Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category

Remedies For Prevention From Breast Cancer

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The most important risk factors for the development of breast cancer cannot be controlled by the individual. There are some risk factors that are associated with an increased risk, but there is not a clear cause and effect relationship. In no way can strong recommendations be made like the cause and effect relationship seen with tobacco and lung cancer. There are a few risk factors that may be modified by a woman that potentially could influence the development of breast cancer.

If possible, a woman should avoid long-term hormone replacement therapy, have children before age 30, breastfeed, avoid weight gain through exercise and proper diet, and limit alcohol consumption to 1 drink a day or less. For women already at a high risk, their risk of developing breast cancer can be reduced by about 50% by taking a drug called Tamoxifen for five years. Tamoxifen has some common side effects (like hot flashes and vaginal discharge), which are not serious and some uncommon side effects (like blood clots, pulmonary embolus, stroke, and uterine cancer) which are life threatening. Tamoxifen isn’t widely used for prevention, but may be useful in some cases.

There are limited data suggesting that vitamin A may protect against breast cancer but further research is needed before it can be recommended for prevention. Other things being investigated include phytoestrogens (naturally occurring estrogens that are in high numbers in soy), vitamin E, vitamin C, and other drugs. Further testing of these substances is also needed before they can be recommended for breast cancer prevention. Right now, the most important thing any woman can do to decrease her risk of dying from breast cancer is to have regular mammogram screening, learn how to perform breast self exams, and have a regular physical examination by their physician.

Kidney Cancer

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

You have two kidneys. They are fist-sized organs on either side of your backbone above your waist. The tubes inside filter and clean your blood, taking out waste products and making urine. Kidney cancer forms in the lining of tiny tubes inside your kidneys. It happens most often in people over 40. Risk factors include smoking, having certain genetic conditions and misusing pain medicines for a long time.

Often, kidney cancer doesn’t have early symptoms. However, see your health care provider if you notice

  • Blood in your urine
  • A lump in your abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain in your side
  • Loss of appetite

Treatment depends on your age, your overall health and how advanced the cancer is. It might include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or biologic therapy. Biologic therapy boosts your body’s own ability to fight cancer.

Radiation therapy – cancer treatment

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy, x-ray therapy, or irradiation) is the use of a certain type of energy (called ionizing radiation) to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy injures or destroys cells in the area being treated (the “target tissue”) by damaging their genetic material, making it impossible for these cells to continue to grow and divide. Although radiation damages both cancer cells and normal cells, most normal cells can recover from the effects of radiation and function properly. The goal of radiation therapy is to damage as many cancer cells as possible, while limiting harm to nearby healthy tissue.

There are different types of radiation and different ways to deliver the radiation. For example, certain types of radiation can penetrate more deeply into the body than can others. In addition, some types of radiation can be very finely controlled to treat only a small area (an inch of tissue, for example) without damaging nearby tissues and organs. Other types of radiation are better for treating larger areas.

In some cases, the goal of radiation treatment is the complete destruction of an entire tumor. In other cases, the aim is to shrink a tumor and relieve symptoms. In either case, doctors plan treatment to spare as much healthy tissue as possible.

About half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or surgery. In some cases, a patient may receive more than one type of radiation therapy.

Pancreatic cancer

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas.

The pancreas is a gland about 6 inches long that is shaped like a thin pear lying on its side. The wider end of the pancreas is called the head, the middle section is called the body, and the narrow end is called the tail. The pancreas lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine.

The pancreas has two main jobs in the body:

To produce juices that help digest (break down) food.
To produce hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, that help control blood sugar levels. Both of these hormones help the body use and store the energy it gets from food.

The digestive juices are produced by exocrine pancreas cells and the hormones are produced by endocrine pancreas cells. About 95% of pancreatic cancers begin in exocrine cells.

Possible signs of pancreatic cancer include jaundice, pain, and weight loss.

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect (find) and diagnose early.
 

Cancer: Overview

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer can spread throughout your body.

As cells age, there is a constant process of cells dying and being replaced by new cells. This is usually an orderly process, but if too many new cells are created they form a tumour. Some tumours are not cancerous (benign) but malignant tumours (cancers) can spread. Both benign and malignant tumors are abnormal. A benign tumor is encased in a membrane that keeps it from getting to other body tissues. Benign tumors are not images2.jpgconsidered to be cancerous but can cause damage to healthy tissues when the mass is large enough to compress them. A malignant tumor is much more dangerous and harmful than a benign tumor. A malignant tumor is cancerous because the cells are not encased in a membrane and can invade and destroy nearby tissues.  Sometimes cells break away from the original (primary) cancer and spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. These cells may continue to duplicate in an uncontrolled way, forming a new tumour in a different part of the body.

