A Detailed Introduction About Malignant Neoplasm Cancer
Over the centuries, mankind has been faced with numerous diseases and ailments that have caused immense suffering and even, have proved to be fatal. With medical and technological advancement, humans have been able to diagnose and find a cure to most common diseases and ailments that prevail in the present times. But amidst all these advancements, a disease remains that, though being very common, cannot always be completely cured and even if cured, has serious repercussions on the patient. That ailment is malignant neoplasm, more commonly known as cancer.
What is Malignant Neoplasm?
Simply explained, malignant neoplasm or cancer is the uncontrollable, abnormal growth of cells within the human body. Such cells are commonly known as tumor cells, malignant cells or cancer cells. These cells are quite different in characteristics as compared to normal cells and can attack different body parts, organs, vessels, etc. This abnormal cell growth can be triggered by a number of factors and can occur at almost any area of the body. Moreover, the cells can also travel to other areas of the body and induce uncontrolled growth in those areas.
Categories of Malignant Neoplasm Cancer
Though more than 200 types of cancer have so far been identified, they are usually classified into a few categories given below:
- Myeloma and lymphoma – cancers whose primary location is within the immune system. Common types are non-Hodgkin lymphomas, Hodgkin lymphomas, T-cell lymphomas, etc.
- Leukemia – cancers that originate in the blood-forming cells like bone marrow. Common types are leukemia, myelogenous leukemias, lymphoblastic leukemias, etc.
- Carcinoma – cancers that originate in the skin tissues or tissues lining or covering human organs. Common types are lung cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, etc.
- Sarcoma – cancers originating in the supportive or connecting tissues of the body. Common ones are osteosarcoma, liposarcoma, synovial sarcoma, etc.
- CNS Cancers – cancers originating in different parts of the central nervous system. Common ones are brain tumors, meningiomas, gliomas, spinal cord tumors, etc.
Symptoms of Malignant Neoplasm Cancer
Unlike other ailments, the symptoms or indicative signs of cancer vary widely depending on a variety of factors like the cancer type, cancer stage, etc. Not only that, the symptoms vary from individual to individual and may also be totally absent until cancer has reached a very advanced stage. However, in case of critical cancers like brain cancer, the symptoms may start exhibiting at the very early stages. Though several symptoms are cancer-type specific, yet an uncontrolled growth of cells leads to certain common problems that may be considered as the typical cancer symptoms which may be indicative of malignant neoplasm. Some symptoms and signs that you need to look out for are:
- Unusual bleeding
- Unusual growth at any part of the body
- Bowel problems
- Bladder problems
- Continued sore throat problems
- Hoarse voice caused due to continued coughing
- Appetite loss or weight loss
- Continued feelings of vomiting, nausea, and fatigue
- Pain in one or more body parts that occurs intermittently and is usually worse
- Intermittent fevers for no obvious reason
- Recurring infections
- Changes in moles and warts
Apart from these symptoms, one needs to look out for symptoms that are specific to a particular type of cancer, like blood in the cough may be a symptom of lung cancer. So, it is important that when a person starts observing changes or symptoms that have no proper causal factor(s), he/she immediately makes a list of all the changes or symptoms that are evident and consult a doctor. An early detection can go a long way in helping during neoplasia, especially those that have cures at an early stage. However, certain types of cancers like prostate or colon cancer that are usually deep-seated within the body do not display any symptoms until the lump of cells has grown quite big to affect other organs or nerves.
Causes of Malignant Neoplasm Cancer
The abnormal growth of cells in the human body can be linked to various causal factors. One or more of these factors may be at play, and the exact cause can be determined only after elaborate medical tests are performed on the patient. The main factors that can lead to a cancerous growth of cells in the human body are as follows:
Gene Mutations – Mutation or changes in the DNA sequence of one or more cells in the human body may lead to cancer. The cells may be located at any part of the body. When the DNA sequencing is changed, the cells start behaving differently than what they are supposed to do. Though it is not necessary that a mutation will definitely trigger cancerous growth, yet if the changes in the sequence instruct the cells to rapidly multiply without the ability to stop, it may lead to malignant neoplasia. All new cells thus produced will be mutated ones and they, too, can grow uncontrollably, thus leading to a quick growth of the tumor.
