A collective body of evidence has helped in explaining the elements involved in the development of food allergy. The best explanation is that offered by Sicherer and Sampson (2014) who states that food allergies are characterized as immunoglobin E (IgE) mediated, and Non-immunoglobin E mediated. The latter is presumed to be cell-mediated where two features of the human immune response, the production of (IgE) and antibodies interplay the condition. Mast cells exist in body tissues especially areas that are sites for allergic reactions. The body is inclined to trigger a large amount of IgE production in the specific cell once exposed to food allergens. The IgE released attaches to the surface of the mast cells. The next time the food is introduced to the body, it interacts with the IgE specific to it on the surface of mast cells triggering these cells to produce chemicals like histamine. Such chemicals, specific to the tissues where they are produced will invoke various food allergy symptoms.
The clinical manifestations of food allergy can involve itching in the mouth after eating food. For effect on the gastrointestinal tract, there can be abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomit. If the food allergens enter the bloodstream, the person can experience low blood pressure. In extreme cases, food allergens can reach the lungs and induce constriction or wheezing. There can be hives on the skin too.
Vickery, Chin, and Burks (2011) mentions that the differential diagnosis of food allergy can be broad and depends on the affected organ system. A profound clinical history overall helps in the examination of a potential food allergy reaction and possibly differentiate reaction as a result of the non-allergic cause. Together with the medical history, a few factors such as the amount of the food consumed, the period between ingestion and allergic reaction, the symptoms elicited, other factors as alcohol and the period since the last reaction helps in differentiation. Also, it is essential to access other conditions the patient is suffering from as some can equally exacerbate symptoms alike to allergy.
Laboratory tests for food allergy usually involve blood testing to diagnose a food allergy. A sample of blood is analyzed for IgE and antibodies to specific food. If there are substantial amounts of IgE and antibodies to a particular food in the blood, it is likely that the patient is allergic to it.
The only way to avoid an allergic food reaction is by keeping away from food that provokes the symptoms of the condition. However, despite best efforts to achieve this, someone can come in contact with the food without knowing. Current treatment aims at reducing food allergy symptoms and prevent the attacks. However, there is ongoing research such as anti-IgE therapy which strives to develop ways to interfere with the body and its ability to use IgE.
According to Shah, Rosso, and Nathanson (2014), the inception of breast cancer is when some cells in the breast start to grow abnormally. The immune system typically finds cells with damaged DNA, and cancer cells then destroy them., In the case of breast cancer, the immune system fails to destroy the abnormal cells which multiply rapidly than healthy cells and on accumulation form lump or mass. These cells can metastasize through the breast to lymph nodes or other body parts. In most cases, the cells of the milk-producing ducts form a site for the start of breast cancer. In other cases, cancer begins from the glandular tissues called lobules.
The clinical manifestations for breast cancer can include a new lump or mass which is tender, soft or rounded. The lump can be painful. Other possible indicators of breast cancer are swelling in part of the breast even in the absence of distinct lump, skin irritation that sometimes resembles orange peel, retracted nipples that are painful, scaliness on the nipples and discharge other than breast milk, and at times presence of scaliness, lumps and swelling under the arm even before the cancer is detected.
The differential diagnoses of the symptoms of breast cancer aim to differentiate the condition from other diseases that equally lead to the development of lump in the breast such as mastitis, galactocele, lipoma, necrosis, fibroadenoma, and intraductal papilloma. The breast lumps can be palpable or nonpalpable, benign or malignant. Most of the palpable breast lumps will be benign, and 10% of such cases have reported cancer. About 4% of breast cancer will present a palpable mass with no evidence of disease (DeSantis, Ma, Bryan, & Jemal, 2014). For a definitive diagnosis of breast cancer, doctors might order blood tests to check for a tumor or cancer markers to check for cancer activities in the body. This process measures the circulating tumor cells and proteins as markers for cancer. There are specific proteins produced by cancer tumors that can hint on the possible existence of cancer. In relevance to the biology of breast cancer, different treatment plans can be applied. Some tumors can be small while others large and each with different growth rate. This is why treatment decisions and recommendations are personalized and depend on some factors such as stage, genomic markers and the existence of known mutations. An example of a common treatment option is radiation therapy where x-rays are used to destroy the cancerous cells. This method works by reducing the multiplication of cancerous cells and its spread on the breast.
DeSantis, C., Ma, J., Bryan, L., & Jemal, A. (2014). Breast cancer statistics, 2013. CA. a cancer journal for clinicians, 64(1), 52-62.
Shah, R., Rosso, K., & Nathanson, S. D. (2014). Pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. World journal of clinical oncology, 5(3), 283.
Sicherer, S. H., & Sampson, H. A. (2014). Food allergy: epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 133(2), 291-307.
Vickery, B. P., Chin, S., & Burks, A. W. (2011). Pathophysiology of food allergy. Pediatric Clinics, 58(2), 363-376.
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