Over the years, science and medicine has come a long way towards improving healthcare. There was a time when we knew little about ailments like breast cancer, but today, we know that early intervention helps reduce risk significantly. And this intervention begins with you!

Before we get into the technicalities, let us know what breast cancer really is. Simply put, breast cancer is a form of cancer that is found in the breast when the cells grow out of control. These mutated cells cause a tumour, which leads to various health complications.

 Though the disease occurs mainly in women, a few men can fall prey to breast cancer as well. According to the World Health Organization, an estimate of 110 000 cases of breast cancer are recorded every year in both developed and developing countries.

To understand breast cancer better, we need to know a bit about the breast. Broadly put, breasts are made up of three main parts: Connective tissues, Ducts, and Lobules. The lobules are the glands that produce milk. The tube that carries milk to the nipples are called ducts and the connective tissue surrounds and holds everything together. While most forms of breast cancer begin in either the ducts or lobules, there’s always a chance that it forms in another part of the breast.

Through blood vessels and lymph vessels, breast cancer can also spread outside the breast. It is said to have metastasized when cancer spreads to other parts of the body. It is important to know that all breast lumps are not cancerous. In most cases, they are benign and not life-threatening. Non-cancerous tumours grow abnormally but do not spread outside of the breast. But some forms of benign lumps can increase a women’s risk of getting breast cancer. So, it is important to visit a healthcare professional as soon as you notice any changes or lumps.

The Different Forms of Breast Cancer

The most common kinds of breast cancer are: 

  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma: They grow outside the ducts in other parts of the breast tissue. They can metastasize or spread to other parts of the body. 
  • Invasive Lobular carcinoma: The cancer cells spread from the lobules to the tissues close by and can also spread to other parts of the body.

Some rare forms of breast cancers include Phyllodes tumours and Angiosarcoma

Cancer detection begins with a diagnostic procedure called a biopsy. Once the biopsy is done, the cancer cells are tested for proteins called Estrogen receptors, Progesterone receptors, and HER2. The tumour cells are tested closely in the lab to know which grade it is which helps decide treatment options.

Types of breast cancer surgery

Once your doctor looks at the biopsy reports, they decide on surgical intervention basis several factors. These include:

  • The cancer size
  • The location of the cancer lump in your breast
  • The size of the breast
  • The grade of your cancer

Moving to the surgical table:

Basis the factors mentioned above, your doctor may present you with surgical options which may be from one of the below –

  • Lumpectomy: A Lumpectomy is also known as a breast conversing surgery because only a portion of the breast is removed. In this surgery, the surgeon removes the tumour along with other abnormal tissues while leaving behind the healthy tissues. Along with the surgery, your doctor may also suggest radiation therapy to kill any remaining abnormal cells.

While a Lumpectomy is pretty straightforward, there are chances that cancer in your breast is at a complicated stage. At such times, your doctor may suggest you undergo a Mastectomy. A Mastectomy usually involves the removal of the whole breast.

There are various kinds of Mastectomy surgeries. These include –

  1. Simple or total mastectomy: The entire breast is removed, the surgeon does not perform axillary lymph node dissection, which is, the removal of lymph nodes in the underarm area. No muscles are removed beneath the breast.
  2. Modified radical mastectomy: The entire breast is removed and the surgeon performs axillary dissection and no muscles are removed from beneath the breast. 
  3. Radical Mastectomy: The entire breast is removed along with levels 1, 2, and 3 of the underarm lymph nodes and the surgeon also removes the chest wall muscles under the breast. Radical mastectomy is recommended only when cancer has spread to the chest and muscles under the breast.
  4. Partial mastectomy: Only the cancerous part of the breast is removed along with normal tissues around it. More tissues are removed in partial mastectomy compared to lumpectomy.
  5. Nipple-sparing mastectomy: All of the breast tissue is removed but the nipple is left alone. 
  • Lymph node removal and analysis

Cancer can be found in cells of Axillary lymph nodes in some cancer cases. Hence it is important to find out whether the lymph nodes near the breast contain cancer. This helps in treatment and prognosis. The procedure includes –

  1. Sentinel lymph node biopsy: The sentinel nodes are the first few lymph nodes into which a tumour drains. Sentinel node biopsy is a surgical procedure to determine whether cancer has spread beyond a primary tumour.
  2. Axillary lymph node dissection: Axillary lymph node dissection is a surgical procedure that removes nodes in levels 1 and 2 for women with invasive breast cancer.  
  • Reconstructive surgery

After Mastectomy, doctors might suggest a reconstruction of the breast. This is a surgery to recreate the breast using the tissue taken from another part of the body or synthetic implants. It is usually performed by a plastic surgeon.

