What Is Cancer?
Cancer is in fact a group of lots of related diseases that all involve cells. Cells are the very small systems that comprise all living things, including the human body. There are billions of cells in everyone's body.
Cancer happens when cells that are not normal grow and spread really quickly. Normal body cells grow and divide and understand to stop growing. With time, they also die. Unlike these typical cells, cancer cells simply continue to grow and divide out of control and don't die when they're expected to.
Cancer cells generally group or clump together to form tumors (say: TOO-mers). A growing tumor ends up being a swelling of cancer cells that can destroy the typical cells around the growth and damage the body's healthy tissues. This can make somebody very sick.
In some cases cancer cells break away from the initial growth and travel to other areas of the body, where they keep growing and can go on to form new growths. This is how cancer spreads. The spread of a growth to a new place in the body is called metastasis (say: meh-TASS-tuh-sis).
Reasons for Cancer
You most likely know a kid who had chickenpox-- maybe even you. But you most likely do not know any kids who've had cancer. If you packed a big football arena with kids, probably only one child because arena would have cancer.
Medical professionals aren't sure why some people get cancer and others don't. They do understand that cancer is not infectious. You can't capture it from someone else who has it-- cancer isn't brought on by germs, like colds or the influenza are. So do not be scared of other kids-- or anyone else-- with cancer. You can speak with, have fun with, and hug somebody with cancer.
Kids can't get cancer from anything they do either. Some kids believe that a bump on the head triggers brain cancer or that bad people get cancer. This isn't true! Kids don't do anything incorrect to get cancer. However some unhealthy routines, especially smoking or drinking too much alcohol every day, can make you a lot more most likely to get cancer when you end up being a grownup.
Finding Out About Cancer
It can take a while for a doctor to determine a kid has cancer. That's since the signs cancer can trigger-- weight-loss, fevers, swollen glands, or feeling overly tired or sick for a while-- normally are not triggered by cancer. When a kid has these issues, it's typically caused by something less serious, like an infection. With medical testing, the physician can determine what's triggering the problem.
If the medical professional suspects cancer, he or she can do tests to determine if that's the problem. A physician may buy X-rays and blood tests and advise the person go to see an oncologist (say: on-KAH-luh-jist). An oncologist is a doctor who takes care of and treats cancer clients. The oncologist will likely run other tests to learn if somebody actually has cancer. If so, tests can identify what sort of cancer it is and if it has spread to other parts of the body. Based on the results, the doctor will decide the very best method to treat it.
One test that an oncologist (or a cosmetic surgeon) might carry out is a biopsy (say: BY-op-see). Throughout a biopsy, a piece of tissue is gotten rid of from a growth or a place in the body where cancer is suspected, like the bone marrow. Don't fret-- somebody getting this test will get unique medicine to keep him or her comfy throughout the biopsy. The sample that's collected will be analyzed under a microscopic lense for cancer cells.
The earlier cancer is discovered and treatment starts, the much better somebody's opportunities are for a complete recovery and cure.
Treating Cancer Carefully
Cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation-- or sometimes a combination of these treatments. The choice of treatment depends on:
Surgery is the oldest form of treatment for cancer-- 3 out of every 5 people with cancer will have an operation to remove it. During surgery, the physician tries to get as numerous cancer cells as possible. Some healthy cells or tissue may also be eliminated to make sure that all the cancer is gone.
Chemotherapy (say: kee-mo-THER-uh-pee) is using anti-cancer medicines (drugs) to treat cancer. These medicines are sometimes taken as Find out more a pill, but typically are given through a special intravenous (say: in-truh-VEE-nus) line, also called an IV. An IV is a tiny plastic catheter (straw-like tube) that is put into a vein through someone's skin, usually on the arm. The catheter is connected to a bag that holds the medicine. The medicine flows from the bag into a vein, which puts the medication into the blood, where it can take a trip throughout the body and attack cancer cells.