There are over 100 types of cancer, however, cancer is a disastrous disease that has killed billions of people globally.
For instance, according to 2018 review by the American cancer society. In America alone over 15.5 million people were living with cancer by January 2016, what about the worldwide population living with cancer?
I tell you, there are billions of cancer victims globally.
Currently, innovative research has fueled the use of new medications and treatment technologies to battle with cancer.
The advancement of technology provides a wide array of items that are being used to treat cancer of any type.
However, this has not been successful, and many lives are still being lost.
What is cancer?
Some people also call it malignancy, which is an abnormal growth of cells.
There are different types of cancer that cause various body cells to divide uncontrollably.
Doctors say that mutations in the abnormal cells’ DNA cause the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells do.
Therefore, causing tumors and impairment of other nearby tissues.
Types of cancer
There are various types of cancers.
However, the most common type of cancer in the U.S. is breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancers.
So far, there are over 100 types of cancer worldwide.
Doctors classify cancer according to its location in the body and the tissues that it forms in the cell.
For instance, sarcomas develop in bones or soft tissues, while carcinomas form in cells that cover internal or external surfaces in the body.
Basal cell carcinomas develop in the skin, while adenocarcinomas can form in the breast.
The most popular type of cancer includes,
- Breast cancer
- skin cancer
- lung cancer
- colon cancer
- prostate cancer
- lymphoma cancer
- bladder cancer
- rectal cancer
- endometrial cancer
- kidney cancer
- leukemia cancer
- liver cancer
- melanoma cancer
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- pancreatic cancer
- thyroid cancer
- Adrenal cancer
- Anal cancer
- Appendix cancer
- Bile duct cancer
- Bone cancer
- Brain cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Gestational trophoblastic disease
- Head and neck cancer
are less common and signs and symptoms vary depending on the type of cancer.
What are the Causes of Cancer?
There are many causes of various types of cancer. However, the most common causes of cancer include:
- heavy alcohol consumption
- drug abuse
- excess body weight
- physical inactivity
- poor nutrition
- Genetics– a person can inherit a predisposition for a type of cancer. A doctor may refer to this as having a hereditary cancer syndrome.
For instance, over 480,000 people die in the U.S. each year from smoking cigarettes, according to data reported in 2014.
Is cancer genetic?
Yes, cancer may be caused by genetic factors. For instance, if any of a parent has genes for cancer, they may pass on the altered instructions to their offspring.
Genetic code controls the growth of cells and expires.
Therefore, changes in the genes can lead to alteration of cell’ DNA and cancer can develop.
Furthermore, Genes can affect the cells’ production of proteins, being that proteins carry out various functions in order for cellular growth and division.
Some genetic changes occur after birth, exposure to UV rays, toxic substances, physical inactivity and others due to food that we eat.
In addition, other people can get cancer due to hereditary cancer syndrome. That is the ability of a person to inherit a predisposition for a type of cancer.
Studies show that inherited genetic mutations sum up to 5–10 percent of cancer cases.
What is Cancer Staging?
The cancer staging clearly indicates the extent to which the cancerous cell has spread through the body and its severity.
The cancer biopsy helps the doctors to effectively battle with the treatments and provides the best medication.
More so, each stage determines whether cancer has or has not spread or has spread to nearby organs.
It may also take into account the number and size of the tumors. The staging can vary in types of cancer.
Here is the general staging for cancer.
- Occult, or hidden: Cancer does not show on imaging scans, but cancerous cells might appear in the phlegm or mucus and may have reached other parts of the body.
- In Stage 0: The doctor finds abnormal cells only in the top layers of cells lining the airways.
- Stage I: A tumor has developed, but is less than 5 centimeters (cm) and has not spread to other parts of the body.
- In Stage II: The tumor is smaller than 5 cm and might have spread to the tissues in around the affected area, or smaller than 7 cm and spread to nearby tissues but not lymph nodes.
