Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women.

The ovaries are a pair of small organs located low in the tummy that are connected to the womb and store a woman’s supply of eggs.

Ovarian cancer mainly affects women who have been through the menopause (usually over the age of 50), but it can sometimes affect younger women.Information:

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • feeling constantly bloated
  • a swollen tummy
  • discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
  • feeling full quickly when eating
  • needing to pee more often than usual

The symptoms are not always easy to recognise because they’re similar to those of some more common conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

When to see a GP

See a GP if:

  • you have been feeling bloated, particularly more than 12 times a month
  • you have other symptoms of ovarian cancer that will not go away
  • you have a family history of ovarian cancer and are worried you may be at a higher risk of getting it

It’s unlikely you have cancer, but it’s best to check. A GP can do some simple tests to see if you have it.

If you have already seen a GP and your symptoms continue or get worse, go back to them and explain this.

If you have a family history of ovarian cancer, a GP may refer you to a genetics specialist to discuss the option of genetic testing to check your ovarian cancer risk.

Causes of ovarian cancer

The exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown.

But some things may increase a woman’s risk of getting it, such as:

  • being over the age of 50
  • a family history of ovarian or breast cancer – this could mean you have inherited genes that increase your cancer risk
  • hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – although any increase in cancer risk is likely to be very small
  • endometriosis – a condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found outside the womb
  • being overweight
  • smoking
  • lack of exercise
  • exposure to asbestos

Treatment for ovarian cancer

The treatment for ovarian cancer depends on things such as how far the cancer has spread and your general health.

The main treatments are:

  • surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible – this will often involve removing both ovaries, the womb and the tubes connecting them to each other (fallopian tubes)
  • chemotherapy – this is usually used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells, but is occasionally used before surgery to shrink the cancer

Treatment will aim to cure the cancer whenever possible. If the cancer has spread too far to be cured, the aim is to relieve symptoms and control the cancer for as long as possible.

Outlook for ovarian cancer

The earlier ovarian cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of a cure.

But often it’s not recognised until it’s already spread and a cure is not possible.

Even after successful treatment, there’s a high chance the cancer will come back within the next few years.

If it does come back, it cannot usually be cured. But chemotherapy may help reduce the symptoms and keep the cancer under control for several months or years.

Overall, around half of women with ovarian cancer will live for at least 5 years after diagnosis, and about 1 in 3 will live at least 10 years.

All you need to know about Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is a relatively uncommon type of cancer that affects about 7,300 people each year in the UK, colorectal cancer can cause similar symptoms, hemorrhoids are far more common. As uncomfortable as hemorrhoids can be, with Venapro is a natural remedy for hemorrhoids. In other words, it does not contain strong pharmaceutical ingredients like painkillers and anti-inflammatories, is easily treatable and don’t cause cancer. 

The initial symptoms of stomach cancer are vague and easy to mistake for other less serious conditions. They include:

  • persistent indigestion and heartburn
  • trapped wind and frequent burping
  • feeling very full or bloated after meals
  • persistent stomach pain

Symptoms of advanced stomach cancer can include:

  • blood in your stools, or black stools
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss

As the early symptoms are similar to many conditions, stomach cancer is often advanced by the time it’s diagnosed. Therefore, it’s important to get any possible symptoms of stomach cancer checked out by your GP as soon as possible.

Who is affected

The exact cause of stomach cancer is still unclear, although a number of factors that increase your risk of developing the condition have been identified. These include:

  • being aged 55 or older
  • being male
  • smoking
  • eating a diet that contains a lot of salted and pickled foods
  • having an infection in your stomach due to a type of bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)

Types of stomach cancer

There are different types of stomach cancer. 95% develop in the cells of the stomach lining and are known as adenocarcinoma of the stomach.

Less common types include lymphoma of the stomach, which develops in the lymphatic tissue (tissue that drains away fluid and helps fight infection) and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs), which develop in the muscle or connective tissue of the stomach wall.

How stomach cancer is treated

Many cases of stomach cancer cannot be completely cured, but it is still possible to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life using chemotherapy and, in some cases, radiotherapy and surgery.

