Cancer, in laymen’s terms, refers to the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in a body. Anything that may trigger the abnormal development of cells has the potential to cause cancer. Several factors including environment, heredity, toxic chemical exposure, and some pathogens have been identified as potential agents to cause cancer.
The earlier, the better! Therefore, patients should not delay in seeking proper diagnosis and treatment in the best hospitals for cancer care.
Cancer – The Deadliest Disease
The word ‘CANCER’ is very scary. Despite tremendous advancement in medical science and technology, scientists are still in dark about how cancer spreads through the blood and lymphatic system and how the cancer cells cleverly hide themselves from the body’s immunity system. They are also finding out the answer for how the cancer cells become resistant to chemotherapy and targeted treatment and manage to cause metastases.
With many questions still answered, the scientists and doctors are working hard to find a CURE for cancer. It is the leading cause of death throughout the world, accounting for 8.2 million deaths every year, according to the latest report by the World Health Organization or WHO. Cancer-related deaths are projected to register a 70% increase in 2030, which means the disease will kill around 13.1 million people worldwide.
Multiple factors such as, age, gender, lifestyle, local environment, race and genetics are responsible for the incidence of cancer. All these factors also influence the cancer types in population.
The three commonest types of cancers in men, women and children are as follows:
- Men: Lung, Prostate and Colorectal
- Women: Breast, Lung and Colorectal
- Children: Leukemia, Lymphoma and Brain Tumours
Symptoms of Cancer
Cancer symptoms are associated with the type and grade of the disease. One of the worrying facts of cancer is the symptoms are vague and even absent in the early stages. What is more, many patients tend to overlook the early symptoms as many of these are not different from the symptoms of other chronic and common diseases. As a result, a large number of patients visit doctors only when the disease has progressed to an advanced stage.
Though cancer and several other diseases may have the same symptoms, the problems persist and get worse over time in the cancer patients. Followings are some most common symptoms of cancer:
- Unintended weight loss
- Persistent cough
- Voice change
- Lumps or tissue masses
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin changes
- Unusual bleeding
- Changes in bladder or bowel function
Though there are several tests and screenings for cancer detection, the diagnosis is confirmed only after biopsy of a sample of suspected carcinoma tissue. The biopsy result is usually used to determine the cancer type, staging and extent of its spread in the body. It also helps the oncologists at the hospital for cancer treatment to decide the treatment protocols for the patients. It’s important to note that staging method is influenced by the cancer type and the patients should discuss with their health care professionals in this regard.