Natural Cancer Cure
*Disclaimer: Results may vary. The dietary and other substances, and/or materials, equipment or devices discussed on this site may not have undergone evaluation and/or testing by the United States Food and Drug Administration or like agency of any other country. Risks that might be determined by such testing are unknown. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal/cure or prevent any disease. Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only, it is not meant to substitute medical advice provided by your physician or any other medical professional. You should not use the information contained on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem, disease, or prescribing any medication. Best results are only achieved when combined with diet and exercise program and nutrition program.
You know how important food is for maintaining your daily health. The vitamins and minerals found in food are crucial for the proper functioning of your body and every system it contains.
It has been proven time and again that what food you consume has a direct impact on your total body health. Adding the right fuel to other healthy lifestyle choices – such as regular exercise and plenty of water – will increase your chances of living longer and stronger years.
Your Food as Medicine
New studies focused on the benefits of using food as medicine have made fascinating discoveries in the last decade. The results from prestigious labs all over the world show us that not only can you improve your general health to prevent disease… you can actively fight disease… with food.
In fact, there are cancer-fighting foods specifically.
You read that right. There are natural foods available in your local market that target and destroy cancer cells and cancer-causing cells.
Top 7 Cancer-Fighting Foods
Carrots and garlic
Along with the other relatives in the allium family – such as onions, leeks, and shallots – garlic contains powerful antioxidants like allicin, proven to remove free radicals from your body. It also boosts immunity, is nutrient dense, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improves brain function, and is a natural detoxifier. Chop or crush garlic, allow to rest, then use it raw or in your favorite recipes.
Broccoli: Known as a cruciferous vegetable – related to kale, cauliflower, and cabbage – broccoli is high in phytochemicals and the antioxidants glucoraphanin and indole-3-carbinol, which have been proven to reduce the risk of cervical, breast, gastric, and prostate cancers. Naturally anti-inflammatory, good for your bones and heart, and nutrient dense (without the calories), broccoli is a great addition to a healthy eating plan. Since phytochemicals are heat-sensitive enzymes, the benefits of broccoli are best raw or blanched.
The catechins found in green tea have made it a superstar in the cancer-fighting food research. They are believed to be more powerful than vitamin C in fighting free radical damage. In multiple lab studies, this delicious beverage has been shown to shrink existing tumors and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Many experts suggest green tea daily as a natural cancer preventative. As an added benefit, it also reduces your risk of heart disease, lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising your HDL (good) cholesterol, and lowers your blood pressure.
Strawberries: Always delicious, there are now more reasons for you to eat these delicate fruits. Researchers found that strawberries slow down the growth of cancer cells, protect your body from heart disease, lower inflammation, prevent memory loss, and help you burn your body’s fat stores. Strawberries and other dark-colored berries – such as black raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, and, goji berries – are packed with flavor so you won’t even notice how healthy they are.
Spinach: Though this leafy green is low in calories, it offers incredible health benefits with vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs to stay strong (just like Popeye). It contains bio-chemicals called flavonoids – at least thirteen discovered so far – that soak up damaging free radicals and flushes them out. Particularly rich in folate and fiber – two elements that doctors believe are essential to cancer prevention – make spinach one of our favorite cancer-fighting foods.
Tomatoes: It’s all about the lycopene – the antioxidant that causes the red color of tomatoes – a powerful antioxidant known for preventing the formation of certain cancers. They also lower your risk of heart disease and are naturally anti-inflammatory. The secret to getting the full benefits of tomatoes lies in the preparation. Lycopene is released when tomatoes are cooked. In fact, canned tomatoes have even higher concentrations of lycopene than fresh.
Carrots: This well-loved vegetable is a wonderful source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that aids in preventing cell damage and may slow the growth of cancer cells. They contain falcarinol and falcarindiol – natural pesticides in the vegetable that scientists believe are the reason for their cancer-fighting abilities. Of course, they’re good for your vision, skin, and as a natural detoxifier as well.
There are many cancer-fighting foods that we’re going to explore in more detail but these seven foods are a great place to start. Available year-round, inexpensive, and easy to find at your local store, these foods can help start you on the road to a better diet. And remember… always buy organic!
Eating right doesn’t have to be horrible. You won’t regret taking this step in the right direction.
Mini-tumours' created to battle cancer
Image copyright ICR Image caption The mini-tumours can be used to predict if a patient will respond to therapy
Scientists have been able to predict how cancer patients will respond to therapy by growing miniature versions of their tumours in the laboratory.
They say the groundbreaking work could lead to "smarter, kinder and more effective treatments".
The study, in the journal Science, was 100% accurate at telling which drugs would fail and this could spare patients from unnecessary side-effects.
Mini-tumours could also be a powerful way of testing new drugs.
Biopsies of 71 patients with advanced colorectal cancer were taken and then grown into miniature 3D cancerous organs in the laboratory.
Growing "organoids" is a relatively new scientific technique and even tiny brains have been made in the lab.
Researchers treated each organoid with the same drug doctors gave to the patient in the clinic.
The results showed:
If the drug worked in the organoids, it worked 88% of the time in the patient
If the drug failed in the organoids, it failed 100% of the time in the patient Just sparing patients the brutal side-effects of a drug that will not work would make a huge difference, the researchers said.
In one patient, conventional genetic testing had suggested their tumour would respond to a drug.
But the treatment failed in both the clinic and the organoid. The researchers think organoids might be combined with current tests.
Mouse models This promising research moves us forward in the field of personalised medicine, and should ultimately lead to smarter, kinder and more effective treatments for patients.
Previous attempts to predict how patients would respond to treatment included making "cancer avatars" - essentially mice with the patient's cancer growing in them.
But getting the answers quickly enough to inform treatment has always been the challenge.
Dr Valeri said: "This has been a huge issue in the past, when people were using mouse models it was taking six to eight months to get to the results.
"With this tool we can get results in a couple of months and I think we can get even faster."
But if mini-tumours accurately reflect their "parent" cancer then they could be a powerful new tool for testing drugs and for understanding the biology of why cancers can resist treatment.
They could also be used to decide if patients should take part in clinical trials of new drugs.
This page tells you about how cancers can spread. There is information about
Primary and secondary cancer
How cancer can spread to other areas of the body
Spread through the blood circulation
Spread through the lymphatic system
Primary and secondary cancer
The place where a cancer starts in the body is called the primary cancer or primary site. Cells from the primary site may break away and spread to other parts of the body. These escaped cells can then grow and form other tumours, which are known as secondary cancers or metastases.
How cancer can spread to other areas of the body
Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. There they can start to grow into new tumours.
Cancers are named according to where they first started developing. For example, if you have bowel cancer that has spread to the liver, it's called bowel cancer with liver metastases or secondaries. It is not called liver cancer. This is because the cancerous cells in the liver are actually cancerous bowel cells. They are not liver cells that have become cancerous.
In order to spread, some cells from the primary cancer must break away, travel to another part of the body and start growing there. Cancer cells don't stick together as well as normal cells do. They may also produce substances that stimulate them to move.
The diagram below shows a tumour in the cells lining a body structure such as the bowel wall. The tumour grows through the layer holding the cells in place (the basement membrane).
Some cells can break away and go into small lymph vessels or blood vessels called capillaries in the area.
Spread through the blood circulation
When the cancer cells go into small blood vessels they can then get into the bloodstream. They are called circulating tumour cells (or CTCs).
Researchers are currently looking at using circulating tumour cells to diagnose cancer and avoid the need for tests such as biopsies. They are also looking at whether they can test circulating cancer cells to predict which treatments will work better.
The circulating blood sweeps the cancer cells along until they get stuck somewhere. Usually they get stuck in a very small blood vessel such as a capillary.
Then the cancer cell must move through the wall of the capillary and into the tissue of the organ close by. The cell can multiply to form a new tumour if the conditions are right for it to grow and it has the nutrients that it needs.
This is quite a complicated process and most cancer cells don't survive it. Probably, out of many thousands of cancer cells that reach the bloodstream, only a few will survive to form a secondary cancer.
Some cancer cells are probably killed off by the white blood cells in our immune system. Others cancer cells may die because they get battered around by the fast flowing blood.
Cancer cells in the circulation may try to stick to platelets to form clumps to give themselves some protection. Platelets are blood cells that help the blood to clot. This may also help the cancer cells to move into the surrounding tissues.
Spread through the lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is a network of tubes and glands in the body that filters body fluid and fights infection. It also traps damaged or harmful cells such as cancer cells.
Cancer cells can go into the small lymph vessels close to the primary tumour and travel into nearby lymph glands. In the lymph glands, the cancer cells may be destroyed but some may survive and grow to form tumours in one or more lymph nodes. Doctors call this lymph node spread.
Micrometastases are areas of cancer spread (metastases) that are too small to see. Some areas of cancer are too small to show up on any type of scan.
For a few types of cancer, blood tests can detect certain proteins released by the cancer cells. These may give a sign that there are metastases in the body that are too small to show up on a scan. But for most cancers, there is no blood test that can say whether a cancer has spread or not.
For most cancers, doctors can only say whether it is likely or not that a cancer has spread. Doctors base this on a number of factors:
If the lymph nodes contained cancer cells this shows that cancer cells have broken away from the original cancer (but there is no way of knowing whether the cells have spread to any other areas of the body)
This information is important in treating cancer. Doctors may offer extra treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, biological therapy or hormone therapy if they suspect of micrometastases. The extra treatments may increase the chance of curing the cancer.
Coping with Metastatic Cancer
When cancer spreads to a different part of the body from where it started, doctors call it metastasis. They also call it “metastatic cancer” or “stage 4 cancer.” Sometimes the term “advanced cancer” also describes metastatic cancer. But it shouldn’t be confused with “locally advanced cancer,” which is cancer that has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes and not throughout the body. Learn more about the basics of metastasis.
The naming of metastatic cancer can be confusing. Doctors name a metastasis for the original cancer. One way to remember this is consider a garden: If dandelions from the lawn go to seed and grow in the rose garden, nobody calls them roses. Rather, they are dandelions spread to the rose garden. In a similar manner, breast cancer that spreads to the bone is not bone cancer, it is metastatic breast cancer.
What does it mean to have metastatic cancer?
