Yesterday was the ‘World Cancer Day’. It is organized every year by the union for international cancer control (UICC) to raise an awareness of the cancer in a positive and inspiring way.
One can say in general term that cancer is the last stage in any disease.
There are following key facts about cancer ..
- 10 million people die from cancer every year.
- At least one third of common cancers are preventable.
- Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide.
- 70% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries.
- Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year by implementing resource appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.
- The total annual economic cost of cancer treatment is estimated at US$1.16 trillion.
What is cancer.
- Cancer is a broad term. It describes the disease that results when cellular changes cause the uncontrolled growth and division of cells.
- Some types of cancer cause rapid cell growth, while others cause cells to grow and divide at a slower rate.
- Certain forms of cancer result in visible growths called tumors, while others, such as leukemia, do not.
- Most of the body’s cells have specific functions and fixed lifespans. While it may sound like a bad thing, cell death is part of a natural and beneficial phenomenon called apoptosis.
- A cell receives instructions to die so that the body can replace it with a newer cell that functions better. Cancerous cells lack the components that instruct them to stop dividing and to die.
- As a result, they build up in the body, using oxygen and nutrients that would usually nourish other cells. Cancerous cells can form tumors, impair the immune system and cause other changes that prevent the body from functioning regularly.
- Cancerous cells may appear in one area, then spread via the lymph nodes. These are clusters of immune cells located throughout the body.
Who are at the risk..
There are many causes of cancer, and some are preventable.
For example, over 480,000 people die in the U.S. each year from smoking cigarettes, according to data reported in 2014.
In addition to smoking, risk factors for cancer include:
- heavy alcohol consumption
- frequent and excess use of tobacco
- excess body weight
- physical inactivity
- poor nutrition
- obese women are at a higher risk to develop breast, ovarian and uterus cancer where as obese man have a higher risk for lung and prostate cancer
- Finally, a person can inherit a predisposition for a type of cancer. A doctor may refer to this as having a hereditary cancer syndrome. Inherited genetic mutations significantly contribute to the development of 5–10 percent of cancer cases.
Other causes of cancer are not preventable. Currently, the most significant unpreventable risk factor is age. According to the American Cancer Society, doctors in the U.S. diagnose 87 percent of cancer cases in people ages 50 years or older.
Type of cancer :
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are over 100 types of cancer
However each year, more than 40,000 people in the country are diagnosed for the following types of cancer:
- Colon and rectal
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Innovative research has fueled the development of new medications and treatment technologies.
Doctors usually prescribe treatments based on the type of cancer, its stage at diagnosis, and the person’s overall health.
Below are some procedures of cancer treatment: …
- Chemotherapy aims to kill cancerous cells with medications that target rapidly dividing cells. The drugs can also help shrink tumors, but the side effects can be severe.
- Hormone therapy involves taking medications that change how certain hormones work or interfere with the body’s ability to produce them. When hormones play a significant role, as with prostate and breast cancers, this is a common approach.
- Immunotherapy uses medications and other treatments to boost the immune system and encourage it to fight cancerous cells. Two examples of these treatments are checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive cell transfer.
- Precision medicine, or personalized medicine, is a newer, developing approach. It involves using genetic testing to determine the best treatments for a person’s particular presentation of cancer. Researchers have yet to show that it can effectively treat all types of cancer, however.
- Radiation therapy uses high-dose radiation to kill cancerous cells. Also, a doctor may recommend using radiation to shrink a tumor before surgery or reduce tumor-related symptoms.
- Stem cell transplant can be especially beneficial for people with blood-related cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma. It involves removing cells, such as red or white blood cells, that chemotherapy or radiation has destroyed. Lab technicians then strengthen the cells and put them back into the body.
- Surgery is often a part of a treatment plan when a person has a cancerous tumor. Also, a surgeon may remove lymph nodes to reduce or prevent the disease’s spread.
- Targeted therapies perform functions within cancerous cells to prevent them from multiplying. They can also boost the immune system. Two examples of these therapies are small-molecule drugs and monoclonal antibodies.
Doctors will often employ more than one type of treatment to maximize effectiveness.
Fight it out :
Cancer is the most dreaded word in the medical dictionary.
But we have seen rapid advance in the field of oncology with hundreds of chemotherapy drugs and newer radiotherapy modalities being develop to fight cancer.
we can say, today cancer is not necessarily a death sentence but can be treated and cured if detected at early stage.
Unfortunately, this disease stays silent in the initial stages thus making it difficult to diagnose. Hence, it is always advisable to do annual medical check-up beyond age of 40 .
This may include routine blood test, chest x-ray, UGC of the abdomen. And for women, mammography or USG of breast along with cervical Pap’s smear is required. Men above 50 are advised to do PSA, a blood test to rule out prostate cancer, which the doctor advise.
Oral care :
Due to frequent use of tobacco, Oral cancer is the major problem now a days and rank 2nd among different type of cancers. Oral cancer if detected early is mostly curable till stage 3. To prevent oral cancer, avoid home remediation and delay in consulting specialist doctor.
No more Hair loss :
There is a common and distressing side effect of chemotherapy ‘hair fall’. That has a strong psychological impact on young women, leading to depression, but Paxman scalp cooling system which was introduced recently reduces hair loss during treatment among cancer patients. The patients will no longer need to worry about hair fall.
It is presumed that 3.70 million lives could be saved each year by proper awareness and implementing resources appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.
This year is the ultimate year of the “I am and I will” campaign which shows us that our actions have an impact on everyone around us, within our neighborhood, communities and cities.
Let us work together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer death can be saved and where everyone must have access to lifesaving cancer treatment and care.
To read the Blog “The Frenzied Passion“ click below .
BE HAPPY….BE ACTIVE….BE FOCUSED….FEEL ALIVE…
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