The stages of cancer are names used to classify the amount of damage a cancer has done to the body. As a cancer grows and spreads, it goes from stage 0 (least damage) to stage 4 (most damage). These stages also help to define the types of treatment that would be most effective in fighting the cancer. Exact definitions of the stages vary, depending on the type of cancer and the area of the body in which it starts (primary cancer). Because we regular people have little understanding of these details, we're going to describe cancer stages in general terms. If you're discussing a specific diagnosis of cancer with your doctor, get the exact scientific name, stage and body system(s) it was found in (in writing) for more detailed research.
A tiny amount of cancer (tumor) is found only in the place where it started. When the doctor says the "C" word (cancer), the next word you want to hear is stage 0. In most cases,
A larger tumor is found only in it's original location, but may have spread to the connective tissue around the original location. Stage 1 is usually still very treatable. Often, surgery and/or radiation therapy can eliminate the problem.
Depending on the specific type of cancer, stage 2 can be a larger tumor, more than one tumor in the same location, or a tumor which has spread to the nearby tissues, blood vessels or lymph nodes. This is where things can get a little scary. Speed is important with all malignant cancers but if you've been diagnosed with stage 2 or above, make sure your doctors get you priority treatment for all tests and consultations. No one is going to care like you care. In some cases, surgery and/or radiation can eliminate the problem, or reduce the tumor load so chemo-therapy has a better chance to fight the cancer.
Depending on the specific type of cancer, the tumors are larger or more numerous and the cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes, organs, fatty tissue bones and/or blood vessels. This is more difficult. Depending on the locations and extent of the cancer growth, surgery is sometimes used to reduce the tumor load and improve the effectiveness of chemo-therapy.
Depending on the specific type of cancer, tumors of varying sizes have spread to vital organs, bones, blood vessels, lymph nodes and/or other tissues, even in distant areas of the body. This stage of cancer is not always fatal. Often, even in fatal cases, a combination of therapies can extend life and improve quality of life. A lot depends on how aggressive your type of cancer is. Some people live for years after being diagnosed with a cancer in stage 4. My sister died after surgery for a stage 1 cancer, due to her lousy physical condition.
If you've been diagnosed with a malignant Cancer, always retest and get a second opinion from another doctor. Once confirmed, work with your doctor to make sure nothing you do interferes with the medical treatment. Get the specific diagnosis in writing, including the name and stage of the Cancer. Search the National Cancer Institute and other websites to learn all that's being done for your cancer. Print relevant pages and make a list of specific questions for your doctor. Write down his answers and check them on the web. I know the doctor has a good education, but this is your health and your life. The actions to help prevent Cancer below can often be used in stronger doses to fight cancer, but check with your doctor.
To help prevent Cancer: If your family or lifestyle (see causes, above) puts you at a higher risk, you should consider these things essential to help prevent Cancer: Follow a low fat diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fill your life with aerobic activity and exercise. Make sure you're drinking enough water. Supplement your diet with natural Multi-Vitamins and Multi-Minerals, along with extra doses of the following to strengthen your immune system:
Antioxidants; including Beta Carotene, Flavonoids, Lycopene, Vitamin A, Zinc, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and CoQ10. Organic Germanium; 300-450mg divided into 3 doses a day. Fiber; 12-15 grams extra from vegetable sources or supplements. Garlic; 3 cloves per day. Omega 3; 3 per day, 1 at beginning of each meal. Lecithin; taken with the Omega 3. Molybdenum Selenium Echinacea Lipoic Acid
Total Healing: Health conditions can be frustrating and painful...sometimes even fatal. We both know there are no guaranteed cures or quick fixes, whether medicine, nutrition, herbs or anything else. Many illnesses are "incurable" from the medical standpoint. Complete healing is possible...including mind, body and spirit...from God. If you want God's help with this or any problem, go to Help From God.
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