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Overview

Cancer - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Cancer is a class of disease which is characterized by out-of-control growth of cells in our body. There are approximately 100 different types of cancer, whereby each type of cancer is classified by the type of cells that it initially attack. This disease harms the human body, when these altered cells mutates uncontrollably to form masses or lumps of tissues know as a tumor. Except for leukemia (blood cancer) where this fatal illness prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood stream. Cancerous tumors can grow and interfere with the nervous, circulatory and digestive systems in our body or can release hormones, which can alter the functioning of organs in the body.

However, cancerous tumors that demonstrate limited growth and stays in one spot, without multiplying further are generally considered as benign cancers. More dangerous or malignant tumors appear on the cancer patients when two things occur. Firstly, a cancerous cell manages to wade through the body using the lymphatic system or blood as a carrier agent, destroying all healthy cells in a process called ‘invasion’. And secondly, the cancerous cells manage to grow and divide, forming new blood vessels to feed itself in a process, which is known as ‘angiogenesis’. When cancerous tumors find success in spreading and growing in other parts of the body, destroying healthy cells by invading on the cells, this process is known as ‘metastasis’. Metastasis is a very serious condition for all cancer patients that is also very difficult to treat.

According to World Health Organization’s most recent data, there are 15 million new cases every year and 9.2 million cancer related deaths. According to oncology experts, they have also recently discovered an important clue as to why cancer cells spread. This has something to do with a process whereby the cancer cells use their adhesion (stickiness) properties. Scientists have found that certain molecular interaction between the cancer cells and the scaffolding extra cellular matrix that holds them in place, cause them to get unstuck from the original site, and getting dislodged, they travel to other places and then reattach themselves at the new site.

This is extremely important to know, since researchers say cancer mortality is mainly due to metastatic tumors, growths from the cells that have travelled far from their original site to another parts of the body. For it has been noted that only 10% of cancer patients die from their primary tumors.

Researchers are now trying to find a way to stop the cancer cells from sticking on to new sites so that they can interfere with the metastatic disease and can halt the growth of the secondary tumors from forming in the body. Cancer is the ultimate result of cells that uncontrollably grows and do not die. Normal cells in our body follow an orderly path, whereby they grow, divide and then die which in medical term is known as apoptosis. But unlike normal cells, cancerous cells do not obey this rule instead they continue to grow and divide, which eventually leads to a huge mass of abnormal cells that has grown out of control, which is the only known cause of this fatal disease.

Cancer is generally treated by long term medications, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Require medical diagnosis Lab test always required
Symptoms
A new spot on the skin, which changes its shape, size and color, can be assigned of skin cancer. If you have a nagging cough and you don’t smoke it can be a sign of lung cancer. Constant bloating in women along with pain in the pelvic region can suggest an ovarian cancer. If there is pain during micturition (peeing) in men, it can be a sign of prostate cancer. If there is swollen lymph nodes in your body that do go heal, it can be a sign of leukemia (blood cancer). Bloody stool which continues for a long period of time can predict colon cancer. Prolonged bad breath and canker sores in the mouth can be a sign of oral cancer.

Popular Health Tips

Abnormal Pap Smear - What Can Be The Possible Cases?