In the past, many people did not live long with metastatic cancer. Even with today’s better treatments, recovery is not always possible. But doctors can often treat cancer even if they cannot cure it. A good quality of life is possible for months or even years.
How is metastatic cancer treated?
Treatment depends on the type of cancer, the available treatment options, and your wishes. It also depends on your age, general health, treatment you had before and other factors. Treatments for metastatic cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biologic therapy, and radiation therapy.
Goals of treatment
For many patients diagnosed with cancer, the goal of treatment is to try to cure the cancer. This means getting rid of the cancer and never having it come back. With metastatic cancer, cure may not be a realistic goal. It is reasonable to ask your doctor whether cure is the goal.
If cure is not the goal (understanding that it might be a hope, dream, or miracle and that it is reasonable to “never say never” and “never say always”), what is? The goal of treatment is to help a patient live as well as possible for as long as possible. Getting more specific, the goal can be broken down into four parts:
To have the fewest possible side effects from the cancer
To have the fewest possible side effects from the cancer treatment
For the patient to have the best quality of life
For the patient to have the longest quantity of life
Each patient emphasizes these items differently. It is important to tell your doctor and care team what is important to you.
Getting treatment for metastatic cancer can help you live longer and feel better. But getting treatment is always your decision. You can also read Making Decisions about Cancer Treatmentand the ASCO Care and Treatment Recommendations for Patients. These recommendations include information on treating many types of metastatic cancer.
Living with long-term cancer
When doctors can treat metastatic cancer, your situation may be like someone with a chronic (long-term disease). Examples of chronic diseases are type 1 diabetes, congestive heart failure, and multiple sclerosis. Doctors can treat these conditions, but not cure them.
The challenges of living with cancer
Living with metastatic cancer is challenging. The challenges are different for everyone, but they can include:
Feeling upset that the cancer came back – You might feel hopeless, angry, sad, or like no one understands what you are going through, even family.
Worrying that treatment will not help and the cancer will get worse.
Dealing with tests, doctor’s appointments, and decisions.
Talking with family and friends about the cancer.
Needing help with daily activities, if you feel exhausted or have side effects from treatment.
Finding emotional and spiritual support.
Coping with the cost of more treatment – Even if you have insurance, it might not cover everything.
Meeting the challenges of metastatic cancer
To understand your situation, you may want to get a second opinion. Many people find that it helps to get an opinion from another oncologist, and many doctors encourage it.
Your doctor can help you cope with cancer symptoms and treatment side effects. For example, if you have pain, your treatment might include surgery to remove a tumor in a painful area. Your doctor might also prescribe pain medication or anti-nausea medication.
Deal with emotions and lifestyle changes
Coping with emotions and lifestyle challenges is an important part of living with metastatic cancer. Ways of coping include:
Learning about the metastasis—You might want to know everything possible, or just basic information.
Talking with a counselorabout your situation – For example, a psychologist, psychiatrist, or oncology social worker.
Managing stress—From planning ahead to trying meditation and yoga, there are many options to help lower your stress level.
Finding meaning—Talking with a hospital chaplain, a counselor, or your religious leader can help.
Recognize your feelings and concerns
Talking about fears and concerns is important, even when treatment is working well. Tell your doctor and health care team about emotional symptoms. People may live for years with metastatic cancer. Your doctor can help you have the best quality of life possible during this time. Hospitals and medical centers have many resources for you and your family.
Family members need help, too
Your loved ones might also need help coping. Having a family member or friend with metastatic cancer is challenging, especially for people who help care for you. They can try the ways of coping above. Your doctor and health care team can suggest more help for family members. For example, support groupsfor family members meet in person and online.
Mid Treatment Improvement Report
"Right breast has improved a lot since previous imaging. The crusting has reduced, the skin colour is normal & the swelling has reduced & nipple nearly normal & protruding. The breast has dropped. No other symptoms to report & feeling in very good health with more energy." ~RT
Decide on no chemo, radiation, or surgery
Lymph Nodes Have Cancer
Tried chemo & cancer did not respond
How Not To Get Cancer Again
Now Have Two Types Of Cancer
In fact, depending upon which group of experts is categorizing the subtypes.Lymphoma is a group of cancers that affect the cells that play a role in the immune system and primarily represents cells involved in the lymphatic system of the body. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It consists of a network of vessels that carry a fluid called lymph, similar to the way that the network of blood vessels carry blood throughout the body. Lymph contains white blood cells called lymphocytes that are also present in blood and tissues. Lymphocytes attack a variety of infectious agents as well as many cells in the precancerous stages of development.
Lymph nodes are small collections of lymph tissue that occur throughout the body. The lymphatic system involves lymphatic channels that connect thousands of lymph nodes scattered throughout the body. Lymph flows through the lymph nodes, as well as through other lymphatic tissues including the spleen, the tonsils, the bone marrow, and the thymus gland.
These lymph nodes filter the lymph, which may carry bacteria, viruses, or other microbes. At infection sites, large numbers of these microbial organisms collect in the regional lymph nodes and produce the local swelling and tenderness typical of a localized infection. These enlarged and occasionally confluent collections of lymph nodes (so-called lymphadenopathy) are often referred to as "swollen glands." In some areas of the body (such as the anterior part of the neck), they are often visible when swollen.Lymphocytes recognize infectious organisms and abnormal cells and destroy them. There are two major subtypes of lymphocytes: B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes, also referred to as B cells and T cells. B lymphocytes produce antibodies (proteins that circulate through the blood and lymph and attach to infectious organisms and abnormal cells). Antibodies essentially alert other cells of the immune system to recognize and destroy these intruders (also known as pathogens); the process is known as humoral immunity.
T cells, when activated, can kill pathogens directly. T cells also play a part in the mechanisms of immune system control to prevent the system from inappropriate overactivity or underactivity. After fighting off an invader, some of the B and T lymphocytes "remember" the invader and are prepared to fight it off if it returns.Cancer occurs when normal cells undergo a transformation whereby they grow and multiply uncontrollably.
Lymphoma is a malignant transformation of either B or T cells or their subtypes. As the abnormal cells multiply, they may collect in one or more lymph nodes or in other lymph tissues such as the spleen.
As the cells continue to multiply, they form a mass often referred to as a tumor. Tumors often overwhelm surrounding tissues by invading their space, thereby depriving them of the necessary oxygen and nutrients needed to survive and function normally.
In lymphoma, abnormal lymphocytes travel from one lymph node to the next, and sometimes to remote organs, via the lymphatic system. While lymphomas are often confined to lymph nodes and other lymphatic tissue, they can spread to other types of tissue almost anywhere in the body.
Lymphoma development outside of lymphatic tissue is called extranodal disease.Women's Cancer: 15 Cancer Symptoms Women IgnoreCancer Symptoms Women Ignore SlideshowMen's Cancer: 15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore Slideshow PicturesCancer Prevention: Top Cancer-Fighting FoodsTop Cancer-Fighting Foods Slideshow PicturesWhat Are the Types of Lymphoma?Lymphomas fall into one of two major categories: Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL, previously called Hodgkin's disease) and all other lymphomas (non-Hodgkin's lymphomas or NHLs).
These two types occur in the same places, may be associated with the same symptoms, and often have similar appearance on physical examination (for example, swollen lymph nodes). However, they are readily distinguishable via microscopic examination of a tissue biopsy sample because of their distinct appearance under the microscope and their cell surface markers.
Hodgkin's disease develops from a specific abnormal B lymphocyte lineage. NHL may derive from either abnormal B or T cells and are distinguished by unique genetic markers. There are five subtypes of Hodgkin's disease and about 30 subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (not all experts agree on the numbers and names of these NHL subtypes). Because there are so many different subtypes of lymphoma, the classification of lymphomas is complicated (it includes both the microscopic appearance as well as genetic and molecular markers).
