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General Health

What Is Cancer and Why Does It Want to Kill Me?

What Is Cancer and Why Does It Want to Kill Me?
Cancer (from the Greek word, “karkinos,” crab) was originally named by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates. No one quite knows why, since he thought cancer was the result of too much black bile. Perhaps because of its hardness, like the shell of a crab. In the 3rd Century, Galen described how its extensions were like the legs of a crab, going out in all directions. Another Hippocratic term, “onkos” (mass), has survived to label cancer specialists “oncologists.” The reason this introduction is helpful is because cancer, as a disease, is based primarily on classification. Regardless, it is tissue which has unchecked cell growth, either by uncontrolled cell division or by refusal of cells to die. It is thought to be caused by genetic mutations in a cell which eliminates these constraints.   What are the different kinds of cancer? Carcinoma—among others, there are: Squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma—skin, and Adenom ...

What is a beta blocker? - Fullbacks of Modern Therapy

What is a beta blocker? - Fullbacks of Modern Therapy
What is a beta blocker? No, they’re not called beta blockers because they’re being tested. That’s in the computer world. Instead, these are medications, so-called because they actually block things called beta receptors in the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys (and other flavors of them can affect the lungs and intestines, too). Besides blocking the beta-1 receptors being discussed here, there are two other types of beta receptors, beta-2 and beta-3—in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, smooth muscles, and even in fat; but for our purposes we’ll be talking about blocking the effect of the beta-1 receptors. How do beta blockers work? The beta-1 blockers not only “block”—that is, compete—with the things that turn the receptors on, but occupy them to render them inactive. Since these receptors, when otherwise properly filled, raise blood pressure by constricting arterial walls and stimulate the heart, blocking them is an excelle ...

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