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A malignant tumor

A malignant tumor is extremely dangerous for the life of any organism formation, which is composed of malignant cells. The process of tumor development is accompanied by uncontrolled division of cells that can infiltrate adjacent tissue and send metastasis in other organs away.

Malignant tumor is characterized by the following three characteristics:

  • The tumor produces abnormal cells, i.e. those cells that are different from the tissues or organs of which they occurred;
  • For a tumor characterized by cellular polymorphism, it will contain young cells, with a heterogeneous structure;
  • The tumour is characterized by Autonomous growth, that is, its division of the body is not able to control yourself.

Currently, the study of malignant tumors is engaged in this branch of medicine, like Oncology. In foreign countries this science is called cancerologia.

According to statistics, malignant tumor is very often the cause of death, ranking second in the world among all causes of mortality. Ahead of this pathology only to cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that each year 6 million people are exposed to cancer diseases and 5 million of these people die annually. Men suffer 1.5 times more often than women. Depending on the floor often varies and the location of the tumor is of malignant nature. So, the male population of the most vulnerable organs are considered as the lungs, prostate, stomach, straight and large intestine. Women are more susceptible to tumors of the breast, uterus, stomach, skin, intestine (rectum and colon).

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The reasons for the formation of a malignant tumor

Modern oncologists believe thatthe reasons for the formation of a malignant tumor are multiple and it is impossible to identify any single factor leading to the formation of pathological education. Research, the results of which were published in the journal Nature, indicate that most often the development of cancer is influenced by environment than heredity. More than 30 mutations of cells leading to tumor development were carefully evaluated and analyzed. In the end, the results showed that no more than 30% of these mutations occurred due to internal factors, and about 70-90% was directly dependent on exposure to harmful factors of the external environment. Among them: alcohol, Smoking, negative impact on the body of ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, some viruses.

So, modern cancer polyetiological theory identifies the following reasons for the development of malignant tumors:

  • Effect on the body chemical carcinogens. And this effect appears both locally and on the body as a whole. For example, chimney sweeps develops a tumor of the scrotum, smokers have a lung tumor, people working with asbestos tumor of the pleura, etc.
  • Effects on the body physical carcinogens. Physical carcinogens include two types of radiation: ionizing radiation (x-rays, gamma rays, atomic particles) and exposure to ultraviolet rays to induce the development of carcinomas of the skin.
  • Genetic causes the development of malignant tumors. One should not deny the fact that a small proportion of tumors occurs in people due to genetic predisposition. So, the tumor of breast cancer in girls whose mothers suffered the same disease, is more common in three times higher than in the General population. The same applies to tumors of the colon, tumours of the endocrine glands. At this point in time, proven and tracked a genetic link with 50 varieties of tumors.
  • Dependence of development of malignant tumors from the geographical area of residence of the person. While scientifically, this phenomenon has not been explained, but found that geographical factors have a certain influence on the development of cancer in population living in the same area. Scientists believe that the impact of factors such as: feeding habits, climate, environmental conditions, etc.
  • The influence of oncogenic viruses. We should not exclude infectious factors that can trigger the development of a malignant tumor. It is proven that Hep b can cause a liver tumor, virusherpes second type leads to tumors of the cervix.

However, scientists indicate that one of the listed factors is not sufficient to ensure that the person has developed a malignant tumor. You need a combination of several factors, as well as disruption of the human immune system.

In addition to polietiologic theory, indicating the reasons for the development of malignant tumors, there are other theories of their origin, including:

  • The immunological concept means that even the slightest failure in the immune system can lead to tumor formation. Proponents of this theory believe that if the immune system did not destroy at least one mutated cell, then it can development of the tumor.
  • The viral theory has existed since 1946, and indicates that the transformation of healthy cells into tumor viruses lead foot in them. However, at this point in time proved the pathogenic significance of only a few viruses.
  • The concept of germ rudiments indicates that tumors develop from dormant cells that remain in the Bud. Under the influence of some factors, they begin to grow and develop. However, it is proved that the theory applies exclusively to disembroiling tumors.
  • The concept of irritation, which was popular in the 19th century, argues that a tumor is formed in those places of the body which are most exposed to trauma.
  • Another theory is that the tumor is the result of regenerative processes that occur in order to eliminate the adverse impact of carcinogens. This concept is called regeneration-mutation.

However, to fully explain the reasons for the occurrence of all malignant tumors neither one of these theories. Therefore, the most popular remains that is polietiologichesky concept.

The symptoms of a malignant tumor

If we consider the symptoms of a malignant tumor, the specific symptoms will depend on where it is located and what tissues involved in the pathological process. A characteristic feature of all malignant cancer formations is a progressive increase of symptoms. Oncologists highlighted the common symptoms for all tumors with the malignant nature:

  • The syndrome of small signs. This syndrome was first described by Savitsky A. I., who in 1947given the characteristics of malignant tumors of the stomach. Then these symptoms were complemented and generalized. So, early manifestations of cancer are the intoxication and exhaustion. Although it is possible that these signs of a malignant tumor may arise in a later period of the disease.