Many of the NHL subtypes look similar, but they are functionally quite different and respond to different therapies with different probabilities of cure. For example, the subtype plasmablastic lymphoma is an aggressive cancer that arises in the oral cavity of HIV-infected patients, the follicular subtype is composed of abnormal B lymphocytes, while anaplastic subtype is comprised of abnormal T cells and cutaneous lymphomas localize abnormal T cells in the skin. As previously mentioned, there are over 30 subtypes of NHL with unusual names such as Mantle cell lymphoma, mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, hepatosplenic lymphoma and hereditary lymphomas. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests there at least 61 types of NHL; subtyping is still a work in progress. However, no matter how many subtypes experts suggest exist, there are too many to discuss in detail in this article. HL subtypes are microscopically distinct, and typing is based upon the microscopic differences as well as extent of disease.Lymphoma is the most common type of blood cancer in the United States. It is the seventh most common cancer in adults and the third most common in children. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is far more common than Hodgkin's lymphoma. In the United States, about 72,240 new cases of NHL and 8,260 new cases of HL were expected to be diagnosed in 2017. About 20,140 deaths due to NHL were expected in 2017, as well as 1,070 deaths due to HL, with the survival rate of all but the most advanced cases of HL greater than that of other lymphomas. Lymphoma can occur at any age, including childhood. Hodgkin's disease is most common in two age groups: young adults 16-34 years of age and in older people 55 years of age and older. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more likely to occur in older people.Lymphoma SymptomEnlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly)The causes of splenomegaly vary widely and range from malignancy (cancers), infections, congestion (increased blood flow), infiltration of the spleen from other diseases, inflammatory conditions, and blood cell diseases.Some of the most common causes of an enlarged spleen include the following: liver disease (cirrhosis due to chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C, fatty liver, long standing alcohol abuse); blood cancers (lymphoma, leukemia, myelofibrosis); infections (mononucleosis, bacterial endocarditis, malaria, AIDS, mycobacterium, leishmania); abnormal blood flow and congestion (splenic vein thrombosis, portal vein obstruction, congestive heart failure); Gaucher disease (a lipid storage disease); blood cell disorders (sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, spherocytosis); inflammatory disease (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis); idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP); and polycythemia vera.Read more about splenomegaly »What Are Lymphoma Causes and Risk Factors?The exact causes of lymphoma are not known. Several factors have been linked to an increased risk of developing lymphoma, but it is unclear what role they play in the actual development of lymphoma. These risk factors include the following: Age: Generally, the risk of NHL increases with advancing age. HL in the elderly is associated with a poorer prognosis than that observed in younger patients. In the 20-24-year age group, the incidence of lymphoma is 2.4 cases per 100,000 while it increases to 46 cases per 100,000 among individuals 60-64 years of age. Infections Infection with HIV Infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), one of the causative factors in mononucleosis, is associated with Burkitt lymphoma, a NHL that most often occurs in children and young people (ages 12 to 30). Infection with Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that lives in the digestive tract Infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus Medical conditions that compromise the immune system HIV Autoimmune disease Use of immune suppressive therapy (often used following organ transplant) Inherited immunodeficiency diseases (severe combined immunodeficiency, ataxia telangiectasia, among a host of others) Exposure to toxic chemicals Farm work or an occupation with exposure to certain toxic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, or benzene and/or other solvents Hair dye use has been linked to higher rates of lymphoma, especially in patients who started to use the dyes before 1980. Genetics: Family history of lymphomaThe presence of these risk factors does not mean a person will actually develop lymphoma. In fact, most people with one or several of these risk factors do not develop lymphoma.Women's Cancer: 15 Cancer Symptoms Women IgnoreCancer Symptoms Women Ignore SlideshowMen's Cancer: 15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore Slideshow PicturesCancer Prevention: Top Cancer-Fighting FoodsTop Cancer-Fighting Foods Slideshow PicturesWhat Are Lymphoma Symptoms and Signs? 34 Often, the first sign of lymphoma is a painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, under an arm, or in the groin. Lymph nodes and/or tissues elsewhere in the body may also swell. The spleen, for example, may become enlarged in lymphoma. The enlarged lymph node sometimes causes other symptoms by pressing against a vein or lymphatic vessel (swelling of an arm or leg), a nerve (pain, numbness, or tingling), or the stomach (early feeling of fullness). Enlargement of the spleen (splenomegaly) may cause abdominal pain or discomfort. Many people have no other symptoms.Symptoms of lymphoma may vary from patient to patient and may include one or more the following: Fevers Chills Unexplained weight loss Night sweats Lack of energy Itching (up to 25% of patients develop this itch [pruritus], most commonly in the lower extremity but it can occur anywhere, be local, or spreading over the whole body) Loss of appetite Shortness of breath Lymphedema Back or bone pain Neuropathy Blood in the stool or vomit Blockage of urine flow Headaches Seizures These symptoms are nonspecific, and not every patient will have all of these potential symptoms. This means that a patient's symptoms could be caused by any number of conditions unrelated to cancer. For instance, they could be signs of the flu or other viral infection, but in those cases, they would not last very long. In lymphoma, the symptoms persist over time and cannot be explained by an infection or another disease.When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Lymphoma?Swelling in the neck, armpit, or groin, or unexplained swelling in an arm or leg should prompt one to seek medical attention. Such swellings may have many causes or have nothing to do with lymphoma, but they should be checked.If any of the following symptoms persist for more than a few days, seek medical attention: Fevers Chills Unexplained weight loss Night sweats Lack of energy ItchingWhat Tests Do Doctors Use to Diagnose Lymphoma?If a person has swelling or symptoms described in the Symptoms section, his or her health-care provider will ask many questions about the symptoms (when they began, recent illnesses, past or current medical problems, any medications, workplace, health history, family history, and habits and lifestyle). These questions are followed by a thorough examination.If, after an initial interview and examination, the health-care provider suspects that a patient may have lymphoma, the patient will undergo a series of tests designed to provide further clarification. At some point in this workup, the patient might be referred to a specialist in blood diseases and cancer (hematologist/oncologist).Blood testsBlood is drawn for various tests. Some of these tests evaluate the function and performance of blood cells and important organs, such as the liver and kidneys. Certain blood chemicals or enzymes (lactate dehydrogenase [LDH]) may be determined. High levels of LDH in cases in which NHL is suspected may indicate a more aggressive form of the disorder. Other tests may be done to learn more about lymphoma subtypes.BiopsyIf there is a swelling (also called lump or mass), a sample of tissue from the swelling will be removed for examination by a pathologist. This is called a biopsy. Any of several methods can be used to obtain a biopsy of a mass. Masses that can be seen and felt under the skin are relatively easy to biopsy. A hollow needle can be inserted into the mass and a small sample removed with the needle (called a core-needle biopsy). This is usually done in the health-care provider's office with a local anesthetic. Core-needle biopsy does not always obtain a good-quality sample. For that reason, many health-care providers prefer a surgical biopsy. This involves removal of the entire swollen lymph node through a small incision in the skin. This procedure often is done with a local anesthetic, but it sometimes requires a general anesthetic.
If the mass is not immediately under the skin but is instead deep inside the body, access is somewhat more complicated. The tissue sample is usually obtained via laparoscopy. This means making a tiny incision in the skin and inserting a thin tube with a light and a camera on the end (a laparoscope). The camera sends pictures of the inside of the body to a video monitor, and the surgeon can see the mass. A small cutting tool on the end of the laparoscope can remove all or part of the mass. This tissue is withdrawn from the body with the laparoscope.
A pathologist (a physician who specializes in diagnosing diseases by looking at cells and tissues) examines the tissue sample with a microscope. The pathologist's report will specify whether the tissue is lymphoma and the type and subset of lymphoma.Imaging studiesIf there is no palpable mass in the presence of persistent symptoms, imaging studies will likely be carried out in order to determine whether a mass is present and, if so, how then to direct a biopsy. X-rays: In certain parts of the body, such as the chest, a simple X-ray can sometimes detect lymphoma.
CT scan: This test provides a three-dimensional view and much greater detail and may detect enlarged lymph nodes and other masses anywhere in the body. MRI scan: Similar to the CT scan, MRI gives three-dimensional images with excellent detail. MRI provides better definition than CT scan in certain parts of the body, especially the brain and the spinal cord. Positron-emission tomographic (PET) scan: PET scan is a newer alternative to lymphangiogram and gallium scan for detecting areas in the body that are affected by lymphoma. A tiny amount of a radioactive substance is injected into the body and then traced on the PET scan. Sites of radioactivity on the scan indicate areas of increased metabolic activity, which implies the presence of a tumor.Bone marrow examinationMost of the time, an examination of the bone marrow is necessary to see if the marrow is affected by the lymphoma. This is done by collecting a biopsy of the bone marrow. Samples are taken, usually from the pelvis bone. A pathologist examines the bone marrow under a microscope. Bone marrow containing certain types of abnormal B or T lymphocytes confirms lymphoma.
Bone marrow biopsy can be an uncomfortable procedure, but it can usually be performed in a medical office. Most people receive pain medication prior to the procedure to make them more comfortable.Women's Cancer: 15 Cancer Symptoms Women IgnoreCancer Symptoms Women Ignore SlideshowMen's Cancer: 15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore Slideshow PicturesCancer Prevention: Top Cancer-Fighting FoodsTop Cancer-Fighting Foods Slideshow PicturesHow Is Lymphoma Staging Determined?Staging is the classification of a cancer type by its size and whether and how much it has spread around the body. Determining a cancer's stage is very important because it tells the oncologist which treatment is most likely to work and what are the chances of remission or a cure (prognosis).Staging of lymphomas is based on the results of imaging studies and related tests that reveal the extent of the cancer involvement.HL is often described as being "bulky" or "nonbulky." Nonbulky means the tumor is small; bulky means the tumor is large. Nonbulky disease has a better prognosis than bulky disease.NHL is a complicated set of diseases with a complex classification system. In fact, the classification system is continuously evolving as we learn more about these cancers. The newest classification system takes into account not only the microscopic appearance of the lymphoma but also its location in the body and genetic and molecular features.Grade is also an important component of the NHL classification.
Low grade: These are often called "indolent" lymphomas because they grow slowly. Low-grade lymphomas are often widespread when discovered, but because they grow slowly, they usually do not require immediate treatment unless organ function is compromised. They are rarely cured and can transform over time to a combination of indolent and aggressive types.
Intermediate grade: These are rapidly growing (aggressive) lymphomas that usually require immediate treatment, but they are often curable. High grade: These are very rapidly growing and aggressive lymphomas that require immediate, intensive treatment and are much less often curable.The "staging," or evaluation of extent of disease, for both HL and NHL, are similar.
Stage I (early disease): Lymphoma is located in a single lymph node region or in one lymphatic area. Stage IE: Cancer is found in one area or organ outside the lymph node.
Stage II (early disease): Lymphoma is located in two or more lymph node regions all located on the same side of the diaphragm. Stage IIE: As II, but cancer is also found outside the lymph nodes in one organ or area on the same side of the diaphragm as the involved lymph nodes. (The diaphragm is a flat muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen.)
Stage III (advanced disease): Lymphoma affects two or more lymph node regions, or one lymph node region and one organ, on opposite sides of the diaphragm. Stage IV (widespread or disseminated disease): Lymphoma is outside the lymph nodes and spleen and has spread to another area or organ such as the bone marrow, bone, or central nervous system.If the cancer is also found in the spleen, an "S" is added to the classification.Prognostic factorsSeveral risk factors have been extensively evaluated and shown to play a role in treatment outcome. For HL, the International Prognostic Index includes the following seven risk factors: Male sex Age 45 years or older Stage IV disease Albumin (blood test) less than 4.0 g/dL Hemoglobin (red blood cell level) less than 10.5 g/dL Elevated white blood cell (WBC) count of 15,000/mL Low lymphocyte count less than 600/mL or less than 8% of total WBCThe absence of any of the above risk factors is associated with an 84% rate of control of Hodgkin's disease, whereas the presence of a risk factor is associated with a 77% rate of disease control. The presence of five or more risk factors was associated with a disease control rate of only 42%.The outcomes for these patients were also determined by the treatment they , which occurred primarily in the 1980s. Newer treatments for Hodgkin's lymphoma may improve these predicted outcomes. Furthermore, new treatments are being developed for patients with greater risk factors.The International Prognostic Index for NHL includes five risk factors: Age older than 60 years
Stage III or IV disease High LDH More than one extranodal site Poor performance status (as a measure of general health): From these factors, the following risk groups were identified: Low risk: no or one risk factor, has a five-year overall survival of approximately 73% Low-intermediate risk: two risk factors, has a five-year overall survival of approximately 50% High-intermediate risk: three risk factors, has a five-year overall survival of approximately 43% High risk: four or more risk factors, has a five-year overall survival of approximately 26%The prognostic models were developed to evaluate groups of patients and are useful in developing therapeutic strategies. It is important to remember that any individual patient might have significantly different results than the above data, which represent statistical results for a patient group. There are specific IPIs for certain types of lymphoma, such as follicular or diffuse large B-cell.What Types of Doctors Treat Lymphoma?Although the patient's primary-care doctor or pediatrician can help manage the patient's care, other specialists are usually involved as consultants. Oncologists, hematologists, pathologists, and radiation oncologists are usually involved in making treatment plans and caring for the patient. Occasionally, other specialists may need to be involved depending upon what organs may be at risk in the individual's disease process.What Is the Treatment for Lymphoma?
