Cancer: Comprehensive Information and Support

Cancer: Comprehensive Information and Support. Explore trusted resources on cancer types, symptoms, treatments, research, and support services.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the go-to place for cancer details, offering facts on causes and risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.1 Its website is loaded with info on oncology, like funding for researchers and key NCI projects.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is also key, supporting those dealing with cancer. It provides a 24/7 cancer helpline and online chat for patients and families in need.2 The NCCN Foundation helps by funding guidelines and research for cancer care.

Key Takeaways

  • NCI is the nation’s leading authority on cancer information and research.
  • The American Cancer Society provides comprehensive support services for cancer patients and caregivers.
  • The NCCN Foundation supports cancer patients and advances treatment through research funding.
  • Cancer survivors in the U.S. have more than doubled from 7 million in 1992 to over 15 million in 2016.
  • The number of cancer survivors is expected to rise to over 26 million by 2040.

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease where abnormal cells grow uncontrollably in the body.3 It can start in any part of the body. Then, it may move to other areas (metastasis).3

Types of Cancer

There are many types of cancers, like carcinomas and sarcomas.3 Some, like leukemia, don’t create tumors.3 In the U.S., one in three people faces cancer.4 This includes leukemias and lymphomas.4 Breast and lung cancers are among the most common.4

Causes and Risk Factors

Cancer’s causes include genetic mutations and lifestyle factors.3 It can grow due to errors or environmental issues.3 As we age, the risk of cancer increases.3 Your lifestyle, genes, and environment affect your cancer risk.4

Symptoms of Cancer

Cancer can cause weight loss, tiredness, or change in habits.4 Benign tumors are slow-growing and won’t invade other parts.4 Malignant ones spread fast and can become life-threatening.4

Cancer StageDescription
Stage 1 or 2Indicates less spread of the cancer.4
Stage 3 or 4Shows more extensive spread of the cancer.4

Metastasis is when cancer spreads to new body parts.4 This means cells that move are still the same type.4 Early cell changes could lead to cancer and need care.3

Cancer Diagnosis

Finding cancer early helps a lot in treating it.5 Things like mammograms, colonoscopies, and PSA tests catch cancer early.5 Tests include exams, lab work, imaging, and biopsies for detecting it.

Screening and Early Detection

5 Some screening tests are proven to save lives by finding cancer early.5 Organizations offer guidelines for when to have these tests, considering personal risks.

Diagnostic Tests

6 Odd lab results don’t always mean cancer, since they can vary.6 Even with normal results, cancer isn’t ruled out.6 Tests like CBC can spot leukemia and track health around cancer care. Immunophenotyping helps with blood cancer diagnoses.6 Liquid biopsies and tumor markers are great for checking early cancer presence and treatment effect. Urine tests help spot certain cancers, and imaging shows detailed cancer pictures.6 Biopsies are key to confirm if it’s cancer by checking tissue.

Staging and Grading

5 The stage of cancer decides what treatments and outlook to expect.5 This is done using numbers or Roman numerals. Treatment choice relies on cancer type, stage, and what the patient wants.

cancer screening

Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment mixes different ways to fight the disease. These include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and more.7 Surgery is often used first to remove the cancer or kill cancer cells.7 Then, treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can get rid of any leftover cancer cells. This lowers the chance of the cancer coming back.7 Lastly, there are treatments to help with the symptoms of cancer or its treatment.

Surgery

Surgery works by taking the cancer out of the body.7 It is one of the most common ways to start cancer treatment. It tries to get rid of all cancer cells.

Chemotherapy

8 Chemotherapy fights cancer with special drugs.7 It is used with other treatments too. This makes it a key part of cancer care.

Radiation Therapy

8 Radiation therapy treats cancer with high-energy rays.7 It reduces the size of tumors by killing cancer cells. This helps fight different types of cancer.

