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Cancer - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Cancer?

We often ignore certain symptoms which our body presents from time to time. Sometimes these disappear on their own, while at others, they may indicate something more serious -- the nesting of cancer cells in our body. Here are a few cancer symptoms which you cannot afford to ignore:
    Unexpected weight loss
  • Bloating
  • Skin Lumps
  • Unusual Bleeding
  • Skin changes like scaling, pigmentation
  • Discomfort during swallowing food
  • White spot on tongue
  • Persistent pain or ache in the body

Treatment :

Metastasis denotes distant spread of cancer from the primary organ. Treatment of any form of cancer is dependent on whether or not it has spread to distant organs. If the cancer spreads to other tissues and organs, it may decrease a patient's likelihood of survival. There are many effective treatments for metastatic cancer. These treatments fall into three main types:- Whole body treatment – this includes chemotherapy or anti-cancer medication that can reach all places of the body and radiation therapy.- Local treatment for secondary tumor alone – this includes localized surgery and removal of the tumor or localized radiation therapy on the secondary tumor alone. - Pain relief – this therapy is also called palliative therapy and is reserved for advanced cases of metastasis.

More about Cancer :

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.

What Experts Say :

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
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

Skin Cancer - What Do You Know About The ABCDE Rule?

MD (AIIMS), Clinical Fellow,Skin Oncology(New England Medical Centre & Boston University,USA), Clinical Fellow.Photomedicine(Mass.Gen.Hospital,Harvard Medical School,USA), Clinical Fellow,Laser Surgery(Mass.Gen Hospital,Harvard Medical School,USA)
Dermatologist, Kolkata
Skin Cancer - What Do You Know About The ABCDE Rule?

Skin cancer is a kind of cancer that arises from the skin. It occurs due to the development of abnormal cells that have the ability to affect other body parts.

ABCDE, when expanded, means Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Evolving. The rule refers to new or changing signs that one may notice in moles to detect melanoma at an early stage, which tends to serve as warning signs. 

Let us look at some of the facts related to the concepts:

Skin Cancer is Not an Uncommon Disease:

First and foremost thing which people must realize is the fact that Skin Cancer is not an uncommon problem. Rather it is the commonest form of cancer in America. So, any kind of abnormal growth in the skin must be looked at with the utmost importance and thus skin specialists should be immediately contacted.

There are 3 Main Types of Cancer:

Another extremely important tip is to understand that there are three main types of skin cancers: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. 

Basal Cell Carcinoma appears as a small, smooth or waxy bump. Squamous Cell Carcinoma looks like a firm, red nodule, which gives people an itchy feeling that could even bleed. Finally, Melanoma resembles like a normal mole, having an irregular appearance.

Only if people are aware of the warning signals, they will be able to take preventive measures and also treat them appropriately, when they affect them.

Skin Cancers are Equally Dangerous for People with Darker Skin:

It is true that people with fair skin are more susceptible to skin cancers. Still, it is worthy to make note that even people having darker skin, quite often get skin cancers.

In reality, skin cancers take more aggressive form and tend to be dangerous when it strikes darker skinned people.

Prevent Skin Cancers by Not Getting Exposed to Sun Rays:

If people really want to avoid getting affected by skin cancer, they should prevent the Sun’s Ultraviolet rays from hitting their skins. 

Ultraviolet rays are believed to be the main reason behind the occurrence of skin cancers. So, people must make sure to put sunscreen lotions in their skin and keep the skin covered by their clothes.

ABCDE Rule of Skin Cancer Can Come to Great Help:

As mentioned earlier ABCDE refers to Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Evolving. This basically refers to fresh or changing signs in moles to detect melanoma at a very early stage.

People can look out for new growths, patches or bumps of ulcers, which generally do not heal within a few weeks. If they come across any kind of mole, they should immediately visit a dermatologist. They must avoid the midday sun and also take precautionary measures. It is always ideal to get an annual check-up of the whole skin.

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Bladder Cancer - Risk Factors Associated With it!

Urologist, Gurgaon
Bladder Cancer - Risk Factors Associated With it!

There are many types of cancer that may affect the human body. Bladder cancer is one such cancer that is caused when there is an abnormal growth and accumulation of the cells in the bladder. This kind of growth may cause mutations which can then manifest into tumours that may or may not be malignant.

Let us find out more about the causes and risk factors of bladder cancer.

