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Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread.
Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. A medical professional who practices oncology is an oncologist.
The major types of cancer are carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma, and leukemia. Carcinomas — the most commonly diagnosed cancers — originate in the skin, lungs, breasts, pancreas, and other organs and glands. Lymphomas are cancers of lymphocytes. Leukemia is cancer of the blood. It does not usually form solid tumors. Sarcomas arise in bone, muscle, fat, bloodvessels, cartilage, or other soft or connective tissues of the body. They are relatively uncommon. Melanomas are cancers that arise in the cells that make the pigment in skin.
Cancer diagnosis begins with a thorough physical exam and a complete medical history. Laboratory studies of blood, urine, and stool can detect abnormalities that may indicate cancer. When a tumor is suspected, imaging tests such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and fiber-optic endoscopy examinations help doctors determine the cancer’s location and size. To confirm the diagnosis of most cancers , a biopsy needs to be performed in which a tissue sample is removed from the suspected tumor and studied under a microscope to check for cancer cells.
Many cancer treatments are available. Your treatment options will depend on several factors, such as the type and stage of your cancer, your general health, and your preferences. Together you and your doctor can weigh the benefits and risks of each cancer treatment to determine which is best for you.
Cancer treatment options include:
Cryoablation. This treatment kills cancer cells with cold. During cryoablation, a thin, wandlike needle (cryoprobe) is inserted through your skin and directly into the cancerous tumor. A gas is pumped into the cryoprobe in order to freeze the tissue. Then the tissue is allowed to thaw.
|Type||Five year survival rate||Ten year survival rate (If available)|
|Small intestine cancer||67.5%||63%|
|Liver and bile duct cancer||22%||17%|
|Pancreatic cancer (all types)||8.2%||2.2%|
|Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor||61%||50%|
|Lung cancer (all types)||18.1%||7%|
|Tracheal (Windpipe) cancer||52.9%||50%|
|Bone cancer (all types)||67.7%||56%|
|Soft tissue, not otherwise specified||64.4%||62%|
|Skin cancer (excluding basal and squamous)||91.7%||90%|
|Breast cancer in situ||100%||100%A|
|Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (brain stem)||<1%||0%|
|Myeloma (plasma blood cell cancer)||49.9%||18%|
|Non lymphoma lymph node cancer||48%||39%|
|Leukemia, acute lymphocytic||68.2%||51%|
|Leukemia, acute myelomonocytic||24%||9%|
|Leukemia, chronic lymphocytic||83.2%||69%|
|Leukemia, chronic myeloid||66.9%||50%|
Cancer cells are cells that have lost control of their ability to divide in a controlled fashion creating a group of out-of-control, dividing and growing cancer cells – a tumour. Tumours induce blood vessel growth (angiogenesis). They may grow quickly or slowly.
Single cancer cells can break away from an established tumour, to spead locally or they may enter the bloodstream or lymph system, and be carried to a distant site, where they can take root and grow as a secondary tumour. They can also spread across body cavities.
As people get older, they accumulate more changes in their DNA which means an increased likelihood of cancer. Older people may also have a less efficient immune system to stop cancer taking hold.
There is some evidence. One often quoted example is that the incidence of breast general information cancer in Japan is much lower than in the USA or the UK. However, the incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women living in the USA is the same as for the general population of American women. A deduction might be that the causes of breast cancer are more closely related to life style and the environment than they are to genetic make-up.
It is often said: about 200. However, as we discover more about cancer this is a simplistic answer. Scientists are increasingly finding more and more variants within one cancer site meaning that different types within one type behave differently and require different treatment.
Yes.The number of new cases, and deaths, from breast and lung cancer in women are higher in Britain than the European Union average.
The four most common cancers are breast cancer, lung cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer (taken together they represent about half of the new cases of malignant cancer).
Survival statistics for cancer are usually written as ‘5 year survival’ or ’10 year survival’ to show that a given percentage of patients were alive 5 or 10 years after diagnosis. But this can be very misleading as an individual’s situation is dependent on the circumstances e.g. the grade of the tumour and how aggressive it is. So, for some people using the published figures for a particular cancer will be optimistic and for others they will be pessimistic.
Survival varies by type of cancer and a number of factors including sex, age and socio-economic status. The 5 year relative survival rate is very low for cancers of the pancreas, lung, oesophagus and stomach. On the other hand survival rates are better for: colon cancer (nearly 50 % survival), cancers of the bladder, cervix and prostate (50-70 % survival) and breast cancer (80 % survival). For the majority of cancers, a higher proportion of women than men survive for at least five years after diagnosis. Among adults, the younger the age at diagnosis, the higher the survival for almost every cancer. The good news is that Survival rates for most cancers in both sexes are improving.
Attributed to Hippocrates, the earliest term for a benign swelling was Oncos (Greek); and malignant swelling was Carcinos (Greek), from which cancer (Latin) was later derived. It is perhaps no accident that carcinos also meant crab. Crabs move unpredictably and some tumours when examined might look something like a crab.
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