Doctor in Max Super Specialty Hospital-Saket
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We have more than 200 bones in our body and each of them is susceptible to bone cancer. However, long bones in the arms and legs are most susceptible to this condition. Bone cancer can be primary or secondary. Primary bone cancer involves uncontrolled and abnormal cell division within the bones while secondary bone cancer refers to cancer that originated somewhere else in the body and later spread to the bones. While children and adults are equally at risk for primary bone cancer, adults and elderly people are more susceptible to secondary bone cancer. If diagnosed early enough, bone cancer can be treated and even cured with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.
Hence it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of bone cancer. Here’s what you should look out for.
- Swelling: In some cases, the abnormal growth of bone cells can result in the formation of a lump of mass that may be felt through the skin. In other cases, the affected area may also show signs of swelling.
- Breaking of the Bone: Cancer can weaken the bones and make them more brittle. This may make the bones more susceptible to fractures. A bone breaking in an area that has been painful or sore for a long period of time may be a sign of cancer. This is known as a pathologic fracture.
- Reduced Flexibility: If the tumour is located near a joint, it may affect the range of movements possible and make simple actions uncomfortable. For example, a tumour around the knee may make walking and climbing stairs a painful exercise.
Other symptoms to look out for are sudden and drastic weight loss, tiredness, excessive sweating at night, fever and difficulty breathing in case cancer has spread to other organs. Since many of these symptoms are common to other medical disorders, you should conduct a doctor immediately if you notice any of them. A physical examination and a couple of tests along with a biopsy will be required to confirm a diagnosis of bone cancer.
Cancer has unfortunately become a common condition. This is largely because of an unhealthy lifestyle and pollution that surrounds us. Some people have a higher risk of cancer as compared to others. Understanding your risk of suffering from a form of this disease can put you in a better position to fight against it.
Here are a few elements that can help you understand your risk of having cancer.
- Immunosuppression: People with a compromised immune system are at a high risk of cancer. For certain medical procedure, it may be necessary to temporarily suppress the immune system. This can also increase a person’s risk of cancer. An organ transplant is one such procedure. The four most common types of cancer that can be caused by a suppressed immune system are lung cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase a person risk of many types of cancer including breast cancer, and cancer of the colon, rectum, kidneys, esophagus, pancreas, gallbladder and endometrium.
- Radiation: Exposure to certain types of radiation can damage DNA and mutate cells causing cancer. This includes x rays, radon, gamma rays and some other forms of high energy radiation. A person may be exposed to these types of radiation during certain medical procedures such as chest X rays, PET scans, and CT scans. Working in nuclear power plants can also put a person at risk of exposure to these types of radiation. Tanning booths and sunlamps are another sources of UV radiation that can cause cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common forms of cancer in females, affecting one in every eight women in the US. There are huge awareness campaigns, which revolve around ways to recognize if you are prone for it and how to identify the disease in its early stages. Knowing the symptoms can help in early diagnosis and thereby early intervention and better prognosis.
How and why of breast cancer?
The breasts produce milk through the glands, which also contain connective tissue including fat, fibrous tissue, nerves, blood vessels, etc. The milk reaches the exterior through a fine network of ducts. Most cancers develop as small calcifications in these ducts, which continues to grow and spread to distant organs.
Warning signs and symptoms: Given the high incidence of breast cancer, knowing the symptoms helps in early identification. Read on to know more, especially if there is a family history.
- Any change in the size, shape, or contour of the breasts
- Appearance of a lump in the breasts or the armpits
- Presence of a clear or bloody discharge from the breast
- The breast or the nipple turning red
- Sudden thickening of breast tissue or skin that continues for a while
- Change in the feel or look of the skin (dimpling, puckering, scaliness, reddishness, warmth, etc.)
- Hardening of the tissue under the breast skin
- Difference in appearance or feel of one area in comparison with other areas
The presence of any of these or a combination of these symptoms should be an indication for a detailed checkup. As mentioned, early diagnosis helps in reducing complications and improving prognosis. It is also good to know risk factors, which also indicate if you need to watch for symptoms.
