Types of Cancers We Treat
We Treat All ‘Types’ Of Cancer
When we distinguish between ‘types’ of cancer, we are referring to the location in which the cancer is being manifested…breast cancer…lung cancer…brain cancer. In each of these, the second word is ‘cancer’ and the first word is the location.
The reason that one cancer may be more aggressive is due to location.
Pancreatic cancer, for instance, only has to grow 1cm to be in another organ like the small intestines, making it stage 4 and impacting the function of the small intestines. Breast or colon cancer, on the other hand, may grow several centimeters without impacting another organ.
‘Types’ of cancer usually refers to whether it is a sarcoma or a carcinoma because the embryonic origins of those two types of cancer are different.
But, still, the same process that defines it as ‘cancer’ is occurring. Therefore, cancer is cancer and while we treat all types, here is a list of the most common types of cancer that we treat.
What Exactly is a Diagnosis?
Using Breast Cancer as an Example
A cancer diagnosis is based on the tissue in which the cancer originates and is merely a description of what has been or can be observed.
The word diagnosis is from Latin and Greek words:
- dia, meaning distinguish, and
- gnosis, meaning to learn or know
Once something has been distinguished, it must be named in order to be remembered and communicated. This naming is what constitutes a diagnosis.
So a diagnosis is quite inadequate when it comes to etiology (how and why this condition came about) or treatment (what should be done about it). The grand art of diagnosing is merely naming something.
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet”
– William Shakespeare
The term adenocarcinoma describes any cancer that begins in glandular tissue. These include cancers of the breast, pancreas, colon, small intestines, lungs and almost any organ in the body.
Elements in the Human Breast
Human breasts are composed of 15 to 20 functional sections called lobes. Each lobe divides into smaller sections called lobules that further divide into very tiny bulbs, which make and secrete milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are connected by a system of ducts that transport the milk from where it is produced to the nipple.
All of this tissue is responsive to hormones, including estrogens, progesterone, and prolactin, which are the major determiners of development, size and function of an individual’s breasts.
Two Main Types of Breast Cancer (Carcinomas)
- Ductal carcinomas, originating in the duct system; and
- Lobular carcinomas, originating in the breast lobes.
Both of these are variants of adenocarcinoma because they originate in glandular tissue.
The irony lies in what the term diagnosis implies, which is that each diagnosed condition has a separate cause and therefore a separate cure or treatment. This is not true. Even if you subscribe to the fictitious, irrational and misleading concept of the “disease model”, many diagnoses are qualified by the phrase, etiology unknown. And, sadly, even when the etiology is known, what is being touted as the cause is merely a description of what has occurred, not the underlying biochemical conditions that caused what has occurred. And it should be quite obvious to anyone with a modicum of intelligence that In order to undo or prevent a condition, you must know what caused it.
The “Different Types” of Breast Cancer
Ductal carcinoma develops in the ducts that transport the milk to the nipple and is by far the most common form of breast cancer. Invasive ductal carcinomas account for almost 80% of all breast cancers. There is also DCIS, Ductal Carcinoma in situ. “In situ” means “in its own place” – that is, this condition has not extended beyond its starting place.
DCIS was not identified until the advent of mammography and it is questionable whether or not it is cancer or would necessarily progress to cancer.
Lobular carcinoma is far less common than ductal carcinoma and also can be either in situ or invasive. The only difference between ductal and lobular carcinoma is where it originates. Lobular carcinoma develops in the milk-producing lobes of the breast; hence the word “lobular”.
Even conventional, mainstream medicine does not consider lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) to be cancer and there is virtually no evidence that it ever progresses to become a true malignancy.
Inflammatory breast cancers
These account for only 1-5% of all breast cancers but they are considered the most aggressive.
These tumors most often originate in the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma) and then break through to become invasive ductal carcinoma. Hence inflammatory breast cancer should be considered as a progression from a less malignant condition to a highly malignant condition. The final event that seems to create inflammatory breast cancer is the small lymphatic vessels in the breast and skin covering the breast becoming engorged and occluded (blocked). That thwarts the underlying, chronic inflammatory process that defines all cancers.
Inflammation promotes healing by allowing an accelerated influx of fluids, nutrients and immune chemicals (cytokines). Once delivered and processed, the unused cytokines and waste products are just as rapidly and effectively removed. Therefore, the highly aggressive nature of inflammatory breast cancer is a direct consequence of the blocked lymph vessels preventing the necessary drainage of the inflammatory byproducts. The blockage greatly increases inflammation, which is readily “diagnosed” when a doctor observes the rapid swelling, redness, pain, and even skin breakdown with a resulting crusted ulcer and exudative discharge.
Note that malignancies or cancers of the breast are termed carcinomas. This is another descriptive indicator employed merely to further distinguish but provides nothing more in terms of practical, useful information.
Carcinomas begin in epithelial tissue – the skin or the tissues that line or cover internal organs. There are several subtypes of carcinoma, including adenocarcinoma, which, as stated above, includes all breast cancers. All breast cancers are adenocarcinomas that are further distinguished by identifying and naming the part of the gland where they originated – duct or lobe.
Four Other General Categories of Cancer
These are distinguished by the tissue subtype where they began.
Sarcomas include malignancies originating in Mesenchymal tissue, which is derived from a type of embryonic tissue. In contrast, carcinomas originate in epithelial tissues, as described above. Sarcomas include malignancies of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, and blood vessels.
Leukemias originate in the bone marrow. Although bone marrow (hematopoetic tissue) is of mesenchymal origin, and leukemias should be classified as sarcomas, they are usually classified separately from sarcomas.
Lymphomas and myelomas
Lymphomas and myelomas are malignancies originating in immune system cells. Lymphomas begin in lymph nodes and myelomas begin in a certain subset of immune cells called plasma cells. And the almost arbitrary distinction between Hodgkins and non-Hodgkins lymphomas has succeeded only in obfuscating the unbiased investigation of these conditions and how best to “treat” them.
There are many subtypes of non-Hodgkins lymphomas that have no apparent commonalities other than consisting of lymphoid tissue and not meeting the criteria for a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Malignancies of the brain and spinal cord
The most nefarious of these malignancies is glioblastoma multeforme, although sadly enough, there are many, many others. But again, these cancers are distinguished by their cell of origin, and thereby somehow designated as “different” cancers.
It is easy to become lost in the quagmire of “diseases” and especially in all of the “different” cancers unless one keeps in mind that each “type” of cancer is merely a detailed, technical description of where it originates. Its diagnosis provides no other information.
Cancer cells are anaerobic – they ferment sugar rather than efficiently ‘burning’ it with oxygen. When microscopic (histological) changes in cellular anatomy take place in response to these different anaerobic metabolic requirements, the structure and shape of those cells also change to accommodate the new functional requirements.
This is known as homeostasis – the body adapts to maintain its stability. This process can occur anywhere in the body and the cells in which it originates provide the “name” of the cancer – the diagnosis.
This obsession with dividing and subdividing dynamic conditions has locked the medical world into a paradigm that is antithetical to nature. There can be no resolution of pathological conditions without somehow supporting nature in its restorative efforts of cleansing and healing.
In spite of enormous financial resources, intellectual effort, and technological advancement, all that the conventional medical world seems to be interested in is more precisely naming one or more aspects of these dynamic homeostatic processes. (Homeostasis is an organism’s stability in the face of exterior changes.)
Once someone has completed their grotesque dance with the sophisticated machinery operated by highly trained technicians, a team of intellectual Cyclops interprets the results. Then the prize, the golden calf, the treasure that has been ambiguous and concealed, is finally revealed – and it is nothing more than a diagnosis – a name. Nothing more.