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Cancer

Category(s): Cancer/Oncology

Overview

Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out of control cell growth. Cells generally develop, divide and then die, however occasionally, mutation in cells happen and they start to divide and develop more quickly than normal cells.

There are over 100 types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected.

Cancer harms the body when altered cells divide uncontrollably to build up lumps or masses of tissue called tumors (except leukemia where cancer forbids normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood). Tumors may grow and obstruct with the nervous, digestive, and circulatory systems and they may release hormones that alter body function. Tumors which stay in one place and demonstrate limited growth are commonly believed to be benign.

Malignant or more dangerous tumors develop when two things happen:

A cancerous cell controls to move throughout the body using the lymphatic systems or blood, destroying healthy tissue in a process called invasion.

That cell controls to divide and develop, making new blood vessels to feed itself in a process known as angiogenesis.

When a tumor successfully spreads to other parts of the body and grows, invading and destroying other healthy tissues, it is known as metastasized. This process itself is called metastasis, and the result is a severe condition which is very hard to treat.

According to the American Cancer Society, Cancer is the second most common cause of death and accounts for nearly one of every four deaths. The World Health Organization estimates that, worldwide, there were 14 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012 (their most recent data).

Types of Cancers

1. Adenocarcinoma

2. Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (AdCC)

3. Adrenocortical Carcinoma

4. Adult Fibrosarcoma

5. Adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma

6. AIDS-related Cancers

7. AIDS-related Lymphoma

8. Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma (ASPS)

9. Anal Cancer

10. Angiosarcoma

11. Angiosarcoma of the Heart

12. Appendix Cancer

13. Basal Cell Carcinoma

14. Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome

15. Bile Duct Cancer

16. Bladder Cancer

17. Bone Cancer

18. Bowen’s Disease

19. Brain Cancer

20. Brain Tumor

21. Breast Cancer

22. Burkitt Lymphoma

23. Carcinoid Tumor

24. Carcinoma

25. Carcinoma of unknown primary (Cancer of unknown primary)

26. Central Nervous System Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor

27. Central Nervous System Embryonal Tumors

28. Cervical Cancer

29. Childhood Cancers

30. Childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma

31. Chondrosarcoma

32. Choriocarcinoma

33.Clear Cell Sarcoma

34. Colon Cancer

35. Cutaneous T-cell Lymphomas (CTCL)

36. Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP)

37. Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor (DSRCT)

38. Diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)

39. Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

40. Elastofibromas

41. Embryonal Carcinoma of the Testis

42. Endometrial Cancer

43. Endovascular Papillary Angioendothelioma (EPA)

44. Ependymoblastoma

45. Epithelial Ovarian Cancer/Ovarian Epithelial Cancer

46. Epitheliod Hemangioendothelioma (EHE)

47. Epithelioid Sarcoma (ES)

48. Esophageal Cancer

49. Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors

50. Extracranial Germ Cell Tumor

51. Extranodal NK/T-cell Lymphoma, Nasal type

52. Eye Cancer

53. Eyelid Cancer

54. Fibromas

55. Fibromatosis

56. Fibrosarcoma

57. Gallbladder Cancer

58. Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

59. Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)

60. Germ Cell Tumors (GCTs)

61. Glomus Jugulare Tumors

62. Glomus Tumors

63. Glomus Tympanicum tumors

64. Granular Cell Tumors

65. Head and Neck Cancer or Cancers of the Head and Neck

66. Heart Cancers

67.Hemangioendothelioma

68. Hepatocellular Carcinoma

69. Hodgkin's Lymphoma

70. Hypothalamic Tumors

71. Infantile Fibrosarcoma (IFS)

72. Intestinal Leiomyosarcoma

73. Intracranial Germ Cell Tumors

74. Intraocular Lymphoma

75. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

76. Kaposi’s Sarcoma

77. Kidney Cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma)

78. Lacrimal Gland Tumor

79. Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancers

80. Leiomyosarcoma

81. Leukemia

82. Lipoblastoma

83. Liposarcoma

84. Liver Cancer

85. Low Grade Fibromyxoid Sarcoma (LGFS)

86. Lung Cancer

87. Lymphoma

88. Lynch Syndrome

89. Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma (MFH)

90. Malignant Mesenchymoma

91. Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors (MPNSTs)

92. Melanoma

93. Metastatic Squamous Neck Cancer with Occult Primary

94. Mouth Cancer

95. Muir-Torre Syndrome

96. Myxofibrosarcoma (MFS)

97. Myxoid Liposarcoma (MLPS)

98. Nasopharyngeal Cancer

99. Nerve Tumors

100. Neurofibromas

101. Neuromas

102. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

103. Ocular Lymphoma

104. Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancers

105. Orbital Tumors

106. Osteosarcoma

107. Ovarian Cancer

108. Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor

109. Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumor

110. Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer

111. Pancreatic Cancer

112. Pancreatic Islet Cell Tumor

113. Pheochromocytoma

114. Pineal Parenchymal Tumors

115. Pineal Tumors

116. Pleomorphic Liposarcoma

117. Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma (PCNSL)

