In this study session, you have learned that:
- Cancers are characterised by the rapid creation of abnormal cells which grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs.
- A tumour is a solid mass of new cells growing in an inappropriate location; they can be benign (harmless) or malignant (life-threatening cancers).
- The human body is made of fluids and cells of many different types with specific functions; cancers can start in cells in any organ or tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
- The symptoms and signs of cancers are easily confused with other chronic conditions, and depend on where in the body the cancer is growing; there is no characteristic defining symptom or sign of cancer.
- Age, genetic factors, cigarette smoking, chewing khat, drinking excessive alcohol, high fat diets, obesity, exposure to chemicals or viruses, and lack of exercise are some of the risk factors for cancer.
- About 30% of all cancers can be prevented by having a healthy lifestyle and avoiding tobacco, alcohol, fatty food, exposure to chemicals and unprotected sexual intercourse.
- There is no clear cause of breast cancer, but it can usually be treated if it is detected early enough. Teaching women about breast self-examination can save many lives through early detection and treatment.
- Cervical cancer is mainly caused by infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV); it can be prevented by following the ABC rules (Abstinence, Be faithful, Condom use). Early detection by regular Pap smear tests followed by treatment can save many lives.
- The palliative care given to someone who is terminally ill with advanced cancer includes management of symptoms such as pain and nausea, and physical, practical and spiritual support for the dying patient and their family members.
Last modified: Thursday, 3 July 2014, 7:03 PM