Cancer is perhaps one of the scariest terms ever existed. It is a medical condition which occurs when there is a disease in the body cells. As the body is made up of many different types of cells, this would then lead to a different type of cancer.
Cancer is one of the top killer diseases in Malaysia and around the world as well. There are many types of cancers like lung cancer which is directly linked with smoking, prostate cancer which is common among men, breast cancer which is prevalent among women although could happen to men as well, ovarian cancer among women and throat cancer.
What actually happens when a person gets cancer is when there is abnormality growth or development of cells in a certain body part which could cause them to multiply out of control and this will lead to some very detrimental effects which could lead to death if not treated. As such, cancer detection become very important and must be done early in order to stop the cells from growing further.
There are millions of tiny cells around the body where most of them contain a nucleus in the center which is made up of DNA. This are known as normal cells and when there are changes, they become abnormal, usually when the cell is damaged or modified for one reason or another. Naturally, cells will multiply and will continue even when they are abnormal. When this happens collectively, it forms a large clump which leads to a tumour.
Tumours are divided into 2 types which are benign and malignant. The former grows slowly and do not usually spread to other tissues which means that they are not cancerous. Meanwhile, malignant tumours are the ones that are damaging and cancerous.
It is a known fact that cancer is usually caused by doing something wrong to the body for long periods of time. This is usually caused by factors such as chemical carcinogens like tobacco smoke and workplace chemicals like asbestos and benzene, among others. When a person is exposed to these agents for long periods of time, abnormal cells start to develop. As such, it would be most ideal to reduce such exposure.
Having a regular diet and minimizing on intake of damaging foods like alcohol and saturated fats could help to prevent and reduce the risk of cancer as well. This means altering the lifestyle that involves taking high volumes of fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich foods.
In most situations, a cancer patient has to go through a lot of different treatments. A biopsy will usually be carried out where a small sample of tissue is removed and then examined to detect any abnormal cells. Depending on the type of cancer and the extent of the spread, the treatment varies.
Surgery will be possible where a cancerous tumour is removed from the body. The more common treatment would be through chemotherapy where anti-cancer medicines designed to kill cancer cells or to prevent them from multiplying is used. Radiotherapy is another method where high-energy beams of radiation are used and focused on the cancerous tissues to kill them. As it is known, such treatments have side effects which can leave the patient weak and fatigue as well as hair-loss. Besides that, other known treatments include stem-cell transplant, hormone therapy, gene therapy and immunotherapy, among others.
Dietary Guide for Cancer Patients
Cancer patients, like any other human beings would need to have a balanced diet in order to improve the overall health conditions. Despite all the researches and scientific breakthroughs, there is no food which can cure cancer while there is no standard diet program for cancer patients. However, those who suffer this disease can try to minimize certain foods that can worsen the condition.
The rule of thumb is to have a good and regular practice of the diet before, during and after any treatment as it will help to aid in the recovery and healing of tissues which have been damaged due to cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy and any other surgeries.
Besides that, taking foods and supplements that are helpful can aid in reducing the side effects of the treatment while accelerating the healing process. After all, cancer patients usually have weakened immune systems which mean dietary supplement that are rich in fiber would help in rebuilding the cells.
Pre-treatment – Before any treatment is to take place, the patient should take foods that have a complete source of nutrients and minerals. It is very important that these foods help in providing energy which should have sufficient carbohydrate and fat without being too excessive.
During Treatment – Cancer treatment is used to destroy cancer cells which will destroy healthy cells in the process. Besides that, it will result in certain side effects as well. As such, food intake might be a problem as the patient might suffer from loss of appetite. In these cases, taking dietary supplements that rebuild cells like Vitamin C and iron could help.
Post-treatment – Foods that should be taken after cancer treatment should be balanced and complete with important nutrients. This is because the side effects could be vanishing at this point and the appetite might elevate. Ensure that a good diet practice is carried out with different variety of foods that are healthy and balanced.
