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.

Pancreatic Cancer

Around 8,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (also known as cancer of the pancreas) each year.

It is the ninth most common cancer in the UK, more common in people over 60 and not usually found in people under 40 years of age.

The pancreas

The pancreas is a gland – an organ that produces and releases substances to other parts of the body.

It is approximately 15cm (six inches) in length and situated high in your abdomen (tummy) behind the stomach, where the ribs meet at the bottom of your breastbone.

The pancreas produces digestive enzymes (proteins) and a hormone known as insulin. It can be treated by  Functional Medicine Associates doctors to expect better results.

  • digestive enzymes help break down food into fragments so they can be absorbed by your body
  • insulin helps keep sugar levels in your blood at a stable level

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is when a tumour starts to develop in the pancreas. It rarely causes any symptoms when it first develops, which can make it hard to diagnose. Some time it can lead to obesity, visit ventsmagazine.com to learn more regarding natural weight loss treatments.

The first symptoms can include pain, unexpected weight loss and jaundice. These symptoms can be caused by a wide variety of conditions and are not usually the result of cancer. If you are concerned or these symptoms start suddenly, contact your doctor.

If your GP suspects you have pancreatic cancer, they may examine you for signs of jaundice and carry out a blood test, as well as physically examine your abdomen. They may also send you to hospital for further investigation, including an ultrasound scan

Who is affected?

Pancreatic cancer can occur at any age, but tends to affect people aged between 50 and 80 and is rare among younger people.

Approximately 63% of people diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas are over 70. Men tend to be more affected than women.

People who smoke and people with diabetes or chronic pancreatitis are at higher risk of pancreatic cancer, speaking of diabetes, Blood Boost Formula is one of the most harmless treatments available, check more at thestylishmagazine.

Outlook

Cancer of the pancreas is a very serious form of cancer which is both difficult to detect and treat. Because pancreatic cancer causes few symptoms in its early stages, the condition is often not diagnosed until the cancer is relatively advanced.

Surgery to remove the tumour is usually the only way to completely cure pancreatic cancer. But this is a suitable treatment for only around 15 to 20% of patients.

If your pancreatic cancer cannot be cured, then treatments can help slow the growth of the tumour and ease any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Blood Cancer

Facts about blood cancers

Anyone can get a blood cancer at any age. Around 30,000 people, from babies to grandparents, are diagnosed with blood cancer every year in the UK.

 

Leukaemia

Of the 7,600 cases of leukaemia diagnosed in the UK every year, 94% are adults.

We are leading research into tailoring treatments so that rather than a one size fits all approach, every patient in the future will receive the individual treatment they need.

Childhood leukaemia

Childhood leukaemia is the most common form of cancer in children.

In 1960 when Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research was founded, a child diagnosed with leukaemia had almost no hope of survival.

Today 9 out of 10 children survive the most common form of leukaemia thanks to our continued investment in research into better treatments.

Lymphoma

Around 11,700 people in the UK are diagnosed with lymphoma every year. Lymphoma is challenging to treat mainly because there are so many different types (over 35) of this blood cancer.

Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer in young people aged 15 to 24.

Thanks to our pioneering research, doctors are able to diagnose lymphoma more accurately which means every lymphoma patient receives the best possible care.

Myeloma

Myeloma is a cancer which occurs in later life: only two percent of cases occur in people under 40.

Around 3,750 people are diagnosed with myeloma in the UK every year.

Our scientists have developed a treatment that relieves the painful symptoms of this debilitating cancer. Now they are looking for a cure.

Other disorders

Over 5,300 people are diagnosed with other blood disorders in the UK every year. These disorders are more difficult to treat because they vary so much from patient to patient.

We are integrating insights from laboratory research with information from patients on clinical trials to improve the diagnosis of these blood disorders. Accurate diagnosis will mean that patients receive better treatments.

 Number of people diagnosed in the UK

Disease Children aged 0-14 Young adults aged 15-24 Adults 25+ All ages
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) 370 90 290 750
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) 70 90 2090 2250
Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) 20 530 550
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) 3300 3300
Other leukaemias  20 10 670 700
Leukaemia (total) 460 210 6880 7600
Hodgkin lymphoma 70 250 1330 1650
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 100 80 8820 9000
Other lymphoproliferative disorders 1050 1050
Lymphoma (total) 170 330 11200 11700
Myeloma (total)     3750 3750
Other blood cancers 10 35 45
Myelodysplastic syndromes 2000 2000
Myeloproliferative neoplasms 3300 3300
Other blood cancers (total) 10 35 5300 5345
All blood cancers (total) 640 575 27130 28345

 

Male Breast Cancer

What is breast cancer in men?

A breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. Breast cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can get it, too. Many people do not realize that men have breast tissue and that they can develop breast cancer and need Breast Cancer Treatment Services to overcome it.

Normal breast structure

To understand breast cancer, it helps to have some basic knowledge about the normal structure of the breasts.

