Effects Of Cancer On The Body

Effects Of Cancer On The Body

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  • 4 Answers
    A Integrative Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Cancer fatigue is a common side effect in people being treated for cancer, and may persist after treatment is completed. People with cancer fatigue will describe feeling weak, tired, exhausted, and may spend considerable time resting, therefore making it difficult to complete normal daily activities. This fatigue can significantly impact quality of life. There are many factors that may contribute to cancer fatigue. This fatigue may be a symptom of cancer or can result from cancer treatments. In addition, depression, sleep disturbances, malnutrition, and inactivity may all contribute to cancer fatigue. For this reason, an integrative cancer treatment approach may be helpful for managing cancer fatigue. Medical treatments may be helpful as well as psychosocial support, prescriptive physical activity, nutrition support, and in some cases dietary supplements.
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  • 1 Answer
    A answered
    There are many different causes of sexual functioning concerns in female cancer survivors. Some are physical causes. Others may be due to changes in how you feel about yourself, your body, or other aspects of your life after cancer.

    Certain types of cancer, such as those that affect sexual organs, can put survivors at risk for problems. Approximately half of survivors of breast cancer and other cancers that affect the pelvic area (such as the cervix, ovaries, uterus, bladder, colon, or vagina) develop long-term sexual problems. Yet, most problems are actually caused by treatment and not the cancer itself.

    Some ways treatment can affect sexual functioning include:
    • Chemotherapy can damage the ovaries, causing hormonal changes and temporary or permanent menopause in younger women.
    • Radiation can affect the vagina, cervix, or uterus.
    • Surgery or radiation therapy can affect cancers in the pelvic area (bladder, colorectal, cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, or vulvar cancer).
    • Side effects of medicines used to treat pain, nausea, depression, or anxiety can affect sexual functioning.
    If possible, talk with your healthcare team about the risks for problems with sexual functioning before you begin cancer treatment. There may be things that can be done to minimize risks. If you have already undergone treatment, talk with your doctor about finding ways to treat symptoms or concerns now.

    Certain emotions can also contribute to intimacy challenges such as:
    • Sad or depressed feelings
    • Concerns about being less attractive
    • Stress in the relationship with your partner
    • Difficulty with self-esteem because of physical changes
    If physical changes affect how a woman feels about herself or her body, this can also contribute to sexual problems. For example, it may be more challenging for someone who was uncomfortable with sexuality or had tension in a relationship before cancer. If you have these types of concerns, ask your doctor for a referral to a licensed counselor who has experience working with cancer survivors.
  • 1 Answer
    A answered
    After effects can be described as long-term or late effects of cancer and treatment. Aftereffects can range from very mild to serious. They may vary from one survivor to the next. Doctors cannot always predict if any will occur or how long-lasting they will be. Treatment can help you manage aftereffect symptoms so you can live a full and happy life. 

    Long-term effects develop during treatment and are lingering or chronic (do not go away). They continue after treatments are over. Many long-term effects improve or resolve with time such as anemia, fatigue, or anxiety (feeling worried). Some survivors may experience long-term effects that are permanent such as limb loss, weakness, or nerve damage.

    Late effects are delayed and can surface months to years after treatment ends. Generally, the earlier these problems are identified, the easier they are to treat. Some late effects are long-lasting or permanent such as certain types of heart disease or lung disease, lymphedema (swelling in a limb due to blockage of the lymph system), osteoporosis, depression, and second cancers.

    Examples of aftereffects include:
    • Physical: Fatigue, scars, or loss of limbs
    • Emotional: Anxiety or depression
    • Practical: Challenges with employment or getting health insurance
  • 1 Answer

    RF energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation.

    Electromagnetic radiation can be divided into two types: Ionizing (high-frequency) and non-ionizing (low-frequency). RF energy is a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. Ionizing radiation, such as that produced by x-ray machines, can pose a cancer risk at high levels of exposure. However, it is not known whether the non-ionizing radiation emitted by cellular telephones is associated with cancer risk.

