TYPES OF CANCER
Types of Cancer: A disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue.
MOST COMMON TYPES
A cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.
A cancer in a man’s prostate, a small walnut-sized gland that produces seminal fluid.
Basal cell cancer
A type of skin cancer that begins in the basal cells.
The most serious type of skin cancer.
A cancer of the colon or rectum, which may begin as non-cancerous polyps.
A cancer that begins in the lungs and most often occurs in people who smoke.
A cancer of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body’s ability to fight infection.
A cancer of the lymphatic system.
What Is Cancer?
The Definition of Cancer
Cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body.
Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally, human cells grow and multiply (through a process called cell division) to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place.
Sometimes this orderly process breaks down, and abnormal or damaged cells grow and multiply when they shouldn’t. These cells may form tumors, which are lumps of tissue. Tumors can be cancerous or not cancerous (benign). Cancerous tumors spread into, or invade, nearby tissues and can travel to distant places in the body to form new tumors (a process called metastasis). Cancerous tumors may also be called malignant tumors. Many cancers form solid tumors, but cancers of the blood, such as leukemias, generally do not.Benign tumors do not spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. When removed, benign tumors usually don’t grow back, whereas cancerous tumors sometimes do. Benign tumors can sometimes be quite large, however. Some can cause serious symptoms or be life threatening, such as benign tumors in the brain.
Differences between Cancer Cells and Normal Cells
Cancer cells differ from normal cells in many ways. For instance, cancer cells:
- grow in the absence of signals telling them to grow. Normal cells only grow when they receive such signals.
- ignore signals that normally tell cells to stop dividing or to die (a process known as programmed cell death, or apoptosis).
- invade into nearby areas and spread to other areas of the body. Normal cells stop growing when they encounter other cells, and most normal cells do not move around the body.
- tell blood vessels to grow toward tumors. These blood vessels supply tumors with oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products from tumors.
- hide from the immune system. The immune system normally eliminates damaged or abnormal cells.
- trick the immune system into helping cancer cells stay alive and grow. For instance, some cancer cells convince immune cells to protect the tumor instead of attacking it.
- accumulate multiple changes in their chromosomes, such as duplications and deletions of chromosome parts. Some cancer cells have double the normal number of chromosomes.
- rely on different kinds of nutrients than normal cells. In addition, some cancer cells make energy from nutrients in a different way than most normal cells. This lets cancer cells grow more quickly.
Many times, cancer cells rely so heavily on these abnormal behaviors that they can’t survive without them. Researchers have taken advantage of this fact, developing therapies that target the abnormal features of cancer cells. For example, some cancer therapies prevent blood vessels from growing toward tumors, essentially starving the tumor of needed nutrients.
LIVER-CANCER: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT
The liver is the body’s largest organ. It performs various vital tasks in the body, including waste elimination, vitamin absorption, and wound healing. The liver is located in the upper right area of the abdomen, just below the ribs. It produces bile, a chemical that aids in the digestion of fats, vitamins, and other nutrients. Additionally, the liver stores nutrients such as glucose to keep us nourished during periods if we’re not eating. It also breaks down drugs and toxins.
When liver-cancer develops, it damages liver cells and impairs the liver’s capacity to function normally.
Liver-cancer develops when the DNA of liver cells undergoes alterations (mutations). As a consequence, cells may begin to multiply uncontrollably and ultimately form a tumor – a collection of malignant cells. Occasionally, such as with chronic hepatitis infections, the cause of liver cancer is known. However, liver cancer may occur in persons who have no underlying illness, and the cause remains unknown.
However, the following risk factors contribute to liver cancer:
- HBV or HCV infection: Chronic infection with the hepatitis B or C viruses (HBV or HCV) increases the risk of developing liver cancer.
- Cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is a progressive and irreversible disorder that results in the formation of scar tissue in the liver and increases the risk of developing liver cancer.
- Diabetes: Diabetic people are at an increased risk of developing liver cancer than non-diabetics.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Increased fat buildup in the liver increases the chance of developing liver cancer.
- Aflatoxin exposure: Aflatoxins are poisons created by molds on crops that are stored improperly. Aflatoxin-contaminated crops, such as grains and nuts, might end up in foods manufactured from these items.