Surgery to remove some or all of the stomach is known as a gastrectomy. You will still be able to eat normally after a gastrectomy, but you will probably have to adjust the size of your portions.

Chemotherapy can also be used before surgery to help shrink the tumour and sometimes after surgery to help prevent the cancer from returning.

Living with stomach cancer

Living with stomach cancer and then the effects of surgery can be tough, but there are a range of services that can provide social, psychological and, in some cases, financial support.

Outlook

The outlook for stomach cancer depends on several things, including your age, general health and how far the cancer has spread before it’s diagnosed. Unfortunately, as stomach cancer is often not picked up until the later stages, the outlook is not as good as for some other cancers.

Overall, around 15% of people with stomach cancer will live at least five years after diagnosis and about 11% will live at least 10 years.

In the UK, around 5,000 people die from stomach cancer each year.

The stomach

The stomach is a hollow sac of muscle that is connected to the oesophagus (gullet) at its top and the first section of the small intestine (duodenum) at its bottom.

Its main purpose is to break down solid food into a semi-solid consistency using stomach acid. This makes it easier for the rest of the digestive system to absorb nutrients from food.

Oral Cancer

Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is where a tumourdevelops on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips or gums.

Tumours can also occur in the salivary glands, tonsils and the pharynx (the part of the throat from your mouth to your windpipe) but these are less common.

Symptoms of mouth cancer include:

  • red or white patches on the lining of your mouth or tongue
  • ulcers
  • a lump

See your GP if these symptoms do not heal within three weeks, especially if you’re a heavy drinker or smoker.

Types of mouth cancer

A cancer that develops on the inside or outside layer of the body is called a carcinoma and these types of cancer are categorised by the type of cells the cancer starts in. Your smile is one of the first things others notice. Cosmetic dentistry can so easily, so affordably, so dramatically transform your entire look, and Dr. Wagner is experienced at preforming number of treatments depending on your wants, needs and goals. Sometimes fixing minor imperfections like cracks, chips and gaps with porcelain veneers can completely change everything. Other times, a simple whitening might be all you need to transform your look and outlook on life. you can learn about dental implants here at this site.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of mouth cancer, accounting for nine out of 10 cases. Squamous cells are found in many places around the body, including the inside of the mouth and under the skin.

Less common types of mouth cancer include:

  • oral malignant melanoma – where the cancer starts in cells called melanocytes, which help give skin its colour
  • adenocarcinomas – cancers that develop inside the salivary glands

What causes mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer occurs when something goes wrong with the normal cell lifecycle, causing them to grow and reproduce uncontrollably.

Image Dental describes next risk factors for developing mouth cancer include:

  • smoking or using products that contain tobacco
  • drinking alcohol – smokers who are also heavy drinkers have a much higher risk compared to the population at large
  • infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts

Who is affected by mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer is an uncommon type of cancer, accounting for one in 50 of all cancer cases.

In the UK, just over 6,767 new cases of mouth cancer were diagnosed in 2011 (the latest reliable data).

Most cases of mouth cancer first develop in older adults who are between 50-74 years of age.

Mouth cancer can occur in younger adults, but it’s thought that HPV infection may be responsible for the majority of cases that occur in younger people.

Mouth cancer is more common in men than in women. This is thought to be due to the fact that, on average, men drink more alcohol than women.

Treating mouth cancer

There are three main treatment options for mouth cancer. They are:

  • surgery – where the cancerous cells are surgically removed and, in some cases, some of the surrounding tissue
  • chemotherapy – where powerful medications are used to kill cancerous cells
  • radiotherapy – where high energy X-rays are used to kill cancerous cells

These treatments are often used in combination. For example, a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be given after surgery to help prevent the cancer returning.

Complications of mouth cancer

Both surgery and radiotherapy can make speaking and swallowing difficult (dysphagia).

Dysphagia can be a potentially serious problem. If small pieces of food enter your airways and become lodged in your lungs, it could trigger a chest infection, known as aspiration pneumonia.

Reducing the risk

The three most effective ways to prevent mouth cancer from developing – or prevent it reocurring after successful treatment – are:

  • not smoking
  • keeping to the recommended weekly limits for alcohol consumption (21 units for men and 14 units for women
  • eating a ‘Mediterranean-style diet’, with plenty of fresh vegetables (particularly tomatoes), citrus fruits, olive oil and fish

It’s also important that you have regular dental check-ups because dentists can often spot the early stages of mouth cancer. Visiting one of these dental clinics near Newington, can do a scraping and test it for cancer.

