Monday, May 29, 2006

thyroid symptoms: Thyroid cancer treatment

Diagnosis Thyroid

The doctor may use several tests to confirm a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. The size and location of the lump has to be identified and it has to be determined whether the lump is non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Blood tests, such as the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, may be ordered to check how well the patient's thyroid is functioning.

A test known as the calcitonin test may be ordered if medullary thyroid cancer is suspected. Calcitonin is a hormone produced by the C cells (also called the parafollicular cells) of the thyroid gland, in response to rising levels of calcium in the blood. This hormone lowers calcium levels in blood serum by slowing the rate at which the bones absorb it and increasing the rate at which the kidneys discharge it. When the parafollicular cells of the thyroid become cancerous, they produce too much calcitonin. Because increased serum levels of the calcitonin hormone are characteristic of medullary thyroid cancer, the calcitonin test, which measures serum levels of calcitonin, can be used to confirm a diagnosis of medullary thyroid cancer.

Imaging tests such, as a computed tomography scan (CT scan) or an ultrasound scan, may be used to produce a picture of the thyroid. In ultrasonography, high-frequency sound waves are bounced off the thyroid. The pattern of echoes that is produced by these waves is converted into an image by a computer. This test can determine whether the lumps found in the thyroid are fluid-filled cysts or solid malignant tumors.

A radioactive scan can be used to identify any abnormal areas in the thyroid. The patient is given a very small amount of radioactive iodine, which can either be taken by mouth or injected into the thyroid. Since the thyroid is the only gland in the body that absorbs iodine, the radioactive iodine accumulates there. A x-ray image can then be taken or an instrument called a "scanner" can be used to identify areas in the thyroid that do not absorb iodine normally. These abnormal spots are called "cold spots" and further tests are performed to check whether the cold spots are benign or malignant tumors. If a significant amount of radioactive iodine is concentrated in the nodule, then it is termed "hot" and is usually benign.

The most accurate diagnostic tool for thyroid cancer is a biopsy. In this process, a sample of thyroid tissue is withdrawn and examined under a microscope. The tissue samples can be obtained either by drawing out a sample of tissue through a needle (needle biopsy) or by surgical removal of the nodule (surgical biopsy). If thyroid cancer is diagnosed, further tests may be done to learn about the stage of the disease and help the doctors plan appropriate treatment.

Thyroid Treatment

Treatment for thyroid cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage. Cancer staging considers the size of the tumor, whether it has grown into surrounding lymph nodes, and whether it has spread to distant parts of the body (metastasized). The patient's age and general health status are also taken into account. Four types of treatment are used: surgical removal, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.

If the cancer has not spread to distant parts of the body, surgical removal is the usual treatment. The surgeon may remove the side or lobe of the thyroid where the cancer is found (lobectomy) or all of it (total thyroidectomy). If the adjoining lymph nodes are affected, they may also be removed during surgery.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy x rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external beam radiation) or the patient may be asked to swallow a drink containing radioactive iodine. Because the thyroid cells take up iodine, the radioactive iodine collects in any thyroid tissue remaining in the body and kills the cancer cells.

Hormone therapy uses hormones to stop the cancer cells from growing. When the thyroid gland is removed and levels of thyroid hormones fall, the pituitary gland starts producing a hormone called "thyroid stimulating hormone" (TSH). TSH stimulates the thyroid cells to grow. This stimulation would also induce growth of the cancerous thyroid cells. To prevent cancerous growth, the natural hormones that are produced by the thyroid are taken in the form of pills. Thus, their levels remain normal and inhibit the pituitary from making TSH.

If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and surgery is not possible, the treatment is aimed at killing or slowing the growth of cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy may be used, either in a pill or an injection through a vein in the arm.


Like most cancers, cancer of the thyroid is best treated when it is found early. More than 90% of patients who are treated for papillary or follicular cancer will live for 15 years or longer after having had thyroid cancer. Eighty percent of patients with medullary thyroid cancer will live for at least 10 years after surgery. The fourth type of thyroid cancer, anaplastic, is usually fatal. Only 3-17% of patients with this cancer survive for 5 years.