Dr. Yuthika Bajpai Sharma 86% (31 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Kanpur
Abnormal Pap Smear - What Can Be The Possible Cases?
A Pap smear test helps in detecting the signs and onset of cervical cancer. This test helps in pointing at the presence of any suspicious cells that may require further examination and testing with the help of an oncologist. You will enjoy a negative result in case you have a normal reading during the examination process and no further treatment will be required. Yet, you will be asked to go through the test on a regular basis. But here is what happens if you have an abnormal reading. 1. Positive Result: You are said to have a positive result, if you any unusual or abnormal cells were found during this Pap Smear Test. While this may not necessarily mean that you have cervical cancer, it can show what kind of abnormal cells are present in this area of your body. The doctor will check for the following things after a positive result. 2. ASCUS: This is also known as Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance. This is a liquid based test that will seek to study the thin and flat squamous cells that may be found on the surface of a perfectly healthy and normal cervix. This test will check for the presence of any virus that may lead to the development of cancer and to determine the level of risk to the patient. Further, if there is any high risk virus, then further treatment and testing will be required. 3. Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion: When some of the cells that have been extracted during the Pap Smear test turn out to be precancerous, then they are Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions. In many cases, it takes a few years for these lesions to turn cancerous especially when the changes are low grade, which pertains to the size, shape and other features of the same. If a high grade lesion is detected, then diagnostic testing in the form of imaging tests may be required. 4. Atypical Glandular Cells: These mucus producing cells grow within the cervical opening and usually spread into the uterus as well. While they may appear abnormal, it is difficult to tell whether or not they are cancerous, especially in the early stages. 5. Squamous Cell Cancer: This is an almost certain reading of the growth of cancer in the cervix. When a reading from the Pap Smear includes such a finding, the doctor will recommend immediate evaluation. 6. Colposcopy: Once you have had a positive reading with any of the above findings, the doctor will perform this procedure with sample tissue extracted during a biopsy. This will be done with the use of a special magnifying tool known as a colposcope to examine the cervix, vagina and vulva tissues.
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Bone Marrow Transplant

MBBS, MD (General Medicine)
Hematologist, Gurgaon
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How Blood cancer can be treated?
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Cancer - How Pollution Is Worsening The Situation?

Dr. Harpreet Singh 91% (92 ratings)
MD - Radiation Oncology, MBBS, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD)
Oncologist, Delhi
Cancer - How Pollution Is Worsening The Situation?
More and more cancer types are being linked to air pollution. While the linkage is quite easily understandable between air pollution and lung cancer, the damage does not stop there. It is far more harmful, and whether or not it is part of the respiratory system, most cancers are linked to air pollution. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified air pollution as carcinogenic to humans. The amount of particulate matter in the air, especially in developing countries like China and India, are loaded with carcinogenic material. This is due to increased transport overload, power generation, industrial emissions, residential heating etc. The exact composition of the air can vary depending on the time of the year, the location, weather, etc. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also is spending a lot of time and money to find out the connection between these two. Establishing the link can help in preventing cancer. Read on to understand the correlation between factors affecting air pollution and cancer incidence. Air pollution is not uniform and varies across the globe, depending on how some of the above mentioned factors are affected. Developing countries have more pollution levels, especially from vehicular fuel exhaust, metals, dust, and chemical solvents. These contaminate the air, making it carcinogenic. There is also lead, which is another probable human carcinogen, causing cancer of the liver, brain, and kidney. The other chemicals in polluted air include sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and ozone. Also there are various compounds like volatile organic compounds, outdoor air pollutants, and other particulate matter, which are present in greater numbers in polluted areas. Paint thinners, dry cleaning agents, and other metals also contribute to increased air pollution. This, when inhaled, induces chronic inflammation in the tissues, making them react to the inflammation. Both outdoor and indoor agents cause pollution, and increases risk of developing cancer. Second hand smoke is a lot more dangerous than imaginable in inducing cancer. Mechanism: Cancer is a result of chronic inflammation, which induces uncontrolled proliferation of the cells. A combination of the above mentioned compounds along with a strong predisposition (family history, for instance) puts the person at a very high risk to develop cancer. The symptoms may takes years, sometimes decades, to develop, but the onset starts off with continued exposure to these agents. So, if you are predisposed to developing cancer, ensure your exposure to the above pollutants is reduced, even if it cannot be completely avoided.
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Five Signs That You Might Be Suffering From Early Stage Lung Cancer!