Family History – Cancer is not an uncommon problem and when several people in a family suffer from cancer through various generations, the chance of inheriting it increases. If a mutated gene that can lead to cancerous growth in the body is inherited, the person is more prone to malignant neoplasia than those who are born without it. When fertilization occurs in the womb of the mother, a single cell (zygote) is created by the union of the sperm with the egg. If mutated gene is already present when the zygote is formed, then it is evident that the child will inherit the mutated gene.
However, this doesn’t mean that the child will have cancerous growth right from birth. This is because most genes in an individual have 2 copies – one from each parent. As long as the other gene copy works fine, the effect of the mutated gene will not be visible. But, if the other copy somehow fails or becomes mutated, it is then that the already mutated gene will start affecting the cell growth process in that part of the body, thus causing cancer. So, it is the mutated genes that can be inherited and not the ailment itself. However, only 5- 10% of all cancers are caused due to inherited mutated genes.
Smoking – Smoking tobacco in any form can lead to cancer. Tobacco contains various complex chemical compounds amongst which atleast 70 chemicals are known to be carcinogenic, i.e., induced cancerous growth in the body. When dried tobacco is burned, the smoke is inhaled by the smoker and those around them, thus allowing the harmful chemicals to enter the body. These carcinogens, then, may affect the genome of the person and trigger neoplasia.
Body Weight – Obesity and excess body weight have also been linked to cancer. Studies suggest that people who are overweight tend to be more prone to different forms of cancer than those who aren’t. Chances of cancer of the rectum and colon, breasts (in women), esophagus, endometrium, pancreas, kidney, gallbladder, cervix, liver, ovary, etc. are usually enhanced when a person is too overweight. Though excess weight has been linked to various cancer types, yet the way it triggers the cancerous growth is yet not fully understood. There are a lot of ifs and buts, but it cannot be denied that excess weight makes a person prone to neoplasia. Another fact that needs mention is that not only excess weight, but excess belly fat can also trigger cancer of the breasts, endometrium, rectum, colon and the pancreas.
Alcohol Consumption – Heavy alcohol consumption on a regular basis has been determined as a causal factor of cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, colon, rectum, liver as well as breasts (in women). Those who smoke on a regular basis and also consume excessive alcohol at the same time have an extremely high chance of suffering from throat, mouth and esophageal cancer. For non-smokers, heavy alcohol consumption usually takes a toll on the liver (as the tissues are inflamed and scarred) as well as the rectum and the colon. However, in case of women, moderate alcohol consumption can also lead to breast cancer, especially if they lack in folate.
UV Radiation – Constant exposure to UV rays from the sun or other man-made sources can also cause cancer. UV rays can cause damage to the DNA of our body cells and thus, can lead to cancer. However, UV rays do not have much penetrating capacity, and as such, the main effect is on the human skin, which implies that exposure to UV radiation mainly causes skin cancer in man.
Gamma Rays and X-Rays – These are high frequency and high energy electromagnetic waves that can come from a variety of natural, medical as well as man-made sources and can cause ionization radiation that can change the DNA sequence once it penetrates into the cell. This change or mutation in the DNA can lead to cancer at a later stage. According to health experts, the higher the level of radiation exposure, the more are the chances of developing neoplasia and vice versa. However, the lower exposure threshold below which there is no risk of developing cancer isn’t well-defined and varies according to different situations and conditions of exposure. For example, those living at much higher altitudes are more exposed to higher levels of radiation from the cosmic rays, but the chances of developing cancer aren’t enhanced amongst such people.
Radon Gas – Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless gas that has been directly associated with cancer, especially lung cancer. The gas is predominantly found in rocks and soil that contain radioactive materials like uranium and can be present both indoors as well as outdoors. As such, people can be exposed to the gas even while at home. After entering the lungs, the gas disintegrates into very minute particles of radioactive material and gets deposited on the inner lung lining. The radiation from these particles can lead to cancer in the long run.
Cancer and Cancer Treatment – Though cancer can be cured when treated in the very early stages, it has been seen that a previous case of cancer can be the cause of cancer at a later stage. Though it isn’t necessary that recurrence will occur, yet an earlier case of cancer can undoubtedly be the cause of a new cancer – sometimes the same type, sometimes different. Not only that, the treatment of cancer like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, etc. can also cause cancers like leukemia, MDS, PTLD, etc.
