Breast feeding has been actively encouraged in Malaysia in the last few years in all public hospitals. This study proposes to find out the prevalence of breast feeding in three villages in a rural community in Kedah, Malaysia. This was a cross sectional study on breastfeeding practices in Kubang Pasu, a district of Kedah. Majority of the mothers initiated breast feeding but exclusive breastfeeding was only 21% for four months and predominant breastfeeding was about 12.6%. The breastfeeding practice was more prevalent among women from the higher educational strata and higher income than those from the lower strata and lower income (p
Night work and rotating shift work are found to be detrimental to the health of workers. A cross sectional analytical study was conducted among the employees of a public medical centre in Kuala Lumpur. A total of 380 employees participated in the health screening and questionnaire survey. The majority of the respondents were Malays, females, and with mean age of 49 years old. The shift workers persistently had higher but non-significant proportions of being overweight/obesity and unhealthy clinical indicators such as systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and lipid profile except waist circumferences and HDL-cholesterol. There were also slightly more shift workers diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, hypertension or coronary heart disease (p>0.05). Although the present study could not provide established evidence for a relationship between shift work and cardiovascular risks, this could serve as a pilot study for future studies in this area.
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare disease. The reported prevalence is around one per million in the West but the exact prevalence in Asia is unknown. It affects primarily young women of reproductive age, with a mean age of onset at 34 years. The disease is characterised by an abnormal proliferation of smooth muscle-like cells that grow over a course of time to obstruct airways, lymphatic and blood vessels. We report a case of LAM in a young woman who presented with a spontaneous pneumothorax. Computed tomography scan of the thorax and abdomen showed homogenous thin-walled cystic lesions with normal intervening lung parenchyma and multiple lesions in her kidneys with Hounsfield units similar to that of fat.
Evidence suggests that breast cancer is taking the form of a chronic illness. This will add on to the present burden of managing chronic diseases in the healthcare delivery system. The burden of breast cancer being a chronic illness, calls for greater efforts to address the many neglected, physical-psycho-social and occupational functioning consequences. Timely efforts are needed to identify and implement interventions that are aim at improving the quality of life of women with breast cancer. At present, research evidence is highlighting that chronic diseases may best be managed using a self-management approach, and best treated by a balance of traditional medical care and the day-to-day practice of self-management skills. This paper presents the perspective of breast cancer as a chronic illness and its implication for rehabilitation and medical education. It is imperative that health professionals be made aware of these survivorship issues through medical education. The goals are to reduce the many disability risks, encourage patient-health provider communication and enhance partnership in care, within a timely, holistic therapeutic program to improve the quality of life of women with breast cancer.
In a clinical controlled trial involving repeated measures of continuous outcomes such as quality of life, distress, pain, activity level at baseline and after treatment, the possibilities of analyzing these outcomes can be numerous with quite varied findings. This paper examined four methods of statistical analysis using data from an outcome study of a clinical controlled trial to contrast the statistical power on those with baseline adjustment. In this study, data from a CCT with women with breast cancer were utilized. The experiment (n=67) and control (n=74) were about equal ratio. Four method of analysis were utilized, two using ANOVA for repeated measures and two using ANCOVA. The multivariate between subjects of the combined dependents variables and the univariate between subjects test were examined to make a judgement of the statistical power of each method. The results showed that ANCOVA has the highest statistical power. ANOVA using raw data is the least power and is the worst method with no evidence of an intervention effect even when the treatment by time interaction is statistically significant. In conclusion, ANOVA using raw data is the worst method with the least power whilst ANCOVA using baseline as covariate has the highest statistical power to detect a treatment effect other than method. The second best method as shown in this study was in using change scores of the repeated measures.
The liver is an important organ of the human body, playing a major role in the metabolism and storage of nutrients, synthesis of protein and other nutrients, as well as detoxifying many metabolic by-products. The response of the foetal and newborn liver to external insult and injury is limited. This is because the ability of the closely interdependent structures of a developing liver of expressing in the face of a variety of insults is limited as well. Thus most infants with insults to the liver present as cholestatic jaundice with variable degree of pale stools, enlarged liver and conjugated hyperbilirubinaemia. Biliary atresia, an idiopathic condition characterized by progressive fibrosing obliteration of both intra- and extrahepatic bile ducts, is the most important cause of neonatal cholestasis worldwide, including Malaysia. It is also the most important indication for childhood liver transplantation the world over. Challenges facing infants with biliary atresia include a delay in the diagnosis and late surgery, leading to a poor outcome. This often results from a failure to recognise the potential serious nature of an infant with prolonged cholestatic jaundice and pale stools among health care professionals.