Targeted Therapy

8 Targeted therapy blocks cancer cell growth.9 Some of these drugs can raise the risk of certain skin cancers.

Immunotherapy

8 Immunotherapy boosts the immune system to fight cancer.7 It is a newer way to treat cancer. It helps the body find and kill hidden cancer cells.

Cancer Treatment ModalityDescription
Surgery7 Surgery is often the most common primary treatment for cancer, targeting the complete removal of cancer.
Chemotherapy8 Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells, playing a vital part in combo cancer treatments.7 It offers a critical way to treat cancer.
Radiation Therapy8 Radiation therapy aims high doses at cancer cells to shrink tumors.7 It uses X-rays or protons, affecting many cancer types.
Targeted Therapy8 Targeted therapy focuses on stopping certain cancer cells from spreading.9 Yet, it may increase the chance of a type of skin cancer.
Immunotherapy8 Immunotherapy helps the immune system fight cancer.7 This technique engages the body to locate and attack cancer cells.
Other Treatments7 Options like cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation use cold or heat to destroy cancer cells.7 Clinical trials provide new ways to fight cancer, pushing cancer care forward.

8 Biomarker testing aids in choosing the right treatment by seeking cancer-related genes and substances.8 Hormone therapy is vital in stopping hormone-grown breast and prostate cancers.8 Hyperthermia treats cancer by heating tissues up to 113°F, killing cancer cells.8 Photodynamic therapy uses light-activated drugs to get rid of cancer and abnormal cells.8 Stem cell transplants help recover stem cells after strong cancer treatments.

9 Second cancers often show up a few years after radiation.9 Solid tumors might develop 10 years after radiation, especially with breast cancer in young people.9 Chemo raises the risk of leukemia more than radiation does.9 Certain chemo drugs increase the chance of second cancers.

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7 Adjuvant therapy further treats cancer after the initial round.7 It aims to kill any remaining cancer cells to prevent the cancer from coming back.7 Palliative care helps with cancer symptoms during or after treatment.7 Bone marrow or stem cell transplant is used with intensive chemo or for marrow replacement.7 Targeted drug therapy hits specific cancer cell weaknesses, providing individualized treatment.

Cancer: Types and Information

Are you looking for details about cancer? The National Cancer Institute (NCI) website is a top resource. It covers various cancer types in detail, from causes to treatment options.10 You can find specific info on cancers like breast, lung, and prostate cancer. It’s a great place to learn about these diseases.

Carcinomas are the most seen type, affecting the breast, lung, bowel, and prostate mostly.10 Sarcomas, much rarer, make up less than 1% of cases yearly.10 Leukaemias, making up 3%, top the list for kids.10 Lymphomas, at 5%, and myeloma, at 2%, are other types you might hear about. Brain and spinal cord tumors are seen in about 3% of cases.10

cancer types

Many things can cause cancer, like genetic issues, things in the environment, and your lifestyle.11 Things like smoking, drinking a lot, a poor diet, and not moving enough can up your risk. Environmental causes, like certain kinds of radiation and asbestos, also play a part. Even infections from some viruses, bacteria, and parasites can lead to cancer.11

Getting screened early for cancer is important. Tests for cervical, prostate, and breast cancers help find the disease before it becomes too serious.11 Some health problems that cause swelling, like ulcerative colitis, can make cancer more likely.11

Certain cancers have their own signs to watch for. Things like lumps, weight loss, and tiredness can be clues.11 The way you digest food or your skin might change. And a cough that won’t go away could be a warning.11 Treatments for cancer range from surgery to drugs and new therapies in studies.11 But if cancer has spread, it becomes harder to treat and more dangerous.11

Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatments include chemotherapy and radiation. They can bring significant side effects. These impact a patient’s life deeply.12 Low blood counts cause issues like infections and fatigue. They also lead to problems with clotting.12 Constipation, diarrhea, and various incontinences are common. Effects on the mind, including memory problems, are possible too.12 Changes in appetite, weight, taste, and dehydration also occur.

