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Cancer Essay

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Cancer (medical term: malignant neoplasm) is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display ''uncontrolled growth'' (division beyond the normal limits), ''invasion'' (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes ''metastasis'' (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood). There are over 150 types of cancers.

Cancers in teens:-
1. Osteosarcoma
(Pronounced: os-tee-oh-sar-koh-muh) is the most common type of bone cancer. In teens, it can sometimes appear during their growth spurts and tends to show up in people who are taller than average. In most cases, there is no known cause for osteosarcoma.

Fig. 1. Leg affected by Osteosarcoma

The most common symptoms of osteosarcoma are pain and swelling in an arm or leg that is sometimes accompanied by a lump. Some people have more pain at night or when they exercise. Osteosarcoma is most often found in the bones around the knee but can occur in other bones as well. In some cases, a tumour can spread or metastasize (when cells from a tumour break away from the original cancer site and travel to a different tissue or organ) to the lungs and other bones. Treatment

Treatment for osteosarcoma usually involves chemotherapy (medication that kills cancer cells) as well as surgery to remove the tumour. A doctor may perform limb-salvage surgery, where the bone that has cancer is removed and the limb (usually an arm or leg) is saved from amputation by filling the gap with a bone graft or special metal rod. In other cases, a doctor may need to amputate (remove) part or the entire limb to fight the cancer. Most people develop side effects, such as hair loss, bleeding, infections, and heart or skin problems, from medicines used in chemotherapy treatment for osteosarcoma. Chemotherapy may also increase the person's risk of developing other cancers in the future. The good news is that most teens with osteosarcoma do recover. 2. Leukaemia

Leukaemia is one of the most common childhood cancers. It occurs when large numbers of abnormal white blood cells called leukemic blasts fill the bone marrow and sometimes enter the bloodstream. Because these abnormal blood cells are defective, they don't help protect the body against infection the way normal white blood cells do. And because they grow uncontrollably, they take over the bone marrow and interfere with the body's production of other important types of cells in the bloodstream, like red blood cells (which carry oxygen) and platelets.

fig.2.A baby suffering from leukemia : symptom-purple spots Symptoms
Leukaemia causes problems like bleeding, anaemia (low numbers of red blood cells), bone pain, and infections,purple spots and patches on body.It can also spread to other places like the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, brain, and the testicles in males. Treatment

Virtually all people with ALL and AML are treated with chemotherapy, and some also receive stem cell transplants, in which they are given new stem cells from another person. Bone marrow transplants are a common form of stem cell transplantation. Some p...

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