Patients Helping Patients Blog
5 Ways to Detect Cancer Before It’s Malignant
Cancer are diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. In 2018 statistics, Cancer appears to be the second leading cause of death worldwide. It is responsible for an estimated more than 9 million death in 2018. About 1 in 6 deaths globally are caused by Cancer. There are several main types of cancer. There are several causes of cancer, however the main cause of cancer is the change or mutation in the Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of cells. There are some factors that would lead to cell mutation. Usually cancer cells are genetics and that means it is hereditary. Other factors also are, individual’s lifestyle, diet, smoking, environment such as exposure to radiations and exposure to viruses and other infections.
There are several types of cancer nowadays, however according to statistics the following are the most spread types of cancer:
- Lung (2.09 million cases)
- Breast (2.09 million cases)
- Colorectal (1.80 million cases)
- Prostate (1.28 million cases)
- Skin cancer (non-melanoma) (1.04 million cases)
- Stomach (1.03 million cases)
Symptoms of cancer may vary depending on the type of cancer an individual has. However common symptoms of cancer are already established according to studies. The C-A-U-T-I-O-N U-S mnemonics is already an established common symptom of cancer according to studies, viz:
C- Changes in bowel or bladder habits;
A- A sore that does not heal;
U- Unusual bleeding or discharge;
T- Thickening or lump in the breast or any other part of the body;
I- Indigestion or difficulty swallowing;
O- Obvious change in a wart or mole;
N- Nagging cough or hoarseness;
U- Unexplained Anemia;
S- Sudden Weight loss.
Like in most diseases early detection plays an important part in the prevention and intervention of diseases. The same concept is very important also in cancer. It would help a lot in determining what type of cancer a person has and correspondingly its proper management. Once cancer is early detected, it can be prevented from spreading more damages to the person’s body by providing adequate and proper remedies. In most cases, cancer can be detected by the individual upon experiencing the above stated signs and symptoms. Some cancer may cause severe pain in the affected body parts, while some may cause unusual bleedings, sores and other unusual tissue growth that are visible and palpable to the infected individuals. According to studies, there are established cancer self-assessment methods applicable to men and women. In women, the breast self-examination (BSE) is applicable. It can be done regularly by women usually upon taking a bath and every month for purposes of detecting any lump in the breast. In men, the Testicular self-examination (TSE) is applicable also with the same duration in women. However, there are some cancer cases that are asymptomatic. In these cases, diagnostic tests may be conducted by the proper medical experts.
The following are the 5 common ways or methods to detect cancer:
- Biopsy– In most cancer cases, biopsy is the main method to determine whether cells are cancerous. In this method, the doctor will get a tissue sample for examination to be used in diagnosing cancer. The method of getting tissue samples can be made possible either through an image-guided biopsy, ultrasound, x-ray, computed tomography scan (CT scan), fluoroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Depending on what method used by the doctor the purpose is just to aid in guiding a specific organ or body part where the tissue samples can be obtained.
- Barium Enema – In this method an enema is required to clear the colon for purposes taking images through X-Ray by a radiology technician. This is used to detect colon cancer.
- Ultrasound– This is a method of taking images on the body part where cancer is suspected. It uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of internal body organs. The sound waves hit the organs and bounce back to a device called a transducer. The transducer turns the sound waves into images that are shown on a computer. There are two individuals that will conduct this method. The first individual is the sonographer or the specialist that operates ultrasound machine. 12 hours before the test, the patient is required to be in a “nothing per orem” (NPO) status, which means that the patient will not be allowed to eat or to drink 12 hours prior to the test. However, 1 hour before the test the patient is required to drink a quart of water to keep full bladder. During the test, the patient is required to remove his clothes and any metal object and is required to lie down on the examination table. The sonographer will then apply the echo gel to the skin of the patient in order to block the air pockets for better imaging quality. The Sonographer will then press the transducer firmly against the gel and move it back and forth. After the images are taken, the second individual, the radiologist, which is a medical doctor will then interpret the images for purposes of diagnosing cancer.
- Bone Scan– This method uses a small amount of radiation to detect cancer cells that start to propagate in the bones and bone tissues.
- Endoscopy– This method uses a thin scope that has camera on its tip connected to the monitor in order to determine any lumps or unusual tissue growths in the patient’s Gastro-intestinal tract.
In most cancer cases globally, early detection is the key to prevent extensive damages that are caused by cancer cell proliferation. It is also very important for proper cancer management.
Mariam N. is a cleaning expert working with Sono Supplies. She has been interested in health and cleaning issues since she was young and wants to share her knowledge and experience with others who are not indifferent to cleanup. Mariam is deeply convinced that house cleaning is a critical part of hygiene. On a regular basis, she delivers new cleaning expert advice on how to treat products, tools, different items, which sometimes include medical instruments and equipment as well.