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Telemedicine: A key to health services of the future

As the risk of contracting chronic diseases increases with the age in a growing population, the number of older people with chronic disease is also growing. As in today’s modern world, there are fewer younger people to take care of elderly individuals.  In future, it will be more difficult to visit to general practitioners and hospitals as compared to now. Therefore, in this blog we will be discussing about how telemedicine can help to deal with such situation in smarter way and provide solution to it.

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Telemedicine which involves exchange of medical information from one site to another via electronic communication provides solution to major medical problems such as long-distance consultation, emergency medical assistance and also in education and training for health care professionals.

Telemedicine may be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone or a complex process which involves using of satellite technology and video-conferencing equipment’s.

Telemedicine has been growing rapidly because it offers four fundamental benefits:

  1. Improved access to services and increasing care delivery

From so many years, telemedicine has been bringing health care services to patients in distant locations. Telemedicine, not only enhances patient’s access to physicians but also improves physicians and other health care facilities to expand their reach, beyond their offices.

  1. Reduced health care costs

Telemedicine helps to reduce the overall cost of health care, thus increasing the overall efficiency. This is done by better management of chronic diseases, reduced travel times and by shared health professional staffing.

  1. Improved quality of care

It is indicated that health care services delivered by telemedicine services provides similar or superior quality service compared to traditional in-person consultations. Moreover, in some specialties such as in mental health, telemedicine delivers better outcomes and patient satisfaction than the traditional service.

  1. Patient’s satisfaction

The most important advantage of telemedicine is that it reduces travel time of the patients and the family members to a great extent, thus reducing their travel expense and related stress considerably.

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Conclusion

It is seen that the impact of telemedicine on health care structure is huge and hence it should be implemented carefully and managed well. Therefore, telemedicine can be seen as a useful tool that can be used to build-up a new health care horizon.

Telemedicine services at Texas Medical Concierge

Texas Medical Concierge located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi has incorporated this cutting-edge technology to overcome the distance barrier between the patients, doctors and specialists across the globe.

In order to avail telemedicine services at Texas Medical Concierge, please contact www.texasmedicalconcierge.com

Obesity in the workplace: Overweight employees are less productive, need longer breaks to rest

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Obesity is a complex health disorder which involves excess accumulation of body fat. Medically, it is defined as a body condition when body mass index (BMI) exceeds the value of 30. It is not just a cosmetic concern but it also increases the risk of various health-related problems such as heart diseases, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure, etc.

Obesity not only affects people in their personal lives, but also exhibits a significant impact on their professional lives too, affecting their work capability and productivity. It is mostly observed that people suffering from obesity are less productive, get injured more often, and needs longer breaks than employees with normal weight.

How obesity can affect services at workplace?

  • Obese people may suffer from range of health-related issues such as back problems, neck problems, sleep apnea, etc., thus making them uncomfortable to work for long hours.
  • Due do increase in weight, their physical movements and activities gets reduced.
  • Extra weight can make such individuals more lazy and sleepy, thereby affecting their work efficiency.
  • There are also other work-related risks associated with obese people. For example, obese people having sleep problems may show less alertness and can pose danger for employees who drive or operate machinery.
  • Overweight individuals may face from stigmatization and discrimination in the workplaces.
  • Obese employees may also get more frustrated and depressed.

All these issues can lead to poor concentration and inability to do work effectively, thus affecting overall productivity at work.

How organization and co-workers can help obese people?

Organization and co-workers can help such obese people by:

  • Keeping positive attitude towards such individuals and involving them in other activities which will make them to feel valued like other normal weight people
  • Promoting physical activities and healthy food choices for such obese individuals
  • Organizing yoga sessions especially for such overweight people, as yoga plays significant role in reducing extra weight

Yoga for obesity

By practicing special yogic asanas along with incorporating balanced/nutritious diet and healthy lifestyles, obesity can be reduced to a large extent. Indulging in regular yoga exercises will help the endocrine glands to function properly, thus improving overall blood circulation and body’s metabolism. Yoga also promotes proper breathing pattern and strengthens muscles which in turn helps in getting weight to normal levels.

Therefore, regular practice of yoga and controlled life styles will help such obese employees not only to reduce extra weight, but will also help in achieving controlled mind and behavior at work place, thus increasing overall productivity at workplace.

