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We live in an age where every single individual, more or less, is exposed to the risk of cancer. It is probably an unfavorable lifestyle we lead that deprives us of good health. This might alarm many but considerable changes in lifestyle can help you realize cancer as a preventable disease. Cancer does not only make you undergo severe suffering but it also affects your friends and family. The pallor of misery spreads wider than you think.
- Abstain from tobacco: Consuming raw tobacco or smoking tobacco can be equally detrimental to your health. Tobacco increases your chances of contracting the disease. As is known, passive smoking can also affect your health adversely. Tobacco can be the potential cause behind cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, lungs, oral cavity and even the pancreas. It might harm your kidneys and cervix. It is upon you to quit tobacco at the earliest possible. One should also try and persuade friends and relatives to give up smoking.
- Drink alcohol in moderation: Complete abstinence from alcohol might not be possible if you have already been ushered into your work- life. The society might require you to be an occasional drinker. It is important to drink in moderation. Crossing the limit can propel consequences as serious as cancer of the stomach, pancreas, liver and the heart.
- A balanced and nutritious diet: Deciding on a plant- based diet or a Mediterranean diet can aid your fight against the risk of cancer. A Mediterranean diet will involve green leafy vegetables, lots of fresh fruits, whole grains, mixed nuts, legumes and also the use of extra- virgin olive oil. Fish can be a safe bet but red meat should be avoided. One must also try to avoid processed meat as they tend to make you prone to the risk of cancer.
- Immunization: Hepatitis B and HPV or Human papilloma virus vaccines are extremely necessary to protect you against the sexually transmitted types of cancer.
- Sun protection: Caring for your skin doesn't arise from vanity. Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent kinds of cancer; the chances of this disease can be restricted by remaining in shade especially during midday, by wearing covered clothes and by using a good sunscreen lotion repeatedly while outside.
- Exercise diligently: Did you think it was okay to have weaker muscles and bulging layers of fat? If yes, you probably have grown numb to the inadequacies you face in result. Unchecked fat can lead to obesity which further complicates health conditions. Metabolic activity differs from person to person. Regular exercising can help regulate metabolism according to the needs of your body. Physical exercise protects you against the risk of breast and colon cancer. Moderate or vigorous physical activity for 150 to 75 minutes a week respectively can reduce the risk of cancer.
Cancer is as much a psychological issue as it is a physical disease. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, it is not just the person who is affected but the entire family and friends too. There is a lot of research that has been carried out on cancer psychology, due to which, the doctors are currently in a much better state to manage the psychology of the patient and family compared to a couple of decades earlier.
So, when a person is diagnosed with cancer, known as the big C, there are stages that a person goes through.
The first one is of shock and disbelief, with most people unable to digest the fact. There is often the question of “why me?” The fact is that the risk factors for cancer are constantly evolving, and so it is difficult to answer this if there is no clear reason evident.
- Anxiety and depression: Given that there is still a lot of fear and uncertainty about a complete cure for cancer, patients get anxious and distressed. They slowly begin to come to terms and realize that they need to start working on the treatment plan, so the condition improves. There is also another angle, as there are various options, and the treatment they choose will determine the course of the disease. There may be periods of sadness, isolation, lack of interest in regular activities, appetite loss, and restlessness.
- Guilt: There is also an angle of guilt, especially when there is a definite cause associated with it, like alcohol, smoking, high-risk sexual behavior, etc.
- Coming to terms: It is within a couple of months that the patients come to terms with the situation and realize that there are things which are under their control, which can make a difference. They begin to focus on good food choices, meditation and staying positive. They also do financial planning in terms of insurance and sorting out legal issues in case of an eventuality. Many also are open to seeking support in terms of family and friends and social networks. This can help them give a feeling of inclusion and that they are not alone in what they are experiencing.
All said and done, cancer psychology is as unique as each individual. The response would depend on the patient’s personality, his support system, stage of identification of cancer, and how well it responds.
There is no prescription available readily to manage the person’s psychology once they are diagnosed with cancer. This can be managed via:
- Counseling with a close friend or family member, social worker, psychologist, social support groups, etc.
- Other things which can help include meditation, antidepressant medications, exercising, and spending time with family, etc.
It occurs when abnormally dividing cancerous cells form growth like tumors in the voice box, vocal cords & other parts of the throat like the tonsils, and the pharynx which is the hollow tube that runs from behind the nose to the top of the windpipe.
The common symptoms of throat cancer include coughing, trouble swallowing, hoarseness, and swollen lymph nodes. There are two primary types of throat cancers according to where they start in the throat- pharyngeal cancer and laryngeal cancer. Pharyngeal cancer forms in the pharynx while laryngeal cancer forms in the larynx or the voice box.