Can Side Effects Occur Post Surgery?

Like any other major surgery, breast cancer surgery may present symptoms post the operation. These side effects include –

  • Fatigue: Fatigue or Cancer tiredness is the most common side effects of cancer treatment. Though the emotional impact of the diagnosis may continue for a few weeks or months, it is paramount to be physically active.
  • Shoulder stiffness: Gentle arm and shoulder exercise can prevent this, ask your doctor when you can start exercising. 
  • Numbness and tingling: Bruising or injury to nerves can be caused due to surgery which can lead to numbness and tingling in the armpit, upper arm, or chest area.
  • Seroma: This is most common after a mastectomy. The fluid collects in or around the surgical scar and causes a balloon-like swelling.
  • Change in nipple, breast, or arm sensation: It is temporary but might be permanent in few patients. 
  • Lymphedema: After the lymph nodes surgery, fluid building up in the tissue of the arm and the breast may cause swelling.

Some of the late side effects of the surgery are:

  • Loss of fertility
  • Weight gain
  • Early-onset of menopause
  • Anxiety
  • Problems of intimacy and sexual behaviour
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Problems in bone health
  • Hot flashes

So, should you be worried about Breast Cancer Surgery?

While there are, a few risks involved, our understanding of Breast Cancer has grown significantly over the years. So, if your doctor advises you to undergo surgery, do consider it. Indeed, certain side effects, either short term or long term, may present. But in most cases, it far outweighs the risk that breast cancer presents. Even if you aren’t suffering from Breast Cancer yet, you must do a self-check from time to time so that you can stay ahead of the ailment!

Cancer – just the word is enough to scare the best of us. But in reality, Cancer isn’t a singular, blanket term. There are many different types of cancers that can be formed in the body. Usually, once cancer forms, they spread to other parts of the body, which makes it fatal. Generally speaking, these are the clinical terms used for cancer –

  • Cancer that starts in the skin or the tissues which line other organs is Carcinoma.
  • The cancer of connective tissues such as muscles, bones, and blood vessels is Sarcoma.
  • The cancer of bone marrow is Leukemia.
  • The cancer of the immune system is Lymphoma and Myeloma.

Cancer cells grow out of control and become invasive, unlike normal cells. Cancer cells are less specialized than normal cells. Normal cells mature into distant cells, unlike cancer cells. They can influence normal cells, molecules, and blood vessels that feed and surround the tumor.

So, what is Cervical Cancer?

Unlike most other cancers, Cervical cancer spreads slowly, giving enough time for specialists to diagnose and treat it before it gets complicated. But Cervical cancer shouldn’t be taken lightly as it can metastasize, which is, spread to other parts of the body. These often include cancer spreading to the Liver, Bladder, Lungs, Vagina, and Rectum.

In the majority of cases, cervical cancer is caused by various strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that is preventable through vaccines. When exposed to HPV, the body itself fights against the virus. But in some cases, the virus survives for years contributing to the development of cancer. Hence it is important to go for regular screen testing or to get an HPV vaccine.

The HPV vaccine protects women against these infections. The purpose of the vaccine is to produce antibodies that help fight against the HPV, thus preventing it from infecting cells.

The vaccine does not treat the existing HPV infection or prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.

In the year 2018, an estimated 570, 000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer and about 311 000 women died from cancer. It is the fourth most common type of cancer. But that being said, if Cervical cancer is detected early and managed effectively, it is one of the most successful and treatable types of cancer. 

What are the symptoms you need to look out for?

A woman might experience no signs or symptoms at all in the early stage of cancer . Depending on the tissue and organ in which the disease has spread, the symptoms might differ. As a result of which women should have regular cervical smear tests or pap tests.

