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Cancer is one of the scariest words in the English language. In so many ways, cancer is a non-discriminatory disease. It strikes children, women, men, health fanatics, young, old, and anyone in between. The word cancer conjures up images of balding heads, nausea and vomiting, radiation treatments, and death. Cancer can strike virtually any part of the body, from the blood to the bones to organs and skin. Many forms of cancer have a high remission rate while others carry a very high mortality rate.

Cancer is what can most easily be described as “cells that are uncontrollably dividing.” It is a cluster of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably, focusing initially on one part of the body. Cancer typically spreads through the lymphatic system or the blood stream.


The symptoms of cancer depend invariably on the type of cancer which has struck the body. Skin cancer is usually identified due to unusual, changing, or new moles or spots on the skin while lung cancer typically involves coughing, weight loss, fevers, chest congestion, and heart rhythm problems. Breast cancer is typically identified either via a lump in the breast or through a mammogram. The majority of cancers have a few symptoms in common, which include changes in urinary or bowel patterns, a sore that can’t heal, indigestion and difficulty swallowing, lumps, nagging couch, hoarseness, and very obvious changes in the ability to function typically inhibited by a feeling of unidentified illness.
Cancer cells
Image: Cancer cells


It is not unusual for there to be environmental causes of cancer, such as smoking causes lung cancer and asbestos causes Mesothelioma and the sun can cause skin cancer. However, many cancer cases have little to no explanation. There are over 100 various forms of cancer. Cancer is not a contagious disease.


For some, risk factors play a significant role in whether or not they are diagnosed with cancer. Breast cancer risk factors include a gene that can determine whether or not a woman is predisposed to breast cancer. Some women have had generations of women in their family die of breast cancer. Some women find that the combination of the family history combined with the detection of the breast cancer gene is reasonable grounds to remove their breasts. The risk of contracting lung cancer from smoking cigarettes can be strong enough for those addicted to quit smoking, while others smoke cigarettes all their lives and never contract lung cancer. Some people who have never smoked cigarettes contract lung cancer. The risk factors are strong for cancer when it concerns genetic or environmental risk factors, but cancer is so unpredictable that it is common for people to contract cancers with no apparent reasons.


Diagnosing cancer is a process of testing. X-rays, blood tests, and urine test are used in the diagnosis of cancer. Biopsies are the fastest and most accurate tests available for determining whether or not a patient has cancer. Most biopsies include the removal of a small particle of the suspected area, which is then analyzed by a laboratory to determine if there are cancerous cells. Bodily fluids, including phlegm, can carry cancer cells.


Complications are most common when actively treating cancer. The procedures used for treating cancer create problems of their own. Cancer patients who accidentally wear deodorant or lotions during their radiation treatments may experience radiation burns. Cancer treatments weaken the immune system, and it is possible to pick up minor illnesses which can turn into life threatening illnesses. Sores can turn into lesions, which can get infected. Infection can be more life threatening than the cancer being treated. Issues such as bowel impaction, severe pain, chronic pain medication, and loss of appetite can make fighting cancer remarkably difficult. Vomiting, nausea, and fatigue take their toll on cancer victims.

Treatment options for cancer are getting more advanced on a regular basis. Radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery are the most common treatment options for cancer. Cancer centers have introduced, with great success, holistic compliments to these treatments, which include nutritional therapy, spiritual therapy, group support, and even meditation therapy. Using holistic practices along with conventional therapy has led to a higher survival rate for most cancers.

Coping with cancer for the entire family and caring for oneself or for someone with cancer is a huge ordeal that demands energy for a long term battle. It’s a process that can only be dealt with on a day by day basis. Everyday has the potential to present new challenges and new complications. A good, healthy diet, a strong mentality, and a strong course of chemotherapy and surgical options are the best weapons against cancer.
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