Causes of Throat Cancer
Recognizing potential signs of throat cancer in the early stages of the disease is not easy. Hence, it’s critical to know the causes and risk factors for developing this type of cancer in order to be able to diagnose it at a relatively early stage of the disease and prevent a fatality. Common risk factors and causes of throat cancer include:
- Gender – Men are up to five times more likely to get throat cancer as compared to women.
- Age - Now even young persons in their twenties and thirties are coming with throat cancer.
- Exposure to certain chemicals like Asbestos, Nickel, and Sulphuric acid fumes.
The common ‘lifestyle’ causes for throat cancer are smoking or chewing tobacco, as per WHO there is no minimum safe limit of alcohol, vitamin A deficiency due to a diet deficient in green vegetables, and infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer in women and occurs due to unsafe sex.
The association of throat cancer with HPV infection, a sexually transmitted virus is very interesting. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America has stated that HPV infection is a risk factor for certain oropharyngeal throat cancers.
Cancer Research UK also warns that oral sex, especially with multiple partners, leads to oral cancers due to HPV infection. It further states that men are also more prone to get infected with HPV through oral sex than women and HPV infection is more common in men who have oral sex with multiple partners.
Apart from this, throat cancer has also been linked to other types of cancers like esophageal, lung or bladder. So, if you’ve been diagnosed with any of these, you are at greater risk of contracting throat cancer. These cancers also often have the same risk factors.
You can take a few steps to reduce your risk for throat cancer like stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake, maintain a healthy lifestyle – eat plenty of greens, reduce fat and salt intake, and lose excess weight by exercising regularly. You can also reduce your risk of HPV infection by limiting your sex partners and using condoms. Stop alcohol rather than reduce.
WHY ? CANCER SCREENING- Checking for cancer in people who have no symptoms is cancer screening .Can help doctors find and treat several type of cancers early, before they cause symptoms. Early detection is important because when abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat .By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread and be harder to treat.
In Whom? - In Diseases where following principles can be followed like Disease should be important health problem in terms of frequency .Natural history of disease presents window of opportunity for early detection. Effective treatment should be available that favorably alters natural history of disease. Treatment should be more effective if initiated earlier than during the symptomatic stage .Suitable screening test - Cheap/Easily Available/Reproducible/Socially Acceptable
Caution!! Easier Said than Done due to False positive results - anxiety /unwanted additional tests False negative results - false reassurance, leading to delays in diagnosis
Over-diagnosis - cancer detected was slow growing and would not have harmed that person in his or her lifetime
Some screening tests may cause bleeding or other health problems – Sigmoidoscopy/Colonoscopy Cost burden on healthcare/ Radiation Exposure of some tests / Incidental Lesions
When? & How? - In cancers like Breast,Prostate,Colon and Cervix
The fallopian tubes are a couple of thin tubes that act as a vehicle in transporting a woman’s eggs (ova) from her ovaries (where they are housed) to her uterus (otherwise known as the ‘womb’) where they are either fertilized by the male sperm or disposed off during menstruation. Fallopian tube cancer, otherwise known as tubal cancer, forms in the fallopian tubes that connect the ovaries and the uterus.
It is hard to see a tumour or growth developing within a tube. This makes fallopian tube cancer hard to diagnose and complicated to manage as well.
If you do have fallopian tube cancer, it is vital to get a quick diagnosis as promptly as possible. This will help you to get effective treatment. However, diagnosing fallopian tube cancer can be challenging because of the following:
It is an uncommon kind of cancer.
The indications are vague and like those of different other conditions.
Discovering a tumour inside the Fallopian tube is troublesome.
In case you have symptoms that may point at fallopian tube cancer, your specialist will conduct a thorough physical examination and get some information about your lifestyle and your family history. A pelvic examination will be done to examine your uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and vagina. If a tumour is found, your specialist will do some more tests.
At least one of the accompanying tests might be utilised to see whether you have fallopian tube cancer and if it has spread. These tests additionally might be used to see whether the treatment is working. These diagnostic tests may include the following:
Ultrasound of the Pelvis: This test is helpful. However, in case that your specialist still suspects fallopian tube cancer, he or she will arrange a transvaginal ultrasound. During this test, a probe will be put into the vagina to deliver a photo of the inner organs. A transvaginal ultrasound is the best method for imaging the fallopian tubes.
CT or CAT (computed axial tomography) scan
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
Biopsy: A sample of cells is removed from the fallopian tube and examined closely, under a microscope. This is the best way to know for sure whether you have fallopian tube cancer. This will require surgery to extract the sample cells.
CA125 test: This blood test checks the levels of CA125, a known tumour marker for gynecologic cancers. An abnormal state of CA125 may mean you need to have more tests. However, it does not necessarily mean you have fallopian tube cancer. Serum levels of a marker called CA-125 can be unusually high in patients with gynecologic infections in cancer and non-cancer sorts, that is, pelvic inflammatory infection, endometriosis and early pregnancy. CA-125 can be non-specific and might be elevated because of numerous issues that are not cancer related.