Cancer is not a name of one disease, but it is a cluster of numerous diseases in which unwanted cells begin to grow in the human body. When the DNA of a cell is damaged it becomes a cancer cell. In this paper, we shall discuss its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, side-effects of treatment, and also its link with a genetic alteration.
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Today, billions of people are living with cancer cells all over the world and it is the second major cause of increased mortality rate specifically among youth. Genetic alterations in Cancer (GAC) is a collection of data, based on knowledgeable and researched studies of gene mutation, loss of hetero-zygote, and change in the chromosome of the cancer cell. It accounts for evidence of those genetic changes that occur in the cancer cell (Porth, 2010). Molecular events that take place in the human body are examined through the application of whole-genome approaches which pinpoint genetic alterations in cancer genomes.
Genetic Alterations in Tumor
Several genetic alterations are observed in the tumor, which affects growth controlling genes, and are categorized into four categories as subtle sequence change, which includes addition or subtraction of some nucleotides. Another is an alteration in chromosome number, which is usually found in almost every cancer patient and it involves gains and losses of the whole chromosome. The third one is related to the fusion of normal chromosomes with infected ones and it is known as chromosome translocations. Forth is gene amplification which is observed at a molecular stage in, which numerous copies of an ‘ Amplicon’ are found which contains a growth-promoting gene (Priscilla, 2008).
A cancer cell does not die, but it tends to grow and divide within a short time. It started making clusters with other cells that take the shape of a tumor which destroys normal cell tissues and cells in the body, as a result of which person becomes very sick sometimes tumor moves in the body and make another tumor of the same kind in the body knows as metastasis. The growth of these cells is much faster than normal body cells (Porth, 2010).
Causes of Cancer
Unlike other diseases, it is not contagious means no one can get it from the infected individual it is not caused by germs, but many other reasons have been reported as the major causes of cancer such as smoking, drinking, too much exposure to the sun, genetic, unsafe sex, less physical activities, and many other environmental factors (Rosenbaum, Dolinger, & Rosenbaum, 2008). Many people do not understand that cancer is preventable which needs little awareness and willingness to understand and practice such activities that help to reduce chances of getting cancer, for example, researchers have confirmed that smoking and intake of tobacco in any other form is the major causes behind most of the cancer cases filed annually. When a person quits smoking habit 30% chances are reduced immediately. Also, obesity has been reported as an important reason behind many types of cancers. Therefore exercising and other physical activities help reduce obesity and risk factors for cancer (Priscilla, 2008). In addition, to prevent vaginal and skin cancer avoid unsafe sex and unnecessary exposure to the sun respectively.
Diagnose of Cancer
As there are many types of cancers, doctors take time to diagnose them because patients having different types of cancers show different symptoms that are detected through various types of tests including blood screening, CT scan, MRI test, and X-ray. Infected individuals show symptoms of cancer such as weight loss, fever, night sweats, white spots in the mouth or tongue, the appearance of mole or wart, constipation, diarrhea, and many more (Rosenbaum, Dolinger, & Rosenbaum, 2008). Symptoms are countless because they depend on the location of cancer in the body. For example, we consider chronic lymphocytic leukemia which is a type of cancer in, which the number of lymphocytes decreases as a result of which the immune system of the person started weakening. A person infected by chronic lymphocytic leukemia begins showing symptoms such as enlargement of lymph glands like the neck and armpits. When a person shows these symptoms x-rays and most importantly bone marrow test is carried out to confirm the presence of cancer in the body (Kathryn, McCance, & Huether., 2006).
Stages of cancer
Stages of cancer again depend upon its types. Most of the cancers have four stages whereas some of the cancers have only one stage. Also, for some cancers, doctors talk about zero stage for example skin cancer. Staging helps define the severity of the disease depending upon the extent to which the tumor has spread in the body. The staging system has been developed by doctors because it helps them to acknowledge the way cancer progresses so that they can treat patients accordingly and properly. The types of cancers which have four stages show different conditions of cancer at different stages such as at stage one cancer is relatively small, at stage two cancer cells started spreading into tissues, at stage three cancer becomes large and at stage four cancer cells have spread in the whole body, it is also known as metastatic stage (Rosenbaum, Dolinger, & Rosenbaum, 2008).
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Complications of Cancer
Complications of cancer are mainly associated with its diagnosis and treatment. Three important complications of cancer are described below:
When any psychological disorder occurs in a patient it becomes difficult for health professionals to diagnose or treat such a patient. Second is Delirium, which is most common in cancer patients; it occurs as both transient central nervous system and treatment side-effects. In addition, anxiety is another important complication regarding cancer because it is easier to diagnose and treat it in normal patients but it becomes very difficult for doctors to treat it in cancer patients (Priscilla, 2008).
Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
Treatment of cancer contributes to many chronic conditions such as constipation, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia. However, these conditions are not experienced by all cancer patients by some individuals caught such diseases as a result of cancer treatment. When cancer patients get constipation they face difficulty during the excretion process and it becomes quite painful for such individuals to excrete out the waste product through the large intestine. Fatigue is another condition of extreme exhaustion that patients receive after treatment. Nausea and vomiting caused changes in the body like irritation, poor blood flow, and inflammation. In addition, most commonly cancer patients caught sleep disorders and experience sleepless nights (Porth, 2010).
Control Side Effects of Cancer therapy
In the past 20 years, technology has become advanced that helped in the development of such methods that can control the side-effects of cancer therapy. Initially, improvements have been made in the management of symptoms. Now, cancer therapies are delivered with more accuracy and consistency to prevent its side effects. Also, various modern drugs have been introduced to lessen the effects of treatment such as modern anti-vomiting drugs that help control vomiting and nausea, called anti-metics (Porth, 2010). Also, now such medicines are available in the market that help reduce conditions like insomnia, constipation, and fatigue.
Kathryn, L., McCance, S., & Huether. (2006). Pathophysiology:the biologic basis for disease in adults and children, Volume 1. Maryland: Elsevier Mosby.
Porth, C. (2010). Essentials of Pathophysiology:Concepts of Altered Health State. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Priscilla, L. (2008). Medical Surgical Nursing. New Delhi: Pearson Education India.
Rosenbaum, E., Dolinger, M., & Rosenbaum, A. (2008). Everyones Guide To Cancer Therapy:How Cancer Is Diagnosed, Treated, And Managed Day. Kansas: Andrews McMeel Publishing.