Cancer is a disease in which some of the body cells grow uncontrollably and spread to the other parts of the body. Cancer is a genetic disease that is caused by changes to genes that control the way the cells function, specifically how they grow, divide, or die. Human cells grow and multiply which is known as cell division to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place. But, in the case of cancerous cells, the aged or damaged cells do not die or get replaced, instead, they either start to multiply their damaged copies or stay inside the body causing multiple dysfunctions in the affected area or to the organ. Sometimes this orderly process of cell division breaks down, and abnormal or damaged cells grow and multiply when they shouldn’t. These cells may form tumors, which are lumps of tissue. Tumors can be cancerous or not cancerous which are known as benign tumors. Cancerous tumors may spread into, or invade nearby tissues and can travel to distant places in the body to form new tumors, a process known as metastasis. Cancerous tumors may also be called malignant tumors. Many cancers form solid tumors, but cancers of the blood, such as leukemias, generally do not.
Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnoses, treatment, and prevention of cancer anywhere inside the body, and the healthcare practitioners who specialize in oncology are known as oncologists. The body normally eliminates cells with damaged DNA before they turn cancerous. But the body’s ability to do so goes down as we age. This is part of the reason why there is a higher risk of cancer later in life.
Cancer risk factors may include exposure to chemicals or other substances, as well as certain behaviors that people cannot control, like age and family history. A family history of certain cancers can be a sign of a possible inherited cancer syndrome. It is usually not possible to know exactly why one person develops cancer and the other doesn’t. But research has shown that certain risk factors may increase a person’s chances of developing cancer such as:
- Cancer-causing substances
- Chronic inflammation
- Infectious Agents
It is often seen that patients collect information about their issues through the internet which results in lethal outcomes since the information has no basis whatsoever. Providing Health, disease or any medical treatment-related information is the responsibility of a doctor, to ensure that the patient understands what the procedure is for and the patient agrees to it. The hindrance of providing clear information can easily be solved via high-quality Videos and Animations which acts as a common bridge between a doctor and their patients. It is proven that visuals are a more efficient way to convey health or disease-related information by a practitioner to their patients.
What is the importance of Oncology Videos?
An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating people who have cancer. An oncologist will design a treatment plan based on detailed pathology reports which signify, what type of cancer a person has, at what stage it has developed, how fast it is likely to spread, and what parts of the body are affected. Since most cancers are treated with a combination of therapies which includes several different kinds of oncologists during the treatment. Normally several types of oncologists join hands as a team to cure or design the treatment plans. Different types of oncologists are:
- Medical oncologists – Medical oncologists treat cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapies, biological therapies, and other targeted treatments. People often think of the medical oncologist as their primary cancer doctor. Medical oncologists help the patients manage side effects.
- Radiation oncologists – Radiation oncologists use high-energy photon beams to target and destroy cancer cells. Many of the cancer patients will have radiation treatments as part of their cancer care. Some cancers respond best to small “seeds” of irradiated material implanted in the affected area, while others respond best to intense beams of radiation that are highly targeted, also known as radiosurgery.
- Surgical oncologists – If a physician suspects cancer, a surgical oncologist may be one of the first doctors that the physician would suggest primarily. Surgical oncologists often perform biopsies, which is, removing a small section of tissue so it can be checked for cancerous cells. If cancer cells are present, then the patient has to visit the surgical oncologist for the removal of the tumor and surrounding tissues.
- Pediatric oncologists – Pediatric oncologists diagnose and treat children who have cancer. Children under the age of 15, diagnosed with cancer are treated by pediatric oncologists. An important part for most pediatric oncologists is to educate families whose children are undergoing treatment for cancer.
- Gynecologic oncologists – Gynecologic oncologists specialize in treating cancers that affect women’s organs, such as ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancers, but also often treat complicated gynecological conditions that are not cancerous like endometriosis and fibroid tumors.
- Hematologist oncologist – Healthcare practitioners who specialize in treating blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma are called hematologists, as they may also treat blood disorders that are not cancer, like sickle cell anemia and hemophilia.