The breast is made up mainly of lobules (milk-producing glands in women), ducts (tiny tubes that carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple), and stroma (fatty tissue and connective tissue surrounding the ducts and lobules, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels).

Until puberty (usually around 13 or 14), young boys and girls have a small amount of breast tissue consisting of a few ducts located under the nipple and areola (area around the nipple). At puberty, a girl’s ovaries make female hormones, causing breast ducts to grow, lobules to form at the ends of ducts, and the amount of stroma to increase. In boys, hormones made by the testicles keep breast tissue from growing much. Men’s breast tissue has ducts, but only a few if any lobules.

Like all cells of the body, a man’s breast duct cells can undergo cancerous changes. But breast cancer is less common in men because their breast duct cells are less developed than those of women and because their breast cells are not constantly exposed to the growth-promoting effects of female hormones.

diagram of the internal structure of the breast

The lymph (lymphatic) system of the breast

The lymph system is important to understand because it is one of the ways that breast cancers can spread. This system has several parts.

Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped collections of immune system cells (cells that are important in fighting infections) that are connected by lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic vessels are like small veins, except that they carry a clear fluid called lymph (instead of blood) away from the breast. Lymph contains tissue fluid and waste products, as well as immune system cells. Breast cancer cells can enter lymphatic vessels and begin to grow in lymph nodes.

Most lymphatic vessels in the breast connect to lymph nodes under the arm (axillary nodes). Some lymphatic vessels connect to lymph nodes near the breast bone (internal mammary nodes) and either above or below the collarbone (supraclavicular or infraclavicular nodes).

diagram of the lymph nodes of the breast

It’s important to know if the cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes. If they have, there is a higher chance that the cells could have gotten into the bloodstream and spread (metastasized) to other sites in the body. This is important to know when you are choosing a treatment. The more lymph nodes with breast cancer cells (positive lymph nodes), the more likely it is that the cancer might be found in other organs as well. Still, not all men who have positive lymph nodes develop metastases, and in some cases a man can have negative lymph nodes and later develop metastases.

Benign breast conditions

Men can also have some benign (not cancerous) breast disorders.

Benign breast tumors

There are many types of benign breast tumors (abnormal lumps or masses of tissue), such as papillomas and fibroadenomas. Benign breast tumors do not spread outside the breast and are not life threatening. Benign tumors are common in women but are very rare in men.

Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is the most common male breast disorder. It is not a tumor but rather an increase in the amount of a man’s breast tissue. Usually, men have too little breast tissue to be felt or noticed. A man with gynecomastia has a button-like or disk-like growth under his nipple and areola, which can be felt and sometimes seen. Although gynecomastia is much more common than breast cancer in men, both can be felt as a growth under the nipple, which is why it’s important to have any such lumps checked by your doctor.

Gynecomastia is common among teenage boys because the balance of hormones in the body changes during adolescence. It is also common in older men due to changes in their hormone balance.

In rare cases, gynecomastia occurs because tumors or diseases of certain endocrine (hormone-producing) glands cause a man’s body to make more estrogen (the main female hormone). Men’s glands normally make some estrogen, but it is not enough to cause breast growth. Diseases of the liver, which is an important organ in male and female hormone metabolism, can change a man’s hormone balance and lead to gynecomastia. Obesity (being extremely overweight) can also cause higher levels of estrogens in men.

Some medicines can cause gynecomastia. These include some drugs used to treat ulcers and heartburn, high blood pressure, and heart failure. Men with gynecomastia should ask their doctors if any medicines they are taking might be causing this condition.

Klinefelter syndrome, a rare genetic condition, can lead to gynecomastia as well as increase a man’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer general terms

Here are some of the key words used to describe breast cancer.

Carcinoma

This is a term used to describe a cancer that begins in the lining layer (epithelial cells) of organs such as the breast. Nearly all breast cancers are carcinomas (either ductal carcinomas or lobular carcinomas).

Adenocarcinoma

An adenocarcinoma is a type of carcinoma that starts in glandular tissue (tissue that makes and secretes a substance). The ducts and lobules of the breast are glandular tissue (they make breast milk in women), so cancers starting in these areas are sometimes called adenocarcinomas.

Carcinoma in situ

This term is used for an early stage of cancer, when it is confined to the layer of cells where it began. In breast cancer, in situmeans that the abnormal cells remain confined to ducts (ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS). These cells have not grown into (invaded) deeper tissues in the breast or spread to other organs in the body. Ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast is sometimes referred to as non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer because it may develop into an invasive breast cancer if left untreated.

When cancer cells are confined to the lobules it is called lobular carcinoma in situ. This is not actually a true pre-invasive cancer because it does not turn into an invasive cancer if left untreated.

Invasive (infiltrating) carcinoma

An invasive cancer is one that has already grown beyond the layer of cells where it started (as opposed to carcinoma in situ). Most breast cancers are invasive carcinomas, either invasive ductal carcinoma or invasive lobular carcinoma.

