Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they’re often referred to as colorectal cancers. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps become colon cancers. Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying polyps before they become colon cancer.
Anal cancer is a rare form of cancer that occurs in the anus. The anus is a 1 1/2-inch tube at the end of your rectum through which stool leaves your body. Muscles called sphincters surround the anus and control bowel movements. While anal cancer is rare, its incidence appears to be increasing, though it isn’t completely clear why.
In general, cancer begins with a genetic mutation that turns normal, healthy cells into abnormal cells. Nobody know what causes the genetic mutation that triggers the development of anal cancer. However, they have identified several factors that may increase the risk of anal cancer.
Treatment for anal cancer in the past typically meant extensive surgery and the removal of the anus. Today doctors have found ways to control anal cancer through radiation and chemotherapy, saving the anus and preserving normal bowel function for anal cancer survivors. But that isn’t always possible for late-stage anal cancers. However, the majority of anal cancer is caught in its earliest stages — when treatment provides the best chance for cure.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect a woman’s reproductive organs. Various strains of the human papillomavirus , a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cases of cervical cancer. When exposed to HPV, a woman’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small group of women, however, the virus survives for years before it eventually converts some cells on the surface of the cervix into cancer cells. Half of cervical cancer cases occur in women between ages 35 and 55.
Thanks largely to Pap test screening, the death rate from cervical cancer has decreased greatly over the last 50 years. Around the world, cervical cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in women.
Mouth cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Mouth cancer can occur on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks, and the roof and floor of the mouth. Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called oral cancer or oral cavity cancer. Mouth cancer is one of several types of cancer grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly.
Signs and symptoms of mouth cancer may include:
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from nerve cells found in several areas of the body. Neuroblastoma most commonly arises in and around the adrenal glands, which have similar origins to nerve cells and sit atop the kidneys. However, neuroblastoma can also develop in other areas of the abdomen and in the chest, neck and pelvis, where groups of nerve cells exist. Neuroblastoma most commonly affects children age 5 or younger, though it may rarely occur in older children and adults. Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer in babies and often has a very good prognosis in children younger than 1.
Neuroblastoma begins in neuroblasts — immature nerve cells that a fetus makes as part of its development process. As the fetus matures, neuroblasts eventually turn into nerve cells and fibers and the cells that make up the adrenal glands. The majority of neuroblasts mature by birth, though studies have found a small number of immature neuroblasts in newborns. In most cases, these neuroblasts will mature or disappear. Others, however, form a tumor — a neuroblastoma. However, because neuroblastoma usually affects very young children, researchers believe the mutation occurs during pregnancy, or possibly even before conception.
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