While consultation, it is often seen that the practitioner and the patient tend to be not on the same page, meaning the information that the practitioner provides is often misunderstood by the patients which creates a knowledge barrier between the both.
Many conditions require an oncologist who suggests various procedures to treat the same and surgeries if required. Some of the common symptoms that a patient might face are as follows:
- Lump or area of thickening that can be felt under the skin
- Weight changes, including unintended loss or gain
- Skin changes, such as yellowing, darkening, or redness of the skin, sores that won’t heal, or changes to existing moles
- Changes in bowel or bladder habits
- Persistent cough or trouble breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent indigestion or discomfort after eating
- Persistent, unexplained muscle or joint pain
- Persistent, unexplained fevers or night sweats
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising
Cancer and its treatment can cause several complications which include:
- Pain – Pain can be caused by cancer or by cancer treatment, though not all cancer is painful. Medications and other approaches can effectively treat cancer-related pain.
- Fatigue – Fatigue in people with cancer has many causes, but it can often be managed. Fatigue associated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatments is common, but it’s usually temporary.
- Difficulty breathing – Cancer or cancer treatment may cause a feeling of being short of breath. Treatments may bring relief.
- Nausea – Certain cancers and cancer treatments can cause nausea. The doctor can sometimes predict if the treatment is likely to cause nausea. Medications and other treatments may help to prevent or decrease nausea.
- Diarrhea or constipation – Cancer and cancer treatment can affect the bowels and cause diarrhea or constipation.
- Weight loss – Cancer and cancer treatment may cause weight loss. Cancer steals food from normal cells and deprives them of nutrients causing huge weight loss.
- Chemical changes in the body – Cancer can upset the normal chemical balance in your body and increase your risk of serious complications. Signs and symptoms of chemical imbalances might include excessive thirst, frequent urination, constipation, and confusion.
- Brain and nervous system problems – Cancer can press on nearby nerves and cause pain and loss of function of one part of the body. Cancer that involves the brain can cause headaches and stroke-like signs and symptoms, such as weakness on one side of the body.
- Unusual immune system reactions to cancer – In some cases the body’s immune system may react to the presence of cancer by attacking healthy cells also known as paraneoplastic syndromes, these very rare reactions can lead to a variety of signs and symptoms, such as difficulty in walking and experiencing seizures.
Several preventions can be taken in order to reduce the risk of being affected by cancer. Such as:
- Stop smoking – If a person smokes, quitting the same would be very beneficial as smoking is linked to several types of cancer and not just lung cancer. Stopping now will reduce the future risk of cancer.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure – Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can increase the risk of skin cancer. Limit your sun exposure by staying in the shade, wearing protective clothing, or applying sunscreen to reduce the chances of getting skin cancer drastically.
- Eating a healthy diet – Choosing a diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps in reducing the chances of getting infected with cancer. One should select whole grains and lean proteins and limit the intake of processed meats.
- Limiting alcohol intake – If one chooses to consume alcohol, then it should be done in moderation.
- Information on immunizations – Certain viruses increase the risk of cancer. Immunizations may help prevent those viruses, including hepatitis B, which increases the risk of liver cancer, and human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases the risk of cervical cancer and other cancers.
- Returning of cancer – Patients who survive cancer have a risk of cancer recurrence. Some cancers are more likely to recur than others. The healthcare practitioner may devise a follow-up care plan after treatment. This plan may include periodic scans and exams in the months and years after the treatment, to search for cancer recurrence.
Consultation done via oncology videos or animations about various conditions increases patient engagement and knowledge about what can be expected during a medical procedure. Patients feel embarrassed about asking questions like how the procedure will be done, what it will look like, what are the precautions to be taken, why medicine has been prescribed, what side effects to look out for, and what to do if you are experiencing problems. At the time of consultation, important and yet complex medical-related information may take time to understand fully, even for patients with good health literacy.
Good communication with a practitioner makes it more understandable for patients to benefit from their treatment and helps to ensure the best-suited treatment for them which can be done by consulting via oncology education videos.