- Stage III: Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and reached other parts of the organs and surrounding area.
- Stage IV: Cancer has spread to distant body parts, such as the bones or brain.
Is cancer treated?
Yes, the earlier cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of its being cured.
Cancer can be treated when it is early detected; however, treatment of cancer varies according to the type of cancer and the stages of cancer.
The following treatments can be done base on the stages and the type of cancer.
Types of cancer treatments
Here are some of the common treatments of cancer
The Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells.
Radiation therapy may be an option when cancer cannot be completely removed during surgery.
In chemotherapy, drugs are used to kill cancerous cells.
For cancers limited to the top layer of skin, creams or lotions containing anti-cancer agents may be applied directly to the skin.
Systemic chemotherapy can be used to treat cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
What are the Side Effects of chemotherapy?
The following are the pros of chemotherapy;
- Hair loss
- An increased risk of developing an infection
- It can result in infertility (if premenopausal),
- Damage to the heart and kidneys
- Nerve damage,
- Very rarely, blood cell cancer.
This treatment destroys cancerous cells with a combination of laser light and drugs that makes cancer cells sensitive to light.
Biological therapy uses your body’s immune system to kill cancer cells.
It is one of the common parts of a cancer treatment plan in case a person has a cancerous tumor.
A surgeon may remove the tumor and a small margin of surrounding healthy tissue.
It can be removing the extra normal cells around the tumor.
Your doctor may destroy actinic keratosis and some small, early skin cancers by freezing them with liquid nitrogen.
In addition, an electric needle is use to destroy any remaining cancer cells. This helps to treat other types of cancers.
This involves taking medications that change how reproductive hormones work.
Hormone therapy is used to treat cancers that are sensitive to hormones.
Doctors refer to these cancers as estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) and progesterone receptor-positive (PR-positive) cancers.
This treatment can be done before or after surgery or other treatments to decrease the chance of your cancer returning.
Precision medicine or personalized medicine
Checking gene may be done.it is also known as Palliative care which is specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness.
This involves using genetic testing to check and identify the best treatments for cancer.
These are targeted therapies done to perform functions within cancerous cells to prevent them from multiplying.
The drugs can damage cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. They can also boost the immune system
For instance, your cancer cells may be tested to see whether you might benefit from targeted therapy drugs.
In addition, some medications are used after surgery to reduce the risk that cancer will return.
Others are used in cases of advanced lung cancer to reduce the emerging of the tumor.
They are Immunotherapy that uses medications and other treatments to boost the immune system and encourage it to fight cancerous cells.
Immunotherapy together with chemotherapy treats advance cancer that is spread to other parts of the body.
- Stem cell transplant can be especially beneficial for people with blood-related cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
It involves removing cells, such as red or white blood cells, that chemotherapy or radiation has destroyed.
Lab technicians then strengthen the cells and put them back into the body.
How is cancer diagnosed?
Various types of cancer diagnosis start with a keen examination of the body and a complete medical history checkup.
After this a sample of blood, urine, and tool are collected and taken for testing in the laboratory.
The test is done in order to detect any abnormalities in the body that result in cancer.
However, if a tumor is suspected, then further imaging tests may be carried out.
This imaging test may include ultrasound, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and fiber-optic endoscopy examinations.
This helps doctors to identify the extent of the tumor and cancerous cells location and size.
A biopsy is one of the most important things that a doctor carries out.
In which a tissue sample is taken from the suspected tumor and keenly examined by an instrument called a microscope to identify any cancerous cells.
A poor dietary and sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of developing cancer.
Therefore, avoid smoking, alcoholic drinks, and other drug abuse. The diagnosis and death rates of cancer are dropping yearly.
Improvements in cancer detection increased awareness of the risks of smoking, and a drop in tobacco use have all contributed to a year-on-year decrease in the number of cancer diagnoses and deaths.
When a person has cancer, the outlook will depend on whether the disease has spread and on its type, severity, and location.