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Types Of Cancer

Though there are over 100 types of Cancers, the following are amenable to quick Complementary Therapy Treatment in terms of quality of life and symptomatic relief resulting even in regression of cancer. Some of the important types of cancers are discussed below. However, this is not an exhaustive list and will be updated from time to time.

1. Bone Cancers

The cancer that begins in the bone is called primary bone cancer sarcoma. Most often sarcomas affect the bones in the arms and legs.

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer and usually is found in young people between the ages of 10 and 25. Osteosarcoma starts at the end of bone when new bone is forming. Ewing's sarcoma also is found in young patients between the ages of 10 and 25. This type of bone cancer begins in the shaft or middle part of the long bone.

Chondrosarcoma is primarily an adult form of bone cancer. It begins in cartilage around the joints. Other types of bone cancer are rare and usually affect those older than 30. These cancers can also involve the bone but unless they begin in the bone they are not considered primary bone cancers.

The most common symptom of bone cancer is pain. In many instances bone cancer interferes with normal movement of the extremity and can also cause bones to break.

Bone cancers can be diagnosed through bone scans. In a bone scan radioactive material is injected into the blood stream, collects in abnormal areas of the bone, and is detected under a special scanner. CT scans and MRI scans also are used to detect sarcoma. Biopsy is the only way to obtain a definitive diagnosis of bone cancer. Biopsy involves sampling a piece of tissue and examining it closely under a microscope. A pathologist can determine the type of sarcoma and the rate of growth. These factors are important in determining the treatment of sarcoma. Treatment of sarcomas may involve surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. Surgery is always (almost) a part of sarcoma treatment due to the risk of recurrence at the site of origin. Unless the tumor is very large, amputation is avoided and the limbs bearing procedures are adopted. In the limbs bearing procedure artificial bone is used to replace bone affected by the cancer.

Chemotherapy is another treatment for sarcoma. It may be used prior to surgery to decrease the tumor size or after surgery to kill any remaining tumor cells. Chemotherapy may also be used to control growth of sarcoma that has spread to other parts of the body. Radiation is also used to treat bone cancer locally. It may be used before or after surgery and sometimes it is used instead of surgery. Yoga Therapy helps in reducing pain and Improve Quality of life in fact of all kinds patients.

2. Leukemia

Leukemias are bone marrow-or lymph tissue-derived cancers. They are cancers that affect the immature white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets (blood clotting cells). Leukemia represents about 3% of the cancer incidence in the U.S.

The majority of our blood cells are produced in the "spongy" center of our bones. Therefore, leukemia is said to be a cancer of the bone marrow. A small amount of cell production occurs in our lymph nodes. Dysfunctional cell production within this tissue can lead to lymphocytic leukemia. The word "leukemia" originated from the Greek and means, "white blood." The uncontrolled, overgrowth of abnormal white blood cells crowds the healthy cells in the bone marrow. When this occurs, the abnormal cells spill into the bloodstream. This causes an unhealthy balance of the three blood cell types. Anemia, infection, and bleeding can occur from this abnormal cell balance.

Anemia results from a low number of red blood cells and causes the patient to experience fatigue, shortness of breath, and/or dizziness. Infection occurs because the abnormal white blood cells no longer effectively kill bacteria and viruses. Bleeding such as nose bleeds, easy bruising, bleeding gums, and/or vaginal bleeding occur due to a low number of platelets-cells that function to clot the blood.

There are two major types of leukemia. Lymphocytic leukemia affects the lymphoid white blood cells. Myelocytic (or non-lymphocytic) affects the myeloid line of cells. Leukemia's can also occur as acute or chronic. Acute leukemias have quicker onset and disease course (1-5 months). Chronic leukemias have slower onset and progression (2-5 years). The most common leukemia in children is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). The two most prevalent leukemias in adults are Acute Myelogenous (AML) and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).

The treatment for leukemia is chemotherapy. If the patient is a candidate, high dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant are also possible treatment options.

3. Brain Tumors

Anatomy of the brain

The brain is composed of: The cerebrum, the largest part of the brain, contains two cerebral hemispheres and is divided into four lobes where discrete functions occur:

  • The frontal lobe, which controls reasoning, emotions, problem-solving, and parts of speech and movement
  • The parietal lobe, which controls the sensations of touch, pressure, pain, and temperature
  • The temporal lobe, which controls memory and the sense of hearing
  • The occipital lobe, which controls vision.
  • The cerebellum, or "little brain," is located beneath the cerebrum. The cerebellum controls coordination and balance.

The brain stem, which is the lowest portion of the brain and connects to the spinal cord, controls involuntary functions essential for life, such as the beating of the heart and breathing.
The meninges are the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. There are three meningeal layers, called the dura matter, arachnoid, and pia arachnoid.

The brain and spinal column make up the central nervous system (CNS), where all vital functions of the body are controlled. When tumors arise in the central nervous system, they are especially problematic because a person's thought processes and movements can be affected. These tumors can also be difficult to treat because the tissues surrounding the tumor may be vital to functioning.

Brain cancers are the second most common form of childhood cancer and the eighth most common cancer in adults.

