Wednesday, February 10, 2016

No This Cancer Is Never A Death Sentence, Health Is Wealth.

Today is world cancer day, and I’ve decided to mark it by writing about the dreaded killer Cancer. We all hear about cancer, we all talk about cancer, some of us know people with cancer; half of the movies I watch on TV has a cancer patient in it. But how much do we know about cancer apart from the fact that it is deadly?

Take me for example, most of the things I know about cancer are stereotyped; if I see a person on TV with no hair at all, the person has cancer, fat or slim, complete baldness means cancer patient to me. Also, when a character is coughing uncontrollably in a movie, the person automatically has lung cancer to me. And I know I’m not alone in my thinking pattern, hilarious as it might seem.

I’ve done research on the main facts about cancer; the basics and things me (and you) have probably never heard of concerning deadly cancer.

Disease

Cancer is a disease. It’s not a virus like Ebola, or bacteria like pneumonia or an infection like HIV. I for one didn’t know this, that cancer is a disease. Or maybe I did though, but it just never occurred to me, it has always been just ‘cancer’ to me.

History

The word ‘cancer’ comes from the Latin for ‘crab’ – just like the zodiac sign. Early doctors, when describing certain tumors which had veins or extensions from the main body, called them crab-like, or ‘cancerous’. Cancer was first described by the ancient Egyptians, the earliest description was found in the Edwin Smith Papyrus dating back to 1600 B.C. The document describes breast tumors removed by a tool called the fire drill. However, it states that “there is no treatment”.



Type

If I was asked how many types of cancers there are, I probably would have said twenty, or fifty tops. But apparently there are more than 200 types and subtypes of cancer. Cancer is not one disease. In the last 10 years more than 200 different types and subtypes of cancer have been diagnosed. This has triggered a shift away from a one-size-fits-all approach and toward “tailored therapy”. Also, any part of the body can be affected; (there is even a cancer of the tongue).

Ageless

Cancer affects everyone – the young and old, the rich and poor, men, women and children; it doesn’t have an age limit. In layman’s term “cancer no they look face”. Every day, more than forty children are diagnosed with cancer – more than 14,000 per year in the United States alone.  Cancer (or more accurately the conventional “treatments” for cancer) is the #1 killer of children as a result of disease.

However, People aged fifty-five or older have the highest cancer risk.  Approximately 77% of all cancers diagnosed are found in men and women of this age group.

Death

Whenever I hear cancer, I always think death. But thankfully, cancer is not always a death sentence. There are 28 million cancer survivors worldwide – particularly with the progress made in recent decades. Although incidence of cancer is increasing, in many countries more people are surviving cancer than ever before. Cancers of major public health relevance such as breast, cervical and colorectal cancer can be cured if detected early and treated adequately.

Prevention

Researchers believe that over half of all cancer cases – and up to half of all cancer deaths – are preventable. This means there are between 2.4 million and 3.7 million avoidable deaths per year, 80% of which occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Also, only 5-10% of all cancers are entirely hereditary. Most cancers develop through a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, including smoking, alcohol, obesity and diet. So when the “experts” tell us that most cancers are genetic, they are not being truthful. However, despite the fact that  research indicates that we likely did not inherit some mysterious “cancer gene” from our parents, most of us did inherit our “mamma’s cookbook” and were likely exposed to the same toxins as our immediate family, so cleaning up our diet, exercising, and detoxification are all extremely important.

Sun Myth

The popular myth is that exposure to the sun causes skin cancer, but this is not completely accurate. Sun exposure is actually good for you and increases your body’s production of vitamin D (via the interaction of ultraviolet light with cholesterol in your skin).

Thirty minutes of early morning or late afternoon sun on your hands and face is enough to get your recommended dose of vitamin D. But you don’t want to burn, as this might cause DNA damage and eventually cancer, so be careful.

Sunscreen however does more harm than the sun as it filters out helpful ultraviolet light and also causes cancer.  The main chemical used in sunscreens to filter out ultraviolet light is octyl methoxycinnamate (“OMC”) which has been shown to kill mouse cells even at low doses. The most popular brands of sunscreens also contain other toxic chemicals (such as dioxybenzone and oxybenzone) that are absorbed through the skin where they enter the bloodstream, generate free radicals, wreak havoc on the immune system, damage the liver and the heart, and even promote systemic cancer.

Chemotherapy

Chemo is one word I have heard in lots of movies. Just the word may make you remember images you’ve seen in movies or on TV (I always imagine a bald woman tying a scarf and sitting next to a machine with drip like stuff in her hand).

Some people don’t know that it’s actually the Chemo treatment that causes hair loss and not the cancer itself. There are many types of chemotherapy; the side effects depend on the kind of chemo and how the body reacts to it. Hair loss and nausea are common, but they don’t happen to everyone. It’s also common to have other side effects that people don’t talk about such as trouble with memory and concentration, feeling dizzy, or having pain and numbness during or after chemo.

So What is Cancer?
To break it down simply, Cancer is actually a group of many related diseases that all have to do with cells. Cells are the very small units that make up all living things, including the human body. There are billions of cells in each person’s body.

Cancer happens when cells that are not normal grow and spread very fast. Normal body cells grow and divide and know to stop growing. Over time, they also die. Unlike these normal cells, cancer cells just 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 growing tumor becomes a lump of cancer cells that can destroy the normal cells around the tumor and damage the body’s healthy tissues. This can make someone very sick.

Sometimes cancer cells break away from the original tumor and travel to other areas of the body, where they keep growing and can go on to form new tumors. This is how cancer spreads. The spread of a tumor to a new place in the body is called metastasis.

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