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Cancer And What Tumors Can Tell You

Updated on March 13, 2014

Evaluating Tumors

You probably already know the two common types of tumors, benign and malignant. But did you know they do something called staging?

The staging process helps doctors determine how far the cancer has traveled by looking at the tumor.

Surgery is the only way to find out how far the cancer has spread from the tumor. There are a few standard methods that they use to gauge this, the most common one is called TNM. Each letter has a meaning.

T - stands for the size of the tumor.

N - determines the speed at which the cells are traveling within the node system.

M - determines how far the cancer cells are from the tumor and how often they multiply.

Doctors use this method to determine the type of treatment to give patients and they can make an educated guess at how fast the disease is traveling.

Some cancers do not form tumors. For example, leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood.

Tumor Varieties

Pineal tumors - are found in the pineal gland a small structure deep within the brain. These tumors represent about 1% of all brain tumors but account for 3% to 8% of the tumors that occur in children. At least 17 different types of tumors may occur in this region, and many are benign.

Pancoast tumors - originate at the top margin of the lung. They form abnormal patches of tissue over the lung apex and principally involve the chest wall structures rather than the underlying lung tissue. There is something called Pancoast Syndrome which presents pain in the shoulders and the inner side of the arm and hands. Pancoast tumors tend to spread to the surrounding tissue, caught early and as long as the cancer cells haven't spread to the lymph nodes (small, bean-shaped structures found throughout the body), these tumors can be successfully treated.

Carcinoid tumors - these are called midway tumors, that's because they are neither benign or malignant. Among these rare tumors are carcinoid lung tumors.These "cancers in slow motion" have the potential for being malignant, they mostly tend to grow so slowly that people with carcinoid tumors usually live for many years (sometimes for a normal lifetime).

Treatments For Cancerous Tumors

The million dollars question is always "what do you do now"?

We know what treatments traditional medicine offers: chemo and radiation. These treatments are used if the tumors cannot be removed surgically.

Since we know tumors can either hold cancer cells in check or even worse, spread cells through your body; we can use this knowledge as a starting point for understanding these treatment options.

Helping Yourself

Knowing your body and how it works is a tremendous advantage when you feel afraid. Sometimes the fear of not knowing is worse than the fear of the known.

It's natural to harbor negative thoughts when you discover you might have cancer. It's a feeling of "lack of control" and the only way to take back some control is to understand what cancer is and what you can do to help yourself.

What Cancer Embraces

Cancer is like any other living thing, it needs certain elements to grow and survive. Here are some facts about cancer:

  • Stress - levels of the stress hormone epinephrine rise significantly in response to stressful situations and depression. A published study from Wake Forest University School of Medicine reports that elevated levels of epinephrine cause resistant to cell death, a dangerous trait in cells that become cancerous.
  • Alcohol - University of Mississippi research shows that alcohol can increase the body's production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which can aid the growth of tumors by helping them develop a system of blood vessels which they would otherwise die without.
  • Acidic System - an acid body is a magnet for sickness, disease, cancer and aging. Eating more alkaline foods helps shift your body's pH and oxygenate your system. Alkaline foods keep your body healthy and functioning correctly, preventing cancer.
  • Boosting Immune System - cancer loves a weak immune system. By increasing endorphins, one of the body's major mechanisms for regulating the immune system, you can prevent and control cancers.
  • Toxin Removal - cancer loves toxins, oxidation. This is the enemy, it destroys good vascular tissue, weakens immune function and overworks vital organs.

As you can see, depriving cancer of what it needs to grow can greatly help you do things to starve it.

This is a productive way to approach cancer and it also helps you maintain a positive attitude.

If you would like to get more information, there are articles about Tumors that will give you extended data about cancer and things you can do to help yourself.


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    • rb11 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Las Vegas

      I hope to take some of the fear from it. It's the fear that fuels it's damage. Can you imagine the multi-billions lost in research funds if they were to find a cure.

      Thanks for the mention

    • profile image

      Useful Knowledge 

      9 years ago

      This is a very informative hub. Cancer is a scary word. It is good for people to be informed on the different types of tumors and possible treatments.

    • rb11 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Las Vegas

      You can, but a blood test is more accurate done at different times of the day. An acidic system (which most of us are) is always using your body's resources to maintain a neutral balance. (acid/alkaline). Anything imbalance like this that allows viruses to grow will weaken your immune system.

    • BetsyIckes profile image


      9 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I heard once that you can test your body's acidity with litmus paper you can get at your drugstore. I don't know how true it is. But this is the first time I've read how acidic body can affect your immunity. Thanks for the post!

    • rb11 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks for the comments, there is a lot more things we can do to help ourselves, just to much to post here.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Very interesting, especially the bit about the acid body. I shall certainly watch what I eat more carefully. Thanks for this fascinating hub.


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