Adenocarcinoma is a cancer that develops in glands that line the interior of certain bodily organs. This includes many places in the body, including the breasts, pancreas, prostate, lungs, and colon, among others.
The glands where adenocarcinoma originates produce fluids that your organs need to function nominally. When these glands start growing out of control, adenocarcinoma forms, and it may subsequently spread to other parts of the body.
To better understand the nature of your adenocarcinoma, it’s important to identify where it formed within your body. Adenocarcinoma can be broken down as follows:
The colon and rectum make up a larger structure called the large intestine, which is part of the body’s digestive system. This long tube-like structure removes nutrients and water from food as it passes through. Adenocarcinoma is the most common variety of colon cancer, starting as a small polyp that eventually turns into cancer. This disease may also start in the rectum, where waste is discharged from the body.
The breasts are also susceptible to adenocarcinoma, which are the most common varieties of breas cancer. The glands where breast milk is made is where adenocarcinoma of the breast gets its start.
The esophagus is yet another tube that carries food from one part of the body (mouth) to anther (stomach). The mucous glands in the lower section of the esophagus is usually where adenocarcinoma starts.
About 40% of cancers that start in the lungs are adenocarcinoma. These cancers grow slower than other forms of lung cancer, and usually start in the outer parts of the lungs. Most cases of adenocarcinoma result from smoking tobacco.
The pancreas is an organ that manufactures enzymes and hormones that help the body digest food. Approximately 85% of pancreatic cancers are caused by adenocarcinoma that start in the pancreas’ ducts.
The Prostate is gland located below the bladder in men. Adenocarcinoma gets its start in the cells of fluid located in this gland where sperm cells are protected.
Staging is a process where testing and exams are conducted to determine the nature and size of a particular cancer and whether it’s spread to other parts of the body. Doctors then use this information to ascertain treatment and offer the patient a prognosis.
The prognosis and treatment for adenocarcinoma will vary depending on where it’s located in the body. However, there is a generalized way of determining the nature of adenocarcinoma using the stages located below. Keep in mind that every patient’s adenocarcinoma is unique to their body, so staging always has certain limitations when determining treatment and prognosis. This is why treatment may work for one patient, and not for another.
• Stage 0 adenocarcinoma – The tumor is malignant but has not spread to any other locations in the body
• Stage 1 adenocarcinoma – The tumor is only present in the organ of origin
• Stage 2 adenocarcinoma – The cancer has spread to other organs, likely into lymph nodes
• Stage 3 adenocarcinoma – The cancer has invaded other organs in the body
• Stage 4 adenocarcinoma – The tumor has spread to organs further away from the organ of origin
There are numerous variables to the staging shown above, depending on the location of the tumor. Lower staged cancers are easier to treat and offer better prognoses to patients, whereas higher stages may be inoperable, making then more difficult to treat.
The staging of adenocarcinoma varies depending on where it’s located, but all stages utilize the TNM tumor staging system. This system uses three factors to rate the adenocarcinoma, and they are as follows:
• T – Tumor – The size of the tumor
• N – Nodes – Whether the cancer has invaded any lymph nodes
• M- Metastasis – Whether the tumor has spread
For a more precise understanding of cancer staging, please see the appropriate section for the type of adenocarcinoma relative to the organ in which it’s located.
Adenocarcinoma Symptoms (signs of Adenocarcinoma)
Symptoms associated with adenocarcinoma will depend on the location of the tumor. Adenocarcinoma in the small intestine could cause fatigue, diarrhea, or fatigue, while adenocarcinoma in an lung could lead to coughing or wheezing. However, when adenocarcinoma is in its earliest stages, there may not be any symptoms at all.
To find out more about the symptoms associated with adenocarcinoma in a particular organ, see the appropriate section on this website.
Adenocarcinomas are common. In fact, they are one of the two most common cancers. Not all adenocarcinomas are malignant, and benign tumors are rarely life threatening. The chances of developing any cancer increases with age, with over 90% of patients over the age of 50.
There are more specific statistics available for each type of adenocarcinoma. What they all prove is that screening is the best way to detect cancer in its earliest stages, when screening for cancer is possible. If you would like more statistical information about a particular cancer, please visit the appropriate section on this website.
Causes of Adenocarcinoma
While doctors don’t know exactly what causes adenocarcinoma, but risk factors that may increase the chances of developing these tumors have been identified. Keep in mind that one person with a variety of risk factors may never develop cancer, while another person without any risk factors will.
The most common risk factors for various adenocarcinoma in various parts of the body include:
• Smoking tobacco
• Drinking alcohol
• Physical condition
• History of cancer or polyps
• Certain health disorders
Obviously, some risk factors cannot be managed because they are out of a person’s control. Other risk factors, like smoking, can be managed. This knowledge is helpful to people who may be high risk candidates for developing cancer, as they can limit activities and behavior that may lead to developing cancer.
