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Causes of Group B Strep



What is Group B Strep?

Group B strep are bacteria that can colonize in the vagina, rectal, and intestinal area of healthy adults and pregnant women. Statistically, about 25% of all healthy adults will at one time have a GBS infection.

While pregnant women do not often show symptoms of a GBS infection, there is a risk that they can transmit the infection to their newborn baby. Once transmitted, some newborns may develop complication which can cause pneumonia, meningitis, and even sepsis, so infants who are at risk need to be monitored. The best way to prevent this is through early detection in the mother and administration of antibiotics to treat it.

Group B Strep infections can also occur in nonpregnant adults who suffer from chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, or cancer. Typically those over 65 are at higher risk, but the incident rates of GBS infection in nonpregnant adults has been steadily increasing throughout the years.

Causes of Group B Strep

Healthy people can carry Group B Strep in their body at any time, it can also come and go or can stay permanently.

GBS can be found in some pregnant women and if not treated can pass to their newborns. When newborns contract Group B Strep infection in the first week of life it is called early onset. For babies who are 1 to 3 weeks of age when they develop the disease, it is termed late-onset.

How Can Group B Strep be Transmitted?

Group B Strep is transmitted by a pregnant mother to their babies during a vaginal birth. Typically mothers who test positive will be given antibiotics during delivery to reduce the risk of transmission. This will occur in about 50% of mothers who have an active infection during birth.

Out of this 50%, only about 100 to 200 of these babies born will develop a GBS infection requiring treatment.

Who’s at Higher Risk for Group B Strep?

When it comes to having Group B Strep, the incident rates are higher among African Americans than Caucasians. While there are not many statistical differences with a mother becoming a GBS carrier, there are some instances where there is a higher risk of transmission to the infant, including:

  • Early onset of labor
  • Fever during labor and delivery
  • An active urinary tract infection
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • Previous Group B Strep infection
  • Positive GBS culture after 35 weeks or pregnancy

Symptoms of GBS Infection

When an active Group B Strep infection is present, there can be some symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include.

In Newborns

  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Bluish color
  • limpness
  • Stiffness
  • Breath complications
  • Diarrhea
  • Fussiness
  • Problems with heart rate and blood pressure
  • Problems feeding

In Adults

  • Skin infections
  • Sepsis
  • Lung infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Meningitis
  • Joint infections

Treatment of GBS

While the most common form of treatment is to treat the mother with antibiotics during labor to prevent the transmission, once contracted a GBS infection is typically treated with IV antibiotics and sometimes a surgical procedure if a bone or joint infection is present.

While GBS infections can result in severe complications, they are often preventable in newborns with routine maternal screening which makes prenatal care essential to protecting your newborn against such infections.


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Significance of International Group B Strep Awareness Month


July the Awareness Month for Strep B

July is the awareness month that helps educate expecting moms and individuals about Strep B. Strep B stands for Streptococcus a dangerous bacterium that can cause illness in newborns and individuals with weak and even strong immune systems.

Most of the time there are no symptoms presents when a person is infected with the bacterial infection, which is why it is essential for expecting moms to be screened for it before they give birth. If the infection is not caught before the newborn arrives and it is present, the infection can pass right onto the newborn during delivery. If a newborn ends up catching the illness there is potential for it to become serious and even fatal.

Why is Strep B so dangerous?

Strep B is so dangerous because it can turn into meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia without proper diagnoses and treatment. People with strong immune systems can typically survive and fight off these types of infections, but newborn babies during the first weeks of life tend to struggle. This is due to their weakened immune systems, and why so many babies who contract the Strep B illness pass away. Other health problems that can arise from suffering from a Strep B infection are hearing loss, and mental and physical disabilities.

How is Strep B tested?

Expecting moms and individuals are tested for Strep B through a genital swab test. Sometimes testing can be done with a simple urine or blood test. Pregnant women get this test done by their OBGYN or midwife at 37 weeks of pregnancy. Those who suspect they may have it can ask their family doctor to test for the infection.

With that said, the only true way an individual can know for themselves that they could be potentially infected with the bacterium is by experiencing symptoms. Without symptoms, individuals don’t usually suspect any can of infection until it becomes so serious staying in the hospital is essential for intense treatment to help rid the infection from the body.

What are some of the symptoms of the infection?

