ABC of Cancer

Cancer has many facets with more than 100 types of cancer. Cancer occurs in any organ in the human body, from the brain to the feet. Cancer is the growth of abnormal and uncontrolled cells that cause disease in our body. These cells are small units that trap living things, and we humans have more than 10 trillion cells like that!

Symptoms of cancer: Generally cancer doesn’t have any symptoms or signs at the beginning of the disease. However, there are some common symptoms such as:

A persistent cough: This could be symptoms of cancer in lung, head or neck. Anyone with a continuous cough more than a month or with blood in the mucus that is coughed should seek immediate medical attention.

Irregular bowel movements: People with cancer sometime have constant diarrhea or constipation. Hence the bowel movement is very irregular.

Blood in stools: Hemorrhoids often causes rectal bleeding, and hemorrhoids are very common, and they may exist with cancer.

Anemia: It is a condition resulting in less number of red blood cells in the blood.

Lumps or swollen glands: Lumps may signify cancer or an enlarged lymph gland. Sometimes these lumps can be non-cancerous also.

Apart from this, there are other common symptoms such as sores that don’t heal, headaches, back pain, pelvic pain, bloating and digestive disorders.

Treatment for cancer:

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drugs or medicines. This is administered in the form of injection, pill, IV or as an applied on the skin.

Surgery: This is usually the first preference by the physicians. However, this is not helpful if cancer has already spread. Surgery is done to remove the tumors or masses.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is used for specific energy to destroy cancer cells and shrink the size of tumors.

Immunotherapy/Biological Response Modifiers: Immune therapy, which is also called Biological Response Modifiers, which is a treatment that uses our body’s defense mechanism to fight cancer.

Facts on cancer:

Cancer is the second most common cause of death after heart disease, and from 58 million deaths worldwide in 2005, cancer accounted for 7.6 million (or 13%).

Cancer is curable if detected in the first stage. Although some cancer develops entirely without symptoms, the disease can be fatal if symptoms are ignored.

Deaths due to cancers across the globe are expected to rise, with an estimate of 9million people dying from cancer in 2015.