Plain Talk About Cancer

Cancer, also known as MALIGNANT NEOPLASM, remains a leading cause of death in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.  For decades now, cancer death statistics remain pretty close to twenty six percent (26%) of ALL Deaths.  And, the real question becomes “what is truly being done to lower this statistics?” This question remains to be a problem for those who are suppose to be leaders in the efforts to decreasing this statistics.

BILLIONS of dollars are spent each year in researching, diagnosing, treating, and managing patients with cancerous or malignant neoplasm.  And, based on the statistics, ONE in FOUR patients will STILL succumb to cancer related deaths.

The Main Culprit for this:

CANCER DIAGNOSIS IS TYPICALLY DELAYED UNTIL ADVANCED STAGE OF THE DISEASE Via INEFFICIENT MEDICAL PRACTICE 

Some Basic Concepts:

All cancers start at the cellular level with a proliferation,i.e. division and cellular growth as well as spread or invasion of typically one cell type.  This proliferation is believed to be prompted by mutation in genes or DNA/RNA caused by viruses, other environmental chemicals, or simply faulted/corrupt genes. Therefore, coupled with ASTUTE ASSESSMENT OF  RISK FACTORS , most advanced stages of cancer can be PREVENTED through evaluation of a few cells, if one consults with a specialist like Dr. Gates prior to a tumor becoming advanced where treatment options become limited. In fact, there are essentially eight or nine different general categories of CANCER, and the classification scheme is based on whether or not the original cancer cell is: 1) Epithelial origin (also derived from ectodermal and endodermal layers of human development), such examples include the lining of skin and internal organs, and this type cancer is generally known as CARCINOMA; 2) Stromal origin (also derived from the mesodermal layer of the human development) which includes muscle, bone, ligament, fibrous, cartilage, adipose, and other connective tissue, and this type cancer is generally known as SARCOMA; 3) Mixed origin which will includes original cancer cell that has both epithelial and stromal features (derived from all three layers of human development, ectodermal, endodermal, and mesodermal origins); 4) Endocrine origin, such as Thyroid, Pancreas, Adrenal Gland, etc, as with cells that produce hormones; 5) Neural origin such as cells from glial tissue and non-glial tissue (from brain and spinal cord, peripheral nerves, ganglions, etc); 6) neuroendocrine origin, i.e. cell which has both neural and endocrine features; 7) Hematological origin, i.e. cells which make up the reticuloendothelial system, i.e. spleen, thymus, bone marrow, lymph nodes, etc; 8) Unclassifiable cancer, where original cell may be unknown for one reason or another, generally, TUMORS of UNKNOWN ORIGIN; and, finally, 9) GERM CELL  TUMORS.

There are essentially four key components that inhibit the growth of cancerous cells or destroy them all-together:

a) Genetics

b) Immune System

c) Proper Nutrition

d) Treatment: Surgery, Chemotherapy and radiation therapy

A Cancer cell that resembles the cell of origin may at times, become difficult to discern between the normal and the abnormal cell. However, there are special types studies such as genetic studies also known as molecular studies, or other specialized laboratory studies that usually can be employed to distinguish the normal cell from the abnormal cell.  But in general, cells which do not show complete cellular maturation, as compared to a normal mature cell, and demonstrate evidence of proliferation, i.e. division and/or cellular growth, that is not typical, should be evaluated for potential cancerous or malignant growth.  AND, that is the basis for tissue biopsy or cellular aspiration, that are typically done on cellular growth or LUMPS on skin, or in breast, or in lung, or in prostate, for example.

Cancer Diagnosis:

A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO MAKING A CANCER DIAGNOSIS-CLICK HERE

WHAT PATIENTS SHOULD KNOW!!

Early Detection Remains Key to Cancer Survival: Remember, the smaller the tumor at the time of detection, i.e. less than 1cm, OR A TUMOR that is PRE-CANCER typically means a chance for CURE!!

Knowing Your Risks, i.e. Family history of cancer, genetic predisposition, previous cancer diagnosis, etc

Screening Exam: Pap smears, Mammogram, CT-scan, PET scan, Laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy, cystoscopy,endoscopy, colonoscopy, etc, for those who are in moderate to high risk categories.

Holding health care providers accountable for delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis that goes against Standards of Care

ALWAYS SEEK A SECOND OPINION WITH ANY CANCER DIAGNOSIS REGARDLESS OF THE INSTITUTION THAT MAKES THE ORIGINAL DIAGNOSIS!

MDC-Atlanta remains committed to informing patients

for

BETTER QUALITY, SAFE AND AFFORDABLE MEDICAL CARE.