Cancer

Cancer

All you need to know to beat cancer.

Cancer is a disease in which the body cells multiply and grow uncontrollably due to certain abnormal genetic changes at the cellular level.

If left untreated, the abnormal growth of cells will involve much deeper structures and spread to other parts of the body. 

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Cancer

All you need to know to beat cancer.

Cancer is a disease in which the body cells multiply and grow uncontrollably due to certain abnormal genetic changes at the cellular level.

If left untreated, the abnormal growth of cells will involve much deeper structures and spread to other parts of the body. 

More Details

  • What is Cancer?

    Cancer is a disease in which the body cells multiply and grow uncontrollably due to certain abnormal genetic changes at the cellular level.

    If left untreated, the abnormal growth of cells will involve much deeper structures and spread to other parts of the body. 

    Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide killing up to 10 million people in a year. It is therefore important that we understand what cancer is and how we can prevent it.

  • Why is the diagnosis usually made so late?

    Cancer remains undiagnosed in most people because there may be no noticeable symptoms in the early phase of the disease.

    The symptoms more often than not become apparent when the disease has begun spreading from the primary organ to surrounding body structures.

    With the education of the public, more people are embracing annual or biennial checkups which increase the chances of numerous cancers being caught early.

    Keep reading to learn more about cancer.

  • Learn More About Cancer

    What are the common types of cancer?

    While there are very many types of cancer, the following occur more commonly; 

    • Breast cancer 
    • Lung cancer
    • Prostate cancer 
    • Colorectal cancer 
    • Melanoma
    • Bladder cancer 
    • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 
    • Kidney cancer
    • Endometrial cancer 
    • Leukemia 
    • Pancreatic cancer 
    • Thyroid cancer 
    • Liver cancer 

     Why do people get cancer? 

    Studies have shown that cancer starts off as a genetic mutation in a small group of cells which multiply rapidly and overwhelm the normal regulatory mechanisms of cell growth.

    The same studies have shown that certain factors increase your risk for developing various cancers: –

    • Older age
    • Using tobacco
    • Obesity
    • Alcohol use
    • Exposure to some chemicals 
    • Exposure to radiation
    • A family history of cancer (genetic predisposition)

  • Is Cancer Preventable?

    Most types of cancer are preventable when simple lifestyle modifications are incorporated into our day-to-day lives.

    These include:

    • Physical activity – at least 3o minutes of vigorous excercise daily
    • Healthy, balanced diets- with natural, unprocessed foods forming the bulk
    • Moderation or avoidance of alcohol use
    • Avoiding smoking
    • Undergoing regular wellness check-ups at least once a year
    • Vaccination to prevent infection with Human Papilloma Virus – the virus that predisposes to cervical cancer

    There are cancers however that cannot be prevented such as those linked to certain hereditary genetic mutations.

  • What symptoms should I watch out for?

    Cancer symptoms are not very specific. They mimic symptoms of other illnesses.

    However, some symptoms have been identified more commonly such as: –

    • unexplained weight loss
    • unexplained fatigue
    • progressive loss of appetite for stomach cancer
    • difficulty/painful swallowing as seen in oesophageal cancer
    • change in bowel habit for colon cancer
    • swelling or lumps on any part of the body
    • change in urinary frequency and volume in the case of prostate cancer
    • blood in urine
    • new-onset seizures (i.e. with no history of epilepsy)

    The occurrence of any of these symptoms in a previously well individual should prompt an evaluation by a qualified medical professional.

  • What will happen during the consultation?

    When you notice any of the symptoms above and seek a consultation with a general medical doctor, the doctor will take the history and perform a physical examination.

    The doctor may order some specific lab tests and imaging tests to confirm or rule out their suspected diagnosis.

    The tests ordered will depend on age, gender, and the particular symptoms you presented with.

    The results will determine whether further specialized tests or referral to a specialist is required.

