Cancer develops when cells in your body start to multiply uncontrollably due to changes in their DNA.
Normal cells contain genetic codes that regulate their function and limit their lifespan, so your body can replace old cells with healthy new cells. Cancer cells don't have the correct genetic instructions, so instead of dying, they continue to divide.
Cancerous cells typically form tumors (lumps of abnormal tissue) or build up in places like your blood and bone marrow. They prevent your immune system from working properly, so your body finds it hard to destroy them.
Cancer can damage healthy tissues all around your body, and in many cases, it spreads (metastasizes) beyond its point of origin.
There are multiple forms of cancer, some extremely rare, while others affect millions of people every year. Examples of the types of cancer the Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine team treats include:
There are three primary skin cancers. The two most common – squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma – are slow-growing. The third, melanoma, is less common but more aggressive.
Gastrointestinal cancers can affect any part of your digestive system, from your mouth and esophagus to your rectum and anus. Types include stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and liver cancer.
The primary forms of blood cancer are leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
Cancers in women include cervical, endometrial, ovarian, and uterine cancers, while men might get testicular or prostate cancers. Both men and women can develop breast cancer, but it's rare in men. You could also develop cancer in your bladder or kidneys.
Another common form of the disease is lung cancer, which is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths.
Symptoms of cancer vary according to which condition you have. However, some common cancer symptoms include:
Many forms of cancer cause few, if any, symptoms until they reach quite an advanced stage. It's therefore vital to attend appropriate screenings at Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine for conditions like breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer.
The treatment you require for cancer depends on the type you have, how advanced the condition is, whether it's spread to other areas, and your age and general health. Surgery to remove tumors might be necessary, and you could benefit from treatments such as:
Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine refers patients to specialists in oncology and radiology, where appropriate, while providing exceptional care management throughout cancer treatment.
To arrange a cancer screening test or discuss any symptoms that are worrying you, call Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine today or book an appointment online.