Health

10 Silent Killer Diseases You Must Know

9.      Hepatitis Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, and the word ‘hepatitis’ is derived from Ancient Greek, with hepar meaning liver and itis meaning inflammation. There… Elizabeth Lilian - April 4, 2017

9.      Hepatitis

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, and the word ‘hepatitis’ is derived from Ancient Greek, with hepar meaning liver and itis meaning inflammation. There are different forms of hepatitis including hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis is usually caused by a viral infection but can be brought on by things like toxic substances such as drugs and alcohol, and the most common types are A, B and C. Types B and C are particularly dangerous, as they most commonly cause cirrhosis of the liver and certain types of cancer.

The cause of hepatitis depends on the type. Hepatitis A is caused by contaminated food or water, hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease, hepatitis C is spread through direct contact with the blood of a person infected with disease, hepatitis D can affect those already infected with hepatitis B, and hepatitis E is caused by contaminated drinking water. Hepatitis is either acute, which lasts under six months, or chronic, which can last much longer.

Often, hepatitis has no symptoms at all, but if they are experienced they can include flu-like symptoms, nausea, fever, dark urine, swelling, painful joints, jaundice and lethargy. Hepatitis is diagnosed by physical examination, liver biopsy, ultrasound, blood test, and testing of liver functions. Treatment will vary depending on the cause and type of hepatitis. Hepatitis A doesn’t usually require specific treatment aside from bed rest followed by vaccination, and hepatitis B usually requires no specific form of treatment but is generally treated with antiviral medication.

Hepatitis C is usually treated using a combination of antiviral medication, and if cirrhosis of the liver occurs as a result of the disease, a liver transplant may be required. Hepatitis D is treated with a specific type of medication called alpha interferon, though patients often experience hepatitis D again, even after treatment. Currently, there is no specific treatment for hepatitis E, but it generally resolves itself.

10. Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the tissues of the cervix. It’s also known as uterine cancer, and there are two main types. Squamous cell carcinoma, which starts in the squamous cells that line the outer surface of the cervical neck, and adenocarcinoma, which develops from the glandular cells. A third, much rarer form of cervical cancer is known as neuroendocrine, which tends to be much more aggressive.

The risk factors of being diagnosed with cervical cancer stems from the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which is present in the majority of all cervical cancers. Other risk factors include age, smoking, weakened immune system, many sexual partners, early sexual activity and sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. When cervical cancer is in the early stages, it often produces no noticeable symptoms. As it advances, symptoms can include vaginal bleeding after intercourse, heavy discharge that may be bloody or watery, and pelvic pain during intercourse.

The earlier cervical cancer is detected, the more successful the outcome. Cervical cancer screenings consist mainly of Pap tests, wherein cells are brushed from the cervix and examined in a laboratory for any abnormal cells. An abnormal Pap test result doesn’t always lead to a diagnosis of cervical cancer, but abnormal cells can increase risk, and treatment is necessary. If you are diagnosed with cervical cancer, treatment depends on things such as which stage the cancer is at and any other health issues you may have.

To avoid suffering from silent diseases, it’s important to lead a life that is as healthy as possible. This includes eating a diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol, getting adequate exercise, practicing safe sex, and visiting your doctor for regular medical check-ups.

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