What is the difference?Cut through cancer confusion
Learning the language of Cancer can be challenging. For many patients and caregivers, it is a bewildering combination of the immune system – this and the immune system. Many patients find sound-like terms and phrases incomprehensible, and unspoken words are exacerbated by assumptions and conclusions often caused by frustration or fear of asking too many questions. There can’t be much difference in genetics or genomics, right? Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s disease are not different, right? And lung cancer is lung cancer, right? Well, no.
The nuances of cancer types, terminology, and addresses can indicate profound differences in diseases, diagnoses, and treatments. The small cell prefix “no” can make a big difference to a patient’s care plan and prognosis. To help eliminate confusion, the Cancer Center 360 blog has developed a spin-off series called What’s the Difference? This collection of blogs is designed to help clear up some of the confusion in cancer vocabulary and help increase your IQ regarding cancer. Here are the summaries of the installments of the 2017 series.
genetics and genomics
Although they are used interchangeably, the terms “genetics” and “genomics” are not synonymous. Both involve the study of genetic material and both are derived from the Greek word gene , which means birth or origin. But the similarities largely end there. Although genetics and genomics are complex topics, the difference between them is much simpler: genetics is the study of the genes that people inherit at birth, passed down from their families through generations. Genomics refers to the study of mutations in the same tumors that can lead to different behaviors associated with cancer. Tests, those that determine a person’s DNA profile and those that look for genetic abnormalities in a tumor, can help treat cancer.
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Learn more about advanced genomic testing
B cells and T cells
When bacteria, viruses, or parasites invade the body, an immune alarm is triggered that triggers a chain reaction of cellular activity in the immune system. The body can deploy macrophages or other innate immune cells, such as basophils, dendritic cells, or neutrophils, to help attack the invading pathogen. Normally these cells do the work and the invader is destroyed. But sometimes when the body needs a more complex attack, it turns to T cells and B cells, and these forces are the special processes of the immune system, a line of defense that uses past behaviors and interactions to learn to recognize specific external threats. and attack them when they reappear. They can also play an important role in the development and treatment of cancer.
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for more information on the immune system
Small cell and non-small cell lung cancer
Diagnosing and treating lung cancer requires much more than simply measuring the size of the cancer cells under a microscope. But these volumes are a critical first step in understanding the distinction, scope and extent of disease and its treatment options. This is because even today, lung cancers are generally divided into two categories: small cell (SCLC) and non-small cell (NSCLC), which are named when pathologists first differentiated lung cancers by the size of the lungs and the affected cells. “The conventional diagnosis was based on pure pathology,” says Shaima Master Kazmi, MD, RPh, hematologist, oncologist and medical oncologist at our Hospital in Philadelphia. “They found that the cancer cells were either small cells or larger cells, such as adenocarcinomas or squamous cell carcinomas. So they just grouped themselves into those separate categories, small cell carcinomas or non-small cell carcinomas.”
Learn more about lung cancer treatments
Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma
With a common origin, similar symptoms, and a common name, it is easy to confuse Hodgkin’s lymphoma with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Both types of cancers begin in the lymphatic system, which is the body’s network of lymph nodes that sends white blood cells called B lymphocytes, and these cells produce antibodies that help us fight infection. Patients with any type of cancer may experience extreme fatigue, weight loss, appetite, fever, sweating, and other common symptoms. Both are named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, the pioneering researcher who recorded the symptoms of the diseases. But the differences between the two also reveal.
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Learn more about the types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma
Female cancers don’t get the kind of public attention that other cancers do. September is Women’s Cancer month, but you’re not likely to see many purple bands, fundraisers, or walks to raise awareness of the cause. Compared to breast cancer and its pink peak during Awareness Month in October, gynecological cancers — those of the cervix, ovaries, uterus (endometrium), vagina and vulva — are less well known. However, more than 100,000 women will be diagnosed with gynecological cancer in 2017.
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Learn more about why children should get the HPV vaccine
Skin cells: melanocytes, basal and squamous cells, and Merkel cells.
Keep in mind the wonderful functions that your skin performs every day. It is only 1.5 mm thick at its highest point, but it protects muscles and organs from external threats. It can withstand strong and long-lasting bumps and bruises, scorching sunlight, dirt left by dirt and dust. It moves and stretches when you do so, but even when the body is at rest, the skin is buzzing with cellular activity. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and like other organs, it can develop cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, affecting more than 3 million people annually. But treatments and prognosis vary greatly, depending on which cells are affected.
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Learn more about skin cancer treatments
Cancer Center 360 Blog:
The Cancer Center 360 blog features several series that have been developed to inform patients, caregivers, and educate readers about recent research and advances in cancer treatment. The series includes:
- How does cancer do it? A look at the science behind cellular behavior and the complex survival mechanisms of cancer.
- What I wish I’d known , sharing survivors’ stories, experiences, and insights about what they learned during their journeys with cancer.
- The Holistic Care Connection , exploring how supportive care therapies can help cancer patients manage the stress and side effects of cancer.
- Breaking myths and dispelling some common misconceptions about certain aspects of cancer.
Learn more about the precise treatment of cancer.