General health-care providers rarely undertake the sole care of a cancer patient. The vast majority of cancer patients receive ongoing care from oncologists but may in fact be referred to more than one oncologist should there be any question about the disease. Patients are always encouraged to gain second opinions if the situation so warrants this approach. One may choose to speak with more than one oncologist to find the one with whom he or she feels most comfortable. In addition to one's primary-care physician, family members or friends may offer information. Also, many communities, medical societies, and cancer centers offer telephone or Internet referral services.Once one settles in with an oncologist, there is ample time to ask questions and discuss treatment regimens. The doctor will present each type of treatment, discuss the pros and cons, and make recommendations based on treatment guidelines and his or her own experience. Treatment for lymphoma depends on the type and stage. Factors such as age, overall health, and whether one has already been treated for lymphoma before are included in the treatment decision-making process. The decision of which treatment to pursue is made with the doctor (with input from other members of the care team) and family members, but the decision is ultimately the patient's. Be certain to understand exactly what will be done and why and what can be expected from these choices.As in many cancers, lymphoma is most likely to be cured if it is diagnosed early and treated promptly. The most widely used therapies are combinations of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Biological therapy, which targets key features of the lymphoma cells, is used in many cases nowadays.The goal of medical therapy in lymphoma is complete remission. This means that all signs of the disease have disappeared after treatment. Remission is not the same as cure. In remission, one may still have lymphoma cells in the body, but they are undetectable and cause no symptoms. When in remission, the lymphoma may come back. This is called recurrence. The duration of remission depends on the type, stage, and grade of the lymphoma. A remission may last a few months, a few years, or may continue throughout one's life. Remission that lasts a long time is called durable remission, and this is the goal of therapy. The duration of remission is a good indicator of the aggressiveness of the lymphoma and of the prognosis. A longer remission generally indicates a better prognosis.Remission can also be partial. This means that the tumor shrinks after treatment to less than half its size before treatment.The following terms are used to describe the lymphoma's response to treatment: Improvement: The lymphoma shrinks but is still greater than half its original size.
Stable disease: The lymphoma stays the same.
Progression: The lymphoma worsens during treatment. Refractory disease: The lymphoma is resistant to treatment.The following terms to refer to therapy: Induction therapy is designed to induce a remission. If this treatment does not induce a complete remission, new or different therapy will be initiated. This is usually referred to as salvage therapy.
Once in remission, one may be given yet another treatment to prevent recurrence. This is called maintenance therapy.Medical Treatment: Radiation and Chemotherapy Standard first-line therapy (primary therapy) for lymphoma includes radiation therapy for most early-stage lymphomas, or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. For later-stage lymphomas, chemotherapy is primarily used, with radiation therapy added for control of bulky disease. Biological therapy, or immunotherapy, is routinely used alongside chemotherapy.Radiation therapyRadiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It is considered a local therapy, meaning that it should be used to target areas of the body involved by tumor masses. A radiation oncologist will plan and supervise therapy.
The radiation is targeted at the affected lymph node region or organ. Occasionally, nearby areas are also irradiated to kill any cells that might have spread there undetected. Depending on how and where the radiation is administered, it may cause certain side effects such as fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and skin problems. Radiation of lymph node areas may result in suppression of the immune system to varying degrees. Irradiation of the underlying bone and the marrow within the bone may result in suppression of the blood counts. The radiation is usually administered in short bursts on five days a week over the course of several weeks. This keeps the dose of each treatment low and helps prevent or lessen side effects.ChemotherapyChemotherapy is the use of powerful drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy, meaning that it circulates through the bloodstream and affects all parts of the body.Unfortunately, chemotherapy also affects healthy cells; this accounts for its well-known side effects. The side effects of chemotherapy depend partly on the drugs used and the doses.
Some people, because of variability in metabolism of chemotherapy drugs, tolerate chemotherapy better than other people. The most common side effects of chemotherapy include suppression of blood counts, which could result in increased susceptibility to infection (low white blood cell count), anemia (low red blood cell count that may require a blood transfusion), or blood-clotting problems (low platelet count). Other side effects may include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, hair loss, sores in the mouth and digestive tract, fatigue, muscle aches, and changes in fingernails and toenails. Medications and other treatments are available to help people tolerate these side effects, which can be severe.
It is very important to discuss and review the potential side effects of each chemotherapy drug in the treatment with the oncologist, pharmacist, or oncology nurse. Medications to lessen the side effects should also be reviewed.Chemotherapy may be given in pill form, but it is typically a liquid infused directly into the bloodstream through a vein (intravenous).
Most people who receive intravenous chemotherapy will have a semi-permanent device placed in a large vein, usually in the chest or arm. This device allows the medical team quick and easy access to the blood vessels, both for administering medications and for collecting blood samples. These devices come in several types, usually referred to as a "catheter," "port," or "central line."Experience has shown that combinations of drugs are more efficient than monotherapy (use of a single medication).
Combinations of different drugs both increase the chance that the drugs will work and lower the dose of each individual drug, reducing the chance of intolerable side effects. Several different standard combinations are used in lymphoma. Which combination one receives depends on the type of lymphoma and the experiences of the oncologist and the medical center where a person is receiving treatment. The combinations of drugs are usually given according to a set schedule that must be followed very strictly.
In some situations, chemotherapy can be given in the oncologist's office. In other situations, one must stay in the hospital.Chemotherapy is given in cycles. One cycle includes the period of actual treatment, usually several days, followed by a period of rest for several weeks to allow recovery from side effects caused by the chemotherapy, particularly anemia and low white blood cells. Standard treatment typically includes a set number of cycles, such as four or six. Spreading the chemotherapy out this way allows a higher cumulative dose to be given, while improving the person's ability to tolerate the side effects.Women's Cancer: 15 Cancer Symptoms Women IgnoreCancer Symptoms Women Ignore SlideshowMen's Cancer:
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore Slideshow PicturesCancer Prevention: Top Cancer-Fighting FoodsTop Cancer-Fighting Foods Slideshow PicturesMedical Treatment: Biological TherapyBiological therapies are sometimes referred to as immunotherapy because they take advantage of the body's natural immunity against pathogens. These therapies are attractive because they offer anticancer effects without many of the undesirable side effects of standard therapies. There are many different types of biological therapies. The following are some of the most promising for treating lymphoma: Monoclonal antibodies: Antibodies are substances produced by our body to fight pathogens. Every cell, organism, or pathogen within our body carries markers on its surface that antibodies may recognize. These surface markers are called antigens. A monoclonal antibody is an antibody that is made in a laboratory to find and attach itself to a specific antigen. Monoclonal antibodies can be used to help one's own immune systems kill tumor cells and other pathogens directly, or they can deliver cancer-killing therapies (such as radiation or chemotherapy) directly to a specific antigen found on cancer cells. Cytokines: These naturally occurring chemicals are produced by the body to stimulate the cells in the immune system and other organs. They can also be produced artificially and administered in large doses to patients with greater effect.
Examples include interferons and interleukins, which stimulate the immune system, and colony-stimulating factors, which stimulate the growth of blood cells. Vaccines: Unlike the more familiar vaccines for infectious diseases such as polio and flu, cancer vaccines do not prevent the disease. Rather, they are designed to stimulate the immune system to mount a specific response against the cancer.
They also create a "memory" of the cancer so that the immune system activates very early in cases of recurrence, thus preventing the development of a new tumor.Other therapies that are primary or supportive medications are undergoing continuing development and refinement; they include drugs that target cancer cells on a molecular level, various new monoclonal antibodies, and other biologic therapies such as steroids and bone marrow stimulants.What Other Therapies Treat Lymphoma?Watchful waiting means choosing to observe and monitor the cancer rather than treat it right away. This is strategy is sometimes used for indolent recurrent tumors. Treatment is given only if the cancer starts to grow more rapidly or to cause symptoms or other problems.Stem cell transplantation is usually not used as a primary therapy in lymphoma. Stem cell transplantation is usually reserved for lymphoma that has been previously treated into remission but has recurred.
Stem cell therapy as primary therapy has been used for aggressive T-cell NHL in first remission, usually as part of a clinical trial. Stem cell therapy is also considered when standard primary treatment is unable to control the lymphoma and achieve remission. This procedure, which requires a lengthy hospital stay, involves very high doses of chemotherapy to kill the aggressive cancer cells.
The development of resistance to chemotherapeutic agents might be related to multiple mechanisms such as alterations in drug transport, changes in cellular proteins involved in detoxification, altered drug target, changes in DNA repair mechanisms, and increased tolerance to drug-induced DNA damage. This article is a summary of the various mechanisms that are involved in chemoresistance in ovarian cancer.Ovarian Cancer Chemoresistance Authors Authors and affiliations Sharon O'TooleEmail authorJohn O'Leary Sharon O'Toole
primary cancer that has spread from the colon to other parts of the body (the lung and the brain). An inset shows cancer cells spreading from the primary cancer, through the blood and lymph system, to another part of the body where a metastatic tumor has formed.EnlargeIn metastasis, cancer cells break away from where they first formed (primary cancer), travel through the blood or lymph system, and form new tumors (metastatic tumors) in other parts of the body. The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor.What Is Metastatic Cancer?The main reason that cancer is so serious is its ability to spread in the body.
