Tu­mours Grow Se­cretly

Some types of can­cer hide deep in­side the body, not re­veal­ing them­selves, un­til they have grown big.

Science Illustrated - - CANCER -

Only around 7 % of pa­tients with pan­creas can­cer sur­vive for more than five years af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed. The un­usu­ally high death rate is par­tic­u­larly due to the fact that the dis­ease is not spot­ted, un­til it has been de­vel­op­ing for years.

Early can­cer di­ag­no­sis is ex­tremely im­por­tant, as early stage can­cer cells are typ­i­cally more vul­ner­a­ble to treat­ment. Some can­cer types are quite easy to de­tect early, as they cause pro­nounced symp­toms or are easy to iden­tify by sim­ple med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion. Prostate can­cer is usu­ally spot­ted early, and 99 % of the pa­tients sur­vive for more than five years. In the case of breast can­cer, rou­tine screen­ing in Scan­di­navia has caused the death rate to fall by about 30 %.

Other types of can­cer such as pan­creas can­cer only cause fee­ble symp­toms such as stom­ach pain and poor ap­petite early in the course of the dis­ease. Usu­ally, doc­tors will not sus­pect can­cer, as the symp­toms could eas­ily have been caused by other, more com­mon dis­eases. More­over, doc­tors are un­able to make quick pan­creas can­cer rou­tine checks, as the can­cer is hid­ing deep in­side the body.

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