Characteristics of Malignant Neoplasm
A neoplasm or tumor can be either benign or malignant. If the tumor is benign, it doesn’t exhibit much activity, but a malignant neoplasm is highly active and has certain important characteristics that may be helpful in its identification. However, it must be remembered that these features of malignant neoplasia aren’t usually visible from the outside and can be determined only via clinical tests. The important features that a malignant tumor usually exhibits are as follows:
- Malignant tumors undergo a fast increase in their size.
- The cell mass that forms undergoes very little or no differentiation at all, thereby forming a big lump of cells that are totally useless.
- Malignant cells have a tendency to attack nearby cells and either destroy them or make them malignant.
- These cells may also travel to other parts of the body via lymph or blood vessels and affect other normal tissues, thus causing secondary cancer at the other site.
Not only do cancer cells differ in their activities from normal cells, but their cytological differences are also quite prominent which help differentiate them from normal cells. The main cytological features that malignant neoplastic cells possess are as follows:
- Malignant neoplasms have a much higher N/C ratio, which means that the nucleus of the cells is much bigger than what they should be.
- The cell, as well as nucleic size, varies quite a lot quite unlike normal cells.
- The DNA content of these cells is significantly higher.
- Hyperchromatism is seen in the E and H slides.
- The nucleoli are usually much larger in size, accompanied by irregular chromatin distribution within the nucleus.
- Irregular mitoses
Diagnosis of Malignant Neoplasm Cancer
Though most types of malignant neoplasia can be cured when detected at the formative stages, yet doing so clinically isn’t often viable or feasible as the cost of these clinical tests is quite high. As such, a small malignant tumor or in certain cases, even a moderately big one may remain undetected unless it starts causing indicative signs and symptoms which may prompt an individual to see a doctor. Upon visiting a doctor with symptoms that may be caused due to a growing tumor, the physician will carry out a series of checkups and tests which will finally reveal a malignant neoplasm, if present. The general course of action that is taken for the diagnosis of cancer is as follows:
Medical History and Physical Checkup – The first and most simple step that healthcare experts take towards diagnosing cancer is going through the medical as well as family history of the person. Habits, lifestyle, diet, etc. of the person are noted down and examined for possible causes of cancer. Tests are also conducted to find the reason for the various symptoms that a person may have, and any indication of a malignant neoplasm is noted down.
Radiographic Tests – Once the doctor finds significant indications that cancer may be present, radiographic tests are carried out. These tests may include x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasonography, mammography, etc. depending on the body part where the cancerous lump may be present. The techniques find out the presence of the tumor, if at all and help determine the cancer stage as well as the most suitable treatment procedure.
Laboratory Analysis – Radiography tests are followed by several different laboratory tests for enzyme abnormalities, anemia, hematuria, etc. that will help determine the further course of action. Tests for tumor markers like CEA, AFP, HCG, PSA, etc. may be performed, but the results aren’t always a 100% effective.
Gene Markers – Another way to detect cancer is the use of genetic markers like gene defects, gene rearrangements, nucleotide polymorphisms, etc. to find out the possible causes of gene-induced cancer. Certain genes may also indicate the susceptibility to particular cancer types.
Cytology – Another easier and less costly method of detecting malignancy is sampling cells for the possible existence of a lesion. These tests use single or multiple cells from a particular area or organ that needs to be tested for the existence of malignancy. The cells can be collected by inserting hollow needles (as in FNA test), by scraping and also from body fluids like phlegm, urine, spinal fluid, etc. Some of these cytological tests are just screening tests (like Pap smear), while others can definitely diagnose the malignancy (like scrape and brush).
Tissue Biopsy – Though cytological tests are quite easy to perform, they may not always be a 100% accurate. That’s where tissue biopsies come in; they are very accurate, but somewhat complicated. Sections of tissues are collected from different parts of the body (where the occurrence of cancer is assumed) and tested. Endoscopic methods like colonoscopy, bronchoscopy, etc. can help diagnose malignancy.
Surgery – In some cases, in order to determine the grade and stage of cancer, a portion of the cancerous tissue mass is surgically removed from the body and then studied in the laboratory to determine the treatment procedure.