Texas Medical Concierge offers benefits of complementary services like yoga sessions to such working professionals, which will help them in reducing extra weight, and regain the healthy mind, body and soul.

Remember, employees who are fit and more physically active will always show higher work quality and better job performance!

To know more about our services, visit our website www.texasmedicalconcierge.com

Knee osteoarthritis: when to consider surgery?

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of musculoskeletal pain and disability in the knee joint. It is a degenerative type of arthritis which generally occurs in people of who are 50 years of age or older.

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Anatomy

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The knee is the largest and strongest joint present in the human body, which is made up of lower end of femur (thigh bone), upper part of the tibia (shin bone) and patella (knee cap). The end of these three bones at the knee joint is covered with articular cartilage (smooth, slippery substance), which provides cushion for the bone. This cushion-like cartilage gives protection for the knee as you bend or straighten your knee.

When your knee is affected with osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee gradually wears away, making it frayed and rough. Therefore, osteoarthritis is also termed as ‘wear and tear” type of arthritis. This causes rubbing of bone on each other, thus producing a painful bone spurs whenever the knee joint moves.

Symptoms

In knee osteoarthritis, over the time the knee joint gets inflamed resulting in moderate-to-severe pain.  It is also accompanied with other symptoms such as:

  • Joint swelling and pain which gets worse in morning as soon as you get up from sleep
  • Intense pain in joints during rigorous activity
  • Feeling of weakness due to extreme pain in joints

Who get affected?

Age is one of the major factors for causing knee osteoarthritis; however, sometimes even young people can also get affected. Osteoarthritis of knee may be hereditary for some individuals, where in some it can result from an injury, infection or from being overweight.

How is knee osteoarthritis treated?

The main goal of treating osteoarthritis of the knee is to relieve the pain associated with the disease and promote joint mobility. The initial treatment plan includes:

Lifestyle modification

Lifestyle changes can protect your knee joint and slow the progress of osteoarthritis

  • Try to avoid rigorous daily activities which can aggravate the condition
  • Indulge in physical activities or exercises that will increase the flexibility and joint motion
  • Losing the extra weight will help for obese or overweight people as it will reduce the stress on knee joints

Use of assistive devices

Using assistive devices like shock-absorbing shoes, cane and braces can help to reduce the pain.

There are two types of braces which can be used:

  • Unloader braces – takes the weight away from the side of the knee affected by arthritis
  • Support braces – provides support for the entire knee

Medications

  • Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil, Motrin or Aleve. Stronger non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be also recommended depending on severity of disease
  • Ointments and creams  which can be applied on external skin surfaces
  • Medication injections which are injected directly in to the knee joint  like corticosteroid injections (fight against the inflammation) and hyaluronic acid injections (helps to keep knees moving smoothly)

When to go for surgery?

The above treatment options will help to provide relief from pain and inflammation. However, if your pain does not vanish or get worst, then your doctor may recommend for surgery Arthroscopic surgery, osteotomy and knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty) are some of the important type surgeries recommended for knee osteoarthritis.

Arthroscopic surgery

In this type of surgery, surgeon uses a thin tube fitted with a camera, which is inserted in to the knee via a small opening to view inside. Then surgeon removes the loose bones and damaged cartilage tissues covering the joint bone, which may be causing pain in the person.

Most people can get back to their work immediately and resume daily activities after the arthroscopic surgery.

Osteotomy

Osteotomy is a procedure which aims in making the knee alignment better by changing the shape of the bones. Knee osteotomy is generally recommended in early-stage osteoarthritis when just one side of the knee joint is damaged.

Knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement surgery is usually recommended when all other treatment options for osteoarthritis fails.

Following are the indications for knee replacement surgery:

  • Severe knee pain which restricts your daily activities
  • Severe pain while resting, in day or night
  • Chronic knee inflammation
  • Knee deformity
  • Knee stiffness
  • Extreme swelling which does not improve with medication or rest

Knee replacement surgery procedure involves removing of all or part of damaged parts of knee and replacing it with an artificial knee joints. These artificial parts are either made up of metals or plastics.

After knee replacement surgery, proper recovery is highly recommended for patients. Your doctor may suggest various physiotherapy exercises to regain the strength in knee and restore proper motion.