Outlook

If mouth cancer is diagnosed early, a complete cure is often possible using a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery. So, once again you should remember to visit dentist regularly to make sure everything is fine. If you are looking for a good dental services, go to Alaska Dental Associates website for details.

The outlook for mouth cancer can vary depending on which part of the mouth is affected and whether it has spread from the mouth into surrounding tissue. The outlook is much better if the cancer is diagnosed early.

Overall, an estimated 40% of people with cancer affecting the mouth and pharyx will live at least five years after their diagnosis and many people live much longer. However, the outlook is better for cancer affecting certain areas of the mouth, such as the lip, tongue or oral cavity.

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All you need to know about Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is where a growth of abnormal tissue known as a tumour develops in the lining of the bladder. In some cases the tumour spreads into the surrounding muscles.

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in your urine, which is usually painless.

If you notice blood in your urine, even if it comes and goes, you should visit your GP so the cause can be investigated.

Types of bladder cancer

Once diagnosed, bladder cancer can be classified by how far it has spread.

If the cancerous cells are contained inside the lining of the bladder, doctors describe it as superficial or non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. This is the most common type of bladder cancer, accounting for 7 out of 10 cases. Most people do not die as a result of this type of bladder cancer.

When the cancerous cells spread beyond the lining into the surrounding muscles of the bladder, it’s referred to as muscle-invasive bladder cancer. This is less common, but has a higher chance of spreading to other parts of the body and can be fatal.

Why does bladder cancer happen?

Most cases of bladder cancer appear to be caused by exposure to harmful substances that lead to abnormal changes in the bladder’s cells over the course of many years.

Tobacco smoke is a common cause and it is estimated that half of all cases of bladder cancer are caused by smoking.

Contact with certain chemicals previously used in manufacturing is also known to cause bladder cancer. However, these substances have since been banned.

Treating bladder cancer

In cases of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, it is usually possible to remove the cancerous cells while leaving the rest of the bladder intact.

This is done using a surgical technique called transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT). This may be followed by a dose of chemotherapy medication directly into the bladder to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

In cases with a higher risk of recurrence, a medication known as Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) may be injected into the bladder to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

Treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer may involve surgically removing the bladder in an operation known as a radical cystectomy.

When the bladder is removed, you will need another way of collecting your urine. Possible options include making an opening in the abdomen so urine can be passed into an external bag, or constructing a new bladder out of a section of bowel. This will be done at the same time as a radical cystectomy.

If it’s possible to avoid removing the bladder or if surgery is not suitable, a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be recommended. Chemotherapy may sometimes be used on its own before surgery or before being combined with radiotherapy.

After treatment for all types of bladder cancer, you will have regular follow-up tests to check for signs of recurrence.

Who is affected?

About 10,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year.

The condition is more common in older adults, with the average age at diagnosis being 68 years old.

Rates of bladder cancer are four times higher in men than in women, possibly because in the past men were more likely to smoke and work in the manufacturing industry.

Liver Cancer

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms of liver cancer are often vague and don’t appear until the cancer is at an advanced stage. They can include:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling very full after eating, even if the meal was small
  • feeling sick and vomiting
  • pain or swelling in your abdomen (tummy)
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes)
  • itchy skin
  • feeling very tired and weak

Visit your GP if you notice any of the symptoms listed above. Although they are more likely to be the result of a more common condition, such as an infection, it’s best to have them checked.

You should also contact your GP if you have previously been diagnosed with a condition known to affect the liver, such as cirrhosis or a hepatitis C infection, and your health suddenly deteriorates.

What causes liver cancer?

The exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, but most cases are associated with damage and scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis can have a number of different causes, including drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over many years and having a long-term hepatitis B or hepatitis C viral infection.

It is also believed obesity and an unhealthy diet can increase the risk of liver cancer because this can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

By avoiding or cutting down on alcohol, eating healthily and exercising regularly, and taking steps to reduce your risk of becoming infected with hepatitis B and C, you may be able to significantly reduce your chances of developing liver cancer.