    Studies suggest that the amount of RF energy produced by cellular telephones is too low to produce significant tissue heating or an increase in body temperature. However, more research is needed to determine what effects, if any, low-level non-ionizing RF energy has on the body and whether it poses a health danger.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

  • 2 Answers
    The following are recommendations for oral health care when undergoing cancer treatment:
    • You should continue to gently brush teeth twice a day unless the dentist recommends otherwise. You should use fluoride toothpaste and look for products that display the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance.
    • Patients who receive cancer treatment of the head and neck sometimes discover that they cannot tolerate the flavor of their regular toothpaste. If this happens to you, you can try another flavor that will not irritate mouth tissues.
    • Continue to gently floss once a day. If the gums are sore or bleeding in places, you should avoid those areas but continue to floss other teeth until the condition improves.
    • Your dentist may recommend a mouthrinse in addition to daily brushing. You also may be advised to use fluoride gel at home to help reduce the likelihood of tooth decay.
    • Rinse your mouth several times a day with a solution of baking soda and salt, followed by a plain water rinse. Use one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda and one-eighth teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water. This is particularly helpful if you experience vomiting after cancer treatment.
    • If dry mouth develops, your dentist may recommend a saliva replacement, available at pharmacies. Taking frequent sips of water, sucking on ice chips or sugar-free candy, or chewing sugarfree gum may provide relief.
    • Eat a balanced diet. Soft, moist foods such as cooked cereals, mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs may be suitable if your mouth is sore.
    • Avoid using tobacco and alcohol and schedule regular dental checkups. Your dentist and physician both want your treatment to be as safe and effective as possible.
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    Cancer is second only to heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. It will claim more than 500,000 lives this year. Many forms of cancer can be avoided, and a great number can be cured if they are detected early.

    Cancer is actually a group of more than a hundred separate diseases. All are characterized by an abnormal and unregulated growth of cells. The growth destroys surrounding body tissue and may spread to other parts of the body – a process known as metastasis.

    Some of the more common types of cancer include:

    • Brain cancer
    • Skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma being the most common)
    • Lung cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Prostate cancer
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Colon cancer
    • Lymphoma
    • Leukemia

    There are many others as well.

    Cancer has the potential to develop anywhere in the body, and to people of any age. Cancer -- unlike infectious diseases such as the flu (influenza), AIDS or tuberculosis -- is not contagious. It is usually caused by genetic damage inside an individual cell. When cancer affects a cell, the cell is called malignant. Unlike normal cells in the body, malignant cells divide (in most cases) more rapidly than they should. That's important because many drugs used to fight cancer (called antineoplastic or anticancer drugs) attack cells that are malignant during the active phase of cell division.

    You may know someone whose hair fell out during treatment for cancer. That was because the anticancer drug(s) affected not just the malignant cells but also the normal hair follicle cells, which divide rapidly.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Nausea and vomiting are among the most troubling complications of cancer. If nothing is done. The patient gradually loses a large amount of weight. This wasting away, called cachexia is a sign that the body has started to use up all of its energy reserves. After it burns all the energy stored in fat cells, it begins using the muscle cells. Rapid weight loss is one of the most serious signs of trouble for a cancer patient.

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    Tumors cause destruction in three common ways:

    • They put pressure on nearby tissues and/or organs.
    • They invade tissues and organs directly (direct extension), often damaging or disabling them in the process.
    • They make invaded tissues and/or organs susceptible to infection.
    Tumors can also release substances that destroy tissues in close proximity to them.

  • 1 Answer
    A answered

    Cancer and treatment can affect survivors in different ways. One area of life that might change is the ability to have or enjoy sex. These types of changes in women following cancer or treatment are sometimes referred to as female sexual dysfunction. The cause may be physical or emotional.

    The following may be indicators that it is time to talk with your doctor about concerns related to sex after cancer treatment:

    • Loss of desire for sex
    • Negative thoughts and feelings during sex
    • Difficulty reaching climax
    • Vaginal dryness and tightness
    • Pain during sex or when your genital area is touched.
  • 1 Answer
    A answered
    Cancer survivors who experience temporary or permanent physical changes to their bodies may be at risk for having a poor body image as they learn to adjust to changes in their bodies. The effects of a temporary physical change on your body image may last for a short time. A permanent physical change may have a more lasting effect on your body image.

    Examples of temporary changes that can affect your body image:
    • Hair loss
    • Weight loss
    • Weight gain
    Examples of permanent changes that can affect your body image:
    • Amputations, such as, limbs or mastectomies where prostheses
             can be fitted
    • Permanent stomas, e.g. colostomy or ileostomy (an opening on the
             abdomen created surgically to empty contents of bowel into
             a bag)
    • Infertility
    • Scars from surgery or tattoo markings from radiation fields