Curing cancer has been a major goal of medical researchers for decades, but development of new treatments takes time and money. Already there are many forms of cancer which are no longer considered untreatable.

Signs and Symptoms of Cancer

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Cancer, initially as a tiny mass of cells, produces no symptoms whatsoever. When cancer grows in an area with a lot of space, such as in the wall of the large intestine, it may not cause any symptoms until it becomes quite large. In contrast, a cancer growing in a more restricted space, such as on a vocal cord, may cause symptoms (such as hoarseness) when it is relatively small.

Cancers produce symptoms by growing into and thus irritating or destroying other tissues, putting pressure on other tissues, producing toxic substances, and using energy and nutrients normally available for other bodily functions. Cancer may cause one set of symptoms as it grows in its initial site and cause different symptoms as it spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body.

As a cancer grows and spreads throughout the body, a number of complications can result. Some of these complications can be serious and require emergency treatment. Certain complications, called paraneoplastic syndromes, result when substances produced by cancers spread throughout the body.

Danger Signs of Cancer

  1. Unusual bleeding or discharge.
  2. A lump or thickening in the breast or otherwise
  3. A sore that does not heal
  4. Change in bowel or bladder habits.
  5. Persistant hoarseness or cough.
  6. Persistant indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
  7. Change in a wort or mole

Major causes of Cancer

Monday, September 11th, 2006

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Major causes of cancer, as identified by the joint Cancer Care Ontario / Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario division report Cancer 2020 summary report are:

  • Tobacco use
  • Diet, obesity and inactivity
  • Occupation and environment
  • Family History
  • Other Factors (biological agents, reproductive factors, radiation & sunlight, alcohol, socio-economic class, drugs, food additives/contaminants)

In 2001, the most frequently diagnosed cancer continues to be breast cancer for women and prostate cancer for men. The leading cause of cancer among both sexes continues to be smoking.

The majority of these cancers occur because of lifestyle or environmental factors. These factors can easily be changed! When we adopt new, healthy behaviours that focus on cancer-prevention, we lower our risk of cancer by up to 70%.

Types of Cancer

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Several factors, like location and how the cancerous cells appear under the microscope etc. determine the type of cancer. All cancers, however, fall into one of four broad categories:

Carcinoma

Carcinoma is a malignant neoplasm of epithelial origin. It is a tumor that arises in the tissues that line the body’s organs like the nose, the colon, the penis, breasts, prostrate, urinary bladder, and the ureter. About 80% of all cancer cases are carcinomas.

Sarcomas

Sarcomas are tumors that originate in bone, muscle, cartilage, fibrous tissue or fat. Ewing sarcoma (Family of tumors) and Kaposi’s sarcoma are the common types of sarcomas.

Leukemias

Leukemias are cancers of the blood or blood-forming organs. When leukemia develops, the body produces a large number of abnormal blood cells. In most types of leukemia, the abnormal cells are white blood cells. The leukemia cells usually look different from normal blood cells, and they do not function properly. Leukemia can either be acute or chronic. In acute leukemia the abnormal blood cells are blasts that remain very immature and cannot carry out their normal functions. The number of blasts increases rapidly, thus creating a greater and earlier impact on the victim. In chronic leukemia, some blast cells are present which are comparatively more mature, and thus can carry out some of their normal functions.

Lymphomas

Lymphomas affect the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and nodes that acts as the body’s filter. The lymphatic system distributes nutrients to blood and tissue, and prevents bacteria and other foreign “invaders” from entering the bloodstream. There are over 20 types of lymphoma. Hodgkin’s disease is one type of lymphoma. All other lymphomas are grouped together and are called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may occur in a single lymph node, a group of lymph nodes, or in another organ. This type of cancer can spread to almost any part of the body, including the liver, bone marrow, and spleen.

Cancer Treatment

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Treatment of Cancer varies depending upon type, stage and overall condition of the cancer. In addition it depends upon the goal i.e. whether the treatment is to cure hte cancer, or prevent it from spreading, or to relieve the symptoms caused by cancer.  Depending on these factors, one may receive one or more of the following:

Surgery: Surgery is used to diagnose cancer, determine its stage, and to treat cancer.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is any treatment involving the use of drugs to kill cancer cells.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, uses high-energy rays to damage or kill cancer cells by preventing them from growing and dividing.

Hormonal therapy: Hormones are naturally occurring substances in the body that stimulate the growth of hormone sensitive tissues, such as the breast or prostate gland.

Targeted therapy: A targeted therapy is one that is designed to treat only the cancer cells and minimize damage to normal, healthy cells.

One or more treatment modalities may be used to provide you with the most effective treatment.  Increasingly, it is common to use several treatment modalities together (concurrently) or in sequence with the goal of preventing recurrence.  This is referred to as multi-modality treatment of the cancer.