There has been a severe conflict, or even at times it is designated as one of the dubious topics, about the increasing lifestyle diseases and even the level of awareness for it. Some of the most deadly diseases like Cancer can also be found even in children these days. Hence, in order to entirely curb away all these diseases from the root, it is highly important that you should have a supply of accurate diagnostic tests such as cancer diagnostic tests and some authentic health check tools.
When we are indeed talking about this deadly disease, then the process of diagnosing cancer at its early stages often endows you the best chance for a cure. With this vital formulation in mind, even doctors these days are opting for accurate diagnosis, along with involving a complete analysis of the accurate type of cancer screening, which might be appropriate for you. For few of such cases, it has been seen, that even a simple test for this disease, can indeed detect it at an early stage. There are few instances when detailed cancer screening tests are executed, especially when a patient shows severe symptoms.
There are indeed a variety of medical organizations, along with some patient-advocacy groups, who have actually analyzed the wide-ranging strategies and recommendations for patients suffering from such a deadly disease. They have indeed figured out a chart that is based on the risk factors of Cancer.
What Is Cancer?
We all know someone or the other close to us who has had cancer at some point of time, and by the year 2020, it has been estimated that nearly half of us born will be living with a diagnosis of the ailment ourselves. Our ability to identify the same earlier is therefore very important. This is necessary in order to understand why some people get it, while others doesn’t. Hence it is important to find the right treatment, cures, and test for cancer for each person, with authentic research, analysis and knowledge, but however above all, accurate data in every case is more important.
The Public Health England combining with the National Cancer Registration Service and National Cancer Intelligence Network has created a single new function: The PHE’s National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service that are responsible for collecting, analyzing and providing the data for all patients diagnosed with this disease in England. This very step has enabled a solution to achieve quality data.
The Importance of Good Quality Data
A complete and some detailed collection of data about every cancer patient is the turnkey to understanding this complex disease. The symptoms people have, and how their ailment is diagnosed, what kind of treatment they respond to and finally how their own symptoms progresses over time are some of the aspects well analyzed.
Cancer can occur in every part of the body and traditionally can be classified by the organ in which it first develops. There are around 150,000 of the most common cancers that occurs in the lung, breast, prostate and colon, but a further 200,000 or less common are present, which arises in the brain, blood, pancreas, ovary, stomach and or in part of the skin. In special cases, a patient has to undergo a specific cancer test. For instance, for a prostate cancer, diagnostic and treatment procedure is carried on the basis of prostate cancer test.
Under the microscope there are around two hundred different types present for this ailment. However, as we come to comprehend more about the molecular and genetic basis of each such division, so has it become clear that there are hundreds of changes in each cancer, and that it is the combination of all these molecular defects in a person’s cancer that will also change over time. This means that everyone’s ailment is essentially ‘a rare species’. So in order to help each individual with such disease, there is a need to build large collections of data from every other patient.
Causes of Cancer
Cancer is nothing but a complex group of diseases with many possible causes. In this particular section you can learn about the known causes of cancer, as well, including all the genetic factors; lifestyle factors and social factors affecting the growth of Cancer. Beginning from the usage of tobacco, diet, and even physical activity. There are also certain types of infections; and environmental exposures to various types of chemicals and radiation, which can enlighten the causes of this deadly disease.
- The Genetics and Cancer
There are some types of cancer that run in certain families, but most of them are not clearly linked to the genes we inherit from our parents. The basic Gene changes that commence in a single cell over the course of a person’s life, can cause most cancers.
- The Family Cancer Syndromes
Cancer is such a common disease that it is no surprise that many families have at least a few members who have had this ailment earlier. Sometimes, certain types of this disease seem to run in some families. But only a small portion of all such types is inherited. This document focuses on those cancers.
- Genes and Cancer
There have been certain advances in genetics and even in molecular biology that have improved our knowledge of the inner workings of the cells, which are the basic building blocks of the body. Here we basically review how the present cells can change during a person’s life to ultimately become cancer, and how there are certain types of changes, which can build on inherited gene changes in order to speed up the development of cancer.
