Cancer is an abnormal development of the cells. Despite the fact that there’s a restriction of space, shared nutrients by other cells, or body signals which are being sent from the body to stop reproduction, cancer cells reproduce rapidly. Cancer cells often differ from healthy cells, do not function properly, and can spread to many parts of the body. So tumors are a group of cells that grow rapidly and keep dividing. This makes it hard to control.
What are the Causes of Cancer?
The cause of cancer hasn’t been established yet. Scientists believe that cancer is caused jointly by the interaction of many factors. The factors may be genetic, environmental, or constitutional features of the person.
Childhood cancer diagnoses, therapies, and prognosis differ from adult cancers. Diagnosis Survival rate and the cause of the cancer are the main differences. The overall survival rate for childhood cancer for five years is around 80%, while for adult cancers it is 68%. It is thought that this difference is because childhood cancer is more therapeutic and a child can accept more aggressive therapy.
In stem cells, simple cells that produce other special cells that the body needs, children can develop cancers. Sporadic (accidental) cell changes or mutations are the common cause of childhood cancer. In adults, the type of cell that becomes cancerous is usually the epithelial cell. Epithelial cells line the body cavity and cover the corpse’s surface. Over time, due to environmental exposures, cancer was present in these cells. Adult cancers are sometimes called acquired for this reason.
The Risk Factors of Cancer
Repeated exposures or risk factors, especially in adults, have been linked with some cancers. The probability of a person developing a condition can be increased by a risk factor. However, a risk factor does not necessarily reduce the body’s disease resistance. The following factors and mechanisms have been suggested as a contribution to cancer:
- Lifestyle factors. Tobacco consumption, a high-fat diet, and toxic chemical substances are examples of lifestyle choices that may risk some adult cancers. Most cancer children are, however, too young for long-term exposure to these lifestyle factors.
- Family history, heritage, and genetics can play an important role in certain childhood cancers. A family may be more than once affected by cancer of different forms. If the disease is caused by a genetic mutation, exposure to chemicals near the home of a family, combining, or just coincidence, it is not known.
- Certain genetic conditions. The immune system is a complex system that helps to prevent infection and disease in our bodies. Cells that later mature and work as part of the immune system are produced by the bone marrow. There is one theory that the cells in the bone marrow, or stem cells, become damaged or faulty so that they become abnormal cells or cancer cells when reproduced in order to produce more cells. An inherited genetic defect or exposure to a virus or toxin might be responsible for the defect in the stem cells.
- Specific virus exposures. An increased risk of developing certain childhood cancers such as Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma was associated with the Epstein-Barm virus and HIV, the virus causing AIDS. Perhaps the virus will somehow alter a cell. This cell then reproduces a modified cell and ultimately becomes a cancer cell that reproduces more cancer cells.
- Environmental exposures. For a direct link with childhood cancer, pesticides, fertilizers, and power lines have been investigated. In some neighborhoods and/or towns, cancer has been shown in unrelated children. It is unknown whether or not exposure to these agents is prenatal or infant that causes cancer or is a coincidence.
Some forms of chemical treatment and radiation with high doses. In certain cases, children exposed to these agents may later in life develop a second malignancy. These high levels of cancer may alter cells and/or the immune system. A second malignancy is cancer caused by different cancer therapy.
How Is It Diagnosed?
No single test can diagnose cancer accurately. A thorough history and physical examination together with diagnostic tests usually require a thorough evaluation. Many tests are necessary if a person has cancer or if a different condition (e.g. an infection) imitates cancer symptoms.
Effective diagnostic tests are used to confirm or eliminate disease, monitor the disease process, and plan and evaluate treatment efficacy. Repeated tests need to be done in some cases if a person’s condition has been changed, the sample taken is not good or the test result is abnormal.
Circumstances can include imaging, laboratory tests, tumor biopsy, endoscopic exams, operations, and/or genetic tests. Cancer diagnostics can be a result of cancer testing.
- Lab tests
- Diagnostic imaging
- Endoscopic exams
- Genetic tests
- Tumor biopsies
Types of lab tests used to diagnose cancer
Clinical chemistry uses chemical processes to measure body fluid and tissue levels of chemical components. Blood and urine are the most common examples of clinical chemistry.
Nearly every type of chemical component in the blood or urine is detected and measured in many different tests. Blood glucose, electrolytes, enzymes, hormones, lipids (fats), another metabolism, and proteins may also be included in these components.
The development of new techniques and instruments that can better detect and help patients avoid surgery has made a great deal of progress in diagnostic radiology in recent years.
Diagnostic radiology personnel and doctors at the Stanford Cancer Centre are leaders in their field and have access to today’s most advanced cancer imagery technology.
Indeed, our doctors’ expertise is so well known that we are proud to be a reference center so that outside the doctors can send our staff complex or borderline images and be expertly interpreted for their patients.
The Cancer Center was developed to improve the delivery of radiology diagnostics in addition to advanced instruments and experienced personnel. For example, we have consolidated imagery workstations in one room to compare images from multiple sources for mammograms, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging.
This unprecedented simultaneous cross-platform ensures that all the relevant data are available when your physician takes important care choices.
What are the different types of diagnostic imaging?
Imaging is the process of making valuable photos of organ and body structures. Tumors and other abnormalities can be detected, the extent of the disease determined and treatment efficacy evaluated. Imaging can also be used for biopsies and other operations. There are three image types used for diagnosis: imagery transmission, imagery reflection, and imagery emission. Each process differs from the other.
Radiological examinations with images generated through transmission include X-rays, computed Tomography scans (CT scans), and fluoroscopy. A beam of high-energy photons is created in transmission imaging and passed through the body structure. The beam passes through less dense tissue types as watery secretions, blood, and fat very quickly, and leaves the X-ray film with a darkened area. The gray appearance of muscle, connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, and cartilage). Bones are going to look white.
Reflection imaging refers to the type of picture produced by transmitting high-frequency sounds to the studied body or organ. These sound waves “bounce,” depending on the density of the tissue, off different types of body tissue and structure at varying speeds. Bounced sonic waves are sent to a computer that analyzes the sound waves and gives the body part or structure a visual image.
Emissions imaging takes place when the scanner is employed to detect or analyze nuclear or magnetic particles that are minute and to take a picture of the body or organ being examined. For the testing of the body’s nuclear substances, nuclear medicine uses nuclear particulates emissions specifically. Radio waves are used by MRI to develop a strong magnetic field so that a cell emits its own frequencies.
Depending on the medical condition and type of cancer of individuals, cancer is treated in several ways. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are common treatments. Other treatments include operations and biological treatments.
Treatment is a process that is designed to meet the needs of many people with cancer. Doctors plan their treatments for the type and stage of cancer and their age, health, and lifestyle, according to several key factors.
It is important for you to know that you have been diagnosed with cancer that you play a major part in the treatment process. Input, questions, and treatment concerns can help to make treatment a better experience.
Cancer treatment terms you should know
Combined modality therapy: a term used by doctors to describe a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy when treating a patient with more than one treatment.
Adjuvant therapy: a term used to describe a patient’s treatment when physicians choose more than one treatment. The term adjuvant therapy however is used more especially to describe treatment following the completion of primary cancer therapy to improve the chance of healing. For example, the doctor may prescribe one or more additional treatments if he/she wants to treat cancer cells that may be present.
Neoadjuvant therapy: A term used to describe the use of more than one therapy by doctors to treat a patient. Neoadjuvant therapy is used more specifically in the description of cancer therapy prior to basic therapy, either to kill all cancer cells and to make primary therapy more effective.