    If the results are normal, reassurance and advice on when to seek another consultation will be offered.

  • What Screening Tests should I get?

    The screening tests advised will vary with age, gender, and any physical symptoms experienced at the time of ordering the tests.

    The male screening tests are mainly blood tests to check for certain tumor markers that are elevated in prostate cancer or colorectal cancer.

    The female screening tests detect elevated tumor markers for breast, ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancers.

    However additional screening procedures such as imaging and histological procedures may be ordered.

  • What specialists are involved in the management of cancer?

    Various specialists will be involved in the care of someone diagnosed with cancer.

    These vary depending on the stage and type of cancer. They include:-

    • Oncologists (for all inoperable cancers where chemo may be used)
    • Urologists (for cancers of kidney, bladder, testes, or prostate)
    • General Surgeons (for thyroid cancers, breast cancer, and any cancer of the intestinal organs)
    • Orthopedic surgeons (for bone cancers)
    • Neurosurgeons (brain and spinal cord cancers)
    • Ophthalmologists (for cancers of the eye and its’ various structures)
    • Pulmonologists (lung cancer)
    • ENT Surgeons (cancers of the ear, nose, and throat, and other head and neck organs)
    • Maxillofacial surgeons (cancers of the oral cavity)
    • Gynecologists (cancers of the female reproductive tract e.g. uterine cancer, ovarian and cervical cancer)
    • Pathologists/Haematologists (for cancers of the bone marrow or various blood cells)

  • Who is an Oncologist?

    An oncologist is a specialized doctor who has undergone extra training on the diagnosis and management of cancers.

    This type of doctor will advise on how cancer can best be managed depending on the type and progression of the disease.

    Apart from advising, this doctor can employ various modalities of treatment such as:

    • Chemotherapy – the use of pharmaceutical agents(drugs) to manage cancer where applicable and as far as the patient can tolerate
    • Radiotherapy – the use of electromagnetic waves to shrink the cancer cells to a smaller size to manage the disease
    • Palliative care – managing the disease through non-aggressive measures due to advanced disease

  • What next after the diagnosis?

    A positive diagnosis of cancer can be an emotionally daunting prospect.

    However, the journey is never the same for all patients. For some, the cancer is diagnosed very early and the disease can be cured completely by removal of the cancerous tissue with very little recurrence rates.

    For others, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may successfully manage the condition.

    For patients whose disease has already spread to other organs, they would benefit from palliative care packages to maintain their quality of life and manage any arising medical complications.

Frequenty Asked Questions

  • What is the Ponea Health booking experience?

    Ponea Health’s e-commerce platform offers a one-stop point for all your cancer screening and specialized care needs. Book a vetted doctor from a wide selection of doctors conveniently and discreetly at the comfort of your home, hotel, or office. You can opt for a teleconsultation or a facility consultation.

  • What is Ponea Health price comparison?

    Ponea Health is an aggregator of various health services and providers that work together to guarantee holistic patient care. Through the Ponea Health e-commerce platform, you are able to compare an array of vetted providers such as doctors, laboratories, and imaging centers offering similar services at different price points and locations.

  • Do I have to visit a hospital to get my lab samples taken?

    Through Ponea Health’s mobile phlebotomy services, you can have your samples collected by a vetted professional at the comfort of your home, office, or hotel. The short turnaround times for sample processing and dispatch of results to both yourself and the doctor guarantees prompt diagnosis and treatment.

  • How do I get my medications?

    Ponea Health’s e-pharmacy platform is a 24hour service that is dedicated to delivering medication promptly and conveniently to your home or preferred pick-up points. Through the upload prescription functionality, submit your prescription for processing and get your medication delivered right to your doorstep.

  • What do the ratings on my doctor mean?

    Doctors on Ponea Health e commerce platform are rated based a combination of their qualifications, continuous professional advancement and overall patient satisfaction. This guarantees you get the highest attainable level of care.

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