What is Cancer and how many types of cancer are there?
Cancer, also called malignancy, is an abnormal growth of cells. There are more than 100 types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma. Symptoms vary depending on the type. Cancer treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.
How Is Cancer Diagnosed?
The earlier cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of its being cured. Some types of cancer -- such as those of the skin, breast, mouth, testicles, prostate, and rectum -- may be detected by routine self-exam or other screening measures before the symptoms become serious. Most cases of cancer are detected and diagnosed after a tumor can be felt or when other symptoms develop. In a few cases, cancer is diagnosed incidentally as a result of evaluating or treating other medical conditions.
Cancer diagnosis begins with a thorough physical exam and a complete medical history. Laboratory studies of blood, urine, and stool can detect abnormalities that may indicate cancer.
When a tumor is suspected, imaging tests such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and fiber-optic endoscopy examinations help doctors determine the cancer's location and size.
To confirm the diagnosis of most cancers , a biopsy needs to be performed in which a tissue sample is removed from the suspected tumor and studied under a microscope to check for cancer cells.Source: http://www.webmd.com/cancer/
What are the causes of cancer?
What are the symptoms of Cancer which should not be ignored?
Cancer is one of the scariest afflictions of the 21st-century. Different kinds of cancer can target different parts of the body for numerous reasons. Quite often the symptoms are ignored because people don’t believe it can be the cause or are too afraid to find out that it is. Oncologists agree that early identification can save your life. If you are experiencing any of these 10 symptoms, you may want to visit your family physician and get tested.
1. A Change in the Appearance of a Mole
Moles can be a clear indicator of skin cancer. The sudden appearance of a mole, or change in shape/color/texture may all be signs of skin cancer. Contact a dermatologist as soon as possible in such a case.
2. A Persistent Change in Bowel Movements
A sudden and persistent change in bowel habits can be your warning sign of cancer. A difficulty in defecating may indicate that there is a mass blocking the bowels. A change in the color and/or consistency may also indicate a cancerous growth. Black or bloody stool should be reported to your physician immediately, and wise with thin or ribbon- stool. White/pale/grey stool may not indicate cancer but can still be a sign of a serious health risk and should be reported to your doctor.
3. A persistent Change in Bladder Movements
Are you experiencing difficulty urinating or the appearance of blood in your urine? These can indicate prostate, kidney or bladder cancer, and it is highly recommended that you contact your physician.
4. A Persistent & Unexplained Pain
Random and infrequent pains are generally not an indication of Cancer, but a constant or persistently reoccurring pain may be the first telltale sign of cancer. Persistent abdomen pain can be a sign of ovarian cancer. Pain in the chest can indicate lung cancer and in some cases, reoccurring or constant headaches may serve as the first warning sign of brain or ocular cancer.
5. Persistent Hoarseness or Cough
A cough signals a disturbance or obstruction in your airways, but constant, painful and/or bloody coughing should be reported to a doctor. A constant cough can be your first warning for lung cancer, or potentially other respiratory problems that even if they’re not cancerous – may be dangerous none-the-less.
6. A Sudden Loss of Weight
Adults tend to have a harder time losing weight, so if you suddenly start losing weight even if not trying to, it should serve as a red flag. Don’t treat it as a “gift”, as tumors can often cause sudden weight loss.
7. A Persistent Difficulty Swallowing
We swallow food from the moment we’re born, it is one of our most natural instincts. However, neck or esophagus cancer can cause a persistent trouble in swallowing. Regardless of the risks of cancer, difficulty swallowing is a health risk on its own, so please contact your family physician.
8. An Unexplained Lump
If you noticed a new lump somewhere in your body, no matter the size, you’ll want to have it checked. Lumps in your breasts can indicate breast cancer (in rare cases also in men), and testicular or prostate cancer may cause lumps in your testicles.
9. Persistent Unexpected Bleeding
Bleeding from the rectum can be an indication of colon cancer and vaginal bleeding outside of the normal cycle can often indicate cervical cancer. Remember that if you are experiencing bleeding without an open wound – it is a cause for concern.
10. A Sore that Doesn’t Heal
Ever since you were a child, your body would heal any wounds you experienced. If you experience a wound that takes longer than three weeks to heal, it is not a normal thing and may be indicative of carcinoma, so have it checked without delay.