Cancer originates when a cell in the body begins to grow out of control. Cells are the building blocks of the body. They grow, divide into new cells, and replace old or damaged cells. Normally, cells only grow and divide when the body needs them. But sometimes, this control system is damaged, and cells begin growing out of control.
Common Forms of Cancer
Cancer can emerge in any part of the body, including internal organs and the skin. Cancer may occur in any part of the body, but it usually starts in the tissues closest to the heart and lungs. It may also develop in other body parts too; for example, skin cancer starts in skin tissue. The types of cancer are carcinomas, sarcomas, leukemias, lymphomas, and central nervous system cancers.
Treatment of cancer is a team effort, including doctors, nurses, patients, and families. Cancer treatments aim to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. There are several treatment options available, and they depend on the type of cancer, its stage of cancer has spread, and general health.
Cancer is often treated with chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy. All three treatments can kill cancer cells in different ways. Surgery directly removes tumors in the body, while chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill the cancer cells. Radiation therapy utilizes X-rays to kill cancer cells. A doctor decides which treatment may be best for each person based on something called patient goals.
Managing Cancer Side Effects
Cancer care services are highly personal. Cancer treatment focuses on the diagnosis, symptoms, and prognosis. Cancer side effects can include pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, burning mouth syndrome, lack of focus or concentration, depression, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, sleep problems, hair loss—to name just a few. But managing cancer symptoms is not only an individual effort. It also requires coordinated support from family members or caregivers who can help one get what they need when they need it.
There are many different treatments a cancer patient can choose from to help best manage their condition. Some patients may choose conventional care, while others will choose alternative care. It’s important to incorporate supportive services, such as nutrition therapy, naturopathic support, and mind-body medicine throughout the cancer journey to help one deal with side effects. By managing side effects before they become more serious, the treatment will go more smoothly.