Cancer cases are increasing every year in the world. There are many different types of cancer whose exact causes are unknown. Underlining that age, gender and family history are important factors in cancer risk, Op. Dr. Friday Aslan tells about what people wonder about cancer on the occasion of February 4, World Cancer Day.
According to World Health Organization data, 2018 million people died of cancer in 9,6 alone. In the last 20-30 years, the rate of cancer diseases has increased due to the increase in the average life span and the increase in the elderly population. Stating that common cancer types differ geographically and this is due to genetic, environmental and nutritional differences, DoctorTakvimi.com experts Op. Dr. “Creating regional and international databases is critical in improving our knowledge on the etiology of cancer. It will ultimately help launch targeted strategies for cancer prevention globally. Monitoring cancer-related death rates and 5-year survival rates of patients with cancer will identify regions where healthcare is not provided equally. Thus, access to healthcare services will be facilitated and guidelines for treatment will be created ”.
Uncontrollable cell division underlies cancer
Saying that the term cancer was first defined by the Greek physician Hippocrates, Op. Dr. Aslan emphasizes that cancer has many types depending on the tissue or organ it originates from, but that all of them are based on uncontrolled cell division. Noting that the cancer development process is the same in all tissues and organs, Op. Dr. Aslan continues his words as follows: “Under normal conditions, the division and reproduction of healthy cells in our body is controlled by the DNA in the cell nucleus. Cell death occurs after a certain number of divisions. This is called apoptosis (programmed) cell death. Cell division cannot be controlled as a result of damage to DNA. Cells that proliferate excessively accumulate in organs and tissues and form masses that we call tumors. However, not all tumors are cancers. Benign tumors that have capsules that cannot go out of the capsule and do not spread to distant tissues and organs; Tumors that go to distant tissues and organs with blood and lymph vessels without capsules are called malignant tumors (cancer). "
Possible to reduce some risk factors
DoctorTakvimi.com experts Op. Dr. Friday Aslan, skin, lung, prostate, large intestine, stomach, pancreas and rectum in men; He explains that skin, breast, lung, colon, rectum, ovarian, stomach and pancreatic cancer are the most common types in women. Saying that the exact causes of cancer are unknown, but some risk factors have been identified, Op. Dr. Aslan explains that these risk factors are divided into two main groups: environmentally modifiable and non-modifiable: “Tobacco and alcohol use, exposure to radiation, carcinogens in food, viruses, exposure to sunlight and chemicals entering the body through skin, respiration or digestion can be environmentally changed. We can count among the risk factors. Age, gender and family history are among the risk factors that cannot be changed. To explain these factors; Most types of cancer occur in older ages. However, there are also cancers seen in childhood such as lymphoma and leukemia. Prostate cancer occurs only in men. Breast cancer occurs in both women and men, but women are also at higher risk. Cancer at a young age in a close relative; The same type of cancer in three or more people in a few generations suggests a familial risk of cancer.
Different types of cancer have different symptoms
Stating that the symptoms differ because there are more than 100 types of cancer, Op. Dr. Aslan lists the most common symptoms as follows:
- Weight loss: Rapid weight loss is often the first symptom of cancers such as stomach, esophagus and pancreas.
- Fatigue: Fatigue may be the first symptom in cancers such as stomach and intestine with chronic blood loss.
- High fever: High fever can be seen in the last stage of all cancers. In cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia, fever may be the first sign.
- Bleeding: Bleeding in the stool is seen in bowel cancers and bleeding in the urine in bladder cancers. In lung cancers, blood may come from sputum and cough.
- Finding a mass by hand: The first symptom of soft tissue cancers in breast cancers, lymph cancers may be a palpable hard irregularly circumscribed mass.
- Size increase or color change in moles or warts on the skin, non-healing wounds on the skin: It can be seen in skin cancers.
- Difficulty in defecation or urination: It can be seen in prostate and rectal cancers.
- Difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness: It can be seen in cancers of the esophagus and throat.
New approaches in cancer treatment
Explaining that cancer treatment is a multidisciplinary treatment, DoctorTakvimi.com expert Op. Dr. “Modern cancer treatment is carried out in coordination by surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists and primary care physicians. In addition to the well-known surgical treatment and chemotherapy, different treatment methods are also used. A better understanding of cancer biology in the last 10 years has favored the rapid development of molecular therapy. The basic principle in this method is to detect the molecular differences between normal cells and cancer cells and to develop treatments targeting only cancer cells. In addition, hormone therapy is used in hormone-sensitive cancers such as prostate and breast, and immunotherapy is used to stimulate antitumor immunity that can destroy cancer cells in our body.