Cancer doesn’t just happen out of blue. While being diagnosed is a massive shock for anyone, there has to be a pre-existing condition present in the body for a tumour to grow from. There are common conditions that can be a signifier or warning sign for cancer later in life. While they aren’t life threatening, knowing about them can be a great help if you’re worried they could lead to cancer. Here are the most common conditions people look out for.
Calcium is important for the bones, but women can often find that they have a deposit of calcium in their breast tissue. While this isn’t harmful in itself, making sure that any calcium in the tissue isn’t hiding harmful cells is important. These deposits are examined thoroughly with help from a mammogram. A radiologist will examine the size, shape and way is which a calcification is sitting. If it is seen that the cells around the shape are benign, then there is nothing to worry about. If the shape is distorted, then a female may need further scans and a possible biopsy to make sure the tissue isn’t cancerous. In most cases it won’t be, and even when it is, the cancer from the calcification is DCIS which is a very small form of cancer that can be easily treated.
Bone Marrow Problems
There are two conditions surrounding bone marrow that can be signals someone has cancer: myelodysplasia and myelofibrosis . Myelodysplasia is a condition where the bone marrow someone has is slightly abnormal. As with most pre cancer conditions it is more prevalent with older patients, but it can occur at any age. It is essentially where the cells in your blood aren’t as healthy as they should be and drag down the strength of the immune system, a key component in fighting any cancer. Myelofibrosis is similar but affects the bone marrow by creating scar tissue in areas where it shouldn’t exist. It causes the body to react in a way that can’t create a high enough level of blood cells. Less blood cells leaves tissue more prone to attack.
MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance) is a condition where the body creates a protein that isn’t needed. This protein is useless and doesn’t cause any harm for the majority of people who have MGUS. The risk is carries though are linked to lymphoma as MGUS confuses plasma cells that make white blood cells that are necessary for fighting off infection.
Quite a tongue twister to say, ET is a condition where too many platelets are created and pushed in to the blood stream. While this isn’t necessarily harmful, it can create benign tumours that require chemotherapy to be removed. Someone with ET can expect to feel symptoms like headaches and dizziness for prolonged period. It’s important to get it treated as a continual growth of blood clots could lead to abnormal cell growth and the creation of a tumour.
Now while these are regarded at the biggest pre-cancer conditions, it should be known that having them doesn’t guarantee that a person will face cancer later in life. Getting treatment is easy and there are many different cancer treatment options available in the UK.