Life becomes difficult when one encounters cancer. There is no end to emotional and physical trauma. Even after all this, there is no guarantee of recovery. But in recent times, doctors got success in treating some of the forms of cancer. For few of the cancers “C” word is replaced from cancer to “cure”.
But it is difficult to label someone as cured as cancer can come back even after successful completion of treatment. Remission is the term used when cancer is clinically in-evident in person and those who stay free from cancer for 5 years or more are more likely to be cancer free.
Scientific research has helped to increase the life span of people suffering from these 5 types of cancers:
1. Melanoma Cancer
Skin cancer is easily visible in initial phases. It is easily cured by removing the affected part if it has not metastasised. People that are able to cross 5 year mark after diagnosis are 91.5 percent. If melanoma is not caught early and invades the inner layers of the skin then it becomes difficult to cure.
Screening for skin cancer is often helpful. One should keep a check on the dark spots or blotches or newly formed warts. If any such changes are observed then one should immediately inform the dermatologist.
2. Testicular Cancer
This cancer is curable if detected in early stages. Doctors remove testicles having tumor. Even if one of the testicles is removed, the other one remains making sex hormone and father children. Those diagnosed in later stages of testicular cancer can undergo surgery and chemotherapy or radiation. New drug “cisplatin” introduced in 1970s has further improved the survival rates. 95 percent of the people remain alive after 5 year of diagnosis. Even if diagnosed in late stages the survival rate is 73 percent which is still high for any cancer.
For testicular cancer, there are no screening tests and one should visit doctor if a lump is found.
3. Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid is large gland present in the neck is responsible for secreting growth hormone and controlling metabolism of the body. Papillary, the most common type of thyroid cancer grows gradually. Even if the thyroid tumor metastases, this cancer is treatable with surgery. Gland can be removed surgically and medicines be taken orally to compensate the hormone. Most of the thyroid cancers are diagnosed easily and 97 percent of the people are able to live up to or more than 5 years after diagnosis. Only if the diagnosed cancer type is anaplastic thyroid cancer then chances of survival are just 7 percent. But this kind is very rare.
People find tumor in neck when they feel a swelling or lump or trouble in swallowing food. One should visit doctor soon in such cases and an ultrasound be performed as soon as possible.
4. Breast Cancer
Research and advances in modern medicine has made breast cancer as one of the most treatable ones. Condition of breast cancer is understood by doctors better than before. Now more than 90 percent of the women are able to cross the 5 year mark after diagnosis.
If diagnosed earlier, breast cancer is easier to control. Targeted therapies have developed to control the disease. Regular screening and mammograms can increase the lifespan of a person. After 50 years of age women should carry out mammogram every year.
5. Prostate Cancer
Tumors in prostate either have slow growth or they don’t grow. In that case no treatment is required as they are not harmful. Many men live with these tumors without much problem for years. Almost 98.9% people remain fine after 5 years of diagnosis.
If the cancer starts spreading then it becomes difficult to treat it. Only 28 percent of men are able to cross the 5 year mark when cancer metastases or spreads to other body parts. Hence men should undergo regular check-up for prostate cancer. A blood test specifically for prostate protein and rectal examination should be carried out. Also if one encounters any problem, like difficulty in urination or blood in urine then one should inform the doctor. They might be or might not be symptoms of cancer.