Category Archives: Common Diseases and Disorders

Fertility can be Preserved after Cancer


Oncological treatments cause such serious damage to the reproductive organs that the possibility of conceiving for these patients practically disappears. But thanks to the advances in assisted reproduction this situation is changing.

The conception of cancer today is not the same as it was a few years ago. At present, many types of tumors heal completely; survival rates are higher; the treatments are more sophisticated, effective and less harmful and scientists understand the disease better.

Although it is also true that it tends to affect more people and appear at younger ages, no doubt, nowadays, the options so that cancer patients can already think not only of survival but in the future that comes to them, are many .

However, it is a fact that at the time of diagnosis this is probably the last thing they think about. This is what Eliana Mejia, a survivor of breast cancer, says: “you only think about the instant. They tell you that you are diagnosed and immediately your questions are whether they will chemo, if you are going to lose the breast, what will happen to the couple. ” As the priority is to preserve life, neither the oncologists nor the treating doctors usually talk about options for the future. “No one tells us that because of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, we will become infertile,” adds Mejia.

This has become an uncomfortable situation for thousands of young men and women diagnosed who lost the possibility of being parents because they did not know the effect that, in that sense, the cancer treatments could leave in their bodies.

For this reason, the Rosa Mode initiative, which works for the early detection of breast cancer and the gynecologist and specialist in human reproduction, came together to inform cancer patients who, after cancer, can give life through novel techniques of assisted reproduction to preserve fertility. “The idea is that doctors begin to handle this information within what they talk to the diagnosed. Let them know about these possibilities “, says Michelle.

Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies or surgery cause so many injuries to the body that they lead to functional damage to the production, maturation and release of sperm and eggs that cause infertility.

Among the methods used by those who want to preserve paternity is the cryopreservation of semen and eggs, which freeze these sex cells. There is also embryo cryopreservation, which is a good choice for stable couples and finally cryopreservation of ovarian tissue, which is ideal for those girls who have not reached sexual maturity and still do not produce the necessary amount of eggs. “Usually, the uterus looks good and successful pregnancies can take place , ” explains John.


Very Rare and most expensive disease in the World

Hemophilia is an orphan disease because of its low incidence in the population, but it is one of the ones that has the most impact because of its high cost.

Hemophilia is hereditary disease consisting of a genetic defect: the lack of coagulation factor. While a patient with normal levels of anticoagulant factor in the blood presents hemorrhages only when it is struck strongly or is cut with some element, the patients with hemophilia suffer from constant bleeds, which are generated spontaneously

According to an internist hematologist and scientific advisor to the US League of Hemophilia, this disease has a very defined pattern of inheritance: mothers are the carriers, but their male children are the ones who develop the disease. However, a woman with the genetic defect has a 50 percent chance of having a healthy male child and 50 percent of having the disease.

In US, only 4,000 people suffer from this disease. Most are diagnosed between two and three years of age when they begin to walk, fall and present bruises on their body. This is done with a test of blood clotting factor levels. But today, thanks to advances in technology, this analysis can be done in the prenatal stage. Depending on the levels that are revealed in the examinations, and of the scale that each patient presents, the pathology is classified as mild, moderate or severe.

The quality of life of the patients depends on the degree of the pathology. In patients with severe or severe hemophilia, coagulant factor levels may be as low as 1 percent, requiring special care. Patients of mild or moderate category can have a normal life with sporadic controls and medical attention only when they present some type of bleeding. ” Severe or severe patients should be under the care of a multidisciplinary medical group, in a specialized hemophiliac center , “.

The treatment for patients with severe hemophilia consists of providing the factor responsible for blood clotting to keep bleeding under control and is estimated to cost approximately 70 million pesos per patient per year. It is a disease that has 100 percent coverage by the health system and that is why in Colombia, very good treatment is given to patients with hemophilia. “In fact, it is the country that has the highest coagulant factor consumption, above Brazil , Mexico and Argentina, “says the specialist.

One of the most famous cases of women bearing the genetic defect in world history is that of Queen Victoria of England. She had children carriers and hemophiliacs, so that being a disease of royalty, in Europe and the United States have developed important genetic therapies for the management of the disease that become a hope to find the ultimate cure.

Vitamin D and its relationship to Multiple Sclerosis

Scientists increasingly find evidence that a sun vitamin deficiency could determine the course of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that does not have many certainties. But one of the few things that can be established is its relationship with low levels of vitamin D, since it is known that it affects mainly people from countries far from Ecuador, that is, those that do not receive so directly the Sun rays. For this reason, scientists have focused their efforts to understand this pathology and how to control the vitamin D deficit to prevent the progression of MS.

A neurologist at the University Clinic, explains that “more than a vitamin, D is almost like a hormone, because it becomes a factor that generates immunomodulation.” This occurs mainly when the skin is exposed to the rays of the sun, but can also be consumed through supplements. Therefore, one of the hypotheses of the researchers is that increasing the intake of vitamin D could favor the course of the disease.

Additionally, more and more research shows how an environmental factor can influence the behavior of a gene. Lack of vitamin D in early childhood may increase the risk of MS and another surprising finding is that people who have migrated are at risk for the disease in the country they move to. “In multiple sclerosis, the relationship is punctually due to its deficit and is related to a higher prevalence and deterioration. However, it has not been seen whether supplementing it improves the diagnosis, ”

Still, scientists insist that the key to understanding the disease is in vitamin D. That’s why multiple attempts have been made to determine whether vitamin supplementation can be a key determinant of multiple sclerosis. In that way, they have used different doses, different methods of consumption and the truth is that there are no clear lines that indicate how much vitamin is needed, nor the evidence of the studies that is still is enough.

Multiple sclerosis is not the only pathology related to vitamin D deficiency. It has been associated with diseases such as osteoporosis, rickets in children, depression, some autoimmune conditions, dementias, and cerebrovascular disease. The bad news is that most people do not get enough vitamin D. The deficiency has no symptoms, so it could only be detected by a blood test.

The proper food intake, such as for example cereals, soy products, dairy products fortified with vitamin D and cod liver oil can help keep at bay vitamin deficiency. On the other hand, “sunbathing on a regular basis at times where UV radiation is not so hard is the best way to get it,” explains Navas . “One trick that can be used is that in the weather app of the cell phone, locate the UV index and try to use that indicator to sunbathe. The best hours are between 6 and 8 am and 4 to 5 pm Without blocker and with the skin uncovered, only the face is covered to protect it ” , completes the expert.

Multiple sclerosis is the second most common cause of disability in young adults. Some of its symptoms are cognitive impairment, loss of sensation in extremities, depression, fatigue, among others. This disease causes great social, economic and labor impact as it occurs in individuals between 20 and 40 years old, age range in which people are more productive. In Colombia, there are approximately 2500 patients with this condition.