Because most people with thyroid cancer have no known risk factor, it is not possible to completely prevent this disease. However, inherited cases of medullary thyroid cancer can be prevented. If a family member has had this disease, the rest of the family can be tested.

The National Cancer Institute recommends that a doctor examine anyone who has received radiation to the head and neck during childhood at intervals of one or two years. The neck and the thyroid should be carefully examined for any lumps or enlargement of the nearby lymph nodes. Ultrasonography may be used for people at risk for thyroid cancer.

Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Gale Research, 1999.

thyroid symptoms: Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer Definition

Thyroid cancer is a disease in which the thyroid cells become abnormal, grow uncontrollably, and form tumors. Thyroid cancers are grouped into four types, based on how the cell appears under the microscope. If left untreated, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland, located at the base of the throat. It has two lobes, the left and the right. The thyroid gland makes hormones that regulate heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and metabolism. The hormones produced by the thyroid also affect the nervous system, muscles, and other organs, and play an important role in regulating childhood growth and development. The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods, to make several of its hormones.

Diseases of the thyroid gland occur frequently, affecting millions of Americans. The most common diseases are an overactive or an underactive thyroid gland. These conditions are called hyperthyroidism (Grave's disease) or hypothyroidism. Sometimes, lumps or masses may develop in the thyroid glands. Ninety-five percent of these lumps or nodules are non-cancerous (benign), but all thyroid lumps should be taken seriously.

According to the estimates of the American Cancer Society, approximately 17,200 new cases of thyroid cancer will occur in the United States in 1998. This disease accounts for 1% of all cancers.

A woman's risk of developing thyroid cancer is three times greater than a man's. Most people who develop thyroid cancer are 50 years of age or older, but the disease can affect teenagers and young adults.

Thyroid cancers are grouped into four types, depending on how the cells look under the microscope. The types are papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancers. The cancers grow at different rates, so the aggressiveness of each cancer is different.

Papillary cancer develops in the cells that produce thyroid hormones containing iodine. It is a slow-growing cancer and can be treated successfully. About 60-80% of all thyroid cancers are papillary cancers.

Follicular cancers also develop in the cells that produce iodine-containing hormones. Many of the follicular cancers have a good cure rate, but if the cancer invades blood vessels or grows into nearby structures in the neck, it may be difficult to control. About 30-50% of thyroid cancers are follicular cancers.

Medullary cancers develop in the parafollicular cells (also known as the C cells). These cells produce a hormone called calcitonin, which does not contain iodine. These cancers are more difficult to control because they have a tendency to spread to other parts of the body. About 5-7% of all thyroid cancers are medullary cancers. Approximately 7% of medullary cancers are caused by the alteration (mutation) of a gene called the RET gene; these cancers can be passed on in families.

Anaplastic cancer is the fastest growing of all thyroid cancers. The cells rapidly spread to the different parts of the body. About 2% of all thyroid cancers are anaplastic cancers.

thyroid Causes & symptoms

Although the exact cause of thyroid cancer has not yet been determined, it has been observed that thyroid cancer affects women three times as often as it affects men. The rate of thyroid cancer is also higher in whites than in African Americans.

Exposure to radiation during childhood is a known risk factor for thyroid cancer. In the 1950s and 1960s, radiation was used to treat acne and to reduce swelling and infection of organs in the neck, such as the tonsils, adenoids, and lymph nodes. Recent studies have proved that people who received radiation to the head and neck during their childhood have a higher than average chance of developing thyroid cancer.

In areas of the world where people's diets are low in iodine, papillary and follicular cancers occur more frequently. In the United States, dietary iodine is plentiful because it is added to table salt and other foods.

