Blood cancer tests, diagnosis and treatments are conducted by health professionals called Oncologist.
Cancer can be defined as a group of disease that results in abnormal group of cells with the potential to invade and spread to other parts of the body. Cancer will normally result from the over production and abnormally of the body’s cells. More than 200 types of cancer has been medically recorded globally.
Cancer can however occur in any part of your body. Generally, anything that may cause a normal body cell to develop abnormally can potentially cause cancer. Cancer can occur in both plants and animals. study shows cancer can be cause by numerous factors including internal and external factors.Some causative agents may include;
- the exposure to toxic chemical and toxic compounds.
- Ionizing radiations
- some disease causing pathogens
- and many more
Signs and symptoms depends on the specific type and stage of cancer. Although this is general, but not specific. However, people with any kind cancer are likely to show the following symptoms
- unexpected weight loss
- skin changes
- persistence cough
- changes in bowel movements
- and many more
Read on to discover the various types and causes, various stages, blood test, diagnosis and the various treatments methods.
One may ask what exactly cancer is, what causes it and how blood test it. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in any part of your body. These abnormal cells are referred to as cancer cells. Cancer cells develop in the form of malignant cells -“cells growing in an uncontrolled way and can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body”, tumor cells -“old cells that become damaged and breakdown and new cells will over take. when this happened, new cells may grow and develop abnormally. tumor cells can be cancerous(causing cancer) however can cells are divided into two types namely.: malignant and tumors(benign)
History of Cancer and diagnosis
According to an article by the American Cancer Society, cancer was discovered in Egypt and dates back to about 3000BC known as the Edwin Smith Papyrus. the origin of the cancer is attributes to the Greek physician Hippocrates. Hippocrates is known throughout history as the father of medicine. The terms carcinos and carcinoma were used to describe non-ulcer forming and ulcer-forming tumors.
It was reported that cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide today. cancer can be affected by the geographical dispositions and environmental factors. in the study of cancer, tests, diagnosis and treatments, it was reported that some forms and types of cancer was only found in particular geographical area. a case in point is the type of cancer found in japan, a stomach cancer, was said to have not been discovered in the US yet.
Some particular types of cancer have found to be common among all nations. The most common cancers tested and diagnosed among men, women and children includes;
- men: prostrate, ling and colorectal
- women: breast, lung and colorectal
- children: leukemia, brain tumors and lymphoma
Causes of cancer
The following are the risk factors causing cancer;
- smoking- tobacco or cigarette has been dated back in history as the most common cause of cancer. The elements found in tobacco have about 66 cancer causing properties. People who spoke have higher risk of having most types cancer.
- Pathogens- some disease causing pathogens in the body can cause cancer cells to develop such as the HPV(human papillomavirus), hepatitis viruses Band C among others. Untreated bacteria are proven to be the most common causes.
- Poor nutrition- certain food combinations and diets can trigger the development of cancer cell in your body. excessive consumption of red meats, and improper or insufficient intake of food nutrients will put you at risk of developing cancer cells.
- Excessive alcohol consumption- those who drink too much alcohol were reported to have develop some forms of cancer. Chemicals in alcohol can make your body prone to developing cancer.
- Genetics- some types of cancer has been link to genetics for example, breast, ovarian, prostrate, coloectal etc. these types of cancer was found to be caused by genetics factors.
- Exposure to chemicals- exposure certain chemical substances and elements can put you at risk of developing cancer cells. chemicals includes benzene, beryllium, vinyl chloride, asbestos and arsenic. the chemicals however has been found to have caused certain types cancer. the exposure to these substances depends on how long, how often and when they have been exposed to them.
- other factors have been recorded to be responsible for cancer such as excessive weight and obesity, age, ionizing radiations etc.
Symptoms and signs of cancer
Depending on your level, type and stage of cancer, symptoms may vary. however most common cancer symptoms are as follows;
- unexpected weight loss- patients suffering from cancer will suddenly become thin. the weight loss will occur at an unexpected rate. Change in weight or body mass may be obvious within few weeks.
- Fatigue- cancer invading any part of your body will likely make you weak and feel tired often.
- Pain- pain is actually the post common symptoms among cancer patients. pain during cancer can be caused by tumors
- Skin changes- patients diagnosed with cancer experience skin changes. skin may become darkened and finger nails and toe nails become pale and brittle.
- Bleeding- bleeding through various openings are common symptoms in patients diagnosed with cancer.
- Persistence cough- hard and persistence coughs are very common symptoms of cancer.
- Changes in bowel movement
Types and categories
Research shows there are over 200 types of cancer. However the following are the five different types of cancers elaborated below;
This type of cancer begins in the skin or tissues and lined or cover internal organs like the (skin,lung, colon, pancreatic, ovarian) cancers, epitheliah, papillomas, squamous and basal cell carcinomas, melanomas and adenomas are the various categories of cancer under the carcinoma type of cancers.
This type cancer begins in the bone, cartilage, fat, muscles, blood vessels or other connective tissues. These group of cancers are referred to as bone, soft tissue cancers. Examples includes osteosarcoma, angiosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, angiosarcoma and fibrosarcoma.