Types of breast cancer in men

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

In DCIS (also known as intraductal carcinoma), cancer cells form in the breast ducts but do not grow through the walls of the ducts into the fatty tissue of the breast or spread outside the breast. DCIS accounts for about 1 in 10 cases of breast cancer in men. It is almost always curable with surgery.

Infiltrating (or invasive) ductal carcinoma (IDC)

This type of breast cancer breaks through the wall of the duct and grows through the fatty tissue of the breast. At this point, it can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. At least 8 out of 10 male breast cancers are IDCs (alone or mixed with other types of invasive or in situ breast cancer). Because the male breast is much smaller than the female breast, all male breast cancers start relatively close to the nipple, so they are more likely to spread to the nipple. This is different from Paget disease as described below.

Infiltrating (or invasive) lobular carcinoma (ILC)

This type of breast cancer starts in the breast lobules (collections of cells that, in women, produce breast milk) and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast. ILC is very rare in men, accounting for only about 2% of male breast cancers. This is because men do not usually have much lobular tissue.

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

In LCIS, abnormal cells form in the lobules, but they do not grow into the fatty tissue of the breast or spread outside the breast. Although LCIS is sometimes grouped with DCIS as a type of non-invasive breast cancer, most breast specialists think it is a risk factor for developing breast cancer rather than a true non-invasive cancer. As with invasive lobular carcinoma, LCIS is very rare in men.

Paget disease of the nipple

This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the nipple. It may also spread to the areola (the dark circle around the nipple). The skin of the nipple usually appears crusted, scaly, and red, with areas of itching, oozing, burning, or bleeding. The fingertips can be used to detect a possible lump within the breast.

Paget disease may be associated with DCIS or with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It accounts for about 1% of female breast cancers and a higher percentage of male breast cancers.

Inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is an aggressive, but rare type of breast cancer. It causes the breast to be swollen, red, warm and tender rather than forming a lump. It can be mistaken for an infection of the breast. This is very rare in men.

Skin Cancer

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among white populations, in the UK and worldwide.

Most are easy to treat and pose only a small threat to life, but one type, melanoma, is difficult to treat unless detected early. Over the past 25 years, rates of melanoma in the UK have risen faster than any other common cancer.

Skin cancer symptoms

There are three principal types of skin cancer, which can have different symptoms and appearances.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) affects a type of cell within the top layer of skin. It’s a slow-growing cancer and doesn’t usually spread to other parts of the body.

BCC affects all sun-exposed areas of the body. The main symptom is a small, painless, pink/brownish-grey lump, with a smooth surface, blood vessels and a waxy or pearl-like border. The lump grows, developing a central depression with rolled edges.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) involves another type of cell in the top layer of skin. It usually affects the face and the main symptom is an area of thickened, scaly skin that develops into a painless, hard lump, reddish brown in colour with an irregular edge. The lump becomes a recurring ulcer and doesn’t heal.

These two types are known as non-melanoma skin cancer. They are usually slow growing, occur on sun-exposed areas of the skin and rarely spread.

Melanoma skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body and is more dangerous. It’s related to the common mole and changes in the appearance of moles on your body should be checked by your GP.

Malignant melanoma tends to spread much more rapidly through the bloodstream than the other two types of skin cancer. It affects the cells that produce the skin’s colouring, and if not treated successfully can spread to the liver, lungs or brain.

The main symptom is a quick-growing, irregular, dark-coloured spot on previously normal skin or in an existing mole that changes size, colour, develops irregular edges, bleeds, itches, crusts or reddens. If an adult has a growing, changing, brown or black mark which cannot be covered by the blunt end of a pencil, this should be shown to the doctor straight away.

Occasionally, melanoma may present with swollen lymph glands or rarely in unusual places including the sole of the foot, mouth or eye. If melanoma is diagnosed, then further tests will be done to see if the cancer has spread beyond the skin to other parts of the body. This may involve taking x-rays and scans to look at the liver, brain and lungs.

To find out if it’s skin cancer and if so which type, a doctor will carry out a biopsy, removing all or part of the suspicious growth for analysis.

Skin cancer causes

Although scientists have found that those with lighter skin are far more vulnerable to skin cancers, the main cause of skin cancer is over-exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. A suntan isn’t healthy – it’s a sign of skin damage. It’s thought the UV radiation in sunlight causes subtle cell damage which can lead to cancerous changes.

Non-melanoma skins cancer results from prolonged sunlight exposure over many years. The main cause of melanoma skin cancer is exposure to short periods of intense sunlight; the kind of exposure people get on a two-week holiday.

Rates of skin cancer of all sorts are extremely low among dark-skinned people. Men are more likely to develop cancers on their neck, shoulders and back, whereas in women they’re more likely to appear on the legs and arms.

Diagnosing skin cancer

Diagnosis of skin cancer can usually be made by your GP or hospital specialist by simple skin examination. Sometimes, the skin cancer will need to be removed by a small operation or biopsy; both for treatment and lab testing. Other routine tests, including X-rays and scans aren’t usually required.