Managing Side Effects

12 Cancer affects emotional and mental health, causing anxiety and depression. It can also impact sexuality and fertility.12 Skin changes, such as dryness and hair loss, are usual.12 Infections are more severe in cancer patients. Proper pain management is crucial for dealing with the discomfort.

Supportive Care

12 Treatments can cause swelling and fatigue. They may also lead to balance issues and falls.12 Shortness of breath, sleep troubles, and peripheral neuropathy might appear too.

13 Fatigue and hair loss are common with chemotherapy and radiation. But, hair often grows back.13 Skin irritation, redness, and swelling can happen. So can nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.13 Taste changes and swallowing difficulties might affect appetite during treatment.

14 Some chemotherapy drugs can harm different organs.14 Not everyone gets every side effect. They may fade quickly, though some last a long time.14 A few effects, like long-term organ damage, can be permanent.

14 Concerns about chemo side effects are common. Fatigue, hair loss, and changes in appetite are some issues.14 Mouth and throat problems, nerve issues, and skin changes can also occur.14 Mood swings, libido changes, and fertility issues are among these side effects too.

14 Many wish to improve their health actively. But, some vitamins might lessen chemo’s effect.14 If certain symptoms show up during chemo, it’s critical to contact the care team. This includes a fever, unexplained bleeding, a rash, or severe pain.

Cancer Research and Clinical Trials

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) leads in cancer research. It funds new studies and clinical trials. These aim to better treatments and patient health. The NCI website shares the latest on cancer research. This includes new therapies and treatments. 1

Latest Cancer Research

The NCI works on finding new cancer treatments. Immunotherapies have helped some people get better from once-thought incurable cancers.15 The FDA has now approved these treatments for different cancer types. This gives hope and changes how we fight cancer.15

Cancer clinical trials are key to moving cancer research forward. They help find the best ways to give treatments. They also show doctors how to handle new treatment side effects.15 Many new cancer immunotherapy treatments are only in these trials. They are an important step to getting the newest cancer care.15

Finding a Clinical Trial

The NCI helps patients and doctors find clinical trials. This can be very important. Studies tell us that only a few cancer patients join clinical trials. Yet, many miss out on new treatments that can save lives.15 By linking patients to the right clinical trials, the NCI wants to make new therapies more available. This also speeds up the process of approving new cancer drugs.15

Clinical trials look into many things: safe doses, if new treatments work, and how to manage side effects.16 They also help answer big questions. For example, can treatments shrink tumors, make people live longer, and have better lives with less side effects?16

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Joining a clinical trial helps individual patients and cancer research.16 Patients can greatly impact the future of cancer care by participating in these studies. They can make a real difference in how we treat cancer and help those living with the disease.

Cancer Prevention

Cancer prevention plays a big part in staying healthy. The American Cancer Society and the NCI give a lot of advice. This includes eating well, staying active, and not using tobacco to reduce many cancer risks.17

Lifestyle Changes

Changing how you live can lower your risk. Following a Mediterranean diet with olive oil and nuts might cut your chance of breast cancer.17 Also, keeping a healthy weight and moving more can help avoid various cancers.17 Don’t smoke and drink less, as they’re tied to lung, mouth, and other cancers.17

Genetic Counseling

Knowing your cancer risk based on genetics is key. Changes in genes throughout life can lead to cancer. Being overweight can up your risk too.18 Genetic counselors can help you understand your family’s cancer history. They can guide you on screening and prevention, improving your future health.18

To stay ahead of cancer, make smart life choices and get checked regularly.19 Screenings for various cancers can help catch it early when it’s treatable.17 Working with healthcare pros and using support from top cancer groups is smart. It helps you focus on stopping cancer and boosting your health.

Cancer Survivorship

Today, the number of cancer survivors is on the rise. In the United States, about 18.1 million people lived through cancer by 2018. This is roughly 5.4% of the population20. The focus on life after cancer, known as survivorship, has grown in importance. It involves people still dealing with cancer and those who beat it.21

Follow-up Care

After beating cancer, follow-up care is key. It’s important to keep an eye out for any effects of cancer treatment that might show up later. These issues can cover heart and lung health, fragile bones, and even changes to your eyes and ears. Lymphedema and other problems might also appear.21 With regular check-ups and screenings, any health worries can be caught and treated early.

