Aside from being life-threatening, dealing with cancer is also complicated for a number of reasons. First, there are different kinds of cancer, and treatment varies per type. Furthermore, the cause of cancer is still unknown. While there are treatments that can prevent cancer spread, the actual cure for cancer is yet to be discovered.
While cancer is perhaps, the last thing most people would want to think about, it’s still imperative to learn as much information about the disease. It’s not about anticipating that it will happen to you, it’s about being armed with right knowledge to lessen your chances of developing cancer and make informed decisions in case you or a loved one gets diagnosed with the disease.
How Cancers Form
A cancer is a disease that begins when there’s an abnormal development or formation of new cells, which grows uncontrollably to the point that they form growths, tumors, or masses of tissue. But does a tumor immediately indicate cancer?
Quick answer: No. If in case you get diagnosed with a tumor in any part of your body, you shouldn’t think that it’s cancer right away.
Tumor vs. Cancer
A tumor can be benign or malignant. If a doctor detected a growth in any part of your body, you need to determine whether it’s benign or malignant before you can explore treatment options. Here’s the difference between the two.
Benign tumors are not cancerous, which means that they have not spread to other parts of the body. They typically grow slowly and are covered by a protective sac, which is a result of immune system response to separate the growth from the rest of the body and allow for its easy removal.
Benign tumors are not dangerous on their own, but complications may arise depending on where the growth is located. It may put pressure on a nerve, artery or brain matter, making it a threat.
Malignant tumors are cancerous growths. In this case, the cells have spread outside the tumor or mass. They grow faster than benign tumors and can damage surrounding areas.
Depending on the type of cancer or how advanced the condition is, a malignant tumor may metastasize to other organs, the blood, or lymph system. They can also cause pain as they grow and press against organs, blood vessels, and nerves.
Detecting Cancer Early
A tumor is one of the first indications of cancer. That’s why it’s imperative to detect growths early on to determine whether they are benign or malignant and to administer treatment that will prevent them from causing further harm to the body.
Go to regular check-ups. Routine health examinations help detect tumors early on and find other possible early signs of cancer. While some cancers are hard to detect such as pancreatic cancer, your chances of survival will be greater if the disease gets diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
Knowing your risk factors also help. Generally, cancer risk factors include age, family health history, obesity, lifestyle habits such as smoking, and exposure to certain chemicals.
In addition, it also pays to be aware of your body. If you feel any lump, it’s advisable to seek medical attention right away. This way, you can know whether the growth is benign or malignant, get appropriate treatment, and prevent the condition from getting worse.