Dr. Piyush Goel 93% (14 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, FNB-Critical Care and Medicine
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon
Five Signs That You Might Be Suffering From Early Stage Lung Cancer!
The sound of the word cancer can be really traumatic and the fact the one may most of the time be unaware of this condition can be hard to handle. The same is the situation in the case of lung cancer as it does not produce any remarkable signs and symptoms in its early stages. However, there are ways in which you can be aware of this life-threatening ailment. Here are some tell-tale signs of an early stage of lung cancer: A stubborn cough: Beware when a cough is lingering on for long with no sign of relief. When a cough is related to cold and respiratory infection, it will subside within a week or so. But in case the cough is persistent, it can be a symptom of lung cancer. You should never dismiss a stubborn cough regardless of whether it is dry or producing mucus. You should talk to a doctor right away as he can check the lungs and may order for other tests to determine whether you have cancer. Breathing problems: Becoming easily winded or shortness of breath is considered the most prominent symptoms of lung cancers. This may occur when cancer blocks or inhibit the airway or when the fluid from the tumor starts building up in the chest. If you find that it is becoming difficult for you to breathe in doing tasks that you found easy before, you should not ignore it. Wheezing: When the airways become inflamed, blocked or constricted, then the lungs would produce a wheezing and whistling sound while breathing. It can be associated with a host of other causes that are easily treatable but could also be due to lung cancer. Headache: Even though headaches are considered one of the most common health problems, if there is a persistent headache, then it could be a sign that lung cancer has spread to the brain. It is important to understand that all headaches are not associated with the brain metastases. There are times when the lung cancer creates pressure on the superior vena cava which is in charge of supplying blood to the upper part of the brain. This pressure can also lead to headaches. Pain in the bone: If the lung cancer has spread to the other parts of the body, then it may produce mild pain in the back and other parts of the body. It tends to become worse during the night when you are resting on your back. But it can be difficult for a commoner to differentiate between muscle and bone pain. In case you are suffering from bone pain, you will see that it is becoming worse with movement. Moreover, lung cancer is also associated with pain in the shoulder, neck, and arm even though it is very rare. You should be very attentive to the pain and aches in the body and consult with an expert at the earliest. You can easily combat lung cancer if diagnosed and treatment is started in its early stages.

Pap Smear - Understanding Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Dr. Sagar Bumb 90% (14 ratings)
DGO , MBBS
Gynaecologist, Pune
Pap Smear - Understanding Its Role In Cancer Screening!
Cervical cancer can throw life completely off balance. It is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women worldwide. Lack of an early diagnosis makes this life threatening condition almost untreatable. A Pap smear also referred to as a Pap Test comes as a ray of hope for many women. A Pap smear is a screening test that plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and detection of cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear may further be used to point out any abnormalities in the cervical cells which may have a potential to turn malignant in the future. Doctors recommend all women (between 21-65 years of age) to undergo a pap smear to be on the safer side. While most women are advised to repeat the pap smear between every 3-5 years, women with the following conditions or ailments should be extra careful. Women who are HIV positive or those with a weak immune system. Those who have undergone an organ transplant. Any woman whose pap smear indicates the presence of precancerous cells. Women who had chemotherapy sessions. The above mentioned conditions do not necessarily imply a 100% probability of cervical cancer. Consult your doctor and follow the necessary advice and precautions. The procedure involved in a Pap smear The Pap test is not a very tedious process and is often carried out in the doctor's clinic itself. The person to undergo the test is made to lie down on her back (the knees should be in a bent position). The physician then carefully inserts a speculum into the vagina. The main idea is to widen the vaginal walls so that the doctor can have a clear view of the cervix. Next, using a spatula, the doctor will collect samples of your cervical cells and send it for examination. The significance of the Pap smear result A negative test indicates a healthy cervix with no precancerous cells. A positive result can, however, have many implications, such as there can be a condition known as dysplasia (minute alterations in the cervical cells). There may be some inflammation. However, the condition may be nothing to lose your sleep over. In many women, the condition heals by itself. A thorough investigation, (colonoscopy followed by a biopsy) may be needed if the problem persists for long. Further, there can be Squamous intraepithelial lesion: This, unfortunately, indicates the presence of precancerous cells. Squamous cell cancer: As the name suggests, this more than often, confirms the presence of malignant or cancer cells. Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance: Here the squamous cells appear very flat and thin, growing on the cervical surface. The condition may not necessarily indicate something serious. The person concerned may require further tests for a better interpretation of the condition. A Pap smear is for your good. Go for a Pap smear and also encourage women in your circle to indulge in this healthy practice.
2 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Cause of oral sex cancer of throat happen? I hear from some where that is happened due to oral sex.