- The Genetic Testing
The Genetic testing can be very useful for people with certain types of this disease that indeed seems to run in their families, but these tests are not recommended for everyone. Here we offer information to help understand what genetic testing is and how it can be used in cancer, and what makes it a major form of test of cancer.
- The Diet and Physical Activity
- Diet and Physical Activity: The Cancer Connection
One of the most important fact, which we usually fall to notice is how much do lifestyle choices such as what we eat and how active we are to affect our risk for this disease. Let us find out in a brief overview how lifestyle can affect our health.
- The Body Weight and Cancer Risk
Being overweight or more commonly considered as obese can have far-reaching health consequences. This includes even raising your risk for certain types of cancer. It is important to learn more about the link between body weight and cancer to reduce adverse consequences.
- The Impact of Alcohol and Cancer
It has been estimated that most people know that heavy alcohol use can cause some severe health problems. But there are many people, who may not be aware that alcohol use can increase their cancer risk. The chances of meeting them with blood cancers are pretty high. Let us concentrate more about the link between alcohol and cancer to make the study far reaching.
- The Process of Eating Healthy and Get Active
After learning about the entire links between diet, physical activity, and this ailment, we have explored that you can learn more about the benefits of good nutrition, along with regular physical activity, and staying at a healthy weight.
- The Sun and UV Exposure
- The Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is designed to reduce the effect of cancer and comes from the sun and some man-made sources like tanning beds. It is highly essential that one should learn more about the UV and how to reduce your risk of skin cancer accordingly.
- The Skin Cancer Facts
Yes, it is true that skin cancer is one of the most harmful diseases, and like the other counterpart of the disease, this if not diagnosed early leads to death. Therefore, it is always important to get an idea about the facts and statistics of skin cancer.
- The Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
As knowledge about skin cancer is important, it is also highly essential that one should as well take a notice of the link between the sun’s rays and this ailment. Hence, you must get involved with the various ways to protect yourself and your loved ones, and have knowledge about the skin changes that may require a doctor’s attention. You can even opt to go for a screening test for cancer, in case, you are meeting with regular skin troubles, or have develop weird patches on the skin surface.
- Knowledge about Melanoma
Yes, it is true that the Knowledge about Melanoma is very important as it will provide a brief overview of melanoma, including what causes it, along with the possible warning signs.
- The Radiation Exposure and Cancer Risk
The Radiation Exposure and the Risk helps you learn about the various types of radiation and how to expose the mighty affect cancer.
- The X-rays, Gamma Rays, and Cancer Risk
When we are talking about radiation and cancer risk, it is often said that x-rays and gamma rays can become one of the causes. Therefore, it is very important to learn about these types of high-energy
- The Radon
Radon is nothing but a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. Any kind of long-term exposure to radon can severely lead to lung cancer.
- Most Second Cancers are caused by Cancer Treatment
Some types of this ailment treatments such as chemotherapy and even radiation therapy may increase a person’s risk of developing a various type of cancer later in life. Hence the cause of second cancers may be linked to past cancer treatment.
- The Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation comes from the sun and man-made sources like tanning beds. Learn more about UV and how to reduce your risk of skin cancer here.
- The Microwaves, Radio Waves, and the Other Types of Radiofrequency Radiation
The Radiofrequency (RF) radiation, such as the microwaves and even radio waves, is at the low-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum and is also a type of non-ionizing radiation. This definitely increases cancer risk.
- The Cellular Phones
Some concerns have also been raised about the actual safety of cell phone use because they have given off radio frequency (RF) radiation. You can learn about cell phones and cancer risk.
- Other Types Carcinogens
- The Other Carcinogens
It is always important for you to learn about some of the environmental causes of cancer that may actually lurk in our homes, at work, in pollution, and at times even in some medical tests and treatments. You can also learn how there are some types of infections that are linked to this disease.
- The General Information about Carcinogens
This is an aspect where one can actually learn about the potential carcinogens are tested and classified, and cancer clusters.
- Infectious Agents and Cancer
It has been stated that a small portion of cancers is also thought to be linked to infections. Let us learn about some of the infectious agents of cancer.
