Complications You Can Expect in Cancer

Cancer as well as treatment of cancer leads to various complications. The most important complication of cancer is of course the risk of premature death. This is the reason cancer is a dreaded disease in most cases (except few types of cancers, which are curable). It is important for all of us to know what complications can occur in cancer. These include,id-100279456

Spread of cancer to other body parts:

This is a serious complication and when cancer starts to spread to other body parts, it usually indicate advance stage and bad outcome. In which part cancer spreads from its primary site (known as metastasis) depends on the type of cancer and location of primary cancer. The spread of cancer is commonly via lymphatic system, blood stream or local spread.

Cancer that recurs:

Despite successful initial treatment (with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery or combination of these) cancer survivors have high risk of recurrence. Some forms of cancers are more prone to recur than other types. Ask your doctor how to reduce risk of recurrence. Also get periodic checkup (follow up) done with scan and other investigations. Your doctor will be able to tell you how frequently follow up should be done. Follow healthy lifestyle after cancer treatment to prevent recurrence.

Paraneoplastic syndrome:

This can develop in cancer patients. Paraneoplastic syndrome is reaction of body’s immune system to cancer, which may attack the normal cells of the host and lead to various signs and symptoms. This is uncommon complication of cancer.

Complications of brain and nervous system:

Rapid growth of cancer cells can cause pressure to nearby nerves leading to severe pain as well as disturbance or loss of function of that particular area. If cancer involves brain it can cause headache and stroke like symptoms and lead to weakness of various body parts and inability to function properly.

Severe weight loss:

Due to rapid growth of cancer cells, they take away lots of energy and nutrition and deprive normal cells of its due share leading to weight loss. In extreme weight loss it is called cancer cachexia. In such cases management of cancer become really very difficult, because no amount of calories and nutrition can reverse this. Even, artificial feeding through tubes is not of much benefit.

Pain:

Various types of cancer cause severe pain. Very strong pain medications (such as opioid analgesics) may be required to deal with cancer related pain.

Weakness:

Weakness and fatigue in cancer patient is common, especially after treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. However, weakness can be managed well and it is usually temporary.

Nausea and vomiting:

Vomiting and nausea is very common among cancer patients. Vomiting is vomiting is very common during and after chemotherapy. This problem is also usually temporary and goes away after treatment with proper anti-emetic medications.

There are also numerous other complications, signs and symptoms associated with cancer, e.g. Diarrhea, constipation, breathing problems, frequent urination, psychiatric problems etc.

 

Image courtesy of [dream designs] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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