Why would it be a radical mastectomy instead of elephantiasis?
While walking down the street, you and your friend see an elderly woman whose left arm appears to be swollen to several times its normal size. Your friend remarks that the woman must have been in the tropics and contracted a form of filariasis that produces elephantiasis. You disagree, saying that it is more likely that the woman had a radical mastectomy (removal of a breast because of cancer). Explain the rationale behind your answer.
It is not either, it can be the result of a mastectomy due to breast cancer. Here is some info on this subject.
The condition is called Lymphedema
Secondary lymphedema, or acquired lymphedema, can develop as a result of surgery, radiation, infection or trauma. Specific surgeries, such as surgery for melanoma or breast, gynecological, head and neck, prostate or testicular, bladder or colon cancer, all of which currently require removal of lymph nodes, put patients at risk of developing secondary lymphedema. If lymph nodes are removed, there is always a risk of developing lymphedema.
Secondary lymphedema can develop immediately post-operatively, or weeks, months, even years later. It can also develop when chemotherapy is unwisely administered to the already affected area (the side on which the surgery was performed) or after repeated aspirations of a seroma (a pocket of fluid which occurs commonly post-operatively) in the axilla, around the breast incision, or groin area. This often causes infection and, subsequently, lymphedema.
Aircraft flight has also been linked to the onset of lymphedema in patients post-cancer surgery (likely due to the decreased cabin pressure). For more information, see the NLN Position Paper on Air Travel (pdf format, 231kb).
Another cause of lower extremity lymphedema is that resulting from the use of Tamoxifen. This medication can cause blood clots and subsequent DVT (deep venous thrombosis).
Radiation therapy, used in the treatment of various cancers and some AIDS-related diseases (such as Kaposi-Sarcoma), can damage otherwise healthy lymph nodes and vessels, causing scar tissue to form which interrupts the normal flow of the lymphatic fluid. Radiation can also cause skin dermatitis or a burn similar to sunburn. It is important to closely monitor the radiated area for any skin changes, such as increased temperature, discoloration (erythema) or blistering which can lead into the development of lymphedema. Be sure to keep the area soft with lotion recommended by your radiation oncologist.
Lymphedema can develop secondary to lymphangitis (an infection) which interrupts normal lymphatic pathway function. A severe traumatic injury in which the lymphatic system is interrupted and/or damaged in any way may also trigger the onset of lymphedema. Although extremely rare in developed countries, there is a form of lymphedema called Filariasis which affects as many as 200 million people worldwide (primarily in the endemic areas of southeast Asia, India and Africa). When the filarial larvae from a mosquito bite enters the lymphatic system, these larvae mature into adult worms in the peripheral lymphatic channels, causing severe lymphedema in the arms, legs and genitalia (also known as Elephantiasis).
Symptoms of Lymphedema
Lymphedema can develop in any part of the body or limb(s). Signs or symptoms of lymphedema to watch out for include: a full sensation in the limb(s), skin feeling tight, decreased flexibility in the hand, wrist or ankle, difficulty fitting into clothing in one specific area, or ring/wristwatch/bracelet tightness. If you notice persistent swelling, it is very important that you seek immediate medical advice (and get at least one second opinion) as early diagnosis and treatment improves both the prognosis and the condition.
Lymphedema develops in a number of stages, from mild to severe,referred to as Stage 1, 2 and 3:
Stage 1 (spontaneously reversible):
Tissue is still at the "pitting" stage, which means that when pressed by fingertips, the area indents and holds the indentation. Usually, upon waking in the morning, the limb(s) or affected area is normal or almost normal size.
Stage 2 (spontaneously irreversible):
The tissue now has a spongy consistency and is "non-pitting," meaning that when pressed by fingertips, the tissue bounces back without any indentation forming). Fibrosis found in Stage 2 lymphedema marks the beginning of the hardening of the limbs and increasing size.
Stage 3 (lymphostatic elephantiasis):
At this stage the swelling is irreversible and usually the limb(s) is/are very large. The tissue is hard (fibrotic) and unresponsive; some patients consider undergoing reconstructive surgery called "debulking" at this stage.
When lymphedema remains untreated, protein-rich fluid continues to accumulate, leading to an increase of swelling and a hardening or fibrosis of the tissue. In this state, the swollen limb(s) becomes a perfect culture medium for bacteria and subsequent recurrent lymphangitis (infections). Moreover, untreated lymphedema can lead into a decrease or loss of functioning of the limb(s), skin breakdown, chronic infections and, sometimes, irreversible complications. In the most severe cases, untreated lymphedema can develop into a rare form of lymphatic cancer called Lymphangiosarcoma (most often in secondary lymphedema). (+ info
Is water oozing out of filarial leg contagious or infectious ? If so what precautions are needed for handling?
Patient is 80 years old . filarial history is more than 40 years .
No not at all.. Do not worry... Know some facts about filariasis...
1) filariasis is caused by a worm called wuchereria bancrofti.. Its transmitted only by mosquitoes
2) When a person is suffering from acute filariasis, Have the adult worms will produce what is known as Microfilaria which gets transferred to a mosquito and when that mosquito bites another person, he gets the disease...
3) The adult worms settle in the lymphatic system of the body and They die out permanently after the acute phase of infections..