Services at Texas Medical Concierge

Texas Medical Concierge, located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi offers priority access to one the leading hospital in orthopedics – Hospital for Special Surgery.

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is America’s leading specialty hospital devoted to orthopedics and rheumatology. HSS is the world’s renowned hospital for diagnosis and treatment of knee problems. HSS offers particular expertise in ligament and meniscal repairs, cartilage replacement and minimally invasive total knee replacement surgery.

To know more visit us at: www.texasmedicalconcierge.com.

How do mental health problems affect your work performance?

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Work is essential to our well-being and status. In addition to the financial security it brings, it also gets our identity. It helps us to understand our skills and to contribute positively to the organization we work. It is imperative to have a sound physical and mental health to achieve the maximum performance. However, if you are facing any mental health issues, it can have a serious impact on your work performance and the organization, and chances are there that it may affect your co-worker also.

Mental illnesses can affect the way we think, we relate and connect with the exterior world around us. Mental illnesses can influence your feelings, thoughts and capabilities at work. Depression, severe mood and anxiety disorders are the most important type of mental illnesses, affecting millions of people worldwide at workplace.

It is crucial for us to understand first that mental illnesses are just like other health problems. The most mental illnesses are episodic, which means that there are periods when you are very productive and also have some periods when you’re productivity is low.

How do mental illnesses affect workers and workplaces?

Those who are suffering from mental illness may feel less confident and doubt their abilities at work. They may have hard time in concentrating, understanding, learning and making quick decisions at workplace. Other symptoms may include:

  • Inability to cope with daily work
  • Feeling sad or worrying all the time
  • Sleeping problems and tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Social isolation
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

Other than professional problems, mental illnesses may also affect personal relationships. It is usually seen such people try to isolate from others, act in unexpected way and withdraw from professional as well as personal responsibilities.

Managing mental health problems at workplace

Mental health problems can be dangerous and serious, but you don’t have to worry…..

The best part is that these problems are treatable. Early diagnosis and recognition of mental health problems is very crucial for faster and better recovery. Adequate treatment and referral to right source should be the next step which will help employees suffering from mental illness to get back to work quickly. Employees will be more productive and constructive when they get right support from their friends, families and organization. Nowadays big organizations are willingly organizing mental health workshops periodically in order to help their employees to cope up the work pressure and prevent them from suffering mental health problems in their workplaces.

Talking out or discussing with the supervisor or member of human resources team, which is referred as disclosure, may also help employees to great extent. It they want to disclose, they may not need to discuss about their health challenges but they can definitely describe what they may need to improve their work performance.

How can I help a co-worker suffering from mental health problem?

As we know, different mental health problems have different symptoms, and each individual may experience a different set of problems. Sometimes, some individuals hide their problems for obvious reason, some individuals may express their problems, and whereas some may continue to work despite having serious mental issues.

If you notice any mental illness symptoms in your co-worker, express your concern without making assumptions. Here are some basic tips which will help how you can provide support to your colleagues:

  • Ask how you can help him/her to emerge out from their mental health problem
  • Respect his/her views
  • Try to include him/her in all workplace usual activities
  • Incase if the person is not showing any improvement, advice him/her to go for a proper medical treatment

Know when to seek help ASAP

If you think mental illness is affecting your work adversely and you fear of speaking out your problem, then it’s a time to get professional help immediately. There are various treatment options available for treating mental health problems. The choice of plans completely depends upon the symptoms and severity of problem.

Psychotherapy or talk therapy is one of the best methods considered to overcome the problems of mental health issues. This therapy includes talking to psychotherapist, where you can discuss all your concerns about mental health and related issues. The most common psychotherapies are cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectal behavior therapy and exposure therapy. Such therapies help patients to understand and resolve their problems by increasing awareness about their problems and the different treatment options available to them.

How Texas Medical Concierge can help?

Texas Medical Concierge, located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi offers such working professionals priority access to one of the leading International Clinic - The Meninnger Clinic with best experts in mental well-being. The Menninger Clinic is a leading specialty phychiatric hospital which treats adults and adolescents with complex mental illness such as anxiety, severe mood, personality and addictive disorders.

Remember, healthy mind will always help to deliver the best at work!

