Exploring Various Options in the Treatment of Cancer

The word “cancer” might sound like a death sentence to the patients and their loved ones. But if the disease is caught before it spreads rapidly and the right treatment started on time then patients can surely eliminate the cancer-causing cells for life. Here are some of the various options that can be explored in the treatment of cancer.Different types of cancerThere are many ways by which cancer could strike within a patient’s body. The treatment of cancer too will depend on the type of cancer, the age and physical condition of the patient and the stage at which the disease is discovered by doctors. Some types of cancers are given belowo Breast cancer
o Prostate cancer
o Stomach cancer
o Blood cancer or leukemia
o Lung cancer, etcWhile each form of cancer requires a specialized approach, some of the options that are normally utilized are given below.SurgeryMost cancers such as breast cancer and stomach cancer require immediate surgery to stop the spread of cancer cells further into the body of the patient. The patient will require hospitalization during and after surgery even as other treatments including radiation and chemotherapy might be started to ensure total freedom from cancer cells. Surgery is widely used in the treatment of cancer but in some types of cancer such as brain cancer, the risks are quite high as the operation might negatively affect some functions of the patient.ChemotherapyWith rapid advancement in drugs that can beat cancer and with side effects such as nausea being controlled to a large extent, chemotherapy is now the preferred choice in the treatment of cancer, especially if it is located in hard-to-reach areas or is advancing rapidly. Chemotherapy is usually a combination of several drugs that attack cancer cells and are either injected into the patient or delivered in pill form. Collateral damage is also caused to the patient as healthy cells are also destroyed in chemotherapy, although newer drugs cause less damage to the patient’s body.RadiationThe patient can also be subjected to internal or external radiation to destroy cancer cells hiding within his or her body. Internal radiation is delivered intravenously or in the form of pills or even surgically implanted in the form of rods on the affected organ itself. External radiation is applied in the form of rays on the affected organ while lead barriers protect other parts of the patient’s body. Radiation is usually applied in the treatment of cancer after a surgery so as to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.Other options in the treatment of cancerDoctors will also explore other options in the treatment of cancer such as immunotherapy, which involves activating the patient’s natural immune system to stand up and fight the cancer, hormonal therapy to curb the growth of cancerous cells, bone marrow transplant to replace affected marrow with healthy ones, etc. Patients might also try herbal treatments or even acupuncture to get relief from pain although most doctors do not encourage alternative treatment of cancer as there is no conclusive evidence on their effectiveness.The right option in the treatment of cancer can enable the doctor and patient to quickly stem the growth of cancer cells and destroy all remaining cells so as to lead a long and healthy life. Prompt detection and action along with regular follow-ups can enable the patient to remain disease-free for life.

