Do I Have Cancer

cvvArticle 3: LET’S LEARN THE CANCER LANGUAGE FIRST

There are over 100 different types of cancer. Each type of cancer can have different symptoms, diagnostic tests and treatment options. As a result, there are many terminologies and phrases that are used to describe the type, symptoms and diagnosis of cancer, and treatment methods. It is often very confusing as well as frustrating for the readers if too many medical jargons or terminologies are used in describing this condition. It is difficult for readers to understand the context of the topic or take any action, if required, after reading any article or book on cancers. As a result, the information is often misinterpreted or not fully understood or comprehended.

In this 3rd article of my cancer series, I would like to explain in very simple terms all phrases and terminologies used in describing a cancer. This will help readers in understanding the cancer terms, types of cancer, common diagnosis and treatment terminologies, and the health personnel involved in management of cancer. These are described in alphabetical order here.

Ablation: removal or destruction of body part or tissue. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) therapy involves destroying cancer tissue with heat. RFA is commonly used in the treatment of lung, liver and kidney tumors.

Adenocarcinoma: cancer that begins from lining of internal organs or from skin

Adenoma: a non-cancer tumor that starts from glands

Adenopathy: swollen glands

Adjunct or adjunctive therapy: another treatment used together with primary treatment. For example, radiotherapy is sometimes given after surgery to treat cancer as adjunctive treatment.

Anal: of anus, anal cancer

Anorexia: an abnormal loss of appetite for food.

Asbestos: a group of minerals that are found in the form of tiny fibres. It is used as insulation against heat and fire in buildings. Asbestos dust when breathed into the lungs can lead to cancer of lungs and mesothelioma.

Asthenia: feeling or weakness or lack of energy. This is common in late stage cancer.

Astrocyte: this is a type of cell in the brain or spinal cord. Astrocytoma is a tumor that begins in astrocytes.

Asymptomatic: having no signs or symptoms of disease. Most cancers are asymptomatic in the early stages.

Axillary lymph node dissection: removal of lymph nodes in the axilla. This may be done in the treatment of breast cancer.

B-cell lymphoma: A type of cancer that forms in B cells.

Barrett esophagus: this is a condition where the cells lining the lower part of the esophagus have changed or been replaced by abnormal cells that could lead to cancer of the esophagus. The regurgitation of the contents of stomach into the esophagus over time can lead to Barrett esophagus.

Basal cells: they are small round cells found in the lower part of epidermis. The cancer that begins in the basal cells is called basal cell cancer or basal cell carcinoma.

Benign: not cancerous, also called non-malignant. Malignant tumor is a cancerous growth.For example, fibroadenoma is a benign tumor of breast whereas as adenocarcinoma is a malignant tumor of the breast.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia: this is a non-cancerous condition of prostate where there is overgrowth of prostate tissue.

Biological therapy: this is a type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms or its products to boost or restore the ability of the immune system to fight cancer. Examples of biological agents include vaccines, interleukins and monoclonal antibodies.

Biopsy: the removal of cells or tissues from the cancer or suspected cancer area for examination by a pathologist. This is the most sure way of diagnosing cancer.

Bone marrow ablation: This is a procedure that is used to destroy bone marrow using radiation or high doses of anticancer drugs. It is done before a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant to kill cancer cells and bone marrow cells. This is a part of intensive treatment of some leukemias.

Bone marrow aspiration: this is a procedure in which a small sample of bone marrow is removed with a wide needle and syringe and sent to laboratory to check for cancer cells. If a small sample of bone with bone marrow inside it is removed, it is called bone marrow biopsy.

Bone marrow transplantation: A procedure that is used to replace bone marrow that has been destroyed by treatment with high doses of anticancer drugs or radiation.

Bone metastasis: cancer that has spread to bone from the original (primary) site.

Brachytherapy: it is also called internal radiotherapy. In this type of radiation therapy, radioactive materials sealed in needles, seeds, catheters or wires are placed directly into or near a tumor.

BRCA1 and BRCA2: these are genes on chromosomes 17 and 13 respectively. A person who is born with changes (mutations) in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes has higher risk of getting breast, ovaries and prostate cancer.

Breast reconstruction: a surgery that is done to rebuild the shape of the breast after removing breast.

Breast self-examination: a woman examines her breasts to check for lumps or other changes.

Bronchogenic carcinoma: cancer that begins in the tissue that lines or covers the airways of the lungs.

Cancer antigen 125 or CA-125: a substance that may be found in high amounts in the blood of patients with certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer.

Cachexia: loss of muscle mass and body weight. Cachexia is seen in patients in late stage cancer.

Cancer: this is a condition where there is uncontrolled division of abnormal cells.

Carcinogen: any substance that causes cancer, for example, tobacco smoke contains more than 50 carcinogens. Benzene is a carcinogen for leukemias.

Carcinogenesis: it is a process whereby normal cells start changing into cancer cells.

Carcinoma: it is a cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line the internal organs of the body. For example squamous cell carcinoma of skin or adenocarcinoma of gallbladder.

Carcinoma in situ: these are abnormal cells (not cancer) but can become cancer cells and spread. They are also said to be in stage 0 of cancer for example, cervical carcinoma in situ.

Carcinoma of unknown primary (cup): in this type of cancer, cancer cells are found in some parts of the body, but the place where the cancer cells first started to grow cannot be determined.

Cervical: of cervix, cervical cancer

Colostomy: colostomy is an operation that connects the colon to the outside of the body through the abdominal wall.

Cryosurgery: this is a procedure in which tissue is frozen to destroy abnormal cells. Liquid nitrogen or liquid carbon dioxide is used to freeze the tissues. It is also called cryotherapy or cryosurgical ablation.

Cyst: a sac in the body; cysts in the ovary are very common.

Cytotoxic drugs: drugs that kill cells.

Dilatation and curettage (D&C): this is a procedure where some tissues are removed from the lining of uterus or cervix. The cervix is first made larger (dilated) with a instrument called dilator and another instrument called cutrette is inserted into the uterus to remove the tissue. The removed tissue sample may be sent to laboratory to check for abnormal or cancer cells.

Debulking: this is the surgical removal of as much of a tumor as possible. This type of operation is usually done to relieve symptoms of cancer in the late stages of the disease.

Dermal: of skin

Duodenal: of duodenum, duodenal cancer

Dysplastic nevi: it is also called atypical moles and have a tendency to develop into melanoma.

Endometrial: of endometrium, endometrial cancer

Esophageal: of esophagus, esophageal cancer

Euthanasia: the intentional killing of a person to end his/her sufferings. It is also called mercy killing.

Excision: removal by surgery, for example, excision of melanoma from skin.

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): this is an inherited condition in which many polyps form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. FAP increases the risk of colorectal cancers.

Familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome (FAMMM): this is an inherited condition that increases the risk of melanoma and pancreatic cancer.

Familial cancer: cancers that occur in families more often than in general population, for example, breast or colorectal cancer.

Fecal occult blood test (FOBT): this is a test to check for blood in the stool. This is a screening test for bowel cancer.

Fibroadenoma: this is a benign tumor of breast.

Fibroid: a benign tumor that arises from smooth muscle, for example, uterine fibroid.

First-degree relatives: this includes the parents, brothers, sisters, or children of an individual.

Fistula: an abnormal opening or passage between two organs or between an organ and the surface of the body.

Follow-up: monitoring a person’s health condition over time after treatment.