For more information, please contact www.texasmedicalconcierge.com

Understanding the concept of personalized medicine

Personalized medicine can be defined as the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, “personalized medicine” is broadly classified as the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics, needs and preferences of a patient during all stages of care including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

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The personalized medicine approach is based on the scientific understanding on how a person’s unique molecular and genetic profile helps in determining his/her response to different treatment procedure. Therefore, this approach will help to determine which medical treatment will be safe and most effective for each patient and which one will be not.

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Personalized medicine is equipped with tools which will help physicians to select appropriate therapy and treatment plan for every individual based on their molecular and genetic profile. This has many benefits as compared to the traditional “trial and error” approach, as it not only minimizes the chances of side effects; it also ensures more successful results.

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“Personalized medicine will enable risk assessment, diagnosis, prevention and therapy specifically tailored to the unique characteristics of an individual, thus enhancing the quality of life and public health.”

Personalized medicine has changed the approach of traditional medicine of identifying and treating the disease. It is already having strong impact on both the clinical research and patient care, which will keep growing with the time as the technology improves.

Texas Medical Concierge located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi offers the benefits of personalized medicine to their patients. To know more visit us at: www.texasmedicalconcierge.com

 

Bad office posture: Is technology a pain in your neck?

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Are you suffering from annoying back or neck pain in office that just don’t go away? Is it affecting your performance at work? The answer to these questions lies in your sitting posture at workplace.

In today’s busy scheduled life, when we work for long hours sitting continuously at one place, slouched over laptop or desktop, back aches are normal to happen. Bad posture affects spine posture which can lead to pain in neck, shoulder, back, legs and feet, making it uncomfortable to work at office. It can also add to stress and fatigue in the long term causing serious musculoskeletal disorders.

Here I am listing down some important quick tips which will help you to resolve back pain and make you feel much better.

Support your back

The back of your chair should be adjusted so that you can sit correctly to support your spine properly. This will reduce any kind of strain on your back.

Adjust your chair

Adjust your office chair properly so that your upper body is properly aligned.  Use the one which are easily adjustable so that you can change the back position, height and align for proper body position.

A good guide is to adjust your chair height so that your forearms are horizontal to the desk and in line with keyboard. This will help to prevent repetitive strain injuries.

Adjust your monitor level

Place your monitor screen level so that your eyes are in line with your screen. Placing screen too high or too low will cause you to bend your neck constantly which can strain your neck muscles.  Secondly monitor should be also placed at a distance of an arm’s length.

Rest your feet on floor

Place your feet flat on the ground by keeping thighs parallel with the floor. Avoid sitting with cross-legged as this position makes you slouchy.

Take a break in between

If your work involves spending more hours sitting at your workplace continuously, taking a break in between is necessary. Try standing up and walking in between to encourage to realign your posture.

Engage in yoga exercise to maintain proper spine posture

Sometimes in spite of following these above tips certain situations like constant rotation of neck and back or persistent movement of body to one side can cause pain and stiffness. Special yoga exercises will help to strengthen the muscles of back and promote good spine posture.

Texas Medical Concierge has introduced complimentary services like yoga therapies to help working people to understand how yoga can help in maintaining good posture at your workplace in spite of busy work schedule.

Remember a comfortable work place will always make you feel your best at work!

How do I get help for mental illness?

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One of the most challenges faced by individuals suffering from mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or ADHD is that they don’t talk about it. Talking to a specialist is very important as most mental illness don’t improve on their own and if left untreated can lead to other serious problems.

Mental illness can be effectively diagnosed and treated by actively participating in suggested treatment plan by the mental health professionals.

How are mental health problems diagnosed?

A mental health diagnosis plan starts with evaluation of disorder by a mental health professional. The evaluation procedure begins with asking different questions to a patient and his/her family members and taking a detailed medical history of the patient.Depending upon the person’s symptoms and behavior, and medical history taken, the doctor will determine which kind of mental illness the patient suffering from and will design appropriate treatment plan accordingly.

How are these mental disorders treated?

There are various treatment plans and services available for treating mental health disorder. The choice and options depends completely on the type of mental illness the person suffering from and its severity. However, it is observed that most of the mental illnesses are treated successfully by combination of treatments and family support.

Most important people involved in mental treatment team are:

  • Primary care doctor
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physician assistant
  • Psychiatrist or a psychotherapist
  • Family members

People suffering from mental health disorder benefits from range of various treatment plans.