- Excessive alcohol consumption: Consuming more than the permissible quantity of alcohol per day for an extended period of time might cause irreparable liver damage and increase your chance of developing liver cancer.
In the early stages of liver cancer, the majority of patients exhibit no signs or symptoms. When signs and symptoms appear, they may include the following:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Upper abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- General weakness and fatigue
- Abdomen swelling
- Yellow discolouration of the skin and the whites of eyes (Jaundice)
- White, chalky stools
There are numerous treatment options for liver cancer. When prescribing a treatment plan, the doctor will take several factors into account. These include the following:
- The number, size, and location of tumors in your liver
- How efficiently your liver is functioning
- Whether cirrhosis is present
- Whether the cancer has spread to other organs.
A partial hepatectomy is a procedure that involves the removal of a portion of the liver. This procedure is mainly intended for patients with early-stage liver cancer. The remaining healthy tissue will recover and eventually replace the lost portion.
A liver transplant is a surgical procedure in which the complete liver is replaced with a healthy liver from a compatible donor. If the cancer has not progressed to other organs, a transplant may be considered.
Ablation is a technique that utilizes heat, cooling, or ethanol injections to kill cancer cells. Typically, it is conducted under local anesthesia. The most common types of tumor ablation treatments use radio waves and microwaves to heat and destroy cancer cells. Ablation can benefit individuals who are not suitable for neither surgical nor transplant candidates.
Radiation therapy uses beams of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It can be delivered by external beam radiation or internal radiation.
Targeted therapy uses medications that inhibit tumor growth.
Chemotherapy is a very useful technique of chemical treatment that is used to eradicate cancer cells. Typically, medications are injected intravenously or into a vein. Chemotherapy medications may be used to eradicate, shrink, or limit the development of tumors, depending on the kind of liver cancer.
Immunotherapy is a kind of cancer treatment that utilizes the body’s own immune system. Immunotherapy medications may assist the body in recognising and eliminating cancer cells.
A range of treatments that target cancer cells by either inhibiting their development or function, or by assisting the body’s immune system in destroying them. It may be used in combination with or after other cancer therapies.
Endoscopic stent placement
If the cancer has obstructed the bile duct and bile has accumulated in the liver, a stent (thin tube) may be inserted in the liver to drain the bile and alleviate symptoms.
Cancer Clinics provides its doctors with cutting-edge technology and specialized techniques to enhance patient care. Our team of oncologists, hepatologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, and transplant specialists collaborate to establish a multidisciplinary team that provides complete treatment for patients with liver cancer. Doctors at the Cancer Clinics will work with you to explore all of your treatment choices and choose the one that is most appropriate for your requirements and objectives.
CAN SUNSCREEN HELP TO PREVENT CANCER?
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Did you know that most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays?
Our relationship with the sun is bizarre. The sun provides us with much-needed Vitamin D, a nutrient that helps strengthen our bones and prevent diseases like osteoporosis. A moderate level of sun exposure has proven to enhance our moods, help alleviate stress, and improve our sleep habits. However, the sun also emits UV rays, which can cause potential harm to us.
UV exposure is the primary cause of most skin cancers. UV rays can damage your skin’s DNA, leading to mutations that cause cells to grow uncontrollably, resulting in cancer. When cells reproduce abnormally, they can metastasize, meaning that cancer can spread from one part of the body to the other.
To lower your risk of getting skin cancer, you can protect your skin from UV rays from the sun. You can also avoid artificial sources of UV exposure like tanning beds and sunlamps.
So, what can you do to prevent harm from the sun? The remedy can be staying out of the sun altogether or slathering on the sunscreen.
Practice Sun Safety
Protection from UV rays is essential round the year, not just during the summer. UV rays can reach you on cloudy and cool days, and they reflect off from surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow. Check for the forecasts of the strength of UV rays each day. If the UV index is 3 or higher in your area, protect your skin from too much exposure to the sun.
The following are several ways to protect your skin when the UV index is 3 or higher:
- Stay in the shade
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher
How do sunscreens help?
Sunscreens are products that combine several ingredients to help prevent the sun’s UV radiation from reaching the skin.
What should you do?
Apply a thick layer of sunscreen on all exposed skin. Put on a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 15 or higher before you step out.