Skin cancer treatments

Non-melanoma skin cancers are usually treated by a common operation to cut out the affected area under local anaesthetic. Another method used on smaller cancers is cryosurgery, in which liquid nitrogen is applied to the tumour to freeze it and kill the cells, which simply shrivel and drop off.

Some cases of basal cell carcinoma may be suitable for photodynamic therapy, which uses a cream to sensitise the tumour and then exposes it to high intensities of light to destroy it.

In the case of melanoma, if there is a suspicion that the cancer may have spread beyond the skin layer, chemotherapy or biological treatment such as interferon may be given to attempt to eradicate skin cancer cells in other parts of the body.

About 1,800 people die from melanoma skin cancer annually in the UK. Even so, nearly 80 per cent of men and over 90 per cent of women are alive at five years following treatment, browse this site for more info.

Preventing skin cancer

The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid too much time in the sun. You don’t have to be sunbathing to get burned. You can get too much sun while walking to the shops, driving a car with the windows down, even under light cloud cover. Time of day and location are important too. The intensity of UV radiation increases during the middle of the day, between April to September, nearer the equator and at higher altitudes.

How to protect yourself and your children:

  • Stick to the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • Cover up with clothes, a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • Apply a high-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF15 and three stars) regularly
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid overheating
  • Avoid using sun lamps or sunbeds
Watch those moles

Many moles aren’t cancerous, but it’s vital to keep an eye on any you have. Watch out for moles that change shape or colour, become bigger, itchy or inflamed, or that weep or bleed. If you notice any changes or are worried, get them checked by a doctor.

Reference: https://omegaboom.com/itch-relief-remedies-for-eczema/.

Testicular Cancer

Cancer of the testicles, also known as testicular cancer, is an uncommon type of cancer that primarily affects younger men.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a painless lump or swelling in the testicles. Other symptoms can include:

  • a dull ache in the scrotum (the sac of skin that hangs underneath the penis and contains the testicles)
  • a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum

The testicles

The testicles are the two oval-shaped male sex organs that sit inside the scrotum on either side of the penis. The testicles are an important part of the male reproductive system because they produce sperm and the hormone testosterone, which plays a major role in male sexual development.

Types of testicular cancer

The different types of testicular cancer are classified by what type of cells the cancer first begins in.

The most common type of testicular cancer is known as ‘germ cell testicular cancer’, which accounts for around 95% of all cases. Germ cells are a type of cell that the body uses to help create sperm.

There are two main subtypes of germ cell testicular cancer. They are:

  • seminomas, which account for 40% of all cases of testicular cancer
  • non-seminomas, which account for the remaining 60% of cases of testicular cancer

In practical terms, the only important difference between the two subtypes is that seminomas tend to respond better to radiotherapy (treatment that uses radiation to kill cancer cells) and non-seminomas tend to respond better to chemotherapy (treatment that uses medication to kill cancer cells).

Less common types of testicular cancer include:

  • Leydig cell tumours, which account for around 1-3% of cases
  • Sertoli cell tumours, which account for around 1% of cases

This article focuses on germ cell testicular cancer. The Macmillan website has more information about Leydig cell tumour and Sertoli cell tumour.

If you want to know about what’s causing you food intolerance or allergy?
By knowing how to cure or at least manage your condition, you can get on with your life. Isn’t it time you said “enough!” to bloating, indigestion or frequent toilet trips? By knowing exactly what might be causing you acid reflux, IBS or other symptoms. You can then avoid the triggers and lead a more normal and carefree lifestyle. Without an food intolerance test this can be a tough task of trial and error. Painful blood tests cannot accurately reveal a particular food intolerance.

How common is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is relatively uncommon, accounting for just 1% of all cancers that occur in men. Each year in England, it is estimated that there are three to six new cases of testicular cancer for every 100,000 men.

Testicular cancer is unusual compared to other types of cancers because it tends to affect younger men who are 20 to 55 years of age. As a result, although relatively uncommon overall, testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect young men (20 to 35 years of age).

Rates of testicular cancer are five times higher in white men than in black men. The reasons for this are unclear.

The number of cases of testicular cancer that are diagnosed each year has roughly doubled over the last two decades, both in England and in other European and North American nations. On the other hand, testicular cancer is virtually unheard of in some African and Asian nations. Again, the reasons for this are unclear.

The cause or causes of testicular cancer are unknown, but a number of risk factors have been identified that increase the chance of developing the condition. These include:

  • having a family history of testicular cancer
  • being infertile
  • being born with undescended testicles(cryptorchidism). About 3-5% of boys are born with their testicles located inside their abdomen, which usually descend into the scrotum during the first four months of life

Outlook

The outlook for testicular cancer is very good because it is one of the most treatable types of cancer. Over 95% of men with early stage testicular cancer will be completely cured.

Even cases of advanced testicular cancer, where the cancer has spread outside the testicles to nearby tissue, have an 80% chance of being cured.

Compared to other cancers, deaths from testicular cancer are rare. For example, in 2008, 60 deaths were caused by testicular cancer in England and Wales.