Medications

Medications used for treatment of mental health disorder also known as psychiatric medications do not cure mental illness completely but they can significantly improve symptoms and promote better recovery. Therefore, they are recognized as the first line of treatment for most individuals.

The type of psychiatric medications is completely depends upon the mental condition of the patient and how body responds to the medication.

Some of the most commonly used medications include:

  • Antidepressants– these are used to treat symptoms like anxiety, sadness, concentration problems, etc.
  • Anti-anxiety medications–these medications are mainly used in treatment of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
  • Mood-stabilizing medications– these are used in the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, etc.
  • Antipsychotic medications– also known as neuroleptics are used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

Psychosocial treatments used in the treatment of mental illness program include:

Psychotherapy–is also referred as talk therapy, includes talking to your psychotherapist about your health conditions and related issues. This therapeutic treatment explores thoughts, behaviour and feelings, and helps the patient to develop management skills to deal better with the stress. This therapy can be combined with medication for promote better recovery. Examples of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, exposure therapy, etc.

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – The therapist analyzes how a person think, feels and behave with different condition and then develops the specific treatment plan. It is useful in treatment of depression, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) –This is a type of cognitive behavioural therapy which is used to treat negative thinking such as suicidal thoughts and other self-destructive behaviours.

Psychoeducational interventions or psychoeducation includes a range of activities that combine education and other activities like counseling which help patient to empower and cope with condition in an optimal way. This type of interventions are either delivered individually or in groups to provide more information about the disorder, its causes, symptoms and various treatment plans.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy or psychoanalytic–This therapy aims to help mainly such people who are suffering from serious psychological disorders. This helps patients to understand and resolve their problems by increasing their awareness regarding the disorder and the treatment.

Self-help and support groups – A self-help plan is a kind of plan where a patient addresses his or her condition by implementing strategies which will help to promote their wellness. Self-help plans includes addressing recovery, wellness, triggers or warnings signs. On the other hand, a support group is as group of people who will guide each other and share experiences with the common goal of better recovery.

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Services at Texas Medical Concierge

Texas Medical Concierge understand the magnitude of mental health disorders and the various options available for the treatment, and therefore has teamed up with the leading international clinic – the Menninger Clinic to provide access to their members with best experts in mental well-being. The Menninger Clinic is a leading specialty psychiatric hospital that treats adults and adolescents with complex mental illness such as anxiety, severe mood, personality and addictive disorders.

In keeping with the holistic approach to emotional and psychological wellness, Texas Medical Concierge also offers its esteemed member’s benefits of complementary services like yoga, transcendental meditation and hypnotherapy, which will help to develop mental skills to cope with the stress of urban lifestyles.

So if you or any of your loved one is suffering from mental illness, please do contact www.texasmedicalconcierge.com to get started!

Mental health disorder: What should we know?

A mental disorder refers to a wide range of a condition that affects individual’s thinking, feeling or mood, which may also impact their ability to relate to others and daily base activities. These conditions vary from person to person as every individual experience different symptoms. A mental health problem is found to affect 1 in every 5 individuals every year where 1 in 20 will live with a major type of mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. About half of American population will develop a mental problem in their lives. This disorder can begin at any age of your life i.e. from childhood through any time in later adult life.

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Causes

A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Researchers believe that it has multiple interlinking causes which may include environmental, genetics and other lifestyle conditions. Firstly, your genes and family history plays major role in development of mental disorder. Secondly, your life experiences such as stress and history of abuse also matters. Like other diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart diseases, the mental problems are physical as well as emotional and psychological.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary depending upon the type of disorder, circumstances and other factors involved. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Stress and inability to cope with daily problems
  • Feeling sad all the time
  • Poor concentration
  • Tiredness and sleeping problems
  • Reduced ability in understanding and relating to situations
  • Excessive worries and fears
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Weakened immune system

Sometimes individual may also suffer from physical problems such as stomach pain, headache, back ache or any other unexpected pains along with above symptoms for a long period. During extreme situation, person may experience other set of symptoms like:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Social isolation
  • Excessive anger and violence
  • Detachment from reality or hallucinations
  • Increased risk of vehicle accidents
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Heart attacks or other major health problems

Therefore it is said that mental illness is a leading cause of disability and untreated individuals can suffer from severe emotional, behavioral and even physical health problems. Not only that, but it can also lead to legal and financial complications. Moreover, sometimes the normal behavioral changes and personality of an individual may mask the symptoms of a mental illness and therefore it is recommended that early management and support are crucial in improving their state. Hence it becomes very crucial to talk to your family doctor or a mental health expert such as psychiatrist or psychologist to cope with this kind of disorder in the initial stage only.

