An uncontrolled differentiation of cells in the body is termed as cancer. These rapidly growing cells also referred to as malignant cells, could occur in any organ or tissue in the body. The reasons for an organ developing cancer are varied and could range from an overexposure to a certain carcinogen, to genetic factors, or to a constant physical irritant in the body. In many cases, alcoholism and tobacco abuse, in the long run, have led to cancer.
The most common variants of cancer are those of the liver, breast, colon, prostate, and lung. Early detection helps design a better treatment regimen to battle this condition. A biopsy of the suspected organ or specialized biochemical blood tests usually gives a fairly good idea on how much cancer has metastasized. A major drawback of cancers, if not detected early, is the possibility of their spreading to other tissues in the body, as in the case of cancer of the lymph nodes.
Accordingly, radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, or a combination is recommended. Depending on the severity of the disease, these treatments could range from either a few weeks to the lifespan of the patient.
It is a well-known fact that the above treatment options have a variety of adverse effects including nausea, weakening of the immune system, and a general feeling of malaise. On the other hand, the expenses incurred for the duration of treatment are often hefty, due to the nature of drugs employed.
There’s not much that can be done to protect oneself from the claws of cancer, however, basic prevention techniques could significantly reduce the risks of succumbing to this disease. These include maintaining a healthy diet, routine exercise, periodic bodily tests and evaluations for cancer biomarkers, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and reducing one’s exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Cancer is a painful, progressive disease with a high rate of mortality when undetected and/or not administered the right chemotherapeutic agent(s).
1. Marilyn Glenville, Overview of nutrition in cancer care,
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 12, Issues 2-3, June-September 2004, Page 160
2. Comprehensive Cancer Information - National Cancer Institute; www.cancer.gov
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