Treatment for testicular cancer includes the surgical removal of the affected testicle (which should not affect fertility or the ability to have sex), chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

See our how to check video here 

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer generally affects men over 50, and is rarely found in younger men. It is the commonest type of cancer in men. Around 34,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

It differs from most other cancers in the body, in that small areas of cancer within The Prostate are very common and may stay dormant (inactive) for many years.

Approximately one half of all men in their fifties have some cancer cells within their prostate and 8 out of 10 men (80%) over the age of 80 have a small area of prostate cancer. Most of these cancers grow extremely slowly and so, particularly in elderly men, will never cause any problems but if a doctor do not prescribes any mediation he or she can be subject of a court trial as per Faulkner Lawyers.

In a small proportion of men, the prostate cancer can grow more quickly and in some cases may spread to other parts of the body, particularly The Bones

Early (localised) prostate cancer

Early cancer of the prostate gland (early prostate cancer) is when the cancer is only in the prostate and has not spread into the surrounding tissues or to other parts of the body. It is also called localised prostate cancer.

Locally advanced prostate cancer

Locally advanced prostate cancer is cancer that has spread into the tissues around the prostate gland. Cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is called metastatic prostate cancer.

Advanced (metastatic) prostate cancer

Advanced or metastatic cancer of the prostate gland is when the cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland to other parts of the body.

Prostate cancer is usually diagnosed in the early stages before it has begun to spread outside the prostate gland. In about 1 in 10 men (10%), the prostate cancer will be advanced when it is first diagnosed.

Advanced prostate cancer can also occur in men who have been treated for early or locally-advanced prostate cancer and whose cancer has come back (relapsed or
recurred). You can find out more about the stages of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer cells can sometimes spread beyond the prostate gland (the primary tumour) and travel around the body in the blood stream, or less commonly the Lyphatic system . When these cells reach a new area of the body they may go on dividing and form a new tumour called a metastasis or secondary tumour.

The most common place that prostate cancer spreads to is bones such as the spine, pelvis, thigh bone (femur) and ribs.

Usually the cancer cells will spread to a number of different places in the bones rather than a single site. Sometimes prostate cancer can affect the bone marrow. This is the soft tissue in the centre of most bones and is where the blood cells are made. Prostate cancer can also spread to the lymph nodes and very occcasionally may affect the lungs, the brain and the liver.

We have separate information about the different treatment options for each of the three types of prostate cancer.

Brain Cancer

There are more than 100 different types of brain tumour, depending on which cells within the brain are involved. The most common (about 50 per cent of brain cancers) is called a glioma, and it is formed not from the nerve cells of the brain but from the glial cells, which support those nerves. The most aggressive form of glioma is known as a glioblastoma multiforme – these tumours form branches like a tree reaching out through the brain and may be impossible to completely remove.

Other tumours include:

  • Meningiomas – account for about a quarter of brain cancers and are formed from cells in the membranes, or meninges, that cover the brain
  • Pituitary adenomas – tumours of the hormone-producing pituitary gland
  • Acoustic neuromas – typically slow-growing tumours of the hearing nerve often found in older people, according to Bill Austin.
  • Craniopharyngioma and ependymomas – often found in younger people

The treatment and outlook for these different brain tumours varies hugely. Some, such as meningiomas and pituitary tumours, are usually (but not always) benign, which means they don’t spread through the brain or elsewhere in the body. However, they can still cause problems as they expand within the skull, compressing vital parts of the brain. Other types of brain cancer are malignant, spreading through the tissues and returning after treatment. Brain exercises are now considered perfectly normal. It seems that everywhere you go these days you will come across people doing crosswords, Sudoku and various types of activities to keep the brain in shape but not so long ago the idea that the brain needed exercising would have met with derision or scepticism. For more information about Private coaching for memory care patients, then contact us today.

 

Brain tumours are also graded in terms of how aggressive, abnormal or fast-growing the cells are. Exactly where the tumour forms is also critical, as some areas of the brain are much easier to operate on than others, where important structures are packed closely together.

Brain cancer causes

The reason why tumours develop in the brain remains a mystery, but some risk factors are known. These include:

  • Age – different tumours tend to occur at different ages. About 300 children are diagnosed with brain tumours every year, and these are often a type called primitive neuroectodermal tumours (PNETs), which form from very basic cells left behind by the developing embryo. PNETs usually develop at the back of the brain in the cerebellum
  • Genetics – as many as five per cent of brain tumours occur as part of an inherited condition, such as neurofibromatosis
  • Exposure to ionising radiation – such as radiotherapy treatment at a young age
  • Altered immunity – a weakened immunity has been linked to a type of tumour called a lymphoma, while autoimmune disease and allergy seem to slightly reduce the risk of brain tumours
  • Environmental pollutants – many people worry that chemicals in the environment (such as from rubber, petrol and many manufacturing industries) can increase the risk of brain cancers, but research has so far failed to prove a link with any degree of certainty. Neither is there clear and irrefutable evidence for risk from mobile phones, electricity power lines or viral infections, although research is ongoing
Brain cancer symptoms

The symptoms and signs of a brain tumour fall into two categories.