Causes Of Breast Cancer – Information You Need To Know

There are many risk factors that can potentiate breast cancer in women, and the life time incidence of breast cancer is 1 in 8. This means for every 8 women you know, one of them will develop this type of cancer in their lifetime. So what causes breast cancer and what are we doing to help this to happen?Cancer of the breast occurs when certain cells within breast tissue divide in a manner which allows uncontrolled growth and destruction of surrounding tissue; the cancer cell can then spread to lymph glands and other organs where they grow in the same destructive way. This growth is not the normal growth that is necessary to the function of the body part it is growing in, in this case, breast tissue. Researchers continue to look for the different factors which can influence the occurrence of breast cancer. They feel that essentially something happens to the DNA or genes of the cells which causes the factors which normally control growth to be compromised. This could be a genetic mutation a woman is born with, it can be age, exposure to radiation at a younger age, or a host of other lifestyle issues.There are many causes for breast cancer, but one risk factor which has been raised and is somewhat controversial is that of obesity. There are statistics from research centers suggesting that 25-30% of breast cancer may be prevented by maintaining a lean body mass. Epidemiologists note that the incidence of this kind of cancer is rising, however they speculate that our genes have been essentially the same over the past many decades.So what does fat have to do with breast cancer? The fat cells that develop later in life tend to store estrogen, so the more fat there is, the more estrogen the breast tissue will be exposed to. Since estrogen fuels many breast cancers, this could lead to an increased risk that some researchers feel is as high as 60 %. It is recommended by the American Cancer Society to engage in 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week to lower your risk of cancer. It is also recommended that even lean women continue to work at maintaining increased muscle mass to lessen the creation of new fat cells. As mentioned above, this risk factor is felt to be controversial and not easy to prove. It has been noted however, that the risk of breast cancer seems to occur when weight is gained later in life and not at a younger age. This may in part be due to the fact that weight gain in menopausal years is often visceral fat which is hormonally more active than subcutaneous fat.What are the other risk factors for Breast Cancer?1. Gender- being female means increased amounts of estrogen acting on cell growth in breast tissue.2. Age- 2/3 s of breast cancer occurs after age 55; 1/8 of breast cancers occur under age 45. Age effects the genes which regulate our bodies function and the older a person is, the more likelihood a mistake in the genetic code will occur.3. Genetic factors- many women believe that if no one in their family has had cancer of the breast, they are not likely to get it. Inherited genetic mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 only account for 5-10% of cancers.4. Family history- having a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) with breast cancer doubles the risk of developing this form of cancer. It is thought that 20-30% of women with breast cancer have a positive family history.5. Prior history of breast cancer- this increases risk of a second cancer not considered a recurrence by 3-4 times.6. Race and ethnicity- there is a slightly higher rate of breast cancer in White women over African American women, however African American women are more likely to die from their cancer as they tend to get more aggressive types of breast cancer. Asian, Hispanic and Native American women have a lower incidence and risk of dying from breast cancer.7. Dense breast tissue- make screening harder, there is more glandular tissue and less fatty tissue.8. Menses- beginning before age 12 and menopause after 55 increases risk due to breast tissue being exposed to more hormonal cycles. For this same reason, no children or children after 30 and less years of breast feeding can also mean more estrogen and progesterone exposure to breast tissue which in turn raises risk.9. Previous chest radiation for other conditions such as lymphoma and certain cancers which can occur at young age.10. DES- Women who were given DES during pregnancy and their daughters in utero at that time are at higher risk for breast cancer due to mutations of genes.There are some life style issues that are felt to affect the risk of getting cancer in breast tissue. There is a slight increase in risk to women who have been on Oral Contraceptives for several years although this risk declines when the OCP is stopped and continues to decline there after.Combined HRT has been shown in studies to increase the risk of cancer in breast tissue in as little as 2 years of use. This risk is somewhat attenuated when estrogen is used alone, without progesterone.Use of more than 7 alcoholic drinks a week can also increase risk of breast cancer, this risk can be as much as 1 ½ times normal if 2-5 drinks per day are consumed on a regular basis.Having one or more of the above risk factors does not mean a woman will get breast cancer, it merely reflects risk may be higher. Life style changes may help reduce those risks. In many cases, the diagnosis of cancer can be made early, treatments have come a long way and are very effective. There continues to be exciting research discovering new factors influencing the occurrence and growth of breast cancer, which can and will open up new therapies.Having risk factors and an unhealthy life style can potentiate any kind of cancer, hopefully the above information will help you to reduce your risk of cancer occurring in you breasts. There are also many other health benefits to a healthy lifestyle, not just cancer prevention. Heart health and bone health are also achieved with a healthy diet, exercise, avoidance of cigarette smoking and limiting alcohol. It is not just our genes, it is also what we do to those genes.

Cancer: Foods That Fight Cell Mutation and Fend Off Cancer

Cancer is a word no one ever wants to hear, and is second only to heart disease as a life-threatening illness. As more than one million people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the US, there are many questions that arise regarding cancer.• What is cancer, and what are the different types of cancers?• Who normally gets it?• How do we prevent cancer?• What food habits and lifestyle will reduce the risk of cancer?In the human body, cancer cells rapidly multiply and eventually form tumors that interrupt the normal function of the body. When cells grow uncontrollably, the tumor spreads to other organs. This process is called metastasis, and can spread to multiple organs in the body and cause them to malfunction. Breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancers are the most common kinds of cancer diagnosed. Other cancer types include skin cancers, digestive system cancers, and urinary tract cancers as well as numerous others.A common belief is that susceptibility for cancer cells to mutate may be genetic (inherited from direct family members or close relatives). Environmental problems and exposure to radiation also add to the risk of cancer.Are there ways to prevent this dreadful disease? Living a healthy lifestyle has been shown to positively impact the risk of cancer, and could possibly be the biggest factor.As tobacco dramatically increases the risk of lung cancer and many other cancers, avoid the use of tobacco. Second-hand smoke has many carcinogens as well.Alcohol usage is discouraged as it is actually toxic to the body, and increases the risk of lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Eliminate alcohol consumption to avoid these cancers and many other problems.Limit exposure to radiation and chemicals like gasoline, arsenic, beryllium, nickel chromates, coal products, mustard gas, and diesel exhaust as they have been directly related to cancer.A diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cancer development. Fruits like figs, blueberries, and grapes have anti-cancer properties. Cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are a few vegetables that could prevent cancer. Green, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables have been found to fight cancer. A healthy diet is an easy way to prevent cancer.Organic foods are healthier because they are produced differently than conventional foods. They are grown without pesticides, and they are full of natural nutrients.Many vegetables and fruits such as avocados, carrots, mushrooms, papayas, and raspberries are great cancer-fighters. When vegetables are cooked, 30-85% of the nutrients are lost and not available to kill the bad cells. Consuming raw fruits and vegetables or steamed vegetables reduce the risk of cancer.Diets that include animal fats and an over consumption of red meat are not ideal and can increase the risk of cancer. Consuming small amounts of clean poultry and fish is healthier.Exercise regularly to keep fit. Walking, jogging, dancing, and practicing yoga are examples of exercising. Thirty minutes of exercise daily will reduce the risk of cancer.Dr. Fred Bisci, a nutritionist and food scientist, believes that the risk of life-threatening diseases can be reduced by the intake of healthy foods and organic eating. He also believes that supplemental enzymes will decrease the risk of cancer.