Cancer is a broad term that describes the disease which is the result of the uncontrolled growth and division of the cells. Cancer is caused when a cells lack the components that instruct them to stop the division and die. As a result of which, they keep building up in the body and continue using the oxygen and nutrients. These cancerous cells cause changes that prevent the proper functioning of the body by tumors or impairing the immunity system.
There are several causes of cancer below are the risk factors that are involved in contributing to cancer:
Exposure to toxic chemicals
Exposure to viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus and HIV
Cancer is caused by the gene mutations, that can randomly occur in one or few cells of the body. This disease can be promoted through the genetic changes which can be inherited from the parents if the changes are present in the reproductive cells of the body.
However, cancer-causing genetic changes can be acquired at any point in one’s lifetime.
With the development of new medications and treatment technologies, it has become easier to diagnose cancer at an early stage and provide timely treatment. The following are the approaches that are followed for the cancer treatment.
The aim of chemotherapy is to kill the rapidly dividing cancerous cells with the help of the medications. These drugs also help in shrinking the tumors, however, there are many also side effects of this therapy.
In this therapy, certain medications are used which change or interfere with the body’s ability to produce certain hormones.
In immunotherapy, other treatments or medications are used in order to boost the immunity system to fight the cancerous cells.
In the case of radiation therapy, high-dose radiations are used to kill the cancerous cells. This method is used to shrink the tumor before the surgery.
Stem Cell Transplantation
Stem cell transplantation is beneficial for patients having blood-related cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma. In this procedure the red or white cells are removed that has been destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Surgery is mostly the part of a treatment plan in order to remove the cancerous tumor.
In the case of targeted therapy, the cancerous cells are prevented from multiplying and it also boosts the immunity system.
Cancers at critical stages can’t be cured, however, if it is diagnosed at early stages or controlled with treatment for years or months. Then there are chances of its cure.
Vitamin C can help in preventing or killing cancer if taken in high-dose. This particular vitamin breaks down to produce hydrogen peroxide that damage DNA and tissue. According to study, cancer cells that contain a low level of catalase enzyme activity are incapable to remove hydrogen peroxide as compared to the standard cells, even they are extra vulnerable to death or damage when exposed to high doses of vitamin C.
Various types of cancer treatments have been designed by the professionals. Among others, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery are the three most used techniques for the treatment of cancer. Below is the comprehensive glance at those treatments:
During this procedure, a surgeon removes cancer from the body using sharp tools such as knives. This particular treatment involves cut through muscles, skin or bone. Anesthesia is given to the patient so that they do not feel pain during the surgery. The surgery is considered quite hurting and it also takes months to recover completely.
Radiation therapy is the treatment, under which high intensity of radiations is passed through the cancer cells to kill them, shrink the tumor or slow down the growth by damaging DNA. The low dose of radiations is also used in x-rays to observe the entire body internally.
Chemotherapy is a sort of cancer that utilizes drugs to destroy the cancer cells. The practice works effectively to stop or slow the growth of tumor cell.
According to the research, there are certain foods that may reduce the risks of different types of cancer. Here is the list of those foods:
• Olive Oil
• Fatty Fish
Not only foods but fruits can also help you in preventing the growth of cancer! Here are the healthiest fruits to include in anti-cancer diet:
• Citrus Fruits (Grapefruits, oranges and limes etc)
• Soursop Fruit (Graviola)
• Gardenia Fruit (Zhi Zi)
• Goji Berry (Chinese Wolfberry)
• Camu Camu- It is considered the best source of natural vitamin C thus, helps in the cure of cancer.
A majority of people believe that cancer is a hereditary disease or is caused by fate, however, most of the people are affected by cancer due to their lifestyle choices. Hence, it would not be wrong to say that prevention and awareness are the vital tools to fight against cancer.
The risk of cancer can be reduced by adopting these healthy lifestyle recommendations:
Positive behavior is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The following lifestyle changes help in improving the overall health during the cancer treatment:
The studies reveal that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk or even slow the development of many cancers along with the conventional treatment method. It also helps in maintaining a healthy body and prevents cancer from coming back.
