LifeCare Health Services Home Health, Hospice

LifeCare Health Knowledge Center

Call 1-800-785-7227

LifeCare Health Knowledge Center

We invite you to search our database of thousands of health information articles at www.LifeCareHS.com. We make sure these authoritatively sourced articles stay constantly updated. Check English or Spanish for your preferred article language. Our onpage print feature allows you to delete sections you don’t want, then print and/or save as a PDF.


Intestinal Cancer

Your small intestine is part of your digestive system. It is a long tube that connects your stomach to your large intestine. Intestinal cancer is rare, but eating a high-fat diet or having Crohn's disease, celiac disease, or a history of colonic polyps can increase your risk.

Possible signs of small intestine cancer include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss for no reason
  • Blood in the stool
  • A lump in the abdomen

Imaging tests that create pictures of the small intestine and the area around it can help diagnose intestinal cancer and show whether it has spread.

Surgery is the most common treatment. Additional options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Kidney Cancer

You have two kidneys. They are fist-sized organs on either side of your backbone above your waist. The tubes inside filter and clean your blood, taking out waste products and making urine. Kidney cancer forms in the lining of tiny tubes inside your kidneys.

Kidney cancer becomes more likely as you age. Risk factors include smoking, having certain genetic conditions, and misusing pain medicines for a long time.

You may have no symptoms at first. They may appear as the cancer grows. See your health care provider if you notice:

  • Blood in your urine
  • A lump in your abdomen
  • Weight loss for no reason
  • Pain in your side that does not go away
  • Loss of appetite

Tests to diagnose kidney cancer include blood, urine, and imaging tests. You may also have a biopsy.

Treatment depends on your age, your overall health and how advanced the cancer is. It might include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, biologic, or targeted therapies. Biologic therapy boosts your body's own ability to fight cancer. Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances that attack specific cancer cells with less harm to normal cells.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Lung Diseases

When you breathe, your lungs take in oxygen from the air and deliver it to the bloodstream. The cells in your body need oxygen to work and grow. During a normal day, you breathe nearly 25,000 times. People with lung disease have difficulty breathing. Millions of people in the U.S. have lung disease. If all types of lung disease are lumped together, it is the number three killer in the United States.

The term lung disease refers to many disorders affecting the lungs, such as asthma, COPD, infections like influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis, lung cancer, and many other breathing problems. Some lung diseases can lead to respiratory failure.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

Lupus

What is lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues by mistake. This can damage many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain.

There are several kinds of lupus:

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common type. It can be mild or severe and can affect many parts of the body.
  • Discoid lupus causes a red rash that doesn't go away
  • Subacute cutaneous lupus causes sores after being out in the sun
  • Drug-induced lupus is caused by certain medicines. It usually goes away when you stop taking the medicine.
  • Neonatal lupus, which is rare, affects newborns. It is probably caused by certain antibodies from the mother.
What causes lupus?

The cause of lupus is unknown.

Who is at risk for lupus?

Anyone can get lupus, but women are most at risk. Lupus is two to three times more common in African American women than in white women. It's also more common in Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women. African American and Hispanic women are more likely to have severe forms of lupus.

What are the symptoms of lupus?

Lupus can have many symptoms, and they differ from person to person. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Pain or swelling in joints
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever with no known cause
  • Red rashes, most often on the face (also called the "butterfly rash")
  • Chest pain when taking a deep breath
  • Hair loss
  • Pale or purple fingers or toes
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Swelling in legs or around eyes
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Swollen glands
  • Feeling very tired

Symptoms may come and go. When you are having symptoms, it is called a flare. Flares can range from mild to severe. New symptoms may appear at any time.

How is lupus diagnosed?

There is no specific test for lupus, and it's often mistaken for other diseases. So it may take months or years for a doctor to diagnose it. Your doctor may use many tools to make a diagnosis:

  • Medical history
  • Complete exam
  • Blood tests
  • Skin biopsy (looking at skin samples under a microscope)
  • Kidney biopsy (looking at tissue from your kidney under a microscope)
What are the treatments for lupus?

There is no cure for lupus, but medicines and lifestyle changes can help control it.

People with lupus often need to see different doctors. You will have a primary care doctor and a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in the diseases of joints and muscles). Which other specialists you see depends on how lupus affects your body. For example, if lupus damages your heart or blood vessels, you would see a cardiologist.

Your primary care doctor should coordinate care between your different health care providers and treat other problems as they come up. Your doctor will develop a treatment plan to fit your needs. You and your doctor should review the plan often to be sure it is working. You should report new symptoms to your doctor right away so that your treatment plan can be changed if needed.

The goals of the treatment plan are to:

  • Prevent flares
  • Treat flares when they occur
  • Reduce organ damage and other problems

Treatments may include drugs to:

  • Reduce swelling and pain
  • Prevent or reduce flares
  • Help the immune system
  • Reduce or prevent damage to joints
  • Balance the hormones

Besides taking medicines for lupus, you may need to take medicines for problems that are related to lupus such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or infection.

Alternative treatments are those that are not part of standard treatment. At this time, no research shows that alternative medicine can treat lupus. Some alternative or complementary approaches may help you cope or reduce some of the stress associated with living with a chronic illness. You should talk to your doctor before trying any alternative treatments.

How can I cope with lupus?

It is important to take an active role in your treatment. It helps to learn more about lupus - being able to spot the warning signs of a flare can help you prevent the flare or make the symptoms less severe.

It is also important to find ways to cope with the stress of having lupus. Exercising and finding ways to relax may make it easier for you to cope. A good support system can also help.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Medicines

Medicines can treat diseases and improve your health. If you are like most people, you need to take medicine at some point in your life. You may need to take medicine every day, or you may only need to take medicine once in a while. Either way, you want to make sure that your medicines are safe, and that they will help you get better. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is in charge of ensuring that your prescription and over-the-counter medicines are safe and effective.

There are always risks to taking medicines. It is important to think about these risks before you take a medicine. Even safe medicines can cause unwanted side effects or interactions with food, alcohol, or other medicines you may be taking. Some medicines may not be safe during pregnancy. To reduce the risk of reactions and make sure that you get better, it is important for you to take your medicines correctly. You should also be careful when giving medicines to children, since they can be more vulnerable to the effects of medicines.

If you are thinking about hospice, palliative care, or home health, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions and even visit your home for a free consultation.


Name:
Email:
Phone:

Message:


SPAM CHECK:
Enter the code seen in the image above:


close Call Now
1-800-785-7227
Send a Message