Saturday, April 9, 2011

What is Brachytherapy?

There are several ways of giving radiation dosage to a cancerous tumor. The most common method is to deliver the required dosage from an external beam of radiation produced outside the body. In this case the source of radiation beam is located 80-100 cm from the body of the person receiving radiation. Sometimes placing the source of radiation within the tumor might have advantages over delivering radiation from an external source. This method of delivering required radiation from an internal source embedded within the tumor is called brachytherapy.

If you are aware of the inverse square law in physics you would know the dosage of radiation therapy delivery changes by a great proportion depending upon the distance of the radiation source to the intended target. In brachytherapy the source of radiation is within the tumor volume and the proper placement of these sources of radiation within the tumor is of crucial importance.

There are several radioactive isotopes used in the brachytherapy. These include radium-226, cesium-137, cobalt-60, iridium192, iodine-125, gold-198 and palladium-103. Radium has a longer half-life compared to some of the other radioactive isotopes. In the past radium was the primary isotope used in brachytherapy, but recently radium has been largely replaced by cesium, gold and iridium, which have relatively shorter half-life and lower energies and because of this the radiation from these isotopes can be easily shielded.

Brachytherapy can be delivered with devices known as implants. These devices may be in the form of needles or seeds or ribbons. Brachytherapy can be delivered with permanent or temporary implants. These implants might be temporary or permanent. Temporary implants usually have a longer half-life and higher energies compared to the permanent implants. All temporary implants are inserted into the tumor during surgery. The duration of treatment for the temporary implant is usually 1-3 days.

Interstitial low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy is usually used for cancers involving the mouth and oral cavity, pharynx. This mode of treatment is often used in the treatment of sarcomas. Prostate cancer treatment is the most common form of LDR brachytherapy using seeds. Uterine cancer is the most common application of intracavitary LDR treatment. These patients are often isolated to prevent radiation exposure to nursing and other supportive staff during the care of the person.

The most common uses of high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy includes treatment of esophageal cancer, lung cancer and recently breast cancer and prostate cancer. Most HDR treatments are done as outpatient procedures allowing the patients to return to home the same day as treatment. Patients who are receiving treatment for prostate cancer is an exception who may remain in the hospital for 2-3 days during the treatment.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Understanding Meaningful Use In Medicare And Medicaid

Nationwide, physicians who treat Medicaid or Medicare patients must begin establishing “meaningful use” of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) by 2015 or risk having their reimbursements reduced. Meaningful Use is a term that refers to a set of EMR usage requirements that qualified providers must meet in order to receive incentive payments.

The intent of Meaningful Use is to help ensure that providers using EMRs implement the software in a manner that supports higher quality and more efficient delivery of healthcare. Because physicians may not receive both Medicaid and Medicare incentives, it is important to understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid Meaningful Use before participating.

Incentive Money

Under Medicare, the incentive amount is 75% of the physician's Medicare allowed charges for the year, up to a maximum of $44,000. Under Medicaid, it is 85% of the physician's Medicaid allowed charges up to $63,750 per year.

Incentive payments for the Medicare program are spread out over five years and for the Medicaid program over six years, with diminishing amounts available to those who start in later years. For providers in federally designated health professional shortage areas, incentive payments will be 10% greater.

Requirements to Qualify

Every Medicare eligible professional must have a National Provider Identifier (NPI) and be enrolled in the CMS Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) to participate in the EHR incentive program. Most physicians also need to have an active user account in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES). The Medicaid EHR incentive program is offered and administered voluntarily by states and territories.

Time Frame

Medicare must complete 90 days of continuous EHR Meaningful Use within the calendar year before reporting to the government. Under the Medicaid plan, you are not required to demonstrate Meaningful Use until Year 2. The Year 1 requirement for Medicaid is demonstration of “efforts to adopt, implement, or upgrade certified EMR technology.”

