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What is Oral Cancer?


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Oral cancer is a persistent growth or sore inside the mouth that is caused by an uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage. It will not go away on its own. It includes the following surrounding tissues:

  • Throat
  • Tonsils
  • Sinuses
  • Hard and Soft Palate
  • Floor of the Mouth
  • Cheeks
  • Tongue
  • Lips

What are the Symptoms?

There are numerous symptoms associated with oral cancer. The most common ones are:

  • Any lesions or swelling on the lips, gums, or other areas inside your mouth
  • Unexplained oral bleeding
  • Unexplained numbness, tenderness, or pain in any areas of the mouth, face or neck
  • Persistent sores in the mouth or the neck and face that do not heal within two weeks.
  • Red, white, or red and white speckled patches in your mouth
  • A feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Chronic sore throat, hoarseness, or change of voice
  • Earache
  • A change in your teeth or the way your dentures fit together
  • Large weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist or primary care physician as soon as possible.

Who is at Risk?

It is estimated that over 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Men face twice the risk than women, and men over the age of 50 face the greatest risk of all.

Oral cancer risk factors include:

  • Smoking. Whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe, you are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nonsmokers.
  • Using smokeless tobacco. Chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip makes you 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the lining of the lips, gums, or cheeks.
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol. You are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nondrinkers.
  • Family history of cancer. If cancer runs in your family, then you are more genetically predisposed.
  • Too much sun. If you have excessive exposure to the sun, especially when you are young, it increases your odds of contracting oral cancer.
  • If you have been diagnosed with HPV (Human Papillomavirus), some strains put you at a higher risk for contracting oral cancer.

It is important to note, however, that 25% of diagnosed cases of oral cancer do occur in nonsmokers and social drinkers.

What Can You Do to Prevent a Diagnosis?

There are some things you can do to lower your risk, such as:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation, and do not smoke or use any tobacco products.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun, and when you are out in the sun, apply UV-A/B sun blocking products on your skin and lips.

Early Detection is Key

The earlier you see any symptoms, the greater the chance of successful treatment. You can also take an active role in early detection by doing the following:

  • Do a Self Exam Once per Month – Use a bright light and a mirror to examine all the surfaces of your mouth and lips. Feel for lumps and thoroughly look over every part of your mouth, throat, and gums. Check for enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. If you find anything suspicious, contact your health care professional immediately.
  • See your Dentist Regularly – No matter how thorough, you can’t always see everything, so ask your dentist to conduct an exam at your next visit.

Remember, understanding what oral cancer is and how to detect it increases your chances of successful treatment.



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Understanding Sarcoma Cancer


Sarcoma is a very rare form of cancer. It is also different from most types of cancer because it occurs and grows in connective tissue. The cancer cells grow in parts of the body that support or connect other types of tissue to the body. While the tumors can appear anywhere, they are most commonly found in the muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, fat, and nerves. They are also seen in the blood vessels of the legs and the arms. There are over 50 types of sarcoma and they are divided into three categories, bone sarcoma, soft tissue sarcoma, and osteosarcoma.

Who Is At Risk Of Developing Sarcoma?

It is unknown exactly what causes sarcoma, however, there are certain risk factors that make it more likely for people to develop this type of cancer.

  • Radiation exposure: If you had radiation to treat a previous cancer, you are more at risk.
  • Family history: If a member of your family had sarcoma, your chances of getting it are higher.
  • Genetic disorders: Certain genetic disorders such as retinoblastoma, neurofibromatosis, Gardner syndrome, or Li-Fraumeni syndrome put you at greater risk.
  • Bone disorder: If you have the bone disease called Paget’s disease, you are at risk of developing sarcoma.
  • Age: Children and young adults are more prone to developing an osteosarcoma.

What Are the Symptoms of Sarcoma?

In its early stages, sarcoma doesn’t show any symptoms. They can be hard to spot because they can grow anywhere in your body. If it is a soft tissue sarcoma, the first sign would be a painless lump. As it grows larger, it can press against the nerves or muscles causing pain. An osteosarcoma shows symptoms much earlier than the other types. There would be pain in the effected bone that comes and goes. Also, the pain is often worse at night. The area can also swell.

What Is the Treatment For Sarcoma?