The most frequent symptom of thyroid cancer is a lump or nodule that can be felt in the neck. Other symptoms are rare. The lump usually is not painful, but some patients experience a tight or full feeling in the neck and have some difficulty breathing or swallowing. The lymph nodes may be swollen and the voice may become hoarse because the tumor presses on the nerves leading to the voice box.
Encyclopedia of Medicine by Lata Cherath

symptom thyroid : Thyroid hormones

Thyroid Definition

Thyroid hormones are artificially made hormones that make up for a lack of natural hormones produced by the thyroid gland.

Thyroid Purpose

The thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped structure in the lower part of the neck, normally produces a hormone called thyroxine. This hormone controls the rate of metabolism -- all the physical and chemical processes that occur in cells to allow growth and maintain body functions. When the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroxine, body processes slow down. People with underactive thyroid glands feel unusually tired and may gain weight, even though they eat less. They may also have trouble staying warm and may have other symptoms, such as dry skin, dry hair, and a puffy face. By making up for the lack of natural thyroxine and bringing the rate of metabolism back to normal, artificially made thyroid hormone improves these symptoms.

Thyroid hormones also may be used to treat goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) and certain types of thyroid cancer.

Thyroid hormones, also called thyroid drugs, are available only with a physician's prescription. They are sold in tablet form. A commonly used thyroid hormone is levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid).
Recommended dosage

For adults and teenagers, the usual starting dose of levothyroxine tablets is 0.0125 mg (12.5 micrograms) to 0.05 mg (50 micrograms) per day. The physician who prescribes the medicine may gradually increase the dose over time.

For children, the dose depends on body weight and must be determined by a physician.

Taking thyroid hormones exactly as directed is very important. The physician who prescribes the medicine will figure out exactly how much of the medicine a patient needs. Taking too much or too little can make the thyroid gland overactive or underactive.

This medicine should be taken at the same time every day.

Thyroid Precautions

People who take thyroid hormones because their thyroid glands do not produce enough natural hormone may need to take the medicine for the rest of their lives. Seeing a physician regularly while taking this medicine is important. The physician will make sure that the medicine is working and that the dosage is correct.

In patients with certain kinds of heart disease, this medicine may cause chest pains and shortness of breath during exercise. People who have this problem should be careful not to exert themselves too much.

Anyone who is taking thyroid hormones should be sure to tell the health care professional in charge before having any surgical or dental procedures or receiving emergency treatment.

This medicine is safe to take during pregnancy, but the dosage may need to be changed. Women who are pregnant should check with their physicians to make sure they are taking the proper dosage.

Anyone who has had unusual reactions to thyroid hormones in the past should let his or her physician know before taking the drugs again. The physician should also be told about any allergies to foods, dyes, preservatives, or other substances.

Before using thyroid hormones, people with any of these medical problems should make sure their physicians are aware of their conditions:

* Heart disease
* High blood pressure
* Hardening of the arteries
* Diabetes
* History of overactive thyroid
* Underactive adrenal gland
* Underactive pituitary gland.

Side effects

This medicine usually does not cause side effects if the dosage is right. Certain symptoms may be signs that the dose needs to be changed. Check with a physician if any of these symptoms occur:

* Headache
* Fever
* Diarrhea
* Vomiting
* Changes in appetite
* Weight loss
* Changes in menstrual period
* Tremors of the hands
* Leg cramps
* Increased sensitivity to heat
* Sweating
* Irritability
* Nervousness
* Sleep problems.

Other side effects are possible. Anyone who has unusual symptoms while taking thyroid hormones should get in touch with his or her physician.

