CANCER: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment & Stages

What Is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease of the body’s cells.

It is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Therefore, it can form a tumor.

It makes it hard for your body to work the way it should. But nowadays, for many people, It can be treated successfully by many methods.

Cancer is not just one disease. There are many types of tumors. It can begin in the lungs, the breast, the colon, or even in the blood. 

They are alike in some ways, but they are different in the method they grow and spread.


What Is A Tumor?

An abnormal mass of tissue forms when cells grow up rapidly and divide more than they should or do not die when they should.

  • Tumors are not cancer are called: Benign
  • Tumors are cancer are called: Malignant


Benign tumors may grow large but do not spread into or invade nearby tissues or the other parts of the body.


Malignant tumors can spread into or invade nearby tissues, they can spread to the other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems, also called neoplasm.


What Causes Cancer?

It is caused by changes or mutations to the DNA within cells.

The DNA inside a cell is packaged into a large number of individual genes, each of which contains a set of instructions telling the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to grow and divide.

Errors in the instructions can cause the cell to stop its normal function and may allow a cell to become cancerous. Furthermore, cancer is a complex group of diseases.

It can have many possible causes, such as lifestyle habits, genetics, carcinogens, and environmental factors, sometimes there is no clear cause.


Factors causing or increasing the risk of cancer:

  • Genetic: Mutations
  • Lifestyle: smoking, lack of exercise or sleep, unhealthy diets.
  • Environmental Factors: pollution, carcinogen.
  • Pathogens: Virus, bacteria.
  • Other diseases: Obesity, diabetes, immunosuppression.


What Are The Stages Of Cancer?

Stage 0 

It indicates that the cancer is where it started (in situ) and hasn’t spread.

Stage I

It is small and hasn’t spread anywhere else.

Stage II

 It has grown but hasn’t spread.

Stage III

 It is larger and may have spread to the surrounding tissues and/or the lymph nodes (part of the lymphatic system).

Stage IV 

It has spread from where it started to at least one other body organ; also known as “secondary” or “metastatic” cancer.

How Is Cancer Treated?


Common treatments for cancer involve using surgery, medicines (drugs), and radiation. Physicians use more than one type of treatment, depending on the type and stage of it.


Physicians use surgery to remove the tumor. The doctor might also take out some or all of the body parts cancer affects. For breast cancer, they may remove part (or all) of the breast. For prostate cancer. And, they may take the prostate gland out.

Surgery is not used for all types of tumors.

For example, blood cancers like leukemia are best treated with drugs because they don’t have a tumor that can be removed.


Frequently, Physicians recommend using medicines to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.

Some of these drugs are given by IV (into a vein through a needle), and others are a pill you swallow.

The medication works differently, and sometimes one uses drugs also to treat cancer. The different kinds of drugs used to treat cancer are:


  • Chemotherapy (chemo)
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Hormone therapy


They use radiation to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. It can be used alone or with surgery or chemo. Radiation treatment is like getting an x-ray. Sometimes it’s given by putting a “seed” inside tumors to give off the radiation.


What Are The Types Of Cancer?

There are more than 100 types of tumors. Types of cancer are usually named for the organs or tissues where the cancers form. For example, lung cancer starts in cells of the lung, and brain cancer starts in cells of the brain. Cancers also may be described by the type of cell that formed them, such as an epithelial cell or a squamous cell.


Tips For Caregivers:

Caring for a person with cancer can be hard emotionally and physically. However, there can also be moments that are comforting and rewarding.

Depending on the needs of the person with cancer, you may provide different types of support, including:

  • Emotional support
  • Help with medical care
  • Help with financial and insurance issues
  • Serving as the communicator between the patient and the health care team.


Follow these tips:


1- Create a list of tasks

2- Be Proactive

3- Be a problem solver

4- Try to stay positive

5- Know yourself

6-  Consider professional and volunteer services

7- Caring for the emotional well-being of Patient

8- Accept the limitations of a person who is seriously ill

9- Communicate

10- Participating in medical and physical care

11- Being an advocate


Tips For Patients:

1- Get some rest

2- Stay hydrated 

3- Eat when you can

4- Create a sense of normalcy in your routine

5- Look to your support and care teams to have your back through treatment 

6- Keep things around that bring you comfort

7- Stay ahead of your nausea

8- Stay positive

9- Prepare for possible hair loss


Request an appointment if you want to speak to an oncologist by CliniDo


CliniDo wishes you all a life full of health and happiness!