Bladder Cancer

Friday, December 4, 2009 · 1 comments

The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen (pelvis). It collects and stores urine produced by the kidneys. As it fills with urine, the muscular wall of the bladder stretches and the bladder gets larger. When the bladder reaches its capacity of urine, the bladder wall contracts, although adults have voluntary control over the timing of this contraction. At the same time, a urinary control muscle in the urethra relaxes. The urine is then expelled from the bladder.The urine flows through a narrow tube called the urethra and leaves the body. This process called urination, or micturition.

Cancer that forms in tissues of the bladder . Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas which means cancer that begins in cells that normally make up the inner lining of the bladder. Other types include squamous cell carcinoma i.e., cancer that begins in thin, flat cells and that is cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. The cells that form squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation. Bladder cancer occurs in the lining of the bladder. It is the sixth most common type of cancer in the United States.

Common symptoms of bladder cancer are blood in the urine , Pain during urination , and frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without results. These symptoms are nonspecific. This means that these symptoms are also linked with many other conditions that have nothing to do with cancer. Infections, benign tumors, bladder stones, or other problems also can cause these symptoms. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor so that the doctor can diagnose and treat any problem as early as possible. People with symptoms like these may see their family doctor or a urologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary system.
We do not know exactly what causes bladder cancer; however, a number of carcinogens have been identified that are potential causes, especially in cigarette smoke. Smoking is the single greatest risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers have more than twice the risk of developing bladder cancer as nonsmokers. People who regularly work with certain chemicals or in certain industries have a greater risk of bladder cancer than the general population. Organic chemicals called aromatic amines are particularly linked with bladder cancer. These chemicals are used in the dye industry. Other industries linked to bladder cancer include rubber and leather processing, textiles, hair coloring, paints, and printing. Strict workplace protections can prevent much of the exposure that is believed to cause cancer. People whose diets include large amounts of fried meats and animal fats are thought to be at higher risk of bladder cancer. Some people are born with a visible or invisible defect that connects their bladder with another organ in the abdomen or leaves the bladder exposed to continual infection. This increases the bladder's vulnerability to cellular abnormalities that can lead to cancer.

If a patient has symptoms that suggest bladder cancer, the doctor may check general signs of health and may order lab tests. The doctor feels the abdomen and pelvis for tumors. The physical exam may include a rectal or vaginal exam. The laboratory checks the urine for blood, cancer cells, and other signs of disease. If bladder cancer is diagnosed, the doctor needs to know the stage, or extent , of the disease to plan the best treatment. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has invaded the blaadder wall, whether the disease has spread, and if so, to what parts of the body.


Like all cancers, bladder cancer is most likely to be cured if it is diagnosed early and treated promptly. The most widely used therapies are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, either alone or in combination.Immunotherapy or biological therapy, which takes advantage of the body's innate cancer-fighting ability , is used in some cases, especially for patients with stages Ta, T1, and CIS.

kidney cancer

Monday, October 12, 2009 · 0 comments

Cancer that forms in tissues of the kidneys. Kidney cancer includes renal cell carcinoma.e., cancer that forms in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney that filter the blood and remove waste products and renal pelvis carcinoma which is cancer that forms in the center of the kidney where urine collects. It also includes Wilms tumor, which is a type of kidney cancer that usually develops in children under the age of 5.

Almost 85% of this tumor are renal cell carcinomas. A less common type of kidney is Papillary carcinoma. Other rare kidney cancers include: Renal sarcoma, Collecting Duct carcinoma, Medullary and Chromophobe carcinomas.

kidney cancer develops most often in people over 40, but no one knows the exact causes of this disease. Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop kidney cancer. The risk factors for kidney cancer are smoking,obesity, high blood pressure,long term dialysis, Some people have a higher risk of getting kidney cancer because they come in contact with certain chemicals or substances in their workplace. Coke oven workers in the iron and steel industry are at risk. Males are more likely than females to be diagnosed with kidney cancer. Most people who have these risk factors do not get kidney cancer. On the other hand, most people who do get the disease have no known risk factors. People who think they may be at risk should discuss this concern with their doctor. The doctor may be able to suggest ways to reduce the risk and can plan an appropriate schedule for checkups.

Kidney cancer symptoms are often overlooked because tumours are usually slow growing and not suspected until the patient begins to experience symptoms such as blood in the Chronic fatigue, rapid weightloss,Leg and ankle swelling,high blood pressure,Fever,Presence of blood in urine,Pain in side or are lower back,Mass or lump in the abdomen. a palpable mass. Since back pain is common among people over 40 years of age, such pain is often ignored and the presence of kidney cancer can go undetected. Kidney cancer may also cause high blood pressure.There are many variations of kidney cancer. The most commonly diagnosed type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma. It accounts for more than 85% of kidney cancer diagnosis'.Keep in mind that these symptoms are also the signs for many other illnesses.

Urine is checked for blood and other signs of disease. The lab checks the blood to see how well the kidneys are working.Cancer of the kidney is most commonly detected with either computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging . Kidney cancer cells may also break away from the original tumor and spread to other parts of the body such as the lymph nodes, bones or lungs, with about one third of cases showing metastasis at the time of diagnosis.