- Home – Home is never an exception to find information on some of the possible cancer-causing substances in and around. This includes the radon, lead, and arsenic. You can as well find some information on consumer products such as even cosmetics, hair dyes, and cell phones.
- In the Workplace – There are some people, who believe that the workplace can be a source of exposure to some of the potentially harmful substances, such as asbestos, benzene, or formaldehyde.
- Pollution – You can always find something more about the common sources of pollution, and how they might affect your risk of cancer.
- Medical Treatments – Medical tests and various kinds of treatments can actually be an important part of getting and even staying healthy. But there are some types of tests and treatments that may actually increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. In such case, availing a blood test for cancer detection can really help.
Types of Cancer
If we sit down and calculate, then it can be seen that there are almost 100 types of cancer. The type of cancer that are usually named for the organs or the tissues where actually this disease form. For example, even lung cancer starts in cells of the lung, and the brain cancer starts in cells of the brain. Cancers can as well may be described by the actual type of cell that formed them, such as an epithelial cell or even a squamous cell.
You can even search for information on specific types of this ailment that are based on the cancer’s location in the body or by using the A to Z List of Cancers. Here are some of the categories of cancers that begin in specific types of cells:
- The Carcinoma
When it comes to the carcinomas, they are considered to be the most common type of cancer. They are in fact formed by the epithelial cells, which are the cells that cover the complete inside and outside surfaces of the body. There are many types of epithelial cells, which are often said to have a column-like shape specially when viewed under a microscope.
It is these Carcinomas that begin in different epithelial cell types and have some specific names:
The Adenocarcinoma – This is a kind of cancer that forms in epithelial cells that produce fluids or mucus. Tissues with this type of epithelial cell are indeed sometimes called glandular tissues. Most of the cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate are actually adenocarcinomas. Just like ovarian cancer test, a patient has to undergo through a specialized test for this form of the disease.
Basal cell carcinoma is a cancer, which begins in the lower or basal (base) layer of the epidermis, which is a person’s outer layer of the skin.
The Squamous cell carcinoma is a cancer that indeed forms in squamous cells, which epithelial cells are laying just beneath the outer surface of the skin. Squamous cells also line various other organs, including the stomach, intestines, lungs, bladder, and kidneys. Squamous cells look flat, like fish scales, when given an actual view like under a microscope.
- The Sarcoma
The so called Soft tissue sarcoma; shows that different types of tissue in the body where soft tissue sarcomas form, even including the lymph vessels, the blood vessels, the fat, the muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and nerves.
All these soft tissue sarcoma forms in soft tissues of the body, including muscle, tendons, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves, and even the tissue around joints.
Sarcomas are called to be such type of cancers that hence form in bone and soft tissues, including the muscle, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, and fibrous tissue (such as tendons and ligaments).
The Osteosarcoma is the most common cancer of bone. In fact most common types of soft tissue sarcoma are leiomyosarcoma, Kaposi sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, liposarcoma, and even dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.
There are even Cancers that begin in the blood-forming tissue of the bone marrow and are called leukemias. These are the special type of cancers do not form solid tumors. Instead, there are large numbers of abnormal white blood cells (leukemia cells and leukemic blast cells) that builds up in the blood and bone marrow, hence crowding out normal blood cells. The low level of normal blood cells can actually make it harder for the body to get oxygen to its tissues, control both the bleeding, or even fight infections.
There are also four common types of leukemia, which are grouped based on how quickly the entire disease gets worse (acute or chronic) and even on the type of blood cell that the cancer starts in with (lymphoblastic or myeloid). One has to go through a series of blood tests for cancer to know its accurate form.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in lymphocytes (T cells or B cells). These are disease-fighting white blood cells that are part of the immune system. In lymphoma, abnormal lymphocytes build up in lymph nodes and lymph vessels, as well as in other organs of the body.
There are basically two main types of lymphoma:
- The Hodgkin lymphoma – People with this disease or cancer actually have abnormal lymphocytes that are called Reed-Sternberg cells. These cells are always usually form from B cells.
