Kidney Cancer Facts

The kidneys are two organs in the body that filter the blood and remove waste material and excess water by making urine that is expelled as waste. Cancer is the growth of malignant (abnormal) cells within the body. Although the exact cause of kidney cancer is not known, risk factors include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, long-term dialysis,Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome, occupational exposure (coke oven workers and asbestos workers, for example), and male gender.

Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer include :

Blood in the urine, constant pain in the side or flank, a lump or mass in the abdomen or side, fever, weight loss, and fatigue. The following tests are used to help diagnose kidney cancer: physical exam, urine tests, CT and/or MRI of kidney tissue, and ultrasound. Surgical removal of kidney tissue allows the type of kidney cancer to be determined.

Renal cell cancer ( subtypes: clear cell, papillary renal cell, chromophobe renal cell ) makes up about 90% of all kidney cancers. Rare types of kidney cancer include carcinoma of the collecting ducts, renal medullary carcinoma, sarcomatoid cancer, transitional cell carcinoma, Wilms tumor in children, oncocytoma, hereditary papillary renal cancer, and unclassified renal cell carcinomas.

Kidney cancer is staged by measuring the size of the tumor, the location of the cancer cells either confined to the kidney, locally spread, or widespread beyond the fibrous tissue surrounding the kidney (stages I through IV).

There are other similar staging systems. Treatment of kidney cancer includes one of or a combination of the following methods: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, embolization, biological therapy, and surgery.

Side effects of kidney cancer treatment are related to the methods used and may include the following: nausea and vomiting, weakness, weight loss, infection, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, skin rash, and hair loss.After treatment, follow-up care is very important to monitor recovery and to check for any possible recurrence of kidney cancer. Research is ongoing; combined chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation is an active area of research. Other studies include developing cancer vaccines to help the immune system attack cancer cells. There are a number of resources available for patients who have kidney cancer. Read More

What Is Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever is a disease caused by four dengue viruses spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Once you contract one of the dengue viruses, you develop immunity to that virus for the rest of your life. However, you can still contract the other three viruses, so it’s possible to get all four dengue viruses in your lifetime. The viruses that cause dengue fever are related to those that cause yellow fever and West Nile virus infection.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 400 million casesTrusted Source of dengue fever occur across the globe every year. Tropical regions are heavily affected. Areas that have the greatest risk of infection includeTrusted Source:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Central America
  • Mexico
  • the Caribbean
  • Pacific Islands
  • India
  • South America
  • Southeast Asia
  • Southern China
  • Taiwan
  • northern parts of Australia

Dengue fever symptoms

If you develop dengue fever, symptoms usually begin about 4 to 10 daysTrusted Source after the initial infection. In many cases, symptoms will be mild. They may be mistaken for symptoms of the flu or another infection.

Young children and people who’ve never experienced infection may have a milder illness than older children and adults. Common symptoms generally last for 2 to 7 days and can includeTrusted Source:

Very few cases occur in the United States. Most diagnosed cases occur in people who contracted the virus while traveling abroad. However, risk of infection is increasing for residents of Hawaii, Florida, and in Texas near the Mexican border.

Dengue fever is transmitted via the bite of a mosquito harboring the dengue virus. Person-to-person transmission doesn’t occur. However, a pregnant person with dengue canTrusted Source pass the disease to their child.

  • sudden, high fever (up to 106°F or 41°C)
  • severe headache
  • swollen lymph glands
  • severe joint and muscle pains
  • skin rash (appearing between 2 and 5 days after the initial fever)

Symptoms of severe dengue can include:

  • belly pain and tenderness
  • mild to severe vomiting (three times in 24 hours)
  • mild bleeding from the nose or gums
  • vomiting blood or blood in stool
  • fatigue, restlessness, or irritability

There’s no medicationTrusted Source or treatment specifically made for dengue infection.

If you believe you may have dengue, you should use over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce your fever, headache, and joint pain. However, you should avoid aspirin and ibuprofen, as they can cause more bleeding.

Your doctor will perform a medical exam, and you should rest and drink plenty of fluids. If you feel worse after the first 24 hours of illness — once your fever has gone down — you should be taken to the hospital as soon as possible to check for complications.

Complications of dengue fever

A small percentage of people who have dengue fever can develop a more serious form of disease known as dengue hemorrhagic feverTrusted Source.

Diagnosing dengue fever

Doctors use blood tests to check for antibodies the dengue viruses or the presence of infection. A doctor may use a virological test or a serological test.

Virological test

This test directly tests for elements of the virus. This type of testing often requires specialized equipment and a staff that’s technically trained, so this type of testing may not be available in all medical facilities.

Serological test

This test detects antibodies in the blood to confirm a current or recent infection.

If you experience dengue symptoms after traveling outside the country, you should see a healthcare professional to check whether you have the virus. Read More

What Is Behind Night Sweat?

Night sweats, or excessive sweating during sleep, are a common symptom in women and men.

Doctors treat the problem by diagnosing the cause of your night sweats.

What are night sweats?

