Symptoms If Cancer Has Spread To Your Lymph Nodes
Lymph nodes are part of a system of tubes and glands in the body that filters body fluid and fights infection.
The most common symptom if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes is that they are usually bigger than normal. But lymph nodes also get bigger if you have an infection. So you can’t be sure of the cause of a lump until your doctor has examined you and done some tests.
Tell you doctor if you find any lumps or swollen areas, particularly in your neck or armpits.
When Your Hair Starts To Come Out
Focus on self-care. Wash your hair as little as possible, and use gentle products. Take care of your scalp. Wear a hat or scarf to protect it from heat and cold, and apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 every day. And if your scalp itches or feels sensitive, go easy with your brush or comb. Avoid rollers, hair dryers, and irons. You can also style your hair with your fingers instead.
If chemo-related hair loss triggers tough emotions, be gentle with yourself. Some people going through this feel depressed, anxious, frustrated, angry, or a combination of emotions. This may be something you want to discuss in a support group or with a counselor who works with people dealing with cancer. Give yourself room to feel and work through whatever comes up.
Abdominal Pain And Bloating
Stomach bloating, distention, cramps or pain in the abdominal or bowel region can be symptoms of colon or rectal cancer. These are common issues that can also be caused by a number of conditions, including diet-related gastrointestinal distress, Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis. See your doctor if you experience frequent abdominal pain and bloating that does not have an obvious cause.
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What Are The Most Common Cancers That Metastasize To The Scalp
Lung cancer is the most common cancer that is associated with scalp metastases. Of all metastases to the scalp, lung cancer is the most common at 24 % followed by colon , liver and breast . Kidney and ovary remain other causes on the list. In 30 % of cases, the exact origin cant be precisely determined. There are many types of lung cancer and it remains debated as to which of the types is really the most likely contributor to scalp metastases .
How Can I Prevent Lung Cancer
There is no absolute way to prevent lung cancer. However, there are things that will lower your risk.
- Do not smoke. If you do smoke, quit. Avoid breathing in smoke from people who do smoke.
- Reduce your exposure to chemicals known to cause cancer, such as:
- Substances containing nickel or chromium
- Coal products
- Air pollution, such as exhaust from diesel engines
- Radon. Have your home tested for radon, a radioactive gas that has no color or odor.
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What Can I Do If Hair Loss Is Expected With My Radiation Therapy Treatment
Each person responds differently when learning that they may experience hair loss. There is no right or wrong response. What’s important is to do what you feel comfortable with, to do what is right for you. If you expect to lose the hair on your head during your cancer treatments, the following tips may be helpful:
- If your hair is long, cutting it shorter may help decrease the impact of your hair loss when it occurs.
- Some people find it easier to deal with hair loss by shaving their heads before hair loss occurs.
- Be sure to protect your head with a hat to prevent sun exposure on sunny days- and not just in the summer months! This is especially important for men who are less likely to wear a wig or turban/scarf.
- Use a soft-bristle brush and a gentle, pH-balanced shampoo.
- Don’t use hair dryers, hot rollers, or curling irons because they may damage your hair and make hair loss more severe.
- Don’t bleach or color your hair, and don’t get a permanent. All of these make your hair brittle and may cause your hair to fall out faster.
- Sleep on a satin pillowcase to decrease friction.
Early And Late Effects Of Radiation Therapy
- Early side effects happen during or shortly after treatment. These side effects tend to be short-term, mild, and treatable. Theyre usually gone within a few weeks after treatment ends. The most common early side effects are fatigue and skin changes. Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area.
- Late side effects can take months or even years to develop. They can occur in any normal tissue in the body that has received radiation. The risk of late side effects depends on the area treated as well as the radiation dose that was used. Careful treatment planning can help avoid serious long-term side effects. Its always best to talk to your radiation oncologist about the risk of long-term side effects.
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What Are Side Effects
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the two most common types of cancer treatment. They work by destroying these fast-growing cells. But other types of fast-growing healthy cells also can be damaged along with cancer cells, causing adverse reactions, or side effects.
Side effects can range from tiredness and flu-like symptoms to hair loss and blood clotting problems. Because it’s hard for doctors to predict how the body will react, a child who is being treated for cancer is closely monitored. Doctors weigh the amount and severity of side effects against the benefits of treatments.
Fortunately, most side effects are temporary. As the body’s normal cells recover, these problems start to go away.
Side effects vary:
- Some can be merely unpleasant, while others can be much more serious.
- Some show up right away, while others develop over time.
- Some kids have just a few, while others have many over the course of treatment.
Other Ways Smoking May Contribute To Hair Loss
Smoking may lead to other changes in your body that contribute to hair loss. Some factors that have been proposed include:
- promoting the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, signaling proteins that promote inflammation
- scarring of your hair follicles due to increased levels of cytokines
- changing enzyme levels that control tissue remodeling in your hair growth cycle
- increasing hydroxylation of the hormone estradiol and inhibition of the enzyme aromatase that leads to a state of low estrogen levels
Along with contributing to hair loss, smoking may negatively impact your hair health in a number of other ways.
- Early onset of gray hair. A
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If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Chest
Radiation treatment to the chest may cause side effects such as:
- Sore throat
Radiation can also cause other problems in the heart or lungs.
Getting radiation to the middle portion of the chest can raise your risk of heart disease. This risk increases with higher radiation doses and larger treatment areas in this part of your body. Radiation can also cause hardening of the arteries , heart valve damage, or irregular heartbeats.
