What is cancer?

Cells in the human body normally multiply and divide in a consistent and highly regulated manner. When this process is damaged, groups of cells in the body will display uncontrolled growth, lose their ability to function normally, and may invade surrounding tissues. The NIH defines cancer as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Often, these abnormal cells will metastasize (spread to other parts of the body) through a person's blood stream or lymphatic system and begin to proliferate uncontrollably in many different locations in the body.

What causes cancer and how is it treated?

The causes of cancer are divided into two main groups by scientists: internal and external. Internal causes include mutations, hormones, and immune conditions. External causes include tobacco, infectious organisms, chemicals, and radiation. Many years can often pass after exposure to external factors before cancers become evident.

When cancer is diagnosed, there are three main treatments:
  1. Surgery - for isolated or localized tumors
  2. Chemotherapy - for metastatic or systemic cancers
  3. Radiation - for isolated or localized tumors
Is cancer preventable?

Although researchers have been unable to determine the cause of many kinds of cancers and we therefore do not know how to prevent them, there are some that are clearly preventable. Cancers that are caused by tobacco or by excessive alcohol intake are completely preventable. It has been estimated that in 2011, 171,600 deaths will be a consequence of tobacco use. Also, of the 571,950 people that are expected to die in the U.S. as a result of cancer, one-third of these are preventable because they are directly related to obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, or poor nutrition. Behavioral changes are needed to prevent other cancers such as those that are caused by infectious agents like hepatitis B virus (HBV), human papillomavirus (HPV), or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In addition to this, many skin cancers could be prevented by regularly using sun screen and by avoiding indoor tanning.

What are the trends of cancer in the U.S.?

In the United States, cancer is the second leading cause of death, following only heart disease; 1 of 4 Americans will die of cancer. Almost 80% of cancers are diagnosed in individuals who are at least 55 years old. The most common kinds of cancer differ among men and women. In men, the three most common cancers are 1) prostate cancer, 2) lung and bronchus cancer, and 3) colon/rectum cancers. In women, the three most common cancers are 1) breast cancer, 2) lung cancer, and 3) colon/rectum cancers.

Data collected between 1999 and 2006 revealed that the 5-year survival rate for all cancers is 68%. This is up from 50% during 1975-1977. The survival rate has improved because of a focus on earlier detection and improvements in treatments. Cancers are most treatable in early stages. Because of this, it is vital to the success of the treatment that they are diagnosed early on. To do this, patients should schedule regular screening examinations and should be made aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer.

What does Inland Compounding Pharmacy compound for patients with cancer?

Inland Compounding Pharmacy regularly compounds to help relieve the symptoms of cancer. Many patients and doctors prefer the ICP because we can tailor the treatment to a patients unique combination of symptoms. Some of the medications that we regularly formulate include:

  • Oral, topical, or suppository medications for nausea control
  • Pilocarpine lollipops for dry mouth
  • Pain management - topical or oral
  • Mouth rinses - for mouth sores
  • Hemorrhoid medications
  • Topical formulations to help maintain healthy skin
  • Medications for constipation
  • etc.
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about what we can do to maximize cancer therapies, feel free to contact us or have your doctor give us a call.
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Radiology/Oncology Compounding
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