How the cancer is treated would depend on the type, where it is located, and whether or not it has spread to other parts of the body. The most common treatments include:

  • Surgery: A doctor can perform surgery and remove the tumor from the body. It is possible for the doctor to remove the cancer cells, therefore, there would be no need for the effected limb to be amputated. If all of the cells cannot be removed, amputation might be your only chance of survivial.
  • Radiation: If surgery isn’t an option, radiation is used. It can also kill any cells left behind after another treatment.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used either with surgery or if surgery isn’t possible. It is also used if the cancer has spread.
  • Targeted therapies: This is a relatively new treatment and the doctors use man made antibodies from the immune system. They are placed to block the growth of cancer cells without damaging any of the normal cells.

What is the Survival Rate For Someone With Sarcoma?

In most cases, soft tissue sarcoma can be cured with one surgery. If it is an aggressive tumor and the cancer has spread, it can be harder to treat. With osteosarcoma, if the cancer has not spread the survival rate is between 60 and 80 percent. If the cancer can be completely removed with surgery, the chance of a full recovery is excellent. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the treatment would need to be more aggressive and the chances of being cured completely are much lower.

Sarcoma is a rare and serious type of cancer. If it is caught early enough, the chances of survival are great.

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What is Colon Cancer?


Image is from Everyday Health

Colon cancer is the accumulation of cancer cells in the lower part of the large intestine. These tumors typically begin as small benign growths referred to as polyps that turn into malignant tumors over time.

Stages of Colon Cancer

When a patient is diagnosed with colon cancer, they will be diagnosed with a stage of the disease, depending on it advancement. Colon Cancer is broken up into stages Tis to T4b.

  • Tis -In this stage, cancer cells are only found in the top layers on lining in the colon.
  • T1 –At this stage, the cancer cells have begun to spread to the tissue below the lining of the colon.
  • T2 – During stage T2, the cancer cells have developed into the deeper tissue that is involved in pushing along waste during the digestive process.
  • T3 – At T3 the cancer has spread to the connective tissue that connects the colon to other parts of the body, as well as permeating into some of the other surrounding tissues.
  • T4a – At this point the cancer cells have grown throughout all parts of the colon.
  • T4b – At this final stage the cancer cells have spread past the colon into other parts of the body.

What are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

Symptoms of colon cancer can come on suddenly or develop gradually over time. Often times symptoms of colon cancer are mistaken for gastrointestinal issues or discomfort. Some symptoms of colon cancer include,

  • Blood in the stool
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Abnormal changes in your bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea that lasts for more than a month
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Fullness in bowel even after going to the bathroom.

Risks for Colon Cancer

While there is no specific cause for every case of colon cancer there are risks that may make you more likely to develop colon cancer.

History of Polyps

While many times polyps are found and easily removed, repeated development of polyps is linked to an increase in colon cancer.

Low Fiber Diet

Low fiber and high fat diets have been linked to an increased chance for developing polyps and colon cancer.


Those with a BMI in the obesity level have an increased risk of getting colon cancer as well as an increased risk of suffering more complications from it.

Inflammatory Gastrointestinal Problems

Chronic disease of the gastrointestinal track, including colitis and Crohns disease, can increase the risk of development of colon cancer.


Most colon cancer patients are 50 years of age or older.


A family history of colon cancer increases your chance of developing the disease as well. There are also genetically passed conditions that can greatly increase your risk for colon cancer including,

  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, otherwise known as lynch syndrome
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis, which leads to an increase of the development of polyps in the colon.

Diagnosing Colon Cancer

Diagnosis of colon cancer is either done through routine screenings that are part of annual physicals or testing when gastrointestinal problems are present. To diagnose colon cancer patients will,

  • Receive blood tests to check for cancer markers
  • Undergo a colonoscopy which involves a camera scope of the patient’s rectum, colon and intestinal track.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for colon cancer are typically determined based on the stage of cancer the patient is in. Treatment options can include,

  • Polyp removal during colonoscopy
  • Partial colectomy
  • Removal of lymph nodes
  • Colon resection
  • Targeted drug therapies
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation treatment

When it comes to treating colon cancer, routine wellness screenings are important as early diagnosis will lead to the best prognosis.


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Symptoms of Sarcoma Cancer


Image is from Sarcoma Foundation of America

Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that forms in the connective tissues of the bones, tendons, muscles, nerves, cartilage, blood vessels, fat, and other areas within the body. While there are dozens of types of sarcoma cancer, they are typically broken down into two main types, including soft tissue sarcoma and osteosarcoma.

Hard to Detect Sarcoma Cancer

Not only does this type of cancer only affect a small percentage of the population, it also can be extremely difficult to detect. This is because the cancer is not specific to one area of the body, but rather it can be practically anywhere throughout the body. Another issue that makes detection difficult is the fact that the cancer starts to grow in the connective tissues. This allows the tumor to grow undetected for quite some time. This makes it very important to know what the various symptoms of sarcoma cancer are.