The most common signs or symptoms of cervical cancer are: 

  • Increased watery or bloody vaginal discharge will have a foul odor. 
  • Bleeding after menopause. 
  • Bleeding in between periods. 
  • Pelvic or back pain is unexplainable.
  • Bleeding after intercourse.
  • Pain while having intercourse. 
  • Longer and heavier menstrual bleeding. 

The cause of these symptoms may also occur due to some other medical condition or infection but it is important to visit the doctor if you spot any of the symptoms.

How is Cervical Cancer Treated?

While the final call for treatment lies in the hands of your doctor, there are some factors that they will consider which include the stage of cancer, age as well as overall health.

Cervical cancer treatments include Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, or the combination of these according to cancer. 

The early-stage treatment: 

When cancer has not spread from the cervix, surgery is the common treatment method. If the doctor feels the cancer cells are still inside the body then they might suggest radiation therapy. 

Radiation therapy also decreases the chances of reoccurrence.

Advanced cancer treatment:

Advanced cancer is also referred to as invasive cancer because it has invaded other parts of the body. Surgery is usually not an option after cancer has spread beyond the cervix. 

In the advanced stages, doctors often suggest palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. 


Chemotherapy is an aggressive drug treatment that targets the cancer cells that divide and grow rapidly. In simpler terms, chemotherapy is the use of medication to treat the disease.

What are the side effects after treatment?

Post-treatment, women may experience certain symptoms. These vary from treatment to treatment. While your doctor will tell you about these in detail, on a general note, these are some of the side effects you may face.

The side effects after Chemotherapy –

  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea 
  • Mood swings 
  • Early menopause 
  • Hair loss 
  • Fatigue 
  • Infertility 

The side effects from Radiation Therapy 

Radiation therapy involves the high energy of beam that is used to destroy the cancer cells. Radiation therapy is targeted to the pelvic area. It also has certain side effects which may occur after the course of treatment is over such as: 

  • Upset stomach 
  • Bladder Irritation 
  • Interrupted menstrual cycle 
  • Narrowing of the vagina 

It is important to remember that the success rate of the treatment in the early stage is more compared to the ones detected after it has injected the other tissues or organs. So, you must take steps to prevent it as much as possible.

Here are ways to prevent Cervical Cancer:

  • Have regular Pap tests with screenings: A pap test can help you find any precancerous cells to treat and monitor them to prevent cervical cancer.
  • Safe Sex: Take measures to prevent sexually transmitted infections like using condoms every time you have sex and limiting sexual partners one has. 
  • HPV vaccine: Talk to your doctor about the HPV vaccine and whether it is appropriate for you. 
  • Say no to smoking: If you are a regular smoker then talk to your doctor about the methods to quit smoking. Smoking is linked to various cancers.

Regular tests and visiting the doctor when you observe any change are important. Practicing all the preventive measures can reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer. Cervical cancer found in the early stages is highly treatable and is associated with long survival and good quality of life.

You might be thinking: “Why do my joints ache when it’s cold?”

Usually, joint pains are symptoms of some injury or an extension of an underlying health condition. But, the winter season does create more muscle stiffness and joint aches if one is spending more time outdoors. It is also true that many people who suffer from chronic joint issues like arthritis and osteoarthritis find that their condition worsens during the winter season. And, as we all know that warmth improves your blood circulation, keeps all tissues well-nourished, cold weather can lead to a drop in blood circulation levels. Though there’s no scientific evidence behind this relationship, taking a few extra measures to ease joint pain may help you tackle problems related to fluctuating temperatures. Let’s now take a brief look and understand the possible reasons for this kind of pain, tips on tackling joint stiffness during cold, and the reason why you should not have a Total Knee Replacement surgery during the winter season.


1. During winters, the protective fluid inside our joints gets thicker leading to stiffening of the joints.

2. Drop in the barometric pressure can cause your muscles, tendons, and surrounding tissues to expand beyond the confined body space which causes pain.

3. Even the nerves become sensitive during the winter season leading to increased anxiety and tension on the muscles and joints.

