What Is Cancer?
Cancer is in fact a group of numerous associated diseases that all pertain to cells. Cells are the really small units that comprise all living things, consisting of the human body. There are billions of cells in each person's body.
Cancer takes place when cells that are not normal grow and spread extremely quickly. Normal body cells grow and divide and know to stop growing. Gradually, they likewise die. Unlike these typical cells, cancer cells simply continue to grow and divide out of control and do not die when they're supposed to.
Cancer cells normally group or clump together to form growths (say: TOO-mers). A growing tumor ends up being a swelling of cancer cells that can destroy the normal cells around the tumor and damage the body's healthy tissues. This can make somebody really ill.
Sometimes cancer cells break away from the original growth and travel to other locations of the body, where they keep growing and can go on to form new tumors. This is how cancer spreads. The spread of a growth to a new place in the body is called transition (say: meh-TASS-tuh-sis).
Reasons for Cancer
You probably know a kid who had chickenpox-- perhaps even you. However you most likely don't know any kids who've had cancer. If you packed a large football stadium with kids, most likely just one kid in that stadium would have cancer.
Physicians aren't sure why some individuals get cancer and others do not. They do know that cancer is not contagious. You can't catch it from somebody else who has it-- cancer isn't triggered by bacteria, like colds or the flu are. So don't hesitate of other kids-- or anybody else-- with cancer. You can talk with, play with, and hug someone with cancer.
Kids can't get cancer from anything they do either. Some kids believe that a bump on the head triggers brain cancer or that bad individuals get cancer. This isn't true! Kids don't do anything wrong to get cancer. However some unhealthy routines, specifically smoking or drinking too much alcohol every day, can make you a lot more likely to get cancer when you end up being a grownup.
Learning about Cancer
It can take a while for a doctor to figure out a kid has cancer. That's since the signs cancer can cause-- weight loss, fevers, swollen glands, or feeling excessively exhausted or ill for a while-- typically are not caused by cancer. When a kid has these problems, it's typically brought on by something less severe, like an infection. With medical screening, the doctor can find out what's triggering the trouble.
If the doctor suspects cancer, he or she can do tests to determine if that's the issue. A medical professional may buy X-rays and blood tests and recommend the person go to see an oncologist (say: Learn more on-KAH-luh-jist). An oncologist is a physician who looks after and deals with cancer clients. The oncologist will likely run other tests to discover if somebody actually has cancer. If so, tests can determine what kind of cancer it is and if it has infected other parts of the body. Based on the results, the medical professional will decide the best way to treat it.
One test that an oncologist (or a surgeon) may carry out is a biopsy (say: BY-op-see). Throughout a biopsy, a piece of tissue is gotten rid of from a growth or a location in the body where cancer is believed, like the bone marrow. Don't worry-- somebody getting this test will get unique medication to keep him or her comfy throughout the biopsy. The sample that's collected will be examined under a microscope for cancer cells.
The faster cancer is found and treatment starts, the much better somebody's opportunities are for a complete healing and treatment.
Dealing With Cancer Thoroughly
Cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation-- or sometimes a combination of these treatments. The choice of treatment depends on:
Surgery is the oldest form of treatment for cancer-- 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 eliminated to ensure that all the cancer is gone.
Chemotherapy (say: kee-mo-THER-uh-pee) is the use of anti-cancer medicines (drugs) to treat cancer. These medicines are in some cases taken as a pill, but typically are provided through a special intravenous (say: in-truh-VEE-nus) line, also called an IV. An IV is a tiny plastic catheter (straw-like tube) that is put into a vein through someone's skin, typically on the arm. The catheter is attached to a bag that holds the medicine. The medication streams from the bag into a vein, which puts the medication into the blood, where it can take a trip throughout the body and attack cancer cells.