It is well known that detecting cancer earlier is of utmost importance. The ea rlier cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of it getting cured. Cancer may be detected either by self examination or through a visit to the doctor where a suspected tumour is diagnosed as cancer. In other cases cancer is diagnosed incidentally as a result of treating some other medical condition.
Methods of cancer diagnosis
Cancer diagnosis is usually done with a thorough physical examination by your doctor followed by a study of the complete medical history. Some lab tests are used for testing blood, urine and stool to detect abnormalities that indicate cancer.
A tumour is further examined using imaging tests like X-rays, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound and fibre optic endoscopy. Finally to confirm the presence of cancer a biopsy test is relied on and the extracted tissue from the tumour is examined under a microscope to check for cancer cells.
Once the diagnosis for cancer is confirmed positive then further tests are conducted to determine the stage of the disease, this is called staging. At this stage doctors also check that the cancer has not spread to the other parts of the body. It is always best to consult a cancer specialist or oncologist once the biopsy results return positive and then treatment can be started.
What are the cancer treatments?
The doctor will first find out the type and stage of your cancer and then suggest treatments to eradicate the tumour or slow its growth. The treatments will include a combination of surgery to remove the tumour, radiation therapy otherwise chemotherapy to contain it and hormone therapy or immunotherapy.
Other complementary therapies:
Properly planned exercise according to individual health of a patient is beneficial. Exercise can help control fatigue, muscle tension and anxiety in cancer patients. Exercise like walking and swimming not only helps the patient feel better but improves the outcome for cancer treatment.
Behaviour therapies like guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, hypnotherapy and bio-feedback are used to control pain, nausea, vomiting and anxiety. Individual and group counselling and support groups help patients to confront cancer boldly and they feel more optimistic.
Nutrition and Diet
It has been proved scientifically that nutrition has a big role to play in cancer prevention. Cancer is more common in those people with a certain dietary habits. Colorectal cancer is rampant in those who eat red meat regularly.
Vitamins and supplements can also help decrease the risk of cancer. Cetain other supplements should be taken under doctor’s guidance since some cancer can get worse with supplements.
Can herbs fight cancer?
There is no solid evidence to prove that herbs help in fighting cancer or related symptoms. A few herbs may be used to fight off the symptoms though.
Home remedies for cancer
Radiation therapy for cancer can lead to skin damage, so do not scrub the skin, expose it to sunlight, wear tight clothing etc. Apply aloe vera ointment gently and soothingly this will keep your skin from irritation. Eat light snacks through out the day rather than three heavy meals. If your treatment involves lovwer WBC count then avoid contact with other people who are ill since it will cause infections and more complication to your cancer situation.
Apart from the prescribed medicines practice yoga and meditation to feel relaxed and in control.