- The Non-Hodgkin lymphoma – There is a large group of cancers that even start in lymphocytes. The cancers can indeed grow quickly or even slowly and can form from B cells or T cells.
- The Multiple Myeloma
The Multiple myeloma is definitely the type of cancer that begins in plasma cells, another type of immune cell. The abnormal plasma cells, are called myeloma cells, build up in the bone marrow and form tumors in bones all through the body. In fact Multiple myeloma is also called plasma cell myeloma and Kahler disease.
- The Melanoma
The Melanoma is a kind of cancer that begins in cells that become melanocytes, which are specialized cells that make melanin (this is the one pigment that gives skin its color). Most of the melanomas form on the skin, but melanomas can also form in other pigmented tissues, such as the eye.
- Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors
There are in fact different types of brain and spinal cord tumors. These tumors are named or rather based on the type of cell in which they formed and where the tumor first formed in the central nervous system. For instance, an astrocytic tumor begins in star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, and which help keep nerve cells healthy. Brain tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). In such forms of cancer, it is essential to go for specialized tests along with the blood cancer tests.
- The Other Types of Tumors
- The Germ Cell Tumors
when it comes to Germ cell tumors are a type of tumor that begins in the cells that indeed give rise to sperm or eggs. These tumors can in fact occur almost anywhere in the body and can be either benign or malignant.
- The Neuroendocrine Tumors
The Neuroendocrine tumors form from cells that actually release hormones into the blood in response to a signal from the nervous system. These are the special kind of tumors, which may make higher-than-normal amounts of hormones, and can indeed cause many different symptoms. Neuroendocrine tumors may be benign or malignant.
- The Carcinoid Tumors
The last but not the least is the Carcinoid tumors are a type of neuroendocrine tumor. They are slow-growing tumors that are usually found in the main gastrointestinal system (most often in the rectum and small intestine). Carcinoid tumors are always to spread to the liver or other sites in the body, and they may as well secrete substances such as serotonin or prostaglandins, causing carcinoid syndrome.
14 Signs and Symptoms of Cancer
Yes it is true that there are many signs and symptoms are both signals of injury, illness, disease – signals that something is not right in our body.
A sign is a signal that can always be seen by someone else – maybe a loved one, or a doctor, nurse, or at times even other health care professional. For example, fever, some kind of fast breathing, and abnormal lung sounds heard through a stethoscope may be signs of pneumonia.
A symptom is always considered as a signal that’s felt or noticed by the person who has it, but may not be easily seen by anyone else. For instances, weakness, aching, and feeling short of breath may be symptoms of pneumonia.
Having one sign or even symptom may not be enough to figure out what’s causing it. For instance, a rash in a child could be a sign of a number of things, for example the poison ivy, measles, a kind of skin infection, or even some food allergy. But if the child has the rash along with other signs and some symptoms like a high fever, even chills, and achiness, and a sore throat, then a doctor can get the better picture of the illness. Sometimes, a patient’s signs and symptoms are the one that still don’t give the doctor enough clues to be sure of what’s causing the illness. Then medical tests, such as x-rays, and even blood cancer test, or a biopsy may be needed.
What are some general signs and symptoms of cancer?
You should always be aware of the fact that some of the general signs and symptoms of cancer are very common and may not relate directly to the same. But remember, having any of these does not also mean that you have cancer – many other things cause these signs and symptoms, too. If you have any of such symptoms and they last for a long time or get worse, please always see a doctor to find out what’s going on.
- The Unexplained weight loss
Yes most of the people nowadays are suffering with cancer, and will lose weight at some point. When you lose weight for no particular reason, it’s called an unexplained weight loss. An unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or at times even more may be the first sign of cancer. This happens mostly with cancers of the pancreas, the stomach, and the esophagus.
- High Fever
It is very true that fever is very common with cancer, but it more often this happens after cancer has spread from where it started. Almost every individual with cancer will have fever at some time, especially if their cancer or its treatment affects the immune system. (This can make it harder for the body to fight infection.) Less often, it is the fever that may be an early sign of cancer, such as blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma.
