Category Archives: Health Awareness

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.


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.