118. Primary Effusion Lymphoma (PEL)

119. Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma (PPC)

120. Prostate Cancer

121. Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS)

122. Salivary Gland Cancers

123. Sarcoma

124. Schwannomas

125. Sex Cord Stromal Ovarian Tumors and Steroid Cell Tumors

126. Skin Cancer

127. Solitary fibrous tumor

128. Solitary Fibrous Tumor of Soft Tissue

129. Squamous Cell Cancer of the Conjunctiva

130. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

131. Stomach Cancer

132. Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors (PNETs)

133. Synovial Sarcoma 

134. Testicular Cancer

135. Testicular Seminoma

136. Thymus Gland Tumors

137. Thyroid Cancer

138. Thyroid Cancer in Children

139. Transitional Cell Cancer of the Kidney (Renal Pelvis) or Ureter

140. Tumors of Borderline Malignancy

141. Turcot Syndrome

142. Urethral Cancer

143. Uterine Fibroids

144. Uterine Cancer

145. Uterine Leiomyosarcoma

146. Uterine Sarcoma

147. Vaginal Cancer

148. Vulvar Cancer

149. Well-Differentiated Liposarcoma

150. Wilms' Tumor

151. Yolk Sac Carcinomas

152. Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

Symptoms

Symptoms of cancer include: Symptoms of cancers can be seen or felt through the skin.

  • A lump on the testicles or breast can be an indicator of cancer in those locations.

  • White spots on the tongue or white patches inside the mouth is the sign of oral cancer.

  • Melanoma or skin cancer is often noted by a change in a wart or mole on the skin.

Causes

Causes of cancer are:

Changes or mutations to the DNA within cells is the cause of cancer. Cell contains a DNA which is packaged into a large number of individual genes. Each gene contains a particular instructions telling the cell what functions to perform and how to grow and divide. Errors in the instructions can stop a normal function of the healthy cell and may allow it to become cancerous.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cancer include:

Early diagnosis of cancer can improve the chances of successful treatment and survival.

Endoscopy: Doctors conduct an endoscopy, in which a thin tube with a light and camera at one end is inserted in the body, to look for any abnormalities inside the body.

TNM system: It is the most common cancer staging method where T (1-4) indicates direct extent of the primary tumor and the size, N (0-3) indicates the degree to which the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, and M (0-1) indicates whether the cancer has metastasized to other organs in the body. 

Imaging techniques: PET scans, X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and ultrasound scans are used regularly in order to detect what organs may be affected by it and location of the tumor.

Other tests: Physicians will analyze  body's fats, sugars, proteins and DNA at the molecular level.

Treatment

Treatment of cancer include:

Chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy are the three most common types of cancer treatment. The aim of the treatment is to destroy the cancer cells with medicines.

Surgery

Surgery is a way to physically remove cancer.  If the cancer is in the form of a malignant tumor (a tumor that spreads) but the tumor is still localized, it may be possible to remove the tumor safely and any surrounding affected tissue. Surgery may not be possible if cancer has spread to other areas of the body or if the tumor cannot be removed without damaging vital organs, such as the brain or liver.

Types of surgery are:

  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Laser surgery
  • Mohs’ surgery
  • Cryosurgery    

Radiotherapy

Radiation of X-ray, gamma rays or electrons are used to damage cancer cells so that they cannot multiply. During this kind of therapy, there is usually no pain.  

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy medicines are used to attack the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is used when cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy can also be used in combination with radiation and surgery. 

Other Treatments: (also called immunotherapy) is another type of treatment which trigger the immune system of the body to produce white blood cells, called lymphocytes. Two types of lymphocytes which attack and kill cancer cells are  B-cells and T-cells.  Biological therapy aims to boost the ability of the T-cell and B-cell lymphocytes to kill cancer. This therapy can also be used in combination with radiation therapy, chemotherapy or surgery.

Hormone therapy is used sometimes to treat prostate cancer or breast cancer, in addition to radiotherapy or chemotherapy. In hormone therapy drugs are taken that contain other hormones to block the effects of testosterone and estrogen hormones. These drugs are taken because the estrogen hormone can make breast cancer tumors grow faster. Similarly, the testosterone hormone can make cancerous tumors in the prostate grow faster. In other cases surgery to remove the testicles or the ovaries may be used. 

Latest Treatment

Three most preferred approaches to treat cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

  • Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cancer cells in the body while radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses beams of intense energy to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy most often gets its power from X-rays, but the power can also come from protons or other types of energy.
  • Robotic Assisted Prostatectomy is a recent surgical approach to treat prostate cancer.

Medicines