Thyroid hormones may interact with other medicines. This may increase or decrease the effects of the thyroid medicine and may interfere with treatment. Anyone who takes thyroid hormones should not take any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines without the approval of his or her physician. Among the drugs that may interact with thyroid hormones are:

* Medicine for colds, hay fever, and other allergies
* Medicine for asthma and other breathing problems
* Medicine for diabetes
* Blood thinners
* Amphetamines
* Diet pills (appetite suppressants)
* Cholesterol-lowering drugs such as cholestyramine (Questran) and colestipol (Colestid).
Encyclopedia of Medicine by Nancy Ross-Flanigan

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Jamo Debuts iPod Home Stereo

Jamo Debuts iPod Home Stereo
Jamo which is distributed in Australia by Qualifi has launched the i300, a stand-alone powered subwoofer/satellite speaker system that turns an iPod into the heart of a full-fledged home entertainment system, offering full-strength hi-fi performance. The system will sell for $599 in Australia.

The Jamo i300 comprises of an a iPod control dock, an active subwoofer plus two compact satellite loudspeakers. It also comes with a long-range radio frequency remote control that allows remote control from various rooms in a house.

The 2.1-channel system's versatility includes a control dock which charges the iPod is also fitted with an extra auxiliary input on its rear panel so that one can hook up a computer, portable DVD player or games console to the system. One can also direct input into the subwoofer itself.

A Jaemo Spoksman said "How can we guarantee hi-fi quality sound? Using solidly constructed 2-way satellites helps. The speakers supplied with this system are magnetically-shielded boxes - finished in high gloss white - that can be wall or table-top mounted. These little marvels feature a precision-engineered 76mm/3in co-axial driver that delivers truly pin-point sonic imaging".

He added "What's more, the subwoofer (which also has a high gloss white finish) is just as capable with a high-efficiency class D digital amplifier powering an 6.5in bass driver, all housed in a solid but very compact reflex-ported enclosure."

"Who's going to buy the Jamo i300? Anybody who wants to make more of the music they've lovingly stored on their iPod. Where's it going to end up? Bedrooms, college dorms, studies, home offices… even music mixing desks: the possibilities for the i300 are endless."

by David Richards

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Perils of Home Theater

Anyone who thinks that the computer industry has made things difficult for customers, wait till you look at home theater. There is a major opportunity here to enlarge the market considerably by setting, agreeing upon, and implementing industry-wide standards for interconnection, aimed at making the result easier to install and use, far more comprehensible, and therefore more attractive to the average family.
I am appalled by the lack of understanding of consumers in the home theater industry, by the complexity, by the emphasis on jargon, by the lack of standards (and the competing standards wars), and in general, by the whole mess.

I am putting together a home theater. I bought a high-definition TV set, a receiver, and the 8 speakers required to give THX 7.1 surround sound. And a digital satellite receiver, capable of receiving HDTV signals, even though hardly any are being sent, plus, of course the set-top box controller for the High Definition satellite receiver. And a TiVo digital video recorder to time shift shows. And a progressive DVD player, a VCR, and my old laser-disc player. And, well, that's enough.

So there I was, seated in my brand new home theater, holding a pile of thick instruction manuals plus 7 remote controls, not including the programmable remote control that is intended to replace those other seven, once I learn to program it.

First problem: Jargon. Ordinary human beings should not have to understand jargon like this: progressive, interlaced, 5.1, 7.1, 480i, 480p, 960i, 1080i, 16/9, 4/3, 3:2 pulldown, anamorphic, stretched, expanded, large speakers, small speakers, matrix sound. It is too much. Why should the ordinary consumer have to know all this?.

Worse, the different components fight with one another. Who is in control? My satellite receiver? The DVD player? The Receiver? The TV set? Each wants to control the resolution and the picture format. Do I want the image to be distorted to fit the whole screen or to be shown the way it was originally produced, always wary of those bold warnings included with the TV set that if I watched pictures that didn't cover every bit of the screen, why I would risk getting the dreaded CRT burn-in. And then, if I make the wrong choices, I end up deadlocked, with the components battling the TV set, with the end result being not only no picture on the screen, but the inability to regain control because without on-screen menus, all control is lost. (This happened when I tried to send the output of the High Definition TV satellite receiver to the TiVo and then to the TV set. Thank goodness for the fine print in the manuals that revealed secret button sequences on one of the remote controls that allowed me to get back a picture. I haven't used the TiVo since.)

