Continuing our series on listing out Cancer alphabetically today, we explain to you the types of Cancer starting from alphabet B.
1) Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma is cancer that grows on your skin which is in direct contact with the sunlight, although this is a type of skin cancer it is of less risky and treatable early when detected.
This type of cancer usually never spreads from one point to another point however if not detected early and treated these may spread to nearby Bones and Tissues.
Basal Cell Carcinoma usually starts as a small bump where the sun is exposed frequently like face, hands, etc.
They usually do not show up early however constant exposure to UV radiation might trigger tumors.
The tumors show up with a small lump on the skin which might be of red, black or brown in color with blood capillaries in it, they look like a mole or a pimple on the skin which never tends to go away on medication for the same.
Sometimes on the onset of the tumor, you might notice skin turning like a hard wax and there will be hard skin growth. These tumors are soft on the skin that they bleed easily.
An external check of your skin will be done by your doctor if any suspicious lump or blister-like symptom on the skin is found, there might be a biopsy of the skin. Sometimes the doctor might take some of the skin cells beside the tumor for lab checks.
If your doctor confirms you about the diagnosis of Basil Cell Carcinoma there are several methods to treat cancer.
a) Tumor Removal: This method is where there is involvement of scraping out the skin cells in and around the tumor region.
Here the doctor will numb the region around the tumor region and will take out the cancer cell and send it across the lab for further check. If confirmed, the doctor will scrape off additional skin surrounding the tumor.
b) Using a small voltage of electricity: Here your doctor removes the tumor by scraping off the skin in and around the cancer cells, later he/she uses a small voltage of electricity using an electric needle to kill additional cancer cells present on the skin.
c) Radiation and Cryotherapy: These type includes using X-ray or Liquid Nitrogen to kill cancer cells.
d) Mohs surgery: Named after Frederic E. Mohs who invented this type of surgery. This surgery is cost-effective and a gold standard one where it detects most of the Basil Cell Carcinoma and it can be completed within a day or two.
This surgery involves the doctor cutting skin cells which are supposed to be carcinoma and the pathologist will observe the cells in the lab, once detected the doctor removes the surrounding cells and sends it across the lab.
The process is repeated until the doctor finds no carcinogenic cells present. This surgery has the highest cure rate for Basil Cell Carcinoma and it leaves some healthy tissues so that they are not removed during surgery.
e) Creams and Pills: Prescribed creams and pills will be provided if BCC is detected which should be applied/taken in the long run. The progress of these will be done during every visit to the doctor.
Prevention: Usage of sunscreen whenever heading to the sunny region and not be under the contact of direct sunlight for a long period of time. Also, a through routine self-body check is required whenever you are under suspicion of cancer.
2. Bile Duct Cancer
This type of cancer affects bile duct where it is a connecting organ between liver/gallbladder to the small intestine. Bile Duct produces a fluid called bile which helps in digestion of fats from the food which is consumed.
Commonly Bile Duct cancer affects people around the age of 50 and above and men are most prone to this type of cancer.
- Bile Duct stones – similar to kidney stones or gall stones, stones will be accumulated in the bile duct. These might be of smaller size compared to the other
- Choledochal cysts: there will be changes to skin lining of bile duct where it is preliminary detection of bile cancer.
- Liver Infection: Eating unprocessed meat, fish and other food items might have parasitic organisms that affect bile duct with an infection which might further increase your risk for cancer.
- Cirrhosis – Consuming alcohol and hepatitis can cause scar along the walls of bile duct hence they risk chances to get cancer.
Cancer can grow in any part of the bile duct. There are three types: intrahepatic (inside the liver), perihilar (where the ducts leave the liver), and distal (closer to the intestine).
Common symptoms include Jaundice, Pain in the abdominal area, Nausea, Weight loss, Loose stools, etc.
a) Physical Exam and Blood tests:
In these tests, your doctor takes all your background history of your daily activities and also your lifestyle like do you drink, smoke, etc.
Once done he will look out for external symptoms such as discoloration of the skin, masses or fluid buildup in the body.