What is SPF?
Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF), which is a number that rates how well they block UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays.
How do you use sunscreen?
- Sunscreen should be applied 15-30 minutes before sun exposure, regardless of the weather.
- Sunscreen should be reapplied if you stay out of the sun for more than 2 hours. It should also be applied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating.
Still not convinced about sunscreen?
Are you wondering how our forefathers managed to survive the rigor of the sun? While our ancestors spent a lot of time under the sun with no protection, they were safe. However, with rapid depletion of the ozone layer, and changing climatic conditions, it is important to take extra care in the current times. There is also a widely held misconception that sunscreen is just for cosmetic benefits. But, now you know it is more than that! It is paramount that you keep yourself protected from the harmful effects of sun exposure with a wall of the barrier- “Sunscreen”.
Cancer Clinics is one of the best Cancer hospitals in Hyderabad. It is housed with world-class Oncology specialists, who treat you with utmost care. Book an appointment today to get screened. Be safe and stay healthy!
ESOPHAGEAL CANCER: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT
The esophagus is a hollow, long muscular tube that allows the flow of food from the throat to the stomach via muscular contractions. Esophageal cancer may develop when a malignant tumor forms in the lining of the esophagus.
As the tumor develops, it may spread to the deep tissues and muscles of the esophagus. Tumors may develop at any point along the length of the esophagus.
The etiology of esophageal cancer is unknown. Esophageal cancer develops when cells in the esophagus undergo genetic changes (mutations). These changes make the cells grow and divide uncontrollably. The accumulating abnormal cells in the esophagus create a tumor, which may grow large enough to infect surrounding tissues and spread to other areas of the body, a process called metastasis.
Though the specific causes of esophageal cancer are unknown, the illness is associated with several risk factors. The following are risk factors for esophageal cancer:
- Old age: Esophageal cancer is more common in people over the age of 60.
- Male gender: Men are three times more likely than women to develop the condition.
- Tobacco use: Tobacco usage includes both smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco is known to heighten the risk of diagnosing Esophageal cancer.
- Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of esophageal cancer.
- Barrett’s esophagus and chronic acid reflux: Barrett’s esophagus is a change in the cells at the esophagus’s lower end caused by chronic acid reflux. Even in the absence of Barrett’s esophagus, persons who suffer from long-term heartburn have an increased chance of developing esophageal cancer.
- Achalasia: It is a rare disorder that causes difficulty in swallowing.
- Tylosis: It is a rare hereditary condition characterized by excessive skin growth on the palms and soles of the feet.
- Cancer History: Individuals who have had neck or head cancer are at a high risk of developing esophageal cancer.
In its early stages, esophageal cancer may be present with no symptoms. The first symptom that individuals usually notice is difficulty swallowing. The tumor narrows the opening of the esophagus as it develops, making swallowing difficult and painful. Other symptoms of esophageal cancer include the following:
- Pain in the throat, behind the breastbone, or between the shoulder blades
- Vomiting or coughing up blood
- Unintentional weight loss
- Frequent choking while eating
- Food coming back up the esophagus
- Persistent cough
Treatment for esophageal cancer varies, depending on the stage of cancer and the patient’s general condition.
- Surgery: In surgical methods of treatment, some part or all of the esophagus may be removed.
- Radiation treatment: Radiation therapy is a treatment method that is used to kill cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: In Chemotherapy, powerful drugs that are very effective in attacking cancer cells throughout the body are often used in conjunction with radiation treatment and/or surgery.
- Targeted Therapy: Treatments that target specific aspects of cancer to slow the development and spread of the disease come under Targeted Therapy.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy aids the immune system in its fight against cancer cells.
- Photodynamic therapy: Photodynamic therapy utilizes specific laser light to target cancer cells.
- Electrocoagulation: In Electrocoagulation, a stream of electric current is passed to kill cancer cells.
- Cryotherapy: Freezing cancer cells to aid in tumor shrinkage is known as Cryotherapy.
Our multidisciplinary team of medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and gastroenterologists treats patients in various stages of esophageal cancer. Cancer Clinics staff recognizes that treating disorders of the gastrointestinal system, such as esophageal cancer requires expertise. We assist you in selecting a treatment plan customized to your specific needs. Get yourself screened today!
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