  1. Transitional cell carcinoma: In this kind of bladder cancer, the transitional cells that line the inner region of the uterus and urethra will expand when the bladder is full. Further, these cells will end up contracting when the bladder is empty. This will lead to numerous complications which can cause the formation of tumours as an end result.
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma: The squamous cells are those that are usually found in the bladder as a response to any kind of infection or even irritation in the area. These cells become cancerous over a certain period of time. This is also one of the most common types of bladder cancer in the US, as per various medical reports.
  3. Adenocarcinoma: This kind of cancer usually starts in the cells that make mucus and form glands for the production of the same, in the bladder. This is a rather rare form of bladder cancer.
  4. Risk factors: There are a number of risk factors that may affect the manifestation of the abnormal cell growth which can lead to any one of the above types of bladder cancer. Let us learn more about these risk factors.
  5. Smoking: Smoking does not merely cause lung cancer, but it is also capable of causing chemicals from tobacco to accumulate in your urine and lead to several complications, including the increase of abnormal cell growth in the bladder. These chemicals may also cause widespread damage to the lining of your bladder.
  6. Diabetes medication: One of the side effects of taking certain types of diabetes medication may be seen in the bladder and its cells. Pioglitazone is one such medicine which can cause these kinds of complications.
  7. Chronic bladder inflammation: Repeated bladder infections may cause an unhealthy amount of persistent inflammation, which can lead to the growth of cells in an abnormal manner. This can lead to damage of the bladder’s inner lining. In such a case, bladder cancer becomes a risk for the patient.
  8. Family history: A family history of the condition also leaves the person susceptible to this disease. Colorectal cancer instances or Lynch syndrome cases in the family can increase the risk of contracting bladder cancer. This is due to the fact that the faulty gene can affect the various organs of the urinary area.
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Breast Cancer - Know The Signs & Symptoms!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery
Oncologist, Pune
Breast Cancer - Know The Signs & Symptoms!

The cancer which forms in the cells of the breasts is breast cancer. It is one of the most common forms of cancer to affect women after skin cancer. Support for breast cancer awareness and proper funding for research on the issue has ensured that proper awareness is created for getting it diagnosed properly and then carry out the treatment in an appropriate manner. Fortunately, due to the fact that people all around have become aware of how cancer occurs, what are symptoms which they should be aware of and then for the doctors, what should be the ideal way for exact diagnosis, so that they can treat patients and help them recover, survival rates have increased dramatically and thus number of deaths associated with it is on the decline.

Types of breast cancer
There are different types of Breast Cancer, some are more common than others. Some of the most common types are detailed below:

  1. Invasive ductal carcinoma: This type of breast cancer starts in a duct of the breast and grows into the tissue surrounding it. It is one of the most common forms of breast cancer. Around 80% of invasive breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinoma.
  2. Invasive lobular carcinoma: Invasive lobular carcinoma begins in the milk producing glands of the breast and spreads all around with time.

Now let’s take a look at some of the less common types of breast cancer:

  1. Mucinous carcinoma: The mucus producing cancer cells generally give rise to mucinous carcinoma.
  2. Inflammatory breast cancer: When a woman suffers from inflammatory breast cancer, the skin of the breast would appear red and she would feel warm. The changes occur because the cancer cells block the lymph vessels.
  3. Paget’s disease of the nipple: This type of cancer begins in the ducts of the breast, getting spread to the nipple and the region surrounding the nipple. Women affected by this type of cancer can easily notice crusting and reddish tinge around the nipple.

Signs & symptoms of breast cancer
After having looked at the different types of breast cancer, let us now come to the main topic of discussion, the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

  1. The different signs and symptoms of breast cancer are discussed below:
  2. A change in size or shape of the breast
  3. A lump or if an area feels thicker in comparison to the rest of the breast, then it’s a clear indication of cancer.
  4. A woman could feel that there is chance of breast cancer, if the texture of the skin changes.
  5. There will be a reddish tinge or rash on the skin or the area around the nipple, to suggest that breast cancer is a possibility.
  6. If you realize that liquid is oozing out from the nipple, even without getting it squeezed, then that is also a clear symptom for cancer.
  7. If you feel that area either in the armpit or around the collarbone, is swollen, it’s a signal for breast cancer.
1 person found this helpful

Breast Cancer Survivor Stories - Get Inspired!