Gardasil: this is a vaccine to prevent infections by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16, 18, 6 and 11. It is used to prevent cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancers caused by these viruses.

Gastrectomy: an operation to remove all or part of the stomach.

Gastric: of stomach, gastric cancer

Gastric feeding tube: a tube that is inserted through the nose, down the throat and esophagus, and into the stomach to give liquid foods, liquids and drugs. Feeding tubes are often inserted in patients who have mouth, throat, neck and esophageal cancers, particularly when the surgery is extensive or combined with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Gastrotomy or PEG tube: this type of tube is inserted directly into the stomach through an opening in the skin and abdominal wall. This type of tube can be used for long-term feeding.

Gene: genes are pieces of DNA and contain the information for making a specific protein that is passed from parent to offspring. Genetic means related to genes.

Genetic counselor: a health professional trained in counseling on the genetic risk of diseases. This may involve discussing the person’s personal and family medical history and may lead to genetic testing.

Genetic testing: this is analyzing DNA to look for genetic change (mutation) that may indicate increased risk for cancer.

Genital warts: these are raised growths in the genital areas caused by human papilloma virus HPV) infection.

Germ cells: these are reproductive cells of the body and include egg cells in women and sperm cells in men. Tumors that arise from germ cells are called germ cell tumors.

Gleason score: this is a system of grading prostate cancer tissue based on how it looks under a microscope. Gleason scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumor will spread. A low Gleason score means the cancer tissue is less likely to spread whereas a high Gleason score means the cancer tissue is more likely to spread.

Hematuria: blood in the urine.

Hemoptysis: coughing out blood from the respiratory tract.

Hemorrhoid: swollen blood vessel, usually seen in the anus or the rectum

Hepatic: of liver, hepatic cancer

Hepatoblastoma: it is a type of liver cancer more common in infants and children.

Hepatocellular carcinoma: this is the most common type of liver cancer.

Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC): this is an inherited disorder in which the affected individuals have a higher-than-normal chance of developing colorectal cancer.

High intensity focused ultrasound: (HIFU): this is a procedure in which high-energy sound waves are aimed directly at the cancer or abnormal cells. These waves create heat and kill the abnormal or cancer cells. Some types of prostate cancers are treated with HIFU.

Histology: the study of cells and tissues under a microscope.

History: the signs and symptoms the patient may have for a particular disease

Hysterectomy: an operation where uterus and/or cervix are removed. When both uterus and the cervix are removed, it is called a total hysterectomy. When only the uterus is removed, it is called a partial hysterectomy.

Immunotherapy: a treatment that boosts body’s immune system to fight cancer, for example, immunotherapy of bladder cancer with BCG vaccine.

Implant: a substance or object that is put in the body as prosthesis, for example, breast implant after removal of breast for cancer.

Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): this is a type of radiation therapy that uses computer-generated images to show the size and shape of the tumor and direct thin beams of radiation at the tumor from different angles. This type of radiation therapy reduces the damage to healthy tissue near the tumor.

In situ: means ‘in its original place’. Carcinoma in situ means the abnormal cells are found only in the place they were first formed and have not spread nearby.

Incidence of cancer: the number of new cases of a cancer diagnosed each year.

Incision: a cut made in the body by a surgeon to perform surgery.

Induction therapy: this is the initial treatment given to reduce a cancer, for example, induction therapy for acute myeloid leukemia.

Intrathecal chemotherapy: treatment in which anticancer drugs are injected into the fluid-filled space between the tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord.

Intravenous (IV) chemotherapy: treatment in which anticancer drugs are injected into a vein through a canula.

Labial: of lip

Laryngeal: of larynx, laryngeal cancer

Laser surgery: a surgical procedure that uses intense, narrow beams of light to cut and destroy cancer tissue.

Leukemia: a cancer that starts in blood forming tissues such as bone marrow.

Lymphedema: a condition where extra lymph fluid builds up in tissues and causes swelling. This can be seen in the arm after breast operations.

Malignant: means cancerous. Malignancy is the term used to describe malignant cells that invade and destroy tissues.

Mass: a lump. It can be benign mass or malignant mass.

Mastectomy: removal of breast.

Medical oncologist: a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy.

Mesothelioma: cancer arising from the mesothelial lining of the pleura (covering of lung)

Melanoma: the cancer that begins in melanocytes. Common site is the skin but can also occur in the eyes.

Metastasis: the spread of cancer from one part of the body to another. The cancer that is formed by cells that have spread from original site is called metastatic cancer or metastatic tumor.

Mucosal: of mucosa, mucosal lining of vagina

Mutate: means ‘to change’. Mutation means change in DNA of a cell.

Nasal: of nose, nasal polyp

Neoplasia: it is an abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth.

Neoplasm: it is an abnormal mass of tissue. Neoplasms can be benign or malignant (cancer).
Nodule: it is a growth or lump or mass that can be benign or malignant.

Oncogene: this is a changed or mutated gene and may cause growth of cancer cells.

Oncology: the study of cancer

Oncologist: a doctor who specializes in treating cancer.

Oral: of mouth, oral cancer

Ovarian: of ovary, ovarian cancer

Palliative therapy or treatment: this is the treatment given to relieve the symptoms and reduce the suffering of cancer patient. Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of patients.

Pancreatic: of pancreas, pancreatic cancer

Pharyngeal: of pharynx, pharyngeal cancer

PAP test: this is a procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and examined under a microscope. This test is done to detect cancer or to detect changes in the cervix that may lead to cancer.

Partial: not whole, partly, for example, partial gastrectomy which means part of stomach is removed.

Penectomy: surgery to remove part or the entire penis

Penile: of penis, penile cancer

Plastic surgery: a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of body structures. The person who does plastic surgery is called plastic surgeon. Plastic surgeons are involved in many reconstruction surgeries of breast, vagina or face after cancer treatment.

Polyps: these are small growths that arise from mucous membrane of colon and rectum.

Precancerous (premalignant) is a condition that may become cancer later.

Proctoscopy: examination of the rectum using a proctoscope, inserted into the rectum.

Prognosis: the likely outcome of cancer. The prognosis of most cancers in advanced stage is poor.

Prophylactic surgery: this is a surgery to remove part of a body or organ with no signs of cancer but in an attempt to prevent development of cancer in that organ in future. For example, prophylactic mastectomy or prophylactic removal of ovaries are sometimes done.

Prostatic: of prostate, prostatic cancer

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA): this is a protein produced by prostate gland. The level of PSA in blood may be increased in men who have prostate cancer or enlarged prostate.

Pulmonary: of lung

Radiation oncologist: a doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.

Radiation physicist: a person who makes sure that the radiation machine delivers the right amount of radiation to the correct site in the body.

Radiation therapist: a health professional who gives radiation treatment.

Radiofrequency ablation: a procedure that uses radio waves to heat and destroy abnormal and cancer cells.

Recurrent cancer: cancer that has come back after treatment or after being undetectable for a period of time. The cancer is said to have recurred.

Refractory cancer or resistant cancer: cancer that does not respond to treatment.

Regimen: it is a treatment plan where the dosage, the schedule and the duration of treatment is specified.

Relative survival rate: it is an estimated number that compares the chances that a person with cancer will survive after the diagnosis or treatment of a cancer with those who do not have the cancer. It is usually calculated in terms of 2, 5 or 10 years. For example, the 5-year relative survival rate for colorectal cancer in America, if detected and treated early, is 90%.