Adenocarcinoma Screening and Prevention
Screening is the process of periodic testing for cancer in an effort to identify the disease in its earliest stages. Screening for adenocarcinoma is possible in some organs, but not in others. It’s common for men over 50 to receive routine screening for colon cancer, but there is no way to screen for brain tumors because no successful method has been identified.
Men and women should familiarize themselves with recommended cancer screening by talking to their doctor. Treatment is far more likely to be successful if cancers can be found in their earliest stage, or in a pre-cancerous stage.
Screening is recommended for the following cancers:
• Colon and rectum
The best way to prevent developing adenocarcinomas is to minimize behaviors that increase risk. The best ways to prevent cancer includes:
• Do not use tobacco products
• Maintain appropriate weight
• Eat a healthy diet
• Get daily exercise
• Talk to a doctor about screening
Healthy behaviors lead to better health and a stronger immune system capable of fighting the onset of adenocarcinoma. A healthy lifestyle also improves overall quality of life, which should be the goal of every person.
Adenocarcinoma treatment will be dependent on the location and extent of the cancer. However, treatments are often similar for various types of cancer at certain stages. What follows are the most common treatments for adenocarcinoma.
Surgery is often performed to remove tumors or aid in staging the cancer. Surgery on adenocarcinoma usually focuses on removal of the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue.
Radiation therapy is often used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy, but there are some instances when it’s used independently. Radiation therapy uses a high-energy x-ray beam to kill cancer cells. Usually the beam is focused on the tumor from the outside of the patient’s body, but sometimes it is performed internally. Doctors often use image guidance techniques to target adenocarcinoma tumors, so that the beam can be focused on the cancer without damaging healthy tissue.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs can be taken orally or intravenously so they can enter the bloodstream and attack cancer cells all over the body. Healthy cells are also affected by chemotherapy, which leads to serious side effects in most patients. Chemotherapy may also be used in conjunction with surgery and/or radiation therapy to treat adenocarcinoma tumors.
All of these treatments present risks to the patient, and will most likely cause side effects like fatigue, nausea, and many others. Before any treatment, you should fully understand what to expect so you can make an informed decision.
Alternative Treatments Used for Adenocarcinoma
Treatments that fall outside of mainstream medicine are often referred to as “alternative.” Sometimes alternative treatments are used by themselves to treat adenocarcinoma. Sometimes alternative treatments are used in a supporting role to other treatments, often to alleviate symptoms associated with the disease.
Many patients with adenocarcinoma tumors investigate the usefulness of alternative treatments. Some patients want to avoid the side effects of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, so they too seek alternative treatments.
In some cases, mainstream treatment protocols can leave the patient in worse condition. For this reason, some alternative treatments seek to identify the nature of the patient’s specific adenocarcinoma so that the most effective treatment may also be identified.
Alternative treatments may also focus on relieving symptoms associated with advanced adenocarcinomas, or the side effects caused by treatment. These are alternative treatment methods that seek to relive symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Some other forms of alternative adenocarcinoma treatment include:
• Traditional medicine
• Special diets
The choice to pursue alternative treatment for adenocarcinoma is ultimately up to the patient. Before entering into any treatment protocol, you should explore your options and seek medical advice from a health professional whom you trust.
Vitamins and Supplements Used in the Treatment of Adenocarcinoma
There have been a number of studies conducted to ascertain the medicinal value of vitamins and supplements in relation to various cancers and tumors like adenocarcinoma. Many cancer doctors are unfamiliar with these treatments because they fall outside of the sphere of mainstream medicine. For this reason, patients seeking alternative treatments often have to do so without their doctor’s recommendation.
There are a number of vitamins and supplements used by naturopaths and doctors that practice alternative treatment methods for adenocarcinoma tumors. Some of these include:
• Vitamin C
• Omega 3s
• Many others
Supplements have the potential to interfere with other treatments, so talk to your doctor before taking any supplement to treat adenocarcinoma.
Natural Remedies that May Help Adenocarcinoma
Not only do those suffering from adenocarcinoma tumors often seek natural remedies for prevention and treatment, they also look for ways to counter the adverse effects of traditional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Patients who receive these treatments usually suffer multiple side effects, so they pursue natural remedies that help with pain and other symptoms.
Diet plays a considerable role in a patient’s overall health when dealing with the side effects of treatment. It’s important to make sure that you’re getting enough calories in your diet, even if you don’t feel like eating. A healthy diet should be divided between proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, with plenty of vegetables that boost the immune system. Your doctor can help you better understand how essential foods ensure you get the right vitamins in their proper doses.
Other natural remedies are anything that may help you deal with pain. This could be anything from ice packs to therapeutic massage. Increasing your comfort level will help you deal with the nasty side effects associated with treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Some other natural remedies used by cancer patients include:
Any treatment should be carefully considered. You should also check with your doctor to make sure the treatment won’t have any adverse effects on other treatment protocols.
If you have any questions about adenocarcinoma tumors or other cancers, contact a member of the Causenta team today.
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