What is Cancer?
The building blocks of our body are cells. The irregular and uncontrolled division and proliferation of cells is called CANCER. In the human body, cells divide in order to replace dead cells with new ones and to repair damaged tissues. However, this division has a speed and limit. With the loss of this speed and limit consciousness in cells, uncontrolled division and proliferation begin. These cells together form structures called tumorsand replace normal tissues. As the cancer increases, it can spread to other parts of the body. If cancer is limited to one area, it is called in situ, if it spreads in one area, is invasive, and if it spreads to other parts of the body is called metastasis. With the early diagnosis and correct treatment method, the spread of cancer to the human body can be prevented.
Symptoms of Cancer
Cancer can manifest itself with many unexplained symptoms in the human body. Common symptoms in all types of cancer are malaise, high fever and weight loss. Symptoms of different types of cancer also vary. For example, in breast cancer, it is an important symptom that breast mass can be felt by hand. Constant coughing, chest pain and shortness of breath are symptoms of lung cancer. Irregularity in bowel motility may indicate colorectal (large intestine) cancer. Easy bleeding and the inability to stop bleeding are the most important symptoms of bone marrow cancer. Blood in urine, is a sign of prostate and urinary bladder cancers. In pancreatic cancer, sharp pain is felt in the upper part of the abdomen. In oesophagus cancer, difficulty in swallowing is known to be a symptom while hoarseness is a symptomin throat cancer. In skin cancer,mole or an ulcer may be seen in the skin. Apart from these symptoms, there are hundreds of symptoms seen in different types of cancer. For this reason, it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately if an unexplained change is detected in the body.
Today, there are more than 100 different types of cancer. Cancer types are determined based on cancer spreading characteristics, the types of cells where the cancer shows up and where they are located. Cancers that are limited to one region are called in situ, and cancers that have spread are called invasive cancer. Cancer can show involvement in different cell types. For example, cancer that has involvement in small lung cells is called small cell cancer, cancer that has involvement in squamous cells in the skin or oesophagus is called squamous cell cancer. Finally, cancer types are named according to their location in the body. For example, if cancer is in the breast, is called breast cancer, if cancer is in the lung, lung cancer, if cancer is in men’s prostate area, prostate cancer, and if cancer is in skin, is called skin cancer. By using these three criteria, the type of cancer is determined in detail. For example, the type of cancer that does not spread at a location and spreads to the basal cells in the skin is called in situ basal cell skin carcinoma.
Most Common Cancer Treatments
Different treatments are used in cancer treatment depending on the type and spreading pace. One or more of the methods described below can be used in the treatment of cancer. Surgery: Removal of the cancer mass and the tissues reached by the cancer by surgery. Radiotherapy: The treatment method that aims to destroy cancerous cells by irradiating the cancerous tissue using radiation. Chemotherapy: Cancer treatment aimed at killing cancerous cells in the body using chemical drugs that are toxic to the cells. Side effects such as weight loss, hair loss and weakness are the biggest challenge of this treatment method. Immunotherapy: It is a treatment method that aims to strengthen the body's immune system and create a stronger body to fight cancer by using needle therapy. Hormone therapy: Some types of cancer are hormone sensitive and are thought to occur due to hormone deficiency. It is a method that aim to treat by replacing the hormones that are decreasing in the body. Biological therapy: Cancer treatment aimed at killing cancerous cells in the body using some biological drugs. Advantage of this treatment method is that it does not cause hair loss like chemotherapy. However, biological drug therapy is not suitable for all types of cancer. Targeted therapy: It is a type of treatment that prevents the growth of cancerous cells by targeting some molecules in cancer cells. Symptom control and palliative care: It is the method used when other types of treatments are no longer considered to be effective,to protect patients with advanced cancer,from harmful, unpleasant symptoms. Although it does not cure cancer, it reduces the discomfort experienced by the patient and aims to increase the comfort.
Ways to Prevent Cancer
1- No smoking: Any tobacco product increases the risk of cancer. Smoking has been shown to be associated with many cancers, not just the lung, but the mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Even if you do not use tobacco yourself, your risk of cancer increases due to passive smoking. If you want to stop using tobacco, consult your doctor about the methods of quitting smoking.
Eat healthy: We are really what we eat. So, nutrition has a big role in preventing cancer. Mediterranean cuisine, supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, mixed nuts and whole wheat, is excellent. Prefer fish instead of red meat. • Avoid obesity: Eat less high-calorie foods, such as refined sugar, fat, and animal-derived proteins, and eat lighter and leaner meals. • Moderate alcohol consumption: It has been shown many times that alcohol increases the risk of breast, intestinal, lung kidney and liver cancers.
3- Use supplements: Although nutritional and nutraceutical usefulness is constantly discussed, take omega 3 and vitamin D supplements to strengthen the immune system if necessary.
4- Maintain healthy weight and be active: Maintaining healthy weight reduces the risk of various cancers such as breast, prostate, lung, intestinal and kidney cancer. Do aerobic movements for about 20-30 minutes every day.
5- Protection from the sun: Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Northern Cyprus. Avoid skin cancer by staying away from noon sun (between 10.00-16.00). To do this, stay in the shade, cover the exposed areas of your body (dressing in bright or dark colors reflects the ultraviolet ray more than pastel or pale colours), use plenty of sunscreen and stay away from colouring processes such as a solarium.
6- Get vaccinated: Protect against hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV). Hepatitis B increases the risk of liver cancer. HPV is usually sexually transmitted and causes cervical and other genital cancers. Protect during sexual intercourse and if you are worried, discuss the vaccination against these infections with your doctor.
7- Be vigilant: Increase the chance of early diagnosis of cancer by regularly examining yourself for cancers such as skin, bowel, cervical and breast cancer. This is the stage when the treatment is most successful. Early detection saves lives