Up to now many people always feel hysterical when they hear the word “cancer”, moreover they get it in their body, because it is believed to be one of dying disease which causes the sixth death in Indonesia (according to the survey of house hold health in 2002). Many people always feel shock when they are diagnosed to have cancer in their body and some of them may get depression, moreover if they do not know what they must do later. But in this world, there are still many societies who do not care about cancer and they even do their unhealthy lifestyles which by accident will cause them getting cancer. On the other hand, they do not know what the cancer actually is and whether it is dangerous or no for their body or their other organs. It needs our awareness and attention to know whether our body free of cancer or no.
The organs and tissues of the body are made up of tiny building blocks called cells. Cells in different parts of the body may look and work differently but most reproduce themselves in the same way. Cells are constantly becoming old and dying, so new cells are produced to replace them. Normally, the division and growth of cells is orderly controlled but if this process gets out of control because of some reasons, the cells will continue to divide and develop into a lump which is called a tumor. Tumors can either be benign or malignant. In benign tumor, the cells do not spread to other parts of the body and are not cancerous. However, if they continue to grow at the surrounding organs and cancer is the name given to malignant tumor. According to article from wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, written by some cancer specialists:
“Cancer (medical term: malignant neoplasm) is a class of disease in which a group of cells display the traits of uncontrolled growth (growth and division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood). These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which are self limited, do not invade or metastasize.”
From the quotation above we can know the differences of benign tumor and malignant tumor or cancer based on the three traits.
Is Cancer Dangerous?, is the reason to inform you all that cancer is like devil which terrifies many people, who do not know anything about cancer, without looking at who they are. Honestly, the writer’s mother has been getting cancer of cervix since November 2007, and the writer always has to accompany her to get treatment in Dr. Soetomo Hospital Surabaya. Based on the survey, in the fact it is not attacking only the old people, but also the children. We are going to see many children who get treatment of various cancers in the hospital such as Dr. Soetomo hospital in Surabaya, Cipto Mangunkusumo hospital in Jakarta and others which have complete facilities to cure the patients of cancer. Commonly, cancer occurs in people aged 60 years old or more but recently because of the lifestyle of people, it can increase the presentation of cancer patients. From Wikipedia, it states that
“Cancer may effect people at all ages, even fetuses, but the risk for the more common varieties tends to increase with age. Cancer causes about 13 % of all death. According to the American society, 7.6 million people died from cancer in the world during 2007.”
It proves that this disease is really cancerous and life style in America is one of the factors which cause the increase of death because of cancer. It can attacks old people, adults, children, infants or even fetuses.
In this case, perhaps we can learn more what the cancer actually is and anything which related to cancer because it is very essential for us to keep our health from cancer since early moreover if we know one of our family or relatives has got this dying disease which may be caused by genetic factors. There is the important message for your health: what you do not know may be killing you by accident. So let’s find out to know about what else the causes of cancer are, how its symptoms are and anything more about cancer.
LEARNING MORE ABOUT CANCER
Firstly, the patients of cancers always get shock when they know that they are diagnosed to have cancer. It can influence their psychology and so do their family’s, whereas they are not from family background in non-medical. They always feel frightened and concerned. So they consult to the specialist doctor to know about their disease. In this chapter, we can learn more whatever about cancer.
Types of Cancer
In the fact, there are over 200 different types of cancer up to now the medical scientists found, but here the writer is going to give some types of cancer, quoted from Hello Magazine: October, 2005 and some references.
About 85 % of cancers are carcinomas. They start in epithelium which is covering or liming of organs and of the body (the skin)
These form in the connective tissues of the body such as muscle, bone and fatty tissue (6 % of cancers)
3. Leukemia / Lymphomas
These occurs in the tissues where white blood cells (which fight infection in the body) are formed, i.e. the bone marrow and lymphatic system (5 %)
4. Other forms of cancer
Brain cancer, cervix cancer and other more of cancers make up the other 4 % of cancers.
