What Is Stage Zero Cancer? Why Is No One Talking About It?
Information on Stage Zero Cancer:
Perhaps even moreso than other diseases, the most powerful tool against cancer is information. Early detection and prevention goes an incredibly long way toward increasing the chance of positive prognosis.
It's important that people, especially as they get older, can identify the signs of various kinds of cancer at their different stages.
A Primer on How Cancer Works
It helps to know exactly what cancer is. The short version is that cancer is the result of cells in the body having unchecked growth.
There are usually a multitude of ways in which your body controls cell growth. This includes having specific signals for when cells divide. There are also signals the body can send to stop cells from dividing.
Complex molecular interactions dictate natural limits on the rate that cells can grow. And, besides that, cells naturally undergo apoptosis - which you might remember from highschool. The layman's term for that is "programmed cell death."
Remember that your cells are dividing all the time. And in fact, a few of these processes probably go wrong sometimes with no real consequence, because all of these processes almost act like checks and balances against each other.
But the body ages, and the telomeres in our DNA get older - leading to errors. Our DNA is the instructional manual in our cells. And when one cell has an error, and it replicates, that error multiplies and spreads. This is why so many cancers only start becoming likely after around 50.
And what happens after that is something like the accident at Chernobyl. A number of different errors all occur at once, leading to a catastrophe of cell growth.
So What's Stage Zero?
Among the many types of instruction manual errors a cell can have, there's one that is particularly harmful, and particularly associated with cancer: can the cancer spread outside its place of origin?
There are, in fact, plenty of cases where cells can grow at a wild rate and end up mostly harmless. These are the polyps and benign tumors you sometimes hear about. Though they can cause damage in the body (perhaps by putting pressure on organs), what makes a cancer most scary is when it can spread.
Stage Zero is at the stage when the cancer has not spread. The technology is still developing to get to the point where we can reliably tell how it might spread, or even if it will spread,
And that's actually a bigger deal than you think. In a perfect world, we could identify which cancers might metastasize and which ones won't, and attenuate the invasiveness of our procedures to the threat level.
When it comes to cancer, the cure is not worse than the disease, but sometimes the cure can be pretty awful on the body.
So What's This Mean for Me?
It can be tough to figure out what it means to watch out for yourself. It's true that certain cancers mostly affect older individuals, but mostly is not only.
So what's a young woman who feels a lump in her breast to do? Especially if hospital visits might be expensive for her.
Without prescribing hypochondria, it's important to be vigilant and take these things seriously. Paranoia helps no one, but a little bit of common sense and recognition that not everything is clean statistics will go a long way.
Want to know more about how you can take care of yourself and detect possible problems early? Call Natural Horizons Wellness Centers to schedule an appointment and get more information.