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In 2018 alone, over 17 million people were diagnosed with cancer. And in spite of more advanced forms of cancer treatment, 9.6 million died in 2018 because of cancer.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for one out of every six deaths. This is why it is important to be informed about what causes cancer, what forms of cancer treatment are effective, and how cancer can be prevented.
But what exactly is cancer? Cancer is a disease that causes the cells in the body to grow abnormally, and reproduce uncontrollably. In addition, without proper cancer treatment, cells can infect other organs, spreading cancer throughout the body.
Cancer usually starts in one part of the body, and over time it can grow and spread to other organs in a process called metastasis.
This is why early detection is key when it comes to cancer treatment, since the risk of dying from cancer is lower if it can be found and treated immediately.
According to statistics, about 38.4% of men and women will get diagnosed with a form of cancer during their lifetime.
This number might seem very high, but it is mainly due to the fact that people nowadays have a longer life expectancy. Because the older a person gets, they have a higher risk of developing cancer.
In fact, about 60% of cancer patients are aged 65 and older.
The common symptoms of cancer vary depending on the organ affected. However there are also some symptoms that are shared among different types of cancer. Here are some of those symptoms:
Cancer can also cause symptoms that are more uncommon. These include:
If you experience any of the symptoms above, it would be a good idea to visit your doctor to get yourself checked. Early detection is key when it comes to successful cancer treatment, so it is important to not ignore any peculiar symptoms that you might have.
Your doctor can also recommend certain screening procedures for some of the most common types of cancer. This would depend on your risk profile, such as lifestyle factors and family history.
Some of the types of cancer that are assessed by screening programs are lung cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Once determined, your healthcare provider can come up with the best cancer treatment for you.
Cancer happens as a result of cell mutations. These mutations can either cause the cell to replicate uncontrollably, grow and divide quickly, or make DNA errors when it replicates.
These mutated cells are considered diseased cells and do not function as normal cells should.
Without cancer treatment, these cells can spread throughout the body and cause healthy organs to stop functioning which can lead to death.
These mutations can either be genetic or inherited, which means that you were born with it, or caused by outside factors that affect cell growth.
These include things such as smoking, exposure to carcinogens or chemicals that cause cancer, or being unhealthy.
It is fairly normal for cells to mutate when they grow and divide. However, these mutations are corrected before they can become cancer cells. But when these mutations are not corrected in time, that is when cancer starts.
It can take years for cancer to develop in the body. It is even possible for cancer to be at an advanced stage before it can even be discovered and by that time, cancer treatment might not be as effective.
This is why knowing the risk factors and avoiding those risks can greatly help when it comes to cancer treatment and prevention.
There are many possible risk factors for cancer. These include the following:
Avoiding the risk factors listed above can help in preventing cancer.
How Is Cancer Diagnosed?
Cancer diagnosis can be done through different ways, depending on what type of cancer it might be. Here are some of the tests that your doctor might use to check for cancer:
If your doctor confirms that there is cancer, then they will try and determine what stage it is currently in. Cancer has four stages, with Stage I cancer as the earliest stage, and Stage IV as the most advanced stage.
Cancer treatment depends mostly on what type of cancer it is, as well as what stage it is currently in.
Here are some of the different types of cancer treatment:
These types of cancer treatment may be used in conjunction with one another in order to completely eradicate cancer cells in the body.
In cases where the cancer has progressed to a point that it can no longer be cured, or the patient already has terminal cancer, palliative care might be given in order to ease the patient’s symptoms.
When it comes to managing cancer, lifestyle changes and home remedies are best used in conjunction with cancer treatment for the best chance of success. This is because right now, alternative forms of cancer treatment have not been proven to work.
It is also important to be transparent and open with your physician regarding other remedies you may be trying because some of these can interact with or affect the course of your cancer treatment.
Despite this, alternative forms of cancer treatment can help alleviate some of the symptoms that a patient might be experiencing, especially during more intensive forms of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Here are some lifestyle changes and home remedies that can help with cancer:
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Learn more about the different types of cancer treatment, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cancer, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20370588, Accessed July 30, 2020
Cancer, https://www.who.int/health-topics/cancer#tab=tab_1, Accessed July 30, 2020
Cancer, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/, Accessed July 30, 2020
What Causes Cancer?, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes.html, Accessed July 30, 2020
Cancer, https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/index.htm, Accessed July 30, 2020
Cancer – Screening Tests https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/prevention/screening.htm Accessed June 7, 2021