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Cancer

Health    Cancer
Also called: Carcinoma, Malignancy, Neoplasms, Tumor
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Cancer begins in your cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong. New cells grow even when you don't need them, and old cells don't die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass called a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren't cancer while malignant ones are. Cells from malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues. They can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is. Most treatment plans may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Some may involve hormone therapy, biologic therapy, or stem cell transplantation.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Cancer

The following features are indicative of Cancer:
  • unintentional weight loss
  • fever
  • excessive fatigue
  • changes to the skin
  • pneumonia
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • narrowing in the bowel
  • coughing up blood
It is possible that Cancer shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

Common Causes of Cancer

The following are the most common causes of Cancer:
  • exposure to chemicals
  • exposure to ionizing radiation
  • exposure to non-ionizing ultraviolet radiation
  • heredity
  • some hormones imbalance

Risk Factors for Cancer

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Cancer:
  • increasing age
  • physical inactivity
  • bacterial infection
  • passive smoking
  • inherited mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • environmental factors

Prevention of Cancer

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Cancer. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • do not use tobacco
  • control excess weight
  • be physically active
  • do not drink alcohol
  • prevent yourself from sexually transmitted infections
  • avoid exposure to polluted environment

Occurrence of Cancer

Degree of Occurrence

The following are the number of Cancer cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Cancer can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Cancer can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Cancer

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Cancer:
  • Blood tests: To examine the physiological and biochemical states
  • CT scans: To create detailed pictures of areas inside the body
  • Endoscopy: To examine the interior of a hollow organ
  • Cytogenetics: To identify information about molecular changes
  • Immunohistochemistry: To analyse information about molecular changes

Doctor for Diagnosis of Cancer

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Cancer:
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Dermatologist
  • Dietitian
  • Dosimetrist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Enterostomal therapist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Gynecologist
  • Hematologist
  • Medical oncologist
  • Neonatologist
  • Nephrologist
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Oncologist
  • Palliative care specialists
  • Pediatric oncologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Surgical oncologist

Complications of Cancer if Untreated

Yes, Cancer causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Cancer is left untreated:
  • may be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Cancer

The following procedures are used to treat Cancer:
  • Surgery: Removes the affected organ before cancer spread to other part
  • Radiation therapy: Damage the cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy: Helps in inhibiting the cancer growth
  • Stem cell transplant: Replaces the diseased bone marrow
  • Immunotherapy: Uses the body's immune system to fight against cancer
  • Hormone therapy: Removing some hormones from the body may cause the cancer cells to stop growing

Medicines for Cancer

Below is the list of medicines used for Cancer:

Self-care for Cancer

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Cancer:
  • Stop smoking: Stopping smoking will reduce the risk of cancer in the future
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure: Reduces the risk of skin cancer
  • Eat healthy diet: Choose a diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise is linked to a lower risk of cancer
  • Reduce alcohol consumption: Drink alcohol in moderation

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Cancer

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Cancer:
  • Acupuncture: Helpful in pain management
  • Massage therapy: Reduces pain, nausea, fatigue and depression caused due to cancer
  • Yoga: Reduces emotional strain during treatment

Patient Support for Treatment of Cancer

The following actions may help Cancer patients:
  • Learn about cancer: Helpful in making treatment decisions
  • Keep friends and family close: Keeping your close relationships gives you emotional support

Time for Treatment of Cancer

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Cancer to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 12/02/2018.
This page provides information for Cancer.