Definition of Tumor, You must Know!!

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When hearing the word tumor, many people tend to believe that this disease is fatal. However, this assumption is not entirely correct as tumors are divided into two categories, namely benign tumors and malignant tumors.


surgery of tumor



A benign tumor only grows in one part of the body and does not spread or attack other parts. Meanwhile, a malignant tumor, or often called cancer, is a tumor that can attack tissues around it, enter blood vessels, and spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumors usually will not grow again after being removed, while malignant tumors have the possibility to relapse.


In normal conditions, new cells will grow and develop according to the body's needs to replace old cells that die. This process occurs in a controlled manner. However, if the addition of new cells occurs excessively, a tumor will form.


The cause of the tumor growth is not yet known for certain, but there are several factors suspected as triggers, namely genetic factors and abnormalities, excessive alcohol consumption, disorders of the immune system, overweight or obesity, exposure to air pollution, excessive exposure to sunlight, and exposure to radiation.


Symptoms of a Tumor


Some common symptoms that can indicate a tumor include feeling unwell, extreme fatigue, fever and chills, loss of appetite, sweating at night, and sudden weight loss without clear reason. However, each tumor has different symptoms, depending on the type and location of its growth.


For example, brain cancer can cause unbearable headaches, sudden vomiting, and seizures. Meanwhile, symptoms of lung cancer can be in the form of continuous coughing and getting worse until it becomes coughing up blood, shortness of breath, pain in the chest, and fatigue.


There are also types of malignant tumors that do not even cause symptoms until they reach an advanced stage, such as cervical cancer and liver cancer. Therefore, you are advised to always be vigilant and check yourself to a doctor if you experience unusual conditions, even though they may seem mild at first.


Diagnosis and Treatment of a Tumor


In addition to asking about symptoms and examining your physical condition, the doctor will include several types of tests to ensure your diagnosis. For example, a complete blood test and organ function test, CT, MRI or PET scan, these tests can be used to confirm the location and extent of the tumor, chest x-ray, and biopsy, this test is used to determine whether the tumor you have is malignant or not.


After you have been positively diagnosed with a tumor, the doctor will help you determine the right treatment steps. The tumor handling methods that you will go through depend on the type, location, and malignancy of the tumor.


Several treatment methods for dealing with malignant tumors include removal surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Generally, patients require a combination of all three methods. The earlier the tumor is detected, the higher the possibility for the patient to recover.


If the cancer or malignant tumor is still in one location and has not spread, the cancer will generally be removed through surgery. Benign tumors are also generally removed unless the tumor does not disturb the performance of organs and does not have any negative impact on health at all.


Prevention of Tumors


There is no prevention method that can provide total protection from the appearance of a tumor. However, there are several simple steps that we can take to reduce the risk of getting cancer, namely quitting smoking, exercising regularly, applying a healthy and balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding exposure to sunlight, minimizing exposure to chemical compounds that contain toxins, using a mask when using public transportation, and undergoing regular health checks.


Definition of Gigantism


Gigantism is an excess of growth hormone production in children that affects their height and weight. This condition is rare and occurs before the epiphyseal plate or growth plate inside the bone closes. During the growth phase, children affected by gigantism can have height and weight that are above average. This is also the reason why gigantism is difficult to recognize symptoms and initially considered a normal phase of child growth.


Gigantism is different from acromegaly in adults because excessive growth hormone production occurs when epiphyseal plates close.


Causes of Gigantism


The most common cause of gigantism is a tumor on the pituitary gland or pituitary gland tumor located at the bottom of the brain. This gland plays a role in sexual development, temperature control, urine production, as well as growth metabolism on the face, hands, and feet. The growth of a tumor in the pituitary gland causes the gland to produce growth hormones excessively. Other causes of gigantism are Carney complex, the growth of benign tumors on endocrine glands, connective tissues, and the appearance of darker spots on the skin. This condition is an inherited disease. Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, also known as MEN 1, is the growth of tumors on the pituitary gland, parathyroid gland, and pancreas. This disease is an inherited disorder. Neurofibromatosis, the growth of tumors on the nervous system and is an inherited disorder, as well as McCune-Albright syndrome, abnormal growth on bone tissue, glandular disorders, and the appearance of light brown spots on the skin.


Symptoms of Gigantism


Gigantism has physical symptoms that can be recognized directly in children, such as the child's body size that is taller than other children their age. Some parts of the child's body may have disproportionate proportions to other parts, such as the growth of hands and feet accompanied by thickening of the fingers. Other symptoms include a protruding jaw and forehead, and a flat nose. In addition, sufferers can also experience enlargement of the head, tongue, or lips.


Symptoms experienced depend on the size of the tumor on the pituitary gland because it can press on the nerves of the brain. Sufferers can experience headaches, fatigue, nausea as a result of the tumor, visual disturbances, loss of hearing, abnormal menstrual periods, and delayed puberty in children.


Diagnosis of Gigantism


Gigantism can be diagnosed through a series of laboratory tests. The doctor will perform tests to determine the levels of growth hormone and growth factors such as insulin-1 (IGF-1). Other tests that may be performed are Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) or a blood test to determine whether growth hormone production increases. The doctor will examine the glucose levels in the blood, before and after the child is given a special glucose solution. Low glucose levels will indicate normal growth hormone conditions while the same glucose level shows excessive growth hormone production. An MRI test may also be performed to determine the size and location of the tumor and confirm the diagnosis of pituitary gland tumors.


Treatment of Gigantism


The excess growth hormone causing gigantism can be treated by controlling its production. However, there is no successful therapy to control growth hormone production stably. For pituitary gland tumors, transsphenoidal surgery can be performed as the first treatment effort.


Gamma knife radiosurgery therapy is another treatment method done to treat tumors in the brain. This therapy will expose hundreds of small radiation beams to the tumor. Although it is more effective and can return growth hormone levels to normal, this therapy can risk emotional disorders, obesity, and learning disabilities in children. This therapy is usually taken as a last alternative if standard surgery methods fail.


Treatment of gigantism also uses drugs such as octreotide to prevent excessive growth hormone production. The drug can be in the form of liquid and injected once a month. Dopamine receptor agonist drugs can be given in pill form to reduce tumor size before the surgical procedure. Both types of drugs can be used simultaneously to reduce growth hormone levels in patients. Drugs can be used to reduce gigantism symptoms in children if surgical procedures fail or face cases of recurring tumors.


Complications of Gigantism


Untreated gigantism or treatment through surgical procedures can cause a decreased production of other pituitary gland hormones, causing patients to be at risk of certain diseases, such as decreased hormone secretion or physiological activities in the ovaries or testicles (hypogonadism), mental retardation of growth and development in children and adults as a result of low thyroid gland activity (hypothyroidism), adrenal insufficiency, and rare cases of diabetes insipidus.


Prevention of Gigantism


Prevention of gigantism is not known with certainty that detecting symptoms as early as possible is a preventive measure against severe symptoms and complications in patients.

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