Those caused by damage or disruption of particular nerves or areas of the brain. Symptoms will depend on the location of the tumour and may include:

  • Weakness or tremor of certain parts of the body
  • Difficulty writing, drawing or walking
  • Changes in vision or other senses
  • Changes in mood, behaviour or mental abilities

Those caused by increased pressure within the skull – these are general to many types of tumour and may include:

  • Headache (typically occurring on waking or getting up)
  • Irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Drowsiness
  • Coma
Diagnosing brain cancer

If your GP suspects a brain tumour, you should be referred to a specialist within two weeks. Tests are likely to include blood tests, a scan of the head (MRI or CT) and possibly other brain scans, x-rays or ultrasound scans.

In order to test a sample of the cancer cells, it’s often necessary to carry out a biopsy of the brain. A small amount of tissue is removed to study in the laboratory (this may be done at the start of an operation to remove the tumour). Alternatively, a lumbar puncture may be carried out.

Brain cancer treatments

The type of treatment offered and the likely response depends on the type, grade and location of the tumour. Unlike many other organs, it’s very difficult to remove parts of the brain without causing massive disruption to the control of body functions, so a cancer near a vital part of the brain may be particularly difficult to remove.

The main treatments for brain tumours include:

  • Surgery – to remove all or part of the tumour, or to reduce pressure within the skull
  • Radiotherapy – some brain cancers are sensitive to radiotherapy. Newer treatments (stereotactic radiotherapy and radiosurgery) carefully target maximum doses to small areas of the tumour, avoiding healthy brain tissue
  • Chemotherapy – these treatments are limited by the fact that many drugs cannot pass from the bloodstream into brain tissue because of the ‘blood-brain barrier’, but may be useful when tumours are difficult to operate on, or have advanced or returned
  • ‘Biological’ therapies – for example, drugs that block the chemicals that stimulate growth of tumour cells
  • Steroids – can help to reduce swelling of the brain and decrease pressure in the skull

Often a combination of treatments will be recommended.

While, as a general rule, brain tumours are difficult to treat and tend to have a limited response, it can be very misleading to give overall survival figures because some brain cancers are easily removed with little long term damage, while others are rapidly progressive and respond poorly to any treatment.

While only about 14 per cent of people diagnosed with a brain tumour are still alive more than five years later, this sombre statistic could be unnecessarily worrying for a person with a small benign brain tumour. What a person diagnosed with brain cancer needs to know will be the outlook for their individual situation, which only their own doctor can tell them.

Treatments do continue to improve – for example, survival rates for young children have doubled over the past few decades, and many new developments are being tested.

Penile Cancer

Cancer of the penis (penile cancer)

This information is about cancer of the penis. Cancer of the penis is rare. Approximately 400 men are diagnosed with it in the UK each year. It is most often diagnosed in men over the age of 50.

Causes and risk factor 

The exact cause of cancer of the penis is unknown. It is much less common in men who have had all or part of their foreskin removed (been circumcised) soon after birth. This is because men who have not been circumcised may find it more difficult to pull back the foreskin enough to clean thoroughly underneath.

Some skin conditions that affect the penis can go on to develop into cancer if they are left untreated. If you notice white patches, red scaly patches, or red moist patches of skin on your penis, it’s important to see your doctor so that you can get any treatment that you need. body contouring by plastic surgeon is a minimally invasive, empowering way for people from all walks of life to regain control over their appearance. If you’ve been thinking about treating yourself to a procedure, now is the time to do it! Today’s technology provides individuals with more options than ever before for regaining the confidence they deserve when it comes to the appearance of their bodies…without having to worry about disrupting day-to-day life with a painful recovery.

Cancer of the penis isn’t infectious and cannot be passed on to other people. It is not caused by an inherited faulty gene and so other members of your family don’t have an increased risk of developing it.

Signs and symptoms

The first signs of a penile cancer are often a change in colour of the skin and skin thickening. Later symptoms include a growth or sore on the penis, especially on the glans (head of the penis) or foreskin, but also sometimes on the shaft of the penis. There may be a discharge or bleeding. Most penile cancers are painless.

Sometimes the cancers appear as flat growths that are bluish-brown in colour, or as a red rash, or small crusty bumps. Often the cancers are only visible when the foreskin is pulled back.

These symptoms may occur with conditions other than cancer. Like most cancers, cancer of the penis is easiest to treat if it is diagnosed early, so if you have any worries it is best to go to your doctor straight away.

How it is diagnosed

Your GP will examine you and refer you to a hospital specialist for expert advice and treatment.

The specialist will examine the whole of the penis and your groin to feel for any swellings. To make a firm diagnosis, the doctor will take a sample of tissue (a biopsy) from any sore or abnormal areas on the penis. This will be done under an anaesthetic (local or general) so that the procedure is painless. The biopsies will be examined under a microscope.