Read more about the causes of liver cancer and preventing liver cancer.

Who is affected?

Despite being a common type of cancer worldwide, liver cancer is relatively uncommon in the UK, with just over 4,000 new cases diagnosed each year. However, the chances of developing the condition are high for people with risk factors for the condition.

The number of people affected by liver cancer rises sharply with age, with around 8 in every 10 cases diagnosed in people aged 60 or older, although it also affects many people younger than this. Around two in every three cases affect men.

Over the past few decades, rates of liver cancer in the UK have risen considerably, possibly as a result of increased levels of alcohol intake and obesity.

Diagnosis and screening

Liver cancer is usually diagnosed after a consultation with a GP and a referral to a hospital specialist for further tests, such as scans of your liver.

However, regular check-ups for liver cancer (known as surveillance) are often recommended for people known to have a high risk of developing the condition, such as those with cirrhosis.

Having regular check-ups helps ensure the condition is diagnosed early. The earlier liver cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment is likely to be.

Read more about diagnosing liver cancer.

How liver cancer is treated

Treatment for liver cancer depends on the stage the condition is at. If diagnosed early, it may be possible to remove the cancer completely.

Treatment options in the early stages of liver cancer include:

  • surgical resection – surgery to remove a section of liver
  • liver transplant – where the liver is replaced with a donor liver
  • microwave or radiofrequency ablation – where microwaves or radio waves are used to destroy the cancerous cells

However, only a small proportion of liver cancers are diagnosed at a stage where these treatments are suitable. Most people are diagnosed when the cancer has spread too far to be removed or completely destroyed.

In these cases, treatments such as chemotherapy will be used to slow down the spread of the cancer and relieve symptoms such as pain and discomfort.

Because liver cancer is most often detected at an advanced stage, only around one in every five people live for at least a year after being diagnosed, and just 1 in every 20 people live at least a further five years.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer. Over 41,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK.

There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer, but many people with the condition will eventually develop symptoms including:

  • a persistent cough
  • coughing up blood
  • persistent breathlessness
  • unexplained tiredness and weight loss
  • an ache or pain when breathing or coughing

You should see your GP if you have these symptoms.

Types of lung cancer

Cancer that begins in the lungs is called primary lung cancer. Cancer that begins in another part of the body and spreads to the lungs is known as secondary lung cancer. This page is about primary lung cancer.

There are two main types of primary lung cancer. These are classified by the type of cells in which the cancer starts. They are:

  • non-small-cell lung cancer – the most common type, accounting for more than 80% of cases; can be either squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma or large-cell carcinoma
  • small-cell lung cancer – a less common type that usually spreads faster than non-small-cell lung cancer

The type of lung cancer you have will determine which treatments are recommended.

Who is affected

Lung cancer mainly affects older people. It is rare in people younger than 40, but the rates of lung cancer rise sharply with age. Lung cancer is most commonly diagnosed in people aged 70-74 years.

Although people who have never smoked can develop lung cancer, smoking is the main cause (about 90% of cases). This is because smoking involves regularly inhaling a number of different toxic substances.

Treating lung cancer

The treatment for lung cancer depends on the type of cancer, how far it has spread and how good your general health is.

If the condition is diagnosed early and the cancerous cells are confined to a small area, surgery to remove the affected area of lung is usually recommended.

If surgery is unsuitable due to your general health, radiotherapy to destroy the cancerous cells may be recommended instead.

If the cancer has spread too far for surgery or radiotherapy to be effective, chemotherapy is usually used

Outlook

As lung cancer does not usually cause noticeable symptoms until it has spread through much of the lungs or into other parts of the body, the outlook for the condition is not as good as many other types of cancer.

Overall, about 1 in 3 people with the condition will live for at least a year after they are diagnosed and fewer than 1 in 10 people will live at least five years.

However, survival rates can vary widely depending on how far the cancer has spread at the time of the diagnosis. Early diagnosis can make a big difference.

Oesophageal cancer Explained

Cancer of the oesophagus, also known as oesophageal cancer, is an uncommon but serious type of cancer that affects the oesophagus (gullet).