Doctors in primary care fields of medicine often hear their patients complain of night sweats because they are common. Night sweats refer to any excess sweating occurring during the night. However, if you keep your bedroom temperature unusually hot or you are sleeping in too many clothes, you may sweat during your sleep, which is normal. In order to distinguish night sweats that arise from medical causes from those that occur because one’s surroundings are too warm, doctors generally refer to true night sweats as severe hot flashes occurring at night that can drench sleepwear and sheets, which are not related to an overheated environment.

In one study of 2267 patients visiting a primary care doctor, 41% reported experiencing night sweats during the previous month, so the perception of excessive sweating at night is common. It is important to note that flushing (a warmth and redness of the face or trunk) also may be hard to distinguish from true night sweats.

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What Are Night Sweats a Sign Of?

Medically Reviewed on 2/25/2021

A woman in bed sweating. Many medical conditions and diseases can cause night sweats.Source: Getty Imagesnull

Night sweats facts

Night sweats, or excessive sweating during sleep, are a common symptom in women and men.

Doctors treat the problem by diagnosing the cause of your night sweats.

What are night sweats?

Doctors in primary care fields of medicine often hear their patients complain of night sweats because they are common. Night sweats refer to any excess sweating occurring during the night. However, if you keep your bedroom temperature unusually hot or you are sleeping in too many clothes, you may sweat during your sleep, which is normal. In order to distinguish night sweats that arise from medical causes from those that occur because one’s surroundings are too warm, doctors generally refer to true night sweats as severe hot flashes occurring at night that can drench sleepwear and sheets, which are not related to an overheated environment.null

In one study of 2267 patients visiting a primary care doctor, 41% reported experiencing night sweats during the previous month, so the perception of excessive sweating at night is common. It is important to note that flushing (a warmth and redness of the face or trunk) also may be hard to distinguish from true night sweats.

A man in bed with a fever sweating. Night sweats due to the menopausal transition are typically accompanied by other symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness, daytime hot flashes, and mood changes.Source: iStock

What are other signs and symptoms of night sweats?

Depending upon the underlying cause of the night sweats, other symptoms may occur in association with sweating. For example:

  • Certain infections and cancers
  • Shaking and chills can sometimes occur if you have a fever.
  • Unexplained weight loss due to lymphoma.
  • Night sweats due to the menopausal transition are typically accompanied by other symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness, daytime hot flashes, and mood changes.
  • Night sweats that occur as a side effect of medications can be accompanied by other medication side effects, depending upon the specific drug. Read More

What is amnesia?

Amnesia is a form of memory loss. Some people with amnesia have difficulty forming new memories. Others can’t recall facts or past experiences. People with amnesia usually retain knowledge of their own identity, as well as motor skills.

Mild memory loss is a normal part of aging. Significant memory loss, or the inability to form new memories, may indicate the presence of an amnestic disorder.

Symptoms of amnesia

The primary symptom of amnesia is memory loss or inability to form new memories. If you have amnesia, you will have difficulty recalling facts, events, places, or specific details. The details can range from what you ate this morning to the name of the current president. You will still retain your motor skills, such as your ability to walk, as well as fluency in any languages you speak.

There are multiple types of amnesia, including retrograde amnesia, anterograde amnesia, and transient global amnesia.

Retrograde amnesia

When you have retrograde amnesia, you lose existing, previously made memories. This type of amnesia tends to affect recently formed memories first. Older memories, such as memories from childhood, are usually affected more slowly. Diseases such as dementia cause gradual retrograde amnesia.

Anterograde amnesia

When you have anterograde amnesia, you can’t form new memories. This effect can be temporary. For example, you can experience it during a blackout caused by too much alcohol. It can also be permanent. You can experience it if the area of your brain known as your hippocampus is damaged. Your hippocampus plays an important role in forming memories.

Transient global amnesia

Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a poorly understood condition. If you develop it, you will experience confusion or agitation that comes and goes repeatedly over the course of several hours. You may experience memory loss in the hours before the attack, and you will probably have no lasting memory of the experience. Scientists think that TGA occurs as the result of seizure-like activity or a brief blockage of the blood vessels supplying your brain. It occurs more frequently in middle-aged and older adults.

Infantile amnesia

Most people can’t remember the first three to five years of life. This common phenomenon is called infantile or childhood amnesia.

Causes of amnesia

Dementia

A memory’s location in your brain is thought to depend on its age. To lose old memories, you must have widespread brain deterioration. This can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. People with dementia usually lose more recent memories first and keep older memories longer.

Anoxia

A depletion of oxygen levels can also affect your entire brain and lead to memory loss. This condition is called anoxia. If the anoxia isn’t severe enough to cause brain damage, the memory loss can be temporary.

Damage to the hippocampus

Your hippocampus is a part of the brain and limbic system responsible for memory. Its activities include forming memories, organizing memories, and retrieving them when needed. Its cells are some of your brain’s most energy-hungry and fragile. They’re most easily disrupted by anoxia and other threats such toxins.

When your hippocampus is impaired, you will have difficulty forming new memories. If your hippocampus is damaged in both halves of your brain, you can develop complete anterograde amnesia. Read More

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