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Uterine and Endometrial Cancer / What is uterine cancer?
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 09:50:26 AM »
What is uterine cancer?

The uterus (or womb) is part of a woman’s reproductive system. It is the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby (fetus) grows before being born. The lower part of the uterus is called the cervix. The cervix leads into the vagina.

The uterus is mostly muscle. Uterine cancer starts in the cells lining the uterus. The lining inside the uterus is called the endometrium.

The endometrium is made up of tissue with many glands. This lining re-grows each month and is usually shed during your monthly menstrual period. Your periods stop temporarily during pregnancy. Normally your periods will continue until you reach menopause.

Cancer that starts in the lining inside the uterus is called uterine cancer (or endometrial carcinoma). Cancer that starts in the muscle layers of the uterus is called uterine sarcoma.

Uterine sarcoma behaves differently from uterine cancer and is treated differently. For information about uterine sarcoma or other cancers of the uterus, Contact The Cancer Society. or call the Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

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Stomach and Esophageal Cancer / What is stomach cancer?
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 09:45:34 AM »
What is stomach cancer?

The stomach is a muscular sac-like organ in the upper abdomen. It is part of the digestive system. Organs of the digestive system change food into energy and help pass waste out of the body.

Food moves from the mouth through the esophagus to the stomach. In the stomach, the food is mixed with digestive juices (enzymes and acids), which are made by the glands in the lining of the stomach. The semi-solid mixture leaves the stomach through a muscular ring called the pylorus and passes into the small intestine. From there, food goes to the large intestine, where digestion is finished.

The wall of the stomach has four layers. Stomach cancer begins in the cells of the inner layer, which is called the mucosa. It can spread through the other layers of the stomach as it grows.

Stomach cancers that start in the lymphatic tissue (lymphoma), in the stomach’s muscular tissue (sarcoma) or in the tissues that support the organs of the digestive system (gastrointestinal stromal tumour) are less common and are treated in different ways. For information on those cancers, contact our Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.



What is esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer starts in the cells of the esophagus. The esophagus is a hollow, muscular tube that carries food and drink from the back of the mouth to the stomach. It is located behind the windpipe and in front of the spine. When you swallow, the muscles of the esophagus contract to push food down into the stomach. The point where the esophagus joins the stomach is called the gastroesophageal (GE) junction. The muscle at the junction opens to allow food to enter the stomach. This muscle normally keeps stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus and causing heartburn.

Cancer of the esophagus can start anywhere along the length of the esophagus. There are two main types of esophageal cancer. Each develops in a different kind of cell.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma starts in the squamous cells that line the esophagus. These cancers are usually found in the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
  • Adenocarcinoma starts in the glandular cells in the lower part of the esophagus.

Treatment is similar for both types of esophageal cancer.

Before esophageal cancer develops, the cells of the esophagus start to change and become abnormal. These abnormal cells are precancerous, meaning they are not cancer. Having these precancerous changes in the esophagus is called Barrett’s esophagus.

Barrett’s esophagus may be caused by years of gastric reflux. Gastric reflux is when the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and causes heartburn. Most people with chronic gastric reflux do not develop Barrett’s esophagus. But a person diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus has a very high risk of developing cancer if it isn’t treated.

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Prostate Cancer / What is prostate cancer?
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 09:37:42 AM »
What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer starts in the cells of the prostate gland. The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. Its main function is to make part of the liquid (seminal fluid) that mixes with sperm from the testicles to make semen. Semen is ejaculated during sex.

The prostate is about the size of a large walnut. It is located close to the rectum just below the bladder at the base of the penis. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen through the penis.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men. It usually grows slowly and can often be cured or managed successfully.

Read more: http://www.cancer.ca/Ontario/About%20cancer/Types%20of%20cancer/What%20is%20prostate%20cancer.aspx?sc_lang=en&r=1#ixzz283fnrj5L
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Pancreatic Cancer / What is pancreatic cancer?
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 09:34:27 AM »
What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer starts in the cells of the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland that lies behind your stomach deep in the upper part of the abdomen. 