To plan the best treatment, the doctor needs to know the stage of the disease. The stage is based on the size of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to what parts of the body.Staging may involve imaging tests such as an ultrasound or a CT scan,MRI. For this test, a powerful magnet linked to a computer makes detailed pictures of organs and blood vessels.In early stage of kidney cancer, but the tumor measures more than 2 3/4 inches. The cancer cells are found only in the kidney.In the next staget he tumor does not extend beyond the kidney, but cancer cells have spread through the lymphatic system to one nearby lymph node; or The tumor has invaded the adrenal gland or the layers of fat and fibrous tissue that surround the kidney, but cancer cells have not spread beyond the fibrous tissue. Cancer cells may be found in one nearby lymph node; or The cancer cells have spread from the kidney to a nearby large blood vessel. Cancer cells may be found in one nearby lymph node.In the next stage the tumor extends beyond the fibrous tissue that surrounds the kidney; or Cancer cells are found in more than one nearby lymph node; or The cancer has spread to other places in the body such as the lungs. Recurrent cancer is cancer that has come back after treatment. It may come back in the kidney or in another part of the body.

Leukemia

Monday, September 21, 2009 · 0 comments

Leukemia is the Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream.Leukemia is a cancer of blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. These deranged, immature cells accumulate in the blood and within organs of the body. They are not able to carry out the normal functions of blood cells.

Most blood cells develop from cells in the bone marrow called stem cells. Bone marrow is the soft material in the center of most bones.Stem cells mature into different kinds of blood cells. Each kind has a special job. White blood cells are part of the immune system and help fight a variety of infections. They also help in the healing of wounds, cuts, and sores. There are several types of white blood cells. Red blood cells containhemoglobin, which carries oxygen to, and removes carbon dioxide from, the cells throughout the various organs of the body. Platelets, along with certain plasma proteins, help plug the holes in blood vessels and form clots once blood vessels are damaged or cut.

Leukemia is a disease that affects both children and adults. It begins in the bone marrow and spreads to other parts of the body.In a person with leukemia, the bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells. The abnormal cells are leukemia cells. Unlike normal blood cells, leukemia cells don't die when they should. They may crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This makes it hard for normal blood cells to do their work.


The types of leukemia can be grouped based on how quickly the disease develops and gets worse. Leukemia is either chronic or acute.

The exact cause of leukemia is unknown. smoking is considered risk factor for leukemia, but many people who develop leukemia have never smoked, and many people who smoke never develop leukemia.Long-term exposure to chemicals such as benzene or fomaldehyde.Prolonged exposure to radiation is a risk factor of leukemia. Doses of radiation used for diagnostic imaging such as x-rays and CT scans are nowhere near as prolonged or high as the doses needed to cause leukemia.Artificial ionizing radiation,Viruses - HTLV-1 and HIV, Alkylating chemotherapy agents used in previous cancers,Hair dyesGenetic predisposition are the causes of leukemia.

The symptoms of leukemia depend on the number of leukemia cells and where these cells collect in the body. Leukemia also can affect other parts of the body such as the digestive tract, kidneys, lungs, heart, or testes.The symptoms of leukemia headache,confusion,fever,infection,excessive bruising,fatigue,physical exercise intolerance,abdominal pain, or generally feeling fullness,weight loss,abnormal bleeding,enlargement of the lymph nodes, spleen, and/or liver,weakness.

The symptoms of leukemia are nonspecific and the causes are not clearly defined, one's health care provider will carry out extensive interviews and any appropriate tests in order to identify the underlying cause. Leukemia can be diagnosed with a variety of tests, and understanding what each test is and what it looks for can make the tests a little less confusing. To find the cause of a person's symptoms, the doctor asks about the patient's medical history and does a physical exam. In addition to checking general signs of health, the doctor feels for swelling in the liver; the spleen; and the lymph nodes under the arms, in the groin, and in the neck. Blood tests also help in the diagnosis. A sample of blood is examined under a microscope to see what the cells look like and to determine the number of mature cells and blasts. Although blood tests may reveal that a patient has leukemia, they may not show what type of leukemia it is.

The goal of treatment for leukemia is to destroy the leukemia cells and allow normal cells to form in your bone marrow. Treatment decisions are based on the type and subtype of leukemia you have, its stage, and your age and general health. Acute leukemia needs to be treated right away. The goal of treatment is to bring about a remission. Then, when there is no evidence of the disease, more therapy may be given to prevent a relapse. Many people with acute leukemia can be cured. Chronic leukemia patients who do not have symptoms may not require immediate treatment. They should have frequent checkups so the doctor can see whether the disease is progressing. When treatment is needed, it can often control the disease and its symptoms. However, chronic leukemia can seldom be cured. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Depending on the type of leukemia, patients may receive a single drug or a combination of two or more drugs. Radiation therapy is used along with chemotherapy for some kinds of leukemia. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. The radiation comes from a large machine. Bone marrow transplantation also may be used for some patients. The patient's leukemia-producing bone marrow is destroyed by high doses of drugs and radiation and is then replaced by healthy bone marrow. Biological therapy involves treatment with substances that affect the immune system’s response to cancer.Interferon is a form of biological therapy that is used against some types of leukemia.

Brain Cancer

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 · 0 comments

Brain cancer is a disease of the brain where cancer cells grow in the brain tissue.Cancer cells grow to form a mass of cancer tissue that interferes with brain tissue functions such as muscle control, sensation, memory, and other normal body functions. Tumors composed of cancer cells are called malignant tumors, and those composed of noncancerous cells are called benign tumors. Cancer cells that develop from brain tissue are called primary brain tumors.

There are two types of brain tumors: primary brain tumors that originate in the brain and metastatic brain tumors that originate from cancer cells that have migrated from other parts of the body. Primary brain cancer rarely spreads beyond the central nervous system, and death results from uncontrolled tumor growth within the limited space of the skull. Metastatic brain cancer indicates advanced disease and has a poor prognosis.

The causes of brain tumors are not known. Researchers are trying to solve this problem. The more they can find out about the causes of brain tumors, the better the chances of finding ways to prevent them. Genetic factors, various environmental toxins, radiation and cigarette smoking have all been linked to cancers of the brain, but in most cases, no clear cause can be shown. The following factors have been proposed as possible risk factors for primary brain tumors. Whether these factors actually increase the risk of a brain tumor is not known for sure. Doctors can seldom explain why one person develops a brain tumor and another does not.

There are many symptoms possible depending on the location of the brain tumor. Not all brain tumors cause symptoms, and some are found mainly after death. The most common symptoms of brain cancer are weakness, difficulty walking,seizures and headaches. Other common symptoms are nausea,vomiting, blurry vision, or a change in a person's alertness, mental capacity, memory, speech, or personality. These symptoms can also occur in people that do not have brain cancer, and none of these symptoms alone or in combination can predict that a person has brain cancer. A few brain cancers produce few or no symptoms.

The initial test is an interview and physical examination of the person by a competent health-care provider. The results of this interaction will determine if other specific tests need to be done.The most frequently used test to detect brain cancer is a CT-SCAN . This test resembles a series of x-rays and is not painful, although sometimes a dye needs to be injected into the vein for better pictures of some internal brain structures. Another test that is gaining popularity because of its high sensitivity for detecting anatomic changes in the brain is MRI .This test also resembles a series of x-rays and shows the brain structures in detail better than CT. MRI is not as widely available as CT scanning. If the tests show evidence of brain cancer, then other doctors such as neurosurgeons and neurologists that specialize in treating brain ailments will be consulted to help determine what should be done to treat the patient.

Treatment for a brain tumor depends on a number of factors. Among these are the type, location, and size of the tumor, as well as the patient's age and general health. Treatment methods and schedules often vary for children and adults. A treatment plan is developed to fit each patient's needs. Surgery, radiation theraphy and chemotheraphy are the major treatment categories for most brain cancers. Individual treatment plans often include a combination of these treatments. Surgical therapy attempts to remove the tumor by cutting it away from normal brain tissue. Radiation therapy attempts to destroy tumor cells by using high energy radiation focused onto the tumor. Chemotherapy attempts to destroy tumor cells using chemicals that are designed to destroy specific types of cancer cells. All treatments attempt to spare normal brain cells. The best treatment for brain cancer is designed by the team of cancer specialists in conjunction with the wishes of the patient.

Cancer treatment often causes side effects. These side effects occur because treatment to destroy cancer cells damages some healthy cells as well. The side effects of cancer treatment vary. They depend on the type of treatment used and on the area being treated. Also, each person reacts differently. Attempts are made to plan the patient's therapy to keep side effects to a minimum.A craniotomy is a major operation. The surgery may damage normal brain tissue, and edema may occur. Weakness, coordination problems, personality changes, and difficulty in speaking and thinking can result. Patients can also have seizures. In fact, for a short time after surgery, symptoms may be worse than before. Most of the side effects of surgery lessen or disappear with time. Patients receiving radiation therapy may become very tired as treatment continues. Resting is important, but doctors usually advise their patients to try to stay reasonably active. Radiation therapy to the scalp causes most patients to lose their hair. When it grows back, the new hair is sometimes softer and may be a slightly different color. In some cases, hair loss is permanent. The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the drugs that are given. In general, anticancer drugs affect rapidly growing cells, such as blood cells that fight infection, cells that line the digestive tract, and cells in the hair follicles. As a result, patients may have a lowered resistance to infection, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or mouth sores. Patients also may have less energy and lose their hair. These side effects usually go away gradually after treatment stops.

Skin cancer

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 · 0 comments

Skin cancer is the most common of all human cancers. Cancer that forms in tissues of the skin .Cancer occurs when normal cells undergo a transformation during which they grow and multiply without normal controls.. There are several types of skin cancer. Skin cancer that forms in melanocytes i.e.,skin cells that make pigment is called melanoma. Skin cancer that forms in basal cells i.e.,small, round cells in the base of the outer layer of skin is called basal cell carcinoma. Skin cancer that forms in squamous cells is called squamous cell carcinoma. Skin cancer that forms in neuroendocrine cells is called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. Most skin cancers form in older people on parts of the body exposed to the sun or in people who have weakened immune systems.

As the cells multiply, they form a mass called a tumor. Tumors of the skin are often referred to as lesions.Tumors are cancerous only if they are malignant. This means that they encroach on and invade neighboring tissues because of their uncontrolled growth.Tumors may also travel to remote organs via the bloodstream or lymphatic system.This process of invading and spreading to other organs is called metastasis.Tumors overwhelm surrounding tissues by invading their space and taking the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive and function.

Ultraviolet light exposure, most commonly from sunlight, is overwhelmingly the most frequent cause of skin cancer. Use of tanning booths, Exposure to unusually high levels of x-rays. Contact with certain chemicals leads to skin cancer.