  • Infection setting into an area of skin
  • Painful urination with a UTI
  • Constant fever with chills
  • Lethargy
  • Skin rashes or infections
  • Vaginal discharge and discomforts
  • Inflammation in the lungs or joints of the body
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches and dizziness if the infection spreads to the brain

Where does the Strep B bacterium live within the body?

Strep B bacterium is found in the mouth, throat, genital area, rectum and sometimes even bloodstream of the body. It is passed through bodily fluid contact, or simply encountering the bacteria hanging out on an individual’s skin. If an individual does become infected with Strep B, thankfully there are treatments that work effectively with curing the illness.

What are the antibiotics for most useful for treating the infection?

The antibiotics most commonly used for treating the Strep B infection are ampicillin, penicillin, cefazolin and clindamycin. These medications are provided orally, but with serious infection they are given through IV in the hospital. You can only get these medications through prescriptions from doctors.

End Thoughts for the Significance of Strep B Awareness Month?

The best way to save lives from Strep B is by becoming educated and educating others about the infection. July’s awareness month is the perfect opportunity to get the word out there to help promote proper screening for it in individuals of all ages. After all, everyone deserves to know about potentially life threatening infections that are preventable through proper screening and testing and treatable with simple antibiotics.


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National Women’s Health Week


Image is from Women’s

Annually, the United States Department of health and human service office on women health leads Americans in observing a national women week. It often begins on the popular Mother’s Day and stretches to a period of one week. This year, the Americas celebrate the 18th anniversary of women health week which commences on May 14th and ends on May 20th, 2017. The primary objective of this liturgy is to inspire all women to have a priority in their health and to have a prodigious care of themselves. This year’s celebration emphasizes on the advantages of integrating active and preventive health activities in the day-day do about.

Steps to Take for a Better Health During National Women’ Health Week

The following steps will help you achieve a better health:

Get Moving

Physical activities such as jobbing, aerobics, going to the gym are the most important things that your health needs. It is of importance to your health since it lowers the risks of contracting the disease that is the leading cause of women’s health; the heart disease. For instance, get at least 2 to 3 hours of aerobics every week, have at least 2 hours each week to strengthen your major muscle groups, and finally, reduce your chances of falling by doing balance training.

Get Recommended Screenings and Preventive Care

You can do a regular check up with your health care providers to prevent yourself from getting diseases, disabilities, or injuries. Moreover, it is said that prevention is way better than cure; therefore, preventive care will detect the disease early thus having an initial treatment.

Take Healthy Foods

Food is integral to our life, but at times, it becomes toxic. Therefore, you ought to practice a healthy eating lifestyle such as:

  • Including foods such as greens, fruits, grains, fat-free milk and any other dairy products, low salted lean meat, trans and drenched fats and low added sugars in your healthy eating plans.
  • Women need to have 400 micrograms of folic acid each day for cells that their body generates every day to develop healthily. The only significant ways you can get this folic acid is by eating vitamins rich in folic acid or eating a bowl of breakfast cereal that has folic acid each day
  • Avoiding smoking and drinking too much.
  • Checking on your weight and getting to know if you need an excellent and effective guide to shed off some weight to stay healthy and fit.

Prioritize your Mental Health

You need to have a stable mind and a physically fit body to stay healthy. Evidence has it that a stable and healthy mind is associated with an improved body health. To have a stable mental health, you should:

  • Get a sufficient daily sleep – Enough rest has a noticeable impact on how you do your daily activities and your mood for the day. Psychologists say that adult human beings need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to have a robust mental health
  • learn healthy ways of managing stress since a healthy mind is the one which is free from fear.

Practice Healthy Behaviors

  • Protect your body from the Ultraviolet rays which may damage your skin and eyes, exposing your premature skin may result in skin aging and cancer. Therefore, you are advised to Wear sun cream, sun protection glasses and have a step by step guide on skin protection.
  • Per the research, 18 women die daily in the U.S. due to an overdose of the prescribed painkillers. Therefore, you are advised to follow the doctor’s prescription diligently when taking these drugs.



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What is Oral Cancer?


Image is from Market My Laser

Oral cancer is a persistent growth or sore inside the mouth that is caused by an uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage. It will not go away on its own. It includes the following surrounding tissues:

  • Throat
  • Tonsils
  • Sinuses
  • Hard and Soft Palate
  • Floor of the Mouth
  • Cheeks
  • Tongue
  • Lips

What are the Symptoms?

