In colloquial usage, the term tumor is often confused with cancer. A tumor can lead to cancer, but does not have to. Cancer is a malignant growth that initially starts from the tumor.
What is a tumour?
A tumor is a swelling, a palpable increase in tissue. A tumor is also referred to as a new cell formation, cell growth or neoplasia. Tumors can occur in all tissues and arise from all of the body’s own cells. For introduction to metamorphopsia, please visit sciencedict.com.
The term tumor can be used to designate signs of inflammation, accumulation of water or cysts. In a narrower sense, however, a tumor means either malignant or benign new growth of body tissues based on a misdirection and dysregulation of the processes responsible for the healthy growth of cells.
If left untreated, tumors lead to a more or less severe impairment of the organism and can be a cause of death due to cancer and the associated formation of daughter cells to the tumor.
Graphic illustration and infogram of a typical cancer cell.
Since tumors initially develop in an organ-specific manner, triggers and factors that are unhealthy for the body in general and for these organs in particular can contribute to the formation of the tumor. The unhealthy lifestyle of a person, which consists of mainly greasy, heavily fried food, too little plant-based food and excessive consumption of alcohol and nicotine, can, for example, lead to the formation of tumors in some organs such as the stomach, nasopharynx and respiratory organs to lead.
In addition, increased body weight and restricted cardiovascular activity promote the development of tumors, since the body’s immune system can be weakened. There are also a number of external influences. These can be various chemical substances that trigger tumor growth and are found in food, water or the ambient air.
Tumors in the stomach are mainly based on a nitrosamine-rich diet and the intake of nicotine. In addition, radioactive rays and some drugs and hormones contribute to the promotion of tumors.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The uncontrolled growth of cells can cause various problems in the body. As the malignant cells gradually multiply, a mass of increasing size develops. If it grows in the abdomen, for example, it can displace other organs. This leads to pressure pains that increase in intensity more and more.
In organs in which unlimited growth is not possible due to bony structures, corresponding pressure marks appear very early. Symptoms of intracranial pressure due to a tumor in the brain can include severe headaches, dizziness and blurred vision. A tumor in the lungs can grow unnoticed for a relatively long time and, like many types of tumors, only causes symptoms when the organ can no longer perform its tasks due to the mass.
A persistent cough can be a sign of a tumor, as can phlegm or shortness of breath and a feeling of tightness in the chest. However, some tumors show their typical symptoms rather unnoticed. Depending on its location, a skin tumor can go unnoticed for a long time, and the first signs such as bleeding from the tumor are mistakenly attributed to accidental scratching. Precisely because the symptoms that a tumor can cause are often unclear, cancer screening is of particular importance.
A tumor can lead to various complications. First, a distinction must be made as to whether the tumor is benign or malignant. It should be noted that benign tumors such as moles, lipomas, hemangiomas or fibroids can also lead to complications. Fibroids can burst. Hemangiomas can damage the vessels. Benign tumors can put pressure on the spinal cord or areas of the brain. This can lead to serious additional symptoms of illness. A benign brain tumor is therefore just as dangerous as a malignant one.
One of the most common complications of a malignant tumor is the formation of metastases. The metastases often affect vital organs such as the liver, lungs or brain. They can also be found on skeletal bones. In addition, depending on the location and degree of growth of a tumor, anemia or a life-threatening intestinal obstruction can develop. Compression of blood vessels or nerve cords can cause severe pain or paralysis. The tumor can grow through organs or render them non-functional.
Tumor fever can also weaken the patient. The blood supply can be cut off. Open wounds can develop. Fistula formation is not uncommon. The treatment of a tumor can also have complications. In addition to nausea and vomiting as side effects of chemotherapy, severe weight loss and even life-threatening anorexia are possible. Radiation can cause burns, operations carry the risk that tumor cells can spread. The surgical scars can cause additional pain.
When should you go to the doctor?