The smart, programmable remote control is supposed to solve these problems. After considerable study, I purchased the Philips Pronto. Yes, one can program the Pronto to make everything transition gracefully with a single button push, but the required programming is not for the faint of heart. I am still waiting for the equipment installers to do that -- just one more visit, they promise, and it will all be solved.

Copyright © 2001 Donald A. Norman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Learning to Play Roulette

Roulette is a casino game played at a table with a numbered grid, a wheel and a small white ball.

The first think a player must do if you are playing Roulette in a Casino is exchange your chips for the special roulette chips. These chips are special because several layers may want to place a bet on the same number as other players so each player has their own color chips so there can be no confusion.

There is a numbered grid on the Roulette table broken into 2 parts the inside and the outside. The inside of a Roulette table is 3 numbers across and 12 numbers long and each group of 12 is its own section. On top of this is either a single zero or single and double zeros.

The outside of the Roulette grid is where you can bet if the winning number will be an odd or even number and what color it will be, also you can bet on what group of 12 or what column the winner will be in.

Betting on the outside pays of less then the inside but is more easily won. A player is smarter to play the outside and maybe drop the occasional chip on a lucky number on the inside. Playing smart on the outside you can see a return about 55% of the time.

After a pre determined amount of time the dealer will spin the wheel and drop the ball in the groove. The Roulette dealer will then wave his hands over the table and call no more bets. At this point the only thing to do is wait and see who will win

© Copyrights 2005 Black Jack 21 Net

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Encyclopedia of Asian Food

I have a distant but naggingly persistent memory of eating a most unusual fruit while traveling through Asia some two decades ago. The outer skin "sticks" in my mind most - this is an intentional pun, for as the illustration shows, the skin of this small, oval fruit is covered with soft spikes. I remember touching these spikes and delighting at their surprisingly flexible texture, then being treated to the white, sweet flesh inside. Regretfully, I never caught the name of this fruit, or if I did, I never retained it. And my frustration of not knowing the fruit's name and never tasting it since - despite wide and futile searches through Little Asia neighborhoods - has fueled my vigilant quest for food reference books of all types, not just Asian ones. What makes a food reference book "good" can be a subject of debate. Some books focus on history, like James Trager's excellent The Food Chronology. Others seek to define foods and food terms more practically, as in Sharon Tyler Herbst's outstanding Food Lover's Companion, which I never let out of my reach when writing or researching. Both of these volumes stand out just for their scope: Herbst's contains over 900 listings in the Second Edition, and Trager's covers events from 1 million BC to 1995, with a phenomenal index that's 60 pages long in itself. But as comprehensive as these books are, I still seek other food reference books that focus on different subjects or themes.

My collection of food reference books is fairly extensive, though it will never be complete. As wars, trade and economics import both emigrants and their foods into this country, guides to shopping for, eating and cooking with so-called ethnic foods begin to crop up. In particular, books that define and illustrate those elusive, unusual and literally foreign foods and ingredients of Asian lands and cultures always seem to have a solid audience. Just as travel guidebooks often include pictograms with definitions, the same type of language barrier dictates a need for food reference books that fully detail those odd products and produce one encounters in ethnic markets. Without the aid of a live foreign language translator, especially one knowledgeable in the ways of food, these reference books are essential to dedicated and adventuresome foodies like me. I've found that Charmaine Solomon's Encyclopedia of Asian Food is almost like having a tour guide and translator right by my side.

Charmaine Solomon's Encyclopedia of Asian Food is far too big and fat to comfortably pack in your purse as a shopping guide (that would be like cramming a Sumo wrestler into a coach airline seat). But what a book it is! Ingredients aren't just listed and described, they're discussed with attention to region, techniques, explanations of how to use them, names in various languages, and in the cases of fruits and vegetables, many include illustrations (though I would love to see even more).

