Cancer Treatment & Symptom
Cancer is defined as an inappropriate proliferation of a particular variety of cells with no biological, chemical or physical regulation and with an ability to spread all over the body by direct or indirect means.
Since all cells in an organism originate from a single fertilised egg, all carry identical genetic information. Growth of the egg into a viable being follows a well regulated control system dictated to by the gene. Genetic expression includes well balanced biochemical systems which permit cells to clone themselves with varying degrees of autonomy, enabling expression activation under well coordinated control.
It is now confirmed that from the embryo stage itself certain abnormalities are already coded for revealing at a later stage in life e.g. translocation of chromosomes. Such genes are called oncogenes. There may be one such oncogene or several in an individual. How and why breakpoints are reached wherein translocations set off a single mother cell into producing a full blown cancer is not yet clear. It is possible that activation of cellular oncogenes may itself be due to a different genetic mechanism not yet known.
Cancer and the Environment
Since the first atomic explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, radiation exposures in relatively large doses induce cancers by genetic mutation or by activating oncogenes.
Similarly, exposures of white skin to the sun (solar radiation) causes cancers. The ultraviolet rays of the sun are known to positively induce skin cancer by damaging genes.
Tobacco smoking and lung cancers are well and truly linked. However, it is still not understood why some persons who have been heavy smokers still do not develop lung cancer. Is it possible that genes for lung cancer do not exist in these people?
Occupations such as coal mining, ship building and the chemical industry are prone to cancers. With environmental pollution on the increase, another source of cancers is being discovered.
Viruses such as the Hepatitis B, Aids virus are known causes of cancers.
Effects of Cancers
1 Mass Effects (Local expansion)
a. Direct invasion of surrounding structures/organs leading to destruction of normal tissue.
b. Obstruction of blood vessels, intestines, tubes and ducts.
c. Rupture of blood vessels.
2 Remote Effects (By spread)
a. Production of hormones
b. Effects on the Central Nervous System / other organs and systems
c. Blood disorders
d. Metabolic disorders e.g. fever, loss of weight
e. Skin changes
3 Psychological Effects (Fear)
b. Mounting expenses
c. Emergency admissions
d. Chronic pain and helplessness
e. Loss of control over life in general
f. Prolonged loneliness
Certain Preventive Measures
1. Reduce intake of fat (saturated and unsaturated) from the present average level of 40% calories to about 30%.
2. High fibre diet e.g. fruits and green leafy vegetables.
3. Minimise consumption of preserved foods
4. Stop smoking. Smoking is also a higher risk for Prostate Cancer.
5. Moderate alcohol consumption.
Cancer's Warning Signals
1. Change in bowel habits
2. Unusual bleeding
3. Chronic nagging cough
4. Change in voice
5. Obvious changes in a wart or mole
6. Chronic sore/ulcer that does not heal
7. Breast lump
8. Gradual difficulty in swallowing food.