4) The huge legs and the oozing fluid out of the legs is nothing but LYMPH which is caused due to blockade of the lymphatic ducts by the dead filarial worms.. The filarial worms when dead, cause fibrosis of the lymphatics and cause the sequelae...
5) So, U make it clear with urself that, there will be no microfilaria or the adult worm in a patient who has elephant legs or oozing fluid
6) They never gets transmitted by the oozing fluid or handling the blood.. even if u touch the acute filarial patien's blood bare handed nothing happens.. U get the disease only when its injected into ur body, like by a mosquito..
6) That too only one of the species of the mosquitoes is known to transmit this disease, called Culex Quinquifasciatus which is found in coastal areas... Unusual in cities
7) Filarial history of more than 40 years rules out completely that he can be infective to others any more.. And infection from the oozing fluid which is lymph is usually sterile unless when it gets infected from some other organisms.. The infection from that a fluid is doubly ruled out
Don worry, do not have such misconceptions, Take care of ur 80yr old relative with a kind heart.. Nothing is going to happen to u or ur family... (+ info
what do doctors ask patients with elephantiasis?
When people( who have elephantiasis but don't know it) go to the doctor, what kind of questions does the doctor ask them to see what disease they have ?
Do people with elephantiasis produce excesive amounts of seamon?
I know that elephantiasis commonly causes the extreme swelling of the scrotum, but can it cause people to produce a lot of seamon?
The word is semen. Extreme swelling of the scrotum with lymphatic fluid can occur with filariasis but semen isn't produced in the scrotum. Semen, seminal fluid, is comprised of secretions produced by the prostate gland, Cowper’s gland and the seminal vesicles. The scrotum does not produce sperm either. The testes do that. The scrotum is a pouch, a sac that contains the testes, the epididymides and lower portions of the spermatic cords. Look up the definition for yourself so you'll know what you're talking about next time you decide to post a question. I hope you'll be encouraged to learn how your own body functions.
So now I ask YOU: Since the edema is in the scrotal sac and not the testes, not the prostate, not Cowper's gland and not the seminal vesicles, why would there be excessive amounts of semen? (+ info
What is a chronic condition of the lymphatic system caused by filarial worm invasion?
It results in tremendous swelling of the arms or legs.
Elephantitis. The swelling is called lymphedema.
http://www.hsh.k12.nf.ca/bio2201/id/ctucker/lymphedema.html (+ info
What complications does Elephantiasis cause?
I'm not looking for the cause of Elephaniasis because i know it, but what kind of long-term affects can Elephantiasis have on the body?
Elephantiasis is a disease that is characterized by the thickening of the skin and underlying tissues, especially in the legs, male genitals and female breasts. In some cases the disease can cause certain body parts, such as the scrotum, to swell to the size of a softball or basketball."Elephantitis" is a common mis-hearing of the term, from confusing the ending -iasis (process or resulting condition) with the more commonly heard -itis (irritation or inflammation). The proper medical term is Elephantiasis, and it is caused by lymphatic filariasis or podoconiosis (+ info
Which is a more embarrassing affliction, AIDS or Elephantiasis?
AIDS is mostly associated with Congolese and Elephantiasis with Latvians.
The Congolese turned on their brethren the Gorillas, That's how we got AIDS?
AIDS is invisible until it is in its last stages.
Elephantiasis is clearly visible, and is thus more embarrassing.
Don't know where you've been for the past 30 years, but AIDS is a world-wide problem, not just Congolese. To imply that AIDS is associated with Congolese is very racist. (+ info
Is there surgery or treatment for elephantiasis?
I am wondering if there is surgery for that most people in poor regions don't have medicines.
Elephantiasis is caused by a parasite. The patient would have to be treated for the parasite, but dealing with the swollen limbs is more of a problem. The limb tissue swells because of damage to the lymphatic system -- the tissue fills with excess lymphatic fluid because the body can't recirculate that fluid back into the rest of the body. Surgery, such as removing the swollen flesh, doesn't really work because it doesn't solve the basic problem of a damaged lymphatic system. The limbs or affected parts of the body will just swell again. Treatment would probably involve wrapping the swollen limbs in layers of bandages to apply pressure and force the lymphatic fluid back into the blood stream and then out of the body. The layers of wrapping would be difficult to live with in the hot, tropical climates where many elephantiasis patients live. Many of them would also just have difficulty getting treatment -- doctors and clinics are scarce, water for washing bandages might be scarce, and antibiotics to treat skin infections might also not be available. The patient also has to be willing to comply with the treatment and do all the wrapping involved (they'd probably need someone else to do it for them if their limbs are really swollen). (+ info
What type of Infectious Disease is Elephantiasis?
Is it a virus, bacteria, fungus, protist, etc? Please put sources too.
This source has a detailed discussion:
Also, there are many other site; just type in
It is caused by parasites. (+ info
Is the disease elephantiasis an Eubacterium, roundworm, or virus?
can someone tell me please. Is the disease elephantiasis an Eubacterium, roundworm, or virus? thxs
this is caused by a parasitic infection. Caused by a round worm by the name of filarial round worm. The worm is long and slender, and is transmitted to a person by mosquitoes. The long threadlike worm blocks the body's lymphatic system. The lymph cannot drain from the tissues. The swelling is called lymphedema. and the elephantiasis comes from the affected part, leg, arm, face, even genitals growing to a extremely large size. (+ info
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