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Well, today is cancer day and I thought it wise to bring to you guys a lay-mans summary of cancer; something that explains it in terms you guys would be able to relate easier to. Here you go:

Defining Cancer

Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.
Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start – for example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer; cancer that begins inmelanocytesof the skin is called melanoma.
Cancer types can be grouped into broader categories. The main categories of cancer include:
  • Carcinoma– cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. There are a number of subtypes of carcinoma, includingadenocarcinoma,basal cell carcinoma,squamous cell carcinoma, andtransitional cellcarcinoma.
  • Sarcoma– cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
  • Leukemia– cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.
  • Lymphoma and myeloma– cancers that begin in the cells of theimmune system.
  • Central nervous system cancers– cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.
Cancers are often referred to by terms that contain a prefix related to the cell type in which the cancer originated and a suffix such as -sarcoma, -carcinoma, or just -oma. Common prefixes include:
  • Adeno- = gland
  • Chondro- = cartilage
  • Erythro- = red blood cell
  • Hemangio- = blood vessels
  • Hepato- = liver
  • Lipo- = fat
  • Lympho- = white blood cell
  • Melano- = pigment cell
  • Myelo- = bone marrow
  • Myo- = muscle
  • Osteo- = bone
  • Uro- = bladder
  • Retino- = eye
  • Neuro- = brain

Origins of Cancer

All cancers begin in cells, the body’s basic unit of life. To understand cancer, it’s helpful to know what happens when normal cells become cancer cells.
The body is made up of many types of cells. These cells grow and divide in a controlled way to produce more cells as they are needed to keep the body healthy. When cells become old or damaged, they die and are replaced with new cells.
However, sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. The genetic material (DNA) of a cell can become damaged or changed, producingmutationsthat affect normal cell growth and division. When this happens, cells do not die when they should and new cells form when the body does not need them. The extra cells may form a mass of tissue called atumor.
Image titled Loss of Normal Growth Control. The image shows normal cell division and normal cell suicide or apoptosis of a damaged cell. It also shows cancer cell division, through several mutation stages, ending in uncontrolled growth.
(Image from Understanding Cancer Series: Cancer.)
Not all tumors are cancerous; tumors can be benign or malignant.
  • Benign tumorsaren’t cancerous. They can often be removed, and, in most cases, they do not come back. Cells in benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body.
  • Malignant tumorsare cancerous. Cells in these tumors can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis.
Some cancers do not form tumors. For example, leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood.

What are the symptoms of cancer?

Cancer symptoms are quite varied and depend on where the cancer is located, where it has spread, and how big the tumor is. Some cancers can be felt or seen through the skin – a lump on the breast or testicle can be an indicator of cancer in those locations. Skin cancer (melanoma) is often noted by a change in a wart or mole on the skin. Some oral cancers present white patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue.
Other cancers have symptoms that are less physically apparent. Some brain tumors tend to present symptoms early in the disease as they affect important cognitive functions. Pancreas cancers are usually too small to cause symptoms until they cause pain by pushing against nearby nerves or interfere with liver function to cause a yellowing of the skin and eyes called jaundice. Symptoms also can be created as a tumor grows and pushes against organs and blood vessels. For example, colon cancers lead to symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and changes in stool size. Bladder or prostate cancers cause changes in bladder function such as more frequent or infrequent urination.
As cancer cells use the body’s energy and interfere with normal hormone function, it is possible to present symptoms such as fever, fatigue, excessive sweating, anemia, and unexplained weight loss. However, these symptoms are common in several other maladies as well. For example, coughing and hoarseness can point to lung or throat cancer as well as several other conditions.
When cancer spreads, or metastasizes, additional symptoms can present themselves in the newly affected area. Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes are common and likely to be present early. If cancer spreads to the brain, patients may experience vertigo, headaches, or seizures. Spreading to the lungs may cause coughing and shortness of breath. In addition, the liver may become enlarged and cause jaundice and bones can become painful, brittle, and break easily. Symptoms of metastasis ultimately depend on the location to which the cancer has spread.
How cancer spreads
scientists reported inNature Communications(October 2012 issue) that they havediscovered an important clue as to why cancer cells spread. It has something to do with their adhesion (stickiness) properties. Certain molecular interactions between cells and the scaffolding that holds them in place (extracellular matrix) cause them to become unstuck at the original tumor site, they become dislodged, move on and then reattach themselves at a new site.
The researchers say this discovery is important because cancer mortality is mainly due to metastatic tumors, those that grow from cells that have traveled from their original site to another part of the body. Only 10% of cancer deaths are caused by the primary tumors.
The scientists, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, say that finding a way to stop cancer cells from sticking to new sites could interfere with metastatic disease, and halt the growth of secondary tumors.

How is cancer diagnosed and staged?

Early detection of cancer can greatly improve the odds of successful treatment and survival. Physicians use information from symptoms and several other procedures to diagnose cancer. Imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, and ultrasound scans are used regularly in order to detect where a tumor is located and what organs may be affected by it. Doctors may also conduct an endoscopy, which is a procedure that uses a thin tube with a camera and light at one end, to look for abnormalities inside the body.
Cancer testing
Extracting cancer cells and looking at them under a microscope is the only absolute way to diagnose cancer. This procedure is called a biopsy. Other types of molecular diagnostic tests are frequently employed as well. Physicians will analyze your body’s sugars, fats, proteins, and DNA at the molecular level. For example, cancerous prostate cells release a higher level of a chemical called PSA (prostate-specific antigen) into the bloodstream that can be detected by a blood test. Molecular diagnostics, biopsies, and imaging techniques are all used together to diagnose cancer.
After a diagnosis is made, doctors find out how far the cancer has spread and determine the stage of the cancer. The stage determines which choices will be available for treatment and informs prognoses. The most common cancer staging method is called the TNM system. T (1-4) indicates the size and direct extent of the primary tumor, N (0-3) indicates the degree to which the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, and M (0-1) indicates whether the cancer has metastasized to other organs in the body. A small tumor that has not spread to lymph nodes or distant organs may be staged as (T1, N0, M0), for example.
TNM descriptions then lead to a simpler categorization of stages, from 0 to 4, where lower numbers indicate that the cancer has spread less. While most Stage 1 tumors are curable, most Stage 4 tumors are inoperable or untreatable.

