Uncontrolled cell division and tissue invasion lead to the condition known as cancer.
In This Article...
What physical effects does cancer have?
A malignancy may spread to surrounding organs, blood vessels, or nerves or start to press against them. Some of the symptoms and signs of cancer are brought on by this pressure.
Fever, excessive weariness, or weight loss are further signs of cancer that can manifest. This might be because cancer cells consume a large portion of the body’s energy. Or the cancer may release chemicals that alter how the body produces energy. These symptoms and signs can also be brought on by cancer, which can lead the immune system to react in certain ways.
What is a straightforward explanation of cancer?
(KAN-ser) A word for illnesses where aberrant cells can infect nearby tissues and divide uncontrollably. The blood and lymphatic systems are two other ways that cancer cells might move to different parts of the body. There are various primary cancer kinds.
What are the seven cancer warning signs?
Visit your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. Potential signs of cancer include these:
- alteration in bowel or bladder patterns
- a wound that doesn’t get better
- unexpected bleeding or discharge
- in the breast or elsewhere, thickening or lump
- gastrointestinal discomfort or swallowing issues
- a wart or mole has undergone a clear transformation
- Hoarseness or a persistent cough
Please consult a doctor to arrange an assessment and screening if you notice any of these cancer symptoms.
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- cancer of the colon
- Cancers affecting women
- throat and head cancer
- Myeloid Disorders and Leukemia
- Acute Pancreatitis
- Rare Blood Conditions and Cancers
- ovarian cancer
What causes cancer?
When the body’s regular regulatory system malfunctions, cancer might emerge. Instead of degenerating into new, aberrant cells, old cells continue to grow uncontrollably. A tumor is a mass of tissue that may be created by these excess cells. Leukemia is one type of cancer that does not produce tumors.
What two items have the potential to cause cancer?
gene changes that take place after birth. Gene mutations can be brought on by a variety of factors, including smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing substances (carcinogens), obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation, and inactivity.
How cancer begins
The building blocks of the human body are cells. When the body requires new cells, existing cells grow and divide to produce them. Cells typically pass away when they get too old or damaged. New cells then replace the old ones.
Genetic alterations that disrupt this well-ordered process are the cause of cancer. Uncontrollable cell growth begins. A tumor could develop from these cells. A tumor may be benign or malignant. Malignant refers to the ability of a cancerous tumor to develop and metastasize to different body regions. If a tumor is benign, it can enlarge but won’t spread.
Some cancers do not produce a tumor. Leukemias, the majority of lymphoma subtypes, and myeloma are some of these.
Types of cancer
Based on where it starts, doctors classify cancer into different categories. There are four primary cancer types:
Carcinomas. The skin or the tissue that covers the surface of internal organs and glands is where a carcinoma first appears. Solid tumors called carcinomas are the norm. They are the most prevalent cancer type. Prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer are a few examples of carcinomas.
Sarcomas. The tissues that support and bind the body give rise to sarcomas. Fat, muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, lymph vessels, cartilage, or bone can all become sarcomas.
Leukemias. A cancer of the blood is leukemia. Healthy blood cells start to alter and expand out of control when leukemia first appears. Acute lymphocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia are the four main kinds of leukemia.
Lymphomas. Cancer that starts in the lymphatic system is called lymphoma. A network of tubes and glands, the lymphatic system aids in the body’s defense against infection. Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are the two main varieties of lymphomas.
There are numerous more cancers. Find out more about these more cancer kinds.
How cancer spreads
The circulation or lymphatic system may transport cancer cells to other regions of the body as a malignant tumor spreads. The cancer cells multiply and may transform into new tumors during this phase. Metastasis is the term for this.
The lymph nodes are frequently one of the first locations a malignancy spreads. Small, bean-shaped organs called lymph nodes aid in the battle against infection. They are grouped together in many areas of the body, including the neck, the groin, and the underside of the arms.
Cancer may potentially travel to distant areas of the body through the bloodstream. These components could be the brain, liver, lungs, or bones. The malignancy is still given its original location’s name even if it spreads. For instance, breast cancer that has spread to the lungs is referred to as metastatic breast cancer rather than lung cancer.
Watch a quick movie to learn more about how cancer develops and spreads to different body areas.
BioDigital Systems’ video has been used with their consent. View a transcript in its entirety.
A diagnosis frequently starts when a patient contacts a doctor with an uncommon symptom. The patient will discuss their medical history and current symptoms with the doctor. The doctor will then do a number of tests to determine what is causing these symptoms.
But many cancer patients show no signs of the disease. These people’s cancer is discovered while undergoing a test for another ailment or disease.
A screening test can occasionally reveal cancer in a healthy individual. Colonoscopy, mammography, and a Pap test are a few examples of screening exams. To support or refute the findings of the screening test, a person may require additional testing.
A biopsy is required in order to definitively diagnose the majority of malignancies. In a biopsy, a small sample of tissue is taken for additional research. Find out more about diagnosing a patient following a biopsy.
How is cancer treated?
Depending on the form, location, and severity of the condition, treatment for carcinoma may include any or all of the following:
Surgery: Surgical removal of the malignant tissue as well as some surrounding tissue may be used to treat carcinoma, depending on the kind of cancer. Less invasive surgical procedures may speed up recovery and lessen the chance of infection following surgery.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is sometimes combined with chemotherapy or surgery. Advanced radiation therapies are intended to assist spare healthy tissues and surrounding organs by using image guidance before and during therapy on target cancers.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill cancer cells either all over the body or in a localized location to treat carcinoma. Chemotherapy may occasionally be used in conjunction with additional therapies like radiation therapy or surgery.
How long may cancer be present without symptoms?
There is no clear answer to the question of how long it is possible to have cancer without realizing it. Before they are discovered, certain cancers may have been present for months or even years.
Slow-growing tumors that are frequently undiscovered have a better chance of responding well to treatment. Others can be more difficult to cure and are more aggressive.
Maintain your prescribed cancer screening schedule and notify your doctor as soon as you see any signs or symptoms of concern in order to enhance your chances of discovering dangerous cancers early.
Your chances of a successful outcome are higher the earlier you detect cancer and start treatment.
How do you detect cancer in your body?
The only reliable technique to diagnose cancer is typically through a biopsy. Doctors examine cell samples under a microscope in a laboratory setting. Normal cells have a consistent appearance, similar sizes, and a well-organized layout. Cancer cells appear less organized, with a range of sizes and no discernible organization.
Blood tests: Do they reveal cancer?
cancer-related samples In a lab, blood samples are examined for indications of malignancy. The samples can reveal the real cancer cells when examined under a microscope. Additional blood tests may reveal proteins or other cancer-produced compounds. Blood testing can also show your doctor how well-functioning your organs are.