- Family history: Breast cancer runs in families, and if you have a first-degree relative with breast cancer, watch out for symptoms.
- Tested positive for BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Family history of other cancers
- Age: Women over the age of 50 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
- Race: Caucasian women carry greater risk than African-American women.
- Hormones: Increased use of estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Therefore, women who have used birth control for long time or are on hormone replacement are at greater risk.
- Abnormal gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones are more predisposed to developing breast cancer. For instance, girls who attain menarche before age of 12, get pregnant after 30, and reach menopause after 55. Women with menstrual irregularities including cycles earlier than 26 days and later than 29 days are also likely to have hormonal issues and are, therefore, at higher risk of breast cancer.
- Other factors: Smoking, alcohol abuse, and obesity also increase the chances of a woman developing breast cancer.
I have a server pain in my left breast before 14 days of my periods. I had mammography test the test was normal but showing thick tissue around the nipple area as compared to other parts of breast. After my period the pain and tenderness is gone but I felt a lump around my nipple. The lump is painful when pressed. Is there any serious issue?
I am 13 years old girl and I started my period 5 months ago and I have noticed some breast lumps in both breasts and there is a lump in my right breast and it feels like glandular tissue when I feel it standing and flexing my chest and It feels soft and moveable and it feels small but when I lay down it feels a little bigger and it feels soft and moveable but when I put my hand up and flex my chest then only it feels hard and it feels like not too moveable and last month it was hard and firm but this month it has gotten very smaller and soft and it pains a little when I am on my period and gets slightly bigger during periods ,is this okay?
I am 66 years old male. I am suffering from prostate gland problem since 5 years. Today blood flows while urinating. Twice it happened. What is the cause of this?
My wife is diagnosed with metastasis and surgery is not carried. Should I consult other doctor? Please suggest me.
- Seminomatous: These are less aggressive and respond very well to chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Non-seminomatous: These grow and spread rapidly, and often require surgery and chemotherapy
While the exact causes for testicular cancer are not clear, the following are considered to be the possible risk factors:
- Family history
- Undescended testicles
- Prior history of testicular cancer
- Genetic abnormalities of some types
While testicular cancer is often diagnosed late, the patient can have early symptoms, which are often ignored.
- Painful swelling in one (or both) testicle(s)
- Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area
Often, this type of cancer originates in the testicles and spreads to the lymph nodes inside the abdomen. It can also reach distant organs like lungs, liver, and lymph nodes in chest, neck. If attention to paid to early symptoms such as testicular swelling with or without pain, testicular cancer can be diagnosed early. However, even if diagnosed in the late stages, treatment is quite effective and outcome is good.
Tumor Markers in Testicular Cancers
Tumor markers are very important for diagnosis of testicular cancers. Alpha feto protein (AFP) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are very important markers that are testing in blood. They are very useful in diagnosis, staging and follow up of testicular cancer.
Stages of Testicular Cancer
There are three stages of testicular cancer – I to III, and treatment and prognosis would depend on the stage at which it is diagnosed.
Various modalities are used depending on the stage and extent of spread.
- Surgery: Removal of the testicle is usually the first step in testicular cancer treatment. Removal of testicle for cancer is done by a procedure called “high orchidectomy” or radical orchidectomy and not through the scrotum. This may need to be followed up by chemotherapy or radiation in most cases.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs are used to kill the existing cancer cells and arrest the further growth of testicular cancer. Chemotherapy can be given in early cancers to prevent recurrence of cancer and for advanced cancer to cure the advanced cancer. Chemotherapy is very effective in testicular cancer and cures majority of cases in advanced stages too.
- Radiation: External radiation can be used to target nodes in the abdomen. Radiation is very effective in seminomatous cancers. As is true of all cancers, surveillance and follow-up is very essential. History, examination and testing (blood tests for tumor markers) and scanning (CT scan of abdomen, thorax) are used for follow up.