This guide to cancer will cover a range of topics related to the subject, from spotting the signs of cancer, treatments, and even the history of cancer. By the end of the article, you should feel informed on cancer, and know what you’re looking out for.
Spotting The Signs Of Cancer
If you want to spot cancer early, which is always better to do as early as possible, then there will be certain things you can look out for. Obvious ones can be physical, such as spotting lumps that have suddenly appeared on your body for no good reason. For example, the warning signs for melanoma can be difficult to spot without prior knowledge, which is why you should keep an eye on sun-exposed areas of your body.
If you notice that you have bleeding occasionally, for also unknown reasons, then this could be something to look out for. Bowel habits are important to note, as any major changes in this could be a clear sign of something deeper going on. It’s more than likely that your symptoms aren’t cancer, and could be a sign of either another health condition or just nothing at all. In any case, you should be going to a doctor to get anything checked out, to be sure.
The History Of Cancer
As far as recorded history goes back, there have been signs of cancer. Even looking back in records when health experts at the time didn’t know about it, we can see the signs and likely reason for deaths. As you may very well be aware, genetics can play a role in cancer risk, but external factors such as your lifestyle of environment will also have a role to play.
Back in history, that’s likely the leading reason for cancer, as the lifestyle and environment were so drastically different. Of course, modern medicine has played a big part in this, and even treatment has evolved, through immunotherapy and chemotherapy solutions.
Historically speaking, some of the earliest evidence of cancer ever seen was from fossilized bone tumors found within Egyptian mummies. All different forms of cancer have been recorded, from brain tumors to breast cancer.
You may have heard the name, Hippocrates. He was a Greek doctor who was considered the Father of Medicine, who is the man who named cancer what it was, calling it karkinos. He also was one of the first to describe what tumors looked like, describing them to be crab-shaped. Hippocrates also believed that human bodies comprised of four main fluids, being blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. This led to his theory that cancer was caused by excess black bile.
You can read much more on the history of cancer through resources online, as well as by consulting experts. That is why you will be able to learn more about cancer’s roots, and how it has changed in the run-up to the modern-day.
For example, you will be able to find out more about the Roman physician Celsus, who gave cancer the name it has today. He got to this name after translating Hippocrates’ word karkinos to Latin. He is also the man who described tumors as oncos, which was the Greek word for swelling, which is why we have the modern term oncology in place these days.
Understanding the past helps to define the future, and gives you more knowledge on the fight against cancer, and what you can do. It’s easy to get lost in your world when you get diagnosed with cancer, but understanding it as a human and society issue, rather than a personal one, can help you gain some perspective, and get your life back on track.
Reducing The Risk Of Cancer
If you didn’t know, you can reduce your risk of being diagnosed with cancer by making small changes in your lifestyle. As touched upon in the history of cancer section, the lifestyle that you live can impact your health and was one of the leading causes of cancer.
For example, you can alter your diet to reduce your risk of cancer, as too much of certain types of food can cause issues within your body. In the same way that too much salt and fats can increase your chances of a heart attack, certain foods will have chemicals that can aid in developing cancer.
If you look into regular exercise, then that too could improve your chances of staying healthy, not just from cancer, but from a range of medical issues. The American Cancer Society created the CAUTION campaign, which aids to remind people of what they can do to reduce their risk of cancer.
Each letter of CAUTION carries a reminder. Firstly, the C reminds people to look out for changes in bowel or bladder habits, as this could be an early sign of cancer, giving you time to fight it. The A warns you to look out for a sort that does not heal or at least takes longer than it should. The U stands for unusual bleeding or discharge, which can come from several different places on your body.
The T focuses on any thickening or lumps found on the body, such as the breast. The I stands for indigestions or difficulty in swallowing in general. O is for any obvious change in a wart or mole that you have, or if one has just sprouted. The N will give attention to any nagging cough or hoarseness in your voice.
If you follow that preventive guide, then you should have a better understanding of what to look out for. To deal with these cancers, you will have to undergo a variety of cancer treatments, depending on what issue you have.
The primary method to deal with cancer is through surgery, as physical tumors can be surgically removed. Aside from that, you will have chemotherapy, which uses powerful cancer-killing medicines to combat the cancerous cells. Radiotherapy has the same goal but uses controlled uses of high-energy x rays to do combat the cancerous cells.