Alternative NamesCarcinoma, Malignant tumor
What is Cancer
Cancer belongs to a class of diseases characterized by uncontrollable growth of cell. These cells can then invade and destroy healthy tissue, including organs. Sometimes cancer begins in one part of the body before spreading to other parts. This process is known as metastasis.
It is known that cancer is not a single disease with a single type of treatment. There are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, each with its own symptoms and treatment. The most common cancers are:
- breast cancer
- prostate cancer
- lung cancer
- bowel cancer
- bladder cancer
- uterine (womb) cancer
Signs and symptoms
Cancer symptoms are vary depend on the type and location of the tumor. For example, symptom of lung cancer is coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Colon cancer symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, and blood in the stool.
Note that some cancers may not have any symptoms at all. In certain cancers, such as gallbladder cancer, symptoms often do not start until the disease has reached a last stage.
These symptoms can occur with most cancers:
- Loss of appetite
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
Cancer complications can be severe and painful depending on the patient's health and the stage of the tumor. They also may be inconvenient, life-changing and even fatal. Therefore, many of the adjuvant therapies and alternative remedies for cancer concentrate on reducing its complications and the physical and emotional distress they cause. The most common cancer complications are depression, fatigue, pain, sleep disorders and metastasis. The treatment of these complications not only improves a patient’s quality of life, but also can increase survival chances.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to find out the exact causes of a cancer in any person, as the most cancers have multiple possible causes. As an example, if a person who smokes too much develops lung cancer, and then it was possibly caused by the tobacco use, but since everyone has a small chance of developing lung cancer as a result of air pollution or radiation, then there is a small chance that the smoker's lung cancer actually developed because of air pollution or radiation.
You can make small changes in your daily life to not be concerned about cancer prevention.
Don not smoke.
Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer including cancer of the lung, bladder, cervix and kidney and chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas.
Eat a healthy diet.
It may help reduce your risk. Follow these guidelines:
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Limit fat
- If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation
Maintain a normal weight and include physical activity in your daily routine.
It may reduce the risk of some types of cancer as cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.
Protect your skin from the sun.
Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer and one of the most preventable. Try these steps:
- Avoid midday sun
- Stay in the shade
- Cover exposed areas
- Don't skimp on sunscreen
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps
Prevention includes protection from several viral infections. Talk to your doctor about immunization against:
- Hepatitis B
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Avoid behaviors which are risky.
Another effective method of cancer prevention is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that may increase the risk of cancer. For example:
- Practice safe sex
- Don't share needles
Frequent medical check up
Regular self-exams and medical screening for different types of cancers such as cancer of the skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast can increase your chance to discover cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful.
Treatment by organ/system and by therapy.
|Organ or Symptom||Cancer Therapy||Recommendation|
|Second Malignancies||Any Therapy||History & physical annually|
|Thyroid||Local radiation therapy, total-body radiation||Third-generation TSH, serum-free thyroxine, thyroid Ultrasonography|
|Gonads||Gonadal or pituitary irradiation; total body irradiation or cyclophosphamide; nitrogen mustard; procarbazine or nitrosoureas||Assess pituitary/gonad function; estradio; sperm count in men|
|Spleen||Splenectomy||Follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines for vaccination; prophylactic antibiotics if febrile|
|Musculoskeletal Scoliosis or Kyphosis||Local radiation therapy, steroids||Measure height standing & sitting; rule out avascular necrosis|
|Liver and Intestine||Local radiation therapy, most chemotherapy agents||Liver function test; compliance with American Cancer Society recommendations|
|Kidney or Bladder||Cisplatin or nitrosoureas, cyclophosphamide or ifosfamide, local radiation therapy||Urinalysis, creatinine clearance, renal angiogram, urine cytology, voiding cystourethrogram|
|Cardiovascular||Anthracyclines, cyclophosphamide, local radiation therapy||ECG, ECHO, or MUGA scan; radionuclide angiocardiography; endomyocardial biopsy|
|Pulmonary||Local radiation therapy, bleomycin,nitrosoureas, total body irradiation||Chest radiograph, arterial blood gases, pulmonary function test with diffusion capacity, counseling on risks of smoking|