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