The human cell grows, dies and are being replaced immediately but in the case of cancer, it does not stop growing, it grows rapidly and spread to other parts of the body. Some cancers cause cells to grow rapidly while some cause cells to grow and divide slowly.
What is cancer?
Cancer as defined by the World Health Organization is a group of diseases that occurs when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably or spread to other parts of the body. Body cells receive instructions to die so they can be replaced but cancerous cells do not listen to the instructions rather, they keep dividing and this can result to tumours. Let us see some of the causes of cancer.
What are the causes of cancer?
There are various factors responsible for cancer.
1. Excessive body weight. An obesed person is at the risk of having cancer.
2. Heavy intake of alcohol. When one keeps drinking large quantities of alcohol every now and then, such person can start developing a cancerous cell.
4. Lack of proper nutrition could lead to growth of cancerous cells
5. Exposure to some virus or disease like Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV).
Some factors that can influence the growth of cancer include:
1. Age. There are some cancers that strike at one’s old age.
2. Diet. As discussed earlier on, one should watch what they eat.
3. Race. Some types of cancers are peculiar to people of a specific race.
4. Gender. There are some cancers that affect only men and there are some that grows in the body of women only.
5. Genes. One who has a history of family members who have been affected by cancer may also be at risk.
What are the types of cancer?
There are over one hundred and twenty(120) types of cancer in the world today. You should know that cancers are classified according to the kind of tissue or fluid they originated them or according to the location of the body where it began. Let us see the different types of cancer though we might not be able to list all.
1. Appendix Cancer
This type of cancer occurs when normal cells become abnormal and then lead to a tumor inside the appendix. Appendix cancer is a rare type of cancer.
2. Bladder Cancer
It occurs in the tissues of the bladder. There are three types of bladder cancer though, we wouldn’t look at it in this article.
3. Bone Cancer
Bone cancer occurs when tumor forms in the bone. Most times, it begins in the pelvic bone or bones in the leg region.
4. Brain Cancer
Brain cancer occurs in the brain.
5. Breast Cancer
This type of cancer forms in either the lobules or ducts of the breast. Lobules are glands that produce milk in the breast while ducts are pathways that bring the milk from the glands to the nipple.
Here, a new lump appears in your breast, armpit, or somewhere around your collarbone. Someone who has a breast cancer may not feel any pain in the lumps, though, not all lumps in the breast are breast cancer. Breast cancer comes with swelling in breast, pains in the nipple, or breast, breast discharge which aren’t breast milk, etc.
6. Cervical Cancer
This cancer occurs in the cervix region. It could go unnoticed until it has gotten to the late stage. The reason is because symptoms of this cancer can be mistaken to be menstraution or urinary tracts infections.
7. Colon Cancer
Colon cancer starts in the rectum or colon.
8. Ear Cancer
This cancer can sometimes start as a skin cancer on the outer ear, then spread to the remaining parts of the ear. It could also start within the ear.
9. Penile Cancer
This cancer is peculiar to males. It occurs in the penis and men with uncircumcised penis are prone to getting it.
10. Prostate Cancer
This cancer also occurs in males only. It causes pains which may feel like a burning sensation during urination. It makes a male urinate often, makes erection hard to come by and even when it eventually comes, keeping it becomes a problem. This cancer can cause blood in urine or ejaculation, pains in some parts of the body like the thighs, hips etc.
11. Kidney Cancer
As the name implies, it is cancer of the kidney. This cancer makes one feel weak unnecessary, causes blood in urine, lose of appetite, and loss of weight.
Leukaemia causes the liver to enlarge, causes nose bleeding and brings a tiny red spot on the skin of the patient. This red spot is called petechiae.
13. Lungs Cancer
14. Endometrial Cancer.
This cancer causes abnormal vagina discharge, abnormal vagina bleeding and weightloss.
15. Stomach Cancer or gastric cancer.
16. Liver Cancer.
This cancer also causes weightloss, fatigue, itching of the skin, jaundice, swollen abdomen, fever and constipation. These are not the only symptoms as there are other symptoms that come with liver cancer.
17. Duodenal Endometrial Cancer
19. Thyroid Cancer
20. Pancreatic cancer
This cancer begins in the bone, fat, muscle, cartilage or blood vessel.
This cancer begins in the tissues that cover internal organs or in skin.
23. Lymphonic and Myeloma
This cancer is found in the immune
24. Central Nervous System Cancer
It begins in the tissues of the bone and spinal cord.
25. Metastatic Cancer
26. Ovarian Cancer
27. Rectal Cancer
28. Oral Cancer
29. Heart Cancer
30. Gall bladder Cancer
31. Small Intestine Cancer
33. Testicular Cancer
34. Thyroid Cancer
35. Vulvar Cancer
36. Adrenal Gland Tumor
37. Desmoid Tumor
38. Ewing Sarcoma- This is peculiar to children
39. Head and Neck Cancer
40. Medulla Blastoma: It is peculiar to children.
What are the symptoms of Cancer?
Just as there are many types of cancer, there are also many symptoms of cancer.
Changes in Skin. It could be a darkening change or a yellowish change.
Change in bowel function
Difficulties when swallowing things
Unusual night sweat
Pains when urinating
Change in hearing
Mole in a part of the body or if there was a mole before, a new one suddenly appears. The mole can be red, yellow, white, pink, blue, black or brown. The mole can be itchy too.
Different symptoms are unique to different types of cancer.
What are the treatment for Cancer?
This is the use of drugs which helps to shrink tumors and kill cancerous cells.
It is the use of medication to boost immune system and this medication encourages the immune system to fight cancerous cells.
3. Radiation Therapy
This is the use of high dose of radiation to kill cancerous cells, it can also be used to shrink tumors before a surgery takes place.
It is the removal of lymph nodes in order to reduce or prevent the spread of cancer.
5. Stem Cell Transplant
This is the removal of cells that chemotherapy or radiation have destroyed.
How Can I Diagnose Cancer?
This can only be diagnosed when one conducts a routine screening exercise on their body.
You should know that the treatment of cancer has side effects and this is what we will be telling you next.
What are the side effect of treatment of cancers?
1. For photodynamic therapy which is the use of drugs for radiation, a patient undergoing this therapy can experience pain, stomach unrest and fatigue
2. For those undergoing chemotherapy, a major side effect is the loss of hair.
3. Those who treat theirs through surgery can experience bleeding, infection, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
4. Those undergoing immunotherapy would have reactions such as skin reaction, diarrhea and changes in weight.
Does Cancer have a cure?
Though cancer is a deadly sickness, there are still some types that can be treated. People with thyroid cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, melanoma, and breast cancer can be treated.
What is the survival rate for Cancer patients?
An early detection of some types of cancers can make the patient survive and live for years. For example, breast cancer becomes easier to treat and this increases the survival rate of the victim. Also, an early detection of melanoma can increase the survival rate of the victim but if it goes beyond the skin surface, treatment becomes difficult. Another cancer with a good survival rate is the prostate cancer.
One suffering from prostate cancer can live for a long time but when it gets to the metastatic cancer stage, treatment becomes hard. Those with testiscular cancer can also live for a very good number of years. When it is detected early, a testicle is removed leaving the victim with just one testicle which will still perform its functions well. People with skin cancer also have a very high survival rate same as those cancers which affect children only.