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Princess of Wales and King Charles: One in two people will develop cancer in their lifetime – the diseases and treatments explained

The Princess of Wales had a moving video message on March 22 to address speculation about her health. In it, the future queen announced that it had been her with a diagnosis of cancer The following tests were carried out after she underwent major abdominal surgery at a London clinic in January.

Catherine explained that she was undergoing “preventative chemotherapy” – but stressed that her operation was successful and that she was “doing well” and “getting stronger every day.”

The message was this second announcement a cancer diagnosis in the royal family in the last few weeks. February 5th, Buckingham Palace published a statement that with King Charles III. an unknown form of the disease had been diagnosed Cancer, unrelated to the treatment he received for an enlarged prostate.

The statement said he had begun “regular treatments.” The king postponed all public duties during his treatment supposedly continued with his “constitutional role as head of state, including completing paperwork and holding private meetings.”

That’s cancer most common cause of death worldwide. One of two People develop some form of cancer over the course of their lives – so the disease affects almost every family. However, many cancers can be cured if the disease is present, as appears to be the case with the king recognized early and treated effectively.

What is cancer?

Our bodies are made up of more than 100 billion cells, and cancer typically begins with changes in a small group of cells – or even a single one.

We have different cell types depending on where in the body they are and what function the cell has. The size, quantity and function of each of these cells is usually tightly regulated by genes – groups of codes in our DNA – that give the cells instructions to grow and divide.

However, changes (mutations) in DNA can change the way cells grow and multiply – often forming a lump or solid tumor. Cancers can also develop in blood cells, such as: B. Cancer of the white blood cells called leukemia. This type of cancer does not form solid tumors; Instead, the cancer builds up in the blood or sometimes in the bone marrow, in the core of the bones, where blood cells are produced.

By and large, they exist more than 200 Cancers, but all begin with mutations in the DNA contained in every single cell.

What exactly are mutations?

Think of your DNA as a big recipe book and your genes as individual recipes for making different dishes. Mutations are blemishes or missing words in this recipe that may result in important ingredients not being added to the mix.

Regardless of the type of cancer or the cells from which it arises, mutations in our genes can cause a cell to no longer understand its instructions.

These mutations can occur randomly during division, but can also be the result of lifestyle choices such as: Smoke, DrinkAnd inactivity.

Research has shown that the transformation of a normal cell into a cancer cell occurs from anywhere one to ten different mutations are usually required.

How is cancer treated?

Cancer treatment options depend on a variety of factors, including where your cancer is, how large it is, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. The main treatment options for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to attack and kill cells that divide rapidly in our body. This approach is effective in fighting fast-growing cells in various types of cancer – but it also has negative side effects. It also targets healthy cells that divide quickly, such as hair and the cells that line our digestive system. This may result in frequent reporting Side effects such as hair loss, nausea and diarrhea.

chemotherapy can be used both preventatively – as in the case of the princess – and therapeutically.

Preventive chemotherapy, also known as adjuvant chemotherapy, given after surgery or other primary treatments to eliminate remaining cancer cells in the body. The aim is to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back (so-called recurrence).

Therapeutic chemotherapy is used as a treatment option for cancers that have spread or are already established, such as advanced stage cancers.

surgery This involves the physical removal of cancerous tissue and surrounding lymph nodes – small glands in your body that act as filters through which cancer can spread – to eliminate the tumor. Surgery is often used to remove localized cancers that have not spread throughout the body.

radiotherapy uses high-energy beams that can target specific areas where tumor cells are located to destroy or shrink the tumor. Radiation therapy can be used externally or internally.

Chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy are often combined in cancer treatment to improve patient outcomes.

Thanks to developments in cancer research over the last 50 years, survival rates have improved greatly – although the rate of improvement has increased has slowed down recently. Surviving cancer depends on various factors, such as age – people under 40 have it greater opportunity of survival – general health and fitness and family history.

What you should do

Certain changes in your body or warning symptoms may indicate the presence of cancer. These include, among others:

  • Unexplained weight loss;
  • fatigue that does not improve with rest;
  • changes in bowel or bladder habits;
  • Persistent cough or coughing up blood;
  • Difficulties swallowing;
  • Persistent pain;
  • You notice lumps, for example in the breast or testicles.

The symptoms do not necessarily have to be due to cancer. However, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor if you notice anything unusual or have persistent symptoms that don’t go away. Early detection and treatment can improve significantly Results for many types of cancer.

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