Types of mental illness

Following are some of the conditions which are recognized as mental disorders:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Mood disorder
  • Psychotic disorder
  • Eating disorder
  • Personality disorder

The individual suffering from the anxiety disorders respond to certain situations or towards certain objects with fear and dread. These are usually accompanied with physicals symptoms such as stress, body pain, increase in heartbeat and sweating. Anxiety disorders are further categorized as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder and other specific phobias.

Mood disorders are also known as affective disorders that are characterized by presence of persistent feelings of sadness or extreme fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. These disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, etc.

Psychotic disorders include conditions like lack of awareness and decrease of thinking capacity. Mainly in psychotic disorder an individual experience two common symptoms namely hallucinations (experiences images or voices which are not real in life) and delusions (false beliefs are accepted as true). The most common example of psychotic disorder is schizophrenia.

Eating disorderis another type of mentalillnesses in which people experience severe disturbances in their eating behavior and related thoughts and emotions.  Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders some of the common eating disorders.

Individuals with personality disorders suffer from extreme personality traits that lead to problems at work and in social life. In addition, his or her individual thinking pattern and behavior will also changes from the rest of society. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, paranoid personality disorders, etc. are some of the common personality disorders.

If you or your loved ones are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms of a mental illness, it is always better to consult a doctor or mental health specialist immediately. Talking to a specialist is very important as most mental illness don’t improve on their own and if left untreated can lead to other serious problems.

To know more about mental illness treatment and how the Texas Medical Concierge helps such patients to deal with mental problems, do read our next blog!

 

How Proton Therapy Works?

Proton therapy is an advanced type of external beam radiation therapy which unlike X-ray radiation therapy uses a beam of special particles called protons to treat cancers. In proton therapy, doctors can aim proton beam precisely onto a tumor area, thus causing less damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. This allows doctors to use a higher dose of radiation with proton therapy vis-a-vis conventional radiation therapy.

Proton therapy is generally preferred to treat cancer cells that are situated close to very critical organs of the body and also when it is still not spread to majority of the area inside the body.

Why use protons?

  • Tumor killing properties
  • Decreased radiation dose to normal tissues by 50–70%
  • Treating tumors close to critical organs such as spinal cord
  • Increased cure rates
  • Decreased side effects and complications

How proton therapy works?

A machine called a synchrotron or cyclotron is being used in proton therapy to deliver high-speed protons. These protons travel with controlled speed to a specific depth in a body depending upon their tumor location, thereby causing very minimal effect on the neighboring healthy tissues. However, X-rays on the other hand deposit more radiation doses in healthy tissues beyond the tumor, potentially causing more side effects.

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During the procedure, doctor plans the proton treatment by locating the tumor using computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests and marks the tumor’s exact location on the patient’s body. During the course of proton therapy, patient is often fitted with a device that restricts the patient’s movement so that tumor can receive exact amount of proton beam. The device used mainly depends on where the tumor is located. For example, a patient is equipped with custom-wear mask if the tumor is located in the eye, brain or head.

As mentioned earlier, the proton therapy is mainly used to treat specific area of the patient’s body so that this therapy can shrink tumors that have not spread to others parts of the body. It is especially useful in treatment of critically important tissues such as the optic nerves that travel between the brain and the eye which are needed to protect from radiation damage.

Proton therapy is particularly useful in treating cancer in children as it has minimal effect on healthy and developing tissues as compared to conventional radiation therapy. Children may receive proton therapy for rare cancers of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the eye such as orbital rhabdomyosarcoma and retinoblastoma.

Benefits of proton therapy over conventional X-ray radiation therapy

  • It reduces the risk of radiation damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
  • It has fewer severe side effects such as nausea, fatigue, low blood count.
  • It allows higher radiation dose to be directed to specific tumor cells which will prevent the tumor from growing or spreading more. This allows a higher dose of radiation to be deliver directly to where it needs to be and therefore it is also known as precision therapy.

