*waves*… Hey everyone, so today we have a new contributor to THE STUDENT’S BLOG, hope y’all get educated by what he drafted … Have an awesome remaining weekend. 🙂
Cancer is a broad term used to describe malignant neoplasm of any nature, usually involving malignant growth and tumors. The word malignant here means: Occurring in severe form, usually fatal, invasive with metastasis (the shifting of affected cells form one part of the body to another). Unlike benign growths which are opposites of Cancers, cancers are quite invasive and life threatening even with the use of several modern-day therapy and advanced therapeutic equipment. Carcinoma (Cancers) affects virtually all tissues and organs of the body and although with varying severity and frequency, parenchymatous (soft-tissued) organs and those with actively dividing cells are the most frequent victims.
Malignant tumors (carcinoma, cancers) display certain features that make them highly detrimental to life. These features include: Tissue atypism (non-typical cells), multi-cellularism and multi-layered cell structure, perpetual growth, self-regulatory and highly invasive and destructive growth with survival in virtually any body tissue. Several known and unknown causes are involved in cancer formation and growth. Some of the several known causes include: Metaplasia (i.e. pathological change in number, size and location of cells) usually due to chronic tissue inflammation, inhalation, ingestion and direct body contact with cancerogenous substances (carcinogens) most of which are usually deliberate (e.g smoking, drinking, eating over-exposed foods, living near industries in air polluted with heavy metals etc) and Genetic predisposition (heredity).
Of all cancer cases, cancer of the lungs is one of the most widespread, occurring in virtually all parts of the world. However, there are some ways by which malignancies of this nature can be cut down and possibly avoided. Some of the most efficient methods are early cancer screening, as this will cost less money and time plus better health benefits. In the less- and underdeveloped world today, massive amount of carcinogens (substances that are cancerous in nature) are present in the air as a result of excessive emissions of toxic gases and substances from exhaust of outdated vehicles and industries; insufficient equipment and facilities, inadequate expertise, negligence and ignorance are major predisposing factor to such deadly diseases as Cancer of the Lungs. However, in more developed countries, smoking and some respiratory disease (usually viral) are the leading factors causing Lung cancer.
Testing is carried out on body fluids and tissues in specialized laboratories by screening for tumor marker genes, level of TNF (Tumor Necrotic Factor), biopsy of suspected growths, blood test for level of Leucocytes (White Blood Cells that fight diseases in the body) and tissues cells for features of malignancies (cancer) highlighted earlier in this article.
Presently, there are some methods to control the growth of and possible treat cancers and improve the quality of life of affected patients. Based mainly on Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Hormonal therapy, Surgery, Gene therapy and Phytotherapy; these methods are divided according to the purpose and time of treatment into 3 broad categories which include:
1. Palliative treatment: That involves mainly chemotherapy aimed at alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of patient’s life
2. Adjuvant treatment: Is a treatment administered after surgery performed on cancerous areas especially when metastasis (defined above) is involved.
3. Neoadjuvant treatment: Also used to ensure long term survival of patients but in this case, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and/or hormonal therapy are administered before surgery.
Others include Gene therapy which involves molecular-biological methods and biotechnology; and Phytotherapy that deals with the use of herbs and their extracts, medically/pharmacologically registered for cancer treatment.
General symptoms and signs:
If you are experiencing any of these signs contact your health provider immediately. These symptoms/signs are some of, but not limited to, those of lung cancer.
– Cachexia (wasting and general weight loss) especially in smokers
– Sudden weight loss of unknown cause
– Constant long-term fever and feeling of not being well
– Swollen and painful (or even painless) lymph nodes
– Respiratory disease occurring for a long time and could present itself with chronic or rarely acute dyspnoea (discomfort in breathing), chest pain, cough (with or without sputum), upper back pain, pain during breathing etc.
– Signs of jaundice (yellow coloration of the skin and eyes accompanied by itching of skin)
– Swollen abdomen (Ascites), dehydration and paleness of the skin in General
– Cardiovascular problems (problems with the heart and blood vessels)
Although, the above signs are markers that something wrong is going on in the body, if however such signs are recurrent and affect mainly the lungs and its surrounding then Ultrasounds and CT scans maybe be carried out to rule out possibilities of malignancies (such as cancer) as a cause of illness.
Ways to cut down Lung cancer development include:
– Avoiding overexposed foods and drinks especially those made from unknown sources and those sold on or close to highways as these harbor heavy amount of cancerogens
– Avoid inhaling exhaust fumes coming from bad and heavy-duty vehicles.
– Locating residential buildings far away from industries and industrial area
– Avoid dust as possible
– Be well aware of the general medical history of your past generation/family line.
– Go for routine/well-scheduled medical check-up and cancer screening at well accredited Oncology Specialist hospitals and teaching hospitals. Consult good medical experts (including professional Medical Doctors, Pharmacists and Nurses) today to be on a safer side.
Omodara Ben . A