Symptoms of Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Unfortunately, most people experience no symptoms during the early stages of sarcoma. As the tumor in the soft tissues grows, it can push against the nearby nerves. This, in turn, can cause a person pain or soreness in the area of the tumor or a shortness of breath. The most common areas affected by soft tissue sarcoma are the knees, legs, shoulders, abdomen, and hips. Other common areas include the arms, hands, head, and neck.

Symptoms of Osteosarcoma

Although adults are not immune to osteosarcoma, it is most common among young adults and children. Like soft tissue sarcoma, osteosarcoma is hard to detect, especially during the early stages. The first sign is bone pain in the area of the cancer. Since, children frequently experience growing pains, this early symptom is often overlooked.

The primary differences between pain associated with osteosarcoma and other types of pain are that the pain usually worsens in the evening and the pain is centralized in just one arm or leg and not both. Within a few weeks of the first sign of pain, you may notice some swelling in the affected area. The pain and swelling may eventually cause a slight limp.

Due to the difficulty of detecting sarcoma cancer, it is extremely important that you discuss any unusual pain with your doctor. A biopsy, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, and/or bone scan are often used to diagnose sarcoma. In many cases, sarcoma is treated with just surgery, if caught early enough.


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Catch the Signs of Cancer Early

Cancer Cells

Image is from Humans Are Free

No matter how healthy you are, it is important to be aware of the early signs and symptoms of cancer. This will enable you to prevent it or treat it as early as possible if you happen to have cancer. Moreover, your doctors can have solid information on your condition. In this way, a more accurate method of cancer treatment can be applied to cure it.

There are many signs and symptoms of cancers you should watch out for. Below are the ones both men and women should take note:


Pain is the most common symptom in many illnesses. But when it occurs, many people would suspect it to be associated with cancer, especially if the pain is unusual and excruciating.

There are different types of pains you can experience depending upon the type of cancer you have. If you have a brain tumor, you may experience a severe headache all the time. If you have testicular cancer or bone cancer, you will experience the pain right in the beginning stage of these cancers.

Weight Loss

Weight loss has several factors. There are some illnesses that can reduce your appetite for food. As a result, your reduced diet makes you lose weight. However, there are illnesses that can automatically make you lose weight quickly without affecting your diet. The most common of which is cancer.

Cancer consumes a lot of protein. This is because the immune system produces antibodies that also require these proteins. This process inside the body is constant, and it eventually depletes the fats and the protein in the body.


Fatigue is another symptom of cancer. Although it can also be a symptom of other illnesses, the fatigue of a cancer patient can experience is somewhat regular. There are times you feel so stressed you almost would like to vomit. Moreover, you will notice that you easily get tired even during even simple movements.

On the other hand, there are also times you seem so tired even without doing anything. This is probably because your heart pumps more frequently than normal.


Fever that occurs out of nothing means you have an infection inside your body that is growing and spreading. When your body is being attacked by bacterial or cancer infection, our body naturally fights them. Our immune system uses the available resources we have in our body. As a result, our body seems to feel stressed and weak. This condition also weakens our immune system in the long run, so we tend to suffer from fever.

Skin Degeneration

If you have cancer, your skin degenerates. It gets dry and pale, and you will also notice some moles, marks, or bumps. Your skin texture changes depending on the type of cancer you have. Some cancer patients notice their skin to be yellowish while others become red or hairy.


Sores do not automatically appear when you suffer from cancer. However, they don’t seem to heal when you accidentally have some. This is also the same case with diabetes. The reason behind it is that your antibodies are busy fighting the cancer cells. As a result, less and less antibodies are assigned to heal the sores.


Symptoms may vary from one person to another. In addition, some symptoms may be associated with another illness. Furthermore, every symptom has different levels or degrees of severity. The above signs and symptoms may help you determine whether or not you suffer from cancer. Nevertheless, it is recommended you consult your doctor if you experience such early signs and symptoms.


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Radiation Therapy


Image is from MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

If there is one illness that many people are afraid of, it’s cancer. This is because cancer is one of the most fatal illnesses that is hard to treat. Moreover, there is really no definite treatment for it yet.

