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Understanding the Various Types of Cancer

Understanding the Various Types of Cancer

Even though people speak in general terms about cancer, there are multiple types of cancers. Each type of cancer affects every individual in a different way. With nearly 1 million people diagnosed with different cancer types in the United States each year, it is important to know what to look for, since an early diagnosis can lead to a positive outcome.

It is important to note that a diagnosis of cancer doesn’t automatically mean the victim is going to die. Research and better education about maintaining the body help individuals battling cancer live long lives. What is most important after receiving a diagnosis of cancer is remaining in constant communication with a doctor, so that cancer victims are always prepared for the next treatment.

Cancer is a growth of abnormal cells in the body, and as such, most people will have symptoms that affect their body over time. Even though everyone is different there are some general symptoms individuals battling cancer may share. For individuals who suspect they have cancer, here are a few symptoms to look for before consulting a doctor.

  • Sores that aren’t healing
  • Tumors
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Changes with skin
  • Weight loss/appetite loss
  • Fatigue

All of these symptoms are common symptoms surfacing from other conditions, in addition to cancer; therefore, consulting with a medical professional will help determine whether someone has cancer or not.

Types of Breast Cancer

It is a common misconception that only women are affected by breast cancer; men get it too. However, the disease affects more women than men. Breast cancer refers to the presence of a malignant tumor in breast cells. Breast cancer can start in duct cells, lobules, and other tissues within breasts.

Types of breast cancer include:

Ductal carcinoma-is the most common form of breast cancer. It starts in the milk ducts and spreads to other parts of the body.

Lobular carcinoma-is a common form of cancer that starts in the milk-producing cells of breasts.

Inflammatory breast cancer-an uncommon cancer, which makes breasts become swollen and red. Skin on the breast start to look pitted as a result of the lymph nodes being blocked by cancer cells.

Paget disease– a rare form of cancer associated with ductal carcinoma. Symptoms include crusty skin on the nipple, bleeding, and pain.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

  • Lumps
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swollen breasts

Treatment for Breast Cancer

The treatment options available for treating breast cancer varies based on the individual and the type of cancer. For many women battling breast cancer the following treatment options are available.

Masectomy– is the process of removing the cancerous breast.

Lumpectomy-is the process of removing the cancerous lump.

Chemotherapy-a chemical introduced in the body to kill cancer cells that exist.

Radiation-x-rays therapy delivered to the cancerous cells at high energy to kill them off.

Types of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is another form of cancer that is prevalent in the United States. Like other type of cancers, skin cancers are the result of abnormal, malignant cells invading other organs in a person’s body. Ultimately, the malignant cells negatively impact the natural function of these cells, which impacts the natural balance within the body. Individuals develop the following two skin cancer types result from an over exposure to sunlight, tanning booths, chemicals, and a host of other causes.

Melanoma- is a fast spreading type of skin cancer. Melanoma tumors can be black, brown, tan, white, or pink. People primarily notice them on their chest or legs. For individuals with a lot of melanin in their skin, they are at a reduced risk of developing this type of cancer. If they do get it, it tends to develop on the palms of their hands, their nail beds, and the soles of their feet.

Non-melanoma- Squamous and basal cell carcinoma are considered non-melanoma types of cancer. These two forms of cancer are malignant, but the cells don’t spread to other aspects of the body.

Symptoms of Skin Cancer

  • Brown or black lesions
  • Bleeding coming from moles
  • Elevation of moles
  • Itchy or scaly skin

Treatments for Skin Cancer

After being diagnosed with skin cancer, a doctor or medical specialist who specializes in the affected area has the ability to remove certain forms of skin cancer through surgery. Other skin cancers may require chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy. Some skin cancers require a combination of treatments in order to prevent cancerous cells from invading the body.

Types of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is another type of cancer that affects millions of Americans. There are many types of lung cancers but the most common are: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer is the most prevalent form of lung cancer. It affects both smokers and nonsmokers alike. Of this type of lung cancer, there are four different types:

  • Adenocarcinomas– are a type of cancer associated with smoking, but nonsmokers can develop this form of cancer. This form affects 40% of the Non-Small Lung Cancer group.
  • Squamous cell carcinomas– affect 25% of the Non-Small Lung Cancer group. It is known to remain in the lungs. Squamous cell carcinomas grow extremely large.
  • Large cell carcinomas– impacts about 15% of the cases associated with Non-Small Lung Cancer. It is a form of cancer that spreads to other parts of the body.
  • Large cell neuroendocrine tumors– represent about 2% of the cancer diagnosis associated with Non-Small Lung Cancer.

Each form of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer spreads throughout the body quickly by invading the lymphatic system.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Treatment for Lung Cancer

Radiation and chemotherapy are treatment options for lung cancer. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, doctors may require the assistance of specialist to aid in the treatment patients suffering from lung cancer receive.

Types of Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the hormones in the body. When it is working optimally, the body utilizes the hormones in a way that helps the body remain in homeostasis. However, the following thyroid cancers can jeopardize the perfect equilibrium the thyroid gland tries to maintain.

Papillary-is a curable form of cancer that begins in the follicular cells.

Follicular– is a cancer that is curable with an early diagnosis. It affects about 9% of the people diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Medullary-is a rare form of cancer that begins in the C cells. Unfortunately, without an early prognosis, this form of cancer can spread throughout the body.

Anaplastic– is the rarest form of thyroid cancer, but the most difficult to manage. It affects individuals who are older, and if it isn’t diagnosed early, it can spread throughout the body.

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancers

Symptoms specific to thyroid cancers include:

  • Lumps
  • Pain
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Large lymph nodes

Although the aforementioned symptoms are common to thyroid cancer, it is important to note that not all individuals affected by thyroid cancers will exhibit all of these symptoms. In fact, some people suffering from thyroid cancer may have only one symptom.

Treatments for Thyroid Cancers

Doctors are able to diagnose thyroid cancers much like other forms of cancer: biopsies, blood tests, physical exams, and ultrasounds. Based on the particular form of thyroid cancer present in the body, the doctor prescribes a course of treatment, which can include medications, surgery, hormone treatment, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Lifestyle Choices Contribute to Developing Cancer

One of the significant contributing factors to developing cancer is lifestyle choices. The choice to smoke significantly increases the chances of developing a form of cancer. Additionally, working with toxic chemicals, drinking alcohol, having a poor diet, and lacking physical activity throughout the day can increase chances of developing cancers. People can protect their health by becoming educated about risk factors and practices that decrease their chances of developing cancer. For instance, certain foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and those with a high fiber content help to reduce the chance of developing cancer.

Cancer is a serious condition affecting many people throughout the world. People develop cancer as a result of their genetic predisposition, lifestyle choices, and cell mutations. There are different types of cancer, so knowing which one that is impacting the health of the individual is important to getting treatment. Anyone who suspects they have cancer should consult a doctor, since an early diagnosis can result in a good prognosis. It is important to keep in mind that there are many forms of cancer, and various lifestyle choices can severely increase the chances of developing either type of cancer. For those individuals diagnosed with cancer, they have options. They should seek out various forms of medical treatment, even holistic approaches, because fighting cancer requires multiple strategies for eliminating the malignant cells from their body.

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