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August 16, 2018


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Cancer is a disease characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different cancer types and each one is classified by the type of the cell that is initially affected. Cancer harms the body when damaged cell divides uncontrollably to form lump or masses of tissue called TUMORS. Tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, circulatory and nervous system, and they can release hormones which disrupt body function. Some tumors stay in one spot and demonstrate limited growth. These tumors are considered to be benign.


A malignant (dangerous) tumor form when

i.      A cancerous cell manages to move throughout the body through the help of blood or lymph systems, destroying healthy tissue in a process invasion.

ii.     That cell manages to divide and grow, making new blood vessel to feed itself in a process called angiogenesis.


A metastasized tumor is a tumor that has successfully spread to other parts of the body, grows invading and destroying healthy tissues. This process is known as metastasis, and the result is a serious condition that is very difficult to treat.


Many people might wonder and ask how cancer cell spread. Here is a clue; cancer cells are adhesive (stocky) in nature. Certain molecular interactions between cells and the scaffolding that holds them in place causes them to become unstuck at the original tumor site, they become disintegrated, move on and then reattach themselves at a new site. Scientist have discovered that  90% of cancer death are caused not by primary tumors but by metastatic tumors, the ones that grow from cells that have travelled from the original site to another vital parts of the body. Cancer is caused ultimately as a result of cells that are uncontrollably growing and do not die. Healthy or normal cells in the body grow, divide and die. Programmed cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process breaks down cancer begins to form. Cancer cell do not experience programmatic death but instead continue to grow and divide. This leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grow out of control.


The signs and symptoms will depend on how the cancer is, how big it is, and how much it affects the organs or tissues. If a cancer has spread, signs or symptoms may appear in different part of the body. Cancer pushes nearly blood vessel, organs and nerves as it grows. This pressure causes some of the sign and symptoms of cancer. If the smallest tumor can cause symptom, the cancer is in a critical area e.g. the brain. Sometimes cancer starts in a place where it will not cause any signs or symptoms until it has grown quite large  cancer of the pancreas usually do not cause symptom until they grow large enough to press on nearby nerves or organs causing back or belly pain. Others may grow around the bile duct and block the flow of bile. These causes the eyes and skin to look yellow (jaundice). A cancer may also cause symptoms like fever, extreme tiredness or weight loss. These may be because cancer cells use up much of the body’s energy supply.


Sometimes, cancer cells release substances into the bloodstream that causes symptoms which are not usually linked to cancer. For example, some cancers of the pancreas can release substances that cause blood clots in the veins of the legs. Some lung cancers make hormone like substances that raise blood calcium levels. These affects nerves and muscles, making the person feel weak and dizzy. The earlier cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of it being cured. Skin, breast, mouth, testicles, prostrate, and rectum cancer may be detected by routine examination before the symptoms become severe.


Most cases of cancer are detected and diagnosed after a tumor can be felt or when other symptoms develop. While, in some cancer is diagnosed incidentally as a result of treating other medical conditions. Cancer can be treated based on your type of cancer, how far it has spread, and other important factors like age and general health. There are four standard methods of treatment for cancer; surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and biologic therapy. A type of surgery known as palliative surgery is not intended to treat or cure cancer, or even to prolong life, but more to lessen discomfort. This type of surgery is used for those whose cancer is not treatable. But as we all know, prevention is better than cure. So in order to prevent cancer, here are some tips; avoid smoking, maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, cut down alcohol, protect yourself from the sun, physical activity. Life has no duplicate. A stitch in time saves nine.



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