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Thread: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

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    Default Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    So my friend told me not 30 minutes ago that her sister has a level 4 astrocytoma. I looked it up and Wikipedia, it's hard to understand it like, technically, but I did learn how dangerous it is. So I guess my question is, does anyone know anything about astrocytomas? Layman terms, please.

    To make the thread more relevant, have you or any relatives/friends had cancer before? What kind was it? What was it like?

    PS: I've been wondering, how does cancer kill people? I'm guessing there are more ways than one considering how many strands there are (what are the major strands?), but like, what's the most common? Just cell destruction and continuous replication?

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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    I have a cousin that has cervical cancer. From what i know, cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells that kills the production of white blood cells and kills the tissue of of the organs inside you. I'm not 100% on it, but you could probably find better info on the internet.

    P.S.: I hope your friend's sister get's better.
    Last edited by Token Black Guy; 11-19-2010 at 09:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    To your second question; only two of my family members are suffering of cancer, two aunts. One of them are still alive and had it for 10+ years and the other one passed away 10 years ago but had it for a long time as well.

    I think both have/had lung cancer.

    Cancer is something serious but with the right treatment then it's okay. Hopefully she gets well.
    Last edited by Kaitou+; 11-19-2010 at 09:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    It sounds very familiar because my mom works as a nurse for oncology. From what I know, it obviously doesn't sound good at all. ): Yeah so Imma get a little info from her for this thread. ^^ This thread needs some facts and statements from someone who takes care of actual cancer patients.

    -Cancer doesn't kill them right away. Its more of the chemo. Its the radiation itself that will kill bad cells as well as the good ones. At the same time, it damages organs and various tissues. Its said, from my mom, it varies on the situation and the stage a person is in for the cancer. Most of the patients, she has told me, died from the radiation that destroyed the tissues of major organs such as the liver. It will shut down, so will other organs, too. Basically, it kills one by one in a slow/fast pace.
    -Strands? I'm not sure, but I'm more familiar with breast, blood, bone, lung, skin, ovarian, colon, and brain. ;/ I'm no nurse but I hear stuff like this almost all the time at home and I used to volunteer in the hospitals. Most stuff I get is from mama. :'D
    *Did you know that certain cancer MAY be genetic? If you have a family history of breast cancer, there is a chance to get one. Its a bigger chance to get one if its direct.


    I know many people with cancer, especially the deadly ones. A few of my parents's friends had breast cancer, they're slowly recovering it. I don't know exactly their status now but to me, they survived it. My cousin had blood cancer at a young age, she had near death experiences from it, but now she's a survivor. My grandmother passed away a couple years ago with lung cancer. It was that bad that she was supposed to live for a month, but she passed over a year. What I really think about cancer... I think about life and I think that we shouldn't take things for granted and appreciate all the good things we have. Its a big obstacle in life not only for the ones that are diagnosed with it, but also for loved ones too. But goodness, cancer is just horrible. It destroys the body so much its unbelievable. I'll get further information about this later on. :'D I actually had to talk to my mom about this and she answered a few of my questions, but the talk was cut short because she has to work. lolz
    Last edited by Meenah; 11-19-2010 at 09:23 PM. Reason: left out some stuff

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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seung-li View Post
    It sounds very familiar because my mom works as a nurse for oncology. From what I know, it obviously doesn't sound good at all. ): Yeah so Imma get a little info from her for this thread. ^^ This thread needs some facts and statements from someone who takes care of actual cancer patients.

    -Cancer doesn't kill them right away. Its more of the chemo. Its the radiation itself that will kill bad cells as well as the good ones. At the same time, it damages organs and various tissues. Its said, from my mom, it varies on the situation and the stage a person is in for the cancer. Most of the patients, she has told me, died from the radiation that destroyed the tissues of major organs such as the liver. It will shut down, so will other organs, too. Basically, it kills one by one in a slow/fast pace.
    -Strands? I'm not sure, but I'm more familiar with breast, blood, bone, lung, skin, ovarian, colon, and brain. ;/ I'm no nurse but I hear stuff like this almost all the time at home and I used to volunteer in the hospitals. Most stuff I get is from mama. :'D
    *Did you know that certain cancer MAY be genetic? If you have a family history of breast cancer, there is a chance to get one. Its a bigger chance to get one if its direct.


