Category Archives: Cancer

Effect of spine cancer on backbone and its treatment options

Back pain could occur due to multiple reasons and it does not always indicate the presence of a tumor. Nevertheless, if the back pain persists despite the administration of over-the-counter analgesics, consulting a cancer specialist can warrantee early medical intervention to treat back pain due to the presence of spinal tumor.

How does spinal cancer affect the backbone?

Back pain in patients suffering from spine cancer is essentially caused by the weakening and slow erosion of bones and the compression of spinal nerve roots that lead to neurological dysfunction, eventually causing permanent damage to the backbone. However, spinal tumors may or may not be painful and hence it is advisable to consult a cancer specialist if the presence of tumor has been detected in and around the spine.

Prognosis:

Complaints related to back pain and neurological deficits from patients experiencing other forms of cancer require immediate examination to rule out the possibility of cancer spreading from other areas to the spine. Hence, a complete physical and neurological examination is done using radiographic studies, MRI and CAT scans to evaluate the presence of the source of the spinal tumor.

Treatment options for spine cancer

Even though, there are multiple ways of treating spine cancer, the treatment adapted mainly depends on the location and the speed with which the tumor grows. Invasive treatments like surgical removal are not used for slow-growing tumors that do not cause any symptoms or drastic changes in the body. However, malignant or aggressive tumors require immediate removal by surgical method, which is often followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy to remove the cancerous cells that adhere to the spinal cord.

1. Surgical removal

Surgical treatments are reserved for tumors that grow inside the arachnoid membrane and extend outside the nerve roots called Intradural-Extramedullary tumors. In addition, intramedullary tumorsthatgrow within the supporting cells or glial cells of the nervous system also need surgical removal. However, surgical treatments have additional risks of damaging spinal nerves and inducing back pain in patients rather than alleviating the pain. Hence, surgical treatments are carried out in a very intricate manner by simultaneously monitoring the spine to ensure that the surgical procedure does not damage the spine and render it dysfunctional. Despite all the preventive measure taken to ensure that the nerves remain intact, adequate amount of rest and time is required for the spinal nerves to heal completely, following a surgery.

2. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy

If surgery fails to remove all the cancerous cells, radiotherapy is used as a post-operative measure to kill tumor cells that are in close proximity to the spinal nerves. Even though, chemotherapy has not been approved for treating spine cancer, it can be used in conjunction with radiotherapy to treat malignant vertebral tumors that have spread to other body parts like lungs, breasts, kidneys and prostate glands.

Other natural alternative treatments like moderate exercise and mind-body relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation have also been accepted by the scientific community to block neoplastic growth since they are free of any unwanted side effects that most medical interventions are associated with

To sum it up, all the aforementioned treatments are aimed at relieving pressure on the spinal nerves and reducing the intensity of the back pain. Nonetheless, one should consult a cancer specialistto discuss the risks and side effects associated with a therapy to help you decide on an appropriate therapy for treating the severity of your condition.

Causes of Thyroid Cancer

Causes of Thyroid Cancer – Predisposing factors include; radiation exposure, prolonged thyroid stimulating hormone exposure, familial predisposition and chronic goiter.

Thyroid tumors are divided into papillary carcinomas, follicular carcinomas, medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTCs), anaplastic carcinomas, primary thyroid lymphomas, and primary thyroid sarcomas.

Papillary tumours account for half of all thyroid tumors in adults, it is most common in young adult females. Follicular carcinomas are less common but more likely to recur and metastasize to the regional nodes and through blood vessels into the bones, liver and lungs.

Medullary carcinoma is a rare familial cancer which is completely curable if detected before it causes symptoms. The least common type is anaplastic which has a very poor prognosis. Anaplastic thyroid cancer tends to be found after it has spread and is not cured in most cases

Thyroid cancer is an uncommon type of thyroid disease. The causes of thyroid cancer are not exactly known by doctors, but it starts with the rapid multiplication of cells in the thyroid gland. However, certain risk factors increase a persons chance of developing the cancer. When you are exposed to these risk factors, you are prone to developing thyroid cancer.

If a person ever had radiation treatment done on their neck or head, they should be aware that such treatments are causes of thyroid cancer.

Crucial Facts about Ovarian Cancer

Cancerous outgrowths in one or both the ovaries leads to a dangerous condition called ovarian cancer, a disease known to affect a large section of women worldwide. While cancer of any form triggers a panic attack, educating yourself with authentic information is highly recommended to deal with the condition in a better manner.

Listed below are some crucial facts about ovarian cancer you need to be aware of:

How Is Ovarian Cancer Formed?

A cancerous cell in a particular area grows and reproduces at an alarmingly fast rate. This abnormal rate of reproduction leads to the formation of tumors or cancerous outgrowths in a particular area. Some of these tumors are benign in nature. They do not spread to other parts of the body and can be easily removed surgically or through administration of certain types of medicines. They do not cause harm or infiltrate healthy cells/tissues in and around the region and are therefore predominantly less dangerous. A large number of ovarian cancers are benign in nature and can therefore be easily treated and cured.

In some cases, the cancerous cells might become malignant, leading to rapid spread of cancerous cells in different parts of the body. This type of cancer interferes with the functioning of other healthy cells and tissues in the region, leading to the growth and development of multiple tumors at a given period of time. This form of ovarian cancer is highly dangerous and needs to be treated immediately to prevent aggravation of the woman’s health condition. When detected early, these cancerous outgrowths can be successfully curbed, leading to better prognosis and increased chances of recovery and survival.

Who Is Susceptible?

Family History

If one or more members of your family have been affected with ovarian cancer, the chances of you developing the same are extremely high. While it is not exactly clear what triggers the development of ovarian cancer, certain forms of genes passed on from the mother to the daughter could play a significant role in making women with family history more easily prone to ovarian cancer as opposed to those who have no family history whatsoever.

Age

Older women are more easily prone to develop ovarian cancer when compared to younger women. Those above the age of 55 years are particularly susceptible. This could be due to overall weakening of the woman’s immune system, a phenomenon naturally associated with aging. Therefore, it is highly recommended for older women to visit a cancer center and get a regular check up performed to rule out the possibility of the presence of cancerous cells in the ovaries or elsewhere.

Menopause

Those who have reached menopause are vulnerable due to a sudden drop in estrogen levels experienced by women during this phase of their life, making them susceptible to ovarian cancer.

Prognosis

The chances of you recovering from ovarian cancer are directly dependent upon the stage at which the cancer was detected. When detected early, a cancer center can help you to cope and heal with the condition in an efficient manner.