Cancer is a word that comes filled with many questions. We all ask these questions. What is cancer, and where did it come from? There are many forms of cancer. Scientists spend days in and days out trying to understand each kind and how they form. Though not all cancers are deadly, some types can give you only days to live. Some cancers can be cured, and some cannot. While cancer is a natural illness within the nervous system, cancer is a terrible thing for a patient, and their family, to deal with.
What is cancer? Cancer is the general name for a group of abnormal cells that spread throughout the body, and can be found in every part of the body. Although there are many kinds of cancer, all cancer starts because abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated cancer cells can cause serious illness, and or death. Cancer cells do not die; instead they continue to grow and create the abnormal cells. They are called cancer cells because they invade tissues inside the body, and grow out of control. Cells become cancerous when DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is damaged. When DNA is damaged, it cannot be repaired, and it does not die as it should. Abnormal DNA can be generated into offspring, but it is mostly caused by mistakes in cell growth or environmental problems around us. Cancer cells travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body; allowing them to infect other parts of the body and form tumors. Cancer gets its name by the diagnosis of where the damaged cells are located. The behavior of cancer cells also depend on their location. The growth rates and response of these cells varies upon the treatment a patient may receive. Cancer can cause tumors, but be aware not all tumors are cancerous. Non-cancerous tumors are called benign, and can grow very large, but cannot spread to other tissues in the body.
How do you know you have cancer and what type is it? Cancer does not always present itself with symptoms. When cancer starts, there is no way to tell, until it runs out of room to grow. Some symptoms of cancer can be mistaken for your typical flu or stomach viruses. Once cancer grows large enough to effect the surrounding areas, more symptoms may irrupt. By the time most cancers start showing serious signs, it is too late for treatment. Cancer generally releases abnormal substances into the bloodstream, some that are usually not noticed as a sign of cancer. For example, pancreatic cancer can cause blood-clots in the legs; and lung cancer can raise calcium levels. No matter what type of symptoms arise, the safest way to find out is to ask your primary care physician. The doctor is the best person to get help on finding out what type of cancer you may have. A doctor will perform several testing’s including blood work, biopsy’s, CT & CAT – Scans, and more. Depending on what type of cancer you may have will help the doctor determine what kind of treatment you will receive. There are many forms of treatments including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and biological therapies. Cancer surgery is a procedure done by removing a part of your body that has been diagnosed with cancer. High-energy radiation treatment may be used to kill cancer, and or shrink tumors. Drugs that are used to destroy cancer cells is called chemotherapy. Biological therapy uses living organisms to help treat cancer.
Coping with cancer is not an easy task, for the patient or their family. Finding out you have cancer is never easy to hear. Your emotions will run wild, and your family will be hurt as well. It is never a good thing to keep emotions bottled inside. Talking with family and close friends will help keep everyone calm. It will be completely normal for you to be scared, or angry about the unexpected life changing diagnosis you know have to face every day. Cancer can be a scary thing; luckily not all cancers are life threatening. Seeking help and taking control of your situation will keep you on the right path