    I know many people with cancer, especially the deadly ones. A few of my parents's friends had breast cancer, they're slowly recovering it. I don't know exactly their status now but to me, they survived it. My cousin had blood cancer at a young age, she had near death experiences from it, but now she's a survivor. My grandmother passed away a couple years ago with lung cancer. It was that bad that she was supposed to live for a month, but she passed over a year. What I really think about cancer... I think about life and I think that we shouldn't take things for granted and appreciate all the good things we have. Its a big obstacle in life not only for the ones that are diagnosed with it, but also for loved ones too. But goodness, cancer is just horrible. It destroys the body so much its unbelievable. I'll get further information about this later on. :'D I actually had to talk to my mom about this and she answered a few of my questions, but the talk was cut short because she has to work. lolz
    Thanks for making it more clear. Some of that i didn't know.
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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    I have an aunt who has cervical cancer. Good thing they caught it early cause she can still get cured. Though she says the chemo is a killer, it makes you drowsy and nauseous.

    Usually cancer causes tumors to develop in the body. The reason its so hard to cure is that even if a tumor is removed, most likely new tumors will start to develop. The reason being is that tumors usually suppress surrounding tumors and cancerous cells so they can in turn grow larger in size. Once the tumor is removed, the chemical is no longer there to stop the other cancerous cells from growing, which therefore cause other tumors to develop. They did however find that this chemical is excreted in the urine. So all they basically do is extract the chemical and make pills which help suppress the development of tumors. Its not fully effective, but it at least better than nothing.
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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    To put it simply, Cancer is your body's "mutant cells". What happens, be it environment, radiation, poor living choices, or what else have you, these things will damage your own living healthy cell's genetic material, and cause them to mutate into something horrible- cancer.

    You body has difficulty sometimes recognizing this as a problem for the most part because the cancer cells are still part of your own body- and therefore are still seen as a "non-threat".

    Because they're mutated, they're unable to preform any sort of action they were created for (depending on whatever organ cells they originated from), but they still possess the ability to replicate just like normal cells, and eventually build up and cause major damage.

    There's a lot more, but that's just a basic overview

    This is what makes a "cure" for cancer so tricky. Because a real cure, would be the one that completely prevents your body's cell's DNA from being damaged and mutating into cancer; which.. is a pretty extraordinary task.
    Last edited by Ericgamer1; 11-20-2010 at 01:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ericgamer1 View Post
    To put it simply, Cancer is your body's "mutant cells". What happens, be it environment, radiation, poor living choices, or what else have you, these things will damage your own living healthy cell's genetic material, and cause them to mutate into something horrible- cancer.
    Well not necessarily. Cancer cells are made quite often if you think about it. Your body is constantly replicating its cells and making new ones. A person can get cancerous cells in their body at least once in a lifetime, but most likely more. The reason why not everyone gets cancer is cause sometimes the mutated cells are soo abnormal that your body destroys them itself. That or the DNA is so damaged that it can't replicated anymore.
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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Cancers are abnormal cells that grow uncontrollably, and injur/interfere surrounding tissues. A tumor is the solid mass of these abnormally growing cancer cells and there are two types; benign tumors and malignant ones. One of the main differences is that malignant cancers can spread throughout tissues (process is known as metastasis) and can in some cases also spread to other parts of the body. The specific mechanisms of how cancers do this is an area of ongoing research, but integrins (a family of cell adhesion receptors) play a very critical role.

    Your friend's sister has a type of brain cancer. It is also in a very advanced stage and while it will not spread to other parts of the body, it is capable of spreading to other parts of the brain and very rapidly at that. It seems that radiotherapy and surgery are the only forms of treatment available, and even with those, she may not have very long left.

    Sorry dude =/
    Last edited by OminousCloud; 11-20-2010 at 04:24 AM.