Although chemotherapy is the most popular treatment for cancer, there is still no guaranty it can cure all types of cancer. This is why another type of treatment has been developed to treat cancer. This treatment is called radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy Explained

Radiation therapy is the use of radiation such as gamma rays and X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This happens with the help of three types of radiation therapy such as:

  • External-Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Internal Radiation Therapy or Brachytherapy
  • Systemic Radiation

External-Beam Radiation Therapy

This type of radiation therapy is done with the use of a radiation machine. The machine is similar to the X-ray machine will release its charged particles through a beam radiation. The radiation will penetrate the cancer-infected area from outside the body.

Internal Radiation

Internal radiation, on the other hand, is the method of directly placing the radioactive materials in the area around cancer cells. The process is a bit complicated, but it can be more potent.

Systemic Radiation

Meanwhile, systemic radiation treatment is the use of radioactive substances that can move through the blood to reach the areas with cancer cells. This works like a regular medicine in the sense that the substances are absorbed into the blood stream. An example of a radioactive substance is radioactive iodine.

How Does Radiation Therapy Work Against Cancer?

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging cell DNA. This also can happen by creating free radicals within the cells that kills the cancer as well.

Does Radiation Therapy Kill Other Cells?

The drawback in using radiation therapy is that it kills not only the cancer cells but also other cells nearby. This problem causes side effects depending on which cells are damaged as the result of killing cancer cells. Nevertheless, our tissues have a certain level of tolerance against radiation. It’s your doctor who will determine such levels before this treatment is performed.

Why Is Radiation Therapy Needed?

Radiation therapy is a powerful treatment against cancer. It’s so strong that other cells may also be sacrificed in the process. Nonetheless, the result is significant. It’s needed when the purpose is to completely eliminate the cancer. This means radiation therapy is used for curative intent, and it can also be used for palliative care to shrink tumors.

On the other hand, radiation therapy can also be applied along with chemotherapy. It can also be used for curative intent, control treatment, and palliative care at the same time.

How Is Radiation Therapy Scheduled?

Before radiation therapy is scheduled, your oncologist will ask you to undergo several tests such as CT scans, MRI, PET, and ultrasounds. All such tests will determine the location and the position of cancer infections inside the body. Once identified, radiation therapy will be applied in the target areas.


Radiation therapy may be much stronger than chemotherapy. However, there are risks involved as the radiation can also damage other non-cancer cells. Radiation therapy is ideal for curative intent as it requires patients to be much healthier and tolerant against certain radioactive materials and substances.

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Understanding Benign Tumors


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Anyone diagnosed with a tumor will always have that moment of terror before the doctors can finalize with the tests and classify the tumor. While malignant tumors are a nightmare, benign tumors are not cancerous and easier to deal with.

All tumors share similar characteristics. They are all cells your body doesn’t need but are not destroyed at the right time. They might be old, damaged or deformed cells that don’t do your body any good. These unnecessary cells will then accumulate leading to a growth (tumor) that will vary in size depending on the seriousness of duration of the problem.

How Are Benign Tumors Different

Benign tumors are simply non-cancerous. The cells in the tumor might be abnormal but they don’t possess the power to travel to other parts of the body. The tumor becomes a contained mass of cells that will stay and affect its immediate environment.

The fact that a benign tumor will not spread is good news in itself. This, however, doesn’t make malignant tumors safe. If they grow too big and put undue pressure on a primary nerve, a main artery or compress the brain, the results could be catastrophic.

Popular Causes of Benign Tumors

The most popular causes of such growths include trauma to tumor location, chronic inflammation, undetected infections or improper diet. This makes tumors a threat even to people whose genealogy doesn’t have tumor histories.

A protective sac often surrounds such tumors. The sac is the body’s immune system trying to segregate the growth and its malformed cells from the rest of the body. While this rarely contains the situation, it makes it easier for surgeons to get rid of the tumor during an operation.

The most common types of benign tumors include:

  • Adenomas that affect epithelial tissue covering organs
  • Meningiomas that affect the brain and spinal cord
  • Fibromas or fibroids in organ connective tissue and common in the uterus
  • Hemangiomas that affect the skin and blood vessels

What to Do After a Benign Tumor Diagnosis

If diagnosed with a benign tumor, your doctors will first monitor it and identify its immediate danger to the body. While the tests are running, it would be wise to shift to an anti-cancer regimen since some benign tumors could easily turn malignant.

The ultimate way to getting rid of the tumors is through surgery. If all goes well, the surgeons will get rid of the growth at first attempt. There might not be a need for repeated chemotherapy and radiotherapy since all the infected cells can be removed in a single operation.