When it comes to detection, then the process of getting fatigues can be one of that main cause to identify your cancer. Fatigue is extreme tiredness that does not get better with rest. It may be an important symptom as cancer grows. But it may also happen early in some cancers, like leukemia. Some colon or even the stomach cancers can cause blood loss that’s not obvious. This is another way cancer can cause immense fatigue.
- The Pain
Yes it is also true that pain may be an early symptom with some cancers like the bone cancers or even the testicular cancer. A headache that does not go away or get better with treatment may be a one of the symptom of a brain tumor. Back pain can be a symptom of cancer of the colon, even rectum, or ovary. Most often, pain due to cancer means it has already spread (metastasized) from where it originally started.
- The Skin changes
In presence of any such symptoms, a patient may require to go for screening tests for cancer. Along with some of the above mentioned symptoms, skin cancers, some other cancers can cause skin changes that can be seen. These signs and symptoms include:
- Darker looking skin
- Yellowish skin and eyes
- Reddened skin
- Excessive hair growth
- The Signs and symptoms of certain cancers
Along with the general symptoms, you should watch for certain other common signs and symptoms that could suggest cancer. Again, there may be other causes for each of these, but it is always important to see a doctor about them as soon as possible – especially when there’s no other aspect with which you can identify, the problem lasts a long time, or it gets worse over time.
- The Change in bowel habits or bladder function
Long-term constipation, and even at times diarrhea, or a change in the size of the stool may be a sign of colon cancer. Pain when you are passing urine, blood in the urine, or a change in bladder function (such as needing to pass urine more or less often than usual) could be simply related to bladder or prostate cancer. Report any changes in bladder or bowel function to a doctor.
- The Special Sores that do not heal
When you are suffering from skin cancers may bleed and even look like sores that don’t heal. A long-lasting sore in the mouth could be an oral cancer. This should be dealt with right away, especially in people who smoke a lot, chew tobacco, or often even drink alcohol. Sores on the penis or even vagina may either be signs of infection or an early cancer, and should always be seen by a health professional.
- The simple White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue
White patches inside the mouth and even sometimes white spots on the tongue may be leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is basically a pre-cancerous area that’s caused by frequent irritation. It’s often caused by what we know as smoking or other tobacco use. People who are indeed smoking pipes or use oral or spit tobacco are at high risk for leukoplakia. If it’s not treated at an early stage, leukoplakia can become mouth cancer. Any long-lasting mouth changes should be checked by the doctor or dentist right away.
- The Unusual bleeding or discharge
Unusual bleeding can happen any time and is always an early or advanced cancer. Coughing up blood may be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in the stool and even sometimes (which can look like very dark or black stool) could be also be a sign of colon or rectal cancer. Cancer of the cervix or the endometrium (lining of the uterus) can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding. Blood in the urine may as well be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer. A bloody discharge from the nipple may be a sign of breast cancer.
- The Thickening or lump in the breast or other parts of the body
There are in fact many cancers that can indeed be felt through the skin. These are the cancers that occur mostly in the breast, testicle, lymph nodes (glands), and the soft tissues of the body. A lump or even the thickening may be an early or late sign of cancer and should be reported to a doctor immediately, especially if you’ve just found it or even noticed it has grown in size. It is always important to keep in mind that some breast cancers show up as red or thickened skin rather than a simple lump.
- The Indigestion or trouble swallowing
There are some Indigestion or swallowing problems that don’t go away may be signs of cancer of the esophagus (the swallowing tube that goes to the end of the stomach), stomach, or pharynx (throat). But like most symptoms on this list, they are also the one that is caused by something other than cancer.
- The Recent change in a wart or mole or any new kind of skin change
There may be any wart, mole, or freckle that changes color, size, or even at times shape, or that loses its sharp border should be seen by a doctor right away. Any other kind of skin which changes should be reported, too. A skin which may undergo change may be a melanoma which, if found early, they can be treated successfully.
- The Nagging cough or hoarseness
Yes it is true that a cough that does not go away may sometimes be a sign of lung cancer. Hoarseness can be a sign of immediate cancer of the larynx (voice box) or thyroid gland.
