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What you need to know about Cancer

Cancer is formed by out of control growth of cells in the tissue. There are over hundreds of types of cancer which solely depend on which part of the membrane is affected. When cancerous tissue arises from altered cells growing without concern, they lead to the formation of lumps or masses of tissue which protrude unnaturally called tumors. It is evident in all types of cancers except that of blood cancer, Leukemia.

Tumors are said to be dangerous to health when it finds a way to mutate and spread throughout the body. It is called invasion when a cancerous tissue finds a way to spread throughout the body by finding pathways through the lymphatic system or blood leading to damage of healthy tissue in the process of invasion.

cancer-cell

Tumors can also cause lethal damage by mutating and finding itself a way to successfully grow and divide by feeding itself from the formation of new blood vessels through a process called angiogenesis.

Metastasis is a stage which is difficult to treat caused by the spread and circulation of cancerous tissue throughout the body affecting other vital organs and damaging and invading healthy tissue.

In the United States, cancer-related deaths are the second most common cause of deaths in the entire nation. The American Cancer Society has stated that one in every four person dies from such cancerous diseases.

Cancer can be broadly classified into five different groups.

Carcinomas are caused by cancerous cells that cover the internal and external parts of the body, namely lungs, breasts, and colon.

Sarcomas are formed by cancerous cells located in fat, bone, connective tissue, cartilage, and muscle.

Lymphomas are types of cancer that commence from the immune system tissue and lymph nodes.

Leukemias are forms of cancer that initiate from within the bone, bone marrow while it accumulates and spreads through the bloodstream.

Adenomas are the specific sort of cancer that arises from the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, thyroid, and other epithelial tissues.

Symptoms of cancer can either be physically felt or seen as a lump on the surface of the skin, breast or testicle.  Oral cancers can be identified by color variation patches inside the mouth and tongue. Brain tumors can be detected through impairments in vital cognitive functions. Pancreatic cancers can be identified through the yellow coloring the eye and occurrence of jaundice. Colon cancers can be noticed through an increase in constipation, diarrhea and stool size differences.

Cancer uses the body’s energy and disrupts hormone function. Any rise in fever, fatigue, excessive sweating for no reason and loss of weight without reason are to be noticed and addressed immediately for safety precautions.

Types of Cancer Treatment

There is no one particular treatment for cancer but only a combination of different treatments and therapies to address the cancerous tissue. Each specific treatment depends on the requirements of the individual like his health status, age, and genetics. The different types of treatments available for the patients are followed below.

Surgery

Surgery is described as the oldest treatment for cancer. Before and if the cancerous tissue has not metastasized yet, the chance of completely clearing the patient from cancer is high. Surgery involves surgically removing the abnormal cell growth affected areas entirely from the body. It is however impossible to remove the cancerous cells entirely. It is a mere means of controlling symptoms.

cancer

Radiation

Also known by the name radiotherapy, this treatment involves channelizing high energy rays targeted on cancer cells. These rays target the molecules of these cells making them destroy themselves by suicide. The high energy gamma rays are produced from metals such as radium. Early radiation treatments had severe side effects like damage to healthy tissues. With innovation in technology, such adverse side effects have been adequately addressed.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is often used when cancer has metastasized. It involves utilizing chemicals that interfere with the cell division process which in turn damages the protein and DNA so that the cancer cells will commit suicide and destroy themselves. This treatment is done in cycles giving the body sufficient time to heal before each session. Hair loss, vomiting, fatigue are among the common side effects.

Immunotherapy

This is a relatively new treatment that has considerable success rates. This treatment aims at fighting the tumors in the body by strengthening the immune system of the body. Systematic immunotherapy involves treating the whole body by administering an agent called protein interferon alpha that can reduce and shrink tumors.

 

Hormone therapy

Cancers can be linked to certain types of hormones. Breast cancer and prostate cancer are the primary examples of these cases. Hormone therapy focuses on altering hormone production in the body in such a manner that these cancerous cells stop growing and eventually kill themselves. Breast cancer therapy involves reducing estrogen levels in the body while prostate cancer consists in reducing testosterone levels by infusing certain drugs to lower them.

Gene therapy

This treatment is very young in the medical field and has yet to have proven its theory into practicality. This is innovative and remarkable treatment involves replacing damaged genes with working ones to address the cause of cancer, damage to DNA. Researchers are trying to replace the damaged gene that issues signals cells to stop dividing with a copy of a working gene.

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