The oesophagus is the medical name for the gullet, which is part of the digestive system. The oesophagus is the long tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. The top part of the oesophagus lies behind the windpipe (trachea). The bottom part runs down through the chest between the spine and the heart.

Symptoms of oesophageal cancer include:

  • difficulties swallowing (dysphagia)
  • weight loss
  • throat pain
  • persistent cough

See your GP if you have any of these symptoms. They don’t necessarily mean that you have oesophageal cancer, but they will need to be investigated.

Your GP will take a detailed look at your medical history before carrying out a physical examination to check for any signs of abnormalities, such as a lump in your abdomen that may indicate a tumour.

If your GP still suspects oesophageal cancer you will be referred for further tests.

Types of oesophageal cancer

There are two main types of oesophageal cancer:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma forms in the upper part of the oesophagus. It occurs when cells on the inside lining of the oesophagus multiply abnormally.
  • Adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus forms in the lower part of the oesophagus. It occurs when cells inside the mucous glands that line the oesophagus multiply abnormally. The mucous glands produce a slimy substance to help food slide down the oesophagus more easily.

How common is oesophageal cancer?

Oesophageal cancer is uncommon, but it is not rare. It is the ninth most common type of cancer in the UK, with more than 8,500 new cases diagnosed each year.

Oesophageal cancer most commonly affects people over the age of 60, with the average age at diagnosis being 72. The condition is more common in men than in women.

Smoking and drinking alcohol are two of the biggest risk factors for oesophageal cancer, particularly if both activities are combined. People who drink heavily but do not smoke are four times more likely to develop oesophageal cancer than non-drinkers, and people who smoke and do not drink alcohol are twice as likely to develop oesophageal cancer.

However, people who smoke and drink heavily (more than 30 units a week) are eight times more likely to develop oesophageal cancer than those who do not smoke or drink.

Treating oesophageal cancer

Oesophageal cancer does not usually cause any noticeable symptoms until the cancer has spread beyond the oesophagus and into nearby tissue. For this reason it can be more difficult to cure compared with other types of cancer.

On average, 40% of people with oesophageal cancer will live for one year after the diagnosis, and 13% will live for five years after the diagnosis. The outlook can improve greatly if the cancer is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, or where a cure is possible.

Attempting to cure oesophageal cancer involves having a course of chemotherapy (and radiotherapy as well in some cases) followed by surgery to remove the cancerous section of the oesophagus.

If a cure is not achievable, it is usually still possible to relieve symptoms and slow the spread of the cancer using a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Explained

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels and glands spread throughout your body.

The lymphatic system is part of your immune system. Clear fluid called lymph flows through the lymphatic vessels and contains infection-fighting white blood cells known as lymphocytes.

In non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the affected lymphocytes start to multiply in an abnormal way and begin to collect in certain parts of the lymphatic system, such as the lymph nodes (glands). The affected lymphocytes lose their infection-fighting properties, making you more vulnerable to infection.

The most common symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.

Who is affected

About 80% of all lymphomas diagnosed are non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In the UK, more than 12,000 cases are diagnosed each year.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can occur at any age, but your chances of developing the condition increase as you get older, with most cases diagnosed in people over 65. Slightly more men than women are affected.

What causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

The exact cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is unknown.

However, your risk of developing the condition is increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, you take immunosuppressant medication or you have previously been exposed to a common virus called the Epstein-Barr virus (which causesglandular fever).

You may also have a slightly increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma if a first-degree relative (such as a parent or sibling) has had the condition.

How non-Hodgkin lymphoma is diagnosed

The only way to confirm a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is by carrying out a biopsy.

This is a minor surgical procedure where a sample of affected lymph node tissue is removed and studied in a laboratory.

Treatment and outlook

There are many subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but they can generally be put into one of two broad categories:

  • high-grade or aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma is where the cancer develops quickly and aggressively
  • low-grade or indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma is where the cancer develops slowly, and you may not experience any symptoms for many years

The outlook for non-Hodgkin lymphoma varies greatly depending on the exact type, grade and extent of the lymphoma, and the person’s age.

Low-grade tumours do not necessarily require immediate medical treatment, but are harder to completely cure. High-grade lymphomas need to be treated straightaway but tend to respond much better to treatment and can often be cured.