Tumors and Cancer – What you must know
When there is a growth which is abnormal in your body, you must have it checked immediately. In fact, as long as it is something which is not supposed to be there, then you should have it removed as soon as possible before the condition becomes serious which could be fatal.
A tumor is also called a neoplasm which is an abnormal mass of tissue which could be made up of some solid or fluid-based existence. Naturally, there are several types of tumors and not all tumors are fatal or cancerous. This means that if you have a tumor, it does not necessarily mean that you have cancer.
Water Lumps – This is basically a breast cyst which occurred in the breast. It might feel like a lump that may be a cause for concern but once examined further, it could be a sac filled fluid and is harmless. In most cases, it could be made up of one cyst or many cysts that are grouped together.
Hence, there is no reason to panic if you notice any lumps anywhere as yet. Always check with the doctor before jumping into any conclusions. If it is determined that you do have any sort of tumor growth in your body, then you will have to go for further checks on whether it is dangerous. In most cases, early signs of cancer are related to the growth of tumors in the particular part of your body. There are in general 2 types of tumors which are benign and malignant tumors which are often associated with cancer of different kinds. So, with all the talk about different types of tumors, what does these 2 actually mean?
Benign Tumors – This type of tumor is considered to be safe and usually not life-threatening. This is because benign tumors are naturally slow-growing and only in very rare cases would benign tumors spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumors are naturally non-cancerous which means that there should be no urgency in removing them. Most of these tumors have well-defined borders and can be safely removed when the time comes.
However, it must be noted that benign tumors are risky based on the location of the tumor especially if it is around the brain. This is because any growth, whether it is benign or malignant around the brain would could be life-threatening. As such, in cases where the benign brain tumor is located in vital areas of your brain that control functions like breathing, it could be considered as malignant and as such, could be dangerous.
Malignant Tumors – On the other hand, malignant tumors is the complete opposite of benign tumors. It is totally different than the normal cells and usually exhibit very abnormal behavior. When a person has malignant tumor, it is considered the person has cancer. This type of tumor is able to grow very fast and is a lot more invasive than other types of tumors. Unlike benign tumors which have clear boundaries and such, malignant tumors can grow anywhere and at any rate. Most malignant tumors are life-threatening and when it can spread from one organ to another, it becomes fatal. While doing so, malignant tumors will invade and destroy the nearby tissue as well.
Grades and Stages of Tumors
Any type of cancer is usually classified in terms of grades and stages. Tumors are classified through Grade 1 to Grade IV where the higher the grade is, the more dangerous the tumor could be. Besides that, the growth of tumor is defined through stages which will then help you to understand the seriousness of the cancer.
Treatment for Cancer
Chemotherapy – Is it your best choice?
Known in short as Chemo, chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments used on cancer patients. For this, drugs are used to destroy cancer cells in which it stops the growth of these highly damaging cells. Besides that, chemotherapy helps to slow down the development of cancer cells which in the process of doing so, could harm healthy cells as well. As such chemotherapy is often associated with side effects which would occur during the treatment.
Chemotherapy can help to cure cancer in which the doctor might not detect any more harmful cells in the body part concerned. However, chemotherapy must be carried out in the early stages of the cancer in order to stop it totally from growing. As such, your doctor might use this treatment method to keep cancer cells from spreading as well as to shrink tumours that are causing pressure in the specific body part.
Is Chemo the only way?
It is not. If you have a certain type of cancer, chemotherapy is one of the many methods used to treat your condition. Besides Chemo, there are other ways like radiation therapy. However, it must be noted that chemo might be the only treatment for certain types of cancer. It could be used as a complimenting treatment together with the likes of biological therapy and radiation therapy where necessary.
Where this is concerned, chemo is used together in certain types of treatment strategies. This includes induction chemotherapy, consolidation chemotherapy, intensification chemotherapy and combination chemotherapy. Depending on your age and condition, the drugs used in all these strategies are different while combination chemo involves using a number of different drugs at the same time. Other types of strategies include adjuvant and neoadjuvant chemo, salvage chemo which is known as palliative chemo and maintenance chemo, all which can help to cure or relieve the effects of cancer.
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