But knowing the description of a food you've never eaten before doesn't help much when trying to prepare it, and over 500 recipes in the book are catalogued right next to the ingredient entry. For instance, the listing for Water Spinach includes an illustration of leaves and stem (both are edible), a description of each, where it's found (throughout Asia), and its name in nine Asian nations ranging from China (ong choy) to Vietnam (rau muong). The author describes how to prepare it - and then offers five recipes, two from Thailand, and one each from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and China. At this point, I feel very comfortable walking out of an Asian market with a plump bag of water spinach and a plan for its use.

Words for typical dishes you might encounter are also included, such as Laksa, a type of spicy soup that comes in many varieties (two of these recipes accompany the listing). Countries even get their own entry, as in Japan and Burma, in which the author encapsulates the predominant traits and common dishes of each. Which brings to mind the scope of this book in terms of countries. "Asia" in this compendium embraces the world from Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent through North Asia, South East Asia, Indochina, and even to the Pacific Islands.

Not all good food reference books make for good reads as well, but this one does. I leave it around the house and always find something interesting to peruse and then discuss over drinks or dinner. Did you know that the mango, so common to Mexican and Latin American meals, is native to India and Malaysia? And of the many varieties that exist, one in particular is known as the turpentine mango "because that is exactly what they smell and taste like... if you find a tree laden with fruit that nobody seems to want, there is usually good reason."

And by the way, I finally found that prickly little fruit I've been so long searching for. Charmaine Solomon's Encyclopedia of Asian Food identifies it as a rambutan, ripe in July and August, and it's best eaten fresh, not cooked. So now that I know what I'm looking for, finding it in a local Asian market should be a piece of cake, right? Of course, it will! Well, at least knowing what's called has given me some satisfaction. In fact, I saw some cans of rambutans the other day and almost bought one. But having tasted it fresh, I'm on a quest for the real thing, one with those ticklish little spikes I once so enjoyed. And thanks to Charlaine Solomon's book, perhaps this summer my quest will be fulfilled. At least, now having read her entry on rambutan, I'll at least know to cut, serve and eat this luscious fruit whenever I do find it!

By Charlaine Solomon

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Where the South meets the sea

The South's beaches rank among the most beautiful in the world. ranging from action-packed resort areas to quiet pockets of paradise.

Like the tides that rise to the pull of the goon and sun, we're irresistibly drawn to the sand-streaked edges of the South. From diet buff-off colored grains that dapple the southern Atlantic shores to the snowy fringes of the Gulf Coast, they lure us with their awesome beauty and promises of fun, relaxation, and discovery.

I've always felt that choosing the right beach for leisure time requires almost as much thought as selecting a neighborhood in which to raise a family. The choice is all about quality, value, and making memories.

The textures and tones of Southern beaches are rich and varied, and sampling them remains one of life's great pleasures.

Bumper to bumper, Friday night traffic crawls ata turtle's pace during summer along Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. On the strip, neon signs vie with the bright lights of the Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park-an 11-acre playground of rides and games that sits right in the heart of town and across from the beach. Tomorrow the brightest light will be the sun, under which parents will play golf or shop the outlet malls, while lithe young bodies soak up the sun's rays.

Another teen scene flourishes at Panama City Beach on Florida's Gulf Coast. One of the biggest draws is the Miracle Strip amusement park. No matter how much water the ocean holds, the younger set can't resist the wave pool at Shipwreck Island Water Park. There's still plenty of action out in the emerald Gulf waters, though, from waterskiing to snorkeling to scuba diving. As the sun sinks toward the horizon, many find their way to Capt. Anderson'svoted the South's top seafood restaurant in the Southern Living 2002 Readers' Choice Awards.

Follow the Boardwalks

Seafood also graces the best tables in Ocean City, Maryland. But the real attraction is the 3-mile-long boardwalk, which always appears to be more populated than the beach. It resembles a treadmill running alongside a smorgasbord of activities and tasty treats, with folks briefly stepping off to buy French fries or try a ride.

by Lingo, Karen

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