4. People who are less active in the winter season face issues while maintaining the good health of the joints.

5. During winters, our body circulates less blood to the entire body and even to the central areas of the body causing more pain and stiffness.


During the winter season people who experience chronic joint stiffness and pain, their symptoms get worse due to the cold weather. Taking few measures and extra efforts during winter would help you fight the pain. These tips would not cure your joint pain but help you in causing relief during the winters.

  1. Stay warm

This tip would depend on the area an individual stays in. Depending on the area, if it is too cold they should wear warm clothes and make sure that their hands, legs, and joints that are affected by arthritis are covered at all times. Try to stay indoors whenever possible.  

  • Hydrating is a must

Dehydration makes people sensitive to pain. Drinking lots of water during winter is very important as the dry air makes people feel dehydrated, tired, and achy. Apart from drinking water at regular intervals, drinking warm soups and tea can also help you stay warm.  

  • Take your Vitamin D

Lack of Vitamin D can also be a reason for joint pain. It also raises the risk for osteoporosis. Consult your doctor regarding the best supplement for you.

  • Exercise and be active

People often gain weight during winters. As the weather makes you lazy and you tend to eat more. The excess weight would make your joints pain more as it puts a lot of pressure on it. Hence it is important to stay active and maintain your weight.


Many patients have this question regarding when is the best time to have a Total Knee Replacement surgery. People should always do their TKR surgery during warm weather as it makes the recovery process better for a majority of people.

1. Changing of clothes

Changing clothes during the summer season is less hectic as you put on fewer layers for obvious reasons on your body making it easier for the wound to be untouched for a longer period. It is always advisable to wear clothes that are easy to wear and remove.

2. Sleeping

Sleeping for few weeks just after the surgery can be a big task and hence it is always good to wear light cotton clothes and light bedding for a sound sleep.

3. Air conditioner and heater

The normal temperature will make less unnecessary usage of the heater and air conditioner while you are recovering from the surgery. Warm weather always allows you to get out for small walks and trips without any hassle.

4. Travelling

Post your in-home therapy, you would be often visiting your therapist for offsite therapy and that’s when avoiding unnecessary (traveling in winter season) and load on your surgery site is crucial. Driving by yourself is a strict NO during this period.

5. Work-life balance
Taking days off and resting for an adequate amount of time is paramount and hence deciding on the right surgery time during your long holidays will help you go through it faster and better. It’s always advisable for seasonal workers to have surgery, especially during their off-season.
Several additional factors contribute to one’s recovery, especially total knee replacement. And, despite a successful TKR, rehabilitation will play a key role in a successful recovery. Also, it is important to acknowledge the fact if you are a person that gets affected negatively, then paying closer attention to your diet and supplements becomes of the highest importance. Preparing yourself from the inside out can help you minimize the impact of cold weather in general and also in case of surgery. Consuming vitamin-rich foods and consulting your primary care doctor in case of any difficulty will only in faster recovery.

A heart attack can come with numerous apparent symptoms like chest pain and pressure or pain in the jaw, arm, or neck. However, in nearly 50% of all heart attack cases, those signs & symptoms are relatively missing. The signs and symptoms that do show up might be so mild and average that a patient may barely think about them by any stretch of the imagination.

More than 1.1 million individuals experience a heart attack (myocardial infarction) annually. Several of them when they get a heart attack it is the first indication of coronary artery disease. A heart attack could also be severe enough to cause death or it’s going to be a silent one.

A silent heart attack or a silent myocardial infarction (SMI), is a heart attack with minimum to no related signs and symptoms. Due to the lack of signs and symptoms, the affected person is unaware that they have suffered a significant cardiovascular event. Instead, the affected person will characterize reputedly minor symptoms like fatigue or mild chest soreness to ailments like the flu or indigestion.

Regardless of the lack of signs and symptoms, silent heart attacks are still heart attacks and may have a few extreme consequences, leaving behind scar tissue, weakening the heart, and growing the threat for a next, more serious heart attack.  Thus, it is vital to mention all potential signs and symptoms, even seemingly insignificant ones, to a doctor. Specifically, in case you also have contributing factors which include type 2 diabetes.