Here the doctor can order blood tests to check if the liver is working fine as it should be by checking bilirubin level where the physician can determine any symptoms related to cancer.
b) CT Scan, MRI and Abdominal Ultrasound:
Here your doctor might order either CT Scan or MRI depending on the situation, CT scan is a process of projecting a high beam of X-ray so that it can take Images of the organ, MRI is a process where powerful magnets are used to capture images.
Once the images are taken and processed the doctor can pinpoint the location where the tumor is present.
It is a tool where there is a camera attached at the end of the cable when inserted they let take series of images or live video of esophagus, liver, and intestine to determine where the cancer is located.
These imaging tests check your bile ducts for problems. In ERCP or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, the doctor can look for tumors there.
You’ll be lightly sedated. He’ll use an endoscope to inject dye into your bile ducts, then take X-rays.
This process is where the doctor cuts a small incision in your belly and a thin tube with a small camera will be inserted, with a screen he’ll check the liver, gallbladder and other organs.
This will be done while you are asleep hence you won’t feel any pain. In this process, your doctor can take a small sample of duct cells and send it across to the lab for further research.
Bile duct cancer can be treated with many different techniques.
There are 2 types of surgical methods, Curative and Pallative where Curative involves surgery where cancer had not widespread and can be completely removed during surgery, pallative is where the cancer is widespread and the bile duct needs to be completely removed.
This process is done before the surgery so that the tumor cells can shrink and can be surgically removed, sometimes chemotherapy can be administered after surgery so that there won’t be any further growth of tumor cells.
iii) Stent Placement:
A small tube-like stent is placed atop your blocked duct, this allows bile juice to be transported to the liver and intestine.
iv) Liver Transplant:
A rare case where it involves surgically removing the affected liver and a donor’s liver is transplanted so that the liver starts functioning correctly.
This is done with a team of trained doctors. It involves taking many immunosuppressant drugs and can need to be monitored closely.
Bile duct cancer can be prevented by regular checkups, quit smoking and drinking, also take vaccinations for Hepatitis B, STD’s and do check regularly for Liver Cirrhosis.
3. Bladder Cancer
Cancers affecting Bladder which is a muscular sac in the pelvic region. The bladder lies just above the Pubic Bone. Urine flows through ureters from the kidney to the bladder, it is surrounded by muscle tissue which helps in the storage of urine.
Bladder Cancer is one most common form of cancer, it occurs more in men rather than women. This type of cancer usually affects adults however due to diet and other habits, it can affect people of any age.
Bladder Cancer often begins with a tumor which affects the cells lining the bladder, although it is most common in the bladder it might continue to grow in other parts of the urinary tract drainage system. There are 3 types of Bladder Cancer namely
a) Urothelial Carcinoma – Also known as Transitional Cell Carcinoma, this is one of the most common types of Bladder Cancer. This affects normal cells which are walled the most innermost lining of the bladder where they go on uncontrollable growth of tumor cells.
b) Squamous Cell Carcinoma – These carcinomas are the resulting form in case of bladder infection where they grow in flat masses. This is also caused due to infection which has been affected bladder from a very long time.
c) Adenocarcinoma – One of a rare type of Bladder Cancer where glandular cells of the bladder are affected, glandular cells are the type of cells that secret glands.
Although the exact cause of how bladder cancer is under research, however, changes in DNA may be one of the reasons why this is caused.
There are a number of causes that may trigger bladder cancer such as carcinogens, tobacco smoking, chemical exposure at workplaces, Aristolochia fangchi (A Chinese herb which is used in traditional medicines).
These are the factors which might be included on the causes which also includes
Age, Race, History of bladder cancer from the paternal or maternal side, birth defects, chronic bladder information, etc.
Symptoms of bladder cancer include:
1) Blood in Urine
2) Urgent, Painful and frequent urination.
3) Pain in the abdominal and lower back.
4) Change in bladder activities
Blood in Urine is a preliminary sign of Bladder Cancer. Usually, bladder cancer cannot be noticed until it has affected strongly, blood cannot be noticed at the beginning however upon urine tests minute particles of blood can be noticed, if affected from a long time the color of blood changes from colorless to pink or orange.
