Cancer is a term denoting a number of diseases and not a single disease in itself. The common trait among all of them is that they cause the cells in the body grow and divide in an anomalous pattern and form tumors.
Cancer specialists or oncologists are trained and qualified to conduct screenings to determine the possibility and severity of different types of cancers and treat the patient accordingly. They may be doctors or nurses who can help you understand and improve your condition.
Cancer is not a common disease among teenagers but there are certain types of cancers which affect youngsters as well. You can find some information here about the most common types of cancers found among teenagers, its symptoms and treatments.
Osteosarcoma is a kind of bone cancer which may occur during growth spurts in teenagers. It usually strikes taller people and is found more commonly in boys than girls. It generally lodges itself in the bones near the knee and sometimes in other bones also. It causes swelling, and sometimes lumps in the limbs.
Cancer specialists suggest limb salvage surgery to remove the cancer surgically and carry out a bone graft to save the limb. Chemotherapy is also indicated, and Chemotherapic drugs can cause side effects like hair loss, infections or skin problems. In very severe cases, if the limb is amputated, prosthesis may help the person return to normal activities.
Ewing's sarcoma is another type of cancer which is similar to Osteosarcoma, affecting mostly the pelvis and legs. Surgery, chemotherapy as well as radiation are required to recover from Ewing's sarcoma.
Leukemia is a type of cancer where white blood cells get infected, and fill the bone marrow and bloodstream in large quantities. These are abnormal cells which hamper the production of red blood cells and platelets.
Teenagers may get affected by acute lymphocytic leukemia or acute myelogenous leukemia. Depending upon the type of leukemia, the cancer specialist may suggest bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy or radiation or a combination of all.
Hodgkin's lymphoma is another cancer that can affect teenagers. It is a cancer that forms in the lymphatic system which works to fight infections. It may cause the lymph nodes of the neck, armpits or chest to enlarge. A biopsy is generally required to determine cancer and can be treated with chemotherapy and radiation.
Testicular cancer can affect younger men and can be completely cured if detected in time. Any abnormal lump on the testicles might be an early sign of testicular cancer. A cancer specialist must be consulted as soon as possible.
Along with prescribed treatment it is important to have a balanced diet and adequate rest. The side effects of treatment may cause loss of appetite or nausea but a dietician can help decide a diet that fulfills nutritional needs and takes care of the sensitive system of the patient.
Youngsters will need help from friends and maybe a tutor who can help them with the school work they miss because of the treatment. Professional help may also be required to manage the overwhelming feelings of sadness and anxiety which are natural while undergoing treatment for cancer.
Alex White is a free lance writer and a Health & Fitness expert who has been associated with several health care providers across various specialties.Â Through his articles, Alex wishes to inform and educate the public about various cancer treatment options which will benefit those who are looking for practical and helpful information on health.