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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi σ View Post
    I have an aunt who has cervical cancer. Good thing they caught it early cause she can still get cured. Though she says the chemo is a killer, it makes you drowsy and nauseous.

    Usually cancer causes tumors to develop in the body. The reason its so hard to cure is that even if a tumor is removed, most likely new tumors will start to develop. The reason being is that tumors usually suppress surrounding tumors and cancerous cells so they can in turn grow larger in size. Once the tumor is removed, the chemical is no longer there to stop the other cancerous cells from growing, which therefore cause other tumors to develop. They did however find that this chemical is excreted in the urine. So all they basically do is extract the chemical and make pills which help suppress the development of tumors. Its not fully effective, but it at least better than nothing.
    Chemo does a whole lot more than that, I bet if that was the only side-effect of chemo, I think patients would go to chemo (plus, if they know it won't kill them). o_o But it kills you slowly/faster than the cancer itself. I say slowly because it depends on the stage of cancer you'd be in.
    I remember visiting a patient 2 weeks ago for volunteering who recently had chemo, he can't eat. At all. He had cancer in the lungs but the radiation from chemo ended up burning his throat. ): Goodness, its just a horrible thing to see and it breaks your heart to see people suffer like that.

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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seung-li View Post
    Chemo does a whole lot more than that, I bet if that was the only side-effect of chemo, I think patients would go to chemo (plus, if they know it won't kill them). o_o But it kills you slowly/faster than the cancer itself. I say slowly because it depends on the stage of cancer you'd be in.
    I remember visiting a patient 2 weeks ago for volunteering who recently had chemo, he can't eat. At all. He had cancer in the lungs but the radiation from chemo ended up burning his throat. ): Goodness, its just a horrible thing to see and it breaks your heart to see people suffer like that.
    Well that depends on the frequency of chemo and how much you're exposed to it and that depends on how your cancer is.

    And as sad as chemo is, its the only thing we have towards helping with cancer. People have been cured. That's why its up to the people to chose whether they want to undergo it or not because it may or may not prove effective.
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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Adding to all of this...
    From what I've heard, chemo makes you feel okay right after you just had it, but the pain/hair loss/drowsyness kicks in 2/3 days after the chemo, am I correct?

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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi σ View Post
    Well that depends on the frequency of chemo and how much you're exposed to it and that depends on how your cancer is.

    And as sad as chemo is, its the only thing we have towards helping with cancer. People have been cured. That's why its up to the people to chose whether they want to undergo it or not because it may or may not prove effective.
    Yeah. Its a sad thing because no one knows how much your own body can take the radiation, some good things happen, some bad things happen. ):
    With cancer survivors, they end up living a little longer so I guess thats the plus.

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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shingo 22 View Post
    kills the production of white blood cells
    Sounds like leukemia, which is the type of cancer that results in uncontrolled production of immature white blood cells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi σ View Post
    tumors usually suppress surrounding tumors and cancerous cells so they can in turn grow larger in size. Once the tumor is removed, the chemical is no longer there to stop the other cancerous cells from growing, which therefore cause other tumors to develop. They did however find that this chemical is excreted in the urine. So all they basically do is extract the chemical and make pills which help suppress the development of tumors. Its not fully effective, but it at least better than nothing.
    To my knowledge, cancer cells do not suppress other cancer cells at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ericgamer1 View Post
    You body has difficulty sometimes recognizing this as a problem for the most part because the cancer cells are still part of your own body- and therefore are still seen as a "non-threat".
    It is the role of the immune system to protect against cancer, which is supported by increased incidence of cancer in immunosuppressed individuals.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheThunderBringer View Post
    I've been wondering, how does cancer kill people? I'm guessing there are more ways than one considering how many strands there are (what are the major strands?), but like, what's the most common? Just cell destruction and continuous replication?
    There are strains (rather than strands) of different microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. Cancers can be classified by their tissue of origin, and about 100 different types of cancer arise from different tissues or organs. The most common types are breast in women and prostate in men, lung, and colon cancer, though more deaths occur from lung cancer in the US than those other three combined.