Remission: this means disappearance of or decrease in signs and symptoms of cancer. A cancer is said to be in complete remission when there are no signs and symptoms of cancer; it is in partial remission if some signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared.

Renal: of kidney, renal cancer

Resection: removal of part or all of an organ.

Risk factor: a risk factor is something that increases the chance of developing a cancer. For example, smoking is a risk factor for many cancers.

Screening: checking for diseases when there are no symptoms of cancer. Examples of cancer screening tests include PAP tests, mammogram, and colonoscopy.

Sentinel lymph node: it is the first lymph node to which cancer is likely to spread from the primary tumor.

Staging of cancer: this is doing examinations and tests to find out the extent of cancer in the body and also whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Staging cancer helps to give best treatment to the patient.

Stem cell: a cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, red blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.

Stent: it is a device that is placed in a body structure to keep it open. For example, a stent may be inserted in the bile duct if it is blocked by cancer of gallbladder.

Stoma: this is an opening made surgically from an area inside the body to the outside. For example, colostomy has a stoma in the abdominal wall.

Surgical menopause: a woman stops to have menstrual period following removal of her ovaries. This is seen in operations on cancers of ovaries or uterus.

Surgical oncologist: a doctor who performs surgical procedures in cancer patients.

Systemic chemotherapy: treatment of cancer with chemotherapy drugs that travel through bloodstream and reach cells all over the body.

Targeted therapy: a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells.

Testicular: of testis, testicular cancer

Thermotherapy: treatment of disease using heat.

Topical treatment: medicines that are applied on the surface of the body, for example, Aldara cream is applied topically on the skin to treat basal cell cancer.

Ulcer: this is a break on the skin or in the lining of an organ. For example, an ulcer on the face may be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.

Urethral: of urethra, urethral discharge

Uterine: of uterus, uterine cancer

Urologic oncologist: a doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the urinary system.

Vaginal of vagina, vaginal cancer

Visceral: of the viscera, viscera mean internal organs. Visceral pain is pain coming

Vulval or vulvar: of vulva, vulval pr vulvar cancer

Wart: a raised growth on the surface of the skin or other organs.

Watchful waiting: This involves closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving any active treatment. This is used in certain cancers like prostate or myeloma where the cancer progresses very slowly.

Wedge resection: this is a surgical procedure where a triangular piece of tissue is removed in order to treat a cancer.

If you would like to know more about cancer including signs, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and other cancer-related issues like family tumors, sexuality, cancer in pregnancy, children and HIV patients, palliative care, psychological problems, and prevention and screening of tumors, please visit ‘Do I Have Cancer? ‘. This 270 pages eBook provides a complete package of information on cancer that is guaranteed to give enough information on any issue related to malignant tumors. The next article in this series is ‘Symptoms of Cancer’

Organ Specific Cancer Treatments

deOrgan specific cancer treatments

Certain advanced cancer hospitals manage cancer in an organ specific way, and accordingly oncologists are reserved for treating cancers affecting specific organs only. Accordingly, oncologists have successfully treated breast cancer, head and neck cancer, gynecological cancer, orthopedic cancer, lung cancer, neuro cancer, and liver cancer.

Understanding each organ specific cancer and the treatment available for it

Breast Cancer

It is the commonest of cancers affecting women, and it is believed to be the cancer that has caused the most mortality among women next to lung cancer. The mortality has been the highest among women whose ages were between 45 and 55. Breast cancer is curable if it is diagnosed at an early stage, and if the necessary treatments are carried out immediately following its detection. Breast cancer is growth of breast cells in an uncontrolled manner.

Breast cancer diagnosis

Abnormal presence of a lump

This diagnosis can be carried out by the patient, and the doctor too looks for the presence of abnormally looking lumps through physical breast examinations. Other than a lump, the changes in the breast that doctors look forward to finding is skin dimpling, unusual changes in the size, and or shape of the breast, pulled in nipples as against it being pointed outward when normal, and discoloration of the breast’s skin.

Mammography

Radiologists use mammograms to seek out abnormalities in the breasts. Mammograms are x-ray photographs of the breast that are usually taken by keeping the breasts in a compressed position.

Ultrasound imaging of breasts

Ultrasound imaging is used to examine the breasts, and this technique of using sound waves helps in distinguishing whether a lump that has been noticed in a breast is either a cyst filled with fluid, or a solid one.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI

The MRI of a breast is taken using a strong magnetic field. MRI of the breast becomes necessary in certain situations to properly diagnose breast cancer.

Biopsy

The biopsy of the breast becomes necessary when the oncologist has a strong suspicion of cancer being present. A core needle biopsy is performed on the suspect area of the breast to either confirm the disease, or rule it out.

The benefit of early breast cancer detection

Detection of breast cancer can be made at an early stage through screening. Screening refers to the various tests and examinations that are carried out on the breasts of a person to detect the disease at the earliest, even before the actual symptoms of the disease starts to show. Usually breast cancers that can be felt and detected are cancers that have grown larger in size and that which in usual cases has spread to regions outside the breast. The treatment in such cases is very complex. Breast cancers can be treated successfully if it is detected very early, and before the actual cancer symptoms starts to show.

Breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer is treated either through local treatment or systemic treatment.

Local treatment of breast cancer involves removal, destruction, or controlling the growth of cancerous cells in the breast. Local treatment by surgery is also known by the names mastectomy, and it is also referred to as lumpectomy. This is a breast preserving therapy. The other local treatment is the use of radiation therapy. Radiation therapy involves use of a high energy radiation beam to destroy the cancer cells. Advanced equipment like LINAC helps in focusing the radiation beam on to the cancer cells, and minimizes, or avoids causing damage to the surrounding healthy cells.

Systemic treatment becomes necessary if the breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This treatment is therefore used to control and destroy cancer cells across the body. The various therapies that are used in this treatment include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy.

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill or control cancer cells. Hormone therapy involves use of certain drugs that inhibit production of certain hormones in the body, like estrogen, which can aid in the revival of cancerous breast cells that manage to remain in the body post the surgery of the breast. Biological therapy involves use of the body’s immune system in fighting and destroying cancerous cells.

Thus cancer hospitals that offer breast cancer treatments are equipped with a robust team of breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, medical oncologists and other associated staff, they have with them advanced machinery for diagnosis and treatment, and they also have the facilities of advanced ICUs for apt patient management and recovery.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is associated with uncontrolled growth of cells in either one, or both of the lungs. These cells do not develop into healthy lung tissue, but rather becomes abnormal cells which further continue to divide forming lumps of tissues which are identified as tumors.

Diagnosis

The symptom that is commonly associated with lung cancer is shortness of breath and presence of wheezing. Certain other symptoms like chest pain, fatigue, appetite loss, presence of blood in the sputum while coughing, persistent cough, unanticipated loss of weight, and coughing out blood, are also associated with lung cancer. Presence of these symptoms together with reports from many other procedures will be used by physicians in diagnosing the presence or absence of lung cancer. Imaging techniques like X-Rays of chest, bronchoscopy, MRI, CT, and PET scans, are also used to diagnose lung cancer. Further, the patient is also subject to a physical examination by the physician, and an analysis of the patient’s sputum is also made. All these examinations and procedures will reveal the presence of lung cancer, and also the location of the tumor, and also information about the presence or absence of the disease anywhere else in the body.