Demographic, economic and social changes have had major impact on health and illness globally, including in Malaysia, and present significant challenges to the structure and delivery of health services. While these changes have influenced the epidemiology of disease, the diagnosis, experience and response to changes in health status for individuals and their families are influenced by additional environmental and personal factors. We describe these factors in relation to our ongoing research program on personal and social aspects of impairment and disability. The Resilience study aims to understand how people with impairments and their families live with chronic health conditions, how these conditions impact on self-esteem, social relationships and societal participation, and how structure, context and environment affect individual functioning, disability and well-being. We described our methodology and summarize the baseline data that will inform our future enquiries.
We report a case of an 86 year old Chinese man who presented with a painless right testicular swelling that had persisted for one year. There was no history of maldescend or cryptorchid testes. Clinical and ultrasound examination revealed testicular tumour with two round masses within the right scrotal sac, with minimal fluid seen within the sac. Tumour markers were normal. He subsequently underwent a right inguinal orchidectomy under local anaesthesia as he had an underlying cardiac insufficiency. Histopathological examination revealed malignant Sertoli cell tumour. True Sertoli cell mesenchyme tumours constitute less than 1% of all testicular cancers.Current literature on histopathological and clinical features and treatment options are reviewed.
The clinical experience of the novel drug temsirolimus on eight patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma and who were refractory to other forms of treatment is reported. Although none of the patients showed complete or partial response, three patients had stable disease. One patient was prematurely withdrawn due to pneumonitis. Five patients died during the period of observation of twenty months and the median survival time from start of treatment was ten months. Three patients showed no evidence of adverse events (AE). Five patients showed dyslipidemia and two had pneumonitis for which, the drug had to be withdrawn in one of them. None had significant leucopenia. We conclude that temsirolimus has activity even in heavily pretreated patients in advanced renal cell carcinoma and in addition, has the benefits of ease of administration and good tolerability.
As women with breast cancer are living longer, issues beyond survivorship like the much neglected sexual functioning and issue of quality of life have become increasingly important. Experiences of significant alterations in sexual functioning need to be addressed. However, these sexual issues are often not acknowledged in our traditional medical model of health care delivery. This paper briefly reviews the changes in sexual functioning after a diagnosis of breast cancer, with implication for clinical practice and medical curicula.
Anomalies of the genitourinary tract occur in approximately 10% of the population and account for about one third of all congenital malformations in children (1). Congenital malformations involving the genitourinary system are major therapeutic challenges faced by the practising urologist.
The treatment of large ulcers is a problem. Closure with flaps and even skin grafts in compromised patients is often fraught with risks. Dressing these large wounds is also a problem, as they are often heavily exudative. We report our experience using the vacuum-assisted closure technique in managing difficult ulcers in four patients. A modification of the technique using cheap, easily available materials is described. The vacuum-assisted suction is an effective treatment for large ulcers in compromised patients. It facilitates considerable contraction of the wound, and in smaller wounds; the vacuum-assisted closure allows sufficient contracture to enable delayed primary closure. We recommend the use of this method of wound dressing and closure in large wounds particularly, in high-risk patients where extensive flap coverage or even split skin graft would incur considerable risk.
Malignant hypertension affects less than 1% of people with high blood pressure, and is a hypertensive emergency. It is rare for patients to present initially with this form of elevated blood pressure, which is almost always associated with acute target organ damage, which can manifest in many forms including ocular, neurological, cardiac and renal. This treatable condition is associated with a high rate of morbidity and mortality therefore, early detection and immediate management is of paramount importance.
Distress has become a major issue in cancer population. Patients may suffer from either physical,psychological distress or both. Cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy are more likely to experience psychological distress. This could be due to the negative effects of chemotherapy agents, the uncertainty of post-treatment, and the occurrence of psychosocial problems. As a result, the patient may experience a normal reaction such as sadness or may develop common psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue is a highly malignant condition and results in high mortality and morbidity in patients despite its early detection (1). Early surgical interventions have been found to reduce mortality but in many reports, tongue reconstructions using live grafts have been found to reduce normal tongue function of speech, swallow and taste. In contrast, our report using free radial forearm flap (FRFF) to reconstruct the defect left over after a radical tongue resection in a 38-year-old gentleman with oral cancer has shown promising results. This type of reconstruction has left the patient with a functional and cosmetically acceptable tongue with minimal alteration in recognizable speech.
The year 2005 marked the rebirth of JUMMEC when the Editorial Board took over from its previous Editor with modest but realistic expectations. One year on, we have successfully achieved our initial expectation, that is, to encourage greater participation from our junior academics to write and publish in our very own journal, JUMMEC. As we head towards the end of 2006 and prepare to usher in 2007, we see JUMMEC consolidating and gaining in strength. Let us reflect on its past achievements and our expectations for the future.(Copied from article).