Providers Who Are Eligible for Incentive Payments

In both the Medicare and Medicaid programs, physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, optometrists and dentists are eligible for incentive payments. However, in the Medicaid program, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and physicians assistants are also qualified to participate.

Penalties for Non-Participation in the ARRA Program

Unlike the Medicaid incentive program, the Medicare program incorporates penalties. The Medicare fee schedule for providers who are not "meaningful EMR users" will be reduced by 1% in 2015, by 2% in 2016 and by 3% in 2017.

Implementing Meaningful Use

If you need more information about the implementation of Meaningful Use and how it improves efficiency for medical professionals, contact e-MDs, a leader in electronic medical record software provision. e-MDs will help you understand how to use your new EMR system or assess and upgrade your current system in a way that achieves ARRA-defined Meaningful Use.

e-MDs offers a host of affordable, certified EHR solutions for physicians and facilities looking to modernize or enhance their services with the latest electronic health records technology. e-MDs is committed to providing affordable and integrated EMR and Practice Management Software solutions, including clinical, financial and document management modules designed to automate medical practice processes and chart management – delivering the clinical tools needed to succeed in today’s health care environment.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Botox Training

Botox injection has become an increasingly popular practice in the last decade and many practitioners and doctors are looking to specialize themselves to offer this service – for that very reason, Elite AMBT is now offering Botox Training in London, England. Elite AMBT is established as being a leader in aesthetic, medical and business training and offers a complete and professional training course on how to use Botox effectively, combined with a course on Dermal Fillers, which are often used in combination with Botox injections. Elite AMBT is proud to now be able to offer this service to clients located in London, England as well as all over major cities in North America.

Elite AMBT, which is short for Aesthetic Medical and Business Training, is an industry leader in offering training programs and options to professionals looking to further their specialization. Elite AMBT's prime vision is to combine world-class instructors, affordability and state-of-the-art techniques in order to provide you and your team with the best training option available. Aside from their renowned Botox Training program, Elite AMBT also offers courses such as Sensible Weight Loss, Laser Therapy, Cosmetic Lasers, Lipodissolve/mesotherapy, Marketing Guidance and more.

Those courses are commonly offered in many different learning options, to fit every client's particular needs; online training, private training, private seminars, regular seminars, cross-continent seminars and webinars. This allows for each practitioner to be able to fit the Elite AMBT training course of his choice into his schedule and according to his needs and availability. Of course, certain programs, such as the Botox Training program, are more or less recommended as webinar or online training since the hands-on approach offered in seminars or private training will be more beneficial. Following the increasing demand for the Botox Training course, Elite AMBT has now established a U.K. program located in London, England – the hands-on approach can now be offered to international clients.

One of the great advantages of attending a seminar or private training in person with Elite AMBT is the use of live models during the training. Being able to train with real individuals will allow anyone who is following the training to practice Botox injections as soon as possible after getting certified by Elite AMBT. Of course, every procedure is supervised by a certified professional so there is no danger for the model or the practitioner at any moment during the training.

Elite Aesthetic Medical and Business Training is offering many training programs such as Marketing, Business, Botox Training and Dermal Fillers, Fibromyalgia, Cosmetic Lasers and more. The popularity of the Botox Training program in North America has allowed the team behind Elite AMBT to offer the course in London, thus allowing for U.K. based clients the opportunity to get the training they need with world-class professionals and a hands-on approach on live models combined with an affordable pricing option.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Mesothelioma Symptoms

A patient with mesothelioma typically demonstrates symptoms between 20 and 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. The cancer can take decades to develop and symptoms do not arise until after the cancer is present. Many patients are unaware of the severity of their condition because mesothelioma symptoms often resemble those of less serious illnesses.

If you have a history of asbestos exposure, the primary cause of mesothelioma, it is best to seek immediate medical advice. Informing your doctor of previous asbestos exposure may alert them to the possibility of an asbestos-related disease. An early diagnosis can significantly impact a patient's mesothelioma life expectancy.