The pancreas is part of the digestive system. Digestive juices made by the pancreas flow down a tube in the centre of the pancreas called the pancreatic duct. The pancreatic duct joins the common bile duct, which carries bile from the liver. The common bile duct then empties into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The pancreatic juices and bile help further digest food in the duodenum after food has left the stomach.

The pancreas is also part of the hormonal system and makes insulin and other hormones. Hormones made in the pancreas enter the bloodstream and help your body use or store the energy (sugar and fat) from the food you eat.

Most pancreatic cancers start in the ducts that carry pancreatic juices. Pancreatic cancer that starts in the cells that make hormones (called islet cell cancer) is rare. For information about islet cell cancer, contact the Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939‑3333.

More information on pancreatic cancer in the Canadian Cancer Encyclopeda

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Ovarian Cancer / What is ovarian cancer?
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 07:01:38 AM »
What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer starts in the cells of the ovary or ovaries. The ovaries are two small, oval-shaped organs that lie deep in the pelvis on either side of the uterus (womb), close to the end of the Fallopian tubes. The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system.

Each month, in women of childbearing age, one of the ovaries releases an egg (ovum). This is called ovulation. The egg travels down the Fallopian tube to the uterus, where it may be fertilized by a sperm and develop into a fetus. If the egg is not fertilized, it is shed as part of your monthly period.

The ovaries also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone help control reproduction and sexual development. As a woman ages and reaches menopause, the ovaries make less of these hormones and periods gradually stop.

There are three main types of ovarian cancer. For each type, the cancer starts in a different type of cell found in the ovaries.

  • Epithelial cell cancer starts in the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary.
  • Germ cell tumours start in the egg cells within the ovary and generally occur in younger women. Germ cell cancer can even develop in children.
  • Stromal tumours start in the connective tissue cells that hold the ovary together.

More information on ovarian cancer in the Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia

Epithelial cell cancer is the most common type of ovarian cancer. Ovarian germ cell tumours and stromal tumours develop differently and may require different treatment. For information about other types of ovarian cancer, call the Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333 or by email Contact The Cancer Society..

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Other Cancers / Open Forum
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 06:55:45 AM »
This is an open forum on any cancer that does not have a specified board for discussion.
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Multiple Myeloma / What is multiple myeloma?
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 06:52:25 AM »
What is multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that starts in plasma cells, which are made in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy material that fills the centre of most bones (those where blood cells are made). Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell. Their job is to make antibodies that help fight infections.

Myeloma begins when a plasma cell becomes abnormal and begins to divide uncontrollably, making more and more abnormal plasma cells. Abnormal plasma cells are called myeloma cells. Eventually, the growing number of myeloma cells:

  • crowd out the normal blood cells in the bone marrow and prevent them from working properly
  • can spread to the solid part of the bone and cause pain or fractures
  • upset the balance of certain body minerals, such as calcium, and prevent other organs, such as the kidneys and nerves, from working properly

The disease is called multiple myeloma because it affects many bones. If myeloma cells form a tumour in only one bone, it’s called a plasmacytoma.

More information on multiple myeloma in the Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia

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Melanoma and Skin Cancer / What is melanoma - non melanoma?
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 06:43:13 AM »
What is melanoma - non melanoma?

Melanoma is a cancer that most often starts in the skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ. It protects the organs inside your body from injury, infection, heat and ultraviolet light from the sun. The skin helps control your body temperature and gets rid of waste materials through the sweat glands. It also makes vitamin D and stores water and fat.

The skin has two main layers. The layer at the surface is called the epidermis. Below the epidermis is the inner layer, the dermis.

Deep in the epidermis are cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes make melanin, which gives colour to your skin. When skin is exposed to the sun, the melanocytes make more melanin and cause the skin to tan or darken. Sometimes melanocytes cluster together and form moles (called nevi). Moles are common and are usually not cancerous. The dermis contains nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands, oil glands and hair follicles.

There are three types of skin cancer.

  • Squamous cell skin cancer starts in the squamous cells (thin flat cells found on the surface of the skin).
  • Basal cell skin cancer starts in the basal cells (round cells that lie under the squamous cells).
  • Melanoma starts in the melanocytes.