Gliomas: A glioma is a tumor that grows from a glial cell, which is a supportive cell in the brain. There are two types of supportive cells: astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Therefore, most gliomas are called either astrocytoma or oligodendroglioma, or a mixture of both. Gliomas are graded (how much the tumor appears like normal brain tissue) from I to IV based on their degree of aggressiveness. A grade I glioma is a benign tumor, while grade II through IV are tumors with an increasing degree of aggressiveness and are therefore considered increasingly malignant in potential.

Brain tumors represent the third and fourth most common cause of cancer related death for 15-34-year-old males and females respectively, with over 17,000 new cases being diagnosed. The incidence increases with age, averaging from 17.9 to 18.7 per 100,000 individuals between the ages of 65 and 79. There are few genetic and environmental links to developing brain tumors. Exceptions to this include genetic abnormality, which can result in optic nerve gliomas and other brain tumors. Individuals with occupational exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, and workers in petrochemical industries and some health professions seem to have a higher than expected increase in the incidence of brain tumors. Viral causes of brain tumors have only been implicated in laboratory animals.

Types of gliomas (Brain Tumours):

There are over 100 different types of primary brain tumors. For practical purposes, this review is divided into glioma and non-glioma types of tumors.

  • Astrocytoma is the most common type of glioma, making up about 11% of all brain tumors. Astrocytomas begin in cells called astrocytes in the cerebrum or cerebellum. Glioblastoma multiforme (also called grade IV astrocytoma) is a very aggressive form of astrocytoma.
  • Oligodendroglioma is a tumor that develops from cells called oligodendrocytes. These cells are responsible for producing the myelin that surrounds nerves. Oligodendrogliomas make up about 4% of all brain tumors.
  • Brain stem gliomas begin in the glial cells in the brain stem.
  • Ependymomas, which begin in the ependyma (the cells that line the passageways in the brain where cerebrospinal fluid is made and stored), make up about 2% of all brain tumors.
  • Mixed tumors, which are composed of more than one of the glial cell types, make up about 1% of all brain tumors.
  • Non-glioma tumors. Non-glioma tumors begin in other types of cells in the central nervous system, and are described as either benign or malignant.
  • Meningioma is the most common primary brain tumor, making up about 27% of all brain tumors. It begins in the meninges surrounding the brain and spinal column, and is most often benign. Meningioma can cause significant symptoms as it grows and presses on the brain or spinal cord.
  • Acoustic schwannoma is a rare tumor that begins in the vestibular nerve, and is normally benign.
  • Craniopharyngioma is a benign tumor that begins near the pituitary gland. These tumors are rare, making up less than 1% of all brain tumors.
  • Medulloblastoma, which begins in granular cells in the cerebellum, is most common in children and is most often malignant. Medulloblastomas make up about 2% of all brain tumors.
  • Primary CNS lymphoma is a form of lymphoma (cancer that begins in the lymphatic system) that starts in the brain, and makes up about 2% of all brain tumors.
  • The pineal and pituitary glands, located near the base of the brain, are the location of about 7% of all brain tumors.

About 5% of all brain tumors cannot be assigned an exact type.
Diagnosis of brain tumors is made when a patient presents with a new or unusual neurological symptom. Symptomatology for the brain tumor varies, and is depend upon the areas of the brain affected, as well as the size and degree of malignancy. Symptoms of a brain tumor may include

  • Seizures (occurring in 20%-50% of patients);
  • Headache with or without nausea and vomiting (occurring in approximately one-third of all patients);
  • one-sided weakness or paralysis;
  • changes in taste, vision or smell;
  • dizziness;
  • loss of appetite;
  • changes in personality, mood, mental capacity, and/or concentration;
  • changes in sleep patterns; and/or slowing or psychomotor activity. Because some of these symptoms may be confused with depression or other psychological problems.

Diagnosis of a brain tumor is often delayed. Diagnostic testing for brain tumors includes Computerized Tomography (CT) Scans and more often Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scanning. Once a brain tumor is discovered a patient may undergo more extensive full-body evaluation to rule out the possibility that the tumor has metastasized (spread) from elsewhere in the body. If metastases are ruled out, the patient is usually sent for a neurosurgical procedure to make a definitive diagnosis.

Prognosis of patients with brain tumors varies depending upon the size, location, and degree of malignancy of the tumor.

Grades I and II tumors may have a median survival of five to seven years.

Grade III disease usually have a much poorer prognosis, with a median survival of only 18 to 24 months.

Grade IV brain tumors, also known as Glioblastoma multiforme, have the poorest prognosis; with the patient's life expectancy averaging only 8-10 months after diagnosis. Treatment or lack of it may alter all of these figures.

Treatment for brain tumours depends upon the size, location, and degree of malignancy of the lesion. Patients with brain tumors are usually initially treated with oral glucocorticoid therapy to reduce the swelling around the tumor and improve symptoms and function. Surgical treatment of brain tumors is often an option with the goal being to resect the tumor completely and provide cure. This is often not possible in patients with multiple tumors, large sized tumors, tumors of the brain stem, and tumors with higher grade.

