Our body divides and replaces healthy cells in an organized manner throughout life. Cancer begins when there occurs some alteration in a cell, and it starts multiplying uncontrollably. A tumor is a kind of mass formed with a combination of such uncontrolled growth of cells. It is noticeable here that all types of cancer contribute to the formation of tumors, but all kinds of tumorous are not cancerous.
Whether noncancerous or benign, tumor spreading doesn’t occur in other body parts, and also, they don’t form new tumors. On the other hand, cancerous or malignant tumors capture healthy cells, interrupt the body’s functions, and feed off the nutrients stores in body tissues.
Cancer doesn’t stop growing, and it spreads either directly, or a method is known as metastasis. In this process, cancerous cells travel via your blood vessels or lymphatic, then eventually create new tumors in other body parts and affect them.
The word “cancer” comprises 100+ diseases that affect almost every body part, and all of them are a potential life-threat for an individual.
One of the main types of cancer includes:
Carcinomas are the most occurred and diagnosed cancers. It originates in your skin, lungs, glands, and pancreas and can also affect other body organs. It also causes breast cancer.
This type of cancer generates in muscles, bone, blood vessels, fat, and cartilage. In other words, it targets connective or soft tissues of your body. It is some of the rare types of cancer and is quite uncommon.
Lymphoma is a lymphocyte cancer.
It is blood cancer, and it doesn’t create solid tumors.
It is cancer that arises in your cells that are responsible for skin pigment formation.
The above are the most commonly occurring types of cancer and had been identified in the form of human disease for many centuries. However, in the last century, medical science has made some advancement and recognized the correct type of cancer and how it spreads. Cancer specialists are known as Oncologists. They have achieved remarkable success in the diagnosis of cancer, along with its prevention methods and treatment.
At present, the maximum number of people is found having cancer, yet they live longer. Moreover, there are still some types of cancer that remain disappointingly hard to treat. Modern science and treatment research is capable of improving the quality of people’s lives and can also extend survival chances significantly.
Diagnosis of cancer
Though almost all types of cancer are deadly and life-threatening, yet when they are at an early stage, the diagnosis and treatment are easy. A previous stage cancer, if diagnosed on time, has better chances of getting cured. Some cancer types like skin cancer, breast cancer, mouth cancer, testicle cancer, prostate cancer, and rectum cancer can be easily detected by self-examination on a routine basis. Besides, there are other measures for screening before the worsening of symptoms happens. In some cases, diagnosis of cancer occurs incidentally, such as during evaluation or treatment of another medical condition.
The very first step for cancer diagnosis is your entire medical history and a thorough physical check-up. To check abnormalities, samples of urine, blood, and stool are tested that can have indications of cancer. In case the results suspect a tumor, further tests are done by the doctor to validate the symptoms and reasons behind it to know if it is cancer or not. The tests also help the doctor to determine the exact size and location of cancer.
Tests to determine cancer
- CT (Computed Tomography)
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- Fiber Optic Endoscopy
For confirming most types of cancer diagnosis, a biopsy is performed. In this process, a sample tissue is taken from the tumor that is suspected. The sample is then studied in the laboratory with a microscope to detect the cancer cells.
In case the diagnosis proves the presence of cancer, it is followed by some other tests for providing specific and detailed information regarding detected cancer. The process of this follow-up diagnosis phase is known as Staging. One of the most crucial things that doctor needs to know is that if the cancer is spreading to other body area or has already begun to spread. In case, the early diagnosis denies the cancer present, but the symptoms are still there, some further testing is required. If your biopsy proves cancer presence to be positive, don’t forget to get a confirming and ensuring opinion by specialist doctor having specialization in the treatment of cancer before you begin ant treatment for the condition.
How cancer is treated
Treatment of cancer depends solely upon the stage it is at and which one of the types of cancer you’re diagnosed with. Procedures either eradicate cancer or slow down its growth. It can include some combination of multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy.
Other than the cancer treatment, nurses and hospital professionals should provide supportive care. The main aim it relieving the pain alongside another cancer symptom. It also aims improving patients’ life quality, maintains his general health, and support him at all levels, including psychological, emotional, and logistical. Not only to the patients, but such all-inclusive support is provided to the patient’s family as well. For the rehabilitation of the patients, post-curative treatment similar support is available.
Supportive therapy, likewise giving hospice care to the patients who are near the end of life, relieves them from pain accompanied by different irreversible symptoms. The most popular and mainstream attention works toward offering supportive treatment via extensive resources available at centers for cancer treatment. Other complementary therapies for cancer are usually provided outside the hospital you are getting treatment at, and these therapies also deliver supportive care to cancer patients.
Regular exercising aids in controlling fatigue, anxiety, and muscular tension, symptoms which are most common in cancer patients. Patients feel quite better if they indulge in daily physical activity like swimming or walking. Exercise is also proved to help improve the outcomes related to cancer treatment.