Cancer cells can spread locally by moving into nearby normal tissue. Cancer can also spread regionally, to nearby lymph nodes, tissues, or organs. And it can spread to distant parts of the body. When this happens, it is called metastatic cancer. For many types of cancer, it is also called stage IV (four) cancer. The process by which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body is called metastasis.When observed under a microscope and tested in other ways, metastatic cancer cells have features like that of the primary cancer and not like the cells in the place where the cancer is found. This is how doctors can tell that it is cancer that has spread from another part of the body.Metastatic cancer has the same name as the primary cancer. For example, breast cancer that spreads to the lung is called metastatic breast cancer, not lung cancer. It is treated as stage IV breast cancer, not as lung cancer.Sometimes when people are diagnosed with metastatic cancer, doctors cannot tell where it started. This type of cancer is called cancer of unknown primary origin, or CUP. See the Carcinoma of Unknown Primary page for more information.When a new primary cancer occurs in a person with a history of cancer, it is known as a second primary cancer. Second primary cancers are rare. Most of the time, when someone who has had cancer has cancer again, it means the first primary cancer has returned.How Cancer SpreadsMetastasis: How Cancer SpreadsMetastasis: How Cancer SpreadsDuring metastasis, cancer cells spread from the place in the body where they first formed to other parts of the body.Cancer cells spread through the body in a series of steps. These steps include:
Growing into, or invading, nearby normal tissue Moving through the walls of nearby lymph nodes or blood vessels Traveling through the lymphatic system and bloodstream to other parts of the body Stopping in small blood vessels at a distant location, invading the blood vessel walls, and moving into the surrounding tissue Growing in this tissue until a tiny tumor forms Causing new blood vessels to grow, which creates a blood supply that allows the tumor to continue growingMost of the time, spreading cancer cells die at some point in this process. But, as long as conditions are favorable for the cancer cells at every step, some of them are able to form new tumors in other parts of the body. Metastatic cancer cells can also remain inactive at a distant site for many years before they begin to grow again, if at all.Where Cancer SpreadsCancer can spread to most any part of the body, although different types of cancer are more likely to spread to certain areas than others. The most common sites where cancer spreads are the bone, liver, and lung. The following list shows the most common sites of metastasis, not including the lymph nodes, for some common cancers:Common Sites of MetastasisCancer Type Main Sites of MetastasisBladder Bone, liver, lungBreast Bone, brain, liver, lungColon Liver, lung, peritoneumKidney Adrenal gland, bone, brain, liver, lungLung Adrenal gland, bone, brain, liver, other lungMelanoma Bone, brain, liver, lung, skin, muscleOvary Liver, lung, peritoneumPancreas Liver, lung, peritoneumProstate Adrenal gland, bone, liver, lungRectal Liver, lung, peritoneumStomach Liver, lung, peritoneumThyroid Bone, liver, lungUterus Bone, liver, lung, peritoneum, vaginaSymptoms of Metastatic CancerMetastatic cancer does not always cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, their nature and frequency will depend on the size and location of the metastatic tumors. Some common signs of metastatic cancer include:
Pain and fractures, when cancer has spread to the bone Headache, seizures, or dizziness, when cancer has spread to the brain Shortness of breath, when cancer has spread to the lung Jaundice or swelling in the belly, when cancer has spread to the liverTreatment for Metastatic CancerOnce cancer spreads, it can be hard to control. Although some types of metastatic cancer can be cured with current treatments, most cannot. Even so, there are treatments for all patients with metastatic cancer. The goal of these treatments is to stop or slow the growth of the cancer or to relieve symptoms caused by it. In some cases, treatments for metastatic cancer may help prolong life.The treatment that you may have depends on your type of primary cancer, where it has spread, treatments you’ve had in the past, and your general health. To learn about treatment options, including clinical trials, find your type of cancer among the PDQ® Cancer Information Summaries for Adult Treatment and Pediatric Treatment.When Metastatic Cancer Can No Longer Be ControlledIf you have been told you have metastatic cancer that can no longer be controlled, you and your loved ones may want to discuss end-of-life care. Even if you choose to continue receiving treatment to try to shrink the cancer or control its growth, you can always receive palliative care to control the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment.
Information on coping with and planning for end-of-life care is available in the Advanced Cancer section.Ongoing ResearchResearchers are studying new ways to kill or stop the growth of primary and metastatic cancer cells.
What is advanced cancer?Different health care providers may not mean the exact same thing when they use the term advanced cancer. Here, when we refer to advanced cancer, we’re talking about cancers that cannot be cured. This means cancers that won’t go away and stay away completely with treatment.Advanced cancers can be locally advanced or metastatic. (Metastatic cancers have spread from where they started to other parts of the body and are covered in the next section.) Cancers that have spread are often considered advanced when they can’t be cured or controlled with treatment.
But not all advanced cancers have spread to other parts of the body. For example, some cancers that start in the brain may be considered advanced because of their large size or closeness to important organs or blood vessels. This can make them life-threatening even though they haven’t spread to other parts of the body. In the same way, not all metastatic cancers are advanced cancers. Some cancers, such as testicular cancer, can spread to other parts of the body and still be very curable.Locally advanced cancer is used to describe cancer that has grown outside the organ it started in but has not yet spread to distant parts of the body. For example, locally advanced pancreatic cancer is often not curable. But other locally advanced cancers, such as some prostate cancers, may be cured.If you or a loved one is told that you have advanced cancer, it’s very important to find out exactly what the doctor means.
Some may use the term to describe metastatic cancer, while others might use it in other situations. Be sure you understand what the doctor is talking about and what it means for you.Advanced cancer can often be treated. Even if the cancer can’t be cured, treatment can sometimes: Shrink the cancer Slow its growth Help relieve symptoms Help you live longerFor some people, the cancer may already be advanced when they first learn they have the disease. For others, the cancer may not become advanced until years after it was first diagnosed.As advanced cancer grows, it can cause symptoms that may need to be treated to help control them. These symptoms can almost always be treated, even when the cancer itself no longer responds to treatment.What is metastatic cancer?Metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread from the part of the body where it started (the primary site) to other parts of the body. When cancer cells break away from a tumor, they can travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or the lymph system. (Lymph vessels are much like blood vessels, except they carry a clear fluid and immune system cells.)This image shows some parts of the lymph system, like lymph nodes and lymph vessels, as well as organs and tissues that contain many lymphocytes (immune cells).color diagram showing the lymphatic system in the human body (location of lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels)/also shows the location of the thymus, spleen, bone marrow, stomach, colon and small intestineIf the cells travel through the lymph system, they could end up in nearby lymph nodes (small, bean-sized collections of immune cells) or they could spread to other organs. More often, cancer cells that break off from the main tumor travel through the bloodstream. Once in the blood, they can go to any part of the body.
Many of these cells die, but some may settle in a new area, start to grow, and form new tumors. This spread of cancer to a new part of the body is called metastasis.Cancer cells have to go through several steps to spread to new parts of the body: They have to be able to break away from the original tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymph system, which can carry them to another part of the body. They need to attach to the wall of a blood or lymph vessel and move through it into a new organ. They need to be able to grow and thrive in their new location. They need to be able to avoid attacks from the body’s immune system.Going through all these steps means the cells that start new tumors may no longer be exactly the same as the ones in the tumor they started in. This might make them harder to treat.Even when cancer has spread to a new area, it’s still named after the part of the body where it started. For instance, breast cancer that has spread to the lungs is called “metastatic breast cancer to the lungs” – it’s not lung cancer. Treatment is also based on where the cancer started. If prostate cancer spreads to the bones, it’s still prostate cancer (not bone cancer), and the doctor will recommend treatments that have been shown to help against metastatic prostate cancer. Likewise, colon cancer that has spread to the liver is treated as metastatic colon cancer, not liver cancer.Sometimes the metastatic tumors have already begun to grow when the cancer is first found and diagnosed. And in some cases, a metastasis may be found before the original (primary) tumor is found. If a cancer has already spread to many places when it’s found, it may be very hard to figure out where it started. If this happens the cancer is called cancer of unknown primary.Why cancer cells tend to spread to certain parts of the bodyWhere a cancer starts is linked to where it will spread. Most cancer cells that break free from the original tumor are carried in the blood or lymph system until they get trapped in the next “downstream” organ or set of lymph nodes. Once the cells are there, they can start to grow and form new tumors. This explains why breast cancer often spreads to underarm lymph nodes, but rarely to lymph nodes in the groin. Likewise, there are many cancers that commonly spread to the lungs. This is because the heart pumps blood from the rest of the body through the lungs’ blood vessels before sending it elsewhere.What is bone metastasis?A bone metastasis is an area of bone that contains cancer that spread there from somewhere else.Cancer can spread to any bone in the body, but metastases are most often found in bones near the center of the body. The spine is the most common site. Other common sites are the hip bone (pelvis), upper leg bone (femur), upper arm bone (humerus), ribs, and the skull.Once cancer has spread to the bones or to other parts of the body it’s rarely able to be cured. Still, it often can be treated to shrink, stop, or slow its growth. Even if a cure is no longer possible, treating the cancer may be able to help you live longer and feel better.How does bone metastasis cause bone changes and other problems?Bone is the supporting framework of the body. Bones are made of a network of fibrous tissue called matrix, minerals such as calcium that attach to the matrix and give the bone its strength and hardness, and 2 main kinds of bone cells are osteoblasts and osteoclasts.Knowing a little about these 2 kinds of cells can help you understand how bone metastases grow, and how some medicines work to treat bone metastases. The osteoblast is the cell that forms new bone, and the osteoclast is the cell that dissolves old bone. When these cells are both working right, new bone is always forming while old bone is dissolving. This helps keep the bones strong.Cancer cells can affect the bones by interfering with osteoblasts and osteoclasts: Often, the cancer cells make substances that turn on the osteoclasts. This leads to bone being broken down without new bone being made. This weakens the bones. The holes that develop when parts of bones dissolve are called osteolytic or lytic lesions. Lytic lesions are so weak that they can cause the bone to easily break. Sometimes, the cancer cells release substances that turn on the osteoblasts. This leads to new bone being made without breaking down the old bone broken down first. This makes areas of the bones harder, a condition called sclerosis. The areas of bone where this occurs are called osteoblastic or blastic lesions. Although these blastic areas are harder, the structure of the bone is not normal and these areas actually break more easily than normal bone.Bone metastasis can cause other problems as well: When cancer spreads to the bones of the spine, it can press on the spinal cord.