Lung cancer treatment

There are many factors which influence lung cancer treatment, and the factors on which lung cancer treatment is dependent on includes, the type of the cancer, the stage or how far the cancer has spread, the age of the patient, his or her health status, and many other personal characteristics of the patient. There is no particular treatment for lung cancer, and patients often receive treatment which is a combination of palliative care and multiple therapies. The foremost of lung cancer treatment therapies include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The patient will also be exposed to therapies that have been recently developed which include gene therapy, hormone therapy, and also immunotherapy.

The treating team comprises of radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, onco medical social workers, and so forth.

Orthopedic cancer

Orthopedic cancer involves musculoskeletal tumors that affect the pelvis, limbs, and spine. Orthopedic cancerous tumors that are usually seen in children and adolescents are Ewings sarcoma and Osteosarcoma. Cancerous tumors that are more common among adults are chondrosarcoma, metastasis, and multiple myeloma. These tumors are considered to be rare, and the exact cause that leads to their formation has remained a mystery till date.

Patients who are affected with these tumors have persistent pain in their back or limbs, and this pain will not subside with medications or rest. Paralysis and hand or foot weaknesses are symptoms patients with spine tumors usually present with.

Orthopedic cancer diagnosis

Clinical examination by a specialist and further investigations becomes necessary to diagnose orthopedic cancer; mere physical examinations of bone and soft tissue swellings will never reveal the presence of orthopedic cancerous tumor. The investigations that are usually carried out include X-Ray, MRI, PET, CT, and Bone scan. Biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Orthopedic cancer treatment

Tumors like Ewings sarcoma and Osteosarcoma needs a combination of treatment therapies which starts with chemotherapy, which is then followed by surgery, and eventually involves radiotherapy. Surgical treatments become necessary to treat benign tumors, and tumors like chondrosarcoma. The quality of life of patients suffering from bone metastasis can be considerably improved by subjecting them to palliative surgeries. Procedures are customized in accordance with patients when limbs or arms need to be saved from amputation. Cancer hospitals make the necessary provisions for prosthetic substitutions when amputation surgeries become necessary.

There are no known methods to prevent the occurrence of musculoskeletal tumors, and these tumors are considerably rare. Since prevention is ruled out, early detection alone can lead to proper treatment. Further, advancements in technology in the recent times has brought forward the possibility of liberating patients from definite limb or arm amputations when they are affected with bone cancers. But, amputation can be avoided only when the cancer is detected at an early stage. Numerous patients have been treated and were rehabilitated, and they are now in a position to lead a normal life; these patients have benefited from the advancements made in technology, which has made complex surgeries simpler.

Cancer hospitals use advanced technologies for soft tissue sarcoma tumor excisions including Brachytherapy, and also use of LINAC for external radiation therapy.

The orthopedic cancer treatment team of cancer hospitals comprises of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, physiotherapists, and so forth.

Patients seeking treatment for musculoskeletal tumors can also benefit from numerous services including, limb salvaging surgery while being treated for malignant tumors, benign bone tumor management, pelvic and spine tumor surgery, treatment for skin malignancy, soft tissue sarcoma treatment, and so forth.

Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer are cancers affecting the Upper Aero Digestive Tract, or UADT, cancers that affect the region between the collar-bone and the brain, and cancers that originate at glands like thyroid and parotid.

Diagnosis

A good physical examination under the hands of a competent oncologist will reveal the presence of head and neck cancer. Biopsy of the affected region will give an accurate confirmation. Lumps are explored by means of a Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, or FNAC.

Head and Neck cancer treatment

The head and neck area is associated with the personality of a person. Further, the various important functional areas, which also involve a person’s senses like sight, smell, auditory, taste, speech, and swallowing, are present in this region. Hence, the treatment of cancers affecting the head and neck area needs to be a balanced one, the treatment should not compromise the aesthetics, or the functions of the sensory organs, but concurrently the treatment should be effective in containing the cancer. Thus, the most advanced of head and neck cancer treatments that are carried out is aimed at preserving the functions of the sensory organs and simultaneously controlling cancer in an effective way. Either surgery or radiation therapy is sufficient during the early stages of the onset of head and neck cancer. But, surgery combined with radiation therapy becomes necessary during the advanced stages of head and neck cancer. Chemotherapy too is used along with radiotherapy to enhance the potentiality of radiotherapy.

Further, head and neck cancer treatments also benefits from the advancements made in the domain of reconstructive surgery. These advancements has made it possible to preserve the functionality of vital sensory organs, and thereby improving the quality of life of the affected individual. Some of the surgery advancements that have aided head and neck cancer treatments include micro vascular tissue transfer, functional neck surgery, jaw preserving surgery, and so forth. Further, advanced machinery for external radiotherapy like LINACs has made it possible to deliver high intensity radiations in a precise way to tumors that are deep-seated, and also sparing vital anatomy in the vicinity of the tumor. LINACs have greatly reduced the treatment duration too.

The additional conservative services that a patient can also benefit from while being treated for head and neck cancer includes head and neck surgery, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, preservation of voice, restoration of speech, micro-vascular regeneration, speech rehabilitation, faciomaxillary surgery, prosthodontic treatments, and so forth.

Liver Cancer

All cancers and tumors affecting the liver have come to be known as liver cancer, and this includes primary liver tumors, and secondary liver tumors also. Primary liver tumors are liver tumors that emanate within the liver, and secondary liver tumors are tumors that have spread to the liver from other cancer affected sites of the body.

Liver cancer diagnosis

Imaging techniques including ultrasound, PET, and, or CT scan is required. Biopsy will or will not be required to establish liver cancer.

Liver cancer treatment

When liver cancer is detected in the early stage, it is usually treated by surgically removing the tumor, or destroying the tumor cells using targeted chemotherapy, which is also known as TACE, or by liver transplantation. There are numerous other factors which also determines the treatment that needs to be undertaken including the condition of the liver, the size of the liver, location, tumor count, the age of the affected person, and the person’s overall health. Further, the risks and the benefits associated with a particular mode of treatment is also dependent on the extension the tumor has achieved, the condition of the liver, and also the health condition of the affected person. In the usual cases, a treatment plan is tailor-made in accordance with the condition of the person being treated.

Patients undergoing liver cancer treatment at advanced cancer hospitals have the benefit of receiving chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy under one roof. Further, these cancer hospitals have liver transplantation programs, and in accordance with these programs certain patients affected with liver cancer have the benefit of undergoing a liver transplant at the hospital they are being treated.

The cancer hospitals treating liver cancer have doctors in their team from various disciplines including hepatobiliary surgery, radiology, oncology, hepatology, pathology, and so forth. The entire team is well-trained and experienced in liver cancer management, and they work in unison at solving complex liver cancer problems.

Gynecological Cancer

Cancers affecting the female reproductive organs have been grouped under gynecological cancer. The cancers included under gynecological cancer include cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, ovarian cancer, vulvar cancer, and uterian cancer.

Gynecological cancer diagnosis

The symptoms that are usually associated with gynecological cancer includes vaginal bleeding that is not normal, swelling or bloating that is persistent in the abdominal region, gain in weight or loss that is questionable, persistent diarrhea, or constipation. Gynecological cancer is diagnosed only after thorough gynecological and clinical examinations. Imaging techniques like ultrasound, CT, and PET/CT scans are also used for accurate diagnosis. Biopsy may or may not be used in the diagnosis procedure.