Early Symptoms of MesotheliomaMesothelioma symptoms rarely arise at an early stage, which is why the disease is commonly diagnosed at a late stage of development. In the interest of early detection, those who were exposed to asbestos but have not yet exhibited symptoms should undergo regular chest X-rays or pulmonary function tests to monitor any signs of asbestos inhalation.

When a doctor informs a patient of a mesothelioma diagnosis, patients and their loved ones may become very confused since the cancer is relatively unknown. provides a complimentary packet with comprehensive information about mesothelioma symptoms and next-step guidance following a diagnosis.

Pleural Mesothelioma SymptomsPleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the cancer, comprising approximately two-thirds of all mesothelioma cases. Known symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

Persistent dry or raspy cough (typically non-productive, meaning there is little or no phlegm)
Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)
Night sweats or fever
Unexplained weight loss of 10 percent or more
Persistent pain in the chest or rib area, or painful breathing
Shortness of breath (dyspnea) that occurs even when at rest
The appearance of lumps under the skin on the chest
Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma occur as a result of thickening of the pleural membrane. This is caused by the rapid production of cancerous cells, which can lead to the buildup of fluid between membrane layers. Tissue thickening and fluid buildup place added pressure on the lungs, leading to reduced respiratory function.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma SymptomsPeritoneal mesothelioma accounts for approximately 25 to 30 percent of mesothelioma diagnoses. Symptoms of this type may include:

Night sweats or fever
Unexplained weight loss
Swelling or pain in the abdomen
Diarrhea or constipation (in general, any change in bowel habits or regularity)
Nausea or vomiting
The appearance of lumps under the skin on the abdomen
Symptoms are caused by the thickening of the peritoneal membrane and the resulting buildup of fluid between membrane layers. These changes in membrane composition place pressure on the abdominal region and organs, causing a patient to demonstrate symptoms of the cancer.

Pericardial Mesothelioma SymptomsPericardial mesothelioma accounts for less than 5 percent of all mesothelioma cases. Symptoms are caused by thickening of the pericardial membrane and fluid buildup. Symptoms of this form of mesothelioma are known to include:

Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
Chest pain
Difficulty breathing, even when resting (dyspnea)
Fever or night sweats
Generalized fatigue
Pericardial mesothelioma is so rare that the recognized body of symptoms is not as well-developed as with more common types of mesothelioma. It is a particularly difficult type of mesothelioma to diagnose and this correlates to a poor prognosis among pericardial mesothelioma patients.

Testicular Mesothelioma SymptomsTesticular mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer, as less than 100 cases of testicular mesothelioma have been recorded in the last 60 years. With so few cases recorded, very little is known about the symptoms of this disease. The only known symptom of testicular mesothelioma is the appearance of testicular lumps and the lumps may or may not be painful

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Alcohol Abused and Rehabs

Unfortunately in this day and age we still have thousands of people suffering from addiction to alcohol and drugs that are in need of treatment for this serious disease. People of all ages are suffering and many of them know they need help but are afraid to seek treatment for several reasons.

It has to be extremely hard for a person to admit to others they need help let alone admit it to themselves.

They don't realize that those who love and care about them already know they're in trouble and that they need help. Even though their dependency to drugs or alcohol is destroying their lives they fear the unknown so they stick with the familiar which is 'continue the abuse'.

After doing some extensive research, I realized there are numerous people out there that would seek help but they fear the withdrawal and detoxification process. This is totally understandable but the process is necessary when working toward abstinence and sobriety. Anyone who has used drugs of any nature for any length of time or heavily abused a substance for any length of time will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using. It is never safe to detox on your own and by yourself. No matter what your age is or what substance has been abused it's important not to do this without experienced supervision. Just remember that withdrawals may last for a few weeks but sobriety and recovery can last a lifetime.

There are several treatment approaches that are effective when treating dependency to alcohol and drugs. Medications can be used during detoxification which helps decrease the symptoms of withdrawal and sometimes continued during treatment. Detox and treatment varies for each person, and there are many issues that need to be taken into consideration during the detoxification process.