Melanoma is less common than squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers (sometimes called non-melanoma skin cancers). Melanoma can start in other places in the body where melanocytes are found, such as the eyes, the mouth, the vagina or under the fingernails. These types of melanoma are rare.



What is non-melanoma skin cancer?

Skin cancer starts in the cells of the skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ. It protects the organs inside your body from injury, infection, heat and ultraviolet light from the sun. The skin helps control your body temperature and gets rid of waste materials through the sweat glands. It also makes vitamin D and stores water and fat.

The skin has two main layers. The layer at the surface is called the epidermis. Below the epidermis is the dermis.The epidermis is made up of 3 types of cells:

    Basal cells are continually being made deep in the epidermis. Newly made round basal cells push the older cells toward the surface of the skin to become squamous cells.
    Squamous cells are old cells. As they move toward the skin’s surface, they become thin and flat.
    Melanocytes are also found deep in the epidermis, in between the basal cells. Melanocytes are cells that make melanin, which gives colour to your skin.

The dermis contains nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands, oil glands and hair follicles.

The most common types of skin cancer are squamous cell cancer and basal cell cancer. Both are known as non-melanoma skin cancer and they can usually be treated successfully.
 

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Mesothelioma / What is mesothelioma?
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 06:40:33 AM »
What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma starts in the mesothelial cells, which form a membrane (lining) that covers and protects most internal organs in your body. This is called the mesothelium. It is made up of two layers. The inner (visceral) layer wraps around organs such as the lung, heart or stomach. The outer (parietal) layer forms a sac around the inner layer. The mesothelium makes fluid to fill the space between the two layers so that the organs can move easily. The mesothelium has different names, depending on where it is in the body.

The pleura is the mesothelial membrane that protects and cushions the lungs. The inner layer covers the lungs, and the outer layer lines the inside wall of the chest. The space between the two layers (called the pleural space) is filled with pleural fluid. The pleural fluid allows the layers to slide over each other as you breathe.

The peritoneum is the mesothelial membrane that protects and cushions the organs in the abdomen, such as the liver, stomach and intestines. The inner layer covers the abdominal organs and the outer layer lines the wall of the abdomen. The peritoneum fluid fills the space between the two layers and helps the organs move smoothly inside your abdomen.


Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer. Mesothelioma usually develops in the pleura or the peritoneum.

Pleural mesothelioma starts in the pleura. (It is sometimes mistakenly called a lung cancer.) As the cancer cells grow, the membranes thicken and press on the lung. Sometimes fluid collects between the two layers of the pleura. This is called a pleural effusion. Changes to the pleura or pleural fluid can make breathing difficult.

Peritoneal mesothelioma starts in the peritoneum. It causes the membranes to thicken. Fluid may collect in the abdomen. This is called ascites and it causes the abdomen to swell.

For more information on mesothelioma, please contact The Cancer Society  or call the Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-888-939-3333.

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Lymphoma - Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma / What is Hodgkin lymphoma?
« Last post by Tony on October 01, 2012, 06:35:55 AM »
What is Hodgkin lymphoma?

Hodgkin lymphoma is cancer that starts in the lymphocytes, the cells of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system works with your immune system to help your body fight infection and disease. The lymphatic system is made up of a network of lymph vessels (which are a little like veins), lymph nodes and the lymphatic organs (such as the spleen, thymus, tonsils and bone marrow).

Lymph is a clear, yellowish fluid that contains lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are special white blood cells that help fight infection. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped glands. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in your neck, underarms, chest, abdomen and groin. The lymph nodes filter out waste, bacteria and unwanted cells, including cancer cells, as the lymph passes through them. Lymphatic vessels collect lymph from different tissues throughout the body, filter it through the lymph nodes and return it to the bloodstream.

Hodgkin lymphoma can begin in almost any part of the body. It usually starts in a group of lymph nodes in one part of the body – most often the neck – and grows in a predictable, orderly way from one lymph node group to the next. Eventually, it can spread to almost any tissue or organ in the body through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream.

Other cancers of the lymphatic system are called non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The cells of Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma look different, behave differently and are treated differently.

 More information on Hodgkin lymphoma in the Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia

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