Stages of Malignant Neoplasm
Once a malignant neoplasm has been detected, it is important to determine its stage so that proper treatment can be started immediately. Though different staging methods exist, the TNM classification is most commonly and widely used to categorize the level of the malignant tumor. The T value indicates the extent and/or size of the tumor. The N value refers to the level of involvement of the lymph node while the M value shows whether remote metastases are absent or present. Based on the data collected from clinical tests, the staging of neoplasms is done as below:
TX – impossible to evaluate the primary tumor
Tis – the tumor is non-invasive and in-situ
T1 – the neoplasm is small in size and shows minimal invasion at the primary location.
T2 – the tumor is large in size and shows comparatively more invasion at the primary location
T3 – the tumor is large, and the invasion has gone beyond the perimeters of the primary location
T4 – large tumor with extreme invasion and has spread to the nearby organs as well
NX – It is impossible to evaluate the regional lymph nodes
N0 – the lymph node is not at all involved
N1 – the closest lymph node is involved
N2 – the regional lymph node is involved
N3 – remote lymph nodes are also involved
MX – the occurrence of remote metastases cannot be determined
M0 – No occurrence of remote metastases
M1- remote metastases are present’
Also Read: Pancoast Tumor Cancer
Malignant Neoplasm Grading
Grading of malignant neoplasms is done on the basis of how they appear on H&E staining. The higher the grader, the lower is the degree of tissue differentiation and vice-versa. Lesser the degree of tissue different, worse is the behavior of the tumor. Little or no tissue differentiation makes it difficult to determine the where the malignancy actually originated. Though different grading systems exist, each system usually consists of 3-4 grades depending upon the degree of differentiation. A commonly used grading system works as follows:
GX- the grade of the tumor cannot be determined
G1: the neoplasm is well differentiated
G2: the mass of tissue is moderately differentiated
G3: the neoplasm is quite poorly differentiated
G4: the neoplasm is almost anaplastic, i.e., there is very less differentiation
Specific Grading System for Some Cancers
Though a common grading system is used for most types of cancers, yet a few have their own grading systems, for example, breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Breast Cancer – In case of breast cancer, a different grading system known as the Nottingham grading methodology is generally used. In this technique, the factors that are considered in determining the grade of the cancer are as follows:
- Tubule Formation – this factor denotes the amount of tumor tissue that closely resembles the structure of the milk ducts of the breast.
- Nuclear Grade- this factor denotes the shape and size of the nuclei of the malignant cells.
- Mitotic Rate – this factor denotes the number of divisible cells present in the tumor mass, which in turn, denotes the rate of division and growth of the cancer cells.
Each of these factors carries a score of 1-3 with 1 denoting that the cells are behaving more like normal cells, while the score of 3 will denote that the cells are behaving very abnormally. Thus, a total score of 3-9 is possible which is divided into 3 different grades as follows:
G1 – Score 3-5 – the cancer is low grade, and the tumor is well differentiated
G2 – Score 6-7 – the cancer is immediate grade, and the tumor is moderately differentiated
G3 – Score 8-9 – the cancer is high grade, and the tumor is very minimally differentiated
Prostate Cancer – Quite like breast cancer, in case of prostate cancer, too, a different system, known as the Gleason technique is used for grading. This technique uses the cell samples acquired via prostate biopsy. Pathologists check if the cells collected from the prostate tumor resemble that of the original prostate cells and to what degree. Primary as well as secondary tissue organization patterns are identified, and each is graded from 1-5. In both cases, 1 denotes maximum similarity with the actual prostate cancer while 5 denotes maximum abnormality. Both the grades are combined, and the Gleason score is thus obtained, which is then categorized as follows:
Gleason X – the cancer grade cannot be established.
Gleason 2- 6 – the cancerous tissue is found to be well differentiated
Gleason 7 – the cell mass is found to be moderately differentiated
Gleason 8-10 – there is little or no differentiation of the tumor
Is Neoplasia Curable?
The cure for different types of neoplasia is one of the most important challenges that the modern world is faced with and even with the best technology and medicines available, it is impossible to cure all types of neoplasms. Some common forms of cancer like breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, etc. can be quite successfully cured if they are detected in the early stages of development (the first 2 stages). However, in the later stages, i.e. stages 3 and 4, completely curing cancer becomes quite difficult as the cancerous cells spread to secondary sites in these stages. As such, there are chances of secondary cancer even if the primary cancer is cured.