Central nervous system cancers
These tupes cancers occurs in the brain tissues and spinal cords, cancers are called brain and spinal cord tumors. Cancers includes gliomas, meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, primitive neuroectodermal tumors, vestibular schwannomas.
Lymphoma and myeloma
Cancers that begin in the cells of immune system is termed lymphoma. Cancers include; T-cells lymphomas, B-cells lymphomas, lymphoproliferative lymphomas, Hodgkin lymphomas and non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that begins in the blood-forming tissues like bone and causes large number of abnormal b lood cells to be produced and enter the blood. Examples include T-cell leukemia, hairy leukemia and myelogenous.
Not all the types of cancer are included in this article. However, detailed clarifications on cancer, causes, types, signs and symptoms, and cancer diagnosis and prevention should be directed to the National Cancer Society.
Cancer stages are group into five phases including;
- Stage O – the early stage
- Stage I
- Stage II
- Stage III
- Stage IV- the stage where cells have eventually spread to other organs.
An Oncologist will perform cancer tests on a patient showing cancer symptoms. They will be able to provide detailed explanations on the various stages and how treatments can be done.
Blood test and diagnosis of cancer
Some blood tests used to diagnose cancer include:
- A test to count your blood cells. A complete blood count (CBC) measures the amount of each type of blood cell in a sample of your blood. Blood cancers may be found using this test.
A test that looks at the blood proteins. An electrophoresis blood test looks at the various proteins in your blood to find the ones made by your body’s germ-fighting immune system. This test is helpful in diagnosing multiple myeloma.
- Tests to find chemicals made by cancer cells. Tumor marker tests use a sample of blood to look for chemicals made by cancer cells.These tests don’t always help with diagnosing cancer because many healthy cells also make these chemicals. And some conditions that aren’t cancer can cause high levels of tumor markers. Instead, tumor marker tests are mostly used after your cancer diagnosis to see if treatment is working.
Examples of tumor markers include prostate-specific antigen (PSA) for prostate cancer and cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) for ovarian cancer. Other examples include carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) for colon cancer and alpha-fetoprotein for testicular cancer.
- Tests to look for cancer cells. Circulating tumor cell tests detect cancer cells in your blood. The cells might be in the blood if they’ve broken away from where they started and are spreading to other parts of the body. Circulating tumor cell tests are mostly used after a cancer diagnosis.
Not every person with cancer needs a circulating tumor cell test. These tests are sometimes used for a few types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. Researchers are looking at how these tests might help people with other types of cancer.
- Tests to look for cancer cells’ genetic material. These tests use a blood sample to look for small pieces of cancer cells’ genetic material, called DNA. Healthy cells and cancer cells discard pieces or break apart as part of the natural process of growing and dying. These pieces of cells make their way into the blood so that the body can dispose of them. Special tests look for these cell pieces in a sample of blood.
In people with cancer, these tests are sometimes used to understand the DNA changes present in the cancer cells. A health care provider uses the results to select the best treatment.
Prevention and treatments
Cancer can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle, avoid smoking, and eat balance diets. Most cancer patients are advised by doctors to eat only healthy meals. Excessive smoking and drinking should be avoided.
Innovative research has fueled the development of new medications and treatment technologies.Doctors usually prescribe treatments based on the type of cancer, its stage at diagnosis, and the person’s overall health. Below are examples of approaches to cancer treatment:
- Chemotherapy aims to kill cancerous cells with medications that target rapidly dividing cells. The drugs can also help shrink tumors, but the side effects can be severe.
Hormone therapy involves taking medications that change how certain hormones work or interfere with the body’s ability to produce them. When hormones play a significant role, as with prostate and breast cancers, this is a common approach.
- Immunotherapy uses medications and other treatments to boost the immune system and encourage it to fight cancerous cells. Two examples of these treatments are checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive cell transfer.
Precision medicine, or personalized medicine, is a newer, developing approach. It involves using genetic testing to determine the best treatments for a person’s particular presentation of cancer. Researchers have yet to show that it can effectively treat all types of cancer, however.
- Radiation therapy uses high-dose radiation to kill cancerous cells. Also, a doctor may recommend using radiation to shrink a tumor before surgery or reduce tumor-related symptoms.
Stem cell transplant can be especially beneficial for people with blood-related cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma. It involves removing cells, such as red or white blood cells, that chemotherapy or radiation has destroyed. Lab technicians then strengthen the cells and put them back into the body.
Surgery is often a part of a treatment plan when a person has a cancerous tumor. Also, a surgeon may remove lymph nodes to reduce or prevent the disease’s spread.
- Targeted therapies perform functions within cancerous cells to prevent them from multiplying. They can also boost the immune system. Two examples of these therapies are small-molecule drugs and monoclonal antibodies.
Doctors will often employ more than one type of treatment to maximize effectiveness.
The specific causative cancers, types and symptoms, cancer diagnosis and treatments are beyond the scope of this article. This article covers not every aspects of cancer and treatment and not intended to replace any medical guide provided by your health professionals. However refer any medical conditions to your doctor and the National Cancer Organization. The writers aims is to only educate and enlighten the reader on what really cancer is in general. This is just an overview of cancer and cannot covers the broad corners of all of the different cancers, types and medically proven reports.
Information provided here is for educational purposes only and must not be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Monuji does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.