Cancer is Not Synonymous with Death

More than a name or condition "Cancer is a concept" and encompasses a group of diseases in which anarchic cell growth is a common factor. According to the latest international classification, about 200 entities are cancer.

In Cuba it is the second leading cause of mortality, the first in years of potential life lost and with the most impact on life expectancy at birth. During 2010 it was the leading cause of death in ten provinces and the Isla de la Juventud.

Around 30,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and more than 20,000 deaths recorded. It can affect both sexes and at any age, although aging is considered a major risk factor.

To develop a real offensive against this disease in the shortest time possible, the Ministry of Public Health has a structure called the Independent Section of Cancer Control (SICC) joining their efforts in improving processes related to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and supportive care to patients and families, integrated with the strategic objectives and regionalization of services for specialized treatment.

The efforts of our country in this area are not in vain, stresses Dr. Teresa Romero Pérez, head of the SICC and National Coordinator of the Comprehensive Cancer Control. And she supports her statement by saying that science has established that cancer is largely preventable. "Many are preventable, others detected in the early stages of development can be treated and cured. In advanced stages it is possible to use conventional or alternative treatments to control its progress and provide continuing care."

Science continues to advance in the understanding of its causes. It is known that the use of tobacco is one of the important risk factors for lung cancer, the neck of the uterus is linked to papilloma virus and is now classified as a sexually transmitted disease.

Also a group of risk factors associated with poor diet, lack of physical activity, poor infection control, environmental pollution and poorly channeled stress, are considered as possible causes of cancer. There are several types in which the probability of suffering is greater if you have an affected relative. This occurs in breast, ovary and colon.

As early diagnosis is essential for the treatment and cure of many cancers, Dr. Romero says it is vital to know that regardless of its location, there are common signs and symptoms that can give us "a warning".

Among them cited the presence of a persistent cough, rapid weight loss without good cause, the appearance of a bump on the skin or enlarging of a pre-existing mole, or postmenopausal vaginal bleeding after intercourse, persistent vaginal fluid or discharges and changes in bowel habits.

In children, family members should be aware of the spots in the eyes and increased volume in different regions of the body, and also bone pain. In all cases, the action is to visit a doctor immediately.

Is it curable or at least possible to control this disease? … In Oncology, says the specialist, one speaks of healing when the tumor has not had a recurrence within 10 years following the completion of treatment. This is especially true for cancers that can be detected early and those in which, despite being scattered, are highly sensitive to current treatments.

In cases that can be treated but not cured, the aspiration is the temporary detention or prolonged disease control, similar to that achieved by a science course with other conditions such as diabetes mellitus, chronic asthma.

Dr. Romero concludes: "It would be very useful in this crusade against cancer for the media to continue to help us in the fight for prevention and control of this disease, which in this century is not necessarily synonymous with death ". (Granma)

Source: Periodico

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