature now and it can survive unaided.  The final weeks in the womb are to put on weight.
38 Babies born from this week onward are not considered early.
39 Another antenatal appointment.  The mother has reached her full size and weight by now.
40 In theory the baby should be born this week.  The mother’s cervix prepares for the birth by softening.
41 First babies are often up to a week late but if there are signs of distress to mother or child the birth will be induced.

 

May 26, 2020

How can physical activity become a way of life?

If you aren’t in the habit of being physically active, you’re probably being told you should start.  That’s because regular physical activity reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.  It also helps you reduce or control other risk factors – high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, excess body weight and diabetes.

But the benefits don’t stop there. You may look and feel better, become stronger and more flexible, have more energy, and reduce stress and tension. The time to start is now!

How do I start?

• Talk to your doctor at Belize Medical Associates about a physical activity plan that’s right for you if:
– you’ve been inactive a long time or have medical problems
– you’re middle-aged or older, and
– you’re planning a relatively vigorous exercise program.

• Choose activities you enjoy. Pick a starting date that fits your schedule and gives you enough time to begin your program, like a Saturday.

• Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

• Start slowly – don’t overdo it!

• Try to exercise at the same time so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle
– For example, you might exercise every day (during your lunch hour) from 12:00 to 12:30.

• Drink lots of water before, during and after each exercise session.

• Ask a friend to start a program with you – use the buddy system!

• Note the days you exercise and write down the distance or length of time of your workout and how you feel after each session.

• If you miss a day, plan a make-up day. Don’t double your exercise time during your next session.

 

May 26, 2020
Allergies in Children
Allergies are very common in Belize.  This occurs when your body’s immune system over reacts to an otherwise harmless substance, like pollen.  It may exhibit itself in many forms including, asthma, allergic rhinitis, eczema, hives, contact dermatitis or food allergy.

The causes of allergies are not fully understood but it is known that the tendency to have allergies is often passed on in families.  The risk of a child manifesting allergic symptoms is greatest if both parents are allergic.

Asthma is very common among Belizean children, and some of the things that can trigger an attack include cigarette smoke, respiratory infections, pollen, dust, dust mites, furry animals, cold air, changing weather conditions, exercise and even stress.

There are many good medicines to treat allergies, that bring relief from itching and sneezing and runny nose.  However, due to certain side effects to these medicines, you are advised to visit your pediatrician at Belize Medical Associates before giving them to your child.

To help prevent future flare ups of allergies, it is advised that windows be kept closed on windy days, keep the home clean, keep the house free of pets and indoor plants, and prevent anyone from smoking near your child.

Minor Head Injuries in Children
Almost all children bump their head every now and then.  While most of these cares require no medical treatment, we must be alert to the signs and symptoms that do signal a more serious injury.  If you see any of the following changes in your child, please call your pediatrician at Belize Medical Associates right away.

* A constant headache that gets worse
* Slurred speech or confusion
* Dizziness
* Vomiting more than 2 hours
* Oozing blood or watery fluid from nose or ears
* Difficulty waking up
* Unequal size pupils
* Convulsion
* Lost of consciousness

Your doctor may recommend in-hospital observation and acquire a skull X-ray or a C.T. Scan of the brain.  The difference is that X-rays show bone but the C.T. Scan can show brain injury.  Procedures are taken depending on the results of these tests.

If your child does well through a 24 hours observation period, there should be no long lasting problems.  Remember, most head injuries are mild.  However, be sure to talk with your pediatrician at Belize Medical Associates about any concerns you might have.

We offer 24 hours emergency servies and experienced specialists care in many different fields!!

Discipline and Your Child
As a parent, it is your job to teach your child the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.  Many parents think discipline and punishment is the same thing.  Discipline is a whole system of teaching based on a good relationship, praise and instruction for the child or how to control her/his behaviour and punishment is an unpleasant consequence for doing or not doing something.

You can begin laying the groundwork for good behaviour from the time your child is born.  When you respond to your infant’s cries, you are teaching her that you are there; you can be counted on when she needs you and that she can trust you.  When your child is about two months of age, start to modify your responses and encourage your baby to establish good sleeping pattern by letting her fall asleep on her own.  By keeping a reasonable steady schedule you can guide her towards eating, sleeping and playing at times that are appropriate for your family.  This lays the ground work for acceptable behaviour later on.

Remember, telling your child how to behave is an important part of discipline, but showing her how to behave is even more significant.  Children learn a lot about temper and self-control from watching their parents interact.  If they see adults relating in a positive way towards each other, they will learn that this is how others should be treated.  This is how children learn to act respectfully.

Sponsored by:

Dr. Victor Rosado
Pediatrician
Belize Medical Associates

We now have our fully equipped Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for those critical times!!!

May 26, 2020

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the ovaries.

The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows). Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs and female hormones (chemicals that control the way certain cells or organs function).

Risk factors for ovarian cancer include the following:

* Being older
* Having a family history of ovarian cancer
* Having increased levels of CA 125
* Obesity

Certain factors may decrease a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer. Women who have taken oral contraceptives (“the pill”), given birth, breast-fed, or had a tubal ligation or hysterectomy have a lower than average risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Tests that are used to detect (find) and diagnose ovarian cancer are:

CA-125 assay
A CA-125 assay is a test that measures the level of CA 125 in the blood. CA 125 is a substance released by cells into the bloodstream. An increased CA-125 level is sometimes a sign of certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, or other conditions.
Pelvic Exam
A pelvic exam is an exam of the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts one or two lubricated, gloved fingers of one hand into the vagina and the other hand is placed over the lower abdomen to feel the size, shape, and position of the uterus and ovaries. A speculum is also inserted into the vagina and the doctor or nurse looks at the vagina and cervix for signs of disease.