A doctor should be consulted if there is a sudden or gradual deterioration in general health. If physical or mental performance drops, everyday obligations can no longer be fulfilled or well-being decreases for no apparent reason, a doctor is needed. Growths, swellings or changes in the appearance of the skin should be examined and checked by a doctor. If functional disorders occur, if there is an inexplicable malaise and a feeling of illness, the symptoms should be clarified. If existing irregularities increase in scope and intensity, it is advisable to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Sleep disorders or an increased need for sleep are considered warning signals from the human organism. They must be followed up if the complaints persist. If personality changes, disturbances in locomotion, or pain are noticed, a doctor should be informed of the irregularities. Mood swings are just as much part of the formation of a possible tumor as an increased susceptibility to infections or exhaustion. If a tumor forms in the human organism, a continuous increase in symptoms and changes can be seen, regardless of its structure. These can last for years or show up within a few days or weeks. A doctor should be informed of the abnormalities as early as possible, as premature death can occur if treatment is not given in good time.
Treatment & Therapy
Tumors are treated directly at the site of their origin and depending on their type, whether they are benign or malignant, and the extent of their development. Different forms of therapy can be considered, which are not always carried out independently of one another. In principle, surgical removal is usually carried out as soon as the tumor is detected.
Depending on various factors, radiation with ion beams or what is known as polytherapy or chemotherapy can then be helpful. The measures are often coordinated and combined to ensure safety. Some tumors have very specific characteristics, so that immunotherapy has proven to be successful in this context.
In the context of preventing the development of a tumor, numerous herbal medicines are recommended as extremely effective. In addition, a healthy lifestyle is beneficial in most cases to prevent tumor formation. In order to prevent the growth of tumors as far as possible or to detect even the smallest changes as early as possible, both your own observation of the body and the preliminary tumor examinations are very helpful.
This includes palpation of the female breast, early detection examinations from the corresponding risk age and visits to the doctor in the event of atypical impairments and pain. Extensive preventive medical check-ups are advisable if there is a family history of tumors.
Regular exercise is also described as having a prophylactic effect against tumors. In addition, exercise and staying in the fresh air strengthens the immune system, which can also be achieved through a healthy diet.
Aftercare follows the actual cancer treatment. The patients are cared for individually. Tumor follow-up care is an important part of cancer therapy. One of the most important goals of tumor follow-up care is the timely detection of a new tumor or metastases (secondary tumors) in other parts of the body.
With an early diagnosis, appropriate treatment measures can be initiated immediately, even before symptoms set in. The patient’s quality of life also plays an important role in cancer aftercare. It is important to clarify what consequences the disease or its therapy will have on the everyday life of the people affected. The patients are also supported by the therapists in dealing with the serious illness.
If necessary, they can establish contacts with different contacts. These include psycho-oncologists, cancer counselors, nutritionists, social services, self-help groups and sports groups. In addition, the doctor draws up an individual aftercare plan based on the type, extent and treatment of the tumour.
It is not uncommon for there to be a smooth transition between tumor therapy, follow-up and follow-up care. The duration of the follow-up treatment depends on how long the patient suffers from the effects of the tumor disease and when the risk of a recurrence has decreased. As a rule, five years are estimated for this.
In addition to the type of tumor, the side effects and late effects of the disease and treatment as well as the individual course of the cancer are important for aftercare.
You can do that yourself
Which measures can be taken during tumor treatment itself depends on the type of tumor and the patient’s state of health as well as the chosen therapy.
In the case of classic tumors, which are usually surgically removed, rest and bed rest apply after the procedure. If necessary, the patient has to change his diet and support the body through sport and physiotherapy. It is also important to get a lot of sleep and to take the prescribed medication regularly. In addition, the doctor should be consulted regularly so that the course of the disease can be monitored. Due to the relatively high risk of a recurrence forming, it is also necessary to pay attention to any warning signs of the body.
After chemotherapy, the body is usually severely weakened and also needs to be taken care of. At the same time, psychological complaints sometimes occur, which need to be treated in a discussion with a therapist. Anxiety disorders or depression can develop, especially in the case of long-term illnesses, which must be treated with the help of a specialist and, if necessary, drug therapy. In the case of a tumor disease, patients should always follow the treatment plan recommended by the doctor.