Further tests

If the biopsy shows that you have cancer, your doctor will refer you to a specialist centre, which may be some distance from your home.

The doctors at the centre will usually do some further tests to check whether or not the cancer has spread.

Cancer can spread in the body, either in the bloodstream or through the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the body’s defence against infection and disease. The system is made up of a network of lymph nodes (also known as lymph glands) that are linked by fine ducts containing lymph fluid.

If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in your groin they may be enlarged.

The results of these tests will help the specialist.

A CT scan takes a series of x-rays which builds up a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body. The scan is painless but takes from 10-30 minutes. CT scans use a small amount of radiation, which will be very unlikely to harm you and will not harm anyone you come into contact with. You will be asked not to eat or drink for at least four hours before the scan.

You may be given a drink or injection of a dye which allows particular areas to be seen more clearly. For a few minutes, this may make you feel hot all over. If you are allergic to iodine or have asthma you could have a more serious reaction to the injection, so it is important to let your doctor know beforehand.

If you have any enlarged lymph nodes in the groin, your doctor may put a needle into the node to get a sample of cells (biopsy). This is to see whether or not the enlargement is due to cancer. Enlarged lymph nodes can also be due to infection, and not cancer.

The stage of a cancer is a term used to describe its size and whether or not it has spread beyond its original site in the body. Knowing the particular type and stage of the cancer helps the doctors to decide on the most appropriate treatment for you.

The most commonly used staging system is called the TNM system, where:
T refers to the tumour size.
N refers to whether or not lymph nodes are affected
M refers to whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastases).

The T, N and M will often have numbers attached to describe the detail. For example, a T1 tumour may be very small and just in one layer of tissue, whereas a T4 tumour may be a larger size and spread through several layers of tissue.

The exact details of the T, N and M will depend on the type of cancer.

Number staging system

In addition to TNM staging, you’ll probably hear the doctors use a number staging system. There are usually three or four number stages for each cancer type.

Stage 1 describes a cancer at an early stage when it’s usually small in size and hasn’t spread, whereas stage 4 describes cancer at a more advanced stage when it has usually spread to other parts of the body. Stages 2 and 3 are in-between these stages.

The number stages are made up of different combinations of the TNM stages. So a stage 1 cancer may be described as either T1, N0, M0 or T2, N0, M0.

Number stages may also be further subdivided to give more detailed information about tumour size and spread. For example, a stage 3 cancer may be subdivided into stage 3a, stage 3b and stage 3c. A stage 3b cancer may differ from a stage 3a cancer in either the tumour size or if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes.

Talking about staging

In the last few years, staging systems have become increasingly complex and they now describe the size and spread of different types of cancer in much greater detail. This can be very helpful in planning the details of treatment or predicting outcomes.

However, doctors will often use a much simpler approach when talking about staging. They might use words like ‘early’ or ‘local’ if the cancer hasn’t spread, ‘locally advanced’ if it has begun to spread into surrounding tissues or nearby lymph nodes, or ‘advanced’ or ‘widespread’ if it has spread to other parts of the body. Your doctors can give you more information about the stage of your particular cancer.

Grading

Grading refers to the appearance of the cancer cells under the microscope and gives an idea of how quickly the cancer may develop.

Low-grade means that the cancer cells look very like normal cells; they are usually slow-growing and are less likely to spread. In high-grade tumours, the cells look very abnormal, are likely to grow more quickly, and are more likely to spread.

Treatment

Your treatment will be carried out in the specialist centre that you have been referred to. This will either be a hospital with a surgeon who specialises in treating cancer of the penis or a cancer treatment centre.

The type of treatment that you are given will depend on a number of things, including the position and size of the cancer, its grade, whether or not it has spread and your general health.

The treatments used for penile cancer include surgery, which is the main treatment,chemotherapy and Radiotherapy. With advances in surgical techniques it’s usually possible to preserve the penis or to reconstruct it surgically.

Before you agree to any treatment, your specialist will talk to you about the possible side effects and how to deal with them.

Surgery

Small, surface cancers that have not spread are treated by removing only the affected area and a small area around it. The cancer can be removed with conventional

surgery,using a laser or by freezing (cryotherapy). Cryotherapy is carried out with a cold probe, which freezes and kills the cancer cells.

If the cancer is affecting only the foreskin, it may be possible to treat it with circumcision alone.

All the above treatments can usually be given to you as a day-case. They may be done under local or general anaesthetic, depending on individual circumstances.

Wide local excision If the cancer has spread over a wider area, you will need to have an operation known as a wide local excision. This means removing the cancer with a border of healthy tissue around it. This border of healthy tissue is important as it reduces the risk of the cancer coming back in the future. The operation is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic and will involve a short stay in hospital.

Removal of lymph nodes  The surgeon may also remove a small number of lymph nodes from your groin to find out if the cancer has spread. If the nodes in your groin are obviously enlarged you will usually have all the nodes in your groin removed (radical groin dissection).