MBBS, MD-Radio Therapy
Oncologist, Ghaziabad
Breast Cancer Survivor Stories - Get Inspired!

Though breast cancer has become very common, the good news is that more women than ever are living a healthy life to tell their survival stories. They have not just survived, but are thriving. Let us take you through a couple of survivor stories which not just gives strength and hope, but also the immense courage to stand up and fight it. The names are, however, changed to prevent identity.

Help yourself and others too: For most women, getting diagnosed with blood cancer can mean the end of life. While for the medical person, it is just another individual, for the individual, there is an entire world to think of, her world. What will happen to her family, her job, her life in total. Each person is different, and so the approach has to be different. It should not be a routine combo of surgery, chemo, and radiation. While some hospitals do it, giving a personalized touch helps. That is what happened Susan, who had a complete set of people including dietitian and psychiatrist to help her. The change that she saw with this approach led her to give a helping hand to others. She presently helps people fight and overcome breast cancer and has an extremely fulfilling life.

Shrink the tumor, not your life: For a person with two kids, Tina was aghast when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was just 31, and her second daughter was just turning 1, she was extremely distraught. But, her family stood with her through those testing times when she would not have time to run with her daughter or walk along with her mother. With immense support from her family, she is now free of cancer and is a Zumba instructor and now spends quality time with her daughter.

An experiment that worked: At 46 years of age, Maya was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She found a lump in her breast, which turned out to be breast cancer. The doctor said she would need it removed, and she also opted for surgery. What worked for her, though, is the fact that she was advised to try tamoxifen, which was not so strongly recommended during the initial times. She went ahead and tried, and even after 30 years down the line, is still free of cancer.

Two lives saved: At 23, Sonia was diagnosed not just with stage 4 breast cancer, but also with pregnancy. Re-testing yielded negative results. So she went ahead with chemo and radiation, but the abdominal fullness continued, and when tested again, the tests confirmed her pregnancy. She carried it through, and delivered 4 weeks prematurely but is very healthy and cancer-free now. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3802 people found this helpful

Neuroendocrine Tumor - All You Need To Know About Its Treatment!

MBBS, FCPS - Medicine, DNB - General Medicine (I)
Diabetologist, Pune
Neuroendocrine Tumor - All You Need To Know About Its Treatment!

There are several hormones that are secreted by our bodies and they can be defined as chemicals that control the different bodily functions. At times, the cells that secrete the hormones develop tumors. Some areas where these tumors are known to arise include lungs, stomach, pancreas, glands, or intestines.

If you are diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor, it is important to learn whether they are benign or cancerous. Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are neoplasms that may result from the cells of the nervous and the endocrine system. If the cells are cancerous, they can spread throughout the body. Also, they release their own hormones and you may experience the associated symptoms. On the other hand, the benign tumors do not shift from their place of origin.

However, you should note that the growth of a neuroendocrine tumor takes place at a sluggish rate; sometimes, they could take years to grow. Normally, the medical experts will advise their removal or administer varied treatments for their shrinkage. Also, some therapies to alleviate the symptoms can be practiced.

NETs are categorized into varied groups depending on their area of growth or the hormones they secrete. The different types of NETs include Carcinoid (intestinal), Pancreatic, Insulinomas, Glucagonomas, Somatostatinomas, VIPomas, Medullary, and Pheochromocytoma. The medical professionals have not been able to ascertain the exact cause for NETs as yet. However, they opine that certain illnesses that run in a family are responsible for these growths. For ascertaining whether a person has developed NETs, a medical diagnosis is required. Mostly, the patients do not display symptoms and the disorder is detected fortuitously.

There are various treatments available for NETs, including drugs, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. The patients are treated depending on the type of NETs they are affected by. Also, the doctors will try to establish whether the growths are cancerous, and have spread to other parts of the body prior to treating the patients.