The common imaging tests used to detect cancer are X-Rays, ultrasound, MRI, SPECT (Single- Photon Emission Computed Tomography), PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and optical imaging.
Scientists are constantly working on finding new treatments for cancer. Ibrutinib is an FDA approved drug that can help to treat blood cancer. It is the first approved therapy beneficial for cancer-related stem transplants.
Cancer can be cured if the detection is done at an early stage. It all depends on the type and severity of the condition.
In case the cancer is left untreated, the symptoms will get worse. Cancer can spread to other parts of the body, making the condition worse for the patient.
With the advancement in technology, better treatments options are being developed. Most of the people nowadays opt for a combination of treatments such as surgery with chemotherapy, radiation therapy etc. Immunotherapy, targeted therapy or hormone therapy are some of the treatment options used to cure cancer.
Yes, chemotherapy has certain side effects such as nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, hair loss and mouth sores. The chances of infections are higher in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
A breakthrough therapy is a drug that can be given alone or in a combination with one or more drugs in order to treat serious and life-threatening conditions. The process designed to review and designate such drugs is known as breakthrough therapy designation. The approval will be given by U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
A sudden increase in pain that may arise in patients suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia etc., is known as breakthrough pain. It occurs due to a number of reasons. It can be caused due to the medical condition, treatment or medication taken to treat the condition.
In order to get FDA approval, proper lab, animal and human clinical testing should be done by the drug manufacturers. The data will then be submitted to FDA and reviewed. If the agency feels the drug can be beneficial for the patients outweighing the risks, it will approve the drug.
In case of priority review, the FDA shortens the review process from 10 months to 6 months. It is applicable to the drugs that show significant improvements in the effectiveness of the existing drug.
Researchers have found that cancer affects each person in a different way. That is why they provide cancer treatment and medicine according to the specific condition of the patients.
Researchers have found targeted therapy to be beneficial for the patients suffering from cancer. The targeted treatment works on specific genes, proteins and blood vessels. Some of the examples of targeted drugs are: Trastuzumab (Herceptin) for treating breast cancer, Afatinib (Gilotrif) and cetuximab (Erbitux) for colorectal cancer etc.
The therapy aims at strengthening the immune system of the patient. CAR T-cell therapy is an effective treatment against cancer. It helps T-cells attack cancer more effectively.
With the advancement in technology, newer forms of radiation therapy have been discovered. IMRT (Intensity modulated radiotherapy), IMRT (Image-Guided Radiation Therapy), SRS (Stereotactic radiosurgery), Protein therapy etc. are some of the latest radiotherapy treatments.
The stage is a terminology or way that is used to describe the size of cancer. In order to know about the size of cancer, some tests are carried out that determines whether it has spread to the other parts or not.
It is important to know the stage of cancer, as based on it the treatment plan will be recommended.
Nanoparticles are the microscopic particles that are gathering so much attention in the clinical research. This is because they can target the cancer cells or the tumors without harming the healthy cells.
These cells can potentially help in targeting the cancer stem-like cells and can also be used to detect the presence of the micrometastases. Micrometastases are the secondary tumors that are so tiny and cannot be seen using the traditional methods.
The starving strategy is referred to the process in which the nutrients supply needed by the cancer cells to grow and spread is cut down. There are certain cancers such as breast, lung, and colon they use the amino acid for their growth. However, blocking the cancer cells access to glutamine maximizes the impact of the oxidative stress, hence this process induces the death of these cells.
Having a cure for all types of cancer is a long debate, this is because the cancer types vary immensely.
There are many types of research that are promising the effective treatments and most of the projects are still in their early stages. However, some potential treatments are still far to reach to the clinical trials.
Cancer may or may not come back after its initial treatment. The main reason is that there are chances that the initial treatment did not get rid of all the cancer cells and the left behind cells can grow into a new tumor. This new tumor might also spread to the other parts of the body.