CANCER & ITS PREVENTION

Definition

A malignant growth or tumor resulting an uncontrolled division of cells.

Introduction

  1. PHYSIOLOGICAL (NORMAL MECHANISM): The human body is made up of trillions of multiple types of cell which is known as basic structural unit. As every structure have its own life period up to which it lives. The cell has also the same. Therefore the nature has provided cell, the ability to divide & make its offsprings, expect of few type of cells. The cells continuously keeps on dividing & the other cells keeps on dying apoptosis (programmed cell death). This process of division & killing is regulated by certain genes & regulators. There is strict monitoring of these regulators so that the excessive cells are not formed & the excessive cells and not killed. Once there is an abnormality in the regulator the cells starts excessive division here the word cancer begins.
  2. GENETIC CHANGES: In normal cells, genes regulate growth, maturity and death of the cells. Genetic changes can occur at many levels. There could be a gain or loss of entire chromosomes or a single point mutation affecting a single DNA nucleotide.


 

There are 2 broad categories of genes which are affected by these change:

  • ONCOGENES: These are cancer causing genes. They may be normal genes which are expressed at inappropriately high levels in patients with cancers or they may be altered or changed normal genes due to mutation. In both cases these genes lead to cancerous changes in the tissues.
  • TUMOR SUPPRESSORGENES: These genes normally inhibit cell division & prevent survival of cells that have damaged DNA. In patients with cancer these tumor suppressor genes are often disabled. This is caused by cancer-promoting genetic changes. Typically, changes in many genes are required to transform a normal cell into a cancer cell.


 

There are usually two broad terms used in case of cancer:

  1. Benign
  2. Malignant

The term Benign is used in case of tumor which does not have the potential to spread or replicate so fast and does not have the ability to metastasize to the other organs. They are usually not worrisome.

The tern Malignant is used in those tumors which are relatively aggressive then benign & have the potential to replicate faster then benign & have the ability to metastasize to the other organs.

Types of cancers according to the Morbidity & Mortality




 

There is a big question in everyone’s mind is what causes the cancer but the answer is still unknown to the science yet certain mediators certain may be responsible which are as follows:

CHEMICAL CARCINOGENS

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Aflatoxins
  • Asbestos
  • Poly-cyclic hydrocarbons
  • Cancer chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Benzene
  • Chromium

RADIATIONS

  • Ultra-Violet rays
  • X-rays

VIRUSES

  • RNA Virus (HIV, Human T-cell virus)
  • DNA Virus (HPV, Hepatitis B, C, HSV type II).

DIETARY FIBERS

  • Low fiber diet
  • High fat Diet
  • Alcohol consumption

It is said that certain chronic diseases may lead to Cancer which includes:

  • Chronic varicose ulcer
  • Chronic osteomyelitis
  • Old burn scars
  • Tropical burns scars
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Gall stones
  • Crohn’s & Ulcerative colitis

What if I have a tumor? How can I know that is it benign or malignant? Do I have to wait for a Doctor to tell me?

The answer to your question is NO. You can yourself evaluate between the benign & malignant but always remember always meet a doctor for the confirm diagnosis.

Here come the difference between the clinical benign & malignant tumors:

The benign tumors are always:

  • Slow growing
  • They are mobile (can move not fixed)
  • Do not have Ulceration
  • They are soft to touch
  • Does not bleed

Where as the malignant tumors are always:

  • Rapidly growing in nature
  • They are fixed adhered to the wall
  • Shows ulceration
  • Firm to hard while touching
  • Usually bleeds on touch or otherwise

These signs can give you an idea about the severity of you disease.

What can be the symptoms?

Yes!! The symptoms can also give the hint.

The benign tumors usually are symptom less they are found on the examination usually which may include:

  • Pain at any site
  • Pressure effects
  • Compression to any nerve or vessel
  • Vague pain or complains
  • Can produce the signs of obstruction or any hormone production

A malignant tumor produces the symptoms which includes:

  • Pain at any site
  • Bleeding from any site
  • Edema formation (Swelling sign)
  • Fever
  • Infections
  • Anemia
  • Malignant Cachexia (Weakness, Loss of weight, Insomnia, Loss of Apatite & Fatigue)

How to investigate a Cancer?

There are two types of investigations done for the purpose of cancer:

  1. For the purpose of diagnosis
  2. For the purpose of spread & Mets.

Cancer investigations includes a complete history with a complete physical examination, lab reports & radiology reports.

CYTOLOGICAL EXAMINATION: The cellular study is performed where the cells are seen live under microscope their nature activity & biology gives the evidence of being cancerous or non-cancerous. The methods to take the cells are:

  • FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology)
  • Trucut biopsy
  • Core cut biopsy
  • Frozen section

SEROLOGICAL EXAMINATION: The serological study is designed to perform via blood examination where certain specific & non-specific tumor marker are detected to know about the presence of type of cancer such as:

  • CEA
  • AFP
  • HCG
  • PSA
  • Monoclonal immunoglobulins.