Survivorship Resources

Many groups, like the American Cancer Society, help cancer survivors. They provide tips on dealing with long-term side effects and offer support services. They also help navigate the healthcare system.22 With these resources, survivors can keep well physically and emotionally. They also get the advice and info they need to live fully after treatment.

Survivorship GuidelinesAvailability
Breast Cancer Survivorship GuidelinesPDF
Colorectal Cancer Survivorship GuidelinesPDF
Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship GuidelinesPDF
Prostate Cancer Survivorship GuidelinesPDF

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) made these guidelines. They offer advice and recommendations for cancer survivors. These guidelines are meant to help people deal with the special challenges that come after treatment.22

Cancer Caregiving

Caring for someone with cancer can be tough. It’s hard both physically and emotionally. The American Cancer Society helps caregivers with support and advice. They offer tips on handling stress, finding time for yourself23, and dealing with the medical system.24 This support is meant to ensure that caregivers take care of themselves while looking after their loved ones well.

Caregiver Support

Studies show that taking care of a cancer patient can wear you down.23 Caregivers often take too much on themselves and don’t get help when they need it.23 Keeping up with your own hobbies can lower your stress.23 The American Cancer Society is always there to help, through phone calls or online chats.24 They suggest joining support groups. Caregivers can share feelings and get support from others in the same situation.23

Some people might avoid helping caregivers for different reasons, like being scared of cancer.23 Writing feelings in a journal can make things better.23 Also, keeping a sense of humor and focusing on things to be thankful for can help caregivers stay mentally well.23

Respite Care

Caregivers are seen as a critical support to those with cancer.24 There are guides to help them know what to expect and how to look after themselves.2 The American Cancer Society has free services for both cancer patients and their families. These include emotional support.2 They stress the importance of helping caregivers understand and learn. They provide educational videos for this purpose.2

Cancer Support Services

Cancer deeply affects both patients and their families, emotionally and financially. Thankfully, the American Cancer Society and similar groups provide vital support services.25

Emotional Support

The American Cancer Society’s helpline is open 24/7. It offers support and info to those facing cancer. You can talk to trained experts via phone, video calls, or chat.2 They also have online groups and resources for anyone dealing with cancer, fostering support and understanding.2 The Cancer Survivors Network allows patients and caregivers to meet others with similar journeys online.25

Financial Assistance

Many patients find the cost of care overwhelming, including for places to stay during treatment. This can affect their cancer outcomes.25 The American Cancer Society steps in with support like Hope Lodge® and travel grants, easing these financial worries.25 Their ACS CARES™ program gives personalized guidance and support to patients and caregivers.25 Also, the Road To Recovery program helps with rides by organizing volunteer drivers and offering funds to hospitals.25

As a nonprofit organization, the American Cancer Society relies on the community’s donations.2 With these funds, they provide a vast array of support services. This mission is essential in helping patients and their families concentrate on beating cancer.252

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Cancer Resources and Organizations

Those with cancer can find lots of help from different groups. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) leads in studying cancer. It gives info on cancer types, treatments, and studies.25

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

The NCI site is a trusted spot for current cancer info. It helps with things like funding for researchers. It also offers info on NCI’s efforts. This lets people and doctors learn the latest in cancer research and get the data they need to decide on their care.