    The patient starts faster to organize, develop unexplained weakness and fatigue. Parallel suffering appetite. The lack of desire to consume food that leads to weight loss. For tumors of the stomach characterized by an aversion to meat. Progressing anemia, increased ESR level in the blood.

    Another symptom, which should alert patients that a feverthat cannot be explained.

  • Syndrome "plus fabric". This syndrome is characterized by the emergence of new tissue in the area where it should not be. That is, in the body there is a tumor that is not typical. Often it is possible to probe during a standard survey. In some cases, even deep tumors are amenable to palpation, especially if they are located in the abdominal cavity or in the retroperitoneal space. Help in their detection and other diagnostic methods.
  • Syndrome of abnormal discharge. Always malignant tumor lead to allocations that are not characteristic of a healthy organism. It may be bleeding if damaged tumor blood vessels. Their localization depends on where exactly it is located. It is not excluded stomach and uterine bleeding, coughing up blood, the appearance of blood in the urine or stool, etc.

    In addition, the body responds to the presence of tumor inflammation of its surrounding tissues. This is expressed in the appearance of mucous or purulent secretions. Naturally, the site of inflammation depends on where the tumor is.

  • Syndrome dysfunctional disorders of the body

    Disorder of the organs is directly dependent on the location of the tumor:

    • Defeat of intestinal obstruction provokes him.
    • Lose stomach causes a variety of diarrheal disorders: belching, vomiting, heartburn , etc.

    • The defeat of the esophagus hinders the permeability of food on it, leading to trouble swallowing.
    • Brain damage provokes nausea, headachespain, mental disorders.

    • Breast lesion leads to the ceasing of the nipple, pain, swollen lymph nodes.
    • The defeat of the uterus leads to disruption of the menstrual cycle, the inability to conceive, etc.
    • The defeat of the ovaries triggers hormonal imbalance in the body.
    • Kidney damage causes problems with urination, hypercalcemia, anemia, swelling , etc.

The formation of metastases.

Cells that are separated from their forming malignant tumors, and fall in different ways in the neighboring organs and tissues. Settling there, they begin their own process of division, producing new cells and forming a subsidiary of a tumor. Most often, the metastases are similar in structure to the primary tumor, but in rare cases can be more aggressive.

Metastases can spread in the following ways: lymphogenic (prevail), hematogenous implant, liquory, spread throughout the interstitial cracks. In some case, a mixed propagation path of metastasis. It has been established that different tumors have different ways and frequency of metastasis. For example, a tumor of the larynx metastasizes seldom, but the lung tumor is most often already spread around the body in its primary detection.

Types of malignant tumors

The following types of malignant tumors: carcinoma or cancer derived from epithelial cells and sarcoma, which develops from the connective tissue and its subtypes. Therefore, for the malignant entities use the suffix "– carcinoma"or"sarcoma" e.g., osteosarcoma, angiosarcoma etc.

Thus, the types of malignant tumors:

  • Carcinoma (epithelial cells).
  • Melanoma (melanocytes).

  • Sarcoma (connective tissue).

  • Leukemia (basis – transformed bone marrow cells).

  • Lymphoma (lymphatic tissue).

  • Teratoma (germ cells).
  • Glioma (glial cells).
  • Choriocarcinoma (placental tissue).

Stages of development of malignant tumors

Domestic oncologists work with classification, which includes four stages of development of malignant tumors.

They are as follows:

  • For the first stage is characterized by a clear localization education, which is located in a limited area and doesn't grow in the body. At this stage, the tumor metastases are not allowed.
  • The tumor the second stage of development is large, but beyond the organ comes out. Metastasis can be, but they are determined only in nearby lymph nodes.
  • In the third stage of tumor development, it is large, start the process of decay. Recorded germination in the wall of the organ. Put multiple metastases in nearby lymph nodes.
  • In the fourth stage of tumor development observed its growth into nearby tissues. For this stage include any education that give distant metastases.

The patient exhibited a stage once, and she saved him until the end of life. The stage does not change, even if does not occur relapse. Not to be confused with the stage of tumor development with clinical groups that are assigned to patients. Them also there are four, but they can vary depending on the condition of the person. Created these groups for ease of consideration for people with oncological diseases.

Diagnosis of malignant tumors

Diagnosis of malignant tumors builds on the examination of the patient, which imposes certain complaints. If there is a suspicion of cancer, the patient is sent for consultation to the oncologist. He operates using the following methods:

  • Laboratory diagnosis. It includes analysis of blood, determination of enzymes and to conduct special tests.
  • Immunological diagnosis. In immunological diagnosis is to determine monoklonale bodies, which produce the hybridoma. In addition, conduct immunological diagnosis with tumor markers, the number of which the presence in the body of a malignant tumor increases dramatically. For certain organs their specific tumor markers, for example, for tumors of the liver and testicles used tumor marker alpha-fetoprotein to determine the breast tumor used tumor markercarcinoembryonic antigen, etc.

