Tuesday, November 26, 2013


There is a vast amount of information to comprehend when becoming versed about cancer. Some of the topics include diagnosis, stages and treatment options.  Here is a brief explanation of some the types of cancer and how they are classified.

What is cancer?

Cancer can be defined as the abnormal or uncontrolled growth of cells.  Depending where the cancer began is how it is classified.  Our bodies are constantly producing new cells, which once they have served their purpose cease to function through a process called apoptosis.  You can think of apoptosis as suicide of the cell to prevent overproduction.  Cancer infiltrates our cells and damages the DNA which serves as the control center for the cell, this then interferes with the apoptosis.  The rogue cell (cancer) then proliferates much faster then normal cells and this collaboration of abnormal cells becomes what we call a tumor.  Now not all tumors are cancerous as some are malignant.

What is Carcinoma?

This is the most common type of cancer people experience.  These tumors develop from cells that cover our external and internal surfaces of our bodies.  Like other types of cancer, carcinomas are abnormal cells that divide without control. They are able to spread to other parts of the body, but don’t always.  Tumors of this type tend to result in cancer of the skin, lung, breast, prostate and colon.

What is Sarcoma?

Cancer labeled as Sarcoma results from abnormal cell growth and division in the supporting tissues of the body, such as cartilage, bone, connective tissue, muscle and fat.  Many different types of sarcoma exist, which are either bone or soft tissue sarcomas.  Genetic dispositon and environmental factors are a few of the reasons sarcoma is known to occur.

What is Lymphoma?

Our lymph nodes are organs of the immune system which serve to filter and or trap harmful substances.   Cancers that arise in our lymph nodes and immune system are classified as Lymphomas. In fact the degree of the lymph nodes swelling is how some cancers are identified in stages.  The lymphomas are subclassified into two categories: Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The presence of cells titled Reed-Sternberg cells in Hodgkin lymphoma is what distinguishes Hodgkin lymphoma from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

What is Leukimia?

Leukimia can be defined as cancer in the bloodstream.  Premature cells grow in the bone marrow then tend to accumulate in vast quantities in our bloodstream. Blood clotting and anemia also result from leukimia.


What is Myeloma?

These originate in the plasma cells of  the bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cells which can produce various antibodies in response to infections. Myeloma is a type of blood cancer.


While we don't know why some of us get cancer and some of us don't, we do know through numerous studies that there are destructive choices people make which can result in greatly increasing the chance of acquiring cancer. Smoking, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, prolonged sun exposure and high consumption of red processed meats are some of the factors that have shown to proliferate cancer growth.


There are millions of people who have overcome cancer.  Taking progressive steps in the war against cancer such as making healthy food choices, not smoking, exercising and doing your best to live a stress free life can increase the chances of not contracting this disease.

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