Ovarian cancer is usually advanced when detected by a pelvic exam.

Transvaginal Ultrasound
Transvaginal ultrasound is a procedure used to examine the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and bladder. An ultrasound transducer (probe) is inserted into the vagina and used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram.

These tests can all be done at Belize Medical Associates, 5791 St. Thomas Street, Belize City, Belize C.A. Tel#: 223-0302/03/04.

May 26, 2020

Osteoporosis causes a decrease in bone mass, often referred to as thinning of bone. When this occurs, the patient with osteoporosis will have weaker bones and have a higher risk of bone fractures typically in the wrist, hip, and spine.

While men and women of all ages and ethnicities can develop osteoporosis, some of the risk factors for osteoporosis include those who are:

* Female
* On steroid treatment
* Post menopausal women
* Older adults
* Small in body size
* Eating a diet low in calcium
* Cigarette Smoking
* Physically inactive
* Excessive alcohol intake

Come and get your Bone Density Test to detect osteoporosis today!!

May 26, 2020

Stopping Nosebleeds

Try these simple tips to stop your nosebleed:

* Get some tissues or a damp cloth to catch the blood.
* Sit or stand so your head is above your heart.
* Tilt your head forward and pinch your nostrils together just below the bony center part of your nose. Applying pressure helps stop the blood flow and the nosebleed will usually stop with 10 full minutes of steady pressure – don’t keep checking to see if the bleeding has stopped.
* Apply a cold compress, such as ice wrapped in a cloth or paper towel, to the area around the nose. Applying pressure with a cotton pad inside the upper lip may also help.

If you get a nosebleed, don’t blow your nose. Doing so can cause additional nosebleeds. Also, don’t tilt your head back. This common practice will cause blood to run into your throat. If you swallow the blood, you might throw up.

Preventing Nosebleeds

Whenever you blow your nose (especially when you have a cold), you should blow gently into a soft tissue. Don’t blow forcefully or pick your nose.

Your doctor at Belize Medical Associates may recommend a humidifier, which is available at Belize Medical Associates Pharmacy to moisten your indoor air. You can also prevent your nasal passages from becoming too dry in cold months by using lubricants such as petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) before going to bed at night. Apply a pea-sized dab to a cotton swab and gently rub it up inside each nostril, especially on the middle part of the nose (called the nasal septum). Some doctors prescribe saline drops for the same purpose.

An occasional nosebleed can be alarming, but there’s no need to panic – now you know what to do!

May 26, 2020

What makes a headache a Migraine?

Almost everyone gets headaches. You might feel throbbing in the front of your head during a cold or bout with the flu, for example. Or you might feel pain in your temples or at the back of your head from a tension headache after a busy day. Most regular headaches produce a dull pain around the front, top, and sides of your head, almost like someone stretched a rubber band around it.

A migraine is different. Doctors define it as a recurrent headache that has additional symptoms. The pain is often throbbing and on one or both sides of the head. People with migraines often feel dizzy or sick to their stomachs. They may be sensitive to light, noise, or smells. Migraine can occur any time of the day, though it often starts in the morning. The pain can last a few hours or up to one or two days.

Some common migraine triggers are:

* stress
* menstruation
* skipping meals
* too much caffeine
* certain foods (alcohol, cheese, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, fatty or fried food, lunch meats, hot dogs,
yogurt, or anything with MSG, a seasoning used in Asian foods)
* sudden changes in sleep patterns
* changes in hormone levels
* smoking
* weather changes
* travel

When should I seek help for my headaches?

Nearly half of the people who have migraine do not get diagnosed and treated. Belize Medical Associates suggests you come and talk to your doctor about your headaches if:

* you have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
* your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
* you have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems

May 26, 2020

Mental Health, what’s that?

Mental Health is not simply the absence of mental illness or disorder. It describes:

‘The capacity of individuals within groups and the environment to interact with one another in ways that promote subjective well-being, optimal development and use of mental abilities (cognitive, affective and relational) and achievement of individual and collective goals consistent with justice.’

It can include:
* self-esteem
* self confidence
* feeling in control of your life
* feeling a sense of belonging in your family or local community

It can be reflected in the use of various skills:
* communication
* assertiveness
* problem solving
* decision-making

What is mental illness?

The term mental illness means the same as mental disorder.  A Mental disorder is a diagnosable illness that significantly interferes with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities. Mental disorders are of different types and degrees of severity and some of the major mental disorders perceived to be public health issues are depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, psychosis and dementia.

A Mental health problem also interferes with a person’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities, but to a lesser extent than a mental disorder. Mental health problems are more common mental complaints and include the mental ill health temporarily experienced as a reaction to life stresses. Mental health problems are less severe and of shorter duration than mental disorders, but may develop into a mental disorder. The distinction between mental health problems and mental disorders is not well defined and is made on the basis of severity and duration of the symptoms.

Mental health literacy means:
* Having the knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management or prevention
* Having the ability to recognise specific disorders;
* Knowing how to seek mental health information
* Knowledge of risk factors and causes, of self-treatments and of professional help available
* Holding attitudes that promote recognition and appropriate help-seeking