On the other hand, acute lung cancer, lymphoma, brain cancer and certain other types of neoplasia can hardly be cured and are often termed to be as incurable. Though complete cure isn’t possible, early detection and proper treatment can, obviously, prolong the life-span of a patient.
Treatment for neoplasia often varies from person to person as every cancer is unique and thus, needs a personal approach to achieve the full benefits of the different curative measures. However, most cancers require the implementation of one or more of the following treatment procedures:
Surgery – As the name suggests, the tumor or the neoplasm is cut out and eliminated via surgical means. Since the method helps complete removal of the tumor, it is often regarded as the best treatment procedure that exists. However, it must be noted that surgery cannot be performed for all types of neoplasm, especially if the tumor isn’t easily available or is located very close to the vital part of the organ. Moreover, in the later stages of cancer, when metastases have already occurred, surgery at the primary site will not be enough to remove cancer as the malignant cells have already spread to other body parts.
Radiation – High-energy and high-frequency rays are often used to treat cancer. These rays are concentrated on the tumor so that they can gradually break up the DNA of those cells and thus, kill or neutralize them. Radiation therapy will work well only if the tumor is sufficiently radiosensitive and the patient’s body can tolerate the therapy without showing serious symptoms like radiation sickness, fibrosis, necrosis, etc.
Chemotherapy – This is another commonly used cancer treatment. Drugs are regularly administered to the patients for the selective poisoning of the cancerous cells. By poisoning the tumor cells, these drugs prevent further division and growth of these cells so that there isn’t further enhancement of cancer. Often, several chemotherapy drugs are combined in lower doses to kill the cells effectively. However, this treatment will be effective only if the administered drugs can kill the tumor cells without affecting the regular cells.
Biotherapy – The use of living organisms, substances obtained directly from living organisms or their laboratory version to fight cancer is usually referred to as biotherapy. Biotherapy involves various techniques. In some cases, the therapy is meant to suppress or boost the immune system of the body so as to help it fight cancer. In other cases, biotherapy implies the development of antibodies that can be administered to attack the cancerous cells, thereby killing them. Biotherapy is also often recommended to fight against the ill-effects of other cancer treatment procedures.
Are Home Remedies Effective?
Over the time, studies and researches have shown that certain food items have properties that can help fight cancer. Items like broccoli, ginseng, grapes, myrrh, green tea, soybeans, aloe vera, wheatgrass, maitake mushroom, olive oil, etc. help improve the body functionality, thereby counteracting different types of cancer. Not only that, doctors and health experts across the world have been in search of alternative cancer treatment methods that can help cure the ailment without affecting other areas of the body. Many have been quite successful at devising techniques and programs that can quite successfully cure cancer and prevent its recurrence. Amongst the various alternative treatment methods that exist, the most popular are:
- The Gerson Therapy and Juicing
- The Budwig Protocol
- Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy
- Vitamin C Chelation
- Frankincense Essential Oil Therapy
- Probiotic Foods and Supplements
- Sunshine and Vitamin D3
- Turmeric and Curcumin
- Oxygen Therapy and Hyperbaric Chambers
- Immune-Boosting Mushrooms
It must, however, be understood that each cancer requires a personalized treatment approach and so, it must be the doctor who should decide what’s best for a cancer patient.
Once cancer has been diagnosed, the prognosis is important. Prognosis refers to the outcome or consequences that a person may have to face due to the ailment. Concurrent with the stage at which the cancer is detected, the prognosis will differ. If the detection is made at a very early stage, the prognosis, in most cases, is excellent. However, with the development of cancer, the prognosis gradually diminishes and becomes almost nil at the terminal stages. Moreover, if the cancer can be easily removed, the prognosis is much better than if it has to be treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Factors that Affect Prognosis:
Though the exact prognosis can be determined after a thorough checkup, an approximate prognosis can be done based on a number of factors like:
- The cancer type and location
- Cancer stage and the occurrence of metastasis
- Grade of the cancer
- Specific characteristics of the cancerous cells
- Patient age and health
- Response to cancer treatment
Is Prevention Possible?
Health experts most certainly do believe that preventing cancer is quite possible and the goal can be achieved by following certain simple steps that would enhance the overall well-being of a person.
