What is Cancer?
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.
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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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
Now let’s take a look at some of the less common types of breast cancer:
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.
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!
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.
The following are some of the treatment options available for NETs:
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.
What is Cancer?
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