Presentation on theme: "Cancer: Body Systems Integration Medical Foundations."— Presentation transcript:
Cancer: Body Systems Integration Medical Foundations
What is Cancer? Normal body cells grow, divide, stop growing and die. ◦ Cancer cells continue to grow and divide out of control and don't die when they're supposed to. Cancer cells usually group or clump together to form tumors. ◦ A tumor becomes a lump of cancer cells that can destroy the normal cells around the tumor and damage the body's healthy tissues. Sometimes cancer cells break away from the original tumor and travel to other areas of the body, where they keep growing and can form new tumors. ◦ This is how cancer spreads. The spread of a tumor to a new place in the body is called metastasis.
Who is Vulnerable? No one really knows why cancer grows in certain people. Researchers are working to discover why some people get cancer and others do not. ◦ This will help them to learn whether cancer can be prevented. Doctors do know for sure that cancer itself is not contagious, so you don't have to worry about catching it from someone else or spreading it to another person ◦ Although people with certain infectious diseases such as AIDS or hepatitis are more vulnerable to certain cancers.
What is the Role of Genetics and Behavior? Doctors do have some ideas about why people may get cancer. The main reasons are genetics and certain environmental or behavioral triggers. ◦ The tendency to develop some types of cancer is believed to be inherited — your genes might carry a predisposition for cancer. ◦ If a close relative has had cancer of the breast or the colon, you may be more likely to inherit the tendency to develop those cancers, even though you may never actually get them. Some behavioral and environmental triggers can cause changes in the body's cells that push them into a cancerous state. ◦ Cigarettes increase the risk of lung cancer. ◦ Too much sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer. These types of triggers act on the body slowly over time, so the cancers that may result from them don't show up until a person is an adult.
What are the Symptoms? The first sign of cancer is a symptom — a signal that something is wrong. A few of the more common symptoms of cancer include: ◦ extreme exhaustion ◦ swelling or lumps in certain parts of the body, such as the abdomen or neck ◦ headaches ◦ blurred vision ◦ nausea ◦ problems with walking or balance ◦ more infections ◦ unusual bleeding If you haven't been feeling well, it's best to tell an adult who can make sure you see a doctor who will evaluate your symptoms. Cancer, like most illnesses, is easier to treat when it's found early, so when in doubt, check it out.
How is it Diagnosed? If the doctor suspects cancer, he or she can do tests to figure out if that's the problem. A doctor might order X-rays and blood tests and recommend the person go to see an oncologist. ◦ The oncologist will likely run other tests to find out if someone really has cancer. ◦ If so, tests can determine what kind of cancer it is and if it has spread to other parts of the body. ◦ Based on the results, the doctor will decide the best way to treat it. One test that an oncologist may perform is a biopsy. A piece of tissue is removed from a tumor or a place in the body where cancer is suspected, like the bone marrow. ◦ The sample that's collected will be examined under a microscope for cancer cells. The sooner cancer is found and treatment begins, the better someone's chances are for a full recovery and cure.
Stages of Cancer There are four stages of cancer: I, II, III, & IV Stages depends on three elements: TNM system: Tumor, Nodes, and Metastases Tumor T0-T4 ◦ T0 has not invaded local tissues while T4 is a large invading tumor, usually inoperable Nodes N0-N4 ◦ N0 means no lymph node involvement while N4 means extensive involvement Metastases M0 or M1 ◦ M0 if there are no metastases or M1 if there are metastases
How Stage is Determined Physical exams: show the location/size of the tumors and the spread to the lymph nodes and organs. ◦ Doctor examines by looking, feeling, and listening for anything unusual. Imaging studies produce pictures inside the body. Can show the location of the cancer, the size of the tumor, and whether the cancer has spread. ◦ X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans Laboratory tests are studies of blood, urine, other fluids, and tissues taken from the body. ◦ Tests for liver function and tumor markers Pathology reports: studies the size of the tumor, the growth of the tumor into other tissues and organs, the type of cancer cells, and the grade of the tumor. Surgical reports: describe the size and appearance of the tumor and include observations about lymph nodes and nearby organs.
What are the Common Treatments? Cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation — or sometimes a combination of these treatments. The choice of treatment depends on: ◦ the type of cancer someone has (the kind of abnormal cells) ◦ the stage of the tumor (meaning how much the cancer has spread within the body, if at all) 3 out of every 5 people with cancer will have an operation to remove it. ◦ During surgery, the doctor tries to take out as many cancer cells as possible. Some healthy cells or tissue may also be removed. While treatment is still going on, the patient might not be able to attend school or be around crowds of people — they need to rest and avoid getting infections, such as the flu. ◦ The body may have more trouble fighting off infections because of the cancer or side effects of the treatment.
Treatment: Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer medicines (drugs) to treat cancer. These medicines are sometimes taken as a pill, but usually are given through an intravenous (IV) line. ◦ An IV is a tiny plastic catheter (straw-like tube) that is put into a vein through someone's skin, usually on the arm. The catheter is attached to a bag that holds the medicine. The medicine flows from the bag into a vein, which puts the medicine into the blood, where it can travel throughout the body and attack cancer cells. Chemotherapy is usually given over a number of weeks to months. A permanent catheter is placed under the skin into a larger blood vessel of the upper chest. ◦ This way, a person can easily get several courses of chemotherapy and other medicines through this catheter without having a new IV needle put in.
Treatment: Radiation Radiation therapy uses high-energy waves, such as X-rays, to damage and destroy cancer cells. ◦ It can cause tumors to shrink and even go away completely. Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. ◦ Many people with cancer find it goes away after receiving radiation treatments.
Side Effects of Treatment With both chemotherapy and radiation, patients may experience side effects. Radiation and anti-cancer drugs are very good at destroying cancer cells but, unfortunately, they also destroy healthy cells. ◦ This can cause loss of appetite, tiredness, vomiting, or hair loss. With radiation, a person might have red or irritated skin in the area that's being treated. ◦ All these problems go away and hair grows back after the treatment is over.
Recovery Remission means all signs of cancer are gone from the body. ◦ After surgery or treatment with radiation or chemotherapy, a doctor will do tests to see if the cancer is still there. If there are no signs of cancer, the patient is in remission. Sometimes, this means additional chemotherapy might be needed for a while to keep cancer cells from coming back.
Coping People with cancer often need to get support from lots of different places to take care of the things they have to get done. For example, teens with cancer may need the help of a home tutor to get schoolwork done and adults with cancer may need help with housework or their jobs. ◦ Lots of people talk to therapists or professional counselors about the emotional side of dealing with a health problem. You may hear doctors talk about a prognosis for someone with cancer. ◦ A prognosis is an estimate of how well that person's treatment is working and how likely it is that the cancer will come back.
Did You Know? Cancer Flyer Create a professional-looking flyer that answers the following questions: What are the most common types of cancer? What are five things that you can do to prevent cancer? What are some cancer myths? ◦ What is the truth behind the myths?