The main treatments used for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a type of targeted treatment called monoclonal antibody therapy.

Overall, most cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are considered very treatable. More than half of those with high grade disease are cured and about half of those with low grade disease will live at least 10 years.

However, there is a risk of long-term problems after treatment, including infertility and an increased risk of developing another type of cancer in the future.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck. 

The most common symptom of cancer of the thyroid is a painless lump or swelling that develops in the neck.

Other symptoms only tend to occur after the condition has reached an advanced stage, and may include:

  • unexplained hoarseness that lasts for more than a few weeks
  • a sore throat or difficulty swallowing that doesn’t get better
  • a lump elsewhere in your neck

It’s important to remember that if you have a lump in your thyroid gland, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have thyroid cancer. About 1 in 20 thyroid lumps are cancerous.

The thyroid gland

The thyroid gland consists of two lobes located on either side of the windpipe. Its main purpose is to release hormones (chemicals that have powerful effects on many different functions of the body).

The thyroid gland releases three separate hormones:

  • triiodothyronine – known as T3
  • thyroxine – known as T4
  • calcitonin

The T3 and T4 hormones help regulate the body’s metabolic rate (the rate at which the various processes in the body work, such as how quickly calories are burnt).

An excess of T3 and T4 will make you feel overactive and you may lose weight. If you don’t have enough of these hormones, you’ll feel sluggish and you may gain weight.

Calcitonin helps control blood calcium levels. Calcium is a mineral that performs a number of important functions, such as building strong bones.

Calcitonin isn’t essential for maintaining good health because your body also has other ways of controlling calcium.

Types of thyroid cancer

There are four main types of thyroid cancer. They are:

  • papillary carcinoma – this is the most common type, accounting for about 6 out of 10 (60%) cases; it usually affects people under the age of 40, particularly women
  • follicular carcinoma – accounts for around 3 out of 20 (15%) cases of thyroid cancer and tends to affect older adults
  • medullary thyroid carcinoma – accounts for between 5 and 8 out of every 100 diagnosed cases (5-8%); unlike the other types of thyroid cancer, medullary thyroid carcinoma can run in families
  • anaplastic thyroid carcinoma – this is the rarest and most aggressive type of thyroid cancer, accounting for less than 1 in 20 thyroid cancers; it usually affects older people over the age of 60

Papillary and follicular carcinomas are sometimes known as differentiated thyroid cancers, and they’re often treated in the same way.

How common is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a rare form of cancer, accounting for less than 1% of all cancer cases in the UK. Each year, around 2,700 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the UK.

It’s most common in people aged 35 to 39 years and in those aged 70 years or over.

Women are two to three times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men. It’s unclear why this is, but it may be a result of the hormonal changes associated with the female reproductive system.

What causes thyroid cancer?

In most cases, the cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. However, certain things can increase your chances of developing the condition.

Risk factors for thyroid cancer include:

  • having a benign (non-cancerous) thyroid condition
  • having a family history of thyroid cancer (in the case of medullary thyroid cancer)
  • having a bowel condition known as familial adenomatous polyposis
  • acromegaly – a rare condition where the body produces too much growth hormone
  • having a previous benign (non-cancerous) breast condition
  • weight and height
  • radiation exposure

Diagnosing thyroid cancer

A type of blood test known as a thyroid function test will measure the hormone levels in your blood and rule out or confirm other thyroid problems.

If nothing else seems to be causing the lump in your thyroid, fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is used.

Further testing may be required if the FNAC results are inconclusive, or if more information is needed to make your treatment more effective.

Treating thyroid cancer

Your recommended treatment plan will depend on the type and grade of your cancer, and whether a complete cure is realistically achievable.

Differentiated thyroid cancers (DTCs) are treated using a combination of surgery to remove the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy) and a type of radiotherapy that destroys any remaining cancer cells and prevents the thyroid cancer returning.

Medullary thyroid carcinomas tend to spread faster than DTCs, so it may be necessary to remove any nearby lymph nodes, as well as your thyroid gland.

Recurrence

Cancerous cells will return in an estimated 5-20% of people with a history of thyroid cancer. In approximately 10-15% of people the cancerous cells will come back in other parts of their body, such as their bones.