This can cause nerve damage that may even lead to paralysis if not treated. As cancer cells damage the bones, calcium from the bones is released into the blood. This can lead to problems caused by high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia).Why do cancers metastasize to bones?For cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body, they have to go through many changes: They have to be able to break away from the original (primary) tumor and get into the bloodstream or lymph system, which can carry them to another part of the body. At some point they need to attach to the wall of a blood or lymph vessel and move through it, out into a new organ. They then need to be able to grow and thrive in their new location.All the while, the cancer cells need to be able to avoid attacks from the body’s immune system. Going through all these steps means the cells that start new tumors may no longer be exactly the same as the ones in the tumor where they started, but they will still be called the same name. For instance, breast cancer that spreads to the bone is called metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.What’s the difference between primary bone cancer and bone metastasis?Some cancers start in the bone, rather than spreading to the bones from somewhere else.
MetastasisMetastasis is the spread of cancer cells to new areas of the body (often by way of the lymph system or bloodstream). A metastatic cancer, or metastatic tumor, is one which has spread from the primary site of origin (where it started) into different area(s) of the body.Tumors formed from cells that have spread are called secondary tumors. The cancer may have spread to areas near the primary site (regional metastasis), or to parts of the body that are farther away (distant metastasis).Diagnosing metastatic cancerCancer that has spread from the primary (original) site to other places in the body is generally classified as advanced. When the cancer has spread only to nearby tissues or lymph nodes, it is called locally advanced cancer. When the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it is called metastatic cancer. The liver, lungs, lymph nodes, and bones are common areas of spread or metastasis.Even when cancer spreads to a new location, it is still named after the area of the body where it started. For example, a person with breast cancer that has spread to the bones is said to have breast cancer with bone metastases. If a cancer has spread widely throughout the body before it is discovered and it is unknown exactly where it started, it is called cancer of unknown primary origin.Learn more about diagnosing cancerTreatment for metastatic cancerTreatment for metastatic cancer aims to slow the growth or spread of the cancer. Treatment depends on the type of cancer, where it started, the size and location of the metastasis, and other factors.Typically, metastatic cancer requires systemic therapy, or medications given by mouth or injected into the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body, such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Other treatments may include biological therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of these.Even if the cancer has stopped responding to treatment, many therapies can ease side effects and improve quality of life. Palliative treatments, which may be the same treatments used to treat cancer, aim to relieve symptoms and side effects.At Cancer Treatment Center of America® (CTCA), we provide personalized treatment plans using advanced technologies to target advanced and complex cancers, combined with integrative oncology services to improve quality of life. We offer specialized treatment programs for cancers that spread to the brain, bone, liver and other areas.Learn more about how we treat cancerGet tips for coping
A is likesee what ctca is likeLearn about what to expect from your initial consultation through treatment at CTCA.Discover what makes our hospitals differentA team of cancer expertsan expert team just for youAt CTCA, you will be cared for by a team of experienced oncologists and other cancer experts.
Cancer Compass +How cancer can spreadThis page tells you about how cancers can spread. There is information aboutPrimary and secondary cancerHow cancer can spread to other areas of the bodySpread through the blood circulationSpread through the lymphatic systemMicrometastasesRelated informationPrimary and secondary cancerThe place where a cancer starts in the body is called the primary cancer or primary site. Cells from the primary site may break away and spread to other parts of the body. These escaped cells can then grow and form other tumours, which are known as secondary cancers or metastases.How cancer can spread to other areas of the bodyCancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. There they can start to grow into new tumours.Cancers are named according to where they first started developing. For example, if you have bowel cancer that has spread to the liver, it's called bowel cancer with liver metastases or secondaries. It is not called liver cancer. This is because the cancerous cells in the liver are actually cancerous bowel cells. They are not liver cells that have become cancerous.In order to spread, some cells from the primary cancer must break away, travel to another part of the body and start growing there. Cancer cells don't stick together as well as normal cells do. They may also produce substances that stimulate them to move. The diagram below shows a tumour in the cells lining a body structure such as the bowel wall. The tumour grows through the layer holding the cells in place (the basement membrane). Some cells can break away and go into small lymph vessels or blood vessels called capillaries in the area.Spread through the blood circulationWhen the cancer cells go into small blood vessels they can then get into the bloodstream. They are called circulating tumour cells (or CTCs).Researchers are currently looking at using circulating tumour cells to diagnose cancer and avoid the need for tests such as biopsies.
They are also looking at whether they can test circulating cancer cells to predict which treatments will work better. The circulating blood sweeps the cancer cells along until they get stuck somewhere. Usually they get stuck in a very small blood vessel such as a capillary.Then the cancer cell must move through the wall of the capillary and into the tissue of the organ close by. The cell can multiply to form a new tumour if the conditions are right for it to grow and it has the nutrients that it needs.This is quite a complicated process and most cancer cells don't survive it.
Probably, out of many thousands of cancer cells that reach the bloodstream, only a few will survive to form a secondary cancer.Some cancer cells are probably killed off by the white blood cells in our immune system. Others cancer cells may die because they get battered around by the fast flowing blood.Cancer cells in the circulation may try to stick to platelets to form clumps to give themselves some protection. Platelets are blood cells that help the blood to clot. This may also help the cancer cells to move into the surrounding tissues.Spread through the lymphatic systemThe lymphatic system is a network of tubes and glands in the body that filters body fluid and fights infection. It also traps damaged or harmful cells such as cancer cells. Cancer cells can go into the small lymph vessels close to the primary tumour and travel into nearby lymph glands. In the lymph glands, the cancer cells may be destroyed but some may survive and grow to form tumours in one or more lymph nodes. Doctors call this lymph node spread.MicrometastasesMicrometastases are areas of cancer spread (metastases) that are too small to see. Some areas of cancer are too small to show up on any type of scan.For a few types of cancer, blood tests can detect certain proteins released by the cancer cells.
These may give a sign that there are metastases in the body that are too small to show up on a scan. But for most cancers, there is no blood test that can say whether a cancer has spread or not.For most cancers, doctors can only say whether it is likely or not that a cancer has spread. Doctors base this on a number of factors:∞ previous experience – doctors collect and publish this information to help each other∞ whether there are cancer cells in the blood vessels in the tumour removed during surgery – if cancer cells are found then the cancer is more likely to have spread to other parts of the body∞ the grade of the cancer (how abnormal the cells are) – the higher the grade, the more quickly the cancer grows and the more likely for cells to spread∞ whether lymph nodes removed during an operation contained cancer cells – if the lymph nodes contained cancer cells this shows that cancer cells have broken away from the original cancer (but there is no way of knowing whether the cells have spread to any other areas of the body)This information is important in treating cancer. Doctors may offer extra treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, biological therapy or hormone therapy if they suspect of micrometastases. The extra treatments may increase the chance of curing the cancer.
Coping with Metastatic CancerApproved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2016When cancer spreads to a different part of the body from where it started, doctors call it metastasis. They also call it “metastatic cancer” or “stage 4 cancer.” Sometimes the term “advanced cancer” also describes metastatic cancer. But it shouldn’t be confused with “locally advanced cancer,” which is cancer that has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes and not throughout the body. Learn more about the basics of metastasis.The naming of metastatic cancer can be confusing. Doctors name a metastasis for the original cancer. One way to remember this is consider a garden: If dandelions from the lawn go to seed and grow in the rose garden, nobody calls them roses. Rather, they are dandelions spread to the rose garden. In a similar manner, breast cancer that spreads to the bone is not bone cancer, it is metastatic breast cancer.What does it mean to have metastatic cancer?In the past, many people did not live long with metastatic cancer. Even with today’s better treatments, recovery is not always possible. But doctors can often treat cancer even if they cannot cure it.
A good quality of life is possible for months or even years.How is metastatic cancer treated?Treatment depends on the type of cancer, the available treatment options, and your wishes. It also depends on your age, general health, treatment you had before and other factors. Treatments for metastatic cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biologic therapy, and radiation therapy.Goals of treatmentFor many patients diagnosed with cancer, the goal of treatment is to try to cure the cancer. This means getting rid of the cancer and never having it come back. With metastatic cancer, cure may not be a realistic goal. It is reasonable to ask your doctor whether cure is the goal.If cure is not the goal (understanding that it might be a hope, dream, or miracle and that it is reasonable to “never say never” and “never say always”), what is? The goal of treatment is to help a patient live as well as possible for as long as possible. Getting more specific, the goal can be broken down into four parts:∞ To have the fewest possible side effects from the cancer∞ To have the fewest possible side effects from the cancer treatment∞ For the patient to have the best quality of life∞ For the patient to have the longest quantity of lifeEach patient emphasizes these items differently.
It is important to tell your doctor and care team what is important to you.Getting treatment for metastatic cancer can help you live longer and feel better. But getting treatment is always your decision. You can also read Making Decisions about Cancer Treatment and the ASCO Care and Treatment Recommendations for Patients. These recommendations include information on treating many types of metastatic cancer.Living with long-term cancerWhen doctors can treat metastatic cancer, your situation may be like someone with a chronic (long-term disease). Examples of chronic diseases are type 1 diabetes, congestive heart failure, and multiple sclerosis. Doctors can treat these conditions, but not cure them.The challenges of living with cancerLiving with metastatic cancer is challenging. The challenges are different for everyone, but they can include:∞ Feeling upset that the cancer came back – You might feel hopeless, angry, sad, or like no one understands what you are going through, even family.∞ Worrying that treatment will not help and the cancer will get worse.∞ Dealing with tests, doctor’s appointments, and decisions.∞ Talking with family and friends about the cancer.∞ Needing help with daily activities, if you feel exhausted or have side effects from treatment.∞ Finding emotional and spiritual support.
