Cancer can simply be defined a disease, or a collection of diseases caused by abnormal and uncontrolled multiplications of body cells that destroy body tissues. This is normally due to genetic changes. According to the World Health Organization 2015 report, lung cancer was the third worst killer disease having claimed more than 1.7 million lives. A heart stroke, ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were first and second, having caused 15 million and 3.2 million deaths respectively in. Most cancers are treatable, especially when diagnosed early.
It is estimated that there are currently more than 200 types of cancers, categorized based on the tissues from which the cancerous cells originate from. Common types include breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, blood cancer (leukemia), pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer, among others. The cancerous cells can break away from the original tissue and through metastasis, move to other body organs and continue multiplication. This is usually in advanced stages that makes it difficult to treat.
The primary cause of cancers is the sporadic damage of the DNA and instability of the genes. To a small extend, some cancers are caused by hereditary factors that leads to DNA mutation, but a majority are mainly as a result of lifestyles, behavioral and environmental factors. It is estimated that 30% of cancer cases can be prevented by reducing exposure to various physical and chemical agents like tobacco, pollutants, infections, radiation, proper dieting and obesity. Even though cancer risks increase with age, anyone can develop it, age notwithstanding.
Cancer symptoms widely vary, and in some cases, they may not be easily detectable. While some patients develop visible abnormal growths, regular fevers, sweating especially at night and weight loss, some appear healthy until later stages of the disease. It is therefore important to undergo regular screening even without symptoms. Some of the common symptoms however are:
Some like ovarian cancer are not easy to detect through symptoms because they are normally detected in later stages of the infection.
Through regular research and technological advancement, most cancers can be treated. However, the success of this depends on the type of cancer, patient's immunity and severity of the disease. While some patients can be freed from the chains of cancer with just one treatment, the majority require a combination of more two or more. The common treatments are: chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy. The choice of treatment depends on the type of cancer (based on affected tissue or organ), stage of infection.
Most cancer treatments cause a number of side effects, depending on the affected organ and type of treatment. It is therefore very important to carefully discuss with your doctor about this and mechanisms through which they can be minimized or avoided altogether. The following are common side effects:
Please bear in mind that the above list is not conclusive of all possible side effects but a general overview what you should expect while undergoing any of the aforementioned cancer treatments.
Treatment of cancer is a financially draining endeavor that requires the use of more than one treatment methods. It is a burdensome endeavor, but nothing can equate to life. At the moment, you will find a wide array of cancer drugs that are designed to relieve various symptoms and also manage pain. These drugs vary depending on the type of cancer being treated. Before using any such drugs, it is important to understand what they are used for, how to use them for the best relief and common side effects. Some common cancer drugs include:
There are many other cancer drugs that are designed for different cancer types. You must always ensure that you get the right prescription from the doctor. However, some of these drugs can be bought without a prescription from qualified drug stores and pharmacies, both offline and online.