Malignant Neoplasm (Cancer)

What is Malignant Neoplasm?

Every cancer has its own signs and symptoms. However, in general, malignant neoplasms are cancer cells which can present a range of signs and symptoms that are recognizable to a health care professional. Most patients who experience these symptoms assume that they have another ailment, and some feel as though they are suffering from the flu. This is because the generalized symptoms of a malignant neoplasm are very similar to common ailments.

How does cancer cause symptoms?

The reason cancer is hard to diagnose early on is that the symptoms of the disease do not show up right away. Almost every symptom a person develops depends on where the cancer or tumor is located. The size of the tumor, and the amount of tissue it affects will determine the symptoms that a person develops. Generally, symptoms appear as the cancer grows and begins to push on nerves, blood vessels and organs that are nearby. Typically, this pressure is the first sign that there is something wrong inside the body, and this is when the doctor begins to investigate.

Unfortunately, many cancers do not cause any signs or symptoms until it is considered advanced and metastasized beyond the area that it originated.

Certain cancers are easier to detect, because they release cells into the blood stream which are easy to pick up during routine blood tests.

What are the Symptoms of Malignant Neoplasm?

Specific symptoms greatly depend on the type of cancer and the organs it affects.

Symptoms include

  • Weakness
  • Aching
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Changes in skin color
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function
  • White patches inside the mouth
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Presence of a lump

However, other symptoms may be present if the cancerous tissue has grown large, is affecting organs or tissues, or if it has metastasized to other parts of the body.

Even if symptoms are present, they do not immediately point to cancer. In order for a doctor to adequately diagnose a malignant neoplasm, they will need to see the results of x-rays, blood tests and biopsies.

Malignant Neoplasm (Cancer) Causes

A malignant neoplasm is a cancerous tumor anywhere in the body. There are many different types of cancer that affect all body parts. Many forms of cancer share the same general causes. However, some cancers have causes that are unique to them.

Doctors know that two lifestyle choices are the cause of a great many types of cancer. Smoking is responsible for a number of different cancers, especially lung cancer and oral cancers. Excessive alcohol use may cause a number of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

Almost every type of skin cancer has exposure to UV radiation as its primary cause. This includes UV radiation from sun exposure and from artificial sources.

Many cancers have a genetic factor at play in their development. For instance, it is known that the BRCA2 gene is a cause of prostate cancer, and the BRCA1 gene plays a role in the development of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

There are several cancers that are caused by viruses. The human papilloma virus is a well-known cause of cervical cancer, while the herpes virus 8 is a cause of Kaposi’s sarcoma.

How is Malignant Neoplasm Treated?

The treatment for a malignant neoplasm will depend on the location of the cancer, as well as the stage of the cancer. A team of specialists will be assigned to treat the cancer, and the exact type of team will depend on the above criteria as well. There is no cut and dry treatment for a malignant neoplasm. Each type of cancer must be treated differently, and every person’s situation is different.

Treatments include

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Biological therapy (immunotherapy)

Malignant Neoplasm (Cancer) Prevention

While it is not possible to prevent every cause of cancer, there are some general methods that help prevent many different types of cancer.

A person should never use tobacco products. Doctors have options available to help people who are having trouble giving up smoking.

Limiting the consumption of alcohol is important. Don’t consume more than three alcoholic drinks per day.

Diet plays a role in cancer prevention. A diet that is low fat with less red and processed meat will help prevent many cancers. Doctors also recommend adding sources of Omega-3 fatty acids to the diet. Following this type of diet will help to keep a person at a healthy weight, which is also important in preventing cancer development.

There are vaccines available to help prevent some of the viruses that cause cancer. There is a human papilloma virus vaccine available that will help prevent cervical cancer.

Avoid excessive exposure to UV radiation. Always cover up or use a sunblock when going out in the sun.