Dimensions Of Family Medicine

Modernization in the present day world finds its way in every bit of the human life. The advent of new gadgets and the change in the way human beings generally conduct their activities generally sets the trend for modernization to occur. In the practice of medicine, there have been several major discoveries that have come up, and alongside with the changes in the way medical practitioners carry out their activities. Family medicine is one of the arising areas of concern.

Family Medicine abbreviated as FM refers to the specialization in the intensive or comprehensive care of patients of all ranges. Family doctors and family physicians are involved in the practice of family medicine, and they differ from the regular doctors in the intensity of care with which they handle their patients. In Europe, Family medicine is known by the name General Practice and the person in charge of the patients for treatment of acute or chronic ailments is General Practice Doctor, abbreviated as GP.

Family medicine is a three-dimensional specialty that encompasses knowledge, skills and process. The process bit focuses on a physician-patient relationship for which the patient in question receives integrated care. With other physicians, specialty is limited to a specific disease, genders or organs, but with family physicians, the care extends to all genders and covers for all ailments.

Family medicine can be ideally traced to the care of patients after World WarII, with the intent of creating a dynamic shift from the practice of general medicine to provision of personal and quality medical care to people of all walks. With time, the attempt which started way back in 1969 has borne fruits in the fact that family physicians are now responsible for the provision of health care services to rural and urban inhabitants.

Family physicians receive extensive training in a bid to ensure that they are up to the task, which is providing the comprehensive care for patients with their differing ages. The residency program put in place after the graduation of family physicians from medical school presents them with an opportunity to acquire skills in the treatment of diseases in the following six major medical areas: community medicine, surgery, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology. Family physicians, upon the acquisition of the skills, are in a position to also provide coordinated care with specialists handling specific diseases in their patients.

With family medicine, family physicians, in addition to diagnosing and treating diseases, provide preventive care. Preventive care is a wide scope in itself and covers for regular checkups, inoculation, screening tests, health-risk assessments and provision of advice on the maintenance of a quality and healthy lifestyle.

Primary care is the wider of medical care that family medicine falls under. The Institute of Medicine defines primary care as "the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for the addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients and practicing in the context of family and community". Other primary care specialties include pediatrics and general internal medicine. Family physicians and doctors thus fall under a wider category of primary care physicians called family care physicians. While there are several similarities between family physicians and other primary care physicians, family physicians are at edge of making an overall impact on the health of a patient for their lifetime.The intent of primary care as is with family medicine is provision of patient-centered care as opposed to physician-centered care, an act that has helped in the achievement of impressive health outcomes, translating to saving costs associated with treating chronic illnesses which could have been handled in their acute stages.

Detective Protein

The fact that our body naturally has the ability to fight against foreign components such as bacteria, virus, pathogens and other micro organisms is interesting. These actions are known as immune responses as the body has a very effective and detailed armory to fight most pathogens and keep us from harm as a result of the presence of these pathogens.

One will wonder on a biochemical level how does our body recognize a treat and how does it handle the treat to prevent it from causing a breakdown of law and order thereby causing diseases. The entire process of immunity (the body's defense mechanism) is vast and depends on a lot of factors especially the nature and location of the antigen or invader.


In this article we will be looking at a very special class of proteins know as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins that mediates the identification of self and non-self components of the body.

Like every other class of proteins they have specific function and this class of proteins are very unique as they do the job of an undercover detective that moves around in a casual manner to uncover the presence of bad guys (antigens or pathogens or non-self components in one's system).
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a set of genes that encodes cell surface molecules which controls a major part of the immune system in all vertebrates by determining histocompatibility. The main function of MHC molecules is to bind to peptide fragments derived from pathogens and display them on the cell surface for recognition by the appropriate T-cells.

I do not intend to bore you with so much terminology, so let us liken their function to another situation we are more familiar with. These group of proteins do the work of an agency that registers citizens and issue out compulsory Original National ID cards to citizens (self components of the body). They also ensure that every citizen wears the ID card on his neck at all times so that when the soldiers on patrol comes around they can easily identify the IDs. These solders on patrol already have special skills to identify an Original National ID and a fake one, making it a very easy and an efficient process for the non-self components to be easily identified and dealt with.

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

This is a cancer that develops from breast tissue, and it's one of the most common cancers affecting females. Most women who get it are over 40 years old, this is a ration of 8 to 10. Younger women and men also get this cancer in rare case. If it's treated early enough, breast cancer is curable and can be prevented from spreading to other parts of the body.

