Understanding Cancer

Cancer is one of the most pervasive diseases in the world, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Cancer treatment developments are constantly in the news, and billions of dollars are spent on cancer research.  Still, how much do you really understand about the disease?  How is that there can be so many different types of cancers that afflict just about every part of the body?  In this article, we will answer all of your questions regarding cancer over the following sections:

  • Causes and Diagnosis of CancerIt is difficult to say what exactly causes cancer. Some people feel the amount of process foods and chemicals we are exposed to account for the increase in cancer rates. But while we don't exactly know what directly causes cancer, we do know there are certain behaviors that increase your risk of contracting it. For instance, just about everyone knows that smoking can increase your risk of getting lung cancer. On this page we will review some other risky behaviors, as well as look at how a doctor would go about diagnosing a patient with cancer.
  • Treatment of CancerAs difficult as it is to identify the causes of cancer, it is equally has hard to target one specific treatment for all of the many types of cancer. There are, however, some common treatments that could be employed with virtually any form of cancer.  One is surgery, or the removal of the malignant tumor. Two other common treatments, though they can be very hard on the patient, are chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Finally, we will look at immunotherapy and prognostic factors.
  • Brain Cancer, Lung Cancer, and Skin CancerOn our first page exploring the various types of cancer we will begin with three of the heavy-hitters. Brain cancer, and truly any brain disorder, is very dangerous for the patient. While not the most common form of cancer, it can be the scariest. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women. Treatment for lung cancer is particularly difficult because the organ it afflicts is so delicate and vital. Lastly, we will look at skin cancer, far and away the most common type of cancer. Fortunately, skin cancer is rarely fatal.
  • Gastrointestinal CancersGastrointestinal cancers are sometimes referred to as GI cancers or colorectal cancers. These cancers can attack any component of the digestive system including the intestine, rectum or anus. On this page, we will focus on three of the most common forms of gastrointestinal cancers. First we will learn about colon cancer, which can be deadly if not detected early. Next we will look at a potentially debilitating form of cancer, liver cancer. Finally, we will learn about stomach cancer. Though stomach cancer can be quite grave, this for of cancer has been on the decline in recent years.
  • Gynecological CancersGynecological cancers refer to cancers that are specific to women. The most high profile and common gynecological cancer is breast cancer. In truth, breast cancer is the second-highest cause of cancer deaths among women. Just behind breast cancer is cervical cancer, which is simple to detect by hard to treat. Ovarian cancer, on the other hand, is both hard to detect and treat, making it a very distressing form of gynecological cancer. Finally, we will discuss uterine and vaginal cancers, which are most common in women over 50.
  • Leukemia and Bone CancerLeukemia used to be death sentence for the children who were diagnosed with it. Thanks to advancements in screening and treatment, the life spans of leukemia patients has increased dramatically. Leukemia is a form of cancer that affects the bone marrow and consequently the blood. Leukemia patients can have weakened immune systems and fatigue. Also on this page, we will look at bone cancer. While very rare, bone cancer also primarily affects children.
  • LymphomaLymphoma refers to cancers that target the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system refers to refer to the vessels that move fluid around your body, filtering out harmful substances. Essentially, the lymph system is part of the immune system. The two major forms or lymphoma are Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Both of these diseases can be quite treatable and in some cases a full recovery can be expected.
  • Urinary Tract CancersThe urinary tract refers to the system in the body that produces and eliminates urine. The main cancer associated with the urinary tract is bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is much more common among men than women. Another form of urinary tract cancer is specific to men only, prostate cancer. The prostate is a small, doughnut-shaped sex gland that surrounds the bladder and urethra. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among men.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

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