Gynecological cancer treatment

The treatment is based on the extent of the spread of the cancer, and also on the type of cancer present. The treatment is usually a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and may or may not use radiotherapy. Surgery involves excision of cancerous cells from the affected area. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to stop, or control the growth of cancer cells in the affected area. The drugs are administered into the body either in the form of pills, or through Intra Venous, or IV injections. Radiotherapy involves the use of high energy radiation beams to kill the cancer cells, or preventing them from spreading further.

Gynecological cancer treatment which spares fertility have been successfully carried out. Ovarian choriocarcinoma which was in stage IV has been successfully treated by sparing fertility using a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.

The services and treatments patients can expect for Gynecological cancer from cancer hospitals includes

· Diagnostic services like hysteroscopy, biopsy, laproscopy, colposcopy, and so forth,

· Ultra-radical and radical surgeries like Wertheim’s hysterectomy, radical vagino-abdominal surgery, and Japanese radical surgery for cancer at stage II B, are carried out to treat uterine cervix cancer. Para-aortic and pelvic lymphadenectomy are also carried out as part of the procedure.

· Intraperitoneal chemotherapy,

· Cytoreductive surgery for ovarian tumor management is done, and this also involves hysterectomy, omentectomy, lymphadenectomy, and diaphragmatic stripping. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy is offered to patients requiring chemotherapy, and this has a good survival rate.

· Typel hysterecotmy is used in treating endometrial cancer. Pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy is also used. Progesterone therapy in high doses in undertaken to treat certain cases when fertility sparing becomes necessary.

· Radical vulvectomy, partial vaginectomy, and also partial urethrectomy with dissection of groin node is carried out in the treatment of vulval cancer.

· Surgical treatments are done to treat vaginal cancer and also fallopian tube cancers.

· Chemotherapy and hysterectomy is used in treatment of choriocarcinoma. Fertility sparing tumor excisions are also carried out in certain cases.

· Neo-vagina creation, urethral stricture treatment, vaginal dryness treatment, and so forth

· Adjuvant radiotherapy, and chemotherapy too is provided on a patient basis, as need be.

Neuro Cancer

Tumors affecting the brain, spinal cord, and the peripheral nerves are treated as Neuro cancers. Abnormal growth of cells in the brain leads to brain tumor. Likewise, abnormal cell growth in the spinal cord, and peripheral nerves leads to spinal cord tumors and peripheral nerve tumors, respectively.

Symptoms

Blurred vision, neurological defects, vomiting, persistent headaches, seizures, and so forth, are symptoms associated with brain tumors.

Back pain, disturbances in the bowels and bladder, pain in the limbs and arms, weakness associated with limbs and arms, and so forth are some of the symptoms associated with spinal cord cancer.

Swelling, feeling of weakness, pain, and so forth are symptoms associated with peripheral nerve tumors.

Neuro cancer diagnosis and treatment

Imaging techniques including CT, MRI, PET/CT scans are used for diagnosis.

The foremost technique of tackling neuro cancers is surgery. Tumors of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves are surgically removed. A thorough histological diagnosis can be achieved of the tumor, as a result of this surgical intervention. Further, physical removal of the tumor also relieves the affected person of the cancer symptoms. The surgery also paves the way for a brisk recovery. The surgery can be followed by other treatment methods such as chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

Any person affected with neuro cancer becomes eligible for neuro cancer treatment. But, early detection of neuro cancer helps annihilate the disease entirely. Tumors of the brain, spinal cord, or the peripheral nerves need immediate treatment, and if they are left untreated they can become life threatening at a later date. With advancements in technology, neuro cancer treatment has become significantly safe and manageable. Further, the treatment time, and thereby the required days of stay in the hospital has been considerably reduced.

Advanced cancer hospitals use numerous top-notch techniques in the treatment of neuro cancers including stem cell therapy, cerebral micro dialysis, and so forth. Advanced cancer hospitals have the required technology to conduct microneurosurgery, neuro surgery using navigation, neuro surgery that is guided by endoscopy, neuro surgery that is guided by imagery, and so forth.

Further, advanced cancer hospitals are also equipped with advanced top-notch operation theaters that are designed to handle neuro cancer cases, they also have advanced neuro ICUs and other associated infrastructure that helps a neuro cancer patient recover in a safe and monitored environment.

Dr. Priya Rajendran,

Manager – Queries,

International Patient Care Services,

Global Hospitals,

Bangalore, Karnataka,

INDIA.

Mobile: +919902866331,

email id: drpriya.raj@globalhospitalsindia.com

If you are on the lookout for a cost-effective and reliable cancer treatment option, then cancer treatment at Global Cancer Institute, India would be a perfect choice. Global Cancer Institute treats cancer in an organ specific way; they thus have dedicated teams who are dedicated to handle cancers affecting particular organs only. Global Cancer Institute is equipped with the TrueBeam Stx Linear Accelerator; this machine has made it possible to attack cancer cells with highly focused strong doses of radiation while ensuring that the healthy cells in the vicinity remain unaffected by the radiation. Attacking cancer cells present on organs that move during respiration is the specialty of this advanced machine. This machine has reduced cancer treatment to a daycare affair. To know more about the costs and the types of treatment available, you could write to Dr. Priya Rajendran at drpriya.raj@globalhospitalsindia.com.

Treatment costs at Global Cancer Institute costs a tenth of what it would cost to undergo the same treatment in US.

It’s a Survival Mechanism

dIt will perhaps astound you to learn that a person who is afflicted with the main causes of cancer (which constitute the real illness) would most likely die quickly unless he actually grew cancer cells. In this work, I provide evidence to this effect.

I further claim that cancer will only occur after all other defense or healing mechanisms in the body have failed. In extreme circumstances, exposure to large amounts of cancer-producing agents (carcinogens) can bring about a collapse of the body’s defenses within several weeks or months and allow for rapid and aggressive growth of a cancerous tumor. Usually, though, it takes many years, or even decades, for these so-called “malignant” tumors to form.

Unfortunately, basic misconceptions or complete lack of knowledge about the reasons behind tumor growth have turned “malignant” tumors into vicious monsters that have no other purpose but to kill us in retaliation for our sins or abusing the body. However, as you are about to find out, cancer is on our side, not against us. Unless we change our perception of what cancer really is, it will continue to resist treatment, particularly the most “advanced” methods. If you have cancer, and cancer is indeed part of the body’s complex survival responses and not a disease, as I suggest it is, you must find answers to the following pressing questions:

* What reasons coerce your body into developing cancer cells?

* Once you have identified these reasons, will you be able to change them? What determines the type and severity of cancer with which you are afflicted?

* If cancer is a survival mechanism, what needs to be done to prevent the body from taking recourse to such drastic defense measures?

* Since the body’s original genetic design always favors the preservation of life and protection against adversities of any kind, why would the body permit self-destruction?

* Why do almost all cancers disappear by themselves, without medical intervention?

* Do radiation, chemotherapy and surgery actually cure cancer, or do cancer survivors heal due to other reasons, despite these radical, side-effect-loaded treatments?

* What roles do fear, frustration, low self-worth and repressed anger play in the origination and outcome of cancer?

* What is the spiritual growth lesson behind cancer?

To deal with the root causes of cancer, you must find satisfying and practical answers to the above questions. If you feel the inner urge to make sense of this life-changing event, (cancer that is), you most likely will recover from it. Cancer can be your greatest opportunity to help restore balance to all aspects of your life, but it can also be the harbinger of severe trauma and suffering. Either way you are always in control of your body.