Radiation pneumonitis is inflammation of the lungs that can be caused by radiation treatment to the chest . It may occur about 3 to 6 months after getting radiation therapy. Its more likely if you have other lung diseases, like emphysema . Common symptoms of radiation pneumonitis include:
- Shortness of breath that usually gets worse with exercise
- Chest pain, which is often worse when taking in a deep breath
Sometimes there are no symptoms, and radiation pneumonitis is found on a chest x-ray.
Symptoms often go away on their own, but if treatment is needed, it is based on trying to decrease the inflammation. Steroids, like prednisone, are usually used. With treatment, most people recover without any lasting effects. But if it persists, it can lead to pulmonary fibrosis . When this happens, the lungs can no longer fully inflate and take in air.
Be sure you understand what to look for, and tell your cancer care team if you notice any of these side effects.
What Is Lung Cancer In Cats
Cancer means an abnormal proliferation of cells- they grow and increase in size and number and are immune to the bodys usual stop signals. Tumors form as these cells grow into a large lump.
Lung cancer is any sort of tumour that grows in the lungs. This can cause a big problem, as the tumour takes up space that the lungs need in order to work effectively.
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Why Chemo Causes Hair Loss
Hair loss is very common during chemotherapy for breast cancer as well as other cancers, though some drugs and methods of administration are more likely than others to disrupt hair follicles.
Chemotherapy drugs work systemically by interfering with the division and growth of rapidly growing cells.
While these drugs can be effective in eliminating cancer cells, they also damage normal cells that divide rapidly. This includes hair follicles , cells in the digestive tract , and cells in bone marrow .
The keratinocytes in the hair follicle divide faster than many malignant cells, and they have a good blood supply that delivers chemotherapy agents to them efficiently. Their fast metabolism also puts them under oxidative stress, which a chemotherapy drug can enhance to the point that the cell dies.
Whether or not you develop hair loss, and the degree to which you do if so, depends on a number of factors including:
- The dose of chemotherapy: Higher doses generally have a greater risk for hair loss.
- How often the chemotherapy is given: More frequent doses carry more risk.
- The route of administration: Intravenous drugs are more likely to cause hair loss than oral drugs.
- The drugs or combination of drugs you receive: Some are more likely to cause hair loss than others, and receiving a combination of drugs increases the risk.
- Your individual makeup: Some people are more likely to lose hair than others, even with the same doses of the same drugs.
Learn What Worked For Others
Hair loss can lead to isolation, especially when you dont know anyone else in your peer group going through the same experience. Getting perspective and coping strategies from people who have walked in your shoes is comforting because they understand the impact of cancer in a way that others dont.
Participate in a support group. It can be validating to know that the emotions you are having are normal, says Ms. Panzer. Meeting other people whose hair is growing back after completing treatment is a reminder that you can get through this, too.
Memorial Sloan Kettering offers in-person and online support groups where our patients can discuss their concerns, as well as a Patient-to-Patient Support Program that provides an opportunity to speak with cancer survivors who have had a similar diagnosis and treatment. Sharing your experience and asking for advice in an online community like Connections can also be beneficial.
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What Kind Of Treatment Follow
Once radiotherapy ends, your doctor will want to see you after four to six weeks and then every three to six months for the first two years. After this, you may see the doctor every six months for three years and then once a year. Your medical or radiation oncologist will often prescribe a computed tomography or positron emission tomography scan. This will take place about four to eight weeks after treatment ends, when the response is expected to be the greatest. These images will help to assess response and make it possible to do comparisons with earlier images. It also allows your doctor to find treatment-related complications at an early stage. Imaging can tell the difference between recurrent cancer and lung scars produced by high-dose radiation treatment. By obtaining chest imaging on a regular basis, , recurrent cancers may be discovered in time to be successfully re-treated.
In addition to x-rays, other tests such as blood cell counts and bronchoscopy may be a routine part of the follow-up exam. Your doctor may use other tests to follow up on symptoms or findings on chest imaging. If new symptoms develop in another part of the body, your doctor may test to detect any potential problem.
After treatment, the tumor may be gone . Or it can regrow in an area of the original tumor or remain after treatment . Patients who have had one cancer may develop a second, unrelated primary lung cancer. This happens to about 3 percent of patients per year.
What Other Services Are Offered To People With Lung Cancer
Chronic diseases and disorders of the lungs and airways, as well as some of the invasive treatments for them, can take their toll on health and quality of life. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs use an array of tactics from education and exercise to encouraging lifestyle changes to help our patients manage their conditions.
Pain can be a significant issue for people undergoing cancer treatment. Various cancer interventions, as well as the cancer itself, can cause pain. Effective pain management can help maintain or improve quality of life and reduce the risk of depression associated with pain.
Smoking is a major cause of lung cancer, but quitting can be a challenging proposition for some chronic smokers. As smoking patterns vary from person to person, there is no best method for quitting. The most successful smoking cessation programs offer smokers a range of strategies.
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Symptoms Caused By Hormones From The Tumor
Some carcinoid tumors can make hormone-like substances that are released into the bloodstream. Lung carcinoids do this far less often than gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors.
Carcinoid syndrome: Rarely, lung carcinoid tumors release enough hormone-like substances into the bloodstream to cause symptoms. This causes carcinoid syndrome. Symptoms can include:
- Facial flushing
- Fast heartbeat
Many people with carcinoid syndrome find that stress, heavy exercise, and drinking alcohol can bring on these symptoms or make them worse.
Over a long time, these hormone-like substances can damage heart valves, causing:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart murmur
Cushing syndrome: In rare cases, lung carcinoid tumors may make a hormone called ACTH. This causes the adrenal glands to make too much cortisol and other hormones. This can lead to:
- Weight gain
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure