Archive | May 2021


“The good news is that if skin cancer is caught early, your dermatologist can treat it with little or no scarring and high odds of eliminating it entirely. Often, the doctor may even detect the growth at a precancerous stage, before it has become a full-blown skin cancer or penetrated below the surface of the skin.’

Skin Cancer Foundation


“Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. If you have skin cancer, it is important to know which type you have because it affects your treatment options and your outlook (prognosis). If you aren’t sure which type of skin cancer you have, ask your doctor so you can get the right information.”

American Cancer Society


“Skin cancer — the abnormal growth of skin cells — most often develops on skin exposed to the sun. But this common form of cancer can also occur on areas of your skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight.

There are three major types of skin cancer — basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.”



“In 2018, 1 in every 6 deaths from cardiovascular disease was due to stroke.  Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every 4 minutes, someone dies of stroke.  Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes.”

Center for Disease Control and Prevention


“A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked. Blood brings oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Without blood, brain cells die. This means that a section of the brain starts breaking down and brain function is altered. The quicker a stroke is addressed, the less brain damage there will be and the better the recovery. Strokes are usually painless, but there are signs.”



“Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.”

American Stroke Association


“Though it’s a progressive disease, there are no officially-defined stages of ALS. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms in exactly the same order, and the disease progresses more slowly in some people than others.

In general, though, the progression of ALS can be divided up into three stages: early, middle, and late.”

ALS Association Texas Chapter


“Experts do not know the cause of ALS. In a few cases, genetics is involved. ALS research is looking into possible environmental causes of ALS.”

John Hopkins Medicine


“Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a-my-o-TROE-fik LAT-ur-ul skluh-ROE-sis), or ALS, is a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control.”


ALS Awareness Month-What it is, how its diagnosed and the signs/symptoms!


What is ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

It is a rare neurological disease affecting nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement.  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a terminal and progressive motor neuron disease. ALS specifically targets and kills the motor neurons responsible for controlling the vast majority of skeletal muscles in the human body, which eventually leads to respiratory failure and death.

Individuals with ALS experience a degeneration of their motor neurons, which causes the muscles to stop receiving the signals needed to function. After a certain time, the brain completely loses its ability to control voluntary movements, hence, people with ALS are unable to walk, move, or even breathe properly.

ALS belongs to, and is perhaps the most common example of, a group of neurological disorders known as Motor Neuron Diseases.  These diseases affect the body by causing the death of millions of neurons found in the motor cortex of the brain as well as the spinal cord. These nerve cells are directly responsible for the regulation and control of skeletal muscle function.

How ALS is diagnosed:

Considering the damage ALS can do, it became essential to spread the message regarding the disease so that people could treat it at an early stage. Though there is no cure for ALS but early detection can help in improving the quality of life of those with the disease. 

The signs and symptoms of this diagnosis:


A positive diagnosis of ALS is based primarily on a patient’s symptomatology.  Unfortunately there is no test that can currently provide a more conclusive assessment.

There are many diseases whose symptoms resemble those observed in patients with ALS. Therefore, diseases such as cervical osteoarthritis, cervical hernias that compress the spinal cord, heavy metal poisoning, and some infectious diseases such as Lyme disease or syphilis, can delay a correct diagnosis of ALS immediately.

As such, when ALS is suspected, it is common practice to rule out other diseases through a variety of tests including but not limited to lumbar punctures, MRIs, and electromyographic studies. In some cases, it might be necessary to perform a biopsy of muscle tissue in order to assuage any remaining doubts.

Often, the earliest symptoms of ALS are ignored or outright dismissed. Therefore, better understand this disease’s signs and symptoms.

2-Loss of strength

Pt’s with ALS eventually lose the ability to control all voluntary movement. During the progression of the disease, which typically lasts for several years, patients will experience a cumulative loss of muscle strength.

In most cases, the first muscles affected by the disease are those of the arms and legs which results in patients experiencing awkwardness when walking or moving about, an increased propensity for stumbling or tripping, and difficulty performing everyday tasks especially fine motor tasks like texting on the phone, typing, and even tying shoe or sneaker laces.

3-Muscle Atrophy

This is when the muscle actually deteriorates and muscle is lost.  Leading to muscle dystrophy,in the specific case of ALS, it occurs due to a dramatic reduction in the connection between nerves and muscle fibers caused by the death of motor neurons.  It often culminates to paresthesia to partial or total paralysis.


Fasciculations are slight and involuntary muscular contractions that occur underneath the skin, but that do not produce any observable limb movement. Fasciculations are visible to the naked eye and are sometimes described as looking like small worms are moving within the muscle. These contractions occur because of spontaneous nerve discharges that fire within clumps of skeletal muscle fibers.  They can occur due to damage present in the lower motor neurons. They could be considered an early warning sign of the possible onset of ALS.


Muscle cramps are highly common in patients who have ALS, and their incidence increases as the disease progresses. These sustained involuntary contractions of the muscles are typically accompanied by palpable contractures, can last anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds, and tend to be extremely painful.  Spasticity could develop and may not allow certain movements as a consequence of cramps;  in which antagonistic muscle groups participate.

Other Symptoms include:

  • Tripping and falling
  • Hand weakness or clumsiness
  • Slurred speech or trouble swallowing
  • twitching in your arms, shoulders and tongue
  • Inappropriate crying, laughing or yawning
  • Cognitive and behavioral changes