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society does a lot to help. It has a cancer helpline at 1-800-227-2345 that’s open 24/7. There are online and video chats too. These connect people to important services and help.25 The group aids with costs through programs like Hope Lodge® and with places to stay through Extended Stay America.25 ACS CARES™ gives info and one-on-one support. The Road To Recovery program offers rides to treatment.25

Cancer Support Communities

Local and online cancer groups also offer support. The Cancer Support Community has services like support groups and counseling. They help people and their families deal with a cancer diagnosis.26

Groups like the NCCN Foundation also put in a lot of work. They focus on offering comprehensive help, service support, and funding for research. Their goal is to better the lives of everyone hit by cancer. Through these organizations, people can find the advice, care, and support they need during their cancer fight.]]>

Conclusion

Organizations like the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the NCCN Foundation offer crucial help in the cancer fight. They provide detailed info, personalized care, and a strong support system. This support helps individuals and families deal with cancer more easily.27

They push cancer research forward, work on spotting it early, and offer all-around care. By mixing palliative care with spotting cancer sooner, they aim to better patient outcomes. Focus is also on treating curable cancers such as those of the breast, cervix, mouth, and childhood lymphatic leukaemia. This approach is vital in their fight.27

The fight against cancer is a global effort. It’s crucial we share what works and what doesn’t to keep getting better.27 Thanks to these major groups, people facing cancer can have more hope and strength. They know they have access to a wide range of help and support.28

FAQ

What is the National Cancer Institute (NCI)?

The NCI is a top resource for cancer info in the U.S. It helps with everything from causes and symptoms to tests and treatments.

What services does the American Cancer Society offer?

The American Cancer Society is there for cancer patients and their families. They have a 24/7 helpline, online chat, and video services for support. They help connect people to important resources.

What is the NCCN Foundation?

The NCCN Foundation helps cancer patients and families by supporting the NCCN Guidelines for Patients. It also funds cancer treatment research.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease where abnormal cells grow out of control. It can affect different parts of the body. There are many types like carcinomas, sarcomas, and more.

What are the common symptoms of cancer?

Symptoms of cancer can vary but can include losing weight without trying, feeling very tired, and experiencing pain. Changes in how your bowel and bladder work can also be signs.

How is cancer detected and diagnosed?

Spotting cancer early is key. Tests like mammograms and blood tests help find it sooner. Then, doctors use more tests to confirm and learn about the cancer.

What are the different cancer treatment options?

There are several ways to treat cancer. This can include surgery, medicine (like chemotherapy), and other special drugs. The treatment plan is based on the cancer type and its stage.

How can cancer side effects be managed?

Cancer treatments can cause side effects, including fatigue and changing how you look. The American Cancer Society has tips for managing them. They also help find support services.

What is the latest in cancer research?

Research is always moving forward to help cancer patients. The NCI funds new studies and trials. They work to make treatments better and help patients live longer.

How can cancer be prevented?

Preventing cancer starts with a healthy lifestyle. The American Cancer Society suggests eating well, being active, and not using tobacco. For some, genetic counseling might help lower the risk.

What resources are available for cancer survivors?

After treatment, cancer survivors can get help adjusting back to daily life. The American Cancer Society and others offer advice on care, dealing with long-term effects, and finding support.

What support is available for cancer caregivers?

Cancer care can be very hard on families. The American Cancer Society helps caregivers cope. They provide info on reducing stress and getting some time off.

What financial and emotional support services are available for individuals affected by cancer?

Cancer affects more than just health; it also changes lives financially and emotionally. The American Cancer Society and groups provide counseling, support groups, and help with costs to ease these burdens.

What are the key cancer resources and organizations?

For those touched by cancer, many groups offer help. The NCI gives a lot of info, the American Cancer Society supports in many ways, and the Cancer Support Community offers emotional and practical help.

Source Links

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  15. https://www.cancerresearch.org/cancer-clinical-trials
  16. https://www.cancer.gov/research/participate/clinical-trials/what-are-clinical-trials
  17. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/cancer-prevention/art-20044816
  18. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/risk-prevention.html
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4718348/
  20. https://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/ocs
  21. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/survivorship
  22. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/survivorship.html
  23. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/caregiver-support
  24. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/caregivers/what-a-caregiver-does.html
  25. https://www.cancer.org/support-programs-and-services.html
  26. https://ecog-acrin.org/patients/resources/
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK179047/
  28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK195409/