In this article, I will feature on breast cancer in women.


The month of October is worldwide Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's dedicated to raise consciousness about the thousands of women who are diagnosed with the disease every year. The pink ribbon and the colour pink in general, is an international symbol for breast cancer month. Pink is considered feminine and the roles that come with this gender like being beautiful, caring, good and being cooperative.
Signs and Symptoms to look out for:

    Lump in the breast.

    Fluid coming from the nipple.

    Dimpling of the skin around the breast.

    A change in breast shape.

    A red scaly patch of skin.

    Swollen lymph nodes, around the breast.

    Shortness of breath.

No one knows the exact cause of this cancer. Medics rarely know why some women develop it while others don't. Most women who have this cancer will never be able to tell the exact cause. One thing for sure this cancer is always caused by damage to a cell's DNA.

Risks factors

Some of these risks can be changed and for some we can do little about as we have absolutely no control over them.

    A female whose female relatives have had breast cancer is two to three times more likely to develop the disease. This is because the disease is hereditary.

    Advancing in age. As we saw earlier the big percentage of cancer patients lies from 40 years of age onwards.
 Lack of childbearing or lack of breastfeeding.

    Great exposure to estrogen hormone. Estrogen makes cells to divide, the more the cells divide, they become abnormal, thus becoming cancerous. Estrogen exposure is greatly affected by the age a lady starts and stops menstruating, the average length of her menstrual cycle, and her age at first childbirth. Her risk for this cancer is increased if she starts menstruating before age 12, has her first child after age 30, or stops menstruating after age the age of 50 years and above. Also, if she has her menstrual cycle shorter or longer than the average 24-28 days.

    Radiation exposure. If you get radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of the disease is increased.

    Diet. Research has shown that women with high fat intake diets are more prone to getting the disease.

    Lack of physical activity.

    The ladies that smoke and drink alcohol increase the risk of developing this cancer.

    Chances of getting breast cancer are increased if you've had breast cancer in one breast before.

Massage Improves Immune Function in Women With Breast Cancer

Massages not only help you relax but have many other benefits such as supporting the healing process, boosting your energy levels, eases pain, lifts your mood and an over-all feeling of well-being. It is a "hands on" treatment meaning a therapist manipulates muscles and other soft tissues of the body. There are a variety of massages that go from gentle stroking (also known as effleurage) and kneading of muscles and other soft tissues to a deeper more intense technique.

This is what happens while getting a massage. The therapist proceeds to massage soft tissue which transmits electrical signals to local areas of the body and also throughout the body. In the process, these signals help heal damaged muscle, improve circulation, detoxify by getting rid of waste products via the lymphatic system, boosts the immune system, reduces pain and creates a calming effect.

There is scientific evidence that shows how effective massage can be in reducing pain and improving quality of life in cancer patients, people with autism, back pain, atopic dermatitis, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder), bulimia, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and arthritis. It is also very useful for lowering blood pressure.

Now let's spend a little time discussing breast cancer. The term "breast cancer" is when there is an abnormal growth of cells which come together to form one or more tumors in the breast. Both men and women can have breast cancer but as we are all aware of it does occur more in women. Statistics show that approximately 230,000 women and 2,300 men in the US are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

Breast cancer most commonly occurs in the cells of the ducts (tubes that carry milk from the lobule to the nipple) known as ductal cancer but can also occur in the cells that line the lobules (milk-producing glands) known as lobular cancer. It can also occur in the fatty and fibrous tissues of the breast, although, this happens less frequently.
Another important fact is the main cause of breast cancer is when a mistake is made during cell division (a genetic abnormality). Abnormal cells inherited from your parents only cause 5-10% of cancers. The largest percentage 85-90% of breast cancers occurs because of the aging process (genetic abnormalities forming along the way).

Now that we have an overview of massage and breast cancer let's check out this study.

Researchers investigated how effective massage could be on immune function and stress in women with breast cancer. They enrolled thirty women, 50 to 75 years of age with breast cancer undergoing 5 weeks of adjuvant radiation therapy.
The protocol was 15 women were to be administered massage in the form of a full-body light pressure effleurage treatment for 45 minutes, and the other 15 women - the control group - were given an equal amount of attention but no massage.

The results were the massage group experienced significant reduction in the deterioration of NK cell activity which occurs during radiation treatment while the control group did not. This translates into the massage was able to boost the women's immune systems. The massage group also experienced decreased heart rate and blood pressure indicating they were less stressed than the control group.