There are numerous symptoms associated with oral cancer. The most common ones are:

  • Any lesions or swelling on the lips, gums, or other areas inside your mouth
  • Unexplained oral bleeding
  • Unexplained numbness, tenderness, or pain in any areas of the mouth, face or neck
  • Persistent sores in the mouth or the neck and face that do not heal within two weeks.
  • Red, white, or red and white speckled patches in your mouth
  • A feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Chronic sore throat, hoarseness, or change of voice
  • Earache
  • A change in your teeth or the way your dentures fit together
  • Large weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist or primary care physician as soon as possible.

Who is at Risk?

It is estimated that over 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Men face twice the risk than women, and men over the age of 50 face the greatest risk of all.

Oral cancer risk factors include:

  • Smoking. Whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe, you are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nonsmokers.
  • Using smokeless tobacco. Chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip makes you 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the lining of the lips, gums, or cheeks.
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol. You are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nondrinkers.
  • Family history of cancer. If cancer runs in your family, then you are more genetically predisposed.
  • Too much sun. If you have excessive exposure to the sun, especially when you are young, it increases your odds of contracting oral cancer.
  • If you have been diagnosed with HPV (Human Papillomavirus), some strains put you at a higher risk for contracting oral cancer.

It is important to note, however, that 25% of diagnosed cases of oral cancer do occur in nonsmokers and social drinkers.

What Can You Do to Prevent a Diagnosis?

There are some things you can do to lower your risk, such as:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation, and do not smoke or use any tobacco products.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun, and when you are out in the sun, apply UV-A/B sun blocking products on your skin and lips.

Early Detection is Key

The earlier you see any symptoms, the greater the chance of successful treatment. You can also take an active role in early detection by doing the following:

  • Do a Self Exam Once per Month – Use a bright light and a mirror to examine all the surfaces of your mouth and lips. Feel for lumps and thoroughly look over every part of your mouth, throat, and gums. Check for enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. If you find anything suspicious, contact your health care professional immediately.
  • See your Dentist Regularly – No matter how thorough, you can’t always see everything, so ask your dentist to conduct an exam at your next visit.

Remember, understanding what oral cancer is and how to detect it increases your chances of successful treatment.



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Understanding Sarcoma Cancer


Sarcoma is a very rare form of cancer. It is also different from most types of cancer because it occurs and grows in connective tissue. The cancer cells grow in parts of the body that support or connect other types of tissue to the body. While the tumors can appear anywhere, they are most commonly found in the muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, fat, and nerves. They are also seen in the blood vessels of the legs and the arms. There are over 50 types of sarcoma and they are divided into three categories, bone sarcoma, soft tissue sarcoma, and osteosarcoma.

Who Is At Risk Of Developing Sarcoma?

It is unknown exactly what causes sarcoma, however, there are certain risk factors that make it more likely for people to develop this type of cancer.

  • Radiation exposure: If you had radiation to treat a previous cancer, you are more at risk.
  • Family history: If a member of your family had sarcoma, your chances of getting it are higher.
  • Genetic disorders: Certain genetic disorders such as retinoblastoma, neurofibromatosis, Gardner syndrome, or Li-Fraumeni syndrome put you at greater risk.
  • Bone disorder: If you have the bone disease called Paget’s disease, you are at risk of developing sarcoma.
  • Age: Children and young adults are more prone to developing an osteosarcoma.

What Are the Symptoms of Sarcoma?

In its early stages, sarcoma doesn’t show any symptoms. They can be hard to spot because they can grow anywhere in your body. If it is a soft tissue sarcoma, the first sign would be a painless lump. As it grows larger, it can press against the nerves or muscles causing pain. An osteosarcoma shows symptoms much earlier than the other types. There would be pain in the effected bone that comes and goes. Also, the pain is often worse at night. The area can also swell.

What Is the Treatment For Sarcoma?

How the cancer is treated would depend on the type, where it is located, and whether or not it has spread to other parts of the body. The most common treatments include:

  • Surgery: A doctor can perform surgery and remove the tumor from the body. It is possible for the doctor to remove the cancer cells, therefore, there would be no need for the effected limb to be amputated. If all of the cells cannot be removed, amputation might be your only chance of survivial.
  • Radiation: If surgery isn’t an option, radiation is used. It can also kill any cells left behind after another treatment.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used either with surgery or if surgery isn’t possible. It is also used if the cancer has spread.
  • Targeted therapies: This is a relatively new treatment and the doctors use man made antibodies from the immune system. They are placed to block the growth of cancer cells without damaging any of the normal cells.