Benign Tumor Symptoms

Symptoms are hard to master especially if the tumor lies a distant from major nerves, organs or blood vessels. The first kind of symptoms to expect are bodily pains. The pain will be local to the affected region. If you are dealing with a brain tumor, expect constant headaches while fibroids will lead to pains in your womb.

The most common symptoms that cut across the table regardless of the tumor location include:

  • Headaches
  • Itchiness
  • Hormonal syndromes
  • Anaemia

Talking to your doctor once a scan turns positive on a tumor is the best way to identify the way forward. While some malignant tumors are ignorable, doctors will always advise on getting rid of the growth if you can. Benign tumors rarely respond to chemotherapy hence you will have to undergo some form of intrusive surgery. This is always the best way out especially if the tumor is in an operable part of the body.

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Understanding Chemotherapy


Image is from Hello Doctor

There are many different types of illnesses we should be aware of in order to prevent them. However, prevention may be too late if the illness is severe. Some illnesses can be treated by regular medicines while others are so serious a different type of treatment is needed such as chemotherapy.

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is known to be a method for treating for cancer. However, it can also be used in several types of illnesses such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that kill cancer cells. This can be administered in several ways such as through:

  • Intravenous Fluid
  • Injections
  • Pills
  • Liquid form
  • Topical Cream

Whatever the method is, the purpose of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells. This won’t happen overnight as the ultimate objective is to kill the cells, there are three levels of treating cancer:

  • Palliation
  • Control
  • Cure


When cancer has already grown malignant, many symptoms start showing. These symptoms are very inconvenient as most of them are painful. One example is infection that causes discomfort and pain. Through palliation, these symptoms such as infections and tumors can be treated separately to provide temporary relief.

This method doesn’t actually eliminate cancer nor weaken it. It focuses on immediate effects of cancer. Any kind of treatment that aims to reduce only the symptoms is called palliative care.


Control is another method of treatment that does not also eliminate cancer. In this method, it may be considered during a particular stage when the cancer starts spreading. The purpose of the control method is to contain and reduce the growth of the illness in order to prevent further symptoms.

Just like diabetes and heart diseases, cancer also has a control stage where patients take some maintenance pills. There are times that the cancer seems to have gone away because there are no more symptoms present. However, it may come back in an instant without any warning. If this happens, a control chemotherapy will be performed again.


This method of chemotherapy may be obscure as the term “cure” is still theoretical. It means there is still no exact cure for cancer, but this method aims to cure it. It aims to kill and eliminate cancer.

This is possible in some cases especially at a very early stage. There are cases that cancer is cured on this method. However, there is always no guaranty that every cancer can be eliminated this way. This is why this method is called curative intent.

When to Start Chemotherapy?

If you suspect that you have cancer, it is recommended you look for cancer doctor called an oncologist. It is your oncologist who will determine the diagnosis and the proper treatment.

When your oncologist found that you have a cancer, they will then prescribe which combinations of medicine to use in a particular chemotherapy and which method of therapy should be used.

If your cancer is already malignant, your oncologist will ask you to undergo certain surgical operations to remove some tumors. However, if the stage is still early, the curative intent may be applied.


Chemotherapy is still the ultimate method of treatment for cancer. While research on cancers cure is still ongoing, this medical method proves helpful. However, not all patients can undergo this process because it is very expensive. If you have a cancer, it is better to immediately control it before you reach the palliative stage. Nevertheless, prevention is the best method.

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Misunderstandings of Cancers


Infographics from

Cancer is a disease that is caused by the division of abnormal cells in the body that are uncontrolled. Some types of cancer cause tumors in the body, while there are other types of cancer, such as leukemia, that do not. There are some misconceptions about cancer that many people have.

All Types of Cancer is the Same

Many people believe that all cancer is the same and that there is one wonder drug to treat the disease. There are over 100 types of cancer and they all cause different symptoms. Each different type of cancer has a different treatment. We know more about some types of cancer, such as breast cancer, and less about esophageal and pancreatic cancer.

There is No Cure For Cancer

Technically, there is no cure for cancer. There is no magic pill that will kill off all the cancer cells in a day, making the patient 100 percent healthy. While there is not a true cure, the individual cancer patient can be cured. Remission is the first step to a cure. If the patient remains in remission for 5 years, they are considered to be cured. While there is no actual cure for cancer, there are treatments that can cure the patient.

Cell Phone Dangers

The idea that cell phones cause cancer is a common misconception. Cell phone technology has advanced rapidly over the past few years. The phones today contain fewer carcinogens than the phones before them. Recently, a study was published by the Danish Cancer Society, which found no links between cell phone use and brain cancer.