Even though silent heart attacks strike men more frequently than women, the latter are equally at risk. For example, men could feel exhaustion or physical discomfort and chalk it up to overwork, poor sleep, or some general age-related ache or pain. Other typical symptoms like mild pain within the throat or chest are often confused with gastric reflux, indigestion, and heartburn. Also, in many cases, the situation of pain is usually misunderstood. Amidst, a silent myocardial infarction (SMI), a person will feel discomfort within the center of the chest and not a sharp pain on the left side of the chest, which many of them accompany a heart attack.

If you’ve got no symptoms or don’t notice the signs, a silent heart attack could also be discovered accidentally once you undergo tests for an additional reason. For instance, blood tests can show you’ve got tissue damage in your heart, and an EKG measures electrical activity in your heart. Heart damage can interrupt or delay several electrical activities. Finally, an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of your heart, also can show if there’s damage. A silent heart attack is as dangerous as the usual one. Simply because you can’t feel it, doesn’t mean it’s not serious.

Heart and vascular disease frequently go hand-in-hand with diabetes. People with diabetes are at a way greater threat for stroke, heart attack, and hypertension. Other vascular problems due to diabetes include inadequate circulation to the legs and feet. Sadly, many cardiovascular issues can go undetected and begin early in life.

Serious cardiovascular disease can start before age of 30 in individuals with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes (also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) is the after-effect of the body’s inability to form or use enough insulin. One study found that individuals with type 2 diabetes, without apparent heart problems, ran an equivalent risk for a heart condition as people without diabetes who had already suffered one heart attack.

How Does Type 2 Diabetes Increase the Risk of Silent Heart Attack?

Having diabetes increases the danger of developing a wide range of ailments, a few of which directly impact the heart.  When it involves a silent heart attack, diabetics are particularly susceptible for a few reasons:

  • Higher Risk of Heart Disease – Diabetic patients are at an increased risk of a silent heart attack in large part because the condition has already put their heart in a more precarious position overall. Additionally, to damaging levels of blood sugar, patients also are more likely to experience high cholesterol and obesity, all of which strain the cardiovascular system.
  • Autonomic  Neuropathy – A significant side effect of diabetes is damage to the autonomic nervous system. The nerves of this technique are liable for controlling several bodily functions including breathing, digestion, and pulse.  Furthermore, nerve damage can reduce a patient’s ability to feel pain, including the painful symptoms related to heart attack, making the signs easier to miss.

Studies have shown that up to 16% of participants with Type 2 diabetes also are likely to have suffered a silent heart attack.  It’s a connection that can’t be ignored.  If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it’s important to know the risks related to the condition and to be cautious in maintaining and monitoring your health.

How can patients with type two diabetes prevent a silent heart attack?

The best way to one can prevent a silent heart attack is to take excellent care of themselves and also, keep proper control of type two diabetes.

  • Maintain your blood sugar as normal as possible.
  • Manage your blood pressure, with medication if necessary. The target for people with diabetes is under 130/80.
  • Get your cholesterol numbers in check from time-to-timeby taking proper medications.
  • Try to lose weight if you’re obese.
  • Keep exercising regularly.
  • Make sure you consume or eat a healthy diet daily.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Try calming exercises regularly to reduce your daily stress.

Lastly, it is important to check with your doctor when it comes to matters of the heart. In the end, it’s only the timely precautions and treatment that save your time and life. The more you are equipped with the knowledge, the safer you are.

As we all know that our heart is the center of the circulatory system. It is a network of vessels that delivers blood to every part of the body. To tell you more about how our heart functions, let us know more about the four valves that make the whole functioning possible. The heart has four valves – mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonic valve, and aortic valve. 

The mitral valve and tricuspid valve are located between the upper heart chambers and lower heart chambers and amidst the ventricles and the major blood vessels, located are the aortic valve and pulmonic valve.


These valves have different roles that keep the heart functioning properly. Hence, it should be healthy and functioning. It must be open all the so that blood can pass and valves must close tightly so no blood flows into another chamber. 

When we talk about the aortic valve, it separates the left ventricle from the aorta, allows blood to leave the heart from the left ventricle through the aorta and the body, and prevents the backflow of blood from the aorta to the left ventricle. 