RADIOGRAPHIC STUDY: This is performed in a dual beneficial aspect to know the morphology of the tumor & also to know about the spread of disease beneficial in treatment & staging which includes:

  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • CT-Scan
  • MRI
  • DEXA-Scan
  • Sestamibi-Scan
  • Isotope-Scan
  • PET-Scan
  • Mammography
  • HIDA-Scan

How can I prevent from being attacked from Cancer?

Cancer prevention is an important topic to be discussed the preventive measures. Certain cancers can be prevented by early detection soon when the changes are about to begin.

  • Such as PEP smear for cervical cancer
  • Mammography & breast examination
  • Testicular cancer by testis examination

Early sign or symptom of any condition discussed above if seen in any patient can prevent the person from malignancy.

Dietary factors can also prevent this condition which are:

  • Use of antioxidant fruits & vegetables
  • Sour fruits
  • Juicy fruits
  • One of the best fruit yet found is know as SOUR SOP and its leave the other name of this fruit is GAYA BANO.


How can I get treated form cancer?

There are many types of cancer treatment. The types of treatment that you have will depends upon the type of cancer you have & how advanced it is. Some people with cancer will have only 1 treatment, but most people have a combination of treatments, such as surgery with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. You may also have immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or hormone therapy.

THE Side effects of Cancer therapy

The effects varies from person to person but few of them are:

  • Anemia
  • Appetite Loss
  • Bleeding & Bruising (Thrombocytopenia)
  • Constipation
  • Delirium
  • Diarrhea
  • Edema
  • Fatigue
  • Hair Loss (Alopecia)
  • Infection & Neutropenia
  • Lymphedema
  • Memory or Concentration Problems
  • Mouth & Throat Problems
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Nerve Problems (Peripheral Neuropathy)
  • Pain
  • Sexual & Fertility Problems (In Both Men & Women)
  • Skin and Nail Changes
  • Sleep Problems
  • Urinary and Bladder Problems

 

MAHNOOR SHABIR

Mahnoor Shabir is a Pakistani girl who took her early education from Beaconhouse School Systen & was currently studying in Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She was 21 years old, fighting a deadly disease known as cancer like a brave warrior. She was diagnosed cancer few years back & won the battle against it. But this battle was not over yet. She was recently diagnosed cancer, once again. Knowing about her disease, Mahnoor recently updated her facebook status on 18th January 2017, 7:31 p.m. saying; “Won a battle but the war against cancer isn’t over yet. Fortunately or unfortunately, it relapsed just a few days back. I am a 21 years who should be worrying about my quizzes and if I made it above the average, but instead I have to worry about my blood counts being in the normal range. I am 21 years old who should be worrying about my GPA, but instead I worry about the result of my biopsies. I am a 21 years old who should be searching for the best post grad universities abroad, instead I am searching for the best cancer clinics abroad. I am a 21 years old who should be rejoining her university again this week, instead I am getting hospitalized again. I am a 21 years old who should be worrying about a chipped nail, instead I worry about the effects of chemotherapy. I am a 21 years old who should be worrying about relationships, instead I worry about emotional attachment with almost anyone. I am a 21 years old who should be the one making trips to the hospital for her parents and wheeling them around, instead they are the ones doing it. But none of that upsets me, it makes me only more grateful that I am an extra ordinary 21 years old. I am a 21 years with incredible strength, willpower, resilience and courage to face one of the most deadliest maladies again. A second attempt may be frustrating but I believe it can be easy too. And it makes me grateful to have the most amazing and supportive parents out there. But I am a 21 years old who is nothing without Allah or the prayers that He answers. So I would request you all to keep me in your prayers as much as you can. No one knows when one of it might get accepted! 🎗”  And then she updated this on 28th January 2017, 2:00 a.m. “Please! Please! I beg you to all to keep remembering me in your prayers. And more than that, I need you to you to pray for my parents!” A few days back she passed away. 

All her status reflect her love & desire for living life like a normal person. Her photos reflect the vivaciousness she bared in her heart. So many people among us who are blessed with a good health are so ungrateful to this blessing because we do not realize its value.. We should be thankful to Allah (S.W.T) for every little blessing we have.

We go to school, college, university or job everyday. We go out with friends, party, enjoy life. We live our life the way we want. We have no idea about the patients who are admitted in the hospital. They spend their every minute looking at the ceiling or walls, thinking about their recovery.

Parents wish that their children will take care of them & will be their support system when they will grow old. We have no idea how heartbreaking it is when parents sit in the hospital for hours, days, weeks or even months in hospital, waiting for their sick children to get well. It is even more heart wrenching when parents give birth to their children, bring them up & then bury their children in graves.

May Allah (S.W.T) bless all the sick people with healthy & long life!

May Allah (S.W.T) grant Mahnoor the highest rank in Jannah. May Allah (S.W.T) bless her parents, family & friends with infinite patience!

Hats off to all the cancer patients, who are fighting this deadly disease. Just know you are not alone. Somewhere, someone is fighting for his/her survival & life.