Types of Cancer You Need To Be Worried About Before 50

June 07, 2019

 

Cancer affects a very large number of number of people globally. Not only does this disease affect countless number of Australia men and women but also cause suffering to family, friends and communities. With nearly 1 in 2 Australians predicted to be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85, cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia. Cancer Council Australia predicts 145,000 new cases to be diagnosed in 2019 and estimates almost 50,000 cancer-related deaths this year alone.

 

What is cancer and what are its risk factors?

Cancer is a disease that causes uncontrolled and abnormal cell growth in the body. These abnormal cells can invade and damage surrounding tissues and organs and can spread to other parts of the body, causing further damage.

Although the causes for most cancers are not fully understood, multiple risk factors have been recognised to cause cancer development. Examples include:

  • Age
    The likelihood of cancer development increases with age, with highest cancer incidence being above 60-65 years of age.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption;
    Alcohol consumption can cause mouth, throat, and liver cancer, among others and can travel through the blood causing damage all over the body
  • Prevalent tobacco consumption;
    Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor causing nearly one-tenth of all reported cancers in Australia.
  • Unhealthy diets;
    Eating fast foods, for instance, can cause obesity due to high amounts of processed meat and fatty foods. This, in turn, can increase risks of cancer development.
  • Physical inactivity and obesity;
    Obesity can cause body inflammation and increased hormone levels, which, in turn, can increase risks of colon and breast cancer.
  • Chronic infections;
    Repeated infections cause viruses, bacteria, and other germs to be present in a person’s body, increasing risks for certain types of cancer.
  • Lack of Sun-protection;
    Ultraviolet radiation from the Sun can damage skin cells and lead to abnormal cell growth.
  • Occupational exposure to radiation, chemicals and other agents;
    Workplace exposure through inhalation or skin contact with hazardous agents can cause a range of cancers.
  • Unsafe sex;
    The Human papillomavirus (HPV) virus can spread via unsafe sexual activities with  affected persons. HPV is a very important risk factor for the onset of
    cervical cancer
  • Hormonal factors in women;
    Fluctuations in hormonal levels in women could cause the development cancers of the breast, ovary and endometrium
  • Exposure to excessive pollution; and
    Being in excessive contact with pollution can cause cancers of the skin, lung and bladder
  • Family history and genetic susceptibility
    Inheriting genes from a family with high susceptibility to cancer could increase risks of the disease.

 

Should everyone be worried about cancer?

Although cancer development is heavily linked with older age, many early-onset cancers uncommonly existing affecting children, teenagers and young and middle-aged adults. Common early-onset cancers affect:

  • Thyroid gland;
  • Brain and spinal cord;
  • Testicles;
  • Cervix and ovary;
  • Breasts;
  • Connective tissues, and muscles (sarcosoma);
  • Bones (lymphoma)
  • Red blood cells (leukaemia);
  • Skin (melanoma); and
  • Colon and rectum (colorectal cancer).

 

How to prevent cancer?

To prevent cancer development, simple lifestyle changes can make a very big difference. Examples include:

  • Limiting alcohol consumption;
  • Preventing tobacco consumption;
  • Healthy diet;
  • Staying physically active and fit;
  • Sun protection;
  • Appropriate protection to occupational hazards;
  • Safer practices of sex;
  • Immunisations and vaccinations;
  • Partaking in cancer screening; and
  • Knowing family history.

 

Treatment options for cancer

Various treatment options exist for treating cancer and many involve coupling of therapies for a more efficient and effective treatment. Examples of treatment options include:

  • Chemotherapy;
    Involves using drugs to destroy or slow the growth of cancer cells.
  • Radiotherapy;
    High energy radiation are delivered through the skin to destroy or slow cancer cell growth.
  • Hormone therapy;
    Hormone producing glands are surgically removed. This is a common treatment for breast, prostate and uterine cancers.
  • Surgery;
    In combination with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, it ensures all remaining cancer cells in the body are removed.
  • Targeted therapy;
    Involves using drugs treatment that attack specific molecular features of cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy; and
    A cancer drug treatment targeting the body’s immune system to fight back and attack cancer cells.
  • Other treatment options.
    Other options include naturopathy, immune therapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology and meditation that are used either to cure a person’s cancer or to help control symptoms.

At Ubuntu Medical, we care about all aspects of health and well-being. We have a group of allied health professionals to assist with all patients needing help regarding this illness. Furthermore, our GPs, Dr. Julie O’Connor and Dr. Kathy O’Sullivan will provide you the best information regarding cancer and support and guide with utmost care. 

Call Ubuntu Medical on (07) 3857 3777 or email us at [email protected]