To live in a human body, you must have access to a certain amount of life-sustaining energy. You may either use this inherent energy in a nourishing and self-sustaining or in a destructive and debilitating way. In case you consciously or unconsciously choose negligence or self-abuse over loving attention and self-respect, your body will likely end up having to fight for its life.

Cancer is but one of the many ways the body tries to change the way you see and treat yourself, including your body. This inevitably brings up the subject of spiritual health, which plays at least as important a role in cancer as physical and emotional reasons do.

Cancer appears to be a highly confusing and unpredictable disorder. It seems to strike the very happy and the very sad, the rich and the poor, the smokers and the non-smokers, the very healthy and the not so healthy. People from all backgrounds and occupations can have cancer. However, if you dare look behind the mask of its physical symptoms, such as the type, appearance and behavior of cancer cells, you will find that cancer is not as coincidental or unpredictable as it seems to be.

What makes 50% of the American population so prone to developing cancer, when the other half has no risk at all? Blaming the genes for that is but an excuse to cover up ignorance of the real causes. Besides, any good genetic researcher would tell you that such a belief is void of any logic and outright unscientific (as explained in the book).

Cancer has always been an extremely rare illness, except in industrialized nations during the past 40-50 years. Human genes have not significantly changed for thousands of years. Why would they change so drastically now, and suddenly decide to kill scores of people? The answer to this question is amazingly simple: Damaged or faulty genes do not kill anyone. Cancer does not kill a person afflicted with it! What kills a cancer patient is not the tumor, but the numerous reasons behind cell mutation and tumor growth. These root causes should be the focus of every cancer treatment, yet most oncologists typically ignore them. Constant conflicts, guilt and shame, for example, can easily paralyze the body’s most basic functions, and lead to the growth of a cancerous tumor.

After having seen thousands of cancer patients over a period of three decades, I began to recognize a certain pattern of thinking, believing and feeling that was common to most of them. To be more specific, I have yet to meet a cancer patient who does not feel burdened by some poor self-image, unresolved conflict and worries, or past emotional trauma that still lingers in his/her subconscious. Cancer, the physical disease, cannot occur unless there is a strong undercurrent of emotional uneasiness and deep-seated frustration.

Cancer patients typically suffer from lack of self-respect or worthiness, and often have what I call an “unfinished business” in their life. Cancer can actually be a way of revealing the source of such inner conflict. Furthermore, cancer can help them come to terms with such a conflict, and even heal it altogether. The way to take out weeds is to pull them out along with their roots. This is how we must treat cancer; otherwise, it may recur eventually.

The following statement is very important in the consideration of cancer: “Cancer does not cause a person to be sick; it is the sickness of the person that causes the cancer.” To treat cancer successfully requires the patient to become whole again on all levels of his body, mind and spirit. Once the cancer causes have been properly identified, it will become apparent what needs to be done to achieve complete recovery.

It is a medical fact that every person has cancer cells in the body all the time. These cancer cells remain undetectable through standard tests until they have multiplied to several billion. When doctors announce to their cancer patients that the treatments they prescribed had successfully eliminated all cancer cells, they merely refer to tests that are able to identify the detectable number of cancerous cells. Standard cancer treatments may lower the number of cancer cells to an undetectable level, but this certainly cannot eradicate all cancer cells. As long as the causes of tumor growth remain intact, cancer may redevelop at any time and at any rate.

Curing cancer has little to do with getting rid of a group of detectable cancer cells. Treatments like chemotherapy and radiation are certainly capable of poisoning or burning many cancer cells, but they also destroy healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, etc., which often leads to permanent irreparable damage of entire organs and systems in the body. A real cure of cancer does not occur at the expense of destroying other vital parts of the body.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people who were once “successfully” treated for cancer die from infections, heart attacks, liver failure, kidney failure and other illnesses because the cancer treatments generate a massive amount of inflammation and destruction in the organs and systems of the body. Of course, these causes of death are not being attributed to cancer. This statistical omission makes it appear we are making progress in the war against cancer. However, many more people are dying from the treatment of cancer than from cancer. A real cure or cancer is achievable only when the causes of excessive growth of cancer cells have been removed or stopped.

Power in the Word

Cancer is the second leading “cause” of death for Americans. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1.2 million cases will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. in 2008. More than 552,000 Americans will die of it. Among men, the top three cancer diagnoses are expected to be prostate cancer (180,400 cases), lung cancer (89,500 cases), and colorectal cancer (63,600). The leading types of cancer among women are breast cancer (182,800 cases), lung cancer (74,600), and colorectal cancer (66,600 cases).

Cancer is not just a word, but also a statement that refers to abnormal or unusual behavior of cells in the body. However, in quite a different context, cancer is referred to as a star sign. When someone tells you that you are a “cancer”, are you going to tremble with fear of dying? It is unlikely, because your interpretation of being of the cancer sign does not imply that you have cancer, the illness. But if your doctor called you into his office and told you that you had cancer, you would most likely feel paralyzed, numb, terrified, hopeless, or all of the above.

The word “cancer” has the potential to play a very disturbing and precarious role, one that is capable of delivering a death sentence. Being a cancer patient seems to start with the diagnosis of cancer, although its causes may have been there for many years prior to feeling ill. Within a brief moment, the word “cancer” can turn someone’s entire world upside down.

Who or what in this world has bestowed this simple word or statement with such great power that it can preside over life and death? Or does it really? Could it actually be that our collective, social belief that cancer is a killer disease, in addition to the aggressive treatments that follow diagnosis, are largely responsible for the current dramatic escalation of cancer in the Western hemisphere? Too far fetched, you might say! In this book, however, I will make the point that cancer can have no power or control over us, unless we unconsciously allow it to grow in response to the beliefs, perceptions, attitudes, thoughts, feelings we have, and the life choices we make.

Would we be just as afraid of cancer if we knew what caused it or at least understood what its underlying purpose is? Unlikely so! If truth were told, we would most probably do everything to remove the causes and, thereby, set the preconditions for the body to heal itself.

A little knowledge (which is what we call ignorance) is, in fact, a dangerous thing. Almost everyone, at least in the industrialized world, knows that drinking water from a filthy pond or polluted lake can cause life-threatening diarrhea, but still only few realize that holding on to resentment, anger and fear, or eating fast foods, chemical additives, and artificial sweeteners, is no less dangerous than drinking polluted water; it may just take a little longer to kill a person than tiny amoeba can.

Mistaken Judgment

We all know that if the foundation of a house is strong, the house can easily withstand external challenges, such as a violent storm. As we will see, cancer is merely an indication that there is something missing in our body and in life as a whole. Cancer shows that life as a whole (physical, mental and spiritual) stands on shaky grounds and is quite fragile, to say the least. It would be foolish for a gardener to water the withering leaves of a tree when he knows so well that the real problem is not where it appears to be, namely, on the symptomatic level (of withered leaves). By watering the roots of the plant, he naturally attends to the causative level, and consequently, the plant regenerates itself swiftly and automatically.

To the trained eye of a gardener, the symptom of withering leaves is not a dreadful disease. He recognizes that the dehydrated state of these leaves is but a direct consequence of withdrawn nourishment that they need in order to sustain themselves and the rest of the plant.