How is cancer treated?

Cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, the stage of the cancer (how much it has spread), age, health status, and additional personal characteristics. There is no single treatment for cancer, and patients often receive a combination of therapies and palliative care. Treatments usually fall into one of the following categories: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, or gene therapy.
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Today’s content is just for the eyes of mature ladies. It consists of the most private plagues of the women folk today “Vaginal thrush”. It tells you virtually everything you need to know about the affliction.
Vaginal thrush also known as candiditis is a very common yeast infection. It is said that three out of four women will have it at some point in their lifetime. The fungus known as Candida Albicans causes 80% out of 90% vaginal yeast infections. It may attack the skin, the folds of the fingers and frequently internal organs like the kidneys or the liver. Normally, the organism exists in these organs and even in the stool and sputum and causes no symptoms until something triggers them into activity.

Candiditis often occurs along side problems of malnutrition, imbalance of hormones or blood disorders. It occurs more often when one is ill or comes under a lot of stress. The chance of contracting this illness is increased when one takes antibiotics as these may interfer with the normal. Bacterial flora of the vagina. Also be careful when you take contraceptives containing estrogen as these also increase chances of contracting thrush. It often flares up in women who are pregnant, with poorly managed diabetes aand weakened immune systems or history of allergies.
Other factors that may contribute include wearing tight fitting underwear and the use of sanitary towels, tampons or vaginal douching and poor female hygiene. Some soaps are also known to cause thrush so washing your vagina with soap or sitting in a bath tub full of it is believed to be a recipe for thrush. Damp or wet underwear can also increase chances as well as women practicing oral sex.

Symptoms of Thrush may include:
* A thick white or creamy vaginal discharge (may be cottage-cheese like in appearance, with or without odor).
*Itchiness and redness in and around the vagina.
*Discomfort and/or pain during sexual intercourse.
* Burning sensation on urination.
Natural Treatment for Thrush Involves the use of anti-fungal herbs (internal and external applications to destroy the fungus), fruits and vegetables, supplements (to boost the immunity) and making some. Life style and dietary changes as follows:

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Herbal tea made from one or more of the following listed herbs:
Basil, cinnamon, ginger, thyme, tumeric, dandelion, nettle, corn silkk, yarrow, horsetil (misin misin goro-Yoruba); Gongronema latifolium (utazi in igbo); Momordica charantia (ejirin in Yoruba) and Moringa oleifera.
1/4 liter of boiled water is poured over one heaped teaspoon of any herb of your choice, infused for a short time, not sweetened. Take a cup the infusion three to five times a day, for 5 days.
Note: Recurrent thrush infections (those that have been confirmed by a physicians) may require a longer course of treatment before they go away.
Fruits and vegetables:
Cranberry, grapefruit, cucumber, lemon, melon, pineapple, beetroot, cabbagen carrots, lettuce, garlic, onions, parlsey, pumplkin, radish, spinach, watercress and zucchini.
One or more more of the above listed fruits/vegetables should be juiced- half glass of the juice may be mixed with an equal quantity of water and taken twice-thrice a day.

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Nutritional health supplements:
A.) Alfalfa sprouts, almond, algae powder, pure cocoa, coconut milk, flax oil, green tea, olive oil, pine nuts, sesame oil, sesame seeds, homemade soya milk, spirulina.
B.) Sit in a bath- pain and itching can be be relieved by immersing the pelvis for 20-30 minutes in hot water in which a handful of salt has been added. Do this for 5 days, by which time most discomforts should have subsided.
Get instant relief with my very simple but effective remedies for vaginal thrush:
C.) Coconut water: half glass of tender coconut water should be taken two times a day (first things in the morning and repeated before bed time).
D.) Spinach: a quantity of 100 ml of fresh fresh spinach juice should be mixed with tender coconut water in the ratio of 1:1 and then taken two-three times a day to flush out the fungus. This combination acts a very active effective and safe diuretic due to as a very effective and safe diuretic due to the combined actions of both nitrates and potassium.
E.) Water melon (medium sized), parlsey (a bunch or two) and 3 cloves of garlic made fresh at home with a juicer will make a jiucy drink alongside an antiseptic. Enjoy!
Lifestyle Changes and Precautions:
Change underwear daily and wash thoroughly in hot water (to destroy fungus) and if possibly use hot iron after drying.
Avoid wearing tight fitting clothing like jeans, underwear made from synthetic fiber and panty liners (as these create moist, warm environments which may encourage fungus growth). Intsead wear cotton or silk underwear, which allows excess moisture to evaporate.
In order to maintain natural balance in there, avoid douching and taking bathes with bubble bath, soaps, bathe salts e.t.c instead use warm/ mildly hot water in cleansing your extremities.
Beware of using toilet paper during menstruation as this increases chances of thrush.

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Consuming yoghurts or other products containing probacteria may help prevent thrush.
Maintaining a strong immune system by eating a well balanced diet, getting enough sleep and managing stress levels go a long way in keeping thrushes at an arms-length.
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