Coping with the cost of more treatment – Even if you have insurance, it might not cover everything.Meeting the challenges of metastatic cancerTo understand your situation, you may want to get a second opinion. Many people find that it helps to get an opinion from another oncologist, and many doctors encourage it.Your doctor can help you cope with cancer symptoms and treatment side effects. For example, if you have pain, your treatment might include surgery to remove a tumor in a painful area. Your doctor might also prescribe pain medication or anti-nausea medication.Deal with emotions and lifestyle changes
Coping with emotions and lifestyle challenges is an important part of living with metastatic cancer. Ways of coping include:∞ Learning about the metastasis—You might want to know everything possible, or just basic information.
Talking with a counselor about your situation – For example, a psychologist, psychiatrist, or oncology social worker.∞ Managing stress—From planning ahead to trying meditation and yoga, there are many options to help lower your stress level.∞ Finding meaning—Talking with a hospital chaplain, a counselor, or your religious leader can help.Recognize your feelings and concernsTalking about fears and concerns is important, even when treatment is working well. Tell your doctor and health care team about emotional symptoms.
People may live for years with metastatic cancer. Your doctor can help you have the best quality of life possible during this time. Hospitals and medical centers have many resources for you and your family.Family members need help, tooYour loved ones might also need help coping. Having a family member or friend with metastatic cancer is challenging, especially for people who help care for you. They can try the ways of coping above. Your doctor and health care team can suggest more help for family members.
The side effects of chemotherapy are different for each person. They depend on the type of cancer, location, drugs and dose, and your general health.Why does chemotherapy cause side effects?Chemotherapy works on active cells. Active cells are cells that are growing and dividing into more of the same type of cell. Cancer cells are active, but so are some healthy cells. These include cells in your blood, mouth, digestive system, and hair follicles. Side effects happen when chemotherapy damages these healthy cells.Can side effects be treated?Yes. Your health care team can help you prevent or treat many side effects. Today, many more medications are available for side effects than in the past. Preventing and treating side effects, called palliative care or supportive care, is an important part of cancer treatment.
Doctors and scientists work constantly to develop drugs, drug combinations, and ways of giving treatment with fewer side effects. Many types of chemotherapy are easier to tolerate than they were a few years ago.Common side effects of chemotherapyDifferent drugs cause different side effects. Certain types of chemotherapy often have specific side effects. But, each person’s experience is different.Tell your doctor about all the side effects you notice. For most types of chemotherapy, side effects do not show how well treatment is working. But they can for some types of drugs called targeted therapies.Below is a list of common side effects of traditional chemotherapy.Fatigue. Fatigue is feeling tired or exhausted almost all the time. It is the most common side effect of chemotherapy. Learn about how to cope with fatigue.Pain. Chemotherapy sometimes causes pain. This can include:
Headaches Muscle pain Stomach pain Pain from nerve damage, such as burning, numbness, or shooting pains, usually in the fingers and toesMost types of pain related to chemotherapy get better or go away between treatments. However, nerve damage often gets worse with each dose. Sometimes when this happens, the drug causing the nerve damage has to be stopped. It can take months or years for nerve damage from chemotherapy to improve or go away. In some people, it never completely goes away.Treatment of pain often differs based on what is causing it. It is important to talk with your health care team about pain while you are taking chemotherapy. There can be other reasons for pain besides the chemotherapy, such as the cancer itself. If the pain is related to chemotherapy, doctors can treat it by:
Giving pain-relieving medications Blocking pain signals from the nerves to the brain with spinal treatments or nerve blocks Adjusting doses of chemotherapyLearn more about cancer pain and how to manage it.Mouth and throat sores. Chemotherapy can damage the cells inside the mouth and throat. This causes painful sores in these areas, a condition called mucositis.Mouth sores usually happen 5 to 14 days after a treatment. The sores can get infected. Eating a healthy diet and keeping your mouth and teeth clean can lower your risk of mouth sores. Mouth sores usually go away completely when treatment ends. Learn more about managing mucositis and oral health during cancer treatment.Diarrhea. Some chemotherapy causes loose or watery bowel movements. Preventing diarrhea or treating it early helps keep you from getting dehydrated (losing too much body fluid). It also helps prevent other health problems. Learn more about managing diarrhea.Nausea and vomiting. Chemotherapy can cause nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) and vomiting (throwing up). Whether you have these side effects, and how much, depends on the specific drugs and dose.
The right medications given before and after each dose of chemotherapy can usually prevent nausea and vomiting. Learn more about nausea and vomiting.Constipation. Chemotherapy can cause constipation. This means not having a bowel movement often enough or having difficult bowel movements. Other medications, such as pain medication, can also cause constipation. Drinking enough fluids, eating balanced meals, and getting enough exercise can lower your risk of constipation. Learn more about managing constipation.
Blood disorders. Your bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside your bones. It makes new blood cells. Chemotherapy affects this process, so you might have side effects from having too few blood cells. Usually the number of blood cells return to normal after chemotherapy is complete. But during treatment, low numbers of blood cells can cause problems and must be monitored closely.Your health care team uses the following tests to check for blood disorders:
Complete blood count (CBC) – A CBC test shows the levels of red blood cells and white blood cells in your blood.Platelet count – This test measures the number of platelets in your blood. Platelets are cells that stop bleeding. They do this by plugging damaged blood vessels and helping blood form clots. Not enough red blood cells causes a condition called anemia. Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Not enough white blood cells causes a condition called leukopenia. This raises your risk of getting infections. Getting one when your white blood cells are low can be serious. If you get an infection, you need antibiotics as soon as possible. Platelet count – This test measures the number of platelets in your blood. Platelets are cells that stop bleeding. They do this by plugging damaged blood vessels and helping blood form clots.
Not having enough platelets causes a condition called thrombocytopenia. You can bleed and bruise more easily than normal.The doses of chemotherapy can often be adjusted to minimize low blood counts. Drugs are also available to treat these blood disorders. The drugs help your bone marrow make more blood cells. They can help prevent leukopenia in people with a high risk. Learn more about managing anemia, infection, and thrombocytopenia.Nervous system effects. Some drugs cause nerve damage. This can cause the following nerve or muscle symptoms: Tingling
Burning Weakness or numbness in the hands, feet, or both Weak, sore, tired, or achy muscles Loss of balance
Shaking or tremblingYou might also have a stiff neck, headache, or problems seeing, hearing, or walking normally. You might feel clumsy. These symptoms usually get better with a lower chemotherapy dose or after treatment. But damage is sometimes permanent. Learn more about managing nervous system side effects.Changes in thinking and memory. Some people have trouble thinking clearly and concentrating after chemotherapy. Cancer survivors often call this chemobrain. Your doctor might call it cognitive changes or cognitive dysfunction.Sexual and reproductive issues. Chemotherapy can affect your fertility. For women, this is the ability to get pregnant and carry a pregnancy. For men, fertility is the ability to make a woman pregnant. Being tired or feeling sick from cancer or treatment can also affect your ability to enjoy sex. Talk with your doctor about these possible side effects before treatment starts. Learn more about managing sexual and reproductive side effects.Women might need a test called a Pap test before starting chemotherapy. This is because chemotherapy can cause misleading results on the test.Chemotherapy can also harm an unborn baby, called a fetus.
This is especially true in the first 3 months of pregnancy, when the organs are still developing. If you could get pregnant during treatment, use effective birth control. If you do get pregnant, tell your doctor right away. Learn more about pregnancy and cancer.Appetite loss. You might eat less than usual, not feel hungry at all, or feel full after eating a small amount. If this lasts through treatment, you may lose weight and not get the nutrition you need. You may also lose muscle mass and strength.
All these things lower your ability to recover from chemotherapy. Learn more about managing appetite loss.Hair loss. Some types of chemotherapy cause hair loss from all over your body. It may come out a little at a time or in large clumps. Hair loss usually starts after the first several weeks of chemotherapy. It tends to increase 1 to 2 months into treatment. Your doctor can predict the risk of hair loss based on the drugs and doses you are receiving. Learn more about managing hair loss.Heart health: Some types of chemotherapy can affect your heart.
It can help to check your heart before treatment. This way, doctors can tell if treatment causes problems later. One common test is an echocardiogram (echo). This test uses ultrasound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. Learn more about heart problems from cancer treatment.Long-term side effects. Most side effects go away after treatment. But some continue, come back, or develop later. For example, some types of chemotherapy may cause permanent damage to the heart, lung, liver, kidneys, or reproductive system. And some people have trouble with thinking, concentrating, and memory for months or years after treatment.Nervous system changes can develop after treatment. Children who had chemotherapy may develop side effects that happen months or years after treatment.
These are called late effects. Cancer survivors also have a higher risk of second cancers later in life.Care after cancer treatment is importantGetting care after treatment ends is important. Your health care team can help you treat long-term side effects and watch for late effects. This care is called follow-up care. Your follow-up care might include regular physical examinations, medical tests, or both.ASCO has cancer treatment summary forms to help you keep track of the cancer treatment you and develop a survivorship plan after treatment.Related ResourcesSide EffectsWhat to Expect When Having ChemotherapyFear of Treatment-Related Side EffectsMore InformationCancerCare: Understanding and Managing Chemotherapy Side EffectsNational Cancer Institute: Chemotherapy and YouHeadachesApproved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2017Almost everyone gets a headache from time to time.
There are 2 main types of headaches:Primary headaches. Primary headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches. Tension headaches are also called muscle contraction headaches.Secondary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by other medical conditions or underlying factors. These factors may include a brain tumor, head injury, infection, or medicines.Primary headaches and secondary headaches are common in people with cancer.Relieving side effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment. This is called palliative care or supportive care.Headache symptomsHeadaches may have different symptoms. These factors help describe them:Timing. This is the time of day when you develop a headache. Sometimes, the timing of a headache provides a clue to its cause.