ISO 9001-2008 certified Superspeciality Hospital
Sexologist, Jaipur
If both the partners are healthy then there is no problem. Causes of oral sex are bad hygeine, smoking.tobaco chewing etc.

If mammogram isn't possible, it the Prolactin Serum body test good enough to detect any breast cancer? Also, pls tell me that if someone is having only milkish-waterish nipple stimulation, how much chances are of it being a breast cancer. N what stage it can be?

Dr. Sadhana Jadhav 90% (202 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda,
Duct papilloma a harmless growth in the duct may produce milky discharge mammography is more accurate if not possible get USG of breast done CA 27-29 is the tumour marker for staging.
1 person found this helpful

I am 55 years old. I am a cancer patient. Nasopharynx cancer stage 3. What shall I do?

MBBS, MD, CCEPC, FISSP, OBS, NFPM
Oncologist, Delhi
Take proper chemo - radiation treatment. If you have pain, please always remember that Pain definitely can be controlled / treated at any stage of cancer. Pain relief needs dedicated pain management treatment usually offered by Pain specialist doctors. ACCN is proud to have one of the best pain specialist doctors of India. Pain management and cancer treatment goes side by side. Demand a pain free cancer treatment. You can further discuss it in detail with me on private chat.
3 people found this helpful

My father age 56 diabetic. Recently known he got throat cancer in very early stage. Doctor suggested chemotherapy. What are side effects of this? And is it curable by ayurvedic medicine. Which is the best treatment now. Please suggest.

MBBS, MD, CCEPC, FISSP, OBS, NFPM
Oncologist, Delhi
Take opinion from oncosurgeon, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist separately. And then decide. Evidence does'nt show cure by ayurveda. Most of the chemotherapy has side effects. If you have pain, remember, Pain definitely can be controlled / treated at any stage of cancer. Pain relief needs dedicated pain management treatment usually offered by Pain specialist doctors. ACCN is proud to have one of the best pain specialist doctors of India. Pain management and cancer treatment goes side by side. Demand a pain free cancer treatment. You can further discuss it in detail with me on phone or over internet.

My neck lymph node little bigger doctor said fnac test then my fnac report is no malignant cell seen. But suggest biopsy what can I do.

Dr. Shubham Jain 91% (1122 ratings)
M.Ch - Surgical Oncology, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Oncologist, Delhi
FNAC may miss a sinister disease many times, and hence it may be advisable at times to undergo excision biopsy. Nevertheless please share the fnac report for definitive advise.
4 people found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Skin Cancer: Prevention and Causes

Dr. Nitin Jain 82% (213 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD), DDV, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Pune
The more sunscreen you apply, the more you are close to developing skin cancer. True or False? Take this quiz to find out.
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Understanding Cervical Cancer

Dr. Mohan Krishna Raut 90% (81 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS, DGO
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Cervical cancer starts developing right from when the cells in the cervix start changing. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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Breast Cancer- Signs you must not ignore!

Dr. Anuradha Khurana 90% (156 ratings)
MBBS, DGO
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Any changes in the appearance of the nipples could be a sign of breast cancer. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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Breast Cancer and Homoeopathy

Dr. Rashmi Shukla 88% (4136 ratings)
BHMS, MD - Alternate Medicine
Homeopath, Nagpur
Consuming peanuts is bad for your health as they increase your risk of breast cancer. True or false, take this quiz to know more.
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Lung Cancer - Things That Put You At Risk!

Dr. Rajesh Swarnakar 82% (10 ratings)
Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD), Board Certified in Pulmonary Medicine, FCCP - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Nagpur
Passive smoking causes lung cancer. True or False? Take this quiz to know now!
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