Treatment Methods:

The following are some of the treatment options available for NETs:

  1. Surgery: Surgical methods are employed by the doctors for removing the tumors; predominantly, if the tumors are not cancerous or have not spread to the different parts of the body. Some surgeries that are performed by the doctors as a part of the treatment of NETs include cryosurgery and radiofrequency ablation.
  2. Hormonal therapy: If the doctors find it suitable, they will treat you with hormone therapy when NETs are detected in your body. In this case, they will inject hormonal drugs for preventing the cells from producing hormones or to shrink the tumor.
  3. Radiation: As a part of radiation therapy, the doctors will subject the tumor site to high radiation X-rays for eliminating the cancerous cells. If cancer has spread or the specialists are not able to reach the tumors, then this treatment method is known to be effective.
  4. Chemotherapy: You may be prescribed chemotherapy drugs for killing the cancerous cells, at times, after being diagnosed with NETs. However, they give birth to certain ill-effects and it is always better to adhere to your doctor’s suggestions to be on the safer side.
  5. Embolization Procedures: In specific cases where the NETs have spread to the liver, the doctors will aim to obstruct the blood flow that provides nourishment to the cells. Embolization therapy is performed in such cases.

When recovering from NETs, you must make sure to consume a balanced diet to keep the body nourished and heightening the body’s ability to counter the illnesses. Eating protein-rich foods such as beans, eggs, cheese, and fish are recommended. Also, avoid the intake of fatty foods, sugar-filled beverages, and sweets.

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Popular Questions & Answers

Hi doctor my mom went for breast surgery in Pondy. Before surgery he went 3 chemo to reduce tumor size. Then we came back to home town Tuticorin .Now the cell spread to liver. So present situation she cannot take food very weak can’t take chemo and oral tablet. Can you help me in this case for second opinion My Sister take care my mom. I am in Singapore Please help for opinion thanks.

MS(gen.surg), M.B.B.S.
General Surgeon, Kota
According to your query your mom having breast cancer with metastasis 1st you get ct scan abdomen nd thorax, if ca. Spread than go for chemotherapy. But for chemo medicine you should build up the pt it is necessory. Take analgesic nd multivitamins nd livozyme increase protein diet.
1 person found this helpful

My mother had a left side breast cancer &doctor recommend for biopsy &biopsy result say its er/pr/her- 2 neu before biopsy doctor said radiation not needed but after biopsy report he said firstly chemo have to be done of epirubicin 150 mg & endoxan 1000 mg of 4 cycles &then 12 cycles of trumab 440 mg &paclitaxel 125 mg weekly then surgery &after that radiation is also necessary so Dr. Please help me to give information that this treatment is given by Dr. Is correct or not for my mother.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Most of medical problems need personally taking detailed medical history and examination with need of new+old reports so meet concerned doctor-Oncosurgeon more so who is specialised in breasts. So instead of looking for answers from others stick to specialist.

Hi doctors, Can stage four disease be cured for male aged 50 years by any type of medicine or fruits. My friend father diagnosed with rectal cancer and doctor have given only 4-5 weeks for treatment for which they need 1 lakh to 2 lakhs and they don't have and also not getting any help Please if you know any alternative solution which can really work than tell.

MD - Radiotherapy
Oncologist, Vadodara
Sorry to know about your friends father. I do not know of any highly successful alternative medicine neither am a expert on that. I think he should get advice from Oncologist at a Government Hospital as good treatment is available at very low cost there. Sometimes even stage 4 rectal cancer if spread is limited has chances of cure.
2 people found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Cancer?

Treatment :

More about Cancer :

What Experts Say :

Play video
Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a cancer that develops from breast tissue. The signs of the disease may include a lump in the breast, change in shape of the breast, fluid coming from the nipple, dimpling of the skin and a few more. In case you trace any of the symptoms in your body, you should immediately visit a doctor and start with the treatment.
Play video
Breast Cancer
There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading to other body tissues. Breast cancer symptoms and signs include : a lump in breast,breast sore or nipple and so on. Its important to consult the doctor in case of any such symptoms.
Play video
Gastrointestinal Cancer
Gastrointestinal cancer refers to malignant conditions of the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) and accessory organs of digestion, including the esophagus, stomach, biliary system, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus.
Play video
Cancer: What You Need To Know?
Cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in a body. Anything that may cause a normal body cell to develop abnormally potentially can cause cancer. Although there are many tests to screen and presumptively diagnose cancer, the definite diagnosis is made by examination of a biopsy sample of suspected cancer tissue.
Play video
Major Symptoms Of Cancer
Cancer is a disease that gives no indication to most people about any symptoms or signs which can be taken as an alert. Every complaint or symptom of cancer can be explained by a harmless condition as well. If certain symptoms occur or persist, a doctor should be seen for further evaluation
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice