Cancer – the simple five letters word is enough to give us sleepless nights. Even after the tremendous growth of medical science and in cancer research, people are still afraid of this term. The advancements in cancer treatments have highly increased the survival rates amongst the patients affected by this disease and we all hope for the day when the term cancer remains only in the list of zodiac signs not in the list of diseases. The only way to fight with the monstrous disease is awareness which has a direct influence on survival rates. This is because cancer treatments become two times more effective if detected at an early stage and detection needs awareness about symptoms.
In this blog Dr. Nezami and his team of crlfoundation.org has provided a detailed discussion on different types of cancer and their treatments available in California.
Cancer divides cells hysterically which can result in development of tumor, damaged immune system and other impairment that can even be life threatening.
What actually is Cancer?
Cancer is a type of disease that causes uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. It disrupts the control mechanism of a normal body. Old cells, instead of dying grow uncontrollably forming new and abnormal cells. These excess cells build a mass of tissue which is known as tumor.
The entire concept of cancer covers a vast area in the medical science. Some types of cancer cells cause fast cell growth whereas other cause cells to grow further and divide at slower rate. While certain types of cancer show up signs with the growth of tumor, some other types like blood cancer don’t.
Cells in our body have specific lifespan which means they die at a certain point as a part of a natural process in the body known as Apoptosis. When a cell dies, a newer cell immediately takes its place in the body that functions better. Cancer simply destroys the process and accelerates the growth of abnormal cells in the body. These abnormal cells start building up in the body using the oxygen and nutrients that usually nourish our natural cells. they start sending indication to our bodies by forming tumors, damaging the immune system or causing other changes that usually hamper the normal and regular body functioning.
Although cancerous cells appear in a particular area of the body, they eventually spread their wings through lymph nodes all over the body if remain untreated for long.
What causes of cancer development in a body?
Causes of cancer in human bodies are mainly of two types one is preventable and the other is non preventable. The preventable causes include the following
- Excessive smoking
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Poor nutrition and
- Being physically inactive
- Excess body weight
Apart from the above mentioned causes, other causes of cancer are not preventable. One of the most prominent unpreventable causes is age. As stated by the American Cancer Society, almost 87% of cancer patients in the US age 50 years and older.
The genetic factor
It is true that genes do have a role in the development of cancer cells in a body. A person’s genetic codes instruct the cells about when to divide and expire. Sudden changes in the genes can result in faulty instruction which can certainly take the form of cancer.
Genes also contribute to the production of proteins that carry the instruction for cellular growth and division. There are some genes that change proteins to repair the damage cells which ultimately result in cancer. The parent who has such genes can pass on the changed instruction to their children.
Some genetic changes can even take place after birth and there are certain factors that increase the risk like excessive sun exposure and smoking.
If a person inherits the tendency of cancer, it is known as hereditary cancer syndrome in doctors’ language. Inherited genetic mutations significantly contribute to the development of 5–10 percent of total cases of cancer.
Treatment for Cancer
The continuous research in cancer treatments has drastically brought improvement in medications and treatment technologies. Treatment and medicines are prescribed by doctors based on the stage at diagnosis and the patient’s medical history.
Here are some examples of Cancer treatments California
- Chemotherapy is the most common type of cancer treatment that focuses on killing the cancerous cells with medicines that target the dividing cells. These drugs are also helpful in reducing the size of tumors but with severe side effects.
- Hormone therapy is another type of cancer treatment that aims to change the way certain hormones work with the body’s ability to produce them with certain medications. When the cancer is triggered by hormonal factors, this type of treatment is given to the patients. Prostrate and breast cancers are the examples of such type of cancers.
- The main objective of Immunotherapy treatment is to boost the immune system with medication. Two of such treatment includes checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive cell transfer.
- The concept of precision medicine or personalized medicine is comparatively a newer approach. In this treatment a person’s genetic tests are used to decide the best treatment for a patient’s particular presentation of cancer. Researchers are still working on this treatment to prove its usefulness in treating all type of cancer successfully.
- Under the radiation therapy, high radiation is used to target and kill the cancerous cells in the body. It is also used to shrink the tumor before surgery.
- Stem cells transplant is a special type of cancer treatment that is mainly beneficial for patients with blood cancer like leukemia or lymphoma. it removes white and red blood cells that have already been destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Lab technicians then strengthen the cells and put them back into the patient’s body.
- Surgery in Cancer treatment is done to remove the tumor from body. The doctor may even eliminate the lymph nodes to stop the disease from spreading.
- Targeted therapy prevents cancer cells from multiplying and boosts the immune system.
Types of cancer
The common type of cancer in the US is breast cancer followed by lung and prostate cancer as stated by the National Cancer Institute. Other type of cancers include:
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- colon and rectal
Apart from these above-mentioned types of cancer, other forms are comparatively less common.
The advancements in Cancer research and development have highly contributed to reducing the death rates due to cancer. When a person is diagnosed with this deadly disease, the outlook highly depends on how much the disease has spread and its type, severity, and location.
After non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer seen in the U.S. However, lung cancer causes the maximum number of cancer-related deaths. But the good news is that the overall cancer-related deaths have declined by 26% between 1991 and 2015, confirmed the American Cancer Society.
CRL Foundation’s main goal is to be able to bring hope to patients while using research and clinical development. You can donate for the patient with cancer and give hope.