For example, headaches later in the day are often tension headaches.Frequency. This is how often you have a headache. For example, occasionally, weekly, or daily.Triggers. These are the factors that start a headache. Triggers can include exposure to cold, blinking lights, loud noises, or specific foods.Duration. This is how long the headache lasts. It may range from minutes to hours to days. Some headaches start and end very suddenly. Others come and go over several hours or days.Location. This is the place where the pain occurs. For example, pain may develop in these places: Over the eyes In the forehead or temples
At the back of the neck On one side of the headSeverity. This is the degree of pain. It may range from mild to severe and incapacitating. Incapacitating means that you have difficulty moving or speaking during the headache. Some headaches start with mild pain that gradually becomes severe. Other times, they start with severe pain and remain that way.Quality. This is the type of pain. You may describe it with some of these words: Throbbing Stabbing or piercing A feeling of pressure A dull acheIn addition to the headache itself, you may experience symptoms related to the headache: Nausea and vomiting Dizziness Blurred vision
Sensitivity to light or noise Fever Difficulty moving or speaking Pain that increases with activityConsider keeping a headache diary to track these symptoms. This will help your doctor diagnose and treat your headaches.Causes of headachesThe following factors can cause a headache:Cancer. Certain cancers may cause a headache, particularly these types: Cancers of the brain and spinal cord
Pituitary gland tumors Cancer of the upper throat, called nasopharyngeal cancer Some forms of lymphoma Cancer that has spread to the brainInfections. Sinusitis and meningitis can cause headaches. Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses. These are hollow passages in the bones around the nose. With meningitis, the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord swell.Cancer treatment. The following cancer treatments can cause headaches: Some types of chemotherapy, such as fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil) and procarbazine (Matulane) Radiation therapy to the brain Immunotherapy, a treatment that boosts the body's natural defenses to fight cancerOther medicine. Medicine for cancer-related symptoms or other conditions can cause headaches: Antibiotics, used to treat infections Antiemetics, used to prevent or treat vomiting Heart medicineCancer-related side effects or other conditions. Symptoms or side effects related to cancer or cancer treatment can also cause headaches: Anemia, a low red blood count Hypercalcemia, a high level of calcium Thrombocytopenia, a low platelet count Dehydration, a loss of too much water from the body.
This may result from severe vomiting or diarrhea.Other factors. Stress, fatigue, anxiety, and sleeping problems may also cause headaches.Diagnosing headachesYour doctor will assess your symptoms and medical history. He or she will also conduct a physical exam. This information will help determine the headache type and cause.Tell your doctor if you have headaches with these features:
They are frequent or severe.They wake you at night. They have new patterns or a change in frequency. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. This uses magnetic fields to produce detailed images of the body.
Other tests, based on the headache pattern and symptomsTreating and managing headachesWhen possible, doctors treat the condition that causes the headache.MedicationThese medications may prevent and treat headaches or reduce the pain: Over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) Prescription narcotic pain relievers, like codeine Tricyclic antidepressants
Triptan medications, like sumatriptan (Alsuma, Imitrex, Zecuity) Steroid medications, especially for headaches caused by cancer that spreads to the brain
Antibiotics, if an infection is causing the headacheTell your doctor about any over-the-counter pain medication you take.Other strategiesThe following may help reduce the number and severity of headaches: Get enough sleep. Eat well. Reduce stress.Additionally, complementary medicine may help relieve and prevent headaches. Complementary medicine techniques include:
Acupuncture, the use of fine needles placed in specific points of the body massage.
RelaxationTalk with your health care team about controlling your headaches with complementary medicine.Related ResourcesCoping with CancerManaging StressEvaluating Complementary and Alternative TherapiesHeadacheWhat Is A Headache?Headache, pain in the head, can have many causes.
The most common causes of headache are tension and sinusitis. Other headache causes include; migraines, cluster headaches and eye problems. Some chemotherapy or biologic therapies may also cause a headache. For example: headache can be part of the flu-like syndrome associated with various biologic therapies. It also can occur because of the irritation to the lining of the brain and spinal column when chemotherapies are given intrathecally (directly into the spinal fluid).
Because a headache can also be caused from more serious complications such as bleeding, meningitis, or high blood pressure other disorders may need to be ruled out when it is unclear why a headache is present.A tension headache is usually described as a band-like pain around the head, which may be more severe at front or back of head, with no other symptoms.
A tension headache usually lasts no more than 3-4 hours, although may have some discomfort for days.A sinus headache is usually described as a pain in forehead or cheeks, made worse by coughing or bending down. Often a sinus headache includes nasal discharge and blockage. The sense of smell and taste may be reduced. Commonly occurs 3-10 days after a cold.
A sinus headache usually clears within 3 weeks, even without antibiotics.How To Manage Headache Symptoms:
Rest in a quiet, dimly lit room.
Perhaps, relaxing music would help soothe your headache.
Cool cloth on the forehead.
A sinus headache may be helped by warmth and steam. A headache originating in the back of the head or neck may be related to muscle tension - heat and/or massage may help. Complementary therapies that have shown some benefit to those suffering from chronic headaches are; massage, acupressure and reflexology (massage limited to the feet or hands). Discuss this with your health care professional as to whether this may be appropriate for your headache.Drugs That May Be Recommended By Your Doctor: Analgesics such as acetaminophen. Do not take more than the recommended amount of acetaminophen in a 24 hour time frame. No more than 4 grams (gm) of acetaminophen should be taken for headache treatment. Higher doses may lead to toxicity to the liver.
Check the bottle for the milligram dose (mg) of each pill, 1000mg = 1gram. If you are taking medications that have acetaminophen as one of the ingredients, this needs to be taken into account of the total dose for the day. For example: Percocet® and Darvocet® each contain 325mg of acetaminophen per pill. It is important to review all of the medications you are taking with your health care professional.
If you have a bleeding disorder, you should avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs, as well as aspirin, because these drugs may interfere with blood platelets, and prolong bleeding. Use of such drugs to treat headache should be discussed first with your healthcare professional. Over-the-counter decongestants: Usually containing pseudoephedrine. If the headache is due to sinus irritation.When to Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider:
Headache follows a head injury. Severe headache, especially if it starts suddenly. Other headache symptoms such as vomiting, visual disturbance, neck stiffness, drowsiness, confusion, made worse by coughing or lowering head, rash, weakness in an arm or leg, or numbness.
Headache not going away after three days.Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website about sinus headache, tension headache and other medical conditions is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
chemoresistanceche·mo·re·sis·tance (kē'mō-rē-zis'tants),The resistance of bacteria or malignant cells to the inhibiting action of certain chemical substances used in treatment.Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012chemoresistance /che·mo·re·sis·tance/ (-re-zis´tans) specific resistance acquired by cells to the action of certain chemicals.Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.chemoresistance1 a specific resistance by components of a cell to chemical substances.2 the resistance of bacteria or a cancer cell to a chemical designed to treat the disorder.
Write what you mean clearly and correctly.
Recurrent GlioblastomaNEDD4-1 may regulate the proliferation, invasion, migration, and chemoresistance of lung ADC cells through the PI3K/Akt pathway, suggesting that it may be regarded as a therapeutic target for the treatment of lung ADC.Upregulation of Neural Precursor Cell Expressed Developmentally Downregulated 4-1 is Associated with Poor Prognosis and Chemoresistance in Lung Adenocarcinoma15,64] Hypoxia-induced autophagy also imparted chemoresistance in HCC cells.Hypoxia-induced autophagy in hepatocellular carcinoma and anticancer therapyThe poor response to chemotherapy is hypothesized to be due to either chemoresistance commonly seen in neuroendocrine tumors of other sites, or the lack of an appropriately determined regimen.
Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Breast33 A lower Bax/Bcl-2 ratio is associated with chemoresistance and adverse cytogenetics in AML.Recent advances in diagnostic and prognostic aspects of acute myeloid leukaemiaTherefore, novel strategies to overcome chemoresistance are urgently required.Salinomycin enhances doxorubicin sensitivity through reversing the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of cholangiocarcinoma cells by regulating ARK5The higher urolithin A concentration mixture was most effective at inhibiting the number and size of colon-cancer stem cells and inhibiting the activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase, a marker of chemoresistance.
Pomegranate Improves Markers of AgingThis nanoparticle formulation provides new and promising properties, including overcoming the mechanisms of chemoresistance developed by tumour cells that affect the efficacy of chemotherapy agents.Onxeo receives Notice of Allowance from USPTO for Livatag in hepatocellular carcinomaCurrently, authors advocate that the recurrence and chemoresistance are the main problems for its treatment.Expression of CD133, E-cadherin and WWOX in colorectal cancer and related analysisDr Gottesman, whose research interests include mechanisms by which cancers become resistant to chemotherapy, reinforced in his keynote address that traditional monolayer cell culture models used to study tumor chemoresistance have proven to be woefully inadequate.3D Cell Culture experts assemble for inaugural new frontiers in 3D conference hosted by CAAT53) Although it remains to be elucidated whether the altered metabolism directly affects carcinogenesis or chemoresistance, it seems likely that metabolism plays an important role in reprogramming cancer cells to the pluripotent state.Getting to the heart of the matter in cancer: novel approaches to targeting cancer stem cellsImmediate and transient phosphorylation of the heat shock protein 27 initiates chemoresistance in prostate cancer cells.Prostat Kanseri Tedavisinin Gelecegi Apoptotik indukleyicilerde mi?/Does the Future of Prostate Cancer Treatment Lie with Apoptotic Inducers?
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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Visit for more related articles at Gynecology & ObstetricsAbstractOvarian cancer is one of the most deadly malignancies in women because of its poor prognosis and that a majority of patients are diagnosed at advanced stage. Therefore, chemotherapy becomes the most important treatment option in most ovarian cancer cases. However, chemoresistance in relapsed cases is the major obstacle for the clinical management of this disease. Mounting evidences have suggested the de novo (intrinsic) and acquired (extrinsic) chemoresistance are two major underlying mechanisms occurring in human cancers.
The de novo chemoresistance is attributed to the existence of cancer stem cells, while the genetic and/or epigenetic alterations in dysregulation of oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes contribute to the acquired chemoresistance. In this review, we will summarize and discuss the recent findings of the above mechanisms in chemoresistance and particularly, we will focus on the significance of putative miRNAs expressions and their associated signaling regulations in the development of acquired chemoresistance in ovarian cancer.
SummaryChemotherapy is a major treatment modality for ovarian cancer, but chemoresistance is a clinical problem that compromises the efficiency of treatment and finally results in treatment failure. The development of resistance to chemotherapeutic agents might be related to multiple mechanisms such as alterations in drug transport, changes in cellular proteins involved in detoxification, altered drug target, changes in DNA repair mechanisms, and increased tolerance to drug-induced DNA damage.
ConclusionsThe molecular basis for chemoresistance is largely unknown and there is a continuing requirement to develop new strategies for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
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