Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by abnormal cell growth. The most common cancers are breast, colorectal, prostate, skin, stomach, and lung cancer. Cancer is mostly treated using surgery, chemotherapy (chemo), and radiation therapy.
Over the past two decades, cancer has proven to be a menace to the society. Of the hundreds of millions of people who are diagnosed annually, only a fraction seems to escape its death penalty.
The victims are not only at stake here. Children are losing their parents, and wives are losing their husbands, and brothers are losing their sisters.
The society at large finds it hard to come to terms with the numerous losses. Sadly, this disease is not yet satisfied.
So how can we scrap away this monster from the face of the earth? What are its types, and how can each be avoided? Well, this guide will bring everything to light.
Let’ begin with a few stats.
Global Cancer Statistics
According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is a pandemic. At least 35% of those who contract the disease don’t see the discharge door. This makes cancer the second largest cause of death in the world.
When compared in gender, the mortality rate of cancer is high in men than women. It attributes to the 19.6 per 10,000 men than the 13.9 per 100,000 in women per year. The number can take a shift in the future, though.
The disease is more prevalent in the developing world, where at least 70% of the patients succumb. These countries don’t have the equipment and human resources to tackle it.
Some of the patients don’t have the money for treatment. They, therefore, throw in the towel and die painfully.
Away from the downsides, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The substantial medical researches that are already underway may bring a permanent cure to tackle the ever-rising cases annually. Let’s hope this to happen as soon as possible.
Cause of Cancer
Cancer is no common disease like malaria. The way it approaches the body cells is still a mystery to the medical personnel.
Now, the word “cancer” is a broad name. In simple terms, it’s a disease that causes an “absurd” growth or division of the body cells. Some forms of the disease may lead to a slower growth rate or vice versa.
Its primary cause is linked to your lifestyle, which mainly involves the type of food you’re eating. Some of the other causes include smoking, excess body weight, and poor nutrition.
Is cancer a genetic disease?
This debate has been there for quite a while. According to medical scientists, the claim is valid, and you are likely to contract some types of cancer if one member of your immediate family had it.
Your genetic code is what determines if you’ll contract it or not. You can be predisposed to a type of cancer which is known as hereditary cancer syndrome. A few factors, like direct sunlight, may increase the chances.
Early Symptoms of Cancer
Most of the cancer cases are detected in stage two. At this stage, the disease has focused on one place. If it goes to stage three, managing becomes an uphill battle.
If you notice any of these signs, let it be a red light and rush to the nearest health center for screening. It goes a long way in preventing the many dollars you will use in the advanced stages.
- In stage one; you may get infections like bronchitis and have a persistent cough that’s accompanied with blood spots.
- There are detectable changes in bowel habit like continuous diarrhea.
- Blood in the stool from time to time
- In the early stages of blood cancer/leukemia, the patient may experience severe attacks of anemia. This means that the patient does not have enough red blood cells.
- Lump or cysts indicate most of the early symptoms of breast cancer on the breast. These are accompanied by breast discharge.
- Cancer of the testicles starts by bringing lumps on the testicles. It may be enlarged hence making the patient uncomfortable.
- The patient may experience hoarseness in the voice that lasts to three weeks, which is a sign of throat cancer.
- You may experience a sudden weight loss and fever, which can’t be accounted for.
These are the general signs, but since there are many types of cancer, there advanced symptoms. However, early detection is essential. Cancer cases detected early increases your chances of survival by 60%.
Some of the commonly recorded cancer types
As said earlier, cancer is a general term for the abnormal division of body cells. So any part of your body can be cancerous when the cells begin “misbehaving.”
Doctors have divided cancer into types depending on where it begins. Some of the common types of cancer include;
Carcinomas: Forms solid tumors and starts from the skin or tissues of internal organs. Examples are Breast Cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and lung cancer.
Leukemia: Also known as cancer of the blood starts when your healthy blood cells begins to grow uncontrollably. examples include chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and acute lymphocytic leukemia.
Sarcomas: Unlike carcinomas, sarcomas start from the body tissues such as the bone, muscles, blood vessels, joints, lymph and cartillage.
Lymphomas: lymphomas is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system. examples include non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma.
Breast cancer has hit the headlines and is the primary type of cancer in the USA. Other types that have made headlines are the liver, prostate, and lung cancer.
Some of the body parts that are susceptible to cancer include;
Is Cancer Treatable?
Yes, the disease can be treated.
However, it depends on the stage it’s detected and how deep your pockets are if you want to get the best cancer treatment. Either way, cancer is known as the most expensive disease to manage.
Some of the ways the disease can be treated include;
Chemotherapy: the main idea behind this treatment is to kill the rapidly dividing cells. The downside of chemotherapy is that it has lethal side effects.
Stem Cell Transplant: It involves strengthening the cancerous red or white blood cells. They are then put back into the body when they have been revived.
Radiation Therapy: The process can be done before the patient is taken for theater. It helps in reducing the tumor and makes it easy to be extracted.
Hormone therapy: Some types of cancer are triggered by the behavior of hormones in the body. The therapy helps in changing how these hormones react and interfere with the body increasing the chances of the disease.
Now, the most effective way of treating the disease begins with your lifestyle. These involve changing what you eat, attending the gym regularly, and being in good shape.
From where we stand, the future of this disease is still uncertain. Why? We always get ways in which we are predisposed to the disease.
So we are talking on how the condition can be contacted than how it can be treated.
Anyway, we are giving ourselves wholly to technology and the medical scientists on the rear to come with a permanent cure that will end this menace.
Before then, let’s watch out what we eat and the state of our bodies.