    In general, when a tumor originates in vital organs, such as the brain or lungs, they can grow excessively and either lethally damage the vital organ or crowd out healthy organ tissue and interfere with that organ's ability to perform its vital function. Also, normal cells have a finite lifespan in order to maintain optimal function, but most cancer cells have an unlimited life span, which makes them in essence "immortal" if not otherwise killed.

    Regardless of a brain tumor's location, the tumor expands and invades. Brain tumors result in fewer than 2% of all cancer deaths. About 21,000 people each year are diagnosed with a primary malignant brain tumor in the US, and 2/3 die from it. The survival rate is low when compared with other cancers.

    Most of this comes from my 2010 med surg book. Good luck with your situation.
    Last edited by -Ro-; 11-21-2010 at 10:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Thanks a bunch for the help (and kind words for my friend); I find biology fascinating, and it's interesting reading about all this.

    Also, normal cells have a finite lifespan in order to maintain optimal function, but most cancer cells have an unlimited life span, which makes them in essence "immortal" if not otherwise killed.
    Can you explain why?

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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Astrocytes (which happen to be the coolest cell in the human brain) are responsible for maintaining the chemical pathways in the brain. They play a very important role in glutamate excitation pathways which are essential for brain function. An astrocytoma is fancy words for cancer of the astrocytes. Cancer is a disease generally characterized by abnormal control of proliferation and differentiation in cells (any cell type). Astrocytomas are dangerous (as most brain tumors are) since they comprise the integrity of the brain chemical signaling. Removing the tumor would be easier if it wasn’t located in the body’s most delicate area. The main problem with brain tumors is the location and size of it. If it’s fairly large the amount of tissue needed to be removed might destroy the patient’s ability to do certain tasks, or it could interfere with basic cognitive function.

    Cancers kill in that they interfere with cellular function and as a result with the organ’s function. When one system fails in the body then others will soon follow. The human body is a network of systems running simultaneously to maintain it.

    Think of cells as a dvd playing in your dvd player. The dvd has a finite lifespan i.e. the duration of the film your watching. Now imagine that dvd skipping and replaying the same scene over and over again, that is sort of what a cancerous cell is stuck on. It keeps signaling to replicate over and over again. Without someone there to stop it, the cell will continue to replicate. As long as the “host” is alive, the cell will continue to divide. That’s how the cancerous cell is “immortal” as in it doesn’t go through the rest of its life cycle.

    I really hope your friend's sister will be ok. Level 4 brain tumors are very difficult to overcome. I wish her the best.


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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheThunderBringer View Post
    Can you explain why?
    Apoptosis is programmed cell death. Each time a cell divides, telomeric DNA at the end of the cell's chromosomes shortens. When the DNA is gone, the cell responds to signals for its death. Many cancer cells have long telomeres and a lot of telomerase enzyme to maintain DNA, giving them unlimited life span. Scientists are trying to find ways to lengthen the telomeres of our cells also. :P
    Last edited by -Ro-; 11-20-2010 at 06:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Quote Originally Posted by flimflam View Post
    Scientists are trying to find ways to lengthen the telomeres of our cells also. :P
    Yeah but that's only cause they believe that by lengthening the telomeres people will live longer. Or else people wont grow as old. Something along those lines.

    And also, I saw that tumors tend to supress other tumors in a medical video. Though for my life I can't remember the name cause I watched it a long time ago but I'm pretty sure it was a NOVA vid.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Misc. Cancer (Mainly Astrocytoma)

    Quote Originally Posted by flimflam View Post
    Scientists are trying to find ways to lengthen the telomeres of our cells also. :P
    It has raised questions as to whether or not "natural" death is programmed process within our own DNA.

    If that does in fact turn out to be the case, then expanding our understanding of the human genome could ultimately prolong human lifespan to... so long as the person doesn't get hit by a bus or something.

    Which.. is beyond awesome. You'd have people living hundreds if not possibly thousands of years if that ended up becoming a reality.
    Last edited by Ericgamer1; 11-20-2010 at 11:48 PM.

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