The main skin cancer symptom includes a difference in the appearance of the skin. It may take the form of a spot, sore, or mole with a changeable size, shape, color, or feel. Some common skin cancer symptoms are firm red lump, sore or rough red spot that becomes crusty or scaly which begins to bleed, spot that becomes red, swollen, itchy, tender, or painful and mole that grows or otherwise changes its appearance. There are a variety of different skin cancer symptoms that you should be aware of. Those skin cancer symptoms include sores or changes in the skin that do not heal, ulcers in the skin, discoloring in parts of the skin, and changes in existing moles. The skin cancer symptoms may vary depending upon its type.

If you have a worrisome mole or other lesion, your primary-care provider will probably refer you to a dermatologist. The dermatologist will examine any moles in question and, in many cases, the entire skin surface.Any lesions that are difficult to identify, or are thought to be skin cancer, may then be checked.A sample of skin will be taken so that the suspicious area of skin can be examined under a microscope.A biopsy can almost always be done in the dermatologist's office.Treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma is straightforward. Usually, surgical removal of the lesion is adequate. Malignant melanoma, however, may require several treatment methods, including surgery, radiation theraphy, and chemotheraphy. Because of the complexity of treatment decisions, people with malignant melanoma may benefit from the combined expertise of the dermatologist, a cancer surgeon, and an oncologist.

Head & Neck Cancer

Friday, April 17, 2009 · 2 comments

Most head and neck cancers begin in the mucosal surfaces in the mouth, nose and throat. Included are cancers of the oral cavity, salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, and the lymph nodes in the upper part of the neck. Head and neck cancers are highly treatable and the cure rate is good if they are detected early.


The cause of head and neck cancer in most people is still unknown, but research is going on all the time to learn more..Cancers of the head and neck are some of the few cancers for which a particular cause can often be identified. There are a number of risk factors that can increase your chance of developing head and neck cancer.Like most types of cancer, head and neck cancers are more common in older people.Squamous cell carcinomas are much more common in smokers and people who drink a lot of alcohol, particularly spirits, and even more common in people who do both.Pipe smokers and people who hold cigarettes between their lips for long periods have a higher risk of cancers in the lip area. People who chew tobacco or betel nuts and those who use paan have a higher risk of cancers in the oral cavity.People who have long periods of exposure to the sun in their daily life have an increased risk of cancer of the lip and the skin of the head and neck area, especially the ear.A poor diet that contains very little fresh fruit and vegetables may increase your risk of certain types of mouth cancer.Breathing in certain chemicals and hardwood dusts for example, in workplaces increases the risk of cancers of the nose and sinuses.

Symptoms include a lump or sore that does not heal,a sore throat that does not go away,trouble swallowing,a change or hoarseness in the voice,an unexplained loose tooth,a numb feeling in the mouth or on the lipsringing in the ear, or difficulty in hearing,pain in the face or upper jaw,a swelling or lump in the mouth or neck.Using tobacco or alcohol increases your risk. In fact, many people who r affected by head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use including smoking.


In order to examine your throat and neck, the doctor may use a small mirror held at the back of your mouth. The doctor may also pass a nasendoscope ,a very thin flexible tube with a light at the end into your nose to get a better view of the back of the mouth and throat.The doctor can only make a definite diagnosis by taking a sample of cells from the abnormal area to examine under a microscope. This procedure is called a biopsy.This is a quick, simple procedure that is done in the outpatient clinic. Using a fine needle and syringe, the doctor takes a sample of cells from a lump and sends it to the laboratory to see if any cancer cells are present. An FNAC may be quite uncomfortable and the area may be bruised for a week or so afterwards. The other of diagnosing isiInstead of having biopsies, a small amount of blue dye is painted onto the abnormal area, which is then looked at very closely using a microscope. Microcytoscopy should not be painful although it may be a little uncomfortable.

Treatments:

Surgery includes removing cancer and some of the healthy tissue around it. Lymph nodes in the neck may also be removed , if the doctor suspects that the cancer has spread. Surgery may be followed by radiation treatment.Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy. This treatment involves the use of high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body . It can also come from radioactive materials placed directly into or near the area where the cancer cells are found .chemotheraphy also called anticancer drugs. This treatment is used to kill cancer cells throughout the body. The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the drugs that are given. Sometimes the treatment of head and neck cancers will involve two or more treatments combined together.For most people, the treatment is aimed at removing the cancer and reducing the chances of the cancer coming back.Cancers affecting the head and neck are uncommon and therefore people with this type of cancer are usually treated in specialist cancer hospitals.

Cervical cancer

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Cervical cancer or cancer of the cervix is an abnormal growth of cancercells in the in women. Cancer that forms in tissues of the cervix i.e., the organ connecting the uterus.It is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms but can be found with regular Pap tests which means a procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and looked at under a microscope.It is the second most common cancer in females and it is successfully curable in the early stages. Cervical cancer occurs most commonly between 40 and 55 years of age.The cancer cells may be present in the cervix for 4-10 years before becoming invasive, affecting the deeper tissues and giving rise to symptoms.

