Cancer, a word that strikes fear in the hearts of many, is a complex disease that remains a significant health challenge worldwide. As the Best Oncology Hospital in Bungoma, we believe in empowering our patients with knowledge, as understanding the basics of oncology can significantly aid in the battle against cancer.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a broad term for a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. These cells can form tumors, which are lumps of tissue. Not all tumors are cancerous; benign tumors don’t spread to other parts of the body, while malignant ones can be life-threatening.
Causes of Cancer
Cancer can be caused by a variety of factors. Genetic mutations play a key role, but environmental factors like smoking, exposure to radiation, certain chemicals, and lifestyle choices such as diet and physical activity also significantly contribute to cancer risk.
Symptoms of Cancer
Cancer symptoms vary widely based on the type and stage of the disease. Common symptoms include unexplained weight loss, persistent fatigue, changes in bowel or bladder habits, unhealing sores, lumps, or changes in moles on the skin. Early detection is key to successful treatment, so it's crucial to pay attention to your body and consult a doctor if you notice any unusual changes.
Diagnosis of Cancer
Diagnosis begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination. Additional tests might include blood tests, imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, MRI, PET scans, and biopsies, where a sample of tissue is taken for closer examination under a microscope.
Treatment of Cancer
Cancer treatment is multifaceted and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, or a combination of these. Treatment choice depends on the type and stage of cancer, as well as the patient's overall health and preferences.
The Role of Surgery in Cancer Treatment
Surgery is often the first line of treatment for many types of cancer. It involves removing the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue. In some cases, surgery can be curative, while in others, it's combined with other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.
Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. It can be systemic (affecting the whole body) or localized. Radiation therapy, on the other hand, uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It’s often localized to the cancer area but can also be used to relieve symptoms in advanced cancers.
Advances in Cancer Treatment
Recent advancements in oncology have led to the development of targeted therapies and immunotherapies. These newer treatments are designed to target specific aspects of cancer cells or to boost the body's immune system to fight cancer.
At our best oncology hospital in Bungoma, we are committed to providing our patients with the highest level of care. Understanding cancer, its causes, symptoms, and treatments is crucial for patients and their families. With advancements in medical science and comprehensive care, there is hope and support for those facing this challenging journey.