Cancer starts when cells in a person’s body begin to grow out of control. There are many kinds of cancer, but it starts when abnormal cells grow out of control. Cancer is considered to be the second leading cause of death in the world. Today, millions of people are living with this dreadful disease called cancer.
Cancers in young adults have become a common disease these days. Cancer is young adults are different from elders and are related to genetic and lifestyle. People under the age group from 14 to 44 years come under this category. When their potential years of life to lead a healthy life is ahead of them and if they need to suffer, it is matter to think and prevent at the earliest.
Common Cancers in Young Adults are:
Men: –Cancer of mouth, Stomach, Testis, Bone and Penis.
Women:–Mouth, Cervix uterus, Breast, Thyroid, and Stomach.
Finding Cancer in Young Adults is Difficult Because:
- Young adults are generally healthy and do not go to a doctor unless there is a need.
- The priority list is for other things like—college, career, friends, family, no regular doctor.
- Financial issues, no health insurance, so do not want to see a doctor.
- Sometimes even if the symptoms are there, cancer may not be on the list, so a delay in diagnosis.
- Generally, cancer is overlapped with common illness or injuries, bumps or bruises.
- Still, if cancer is detected early, treatment will be successful.
Symptoms of Cancer in Young Adults:
Though it is difficult to diagnose cancer in young adults, still some signs and symptoms are:
- Lump or swelling in the neck, breast, belly or testicle.
- Tiredness or loss of energy that cannot be explained.
- Abnormal bleeding.
- Pain in one part of the body,
- Fever or illness continues for a long time and does not go away.
- Frequent headache with vomiting.
- Vision changes.
- Loss of appetite and so weight loss drastically.
- A new mole or spot on the skin and changes in size, shape and colour.
Common Cancer in Young Adults:
The common cancers in young adults are not unique, but still different from those that affect children and older adults. The most common ones are:
- Breast cancer: though this common in young adults and can be benign, but sometimes it can be cancer, early diagnosis, better chances of survival.
- Lymphomas: it affects the lymph nodes-like tonsils or thymus-organ in front of the heart and can affect the bone marrow and other organs.
- Melanoma: a type of skin cancer, this is the most common cancer in youngsters of 30 years of age, especially if it is the family. Can be cured if detected early.
- Sarcomas: muscles, bones or fat cells
- Cervix and ovary: most in women, the symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding.
- Thyroid cancer: a lump in front of the neck, mostly found in women, can be cured in young adults.
- Testicular cancer: a lump on the testicle swelling or the testicle becomes larger.
- Colorectal cancer: cancers of the colon and rectum, for young adults because of inherited genetic disease.
- Brain and spinal cord tumours.
Causes of Cancers in Young Adults:
Life style like SMOKING, OVERWEIGHT, EATING UNHEALTHY DIET, NO PROPER EXERCISE AND TOO MUCH CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL.
Apart from these, the other causes are – Exposure to ultraviolet light of the sun.
HPV, HIV, treatment with Chemo and Radiation.
Treatment of Cancers in Young Adults:
The treatment for cancers in young adults is the same as in other age groups, it only depends on the type and stage of cancer. The treatments are:
- SURGERY: For young adults have a few advantages when it is surgery because health problems are less than older people and anaesthesia is given young people cope better than children.
- RADIATION THERAPY: High-energy rays are used, may not have many side effects.
- CHEMOTHERAPY AND OTHER DRUGS: It is treated with the usage of drugs, pills that need to be swallowed and generally young adults can withstand higher doses of chemo than older adults.
- TARGETED THERAPY: This is by giving newer targeted therapy drugs along with chemo.
- HORMONE THERAPY: Some hormones grow in the body example breast cancer, so this treatment stops the cancer cells.
- IMMUNOTHERAPY: The drugs given help the cancer cells that attack the body cells.
- STEM CELL TRANSPLANT: It is also known as a bone marrow transplant. This treatment is an option because of its side effects and cost.
Common Questions That Are Asked:
- What problems a young adult face after the treatment for cancer?
Answer: Many of the young adults after treatment get back to normal work and life, but they do face certain physical and psychological problems. So awareness of the disease and to educate the patient to cope and face life normally with frequent visits to the treating doctor can solve the problem.
- Why did I get back my cancer? Will I get back cancer?
Answer: Chances of getting back is rare if the treatment was proper and regular checkups were done and if the doctor’s instructions were followed well. Change is lifestyle is a must, like stop smoking, reduce the consumption of alcohol.
Awareness and Knowledge of Cancers in Young Adults:
Awareness and knowledge of cancers in young adults is a must for them as they have a long life ahead of them. Many of them are aware that smoking causes cancer but they are totally or partially ignorant of most of the cancers that can affect them. The best way is to educate them from an early age by conducting seminars and workshops at the high school and college levels.
Short term courses during summer for youngsters can also help them to gain certain knowledge of the dreadful disease known as cancer. If it can be informed that their lifestyle is one of the causes, it can help them to lead protective young adulthood.