Sunday, August 16, 2009

What is Cancer?

Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells. Cancers arise from an organ or body structure and are composed of tiny cells that have lost the ability to stop growing. This growing mass of cells then projects from that organ or body structure until it becomes large enough to be noticed by a patient or physician. Occasionally, cancer may be detected " incidentally' by a laboratory test or x-ray that is, the test or x-ray may have been ordered for purpose of routine screening or for an entirely different reason; in such a case, the cancer gets notices almost by accident. At this point it may be referred to as a " mass"," growth", " tumor", " nodule", " spot", "lump", "lesion" or malignancy."

In general, the Cancer must reach a size of 1 centimeter, or be made up of 1 million cells, before it is detected. Exceptions to this general rule include Cancer of the blood and bone marrow- called Lymphomas, Leukemias and Multiple Myeloma - which frequently do not produce a mass but will be evident on laboratory tests: these cancers still require more than a million cells to be present before they are detected.


Cancer can occur anywhere in the doby, Any area of the bosy that you can name can be the target for a cancer. Some cancers even arise in parts of the bosy that contained structures only when the person was just an embrto- just weeks after conception. Cancer cells- those abnormal cells that have lost the ability to stop.

Liquid Tumors
Multiple myeloma

Solid Tumors
Lung cancer
Breast cancer
Prostate cancer
Colon cancer
Rectal cancer
Bladder cancer
Brain cancer

Environmental Factors That Cancer Development

Lifestyle factors

Cigarette smoking
Diet high in fact and / or in smoked or salted meats and fish
Alcohol use
Lack of physical activity


Certain drugs, including chemotherapy agents, hormones, certain chemicals, Certain infections

Major Components of Tumor Staging

Tumor Size
Tumor Location
Number of lymph nodes involved
Extent of spread of a Tumor
Depth of Tumor invasion into an organ or tumor thickness
Size of the lyph nodes( for Head & Neck Cancers)

What makes Cancerous cells stop growing?

Cancers continue to grow unless one of four things occurs;

1. The cancerous mass is removed by a surgeon.

2. Chemotherapy or another type of cancer - specific medication, such as hormonal therapy, is given to the person with cancer.

3. A person with cancer receives radiation therapy

4. The cancer cells shrink and disappear on their own.

This last event, while extremely rare, can occur with some melanomas( a type of skin cancer) or some kidney cancers.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why not just let the Cancer Growth?

In some cases, this may be the right thing to do. As some people have cancers that grow slowly, exposing them to either surgery or chemotherapy may make them sick without doing much to improve their survival. older adults, in particular, are more prone to experience the side effects of therapy; if those side effects outweigh the potential benefit therapy or the potential harm of living with cancer, the proposed therapy may not be of benefit. This is where the notion of " quality of life' becomes important. Alternatively, a person may be ideologically opposed to therapy; for such an individual, letting the Cancer grow might be the right thing to do.

In other cases. letting the cancer grow may not be the right thing to do. Unfortunately, many cancer cells do not respect the boundaries of other organs or body structures. A growing cancer might press on another organ and prevent that organ from functioning normally. or it might actually invade an organ and impair that organ's function. Then, a situation may arise in which bleeding or an infection occurs.


Some types of cancer release chemicals that make a person feel ill. These chemicals , called cytokines, may cause fevers, chills, sweats, fatigue, anorexia. or even nausea and vomiting. These are the same chemicals that are released in to the bloodstream when a person has the flu, which explains why the symptoms of flu and of cancer often are similar. one of these cytokines, called tumer necrosis factor. or TNF, used to be called cachexin, because its release from cancer cells was associated with cachexia, or wasting. These symptoms are , in fact, the once that often bring a person with cancer to a doctor's attention in the first place. As a cancer continues to grow, these chemicals continue to be released. Trating the cancer should alleviate these symptoms.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cancer is Curable

In fact, all cancers are curable if they are caught early enough. That is the justification for screening tests. When cancers are caught early,they tend to be smaller, they are thus either easier to remove surgically or more likely to shrink in response to chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Cancers not caught early enough still may be curable and almost certainly are treatable. Even advanced cancers - malignancies that have spread to different parts of the body, or have metastasized - usually are treatable. Often, they are though of as " chronic disease" or diseases that a person will live with over a long period. While a given therapy may not cure a disease,it may extend a person's life until a more promising and potentially curative therapy becomes available.

The Different types of Cancer

Cancer of the Lung

The lungs are two large organs located in the chest cavity. They extend from just under the collarbone to the bottom of the rib cage. Like any other organ, the lungs can become cancerous. Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States; it is the leading cause of cancer death. Approximately 170,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States and 155,000 people die each year from lung cancer. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in men. in the late 1980s it became the most common cause of cancer deaths in women. Lung cancer is the only major type of cancer that has become more common in the last 30 years.

One of the most interesting recent developments in lung cancer treatment is a new strategy to find lung cancers ( while they are still small and more treatable) in smokers. Several ongoing large research studies of smokers are examining whether yearly computers tomography ( CT) scan can find lung cancer before they grow large.

Cancer of the Esophagus

The esophagus is a long muscular tube that carries chewed food from the mouth to the stomach. The part of the esophagus closer to the mouth has the same type of tissue lining as does the mouth, and the part closer to the stomach has a lining more similar to that of the stomach.