Bladder cancer is rated according to how it is affected.
a) Stage 0 bladder cancer hasn’t spread past the lining of the bladder.
b) Stage 1 bladder cancer has spread past the lining of the bladder but hasn’t reached the layer of muscle.
c) Stage 2 bladder cancer has spread the layer of muscle in the bladder
d) Stage 3 bladder cancer has spread into the tissues surrounding the bladder.
e) Stage 4 bladder cancer has spread past the bladder and to neighboring tissues surrounding the bladder
Your doctor will diagnose Bladder cancer and will rate upon diagnosis. Cancer can be diagnosed by
ii) Internal Examination where your doctor will physically examine walls of the rectum for any symptoms of lumps
iii) CT Scan
v) Biopsy where your doctor will take out a small sample of tissue from the bladder and send it across to the lab for detecting.
vi) Cystoscopy where your doctor will insert a small tube with a camera where they can notice any lumps inside the lining of the bladder.
vii) Retrograde Pyelogram – This test is done where dye is injected into the ureter, this connects to the kidney and when the dye is slowly drained through the tube it can notice any blockages inside and can diagnose the tumor.
i) Based upon stages Bladder Cancer is treated.
ii) Stage 1 bladder cancer is treated by surgery where tumor cells are removed along with its surrounding areas, later will be addressed with Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy.
iii) Stage 2 and 3 of bladder cancer is treated by the removal of the bladder along with chemotherapy.
Once the whole bladder is removed a surgery is conducted for a new way where urine can exit from the body. Before the surgery, the doctor can address Chemotherapy to reduce the tumor so that it can be removed.
iv) Stage 4 Is where chemotherapy is conducted before removing the bladder, this one is done to extend lifespan, once the surgery is conducted they can be more radiation therapy, immunotherapy to control the growth of a tumor. Clinical Trial Drugs may be administered.
Bladder Cancer can be prevented by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables particularly green leafy vegetables, also smoking and drinking should be stopped as they are one of the main reasons for this type of cancer.
Drink more fluids where the excess of fluids might flush away most of the harmful chemicals inside your bladder.
4. Bone Cancer
Bone cancer is where there is abnormal growth of cells or tumor forms inside the bone. It might be a malignant tumor, which will be spreading to other parts of the body. Bone Cancer is one of the rare forms of cancer.
Types of Bone Cancer:
1) Multiple Myeloma – One of the most common types of Bone Cancer where the tumor originates in the bone marrow and spread to other bone. This type usually affects elderly aged people.
2) Osteosarcoma – This form generally affects children and adolescents where it affects hard tissue surrounding bones, usually originates in hips and other long bones.
3) Chondrosarcoma – One of the most primary forms of cancer this affects adults where it originates in subchondral tissue which is the connective tissue between bones. Usually affects the pelvis, thigh areas, and shoulder.
4) Ewing’s Sarcoma – one of a rare type of bone cancer where it affects soft tissues connecting bones in children and young adults.
Cause for Bone Cancer is still under research however factors such as Carcinogenic chemicals, X-Ray, Abnormal Cellular growth might be one of cause.
High dosage of Radiation Therapy received to cure other forms of cancer might be one of the reasons where Bone Cancer can be caused.
a) Pain or swelling of the bone is affected.
b) Hard mass in long bones.
c) Feeling tired, weight loss, appetite loss.
d) Bones get easily fractured.
i) Bone Scan where your doctor tests the condition of bones.
ii) Biopsy where a small sample of bone marrow is taken and sent over to the lab for further diagnosis.
iii) Imaging like X-ray, CT Scan, MRI scan will be undertaken to get an imprint of bone structure.
iv) Blood Test
* Depending on your age, weight, and location, size of tumor your doctor can administer you ImmunoSuppression drugs.
* Radiation Therapy – where you will be blasted by Radiation rays where it attacks tumor
* Surgery- to remove the tumor, your doctor will perform surgery and later may ask you to undertake chemotherapy.
* Bisphosphonates where you are administered to prevent bone loss and protect the bone. Cytotoxic drugs are also provided to prevent cancerous cells.