Services at Texas Medical Concierge

Texas Medical Concierge is dedicated in helping their patients to achieve best healthcare through their collaboration with esteemed international centers worldwide. The MD Anderson Cancer Center – Houston, Texas, which is constantly ranked as one of the top most hospital for cancer treatment in USA is one of them.

The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center offers the most advanced radiation therapy available to treat cancers of the lung, head and neck, prostate, esophagus, brain as well as for the treatment of lymphoma, pediatric cancers and other rare tumors. They have the highest number of reputed cancer specialists and experts who have done extensive research on cancer treatment.

Texas Medical Concierge located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi can get priority access to this latest treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Visit www. Texasmedicalconcierge.com to get started.

 

Understanding the concept of Proton Therapy

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Proton therapy

Proton therapy or proton beam therapy is the most advance form of radiation therapy available today for the cancer treatment. Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy in which external beam of charged particles called protons are directed towards target cells with a great precision. Proton therapy is effective in treating a broad range of tumors of different body parts such as the brain, prostrate, head and neck, central nervous system, breast, etc.

Proton therapy allows for a higher radiation dosage to be delivered to the tumor site, while minimizing damage to healthy tissues that surrounds the tumor. On the other hand, X-rays used in traditional radiation therapy releases radiations  to the surrounding parts of the tumor, thus causing potential damage to the healthy tissues and other surrounding organs.

History

Although the development of proton technology for the treatment of cancer is exciting but it is not new, as it was first suggested as early in 1946 by Robert R. Wilson. In 1974, proton therapy was used for the first time for the treatment of cancer in the United States at the Physics Research Laboratory, but the applications were limited to few body parts. Due to its various advantages over the traditional radiation therapy, its applications are increased off late.

Proton therapy is mainly used to treat the following cancers:

  • Central nervous system cancers (including chordoma, malignant meningioma and chondrosarcoma)
  • Head and neck cancers (including nasal cavity and some nasopharyngeal cancers)
  • Eye cancers (including choroidal melanoma or uveal melanoma)
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pelvic  and spinal sarcomas (cancers that occur in the soft tissue and bone)

 Understanding the proton therapy concept

Understanding how the proton therapy works will help to provide patients and their families more insight into this mainstream treatment modality.

As we know, fundamentally all tissues are made up of molecules containing atoms as their building blocks. An atom is made of nucleus in the center with negatively charged electrons revolving around in different orbits. Protons are positively charged subatomic particles. When such energized charged particles such as protons or any other forms of radiation pass near these orbiting electrons, the positive charge of the protons attracts the negative charged electrons. This process is known as ionization, which leads to the changes in the characteristics of an atom and subsequently in the molecule structure. This crucial change forms the basis for all kinds of beneficial aspects of all forms of radiation therapy and so as for proton therapy which is explained in detail below.

During the proton radiation treatment, radiation causes ionization which damages the molecule within the cells, especially the genetic material. In normal cells this damage is repaired by the repair enzymes, while in the cancer cells, they don’t possess the adequate cell’s ability to repair their damage molecules. Due to the lack of this repair system, cancer cells sustain more permanent damage than the normal cells that subsequently leads to death of the cell. Therefore, proton therapy permits selective destruction of cancerous tissues while preserving the healthy tissues of the body.

Whereas both standard conventional X-ray therapy and proton therapy works on the same principle of selective cell destruction, the major advantage of proton therapy is that the proton energy can be directed and deposited into targeted tissues. This feature of proton beam therapy therefore provides greater control and precision to physicians and thereby resulting in superior management of cancer.

Features of proton therapy

  • Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that destroys cancer cells by preventing them from dividing and growing.
  • Proton therapy uses high-energy positively charged protons to treat diseases instead of high-energy X-rays.
  • Proton therapy uses proton beam typically ranging from 60 to 1000MeV maximum energies. Higher energies achieve deeper penetration within the tissues.
  • Proton therapy is used to precisely target the tumor tissues with incredible accuracy.
  • Proton therapy gives fewer side effects as compared to conventional radiation therapy as it has minimal effect on surrounding healthy tissues.

To know more about proton therapy and how it works in detail, read our next blog!