First of all, it is essential to note that cancer doesn't have a particular place that it starts from. It can begin at any location in the body. It begins when there's an uncontrollable growth of cells that begin to crown the other normal cells and make it hard for the body to function as it usually should.
Another critical thing to note is that cancer can be treated well enough to let people live their full lives.
That said, let's go on to see what exactly is cancer and all about and how it can be treated.
The Basics of Cancer
Let’s look at some of the cancer basics. Cancer comes in various types; it's not just one disease as it can start from anywhere and everywhere. Cancer can start in the blood, the colon, the prostate, the breast, and the lungs. While most cancers are alike in ways, some are different in the way they spread and grow.
How are They Alike?
Each cell in our bodies has various functions, and as normal cells, they go about in an orderly manner, they die when damaged or worn out and replicate into new cells. Cancer, on the other hand, is when those cells start to grow uncontrollably. The cancer cells keep on growing and producing new cells without dying out, which crowds out the normal cells.
The cancer cells then begin redistributing and circulating to other parts of the body and begin new growths there. So, cancer cells in the blood can travel to the lungs and grow there. This spread is called metastasis (meh-TAS-tuh-sis). When blood cancer spreads to the lungs, it's still called blood cancer. To doctors, the cells look alike (blood and lungs). It's not called lung cancer because it did not originate from the lungs.
How are Cancers Different?
While some cancers grow slowly, others grow fast and spread fast. Cancer cells are also different from each other due to how they respond to treatments. While some cancer types are best treated to chemotherapy, surgery, or a combination of both.
The doctor will need to know the exact type of cancer before they can prescribe the proper treatment by carrying out some tests. This is to ensure that the right treatment is given to the cancer type.
What are Tumors?
How common are tumors in cancer? Well, tumors are also called growth, and they are lumps formed by cancer. However, not all tumors are cancers. Some might be benign, which means that they are not cancer growths, and some may be malignant, which means that they are cancer growths. The doctors will be the ones to know this after they've taken a piece of the lump for observation and diagnosis.
Cancers like Leukemia has no tumors as Leukemia is the cancer of the blood. The growth is only in the blood cells or other body cells.
What are the Cancer Stages?
After checking to confirm what type of cancer you have, the doctors will also need to know how far the cancer has spread from the place it began its growth. This is often referred to as the cancer stage. Knowing which stage you're in will help the doctors determine the best treatment for it.
There are four stages of cancer, and each type of cancer falls under any of the stages listed.
· Stage 1 – This is the lowest stage.
· Stage 2 – This is also a low stage as it means that the cancer has not had the chance to spread our more.
· Stage 3 – This is a higher stage as it means the cancer has already started spreading and has gotten stronger.
· Stage 4 – This is the highest stage of cancer. It shows that the cancer has spread more, and it needs to be treated as soon as possible. It is the terminal stage of cancer.
For more clarity, ask your doctor to explain it more.
How is Cancer Treated?
There are three common primary treatments for cancer. These treatments include; radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. It is also advisable to use alternative cancer treatments to help combat the severity of cancer.
Radiation Treatment – Radiation treatment is used to slow down or kill off the growth of cancer cells. This treatment can be used with chemotherapy or surgery or can be used alone. It could be done through X-ray or by planting a radiation seed in the cancer to give off radiation and kill it.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy deals with the use of drugs to slow down the growth of cancer cells or kill them off. Some chemotherapy treatment can be through Intravenous fluids, where it will be passed directly into the vein through a needle; others include the ingestion of pills. Chemotherapy drugs flow to all parts of the body. They are instrumental in combating cancer cells that have spread all over.
Surgery – Surgery is used to take out cancer. However, it is not used for all cancer types as it involves taking out all or some body parts that have been affected by cancer. For prostate cancer, it may include taking out the prostate gland, and for breast cancer, it may involve taking out all or part of the breast.
Knowing which type of cancer you have is very important. Book an appointment with your doctor and start treatments. Remember, early detection is vital!