What is the Survival Rate For Someone With Sarcoma?

In most cases, soft tissue sarcoma can be cured with one surgery. If it is an aggressive tumor and the cancer has spread, it can be harder to treat. With osteosarcoma, if the cancer has not spread the survival rate is between 60 and 80 percent. If the cancer can be completely removed with surgery, the chance of a full recovery is excellent. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the treatment would need to be more aggressive and the chances of being cured completely are much lower.

Sarcoma is a rare and serious type of cancer. If it is caught early enough, the chances of survival are great.

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What is Colon Cancer?


Image is from Everyday Health

Colon cancer is the accumulation of cancer cells in the lower part of the large intestine. These tumors typically begin as small benign growths referred to as polyps that turn into malignant tumors over time.

Stages of Colon Cancer

When a patient is diagnosed with colon cancer, they will be diagnosed with a stage of the disease, depending on it advancement. Colon Cancer is broken up into stages Tis to T4b.

  • Tis -In this stage, cancer cells are only found in the top layers on lining in the colon.
  • T1 –At this stage, the cancer cells have begun to spread to the tissue below the lining of the colon.
  • T2 – During stage T2, the cancer cells have developed into the deeper tissue that is involved in pushing along waste during the digestive process.
  • T3 – At T3 the cancer has spread to the connective tissue that connects the colon to other parts of the body, as well as permeating into some of the other surrounding tissues.
  • T4a – At this point the cancer cells have grown throughout all parts of the colon.
  • T4b – At this final stage the cancer cells have spread past the colon into other parts of the body.

What are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

Symptoms of colon cancer can come on suddenly or develop gradually over time. Often times symptoms of colon cancer are mistaken for gastrointestinal issues or discomfort. Some symptoms of colon cancer include,

  • Blood in the stool
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Abnormal changes in your bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea that lasts for more than a month
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Fullness in bowel even after going to the bathroom.

Risks for Colon Cancer

While there is no specific cause for every case of colon cancer there are risks that may make you more likely to develop colon cancer.

History of Polyps

While many times polyps are found and easily removed, repeated development of polyps is linked to an increase in colon cancer.

Low Fiber Diet

Low fiber and high fat diets have been linked to an increased chance for developing polyps and colon cancer.


Those with a BMI in the obesity level have an increased risk of getting colon cancer as well as an increased risk of suffering more complications from it.

Inflammatory Gastrointestinal Problems

Chronic disease of the gastrointestinal track, including colitis and Crohns disease, can increase the risk of development of colon cancer.


Most colon cancer patients are 50 years of age or older.


A family history of colon cancer increases your chance of developing the disease as well. There are also genetically passed conditions that can greatly increase your risk for colon cancer including,

  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, otherwise known as lynch syndrome
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis, which leads to an increase of the development of polyps in the colon.

Diagnosing Colon Cancer

Diagnosis of colon cancer is either done through routine screenings that are part of annual physicals or testing when gastrointestinal problems are present. To diagnose colon cancer patients will,

  • Receive blood tests to check for cancer markers
  • Undergo a colonoscopy which involves a camera scope of the patient’s rectum, colon and intestinal track.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for colon cancer are typically determined based on the stage of cancer the patient is in. Treatment options can include,

  • Polyp removal during colonoscopy
  • Partial colectomy
  • Removal of lymph nodes
  • Colon resection
  • Targeted drug therapies
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation treatment

When it comes to treating colon cancer, routine wellness screenings are important as early diagnosis will lead to the best prognosis.


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Colorectal Cancer


Image is from Colon Cancer Alliance

Colorectal cancer is most common if there is a family history of it, colon polyps present and long bouts of ulcerative colitis without treatment. With that said, colon cancer can affect anyone. Sometimes all it takes for the cancer to occur is poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and drinking and exposure to toxins that create damaging free radical cells that harm the DNA. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of the cancer can help with early detection, but sometimes there isn’t any, which is why colon screening is essential. Screening usually starts around the age of 50, but if there is a family history it may be best to start sooner.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

  • Extreme Fatigue and Weakness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Change in Stool Shape, Size and Color
  • Red or Dark Stools
  • Bleeding During Bowel Movements
  • Drastic Weight Loss
  • Suffering from Anemia
  • Constant Abdominal Pains
  • Headaches
  • Pain During Bowel Movements
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

How is the cancer detected?