Although there have been no details of how to prevent Bone Cancer we might reduce the risk by quitting smoking or intake of alcohol or drug substances. These substances might cause cancer so quitting them would help you to reduce the risk.
5. Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that affects cells present inside breasts. One of the most common types of cancer after skin cancer which affects women is breast cancer.
This type of cancer is where you notice a lump or swelling of breast or changes in the skin color of nipples. All lumps may not be cancerous but it would be helpful if you notice any changes to get it checked immediately.
Types of Breast Cancer:
1) Angiosarcoma – It is a rare type of cancer that affects blood vessels and lymph vessels. This can occur anywhere in the body where you can notice by swelling or by a purple color rash on the skin.
2) Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – This type of cancer mostly affects milk ducts or mammary glands, which is non-invasive and mostly is a malignant type of cancer.
DCIS can be detected by a mammogram where this can be noticed by bloody discharge or discoloration of nipples.
Factors include increasing age, menopause, family history or by genetic mutations. This can be detected and removed via surgery where your doctor will surgically remove breast tissue for diagnosis.
3) Inflammatory Breast Cancer – This type of cancer is quickly noticeable by its red swollen and tender breasts. This occurs when cancer cells block lymphatic vessels in breasts which constructs drainage of blood.
Symptoms include swollen breasts with a red coloration. Thickness and heaviness of breasts. The affected breasts might be warm and there will be aching.
4) Invasive Lobular Carcinoma – this type of cancer also affects milk-producing glands where it is invasive form and has the potential to spread to other parts of the body.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma is one of the most common types of breast cancer. This can be identified by swelling, thickening or by the change in the texture of breasts.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma can be prevented by quitting smoking and drinking, also need to maintain body weight and follow a healthy diet, discussing with your doctor if you notice any changes.
5) Lobular Carcinoma – This type is not a form of cancer but it acts as a medium for cancer where the risk of getting cancer is high if you are diagnosed by Lobular Carcinoma.
This type of carcinoma usually affects milk glands where abnormal cells are formed. Lobular Carcinoma cannot be detected by a normal mammogram however can be done via biopsy.
6) Pagets’ disease – It is a rare form of breast cancer that starts from nipples and extends to aerola. Where one can notice small flaky skin, or a crusty hardening of nipples and areolas, bloody discharge and it feels like tingling sensation.
Some of the risk factors are History of breast cancer in the family, age, inherited by gene, excess weight, Alcohol and exposure to radiation.
7) Male Breast Cancer – Although taught as Breast Cancer mainly affects females. Breast cancer can affect females due to the presence of breast tissue.
Symptoms are similar to all other types of breast cancer where you would notice swelling, a lump in the tissue. Changes in the structure of skin covering breast, nipples, and discharge of fluids from nipples.
Male Breast cancer can be diagnosed by Ductal carcinoma, Lobular Carcinoma or any other form. Risk factors include Exposure of Oestrogen, Family history, Obesity, Testicle Surgery or Klinefelter’s syndrome where humans are born with an extra pair of X Chromosome.
- Change in size and shape of the breast.
- Change in skin coloration of breasts.
- Peeling, scaling of skin covering breasts.
- Bloody Discharge or hardness from nipples.
- Redness of the skin.
- Pain in armpits.
- Hormonal, Lifestyle changes affect breast cancer.
- Intake of alcohol
- Family history inherited from the gene pool.
- Exposure to carcinogens.
- Menopause, having children at an elder age.
After diagnosing via biopsy, your doctor will surgically remove the cancer cells and their surrounding cells so that they won’t spread to nearby tissues. Once done the patients need to have regular checkups.
Chemotherapy: This might be taken when cancer has spread to most of the tissues and is a very high risk.
Your doctor might advise Estrogen Blocking medication or selective estrogen receptors where it helps in reducing the risk of breast cancer by blocking the cells from multiplying.
Breast cancer can be prevented by early diagnosis. This can be done by regular checkup or self-examining your breasts to notice any changes in breast tissue, nipples or areolas.
Exercise daily and limit your intake of alcohol. Maintain a strict diet and a healthy weight. Limit your intake of post-menopause drugs and therapy.