Defining Cancer

From the Physician’s Desk….Queen – Your Clinician and Cancer Advocate!

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There are many text book answer to the posed question, “What is Cancer?” but many patients and caregivers still feels lost after reading explanation. Why is that? Because, truthfully, not only do they want to know what this disease is, but most importantly why they or their love one got it! Cancer is “disrespectful” and can affect the very young, the very old and every age inbetween.

FACT: Even though heart disease is the number #1 cause of death, many fear the word “cancer” much more than they do “heart attack.” The reasons vary, but here is one theory.

Simply put, cancer is your body “misbehaving.” A group of cells have gone “renegade”, either because they do not want to “turn off” the signal to stop growing, or “turn on” the signal to die (cell death/apoptosis). So they grow out of control. HOWEVER, a tumor an be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).  Trying to understand why a cell will not die when it is suppose to (so keeps on growing), or why a cell will not stop growing when the signal to stop is broken can only be explained at a molecular level. That concept can be challenging. The heart however is a mechanical pump, like that of a car. The comparison and explanation is much easier.

So, why do people get cancer? Why can’t they just develop something to turn off the cancer cell growth and kill the cancer? Much research is being done to that end. In the mean time, we will address what the standard of care is today as we continue to hope and pray for a cure in the future. You have a choice to know what the cancer team knows, so that the best decision can be made. Ready? Lets go!


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Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

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