Cancerous cells can sometimes return many years after surgery and radioactive iodine treatment has been completed.

You’ll be asked to attend regular check-ups so any cancerous cells that return can be treated quickly.

Preventing thyroid cancer

From the available evidence, eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to avoid getting thyroid cancer and all other types of cancer.

A low-fat, high-fibre diet is recommended that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day) and whole grains.

Outlook

The outlook for differentiated thyroid cancers is very good. Most people (80-90%) will have a normal lifespan.

Papillary and follicular carcinomas tend to be slow growing and relatively straightforward to treat.

More than 9 out of 10 people with papillary carcinoma will live for 10 or more years after diagnosis. More than 8 out of 10 people with follicular thyroid cancer will live for at least 10 years after being diagnosed.

Medullary thyroid carcinoma is harder to treat. It doesn’t respond to iodine treatment, so removing all of the cancerous cells can be difficult.

Survival rates for medullary thyroid carcinoma depend on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. If diagnosed in its early stages, 97% of people live at least five years after diagnosis.

If medullary thyroid carcinoma is diagnosed after it has spread to other parts of the body, 1 in 4 people live at least five years after diagnosis.

Because of its aggressive nature, less than 1 in 10 people with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma will live at least five years after being diagnosed.

Kidney Cancer all you need to know

Kidney cancer is the eighth most common cancer in adults in the UK, with just over 10,100 people diagnosed each year.

Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer can include:

  • blood in your urine
  • a constant pain in your side, just below the ribs
  • a lump or swelling in the kidney area (on either side of the body)

See your GP as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms. They will examine you and may refer you to a specialist clinic for further tests.

In around half of all cases of kidney cancer there are no symptoms, and the condition is detected during tests for other unrelated conditions.

The kidneys and cancer

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the body, just underneath the ribcage.

Their main role is to filter out waste products from the blood, in addition to producing urine. Only one of the kidneys is usually affected by cancer.

The human body is made up of billions of cells, which normally grow and multiply in an orderly way, with new cells being created only when and where they’re needed. In cancer, this orderly process goes wrong and cells begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably.

Exactly what triggers this growth is unknown; however, there are certain risk factors that can increase the chances of the condition developing, such as smoking and obesity.

Kidney cancer most frequently affects people over 50 years of age and is more common among men.

Types of kidney cancer

Many different types of cancer can affect the kidneys. The most common type is renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which accounts for more than 80% of all kidney cancers.

Rarer types of kidney cancer include:

  • transitional cell cancer – develops in the lining of the kidneys and usually affects men who are 50 years of age or over
  • Wilms’ tumour – a rare type of kidney cancer that affects children

Treating kidney cancer

The earlier kidney cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.

How it’s treated will depend on the size and spread of the cancer. Surgery to remove the cancerous cells is usually the first course of action.

Unlike most other cancers, chemotherapy isn’t very effective at treating kidney cancer. However, non-surgical treatments are available, such as radiotherapy or targeted therapies. These are most commonly used in the more advanced stages of kidney cancer, when the cancer has spread beyond the kidney.

Preventing kidney cancer

As the causes of kidney cancer aren’t fully understood, it’s not possible to fully prevent it.

However, leading a healthy lifestyle may reduce the chances of developing the condition. A combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise will help to avoid becoming overweight or obese, which is a significant risk factor for kidney cancer. You can also check out
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Outlook

The outlook for kidney cancer is usually good if the condition is diagnosed in its early stages, when the cancer is still contained inside the kidney.

Kidney cancer can often be completely cured by removing some or all of the kidney. This is because it’s possible to live a healthy life with only one kidney. Around one in three cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed at an early stage.

Depending on how aggressive the cancer is, 65-90% of people will live at least five years after receiving an early diagnosis of kidney cancer, with many people living much longer.

The outlook for kidney cancer that’s spread outside the kidney is less favourable. Around 40-70% of people with this stage of kidney cancer will live at least five years after receiving a diagnosis.

In cases where kidney cancer is advanced and has spread to other parts of the body, only around 10% of people will live for at least five years after receiving a diagnosis.