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A Closer Look at Cancer

Can­cer is a ter­ri­fy­ing word because of what it sig­ni­fies. Can­cer is an abnor­mal growth of cells that do not func­tion cor­rectly and can spread through­out your body. What are the dif­fer­ent kinds of can­cer, and how can we pre­vent or lower the risk of being diag­nosed with them?

The Types

There are many dif­fer­ent kinds of can­cer based on where they orig­i­nate in the body. Accord­ing to the National Can­cer Insti­tute, com­mon types that are found are blad­der can­cer, breast can­cer, colon/rectal can­cer, endome­trial can­cer (found in the uterus lin­ing), kid­ney can­cer, leukemia, lung can­cer, melanoma, non-Hodgkin lym­phoma, pan­cre­atic can­cer, prostate can­cer, skin can­cer, and thy­roid can­cer. The high­est rank­ing are breast can­cer, fol­lowed by prostate and lung cancer.

Pre­ven­tion

Accord­ing to WebMD and Mayo Clinic, there are some things you can do to lower your risk of can­cer. Here are some tips.

  • Lower the amount of sodium, red meat, sugar, and alco­hol you consume.
  • Increase the amount of beans, legumes, fruits, and veg­eta­bles you consume.
  • Exer­cise for at least 30 min­utes a day, and fol­low an exer­cise plan to be healthier.
  • Avoid tobacco products.
  • Make sure you apply sun­screen before you go out­side and try to stay in the shade.
  • Try to avoid going out when the sun is at its peak; instead go out in the morn­ing or evening.
  • Avoid tan­ning beds and sunlamps.
  • Get reg­u­lar screen­ings, such as mam­mo­grams, colono­scopies, and pap tests.
  • Keep your immu­niza­tions up to date.

Treat­ment Options

  • Surgery: Removal of can­cer lumps or growths.
  • Chemother­apy: Using drugs to attack the cancer.
  • Radi­a­tion ther­apy: Using radi­a­tion to kill the can­cer cells.
  • Tar­geted ther­apy: Using drugs to kill spe­cific can­cer cells.
  • Immunother­apy: Employ­ing your immune sys­tem to attack the cancer.
  • Hyper­ther­mia: Using heat to get rid of cancer.
  • Stem cell trans­plant: Replac­ing bone mar­row with new marrow.
  • Pho­to­dy­namic ther­apy: Using drugs and light to attack can­cer cells.
  • Lasers: Using a laser to destroy spe­cific can­cer cells, growths or lumps.

 

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