Cancer of the esophagus comes in two major types. Cancers that arise in the upper two- thirds of the esophagus ( close to the mouth) are called squamous cell carcinomas and are like lung cancer, highly associated with smoking. They are also associated with alcohol use. Cancers that occur lower down in the esophagus, closer to the stomach, are usually cancers that arise from the small glands lining this area. These cancers are called adeconcarinomas.

Most people eith either type of cancer of the esophagus will require some form of surgery. Unless they are extremely small, cancers of the esophagus can only be cured by surgery. Even if surgery does not cure the cancer, it can prevent blockages of the esophagus later on. These blockgages can be debililitating and delterious to a person's quality of life. In addition to surgery, many people with esophageal cancer receive a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. Particularly in adeconcarinoma of the esophagus, new types of chemotherapy may work more effectively than other older types.

Cancer of the Stomach

The stomach is a large muscular pouch near the bottom of the rib cage that produce acid and uses the acid and a grinding action to help digest food. It is connected to the esophagus at one end and to the small intestine at the other.

Stomach cancer, most of which are adenocarcinomas, are related closely to adecarcinomas of the lower esophagus. the two types of cancer are treated in similar ways. Interestingly, while some of the causes of cancer of the esophagus have been determined, the causes of stomatch of stomach cancer remain more mysterious. The comsumption of large quantities of smoked or slated meats and fish seems to be a risk factoe for gastric cancer, why this occurs remains unclear. There also is some evidence that infection of the stomach with a cerain type of backterium might be a risk factor for gastric cance.

Cancer of the Breast

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in American women and the second most frequent causes if cancer death. Approximately 200,000 new cases of breast cancer are diognosed each year in the U.S and 41,000 people die each year from breast cancer. Almost all breast cancers are adenocarcinomas. There are two subtypes of adenocarcinomas breast cancer, ductal carcinoma and lobour carcinoma.

Cancer of the Pancreas

The Pancreas is an organ about the size and shape of a bottle of hot sauce that is located in the abdomen, next to the stomach. Down the center of the organ is a small tube that carries the chemicals made by the pancreas into the small intestine. This tube, called the pancreatic duct, joins another tube, called the common biliary duct, which carried bile from the liver into the intestines. The chemicals made by the stomach that has helped to digest the food:. they neutralize the acid produced by the stomach that has helped to digest the food; they break down the food passed from the stomach into the intestines to a form that the bosy can use more easily and they help the bosy to store sugar- a process handled by the chemical insulin. People with a pancreas that doesn't produce insulin become diabetic.

Cancer of the pancreas is difficult to cure; this is not because the cancer growth quickly but because it is extremely difficult to diagnose when it is still curable by surgery.

Cancer of the Head and Neck

Cancer of the head and neck are a large group of tumor with some common features. The first common feature is the cell of origin - the cell that becomes cancerous. Most head and neck cancers, regardless of exactly which structure they arise in, come from the cells that line the mouth, nose, sinuses, and throuat. These cells are called " squamous cells". and the cancers that arise from them are called "squamous cells carcinomas"

A final common feature of these cancers is the role of tobacco and alcohol. The use of these two substances over long periods may lead to field cancerization , which eventually leads to full- blown cancer.

Cancer of the Kidney

The Kidneys are a pair of organ located in the back of the abdomen, near the bottom of the rib cage. They help regulate the amount of water in the body and remove some toxins and medications from the circulation. Up to 40 percent of the blood that the heart pumps with each beat travels to the kidney so that it can be filters and urine can be produced. This urine passes through tubes called ureters into the bladder and then out of the body through the urethra.

What does Staging Mean?

Another important factor in determining the type of therapy a tumor is most likely to respond to is the stage of the tumor. Simply stated, staging of the tumor is a fancy way of explaning how far a tumor has spread. It lets oncologists in different cities and around the world specifically define the extent of tumor spread and thus compare the effects of different therapies on similarly advanced cancers. Staging for most tumors goes from stage 1 to stage 4.

Stage 1 indicates a tumor with the lest spread, while stage 4 indicates that a tumor has spread widely through the body.

Stages has 3 major components.

1. The first of these is the size and the location of the main tumor mass ( Primary).

2. The second major component to staging is the number of lymph nodes involved. Lymph nodes are small collections of cells of the immune system that are scattered all over the body. As part of the immune system, they act as a border patrol for the area of the body near them, preventing, infections from " invading"Each lymph node monitors a smal area of the body, looking for material that shouldn't be there. When lymph node cells discover an invader, they become active and mobilize the immune system to fix the problem. When a cancer begins to spread, it usually stsrts spreding in to the lymph nodes closest to the primary tumor. Therefore, knowing which lymph nodes are involved is a good way of determining how far the tumor has spread.

3. The last element of staging involves determining whether or not a tumor has spread to another orgon. When a tumor has spread from a primary site into the bones or brain, it is considered to have metastasized. In such a case, it is judged to be an advanced-stage cancer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The following foods have the ability to help stave off cancer and some can even help inhibit cancer cell growth or reduce tumor size.


2. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower


Chili peppers and jalapenos - Stomach Cancer

Cruciferous vegetables



Grapes, red

Green and yellow leafy vegetables



Oranges and lemons


Sweet potatoes

Green Tea and Black tea



fruits and vegetables

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cancer causing Food

1. Refined sugar.

2. Refined or simple carbohydrates.

3. Hydrogenated oils, Trans Fats, and Acrylamides.

4. Sodium Nitrite.

5. Processed Meats.

6. Fried sweets (doughnuts, elephant ears).

7. Fried potatoes.

8. Chips


9. Crackers.

10. Soda.