    In the Arsenal of doctors there are also markers that allow you to define, from what material are the metastases, if the parent tumor is not detected.

  • Instrumental diagnostic techniques. Instrumental methods of examination will depend on what kind of tumor is suspected in a patient.

    It can be diagnostic procedures such as:

    1. Colonoscopy, FGDS, bronchoscopy – endoscopic methods of examination.

    2. Ultrasound.

    3. CT.

    4. Contrast or standard x-ray examination.

    5. Radionuclide diagnostics.

    6. MRI.

    7. Thermography.

  • Verification of cancer diagnosis. To confirm a malignant tumor Cytology, which allows you to specify the diagnosis in 92% of cases. It includes the fence puncture, biopsy, fence smears and scarification.

    Histological examination allows to determine the probability of the presence of a malignant tumor in 99.8% of cases. For the histological examination, a biopsy, that is taking the tissue sample from the patient for further study. The fabric can be cut, taken away by the puncture method, or perhaps total removal of the tumor with its subsequent learning.

    A biopsy is not carried out when melanoblastoma, as any damage to this type of tumor is able to provoke its rapid growth.

  • Differential diagnosis. A malignant tumor differs from a benign rapid growth rate, a rough surface, high density. Most of these tumors stationary, do not have clear boundaries and are associated with the skin. The lymph nodes are enlarged but remain painless.

Treatment of malignant tumors

Treatment of malignant tumors exclusively surgical. It is possible for hormonal therapy, but the indication for this is the presence of hormone-dependent tumors.

In addition, treatment of malignant tumors can be carried out by means of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. All of thesemethods can be applied both separately and in combination with each other. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy is not able to relieve the patient from metastasis, how to treat systemic therapies.

Now, operations in the presence of a malignant tumor the following:

  • Radical therapy. The tumor is cut out together with the body which it struck. Also, remove nearby lymph nodes and cells. The operation is not carried out if the tumor was diagnosed stage IV.
  • A palliative therapy. If the operation cannot be performed, the patient prolong life and improve its quality with palliative treatment. The tumor is removed but lymph nodes left. They're influenced by other methods, for example, radiation therapy. It helps to cope with the disease.
  • Symptomatic surgical intervention. This therapy aims to eliminate the primary symptom that is a direct threat to the life of the patient, for example, incurred an intestinal obstruction. The tumor is not removed from the body.

As for radiation therapy, the radiation source can be x-rays, gamma rays, alpha and beta rays. Respond well to radiation therapy lymphosarcoma, a cancer of the skin, larynx, bronchus, esophagus, cervix. Dose and mode of radiation for each patient is selected individually. It is possible to conduct intracavitary, interstitial and external irradiation. You should know that radiation therapy cannot pass for human without a trace. It is almost always associated with a number of complications. About it doctors mandatory advising each patient.

Chemotherapy is drug effect on the tumor. To achieve this objective is through the use of various drugs.

It is prescribed in the following indications:

  • In combination with other treatments;
  • Before the operation, with the aim of improving the efficiency of the upcoming intervention;
  • As a palliative technique.

To perform the chemotherapy using drugs such as: zitostaticski (Vinblastine, Ambien, Cyclophosphamide, etc.), antitumor antibiotics (Doxorubicin, Mitomycin, Mitoxantrone, etc.), antimetabolites (Mercaptopurine, Pentostatin, etc.), hormonal drugs (they are selected based on the localization of the tumor), platinum drugs (Platidiam, Cisplatin, etc.), and other tools.

Immunotherapy also includes several varieties, among which are: non-specific immunotherapy (effect will be reached not always), local application of vaccines, the introduction of cells that havecytostatic and cytotoxic effect, the introduction of proteins (hematopoietic growth factors), specific immunotherapy (injection of anti-cancer vaccines and serums).

Answers to popular questions

  • If you can see the tumor on ultrasound, x-ray and fluoroscopy? All of these survey methods is able to "see" the presence of a given entity, but to say that this is a malignant tumor only according to the ultrasound, radiographic studies or fluoroscopy, it is impossible. We will need an additional diagnostic methods.

  • Can a benign tumor to turn into malignant? Yes, maybe, and this process occurs quite often and is called a malignancy.

  • Feel cancer when I touch it? Pain when pressing on the cancer appear only in the later stages of its development.

  • There is a tumor of the bone marrow? Such thing as a tumor of the bone marrow does not exist, but atypical cells are able to affect the bone marrow. In this case, doctors say about the cancer of the myeloid (hematopoietic) tissue.