Avoid Common Cancer Causes – The first and most important step is to avoid various carcinogens and triggers that can lead to cancer. Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, continued exposure to intense sun rays, etc. Also, try to prevent the attack of viruses that can lead to cancer. For those who work in proximity to radiation rays, harmful chemicals, asbestos, etc., it is vital that all necessary safety procedures are followed to minimize the harmful effects as much as possible.
Eat Healthily – If your body receives a healthy diet that is sufficient in various nutrients necessary for the well-being of the body, the chances of occurrence of cancer is reduced to the minimum. Various systems of the body will work efficiently and thus, will be able to ward off cancer triggers more easily.
Take Probiotics – Adding good bacteria to your body system will ensure that it is more than well prepared to prevent abnormal activities within the body. By reducing inflammation and enhancing the immune system, these bacteria will help prevent the attack and growth of cancerous cells.
Exercise Well – Regular exercise help improve body immunity so that the body can easily fight against the cancerous cells. Not only that, but proper exercise can also help maintain the insulin levels so that the blood sugar levels do not exceed beyond the optimal levels. A low sugar level inhibits the formation and growth of cancerous cells in the body.
Sleep Well – Sleeping well is very important in order to produce sufficient amount of melatonin which can prevent excess weight gain and insulin resistance – two important factors that have a direct bearing on the development of cancer.
Take Vitamin D – Studies have shown that the risk of cancer reduces to upto 50% amongst those who take sufficient amount of Vitamin D daily. Though optimal exposure to the sun’s rays can easily help in the production of Vitamin D, not people can fulfill their daily requirement in this way. So, it is important that such people take Vitamin D supplements on a daily basis.
Stay Away from Toxins – To reduce the chances of cancer, it is vital that you stay away from harmful toxins such as herbicides, chemical cleaners, pesticides, air fresheners, toxic cosmetics, etc. or minimize the exposure as much as possible.
For those who are genetically prone to cancer, it is important that they undergo can screening tests at regular intervals so that any abnormal cell growth is detected very early and can be removed or treated before it can assume dangerous proportions.
FAQs Malignant Neoplasm Cancer
Can you Smoke Cigar instead of a Cigarette?
In short, no! The tobacco present in cigar undergoes a long aging process, thereby increasing the concentration of nitrogenous compounds like nitrites and nitrates which emit some of the most active carcinogens known to mankind.
Can you use Tobacco Products that do not Emit Smoke?
Though tobacco, when chewed or taken as snuff, doesn’t produce the harmful smoke, yet this doesn’t eliminate the intake of harmful carcinogens as they contain TSNAs, PAHs, radioactive substances, etc. which are directly absorbed and can lead to different types of cancer.
Can you use e-cigs?
Though e-cigs brands claim that e-cigarettes can be used instead of actual cigarettes or cigars without any harm, yet the reality is quite different. The liquid used in the e-cigs contain synthetic flavors, addictive nicotine and several other chemical compounds that are classified as carcinogens.
Can Losing Body Weight help Lower Cancer Risk?
Though there are indications that maintaining an optimal body weight helps in curbing cancer menace in certain cases, yet there isn’t enough proof to establish this as a fact. However, cutting down excess body weight does bring about certain changes in the body functionality that may have a direct impact on susceptibility to cancer.
Why is Remission Different from a Cure?
When the symptoms of cancer are reduced or obliterated after proper treatment, then you are in remission. If the remission is complete, i.e., all symptoms have completely disappeared, and cancer doesn’t come back within 5 years, then doctors may suggest that you are cured. But certain cancerous cells may remain undetected, and cancer may come back after several years which imply that you aren’t completely cured.
Are Seniors Prone to Cancer?
Yes. Although cancer can occur at any age, the elderly have a much higher chance of developing the ailment. This is mainly because their DNA usually undergoes a lot of changes in the entire lifetime, making cells more susceptible to cancerous growth. Moreover, their bodily systems, too, lose their earlier efficiency, thus limiting the ability to fight cancer.
Though cancer cure will depend on a variety of factors, the prognosis can be highly good if the malignancy is detected early on and proper treatment is initiated. So, when one or more symptoms of the ailment start appearing, it would be wise not to procrastinate and see a doctor immediately who will be able to determine if malignancy is present or not and if present, he/she will be able to prescribe the proper course of action that can improve life expectancy as well as the quality of life of cancer patients.