You might have heard of the diseases toxic shock syndrome and blood cancer but you are not fully aware of what these are. These are life-threatening disorders especially when not treated immediately. Here are some important information that you should know about these disorders.
Toxic shock syndrome or TSS is a fatal disease caused by bacterial toxins that circulate in the blood. This was first discovered in 1978 among young children. However, it only became known when an epidemic happened in 1981 among women who were using tampons. Caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria, there are also risk factors that can predispose a person to having toxic shock syndrome. These risk factors include childbirth, foreign bodies such as the packings used to stop nose bleeding, surgery, use of tampons, infection of wounds and using barrier contraceptives like vaginal sponge.
The signs and symptoms of toxic shock syndrome vary for each individual and the underlying cause of the disease. The most common manifestation of TSS is fever with the body temperature going as high as 38.9 0C. This is often accompanied by body weakness, confusion and decreased blood pressure. In some, there can be rashes similar to that of sunburn that can occur in all parts of the body even the mouth, palms, soles of the feet, the mouth and lips. Other signs and symptoms include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, sore throat, light-headedness and fainting.
Because toxic shock syndrome is a severe disease, a person who is suffering from this disorder should be brought to the hospital immediately and is usually admitted at the intensive care unit. Foreign materials that are believed to be the cause of TSS such as tampons and nasal packing should be removed immediately and drainage should be done to wound infections. Antibiotic therapy is necessary and it is usually done intravenously. Other treatment methods include aggressive fluid therapy, dialysis if there are kidney problems and oxygen therapy if there is breathing difficulty.
Meanwhile, blood cancer is a general term for malignancies that involve the lymphatic system, the bone marrow and the blood. The three types of blood cancer include leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Leukemia, the most common of the three is the condition when there are more white blood cells in the body which are actually abnormal cells. Lymphoma is the presence of tumors that are malignant in the lymphatic system. Lastly, myeloma refers to the malignancy of plasma cells, the cells which produce antibodies and are located in the bone marrow.
There are different signs and symptoms of blood cancers and these usually depend on the type of cancer. The most common ones are body weakness, easy fatigability and breathlessness. There can also be excessive bruising even for minimal injuries as well as excessive bleeding. Fever is often recurrent and during the night, there is profuse sweating. There is also nausea, vomiting and anorexia which lead to weight loss. Abdominal pain is also a common manifestation as well as confusion, headaches and decrease in urination.
The treatment of blood cancer is generally the same with other cancers - chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Bone marrow transplant can also be done if there is a compatible donor. While on these therapies, supportive care is also very important. You should make sure that a person who is suffering from blood cancer should have the care that he needs so that his optimum health is maintained. The treatment is a long-term process for it can take months to years so you should be patient.