Current selection guideline for CRT uses broad QRS duration (>120 ms) as a marker for ventricular dyssynchrony. However, more recent data supports mechanical marker specifically measured by Tissue Doppler Imaging (TDI) as a better criterion to predict response to CRT. Sixty seven patients with significant left ventricular dysfunction (EF less than 40%) and narrow QRS complex were prospectively enrolled. They underwent Tissue Doppler Imaging (TDI) study to evaluate intraventricular mechanical dyssynchrony. Dyssynchrony index which is defined as standard deviation of time to peak systolic velocity in twelve ventricular segments was measured. A value greater than 32.6 is taken to reflect significant ventricular dyssynchrony. Overall 38 patients (56.7%) demonstrated significant dyssynchrony. There was no significant correlation between QRS duration and the Ts-SD-12 (r = 0.14, p = 0.11). Ventricular mechanical dyssynchrony is common in patients with normal QRS duration. Therefore, QRS duration alone will miss a substantial proportion of suitable patients for CRT and therefore deny them this adjunct therapy. We propose echocardiographic parameters, specifically TDI, to be included in patient selection criteria for CRT.
The positive response to tamoxifen in ERa-positive breast cancer patients is usually of a short duration as many
of the patients eventually develop resistance. Our preliminary results show that aloe emodin extracted from
the leaves of the Aloe barbadensis Miller demonstrated a cytotoxicity that is selective to ERa-positive breast
cancer cells (MCF-7), but not to ERa-negative breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) and to the control cells (MCF-
10A). The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that aloe emodin may enhance the response of
MCF-7 cells to treatment with tamoxifen. MCF-7 cells were treated with aloe emodin alone, tamoxifen alone
or a combination of emodin and tamoxifen, at their respective IC50 concentrations and at different time points
of 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours. The respective IC50s were the concentrations of aloe emodin and tamoxifen
required to achieve 50% inhibition of the cells in the study. Cell viability and apoptosis were determined using
trypan blue exclusion and DNA fragmentation assays, respectively. The involvement of RAS/MEKs/ERKs genes
of MAPK signalling pathways with aloe emodin was determined using QuantiGene 2.0 Plex assay. Data was
evaluated using the one-way ANOVA test. Our findings showed that aloe emodin enhanced the cytotoxicity of
tamoxifen on MCF-7 cells through apoptosis by downregulation of MEK1/2 genes. Our research may provide a
rational basis for further in vivo studies to verify the efficacy of a combination of aloe emodin and tamoxifen
on the viability of ERa-positive-breast cancer cells.
Prevention of hypothermia in patients undergoing major posterior approach spinal surgery can be difficult, as a
large body surface is exposed to the cold environment of the operating theatre. We compared the efficacy of a
new under-body forced-air warming blanket with that of a resistive heating blanket in preventing hypothermia.
Sixty patients undergoing major posterior approach spinal surgery lasting for more than 2 hours were randomly
assigned to warming with a full under-body forced-air warming blanket or three segments of resistive heating
blankets, both set at 42°C. The ambient temperature was kept near 20°C. Nasopharyngeal, rectal and axillary
temperatures were measured at regular intervals. Changes in core temperature (average of nasopharyngeal
and rectal) over time were compared by the independent t-test.
The characteristics of the patients were comparable. The baseline core temperature was 36.36 ±0.38°C in the
forced-air group and 36.27 ± 0.46°C in the resistive heating group. During the first hour, the core temperature
decreased similarly from baseline in both groups. From 100 minutes after induction until the end of the surgery,
core temperature rose in both groups. At the end of surgery, the core temperature was increased by 0.08
± 0.09°C from baseline in the forced-air group but decreased by 0.40 ±0.04°C from baseline in the resistive
heating group. The difference in the change of the core temperature, at the end of the surgery, between the
two groups is statistically significant (P
Tendon is a dense connective tissue that connects muscle to bone. Tendon can adapt to mechanical forces passing across it, through a reciprocal relationship between its cellular components (tenocytes and tenoblasts) and the extracellular matrix (ECM). In early development, the formation of scleraxis-expressing tendon progenitor population in the sclerotome is induced by a fibroblast growth factor signal secreted by the myotome. Tendon injury has been defined as a loss of cells or ECM caused by trauma. It represents a failure of cells and matrix adaptation to mechanical loading. Injury initiates attempts of tendon to repair itself, which has been defined as replacement of damaged or lost cells and ECM by new cells or new matrices. Tendon healing generally consists of four different phases: the inflammatory, proliferation, differentiation and remodelling phases. Clinically, tendons are repaired with a variety of surgical techniques, which show various degrees of success. In order to improve the conventional tendon repair methods, current tendon tissue engineering aims to investigate a repair method which can restore tissue defects with living cells, or cell based therapy. Advances in tissue engineering techniques would potentially yield to a cell-based product that could regenerate functional tendon tissue.