Diagnosis of Cancer
Your doctor can indeed use one or more approaches in order to diagnose cancer:
- The Physical Examination:
One of the most prime aspect which your doctor might analyze, is to feel all the areas of your body for lumps, which may be an indication any kind of tumor. During this entire examination, one may look for several different types of abnormality, like a change in skin color, or even an enlargement of that organ. This would actually help you have an analysis, at a timely stage.
- The Important Laboratory Tests:
The next important aspect which must always be considered here, is the laboratory tests. This is something that simply includes some of the common phases like blood test for Cancer or urine tests, which will ultimately help in the proper identification of abnormalities that are caused by this disease. For example, the person suffering from leukemia, a very common blood test called the ‘complete blood count’ might even reveal the unusual rise of the white blood cells.
- The Imaging Aspect of Test:
The next and one of the most important aspect which must be emphasized upon is the examination of your bones and even at times the internal organs, in a noninvasive way. This may include some computerized tomography like the following aspects:
- A CT scan
- A Bone scan
- The Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- The Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
- An Ultrasound (USG)
- An X-ray
An apparent examination by the doctors will always help you to gain a precise conclusions.
- The Biopsy:
Last is the process of Biopsy, which is nothing but the simple collection of sample of cells, for testing in the laboratory. It is a form of cancer test, but involves surgery. This will finally identifies your type of cancer as well as that location of the same. Hence, in most of the cases, a biopsy is usually done the only way to hence diagnose cancer.
Treatment for Cancer
How can cancer be treated?
A treatment for the disease is obtainable after all cancer tests are done. Cancer is always treated with surgery, sometimes with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or biological therapy. Patients who are suffering from cancer are often treated by a team of specialists, which may as well include a medical oncologist (the specialist in cancer treatment), a surgeon, who is a radiation oncologist (specialist in radiation therapy), and also others. The doctors who are involved in the process may decide to use one treatment method or a combination of methods to cure the same. The choice of treatment depends completely on the type and location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and even the patient’s age and general health, and other factors.
The Methods of Treatment
- The Surgery
When it comes to Surgery, it is considered to be the local treatment to remove the tumor. Tissue around the tumor and even the one nearby lymph nodes may also be removed during the operation.
- The Radiation Therapy
In radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy), there are some high-energy rays that are used to damage the cancer cells and even stop them from growing and dividing. Like a simple surgery, even the radiation therapy is a local treatment; it is also considered to affect cancer cells only in the treated area. Hence, Radiation can come from a machine (that is the external radiation). It can as well come from an implant (where a small container of the radioactive material) is placed directly into or near the tumor (that is the internal radiation). There are some patients or cases in which they receive both kinds of radiation therapy.
- The Chemotherapy
In this treatment there is always some usage of drugs is evident. In fact with drugs to kill cancer cells is called chemotherapy. Most of the anticancer drugs are injected into a vein (IV) or a muscle. Some are also given by mouth as pills. Chemotherapy is basically a systemic treatment, meaning that the drugs flow through the bloodstream to almost every part of the body and kill the harmful cells.
- The Hormone Therapy
There are some types of cancer, which as well includes most of the breast and prostate cancers, depending on the hormones to grow. For this very particular reason, doctors may always recommend the therapy that prevents cancer cells from getting or even using the hormones they need. Yes, it is also true that sometimes, patient has surgery to even remove organs (such as the ovaries or the testicles) that make the hormones. In other cases, the doctor prefer the uses drugs to stop hormone production or even change the way hormones work. Like the process of chemotherapy, hormone therapy is a systemic treatment; it affects cells throughout the body.
- The Biological Therapy
When it comes to Biological therapy (also called the immunotherapy) is basically a form of treatment that uses the body’s natural ability (that is the immune system) to fight all kinds of infection and even disease or to protect the body from various other side effects of treatment. Monoclonal antibodies, the interferon, interleukin-2 (IL-2), and there are several other types of colony-stimulating factors (CSF, GM-CSF, G-CSF) that formulates for the biological therapy.