Although this example from nature may appear to be a simplistic analogy, it offers a profound understanding of very complex disease processes in the human body. It accurately describes one of the most powerful and fundamental principles controlling all life forms on the planet. However skilled we may have become in manipulating the functions of our body through the tools of allopathic medicine, this basic, highly evolved principle of evolution cannot be suppressed or violated without paying the hefty price of side-effect-riddled suffering and pain – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I fervently challenge the statement that cancer is a killer disease. Furthermore, I will demonstrate that cancer is not a disease at all. Many people who received a “terminal” cancer sentence actually defied the prognosis and experienced total remission.

The Need for Answers

There is no cancer that has not been survived by someone, regardless how far advanced it was. If even one person has succeeded in healing his cancer, there must be a mechanism for it, just as there is a mechanism for creating cancer. Every person on the planet has the capacity for both. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may not be able to change the diagnosis, but it is certainly in your power to alter the destructive consequences that it (the diagnosis) may have on you. The way you see the cancer and the steps you take following the diagnosis are some of the most powerful determinants of your future wellness, or the lack of it.

The indiscriminate reference to “cancer” as being a killer disease by professionals and lay people alike has turned cancer into a disorder with tragic consequences for the majority of today’s cancer patients and their families. Cancer has become synonymous to extraordinary suffering, pain and death. This is true despite the fact that 90-95 percent of all cancers appear and disappear out of their own accord. There is not a day that passes without the body making millions of cancer cells. Some people, under severe temporary stress make more cancer cells than usual and form clusters of cancerous cells that disappear again once they feel better. Secretions of the DNA’s anticancer drug, Interleukin II, drop under physical and mental duress and increase again when relaxed and joyful. Thus, most cancers vanish without any form of medical intervention and without causing any real harm.

Right at this moment, there are millions of people walking around with cancers in their body without having a clue that they have them. Likewise, there are millions of people who heal their cancers without even knowing it. Overall, there are many more spontaneous remissions of cancer than there are diagnosed and treated cancers.

The truth is, relatively few cancers actually become “terminal.” However, once diagnosed, the vast majority of all cancers are never even given a chance to disappear on their own. They are promptly targeted with an arsenal of deadly weapons of cell destruction such as chemotherapy drugs, radiation and the surgical knife. The problem with cancer patients is that, terrified by the diagnosis, they submit their bodies to all these cut/burn/poison procedures that, more likely than not, lead them to the day of final sentencing, “We have to tell you with our deepest regret there is nothing more that can be done to help you.”

The most pressing question is not how advanced or dangerous a cancer is, but what we need to do to not end up dying from it. Why do some people go through cancer as if it were the flu? Are they just lucky or is there a mechanism at work that triggers the healing? In other words, what is that element that prevents the body from healing cancer naturally, or what is that hidden element that makes cancer so dangerous, if it is dangerous at all?

The answers to all these queries lie with the response of the person who has the cancer, and not with the degree of “viciousness” or advanced stage it appears to have progressed to. Do you believe that cancer is a disease? You will most likely answer with a “yes,” given the ‘informed’ opinion that the medical industry and mass media have fed to the masses for many decades. Yet, the most pressing yet rarely asked question remains: “Why do you think cancer is a disease?” You may say: “Because I know cancer kills people every day.” I would question you further: “How do you know that it is the cancer that kills people?” You would probably argue that most people who have cancer die, so obviously it must be the cancer that kills them. Besides, you may reason, all the expert doctors tell us so.

Let me raise another question, a rather strange one: “How do you know for sure that you are the daughter/son of your father and not of another man?” Is it because your mother told you so? What makes you think that your mother told you the truth? Probably because you believe her; and you have no reason not to. After all, she is your mother, and mothers do not lie about these things. Or do they? Although you will never really know that the person you believe to be your father is, in fact, your father, you nevertheless have turned what you subjectively believe into something that you just “know,” into an irrefutable truth.

Although there is no scientific proof whatsoever that cancer is a disease (versus a survival mechanism), most people will insist that it is a disease because this is what they were told to believe. Yet their belief is only hearsay information based on other people’s opinions. These other people heard it from someone else. Eventually, the “truth” of cancer being a disease can be traced to some doctors who expressed their subjective feelings or beliefs about what they observed and wrote about in some review articles or medical reports. Other doctors agreed with their opinion, and before long, it became a “well-established” fact that cancer is a vicious illness that somehow gets hold of people in order to kill them. However, the truth of the matter may be quite different.

Wisdom of Cancer Cells

Cancer cells are not part of a malicious disease process. When cancer cells spread (metastasize) throughout the body, it is not their purpose or goal to disrupt the body’s vitals functions, infect healthy cells and obliterate their host (the body). Self-destruction is not the theme of any cell unless, of course, it is old and worn-out and ready to be turned-over and replaced. Cancer cells, like all other cells, know that if the body dies, they will die as well. Just because some people assume that cancer cells are there to destroy the body does not mean cancer cells have such a purpose or ability.

A cancerous tumor is neither the cause of progressive destruction nor does it actually lead to the death of the body. There is nothing in a cancer cell that has even remotely the ability to kill anything. What eventually leads to the demise of an organ or the entire body is the wasting away of cell tissue resulting from continued deprivation of nutrients and life force. The drastic reduction or shutdown of vital nutrient supplies to the cells of an organ is not primarily a consequence of a cancerous tumor, but actually its biggest cause.

By definition, a cancer cell is a normal, healthy cell that has undergone genetic mutation to the point that it can live in an anaerobic surrounding (an environment where oxygen is not available). In other words, if you deprive a group of cells of vital oxygen (their primary source of energy), some of them will die, but others will manage to alter their genetic software program and mutate in a most ingenious way: the cells will be able to live without oxygen and derive some of their energy needs from such things as cellular metabolic waste products.

It may be easier to understand the cancer cells phenomenon when comparing it with the behavior of common microorganisms. Bacteria, for example, are divided into two main groups, aerobic and anaerobic, meaning, those that need to use oxygen and those that can live without it. This is important to understand since we have more bacteria in our body than we have cells. Aerobic bacteria thrive in an oxygenated environment. They are responsible for helping us with the digestion of food and manufacturing of important nutrients, such as B-vitamins. Anaerobic bacteria, on the other hand, can appear and thrive in an environment where oxygen does not reach. They break down waste materials, toxic deposits and dead, worn-out cells.

The body sees the cancer as being such an important defense mechanism that it even causes the growth of new blood vessels to guarantee the much-needed supply of glucose and, therefore, survival and spreading of the cancer cells. It knows that cancer cells do not cause but, prevent death; at least for a while, until the wasting away of an organ leads to the demise of the entire organism. If the trigger mechanisms for cancer (causal factors) are properly taken care of, such an outcome can be avoided.

It is commonly believed that our immune system protects us against cancer. However, this is only partially true. On the one hand, the immune system readily destroys the millions of cancer cells that a healthy human body produces as part of the daily turnover of 30 billion cells. On the other hand, the immune system takes no action to eradicate cancer cells that develop in response to a build up of toxins, congestion and emotional stress.