The Causes of Cancer
For many cancers, there may be more than one cause, but one of the biggest risks in increasing age. It is also caused by our life style everyday. Some, that we know, are able to increase the risk of cancer development; others may have influence on our risk. For example, smoking is a major cause of lung cancer and is a factor in other cancers of mouth and throat. Other factors are heavy alcohol consumption or drug abuse. By consuming preservative, flavoring spice and dye, it is also able to develop cancer in our body. Beside them, environment and occupation can also cause it. Contacting with certain harmful substances in the workplace can cause cancer, for instance certain chemicals like in dye factories, rubber, gas works and other chemical industries have all been linked to bladder or lung cancer. Environment causes include natural radiation, for example from the sun which causes skin cancers if its shine is too dangerous at midday. Even maybe it is because of virus such as exposure to HPV (Human Pappiloma Virus) is known to increase a woman’s risk of developing cancer of cervix.
According to Dr. Robert Eliot; the famous cardiologist, in Dr. Don Colbert’s article; negative thinking, anger, envy, hate, depression which we do not realize can cause cancer in our body. He found that the blood pressure will increase when people hide away their feeling till appearing anger or hate so the risk of heart attack and stroke will be higher. The over stress caused by negative thinking and depression is dangerous enough because it can increase our cortisone which presses our immune system so cancer cells begin to be formed and developed. It is right that cancer can attack all people, but one of the factors which are commonly found is lack of emotional expression. The survey proves that men tend to be able to express or release their anger but women tend to hide away them so mostly they can be attacked cancer more than men.
The other causes increasing the risk of cancer especially for cervix cancer are:
Having sexual intercourse under 20 years old;
Having many children (more than two children);
Always changing the couple in sexual intercourse;
Less keeping our clean especially in womanhood area;
Smoking, either active or passive smoker;
Low social and economy, and so on
How to Diagnose Cancer
If we get symptoms of cancer, we must see the general practitioner soon to know more whether you get it or no precisely. So s/he will examine and refers us to doctor specialist at the hospital for test and treatments if it is necessary. At the hospital, the doctor will take our medical history and do a physical examination. They may have X-rays and blood test taken and possibly scans or maybe the doctor will do biopsy to you and the biopsy sample is then analyzed in a laboratory and the cells examined so that the doctors can see quickly in correctly. With scan, we can know the size of the cancer and whether it has spread to other tissues or nearby lymph glands. After knowing the type and the stage of the cancer, the doctors can decide how best for us to get treatment.
Treatment of Cancer
Some of treatments of cancers that the patients are able to get are:
1. Active Surveillance
Some types of cancer grow very slowly and may cause no problems for many years. In this solution we may not need to have any treatment for some time, but we can be given treatment at the time.
An operation is done to remove the tumor. Surgery is often used if the cancer is only in one area of the body and has not spread. It may be used to lymph nodes of these are also affected by cancer. It can sometimes be used to remove a cancer which has spread to another area of the body, but this is not common. The type of operation will depend on the area of the body affected by the cancer and on the size and position of the tumor.
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cell. There are more than 50 different chemotherapy drugs and some are given as tablets or capsules but most are given by drip (infusion) into a vein. We can see it in the hospitals in Indonesia, like the writer’s mother ever got in Dr. Soetomo Hospital. There are three kinds of chemotherapy, namely PVB, PAXUS and Carboplatin for which the people must spend much money. It is more than 1 million rupiah in each chemotherapy of cancer. So how many times people will get it and how much they must spend their money if they get cancer, will become a consideration that the health is expensive.
This therapy is the use of high energy-rays to destroy cancer cells. It is aimed at the affected area of the body is very carefully planned. It can cause site effects and the most common is tiredness. Before we get it, the doctor will scan the other parts of our inside body such as bladder, kidney, heart, colon etc to know whether there are other diseases and to know the position of each. When radiotherapy is done, the doctor must know the position of the affected area. So that it is not miss target which can cause dysfunction of other organs. Based on the writer’s survey, radiotherapy is the last step of treatments which we can get after there is not a good result in surgery or chemotherapy or maybe it can be used after surgery and chemotherapy done to get more maximal treatment.
So, is cancer dangerous? Yes, of course, it is so dangerous for us moreover for people who do not know anything about cancer and never care with their body. Although all of us do not know and so do the doctors to prevent the development of cancers, we do know that we are able to reduce the risk by making good lifestyle choices, also eating a well balanced diet that include five portions of fruits and vegetables, and taking regular exercise may be able to reduce the risk of cancer too.
After we know how dangerous the cancer is, until appearing much death in the world, let’s change anything in our life to be better. Have self control especially control our mouth, try to forgive the others, have positive thinking and strengthen our belief to avoid the cancerous of this disease, because keeping our health is so important. Don’t forget that the prevention is better than treatment.