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Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two types of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), which cause chronic inflammation of the digestive system. The two share many symptoms, making it difficult to determine which IBD you have without the help of a medical professional. These shared symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Diarrhea and rectal bleeding
- A feeling of incomplete bowel movements
- Low appetite, often leading to weight loss
- An urgent need to make bowel movements
However, the two bowel diseases also present different symptoms that may affect treatment options.
Ulcerative colitis affects only the patient’s colon. The disease inflames the entire area of the colon’s inner lining and produces small, open sores. No healthy regions are present within the infected site.
Crohn’s disease can manifest anywhere throughout the digestive system, from the patient’s mouth to the anus, and is not limited to the system’s lining. Healthy spots may be present between infected areas. Crohn’s can cause additional symptoms not seen in other IBDs — including anal tears and mouth sores — since it affects more regions of the body.
While no one medical cure exists, we offer several infusion treatment options focused on managing your symptoms.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the outer shell of the brain’s and spinal cord’s nerve cells. As a result, the brain doesn’t correctly send signals throughout the body, and the nerves can’t function as normal. Damage to the nerves can become debilitating and potentially disabling.
MS is a difficult illness to diagnose. However, many people share several neurological symptoms, including:
- Bladder control problems
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty walking
- Numbness or weakness of the limbs
- Trouble focusing or remembering
Symptoms vary from patient to patient based on the affected nerve’s location and other factors. Doctors officially diagnose MS using an MRI to examine both the brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms will fall into one of five categories — relapse-remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive, progressive-relapsing or fulminant. Most patients have a relapsing-remitting form with new symptoms or relapses that develop over several days and then improve either partially or fully, followed by a period of remission.
An MS diagnosis is difficult, but help is available. The professionals at Gettysburg Cancer Center offer hope through a wide range of infusion treatment options for multiple sclerosis.
Both psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune diseases, which means the immune system attacks your body’s healthy joints. These attacks lead to joint inflammation and discomfort ranging in severity. The two conditions share several symptoms, such as swelling, pain, and stiffness. However, each affects the body slightly differently.
In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the immune system attacks the tissue lining surrounding your joints, particularly in the hands, wrists, feet, ankles, and elbows. When untreated, the condition causes joint damage and deformity. RA typically affects the same joints on both sides of your body, meaning if your left wrist develops the disorder, your right wrist will, as well.
The immune system in people with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) attacks the skin as well as the joints. The body creates too many skin cells, which can cause bumps and scales to form on the outer layer of skin. PsA often impacts only one side of the body and can affect the joints in your pelvis, back, and limbs.
Dedicated to medical advancements in treatments for specific disorders, hematology is the study of blood, blood diseases and blood-forming organs. Dealing with the pathology, physiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of blood diseases, disorders and malignancies, hematology deals with the treatment of lymphoma, leukemia, hemophilia and sickle-cell anemia. With a focus on bone marrow and lymphatic organs like the lymph nodes, thymus, lymphoid tissue and spleen — which are all fed by blood cells — hematology tests may help to diagnose platelet or blood count irregularities.
There are multiple areas of study within hematology, including a focus on hemoglobinopathy — or the study of abnormalities in molecules. Others include hematological or blood malignancies, anemia and coagulopathy, which focuses on blood coagulation. Hematology is also closely linked to oncology for the treatment of blood and bone marrow cancers.
Types of hematology tests used to diagnose blood disorders include:
- Complete blood count tests
- Blood chemistry tests
- Blood enzyme tests
- Blood tests to assess risk of heart disease
Cell growth and division is a natural part of body function, but when cancer occurs, it means that once-healthy cells begin to reproduce uncontrollably, stealing space from healthy cells and pushing on organs, blood vessels, and tissue. A widely used cancer treatment, chemotherapy is a method that kills dividing cells to prevent them from continuing to grow, divide, and develop tumors.
Used either to prevent cancer from progressing or eliminate its presence entirely, chemotherapy refers to a range of drugs administered either through injection into the bloodstream or direct exposure to specific cancer sites. To stop cancer from continuing to grow, chemotherapy drugs can do the following:
- Prevent further cell division
- Target and eliminate the food source cancer cells need to grow
- Trigger apoptosis, which is when cancer cells kill themselves
- Stop new blood vessels from forming around tumors, starving the tumor itself
While often extremely beneficial in preventing cancer progression or bringing about remission, chemotherapy does come with its potential side effects, including:
- Hair loss
Because of some possible risks and adverse side effects, it’s recommended for patients to receive blood tests before beginning treatment. Chemotherapy is performed in various sessions with breaks in between to give the body a chance to recover.