Cancer Lumps

Many people believe that if they find a lump or a mass is detected during a screening, that it is cancerous. The truth is, every abnormality is not cancerous. The problem could be a cyst or a benign tumor, which is not cancerous. While it is not always going to be cancer, there are instances where the lump is pre-cancerous or cancerous. This is why regular screenings are necessary.

Artificial Sweeteners Cause Cancer

Since the 1970’s, people have been saying that artificial sweeteners cause cancer. This is because, in 1969, a study was done on the effects of the active ingredient in artificial sweeteners, cyclamate, on mice. When the mice developed cancer, people panicked. What they didn’t know is that the doctors were giving the mice the equivalent of a human drinking 800 cans of diet soda each day. Too much of anything can cause cancer, and artificial sweeteners in moderation will not.

You Need More Than a Positive Attitude

There are some people who believe that just a positive attitude can treat their cancer. While a positive attitude can help, you need more than that when you have cancer. There is more than mind over matter when it comes to cancer. Being positive and even alternative treatments can help, however, you need to take the medications and accept the treatments offered by your doctor.

Surgery Can Cause Cancer to Spread

Decades ago, doctors could only diagnose cancer when it was in advanced stages and surgery was for exploratory purposes. Also, there was no way to tell if all of the cancer cells were removed. Because cancer treatment was so new, people believed that if the doctor tried to remove a tumor, the cancer cells could spread throughout the body. This is not true. Surgery is one of the most effective ways to treat cancer.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to cancer. Most of the misconceptions began years ago and have been since proven false.

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Understanding Breast Cancer


Inforgraphic from the CDC

Breast cancer, like any other cancer, occurs when a mutation or abnormal change deforms the genes responsible for healthy cell growth. Such a change could lead to uncontrolled or undesirable cell growth. The cells that result from this also carry the faulty gene combination meaning that the cell growth becomes exponential resulting into a tumor.

The resulting tumor could be either malignant or benign. Benign tumors grow slowly and contain almost normal cells. They do not invade surrounding tissue or spread to the rest of the body hence are not really a big threat.

Malignant tumors, on the other hand, consist of highly mutated cells that not only grow fast but also have the power to invade and affect other parts of the body.

How Does This Relate to Breast Cancer?

A cancer becomes breast cancer if a malignant tumor develops from the breast cells. These could be cells in the milk-producing glands (lobules,) the ducts or sometimes the stromal tissues.

If left unchecked, the cancer can invade surrounding healthy tissue and later make their way to the underarm lymph nodes. If the cells make get to the lymph nodes, they will have unlimited access to other parts of the body and the condition can escalate faster.

The spread of the mutated cells from the initial tumor determines the stage of the cancer. Comparing this against the breast cancer stages chart will give you a visual impression of the infection.

The Causes of Breast Cancer

Contrary to the common belief that most of the breast cancer is inherited, research has shown that only 5 to 10 percent of the cancers result from inherent genetic material mistakes. 85 to 90 percent of the conditions result from abnormalities arising from aging, exposure to mutagens and the natural tear and wear of life.

Staying on Top of Breast Cancer

The best card you could ever deal malignant tumors is by discovering them as soon as possible. The simplest way to identifying tumors before they spread is by taking regular mammograms. Mammograms are x-ray pictures of the breast tissue. They are a sure way to identifying tumors that are too small to feel or detect during a physical exam.

  • Screening mammograms search for any changes in women without any signs of breast cancer. They are an early warning sign and the physician will only act when he or she sees something suspicious.
  • Diagnostic mammograms are taken when you have identified a lump during the physical examination or the screening mammogram. It involves taking x-rays from different angles for better inspection of the anomaly.

While the mammogram is the real deal in identifying breast cancer, a regular physical examination between the regular mammograms will be another early warning strategy. Feel your breasts and underarms looking for:

  • Lumps in or near the breasts
  • Lumps under the arms
  • Thick or firm tissue near the breasts or sometimes under the arms
  • Changes in breast size and shape

Contacting an expert when you spy a lump is always wise. You must note that the breasts will feel lumpy during pregnancy or during your menstruation period. This should cause any alarm unless it persists beyond menstruation or sticks to one part of your breast for a month or two during pregnancy. Only then should you seek medical advice.

Since breast cancer is in essence cancer, understanding cancer in general will help you know the dynamics of breast cancer better. Exploring the different treatment and maintenance options as soon as you get a positive diagnosis will give you a better shot at beating the cancer.

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