Cancer, of course, is one of the most feared illnesses. Cancer is an abnormal tissue growth that, unless controlled or removed surgically, will threaten adjoining tissues and may lead to death. Eternal vigilance to any abnormal growth is necessary on both the part of the patience and the doctor.
Cancer must be detected and removed as early as possible, before it has a chance to spread or metastasize to other parts of the body.
The most common cancers are cancers of the lung, the colon, and the breast in women and of the prostate in men.
The most effective treatment of cancers is excision of the offending tumor. When this cannot be done in time, both radiation and chemotherapy can play an important role in slowing or stopping the growth of cancerous tissue.
Because radiation and chemotherapy can cause 'collateral damage' to cells other than cancer cells, both must be carefully 'targeted' in order to limit damage to other tissues. Radiation and chemotherapy primarily affect growing or dividing cells. Thus, collateral damage may include damage to bone marrow, cells in t he gastro-intestinal tract, and hair growth.
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