Colorectal cancer is detected by doing a barium enema x-ray to locate any tumors, or through a colposcopy, which views the entire lining of the colon for cancerous growths. If any cancer is suspected, a biopsy will be done. After, surgery will be scheduled to remove the cancerous growths and a recommended treatment plan will be provided if one is necessary. Sometimes further treatment is only needed if the cancer has spread throughout other areas of the body. It all depends on the stage of cancer you have.

How many stages of colon cancer are there?

There are four stages of colon cancer. The first two stages typically only require surgery to remove the cancerous parts of the colon. The last two stages usually require surgery plus chemotherapy or radiation. Therefore, catching colon cancer early is extremely important for saving lives. The last stages of colon cancer and more difficult to treat and eventually end in death since it has spread to other parts of the body that can be hard to treat.

Are there any preventative measures you can take for preventing colon cancer?

Yes, there are preventative measures you can take for preventing colon cancer. Some include:

  • Eating a good balance diet
  • Exercising daily
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Not smoking or drinking acholic beverages
  • Taking daily vitamins
  • Increasing your fiber intake
  • Getting colon cancer screening when recommended

Bottom Line

When it comes to preventing colon cancer from taking your life, colon cancer screening is your best line of defense for catching and treating it early. If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of the cancer it is time to visit your doctor now for a checkup.

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Understanding Colon Cancer


Image is from Health Essentials From Cleveland Clinic

Colon cancer is synonymous with the cancer of the large intestines, which is the lower region the digestive system. In the United States, over twelve thousand people are diagnosed with this form of cancer every year. The American Cancer Society released this data. Usually, the new cases of colon cancer start with small cell clumps then developing into dangerous cancer cells over time.

How does cancer come about?

Generally, cancer comes about when healthy body cells start to fight other cells within the body. Before the actual cancer cells have begun developing, you will often not notice any symptoms. For this reason, it is critical to get an early screening of the cancer cells as it is the only surest way of detecting the colon cancer and acting on it appropriately to terminate its growth and development.

What are the common signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

Cancer has a plethora of signs and symptoms which include:

  • Blood in stools
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Bloating and abdominal pain
  • Recurring cramping
  • Gas

While blood in stool can be indicative of cancer, it can also indicate some conditions such as hemorrhoids in the anal area. You should immediately visit a health center the moment you notice recurring blood in your stool.

Risk factors

There is a myriad of risk factors which may significantly increase your risk of being ill with colon cancer. They include

  • Age (fifty years or older are more predisposed)
  • A family history of colon cancer
  • Long-standing inflammatory infections of the colon

As well, colon cancer has been linked to dieting that has little fiber but high fat content as well as calories. In as much as scientists have not agreed on the effect of junks in relationship to cancer, it is general knowledge that junks have a lot of unhealthy fats which has been shown to affect a patient’s health negatively.

Couch potatoes stand a higher risk of getting colon cancer. As well, obesity, smoking, and consumption of large amounts of alcohol are all predisposing factors of colon cancer. It is, nevertheless, imperative to note that these pieces only increase the risk of getting cancer significantly and does not in any way mean that whoever smokes will get colon cancer.

Treatment of colon cancer

The standard treatment for cancer is surgery in all the stages of the colon cancer. There are three types of surgery which specialist can opt for to remove cancer. They include:

  • Local excision- this is mainly for cancer that is still in the early stages. The doctor will insert a tube into your rectum then push it through to the colon. He then cuts the cancerous section of the colon
  • Resection- doctors often opt for this method when cancer has grown significantly large. The doctor will make a careful incision into the abdomen and get rid of the affected part of the colon. As well, they will remove small sections of healthy tissues that surround the part of the bowel which is diseased.
  • Resection and colostomy- sometimes, the surgeon may find it difficult to sew the ends of the colon after the surgery together. In that instance, a whole will be made in the abdomen, and one end of the colon will be brought towards this hole. The patient will need to wear a bag over the opening to collect the waste being expelled from the colon. This is commonly referred to as colostomy.
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