Although cervical cancers start from cells with pre-cancerous changes , only some of the women with precancers of the cervix will develop cancer. The change from precancer to cancer usually takes several years - but it can happen in less than a year. For most women, pre-cancerous cells will go away without any treatment. Still, in some women pre-cancers turn into true invasive cancers. Treating all pre-cancers can prevent almost all true cancers.Early cervical cancer may not cause noticeable signs or symptoms. Women should have yearly check-ups, including a Pap smear to check for abnormal cells in the cervix. The prognosis (chance of recovery) is better when the cancer is found early.

The causes of Cervical cancer are Smoking or a history of smoking,Many women have heard that having sexual intercourse at an early age and having multiple sexual partners can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. They may be distressed that friends and family could think they fall into these categories.A weakened immune system may also allow CIN to develop into a cancer. The immune system can be weakened by smoking, poor diet, and other infections, such as HIV.Long term use of the contraceptive pill more than 10 years can slightly increase the risk of developing cervical cancer, but the benefits of taking the pill outweigh the risks for most women.Cancer of the cervix is not infectious and cannot be passed on to other people.

Abnormal cervical cell changes rarely cause symptoms. But you may have symptoms if those cell changes grow into cervical cancer.The most common symptom of cervical cancer is abnormal bleeding, such as between periods or after intercourse. Often there is also a bad-smelling vaginal discharge, and discomfort during intercourse. Women who have had their menopause who are no longer having periods may have some new bleeding.It can be embarrassing to talk about these symptoms, but the sooner you see your doctor and a diagnosis is made, the better the chance of treatment being successful.


If abnormal cells are found in a smear test or liquid-based cytology, you may be referred for a colposcopy to have a biopsy taken.A colposcope is like a small microscope with a light and allows the nurse or doctor to make a more thorough examination of the abnormal cells on the cervix.If the abnormal area can't be seen properly with the colposcope, you may have a cone biopsy. This is often done under local anaesthetic, although you may need a general anaesthetic and an overnight stay in hospital.A small cone-shaped section of the cervix, that is aimed to be large enough to remove any abnormal cells, is taken for examination under a microscope by a pathologist.

There are two main types of cervical cancer. The most common is called squamous cell carcinoma: this develops from the flat cells which cover the outer surface of the cervix at the top of the vagina.The other type is called adenocarcinoma: this type develops from the glandular cells which line the cervical canal . As adenocarcinoma starts in the cervical canal it can be more difficult to detect with cervical screening tests.

Treatments:

surgery is often the main treatment for cancer of the cervix in its early stages where it is only in the cervix.

Radiotheraphy is as effective as surgery in this situation but can cause more side effects. For this reason, surgery is usually used. Radiotherapy is sometimes used after surgery if there is a risk that some cancer cells may be left behind, to help reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. Sometimes radiotherapy is combined with chemotherapy, which is known as concomitant therapy or chemoradiotherapy.

Chemotherapy is occasionally used before surgery, to shrink the cancer and make the operation easier, but this is not common.

Cervical cancer that is caught early can usually be cured. If the cancer is caught very early, you still may be able to have children after treatment.The treatment for most stages of cervical cancer removes the cancer and makes you unable to have children

Targeted Cancer Therapies

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 · 0 comments

Targeted cancer therapies use drugs that block the growth and spread of cancer. They interfere with specific molecules involved in carcinogenesis which means the process by which normal cells become cancer cells and tumor growth. Because scientists call these molecules “molecular targets,” these therapies are sometimes called “molecular-targeted drugs,” “molecularly targeted therapies,” or other similar names. By focusing on molecular and cellular changes that are specific to cancer, targeted cancer therapies may be more effective than current treatments and less harmful to normal cells.
Most targeted cancer therapies are in preclinical testing but some are in clinical trials or have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Targeted cancer therapies are being studied for use alone, in combination with each other, and in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.
Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. New cells form when the body does not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor. The cells in malignant tumors are abnormal and divide without control or order. They can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Also, cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and spread to other parts of the body.Normal cell growth and division are largely under the control of a network of chemical and molecular signals that give instructions to cells. Genetic changes can disrupt the signaling process so that cells no longer grow and divide normally, or no longer die when they should. Alterations in two types of genes can contribute to the cancer process. Proto-oncogenes are normal genes that are involved in cell growth and division. Changes in these genes lead to the development of oncogenes, which can promote or allow excessive and continuous cell growth and division. Tumor suppressor genes are normal genes that slow down cell growth and division. When a tumor suppressor gene does not work properly, cells may be unable to stop growing and dividing, which leads to tumor growth.
Targeted cancer therapies interfere with cancer cell growth and division in different ways and at various points during the development, growth, and spread of cancer. Many of these therapies focus on proteins that are involved in the signaling process. By blocking the signals that tell cancer cells to grow and divide uncontrollably, targeted cancer therapies can help to stop the growth and division of cancer cells. Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes this orderly process goes wrongTargeted cancer therapies will give doctors a better way to tailor cancer treatment. Eventually, treatments may be individualized based on the unique set of molecular targets produced by the patient's tumor.

