Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.
How is cancer diagnosed?
It is highly recommended to quickly diagnose the disease in order to get the best chance of cure, especially in the early stages. Doctors can use one or more approaches to diagnose this disease.
Some common tests doctors take to diagnose, including:
In addition to checking for changes in the skin, the doctor may check through the anus to see if there is a malignant tumor in the anus or prostate.
A blood test may be needed to check the patient’s overall health and detect the presence or absence of abnormalities.
Various imaging tests such as PET scans, MRIs, X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans can be used to find out if abnormal cells have spread.
Biopsies are performed by removing a small portion of tissue to be examined with a microscope. Samples taken in biopsies are then analyzed by pathologists.
What are the ways to treat cancer?
Treatment basically depends on the type and stage of the disease, potential side effects, as well as the choice and general health of the patient. Here are some of the most common cancer treatments:
Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses chemicals with strong intensity to kill fast-growing cells in the body. Chemotherapy is most commonly used as a cancer drug, as the disease’s cells develop faster than normal cells in the body.
Chemotherapy drugs can be used alone or combined. However, there will be perceived chemotherapy side effects.
Radiotherapy or radiation therapy is a way of treatment that relies on radiation by using high energy waves such as x-rays, gamma, protons, and electrons to kill cancer cells.
Although radiotherapy is most commonly used as a treatment, it is also sometimes used to treat patients who are not affected by the disease, such as tumors and thyroid gland disorders.
Another cancer drug is to perform biological therapy. Biological therapy works by damaging abnormal cells directly or indirectly by triggering immune system reactions to attack those cells.
Biological therapy uses living organisms, either produced from within the human body or engineered in a laboratory that is deliberately created to be able to fight the cells that cause this disease. Biological therapies include immunotherapy, vaccines, and so on.
Targeted therapy is a therapy that uses drugs or other chemicals to identify and attack cancer cells specifically without killing normal cells. The therapy used can be a combination of several therapies. These therapies include:
- Monoclonal antibodies.
- Tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
- Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors.
Consult your doctor for the right treatment and medication options for you. Each treatment of this disease has different side effects. Consider the risk of consuming the drug to stop abnormal cells with your condition.
What is the life expectancy of cancer patients?
A person who is sick with cancer has a great life expectancy because the disease is treatable. However, life expectancy depends on type, stage, and age.
Some types of cancers that have a high cure rate when detected early and treated appropriately are those that attack the breast, cervix, mouth, and colorectal (colon and anus).
From 1991 to 2017, the average death rate from the disease has decreased by 29 percent, with the largest decrease in 2016 to 2017, which is 2.2 percent.
If described in real terms, this means that around 2.9 million cancer patients are able to survive after being diagnosed. Here’s an overview:
- Decreased mortality by 40% due to breast cancer (1989-2017).
- Decreased death rate by 52% due to prostate cancer (1993-2017).
- The death rate decreased by 56% in men (1980-2017) and 57 percent in women (1969-2017) from colorectal cancer.
- The fastest decline in death rates occurred in melanoma skin cancer, which was 7% per year during 2013-2017.
With the most recent treatment approved in 2011, the life expectancy of patients for the disease over the next year was 42 percent, even increasing to 55 percent.
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can be made to overcome this disease?
To support treatment, you should adjust the lifestyle for cancer patients. Here are the lifestyle changes you need to implement:
Keep your ideal weight and follow the doctor’s treatment
The goal is to reduce obesity if you have it as well as prevent low weight. Try checking your ideal weight with the BMI (body mass index) calculator. Follow the rules of taking medications, therapy schedules, and abstinence that the doctor conveys to you.
Consumption of nutritious foods
Following treatment often causes side effects that affect the body’s nutrition. So, make sure you follow a diet that is in accordance with the advice of both doctors and nutritionists.
Manage stress and get used to positive thinking
Your emotional state greatly affects treatment. Therefore, do not allow stress to protract and get used to positive thinking in order to help the healing process.
How to prevent cancer?
While there is no definitive way to prevent cancer, both cured and healthy people can apply the following tips:
- Quitting smoking because its chemicals trigger inflammation and can cause cells in the body, especially the lungs to become abnormal.
- Wearing sunscreen to prevent exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of skin cells splitting uncontrollably.
- Consume healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts.
- Those at risk are required to undergo screening to determine whether or not the cells are abnormal.
- Follow the HPV vaccine to prevent abnormal cells in the cervix in women.
- Spending 30 minutes of exercise every day can prevent you from obesity, one of the risk factors for cells working abnormally.
- Just like cigarettes, alcohol also contains substances that trigger inflammation. So, limit the intake especially if you already have certain health problems.