Mind and Body medicines
Some therapies for mind and body can significantly enhance the life quality of cancer patients. Behavior modification involves encouragement by others for expressing emotions. Some behavior therapies like Hypnotherapy, guided imagery, muscle relaxation, and biofeedback helps much for alleviating pain, vomiting, nausea, and the anxiety disorder that generally occur out of anticipation before or after the treatment of cancer. Group or individual counseling enables cancer patients to confront emotions and problems that generate because of cancer. They also receive great support from fellow cancer patients. Patients pursuing such therapies don’t feel lonely, and they become optimistic about their recovery from the deadly ailment. The therapies also encourage them to be less anxious regarding the upcoming future.
Nutrition and diet
Several scientific studies claim that nutrition and proper diet play a vital role in preventing cancer. Some observational studies prove that cancer is the most occurring ailment in people having specific dietary habits as colorectal cancer happens in people having a diet with plenty of meat products. Scientific data doesn’t support the intake of supplements and vitamins for mitigating cancer risks. Some studies reveal that the intake of certain supplements and vitamins and minerals can enhance the chance of getting some cancer as lung cancer happens in smokers who intake beta carotene. The risk of prostate cancer is possible in people who take a high dosage of Vitamin E.
Apart from this, no specific diet and nutritional essential are suggested by doctors that can slow down the growth, cure, or reverse the symptoms of cancer. Besides, experts don not recommend stopping standard cancer treatment and replacing it with a complementary medication. On the contrary, some therapies can help cancer patients to feel better.
Acupressure and Acupuncture
Both of them are complementary treatments to deal with cancer. On the one hand, none of the two assures curing of the disease. On the flip side, there is some evidence showing that both acupressure and acupuncture helps in the reduction of cancer symptoms. They are also helpful in the side effects caused by the disease accompanying its treatment.
Herbs to deal with cancer
Today, various herbal remedies are professing to fight the disease and related symptoms. Unfortunately, there are not many pieces of evidence to prove the efficacy of these herbs. Some herbs can help with individual complaints. Likewise, Peppermint tea and Ginger tea ameliorates nausea. Valerian roots help to deal with stress and anxiety. Capsicum cream relieves aching muscles.
Types of cancer
Cancer can be grouped as per the cell type they begin to develop in. There are five types of cancer as:
It is cancer that starts developing in your skin or tissues that cover or line the body’s internal organs. The subtypes of carcinoma are:
(ii) Basal cell Carcinoma
(iii) Squamous Cell Carcinoma
(iv) Transitional Cell Carcinoma
It is cancer that develops in the supportive or connective tissues like fat, blood vessels, cartilage, bone, or fat.
This cancer begins in tissues responsible for blood formation like bone marrow. It causes the development of abnormal cells of the blood, and these cells then go directly to your blood.
Myeloma and Lymphoma
It begins developing in the immune system cells.
Spinal cord and brain cancers
These cancers are called cancer of the central nervous system of the body.
The classification of cancers can also be done according to their location of origin, like lung cancer or breast cancer. The detailed classification of different cancer types are:
They begin in the epithelial tissues that protect the body from the body in the form of your skin. They also protect all the internal organs and line them like digestive system organs. Epithelial tissues also protect body cavities like the chest and abdominal cavity.
With the two kinds of epithelial cells and they develop in different carcinoma types as:
- Squamous cell carcinoma: As the name suggests, this kind of cancer develops in squamous cells. These cells cover the surface of the areas like the skin and throat and food pipelining.
- Adenocarcinoma: It begins in the epithelial cells, also known as adenomatous cells. These cells create fluids that keep the tissues moist.
- Transitional cell carcinoma: These cells stretch with the expansion of organs. They form tissue known as the transitional epithelium. For instance, bladder lining. Cancers develop in transitional cells are referred to as transitional cell carcinoma.
- Basal cell carcinoma: These layers line the skin’s deepest layer.
They begin in the supportive or connective tissues that are responsible for supporting the body’s tissues. These tissues comprise cartilage, bones, fibrous tissue, and tendons supporting the organs. This kind of cancer is not much common as compared to carcinoma cancer. Sarcoma cancer is of two types:
- Bone sarcoma or osteosarcoma: They begin from the bone cells.
- Soft Tissue sarcoma: These are rare yet the most commonly occurring in muscles or cartilage.
- Cartilage Cancer: This type of cancer is termed as chondrosarcoma. The cartilage cells are known as Chondroblasts.
- Muscle Cancer:Muscle Cancer is termed as Leiomyosarcoma or Rhabdomyosarcoma.
It is a blood cell cancer. It is a condition where bone marrow begins to produce WBCs in abundance. The cells aren’t fully developed, and hence they are incapable of working correctly. In this way, these abnormal cells start to build up in the mainstream blood of the body. Different kinds of blood cancer in Leukaemia are:
Myeloma and Lymphoma
Both affect the body’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system comprises glands and tubes responsible for filtering the body fluids and also fights different infections.
Spinal cord and brain cancers
This kind of cancer begins in the spinal cord or brain cells. The brain controls the body. Our brain sends signals through electrical messages, and they travel through the nerve fibers. Running out of the brain, these nerve fibers make up our spinal cord, and it also receives signals transferred from our body to the brain. Brain tumor, which happens most commonly, begins from the glial cells, also termed as glioma.