In those patients, palliative radiation therapy may be combined with chemotherapy to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment. New research studies are underway to determine the best scheduling of radiation therapy and to determine the optimum timing and dose of the chemotherapy to bring about the best patient outcome.

The brain and spinal column make up the central nervous system (CNS), where all vital functions of the body are controlled. When tumors arise in the central nervous system, they are especially problematic because a person's thought processes and movements can be affected. These tumors can also be difficult to treat because the tissues surrounding the tumor may be vital to functioning.


4.Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a term applied to any cancer that develops in lymphoid tissue. Lymphoid tissues make up the body's lymphatic system and play an important role in the body's defense against infection. There are two major types of lymphomas: Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin.

Hodgkin's lymphoma can occur at any age; however, it is seen most frequently in young adults and is more common in males. A painless enlarged node in the neck is the most common presenting symptom. Other symptoms include fever, drenching night sweats, and weight loss. Treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma includes radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of the two.

Treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma depends on the extent of the disease. Radiation therapy may be used for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma confined to lymph nodes. When the stomach, small intestine, spleen, bone marrow, liver, or skin is affected, chemotherapy is often initiated. Sometimes, both methods of treatment are used.

5.Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer occurring in women (excluding cancers of the skin) and the second most common cause of death from cancer in women, after lung cancer. Men can also develop breast cancer, but male breast cancer is rare, accounting for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases. If diagnosed at an early stage, breast cancer has a hopeful cure rate - up to approximately 97% of women diagnosed with localized breast cancer will be alive five years after their diagnosis. Even if the cancer is found at a more advanced stage, new therapies have enabled many people with breast cancer to live with their disease and enjoy a good quality of life.

The breast is comprised mainly of fatty tissue. Within this tissue is a network of lobes, which are made up of many tiny lobules that contain milk glands. Tiny ducts connect the glands, lobules, and lobes and carry the milk from the lobes to the nipple, located in the middle of the areola. Blood and lymph vessels run throughout the breast; the blood nourishes the cells, and the lymph drains the waste products.

About 90% of all breast cancers occur in the ducts or lobes, with almost 75% of all breast cancers beginning in the cells lining the milk ducts. These cancers are called ductal carcinomas. Cancers that begin in the lobes are called lobular carcinoma and are more likely to be found in both breasts.

If the disease has spread away from its place of origin, it is called invasive or infiltrating ductal or lobular carcinoma. Disease that has not spread is called in situ, meaning "in place." The course of in situ disease, as well as its treatment, varies, depending on its place of origin. Currently, oncologists recommend that ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which accounts for the majority of in situ breast cancers, be surgically removed to prevent progression to invasive disease.

Other, less common cancers of the breast include medullary (making up about 5% of all breast cancers), mucinous, tubular, papillary, or inflammatory. Paget's disease is a type of cancer that can begin in the nipple.

Breast cancers grow at different rates, but some oncologists estimate the average tumor doubles in size every 100 days. Since cancers start with one irregular cell, even with this doubling time, they may not be palpable (able to be felt) for years. Mammography can find tumors that are too small to be felt, but even so, the tumors have probably been growing for years before they are large enough to be visible on a mammogram.

Breast cancer cells migrate to the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary), in the neck (cervical), or those just below the collarbone (supra-clavicular). The most common sites of metastasis, or spread, of breast cancer are skin, distant lymph nodes, bone, lung, and liver.

6.Lung Cancer

Cigarette smoking is the main cause of Lung cancer. Anyone can develop lung cancer. Lung cancer is always treatable, no matter the size, location, or if the cancer has spread.

The lungs absorb oxygen from the air and bring it into the bloodstream for delivery to the rest of the body. As the body's cells use oxygen, they release carbon dioxide. The bloodstream carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs where it leaves the body when we exhale.

The lungs contain many different types of cells. Most cells in the lung are epithelial cells. These cells line the airways and produce mucus, which lubricates and protects the lung. The lung also contains nerve cells, hormone-producing cells, blood cells, and structural or supporting cells.

There are two major types of lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer (the most common) is believed to arise from epithelial cells. Small cell lung cancer is believed to arise from nerve cells or hormone-producing cells. The term "small cell" refers to the size and shape of the cancer cells seen under the microscope.

Lung cancer begins when cells in the lung grow out of control, and form a tumor. A lung tumor can begin anywhere in the lung. Once a lung tumor begins to grow, it may or may not shed cancer cells. These cells can travel through tiny tubes in the lung called lymphatic vessels, which drain into collecting stations called lymph nodes located in the lungs and the center of the chest. Cancer cells can also travel through blood vessels to distant sites in the body, where they can form other tumors. This process is known as metastasis.

Not all lung tumors metastasize. In general, small cell lung cancers are more likely to metastasize than non-small cell lung cancers, so the two types of lung cancer are treated in different ways.

The location and size of the initial lung tumor, and whether it has spread to nearby lymph nodes or distant sites, determines the stage of lung cancer. The type of lung cancer (non-small cell versus small cell) and the stage of disease determine what type of treatment is required.