Radiation therarphy

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Radiation therapy — also called radiotherapy — is a highly targeted, highly effective way to destroy cancer cells in the breast that may stick around after surgery.Radiation therapy uses radiation (high-energy rays) to kill or shrink tumour cells. It is used to treat some, but not all cancers. Radiation therapy destroys cells either directly or by interfering with cell reproduction. Normal cells are able to recover from radiation damage better than cancer cells.Used alone, radiation therapy can cure cancer in many cases. It is also used in combination with other treatments or therapies such as surgery or chemotherapy. It might be used to both reduce the size of tumours before surgery or to destroy any remaining cancer cells after surgery.
Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumour. The radiation fields may also include the draining lymph nodes if they are clinically or radiologically involved with tumour, or if there is thought to be a risk of subclinical malignant spread. It is necessary to include a margin of normal tissue around the tumour to allow for uncertainties in daily set-up and internal tumor motion.
Radiation, at levels thousands of times the amount used to produce a chest x-ray, destroys the ability of cells to divide and grow. Both normal and cancer cells are affected, but the radiation treatment is designed to maximize tumor effect and minimize normal tissue effect. Maximizing tumor effect is one reason radiation therapy is given in a series of treatments rather than one treatment.
Radiation therapy can offer, in some instances, permanent control of tumors that cannot be controlled by surgery or chemotherapy,. In other cases, even when cure is not possible, radiation therapy can still bring a measure of relief. Shrinking a large tumor with radiation therapy may improve the quality of life by reducing pressure, bleeding or pain.During treatment, the cancer specialist will monitor the effect of the radiation on the cancer as well as on normal tissue. It may be necessary to alter the plan because of changes in the tumor or normal tissue, but this is usually not necessary. Most side effects that occur during radiation therapy, although unpleasant, are usually not serious.When cancer of the oral or nasal cavity is treated with radiation therapy, a foul odor may develop as the tumor is destroyed by the radiation. This odor is usually temporary and decreases as the tumor dies.
It is important for your veterinarian to examine your pet periodically after radiation therapy is over. This will allow normal tissue side effects to be detected before they become advanced, and the effect of the radiation on the tumor to be evaluated. It is the goal of radiation to completely eradicate the cancer. In some pets this happens and no evidence of the tumor persists. In other pets the cancer or lump may never completely disappear, but growth is arrested and the tumor is essentially controlled. The specific results to be expected depend on many factors. Specific details on likelihood of success for a specific tumor will be provided to you by the cancer specialist.
Finally, it is important to realize that even though your pet may never be totally the same as before the cancer was diagnosed, it is possible in many pets to provide additional comfortable months or years of happy life through radiation therapy.

chemotherapy

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Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy; this means it affects the whole body by going through the bloodstream. The purpose of chemotherapy is to get rid of any cancer cells that may have spread from where the cancer started to another part of the body.Chemotherapy is the use of chemical substances to cancer.chemotherapy is used most often to describe drugs that kill cancer cells directly.

Chemotherapy is used for a variety of purposes like it is used to cure a specific cancer,
to control tumor growth when the cure is not possible.Chemotherapy drugs can be given in a variety of different ways.The method of administration of chemo treatments along with the dose is determined by rigorous testing called clinical trials, which are done prior to the specific chemo drug being available for commercial use with patients. During this testing process, scientists and doctors determine how specific chemo drugs are absorbed in the body and how they work. Sometimes stomach juices can destroy different chemicals, making some medications impossible to give as a pill. Other substances are found to have better anti-cancer action if given
intravenously.Some medications can be given as an injection into the muscle and still others are absorbed when given directly into the bladder or the abdominal cavity.

The chemotherapy will destroy diseased or cancerous cells, whether they are in the bone marrow or elsewhere. It destroys the normally healthy stem cells in your child’s bone marrow as well. It also suppresses, or reduces the strength of, your child’s immune system and allows new cells to grow.

Chemotherapy will affect normal fast-growing cells, like those in your child’s hair, mouth, stomach, and intestines. Common side effects of chemotherapy include hair loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and mouth sores. These side effects are temporary, but some of them may cause mild, moderate, or severe discomfort.

Some of the drugs used in chemotherapy can cause bladder irritation, which may make your child’s urine bloody or cause a burning feeling when they urinate.To prevent this, they’ll be given fluids intravenously and will be asked to urinate every one to two hours while they’re getting this chemotherapy, even through the night.

Some people experience many side effects of chemotherapy, while others have very few. The BMT healthcare team will work with your child to keep them as comfortable as possible. Medications can help with nausea and vomiting. You can help your child by using stress reduction techniques. This might mean listening to calming music, expressing their feelings to someone close to them, writing in a journal, or thinking positive thoughts about how the chemotherapy is fighting their disease.

It’s common to feel tired after chemotherapy. Pay attention to what your child’s body is telling them and make sure they get enough rest. When your child’s immune system is suppressed, their energy level is lower and they are more susceptible to infections.The side effects of chemo generally depend on the type of therapy being offered. Most chemotherapy side effects cease after treatment. Although uncommon, some treatments may produce long-term effects.

