Human Herpesvirus Associations

Sometimes, memory aids and mnemonics fall conveniently into place. Other times, the only way to remember something is through its inconvenience, by taking the opposite of whatever it totally should have been.

HHV-6

  • Associated with roseola
  • Memory aid: roseola has 7 letters, which is inconveniently not 6 but certainly less than 8

HHV-8

  • Associated with Kaposi sarcoma
  • Memory aid: Kaposi has 6 letters, so it is not HHV-6, while Kaposi’s has 8 characters in it
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Why Don’t NSAIDs Cause Malignancy?

Do topical NSAIDs increase the risk of skin cancer? After all, NSAIDs dampen inflammation and immune suppression is a factor that can promote malignancy. The answer is no!

For, on the contrary, research focuses more on the potential of using NSAIDs in the fight against cancer. How can this be?

Think of the mechanism of NSAIDs. They’re non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, meaning they’re medications that reduce inflammation without being from the corticosteroid class.

NSAIDs indirectly inhibit prostaglandin synthesis by directly inhibiting COX enzymes. This provides anti-inflammatory effects and analgesia.

Prostaglandins play a starring role in situations such as fever.

In contrast, other things that are associated with increased malignancy risk have different ways of working.

For example, HIV impacts CD-4 T cells.

Meanwhile, chemotherapy agents have different mechanisms. For example, vincristine disruptively acts on microtubules.

Let’s not forget UV rays, which wreak havoc on the DNA process by inducing mutations.

These are just some of the villains of medicine. Thankfully, there are emerging medications that meet them in combat. But that’s a story for another day!

Pathological Scars

No one like cuts unless they’re cold cuts of meat. Even then, it’s only if they’re free and accompanied by a cheese platter.

After all, cuts lead to scarring.

Scarring can lead to recovery; time heals some wounds, while medicine and surgery handle the rest. However, there are risks involved with that.

Just as there’s such a thing as too much scarring, it’s possible to have too much healing.

Hypertrophic scar

  • Confined to original wound
  • Memory aid: held in to the injury

Keloid scar

  • Extends beyond borders of original wound
  • Memory aid: travels kilometres outside the injury

References

  1. Medicine Hack. (2017). Differences between hypertrophic scar and keloid scar. [online] Available at: http://www.medicinehack.com/2012/03/differences-between-hypertrophic-scar.html [Accessed 25 Dec. 2017].