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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
As the debate on accepting financial incentives persists, more and more findings linked to its success as well as to its foreseeable backlash continue to unravel. Specifically out to enhance perceptions on financial incentives, this paper reviews important aspects of the financial incentives and provides a diverse range of empirical findings at a glance. Through a review of several empirical findings and literature, this paper argues that several basic practices of the financial incentives are indeed instrumental to enhancing organ donation. However, more experimentation is necessary to unearth the best mode that is best responsive to a society and subsequently, rejects the overly generalization that labels it as unethical.
We investigated the association between polycystic ovarian syndrome, dyslipidemia and glucose intolerance in a cross sectional analysis comparing 50 patients with polycystic ovary syndrome and 50 patients without the disease (control group) who were attending the Infertility clinic. Variables of interest were their body-mass index (Kg/m2), fasting and blood glucose levels after a 75 gram oral glucose tolerance test and their total cholesterol (mmol/L), total triglycerides (mmol/L), high density cholesterol lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (mmol/L) and, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (mmol/L) levels. Except for HDL where significantly lower values were observed, significantly higher levels were detected in patients with PCOS than that of the control group. The difference persisted even when the obesity index were adjusted and matched. We conclude that both glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia were significantly associated with PCOS irrespective of the obesity index.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a retrospective case control study conducted between 1 January 2005 and 30 June 2006 at the Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban, Malaysia. The objective was to study the maternal sociodemographics and foetal characteristics associated with premature delivery. There were 387 cases selected universally and 387 controls selected by using systematic random sampling involving every 13 cases. The patients were women who had delivered their babies before 37 completed weeks, while the control were women who had term deliveries during the same period. Data were collected using structured questionnaire through secondary data. Results showed that having multiple pregnancies (OR=8.33, 95% CI: 2.91, 23.84), congenital abnormality (OR=4.6, 95% CI: 0.98, 21.84) and intrauterine growth retardation (OR=15.59, 95% CI: 3.69, 65.82) were the risk factors of premature delivery. Being an ethnic Indian also raised the odds (OR=1.67, 95% CI: 1.14, 2.43) but this was not significant in the multivariate analysis. Other sociodemographic characteristics did not contribute significantly to the risk factors for premature delivery in this sample. In conclusion, foetal characteristics were found to be significantly associated with premature delivery after adjustment for other confounding factors.
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of sleep disturbance with work characteristics among nurses in the Melaka Hospital, Malacca, Malaysia. This was a cross sectional study conducted in Melaka Hospital. Universal sampling was conducted and a Malay version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire was used in data collection. Socio-demographic characteristics such as age, marital status, number of children and work characteristics such as type of work schedule and duration were also enquired. Factors associated with poor sleep quality were compared between those nurses with good sleep quality by using logistic regression. There were 607 nurses who completed the questionnaire with a response rate of 73.1%. There was a moderate prevalence (57.8%) of poor sleep quality (PSQI > 5) in all study subjects. The prevalence of sleep disturbance was more widespread among nurses who worked shifts (62.0%) compared to non-shift working nurses (41.5%) p
Dengue virus infection has been endemic in Malaysia and in the region for decades and the disease caused by the virus has led to increased morbidity and mortality each year. Dengue is now endemic in more than 110 countries worldwide with two-fifths of the world's population at risk. Dengue fever is a flu-like illness and clinical features vary with the age of the patient. Dengue haemorrhagic fever on the other hand, is characterized by high fever, haemorrhagic phenomena and in severe cases, circulatory failure. There is no specific treatment for dengue fever but careful clinical management frequently saves the lives of these patients. Vaccine development has been difficult as protection against one or two dengue viruses could actually increase the risk of more serious diseases. At present, the only method of preventing dengue is to combat the vector mosquitoes. Dengue is diagnosed by viral isolation and or serology. Current methods, some in-house and others commercial, are far from satisfactory. My laboratory has developed, evaluated and validated tests for dengue that now enable detection on the first day of illness in most cases. At the same time an important aspect of dengue prevention is protection. To this end, we have been investigating the various immune parameters such as T-cells, cytokines and antibody neutralizing activities to show that specific immune responses do occur in a selected Malaysian population which are HLA restricted, cytokine mediated and directed specifically at certain regions of the virus.
The state of Selangor, Malaysia, is facing a significant rise in the number of malaria cases with the incidence varying from 20 to 90 per 100,000 persons in a population. A study was carried out to describe the distribution of malaria cases in relation to the growing number of foreign workers in Selangor. Data were reviewed using the return forms "PBV (M) 101", a summary of malaria cases in Selangor for 2006 and Annual Reports of Vector-Borne Disease Control Unit, Selangor State Department for 2001- 2005. The malaria cases in Selangor varied between 172 cases in 2001 and 90 cases in 2006. Most of the cases were contributed by foreign workers, who were predominantly male of economically active age group and came from malaria endemic countries. Most of these cases were concentrated in the urban districts. Malaria is still endemic in Selangor. Malarial infection has the potential of contributing to an urban outbreak of malaria.