Thermography

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Thermography is a tool which identifies breast cancer that uses super-sensitive infrared cameras and computer technology to detect heat on the surface of a patient’s breast. The presence of such heat is sometimes the result of intensive chemical and blood vessel activity that is characteristic of precancerous or cancerous tissue.Although some health professionals support the use of thermography (also known as digital infrared imaging).It may not detect small cancers or tumors deeper in the breast and it cannot pinpoint the location of a tumor. Two factors cause cancerous cells to generate heat that theoretically can be detected during thermography:Higher metabolic activity of cancer tissue compared to normal tissue. Cancer cells have higher rates of metabolism (physical and chemical processes in the body) than normal tissues. This higher metabolism registers as an increase in the surface temperature of the breast near the cancerous tissue. This is detected by the infrared camera.Angiogenesis. A cancerous tumor produces a chemical that promotes the development of blood vessels that supply the tumor with the nutrients it needs to keep growing. In addition, the cancer causes normal blood vessels to dilate (open) to provide even more blood to the forming tumor. Both of these activities produce additional heat which may be detected by the infrared camera.The infrared camera used during thermography converts infrared radiation emitted from the skin into electrical impulses and feeds the information into a computer. The computer analyzes the temperature and vascular (blood vessel) changes and produces high-resolution images known as thermograms. These images can be displayed on a monitor for analysis, with areas of raised temperature appearing red and areas of normal temperature appearing blue. They can also be printed or sent to another physician electronically.Thermography has been tested and researched since the 1950s. It originally involved the use of contact plates that measured the heat emitting from the breasts, although thermograms are now produced digitally. In 1982, the U.S FDA approved the use of thermography to help detect breast cancer and some circulation disorders, such as deep vein thrombosis and conditions relating to blood flow in the head and neck.Proponents of thermography claim that the technique can detect signs of precancerous or cancerous cells far earlier than other imaging techniques. For example, mammography technology cannot detect cancer until a tumor has actually begun to form, which may take several years. Thermography is designed to detect the formation of new blood vessels and chemical changes that occur very early in a tumor’s development. Some experts contend that thermography can identify signs of the formation of breast cancer up to 10 years before any other technique can detect them.In addition, thermography is touted as having certain advantages over traditional mammography procedures. During thermography, the machine does not touch the breast, in contrast to the squeezing of the breast that occurs during mammography. In addition, patients are not exposed to the potentially harmful radiation used in mammography.However, many experts have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of thermography in diagnosing breast cancer. For example, the American Cancer Society maintains that thermography is not a reliable diagnostic tool because it misses some cancers and has a high rate of false positives. The ACS warns that thermography should never be used as a replacement for mammograms.Other experts have also criticized thermography for producing too many false results, and have argued that the technique cannot detect the heat of cancers located deep in the breast or under fatty areas. It has also been noted that not all cancers emit heat, and thus would not be revealed by a thermogram.Still, some experts support thermography as a valuable tool in detecting breast cancers. Experts generally agree that thermography should not be used as a stand-alone diagnostic tool, but rather should be used with other diagnostic tools, such as mammograms, ultrasounds and physical examinations.

Biological Therapy

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Biological therapy (BYE-o-loj-ee-cal THER-ah-py) is a type of treatment that works with your immune system. It can help fight cancer or help control side effects (how your body reacts to the drugs you are taking) from other cancer treatments like chemotherapy.The immune system of the patient is treated in a bio therapy. It not only strengthens your immune system but also helps in ensuring that you are able fight against the side effects. In a bio therapy the therapist inserts some natural substances into the patient's body.The bio therapy drugs will perform two functions simultaneously. Firstly it will destroy the harmful cells responsible for diseases like cancer . Secondly it will segregate your regular cells from them. This will make sure that your body is able to function in a routine manner. Since these two tasks are performed simultaneously you will be able to get relief in a shorter period in biotherapy.Biotherapy treatment supplies natural substances to fight against diseases to the whole and to the affected region . The therapist identifies the energy levels in the infected area and then goes ahead with the therapy after calculating the amount to be supplemented. The success of bio therapy treatment also lies in allocating the appropriate amount of energy. If the energy levels are in excess or it is not supplied adequately the consequences will be severe. It takes less than a few hours to administer biological therapy. The treatement varies from case to case.Some minor problems may even be cured within 20 or 20 minutes though not in a single session. Most of the therapist will insist that you do a follow up by regular checkups to ensure that the energy levels remain constantly in the body at the same level.Bio therapy is very helpful to cure skin diseases and as well as regularize your digestive system.Bio therapy is well known for treating ailments like cancer. Cancer immunotherapy is not similar to the laser treatment provided for cancer patients. In a laser treatment the harmful cells are killed. But in a bio therapy the therapist kills the harmful substances and as well as makes sure that the routine functions of the normal cells are performed without any disturbances.