One of the most important things to remember is honesty, no matter how embarrassing or humiliating it may be the professionals that are assisting you with detox need to know just how extensive your drug use and drug history has been.

You're not going to tell them anything they haven't heard before so there isn't anything to be ashamed of,As stated above there are several different medications that can be administered during detoxification depending on the substance or substances that have been abused. If there were more than one drug abused (this is called polydrug) treatment is necessary for each substance.

Remember that medically assisted detox is just the first step in the treatment process. It's crucial that you continue on with the rest of the treatment. When the treatment process isn't completed from beginning to end you will be right back where you started.

If anything it's honorable being straightforward with the truth. This will make a huge difference with your detox process on your part and theirs.

Medications many times are necessary to help restore the normal function of the brain, this will reduce the cravings for the substance that was abused and help prevent relapse down the road.

Buprenorphine first came on the market in the United States in 1985 as a schedule V narcotic analgesic (anesthetic). Not so long ago you could only find Buprenorphine in a low dose injectable formula under the brand name Buprenex. In 2002 the FDA approved 2 buprenorphine products Suboxone and Subutex for treating narcotic addiction. Both of these products are high dose tablets that dissolve under the tongue (sublingual).

This study has found that babies that are born to opioid addicted women do better when their mothers are treated with buprenorphine or methadone compared to mothers that had no treatment at all. In this trial study buprenorphine appears to be a remarkably better choice compared to methadone when it comes to reducing withdrawal symptoms in newborns.

Right now methadone is the recommended treatment for opioid dependent pregnant women. When methadone is administered correctly it is considered to be relatively safe for the fetus but it is associated with (NAS) neonatal abstinence syndrome. This is an array of symptoms that stem from opioid withdrawal in newborns. This usually requires medical treatment and longer hospital stays.

The FDA has approved a drug called Vivitrol which is used to treat and prevent relapse in patients who are opioid dependent after they are done with their detoxification treatment. This is an extended release formula of naltrexone which is given as an intramuscular injection one time a month. Vivitrol blocks the effects of certain drugs like morphine, heroin, and other opioids. In 2006, Vivitrol was approved to treat alcohol dependence. It's important that the patient doesn't have opioids in their system when they start using Vivitrol so the detoxification process must be completed first.

Ibogaine is a natural psychoactive substance that is found in several different plants. Some countries have banned this substance that has hallucinogen effects but in other countries Ibogaine is used to treat dependencies to opiates, methamphetamine's and other drugs. Many people have said after the first use cravings were reduced. There is some controversy concerning Ibogaine therapy for drug dependency.

Unfortunately even though there are several medications marketed to medically assist withdrawal symptoms and help with the treatment process, there are people abusing them. Many people are upset with the system saying that some of these treatments are just trading one addiction for another. These treatments are designed to help the individual while detoxing and prevent relapse as long as the individual continues with therapy and works hard toward recovery.

These medications aren't miracle drugs; determination and commitment are part of the treatment process also. For those that are dedicated and want to be alcohol and substance free these medications will be successful during your treatment process. Just remember to be honest with yourself and those that care about you, work hard and stay committed, because there is life after addiction!

Many times Naltrexone (brand name ReVia) is used in combination with counseling to help people who have stopped using alcohol and street drugs continue to be abstinent. This medication is not to be used if the individual is still drinking or using street drugs. Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist, and helps the individual by decreasing their craving for alcohol while blocking the effects of opioid street drugs. It's critical that Naltrexone be taken as prescribed meaning no more or no less and it's only effective if combined with treatment. Counseling sessions, support group meetings, education programs or other treatments that are recommended by your physician must be combined with Naltrexone in order for it to be a successful treatment.

source of articles : HERE

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Primary Pulmonary Hypertension

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What does it mean if you have primary pulmonary hypertension? I have heard all of those words on their own, but certainly upon first glance didn’t know what they meant together. With a little reading, though, I understood what primary pulmonary hypertension was. Pulmonary hypertension is actually a disorder where your blood pressure in the arteries is higher than it should be, it is primary if there are no other disorders present. This can cause a number of health issues.