Surgery to preserve the penis and reconstruction For larger cancers of the head of the penis, the bulbous part (the glans) will be removed. In this situation it is possible to give back a normal appearance by using skin from somewhere else in the body (skin graft).

You will need to stay in hospital for about five days and have the wound dressed regularly for up to a fortnight.

Removing the penis (penectomy) This may be advised if the cancer is large and is covering a large area of the penis. Amputation may be partial (where part of the penis is removed) or total (removal of the whole penis). The operation most suitable for you depends on the position of the tumour. If the tumour is near the base of the penis, total amputation may be the only option. This operation is now much less common, as doctors can usually preserve the penis.

Reconstructive surgery It may be possible to have a penis reconstructed after amputation (if there are no signs that the cancer has spread anywhere else in the body). This requires another operation. The techniques that may be used include taking skin and muscle from your arm and using this to make a new penis.

Sometimes it is also possible for surgeons to reconnect some of the nerves in order to provide sensation and the necessary blood flow to allow the reconstructed penis to become erect. If you have damaged nerves you can try to repair them before needing surgery, read the full article.

Radiotherapy

treats cancer using high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells, while doing as little harm as possible to healthy cells.

Radiotherapy is occasionally used instead of surgery. This may be when someone is not well enough to have an operation or doesn’t want to have surgery.

It used to be a common treatment for small cancers of the head of the penis (glans), but nowadays it is used less often because of improvements in surgery.

However, radiotherapy may be used to treat affected lymph nodes in the groin to help reduce the risk of the cancer spreading.

It may also be given to treat symptoms, such as pain, if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, like the bones.

Radiotherapy is normally given as a series of short daily treatments in the hospital’s radiotherapy department. High energy x-rays are directed at the area of the cancer by using a machine. The treatments are usually given from Monday to Friday, with a rest at the weekend. Each treatment takes 10-15 minutes. The number of treatments will depend on the type and size of the cancer, but the whole course of treatment for early cancer will usually last up to six weeks. Your doctor will discuss the treatment and possible side effects with you.

Before each session of radiotherapy, the radiographer will position you carefully on the couch and make sure that you are comfortable. During your treatment you will be left alone in the room, but you will be able to talk to the radiographer who will be watching you carefully from the next room.

Radiotherapy is not painful, but you do have to lie still for a few minutes while your treatment is being given. The treatment won’t make you radioactive and it is perfectly safe for you to be around other people, including children, after your treatment.

Side effects of radiotherapy

There are sometimes side effects from radiotherapy treatment to the penis. The skin on your penis may become sore during your treatment and for a period of time afterwards. Staff at the radiotherapy department will be able to give advice on how to look after your skin in the area being treated.

Long-term, the side effects of radiotherapy can cause thickening and stiffening of healthy tissues (fibrosis). In some men, this can result in a narrowing of the tube that carries urine through the penis (the urethra) and so can cause difficulty in passing urine. If narrowing of the urethra does develop, it can usually be helped by an operation to stretch (dilate) the area. This is done by passing a tube into the urethra and is performed under a general anaesthetic.

Chemotherapy

is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. It can be one drug or several drugs used together. It is not commonly used to treat cancer of the penis. Chemotherapy cream may sometimes be used to treat very small, early cancers that are confined to the foreskin and end of the penis (glans).

Chemotherapy may also be given as tablets, or by injection, into a vein for more advanced cancer. It may be given along with surgery or radiotherapy (or both).

Clinical trial

Research into new ways of treating cancer of the penis is going on all the time. Cancer doctors use trials to assess new treatments. Before any trial is allowed to take place, an ethics committee must have approved it, and agreed that it is in the interest of the patients.

You may be asked to take part in a clinical trial. Your doctor must discuss the treatment with you so that you have full understanding of the trial and what it involves. You may then decide not to take part, or withdraw from the trial, at any stage. You will then receive the best standard treatment available.

Follow-up

After your treatment is completed, you will have regular check-ups and possibly scans or x-rays. These will probably continue for several years. If you have any problems, or notice any new symptoms between these times, let your doctor know as soon as possible.

Your feelings

You may have many different feelings  including anger, resentment, guilt, anxiety and fear. These are all normal reactions, and are part of the process many people go through in trying to come to terms with their illness.

Everyone has their own way of coping with difficult situations; some people find it helpful to talk to friends or family, while others prefer to seek help from people outside their situation. Some people prefer to keep their feelings to themselves. There is no right or wrong way to cope, but help is there if you need it. You may wish to contact our a Cancer support worker  for information about counselling in your area.

It can help to talk to your partner about how you are feeling, and about the changes in your relationship. This can be very difficult and you may need to get help from a specialist nurse or counsellor. They can help you, and your partner, to deal with these changes. Your GP, hospital doctor, or one of our cancer information nurse specialists can usually put you in touch with a counsellor or specialist nurse.

Read more about neuropathy on https://neuropathyreliefguide.com.