Cancer Prevention

Monday, January 19, 2009 · 0 comments

Cancer occurs when the cells in the body grow out of control. Healthy cells divide and grow in an organized manner. Cancer cells, on the other hand, continue to divide until they form a large mass called a tumor. This uncontrollable cell division occurs when a cell's DNA, which directs all of the cell’s activities, sustains unrepaired damage.There are many different types of cancer, which typically begins in one part of the body, such as an organ (e.g., prostate) or tissue (e.g., breast). If the disease is not detected and treated in its early stages, it can spread (metastasize) to other tissues and organs in the body. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer will affect about one out of every two men and one out of every three women in the United States at some point in their lives.Though scientists do not understand exactly why DNA sustains damage, various factors have been identified that can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing cancer. These are called risk factors. Individuals who are aware of the risk factors associated with cancer can often prevent the disease by exercising certain cautionary measures, such as avoiding known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).Several elements can be examined to help identify a person’s risk of cancer. It is important to note that such measures do not mean an individual will develop cancer, only that there is greater susceptibility. Knowing the information can allow individuals to take preventive measures and be monitored by a physician. These factors include:An individual’s medical history. For example, hepatitis or cirrhosis may lead to liver cancer. Dialysis increases the risk of kidney cancer. Having an undescended testicle (cryptorchidism) raises a man’s chance of getting testicular cancer.Family history of hereditary cancer or syndromes. Certain cancers have stronger genetic links than others. Women who have a mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer have a greater risk for developing the disease. Also, certain syndromes can increase a person’s risk, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Individuals with this condition are prone to colorectal cancer.Genetic testing. For example, having mutations of BRCA genes increases the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.Preventive measures recommended by a physician depend on how much of an increased risk exists. For example, without treatment, people with FAP almost always develop colorectal cancer by age 40. Many of them undergo preventive removal of the colon (colectomy) to minimize this risk. Some women at high risk of breast cancer choose to have prophylactic mastectomy. In addition, women with breast cancer may be at increased risk to develop ovarian cancer. Breast cancer patients may choose to have their ovaries removed (oophorectomy) to prevent development of cancer there.A physician may recommend increased monitoring rather than preventive treatments for people who face only a moderately increased risk of cancer. For example, a man susceptible to prostate cancer could undergo increased screenings with the digital rectal exam and blood test for the tumor marker prostate-specific antigen. A woman susceptible to breast cancer could undergo mammograms with increased frequency at an earlier age or with increased frequency. The methods to monitor at-risk individuals for cancer are best determined by the patient’s physicians.

Malignant Mesiothelioma

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Mesothelioma is a rare cancer. It is more common in men, which is due in most part to work-related exposure to asbestos. Risk also increases with age. The biggest risk factor for developing the disease is exposure to asbestos, accounting for 70 to 80 percent of all cases. Asbestos has been used in many products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. Particles can be released from these products, particularly during the manufacturing process, and inhaled. Prior to knowing the dangers, asbestos miners and other workers exposed to asbestos worked without wearing any protection. Smoking does not seem to increase the risk of developing the disease.
Signs
The symptoms of mesothelioma are caused by a build-up of tumor tissue surrounding the lung and fluid in the pleural space that prevents the lung from expanding fully. This causes pressure on the lung, leading to pain and shortness of breath. As the disease progresses, patients may lose weight and have a dry, hacking cough. In the abdomen, this fluid and tumor tissue causes abdominal swelling, pain and weight loss.
Diagnosis
Patients who present with symptoms worrisome for mesothelioma may have a chest x-ray done, indicating a build-up of fluid in the lining of the lung. These patients would then undergo CT scan to further evaluate the cancer. In the case of abdominal mesothelioma, a CT scan . Advance tests include a PET-CT SCAN which would indicate the presence of active disease. Patients would then undergo a biopsy to have the diagnosis confirmed. In the lung, a thoracoscope is used to go through the chest wall, between the ribs to obtain a sample of the tissue. A peritoneoscope is used to enter the abdomen to obtain a tissue sample in abdominal mesothelioma. Staging refers to determining the extent of the disease and this dictates the treatment. Physicians use the TNM system (also called tumor - node - metastasis system). This describes the size of the tumor (T), if the lymph nodes are involved (N), and if it has spread to other areas of the body (M). This is then interpreted to a stage between one and four. Patients with earlier stage tumors tend to live longer and respond better to available treatments.

Cancer Causes

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Diet and lifestyle
There are over 200 different types of cancer. We don't know the causes for each one of these cancers, but we do know about some. It is important to note that for many cancers, there may be more than one cause.
One of the biggest risks is increasing age. Cancer can occur at any age but the risk of developing it increases with age. Nearly two thirds (64%) of people who get cancer are over the age of 65, and more than a third are over 75.
We make lifestyle choices everyday - some we know increase our risk of developing cancer, others may have an influence on our risk. For example, smoking is a major cause of lung cancer and is a factor in other cancers, such as bladder cancer and cancers of the head and neck. Other factors that can influence our risk of developing cancer include heavy alcohol consumption and exposure to sunlight.
It is also thought that diet can influence the development of some cancers, although the evidence is less clear. Diets high in animal fats have been linked with breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer. A diet that is low in fresh fruit and vegetables may also increase your risk of developing some types of cancer. Obesity has been linked to some cancers, such as cancer of the breast or kidney.

Environmental and occupational causes
Contact with certain harmful substances in the environment or workplace can cause cancer. Substances that are known to cause cancer are called carcinogens.
We know, for example, that 9 out of 10 people who develop mesothelioma (a rare type of cancer affecting the linings of the lung and abdomen) have had contact with asbestos. People who have worked in industries such as ship-building and construction may have come into contact with asbestos. Its use is now banned in the UK.
Certain chemicals used in dye factories, rubber production, gas works and other chemical industries have all been linked to bladder cancer. Fortunately these chemicals have now been banned.
Environmental causes include natural radiation, for example, from the sun. We know that most skin cancers, including melanoma, are caused because of prolonged exposure to the sun. Naturally occurring radon gas has also been linked to some types of cancer, namely lung cancer.
Viruses
It is important to remember cancers are not infectious and cannot be caught from someone. However, there are a number of different viruses that are thought to be contributing factors in the development of cancer.
For example, exposure to HPV (human papilloma virus) is known to increase the risk of developing some types of cancer. For further information about this, see the section about HPV.
Other viruses include the Epstein-Barr virus, which is linked to some types of lymphoma.
There is also a bacterial infection known as H-pylori which is linked to a rare type of stomach cancer.

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