When the aortic valve isn’t working properly, it becomes difficult for the heart to send blood to the rest of the body which leads to various aortic valve diseases.


There are two major types of aortic valve diseases:

Aortic Stenosis

Aortic Stenosis is the narrowing of the Aortic valve opening. The narrowing of the valve could lead to reduction or blockage of the blood flow from the heart into the main artery to the body and towards the rest of the body. This forces the heart to work harder.

Aortic Regurgitation

Aortic regurgitation or insufficiency causes when the valve doesn’t close properly causing the blood to leak into the heart which over time makes the heart stretch and enlarge which later can lead to heart failure.


Treating the dysfunction of the aortic valve depends upon the severity of the aortic disease. Traditionally, Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery was done through traditional open-heart surgery. This procedure involves a cut in the chest which is risky and requires a longer recovery time. Another way is replacing a valve via a minimally invasive method where an incision is made in the chest or a catheter inserted in the leg or chest. It is by far the safest option and this procedure is called TAVR or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. 

This can be done using a mechanical valve or a biological valve. 


While performing the TAVR procedure, the doctor removes the damaged valve and replaces it with a mechanical valve or biological valve. Biological valves are also known as bioprosthetic valves. That is a valve that is made an animal tissue or human heart tissue. Animal tissue is known as Xenograft and human heart tissue is known as Homograft. Animal tissues are made from a cow or pig. But, to perform this procedure, depends on the severity of the condition and the situation of the patient. Accordingly, if needed, the doctor might suggest replacing the damaged aortic valve with a biological valve. 

The reason why the biological valve is used is that they degenerate over some time and they comparatively require no blood-thinning medicines, post-surgical care, and hospital stay.

Biological valves are not as strong as mechanical valves and they need to be replaced every 10 years or so. These valves breakdown much faster in children and young adults, so these valves are used mostly in elders.


Titanium and carbon are the materials used to make Mechanical valves. These valves are sewn in the place of original valves, they consist of two leaflets and a metal ring surrounded by a ring of knitted fabric. The advantage of these valves is that they are durable and last longer. But the valves provide a surface on which it is easy to form a blood clot.

These valves should be avoided for women of child-bearing age and those with a high risk of falls or bleeding.


TAVR procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to repair or replace the damaged aortic valve. On the day of surgery, the doctor will decide which type of anesthesia is best for you but your heart will continue to beat during the procedure. Once you are asleep, a short hollow tube called a sheath is inserted into your femoral artery. The new valve is placed in the delivery system using a balloon at the end of the catheter. It contains the replacement valve folded around it. This delivery system is pushed up to your aortic valve. 

Once it reaches the diseased valve, it is inflated which pushes aside the leaflets of your diseased valve. This valve replacement surgery usually does not require cardiopulmonary bypass. Once the biological valve is placed, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is removed. 

The doctor will check if the new valve is opening and closing like the normal aortic valve should and close the incision once the new biological valve starts functioning properly. 


The benefits of replacing the damaged Aortic Valve with A Biological Valve is that they don’t come with a higher risk of a blood clot. They are the best for people over the age of 65, pregnant women, and people who have kidney stones.

Valves used from Bovine (cow) is not an actual valve but it is a tissue surrounding the cow’s heart. It is strong and flexible. 

Using a biological valve during TAVR operation for pregnant women is more beneficial because it doesn’t require using blood thinners as consuming those medicines can harm the fetus. 


TAVR, of course, includes some risks. Generally, risks are minimal which includes complications in blood vessels, infection – if not taken care of it properly, etc. Only in extreme cases, does one suffer from stroke if post-surgical care is not taken properly. It all depends on one’s health and medical history. So, if you or somebody you know is suffering from post-surgical complications, it is better to consult a doctor immediately.

To conclude, it is important to understand the risk and advantages of valve replacement surgeries. It is better to listen to the advice of your doctor and research about TAVR in depth before undergoing the procedure. TAVR is a procedure of the heart, all the precautions must be taken into consideration. And after the TAVR procedure, you should constantly be in touch with your doctor for regular health check-ups.