For one thing, in severe cases of primary pulmonary hypertension, the right side of the heart ends up working harder than usual to pump your blood against the high blood pressure in your arteries. After long periods of this, the right side of your heart becomes enlarged which causes it to function poorly. Fluid will begin to collect in your ankles and belly and then, eventually, the left side of your heart will begin to fail. If your heart fails as a result of primary pulmonary hypertension it is called cor pulmonale.

Heart failure as a result of pulmonary hypertension is caused by varying combinations of a number of disorders like emphysema, fibrosis, or chronic bronchitis. However, if you get pulmonary hypertension without any of these other disorders it is called primary pulmonary hypertension. It is more commonly found in men than it is in women, but its cause is not known at this time.

When the pulmonary hypertension comes as a result of the other disorders, it is called secondary pulmonary hypertension. It is more common than primary pulmonary hypertension. Secondary may be a result of pulmonary thromboembolism, COPD, or congenital heart disease. Since any of these can cause that rise in blood pressure that results in the symptoms discussed above.

Obviously if you find that you have either primary pulmonary hypertension or secondary pulmonary hypertension you are already under a doctor’s care. He or she may try oxygen therapy that will help to improve alveolar oxygen flow. You may also be asked by your physician to avoid vigorous exercise and to go through chest physiotherapy. The treatment for either type of pulmonary hypertension is basically the same. What is most important, though, is that you follow the advice of your physician closely as primary pulmonary hypertension can be very serious as can anything relating to the health of your heart.

Whether you find that you have primary pulmonary hypertension or secondary pulmonary hypertension you may find that you are a little upset or nervous. You have good reason because they are very serious disorders. However, if you listen to your doctor, take care of yourself, and keep a positive mindset you may find that you can overcome the problem. Heart conditions of any sort are obviously something to take seriously, so if you have any questions or concerns about primary pulmonary hypertension you should consult your physician and make sure you completely understand what is happening and what you should be doing to help yourself.

If would like to find more of my personal articles on hypertension [], please feel free to visit my website on health tips []!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Palliative Care For Mesothelioma Patients

Palliative care is a relatively recent medical movement that works to treat the symptoms of a disease rather than the root of the problem. It is similar to hospice in that it alleviates suffering while also addressing the stress associated with dealing with serious diseases. Additionally, this form of healthcare can help family members and loved ones deal with their stress as well.

Palliative care is becoming especially popular with patients of cancers like mesothelioma. Mesothelioma attacks the various linings of the body, such as the lining of the lungs, and it is very difficult to detect. Thus, by the time someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the tumors have typically spread to the point that it is difficult to treat the cancer itself.

Mesothelioma can come with a variety of symptoms that seem to wear people down so that they cannot fight the cancer. Palliative care tries to address and relieve these symptoms in the easiest, most natural way possible so that patients do not suffer. Many times, doctors who focus in this area will try to avoid medications to treat symptoms. With mesothelioma, there are several different side effects of the cancer that can be treated with palliative care. These include:

Dry mouth - sucking on vitamin C tablets, chewing sugarless gum, providing humidified air
Loss of appetite - changing diet plans
Skin dryness - taking baths with mineral or baby oil, putting baking soda in cool bathwater, changing detergents to something less harsh
Fatigue - exercising, stress management, changes in nutrition
Shortness of breath - teaching relaxation techniques or changing body position to increase airflow
Pain - acupuncture, massage, deep breathing, meditation techniques
When you or a loved one faces mesothelioma, it can put you in an incredibly stressful situation. However, palliative care can help you deal with this stress as well as manage your symptoms of mesothelioma. If you are interested in palliative care for mesothelioma as well as other mesothelioma information, please visit the Mesothelioma Help Center today.

Author : James Witherspoon

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