The cancer patient’s Road to Calvary

The cancer patient’s Road to Calvary

In this chapter I’ll discuss the various stages you’ll encounter over the course of the disease. From my experience I know that the better prepared a person is, the easier it is for him to accept what’s coming, to get past all of the difficult obstacles in his path and to start talking to other people about his experiences. First station – diagnosis Being diagnosed is a shock and also inspires feelings of fear, confusion, disbelief, desperation and hopelessness… In…

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Is it possible to be spontaneously cured of cancer?

Is it possible to be spontaneously cured of cancer?

Tales of a spontaneous cure (accidental, inexplicable, not connected with treatment) are very popular in the oral folklore of patients, when a terminally ill patient, without the aid of any medical professionals, gradually gets better and lives to a ripe old age. How beautiful this would be, if it were only true! It’s not uncommon for a mistaken diagnosis of cancer to be given while looking at symptoms of another illness. Every doctor has also seen a few cases where…

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Other characteristic tumour parameters [2]

Other characteristic tumour parameters [2]

Over the past 20 years our knowledge of the molecular biology of tumours has increased significantly. This has led to the discovery and development of a number of biological or molecular markers, which have allowed us, in practice, to confirm their role in many different tumours. All of these biomarkers can be conditionally divided into two large groups – prognostic or predictive markers. Prognostic markers Prognostic markers are indicators, which allow us to evaluate the potential course and outcome of…

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Other characteristic tumour parameters [1]

Other characteristic tumour parameters [1]

In an earlier blogpost I wrote about how to understand the TNM Classification used in your medical records. Now I’ll familiarise you with other factors that are just as important in determining your treatment strategy and which are important to understand. G or grading Earlier, the phrase tumour differentiation grade was often used. Today, tumour grading is a broader concept, which reflects how much the tissues of the tumour differ from normal tissues of the respective organ. The grade also…

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TNM Classification

TNM Classification

Most patients (but not all) will no doubt notice this collection of letters and additional letters or numbers in their lab results and health records. This is an international anatomically-based classification system for malignant tumours, which was devised by Pierre Denoix in the 1940s. The first TNM Classification was published in 1968 by the International Cancer Research Organization. Although doctors in Latvia are currently using the 7th edition of this classification system, the 8th edition was published on January 1,…

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Why do illnesses recur?

Why do illnesses recur?

There is always a risk for people who have survived cancer that the disease will recur and that is frightening. Furthermore, when compared to healthy people, they have a much larger risk of developing tumours in other parts of the body. I know a man who had colon, thyroid, kidney and basal cell skin cancer and he’s still alive to this day. There are many such cases, so why does this happen? We can partly explain this with a body’s…

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The most common myths and half-truths about cancer

The most common myths and half-truths about cancer

Myth – Cancer is a death sentence People are often convinced that if they’re diagnosed with cancer that they’ll also die from the disease.  One must remember that each individual’s personal experience also plays a large role in this kind of thinking. It’s possible that the patient has had a close friend who suffered from cancer and perhaps even died after a long and protracted battle with the disease. Naturally, there are many different cases to be considered. However, the…

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Metastasis [3]

Metastasis [3]

The development of remote haematogenous metastases is the most dangerous manifestation of a tumour’s progression. However, despite extensive studies of metastases in different tissues and organs, the reasons why and how cancer cells enter the bloodstream and why metastases spread via the lymphatic or circulatory systems are still not fully understood. Why does a cancer cell feel the need to travel? What motivates it to do so? How does it choose its next home? Even in the second half of…

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Metastasis [2]

Metastasis [2]

In the majority of cases (nearly 90%), metastasis and the corruption of many organs and tissues by cancer cells is the cause of death for oncology patients. This is much more complicated than one or more nodules in the liver, lungs or brain. As a result of the metastasis, the way the body and many of its systems (metabolic and immune) function has been significantly altered. That’s also the reason why metastatic illnesses still can’t be as successfully treated as…

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Metastasis [1]

Metastasis [1]

Metastasis is the spread of tumorous cells to distant tissues and organs throughout the body. This process occurs in a number of ways – by growing directly through the natural boundaries of an organ and into a neighbouring organ or by spreading via natural cavities, via the lymphatic system or circulatory system. Opinions have changed over the years regarding this complicated process. In the beginning, cancer was believed to be a local process. As it advances, cells travel to the…

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