Cancers and all other tissues in the body are larded with cancer-killing white cells, such as T-cells. In the case of kidney cancer and melanomas, for example, white cells make up 50 per cent of the mass of the cancers. Since these T-cells easily recognize foreign or mutated cell tissue such as cancer cells, you would expect these immune cells to attack cancer cells right away. However, the immune system allows cancer cells to recruit it to actually increase and spread the cancer to other parts of the body. Cancer cells produce specific proteins that tell the immune cells to leave them alone and help them to grow

Why would the immune system want to collaborate with cancer cells to make more or larger tumors? Because cancer is a survival mechanism, not a disease. The body uses the cancer to keep deadly carcinogenic substances and caustic metabolic waste matter away from the lymph and blood and, therefore, from the heart, brain and other vital organs. Killing off cancer cells would in fact jeopardize its survival. Cleansing the body of accumulated toxins and waste products through the various cleansing methods advocated in my book Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation (www.ener-chi.com) removes the need for cancer.

Cancer is not a disease; it is the final and most desperate survival mechanism the body has at its disposal. It only takes control of the body when all other measures of self-preservation have failed. To truly heal cancer and what it represents in a person’s life we must come to the understanding that the reason the body allows some of its cells to grow in abnormal ways is in its best interest and not an indication that it is about to destroy itself. Cancer is a healing attempt by the body, for the body. Blocking this healing attempt can destroy the body. Supporting the body in its healing efforts can save it.

Cancer in Teens

fvWHAT IS CANCER

The word cancer actually encompasses many diseases, not one. In fact, there are more than 100 types of diseases known collectively as cancer. What they all have in common is the uncontrollable growth and division of cells, tiny units that make up all living things.

Normal body cells cultivate and divide over a period of time until they eventually die. But cancerous cells continue to grow and divide infinitely. Eventually, they gather to form tumours. Tumours are lumps that can interfere with the body’s normal processes. Sometimes cells from a tumour break away and spread to a different tissue or organ. This is called metastasis.

As terrifying as all this sounds, most cancers can be treated and controlled, if detected early. Thus, many people with cancer can recover to lead normal lives.

CAUSES OF CANCER

No one really knows why cancer grows in specific people. Scientists and researchers are working to learn why some people get cancer and others do not. Inevitably, a better understanding of the causes of cancer will aid in the development of more effective treatment and preventative interventions. There are some genetic, environmental and behavioural factors that are known to play a role in making people more susceptible to developing certain types of cancer.

Some people may have a genetic predisposition to developing cancer. For example, if a close relative has had cancer of the breast or the colon, you may be more likely to inherit the tendency to develop those cancers, even though you may never actually get them.

Several behavioural and environmental triggers can cause changes in the body’s cells that push them into a cancerous state. For example, smoking is known to increase the risk of lung cancer. Too much exposure to the sun can increase the risk of skin cancer. These types of triggers act on the body slowly over time, so the cancers that may result from them don’t show up until a person is an adult. That’s one reason why teens don’t get the same types of cancers as adults do.

Doctors do know for sure that cancer itself is not contagious, so you don’t have to worry about catching it from someone else or spreading it to another person (although people with certain infectious diseases such as AIDS or hepatitis are more vulnerable to certain cancers). Cancer is also never a person’s fault. It’s simply not true that a person may have done something wrong to get the disease.

CANCERS THAT AFFECT TEENS

Although the cases of cancer in teens is relatively low, there are some types of cancer that are more likely to affect teenagers and young adults.

Osteosarcomas are a type of bone cancer that often appear during growth spurts and tend to be more common in those taller than average. There is no known cause of osteosarcomas.

Leukemia is one of the most common cancers in childhood and is when there is an increased number of immature or abnormal white blood cells produced by the bone marrow. This disrupts normal cell activity in the body and reduces the body’s ability to produce normal blood cells. The survival rate for leukemia patients is extremely high, with an effective treatment plan in place.

Brain tumours can be benign or malignant, both of which can be fatal to the patient. A benign brain tumour can grow and increase the pressure inside the skull thus applying pressure on certain areas of the brain, reducing function and possibly leading to death. Whilst a malignant tumour can spread to other organs and disrupt normal body systems, many cases of brain tumours can be cured, but it is dependent on the location and size of the tumour that needs to be surgically removed and how early it is detected.

SIGNS OF CANCER

The first sign of cancer is a symptom – a signal that something is wrong. There are many diverse signs that a person may have cancer, just as there are many different forms of the disease. A few of the more common symptoms of cancer include:

• Extreme exhaustion or Headaches
• Swelling or lumps in certain parts of the body, such as the abdomen or neck
• Blurred vision
• Nausea
• Problems with walking or balance
• Infections or unusual bleeding

Only you know how your body works and what you feel like when you’re healthy. If you haven’t been feeling well, it’s better to tell an adult who can make sure that you see a doctor who will evaluate your symptoms. Cancer, like most illnesses, is easier to treat when it’s detected early, so when in doubt, check it out.

If a doctor suspects that a person has cancer, he or she will order various tests. These might include blood tests, (in which doctors scrutinise blood cells under a microscope to look for abnormalities), X-rays, or an MRI, (a scanning technique that can be used to detect tumours). Doctors also often use a biopsy to diagnose cancer. In this procedure, a doctor removes a small tissue sample to examine it for cancer cells.

CANCER TREATMENT

Most cancers can be treated, especially the types of cancers teens are likely to get, if detected early. The number of people who overcome cancer goes up every year because of new cancer treatments.

There are three widespread methods for treating cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. As cancer is different in each patient, each person’s treatment plan will be individually designed for him or her. A person with cancer may undergo any one of these treatments or a combination of them. A doctor who specialises in treating people with cancer is called an Oncologist.

Surgery takes away cancerous tissue. Depending on the location of a person’s cancer, surgery can be simple or complex, so the operation may be an outpatient procedure (where a person is in and out of the hospital on the same day) or may require that the person stay in the hospital. Generally, the surgeon removes the cancerous tissue along with a small amount of the healthy tissue surrounding it to make sure that all the cancer is removed and has not spread.

The treatment of cancer using medication is called chemotherapy. Specific cancers respond well to chemotherapy, which can often be given on an outpatient basis. A person who is having chemotherapy may experience nausea, fatigue, hair loss, or other side effects. Some of these side effects happen because chemotherapy medicines may destroy some healthy cells in the process of getting rid of the malignant cells. In time, these healthy cells will start to grow again and most of the side effects will disappear.

Radiation, or radiotherapy, is an additional method of treating cancer. A person being treated with radiotherapy, will most likely be treated by a radiation oncologist, someone who specialises in using radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiotherapy machines deliver powerful X-rays or high-energy electrons to the part of a person’s body that is affected by cancer. After repeated doses of high levels of radiation, many cancerous tumours shrink or disappear.

Radiation therapy is generally painless, but there may be some side effects. Side effects of radiation therapy may include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea. Some patients complain that the area of skin that’s irradiated feels sunburnt, but most of these side effects are temporary.

DEALING WITH CANCER

Dealing with cancer and cancer treatments can disrupt a person’s life for a while. People with cancer often need support in various aspects of their life. For example, teens with cancer may need the help of a home tutor to get schoolwork done and adults with cancer may need help with housework or their jobs. Various people talk to therapists or professional counsellors about the emotional side of dealing with a health problem.

You may hear doctors talk about a prognosis for a person with cancer. A prognosis is an estimate of how well that person’s treatment is working and how likely it is that the cancer will come back.

Subsequent to surgery or treatment with radiation or chemotherapy, a doctor will do tests to see if the cancer is still there. If the signs and symptoms of the cancer lessen or disappear, then that person is in what’s called remission. Sometimes, additional treatment, such as chemotherapy, might be needed for a while to keep a person in remission and to keep cancer cells from coming back.