Endocrine cancer broadly refers to cancer that occurs in the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, nervous system, parathyroid gland, and other endocrine glands.
This cancer type develops in the glands and organs secreting the hormones. Hormones are the chemical messengers that regulate the activity of other cells and body functions. By affecting the functioning of the hormone-producing cells, endocrine cancers can lead to various hormonal disorders and severe hampering of bodily functions.
Symptoms of Endocrine Cancer
The signs and symptoms of endocrine cancer depend on the organs where the tumor is present. At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, we have some of the best endocrine cancer doctors in Nashik who are trained to provide superior diagnostic and treatment support for endocrine cancer patients. Some of the common symptoms of endocrine cancer include:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Redness on the face or face flushing
- Confusion or nervousness
- Jaundice leads to the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eye
- Intestinal bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Pain in the specific area
Causes of Endocrine Cancer
The exact cause of endocrine cancer is still unknown. However, several factors increase the risk of endocrine cancer, and they are:
- Increasing age
- Suppressed or weak immune system
- Exposure to certain hazardous chemicals and radiation
- Diet low in nutrients
- Presence of a lump in certain areas or on the back of the neck
- Exposure to the sun
- Family or personal history of cancer
- Inactive lifestyle
- Certain inherited or genetic factors
Diagnosis of Endocrine Cancer
The doctor may use the following tests to detect endocrine cancer:
- Physical Examination: It refers to physically examining the patient’s body for lumps or thickening of cells to locate the tumor.
- Blood and Urine Tests: Blood and urine tests are used to check for high levels of certain components released by a tumor of the endocrine system.
- Imaging Tests: Imaging tests like PET/CT scan, MRI scan, ultrasound scan, etc., are recommended to obtain clearer images of the tumor, which is important for staging, treatment planning, and treatment monitoring.
- Diagnostic Laparoscopy: A diagnostic laparoscopy allows the doctor to directly examine the endocrine system. This procedure helps in checking if cancer has spread to other organs.
- Biopsy: During a biopsy, a small piece of tissue from the suspected area is collected and examined under the microscope for the presence of cancer cells.
Treatment for Endocrine Cancer
HCG Manavata Cancer Center, which is one of the best endocrine cancer treatment hospitals in Nashik, has various treatment options available for the management of endocrine cancers. The following are the treatment methods available for endocrine cancer:
Surgery: The doctor removes the cancerous cells along with nearby tissues surgically. It is usually the first choice of treatment for endocrine cancer. It is mainly performed for early-stage cancer. In some cases, the doctor removes the entire organ affected by cancer.
Chemotherapy: During chemotherapy, anti-cancer drugs are used to attack the fast-growing cells, slowing their growth and killing them. Chemotherapy helps to keep cancer under control. It can be administered orally or intravenously. It is given with other treatment methods, such as surgery or radiation therapy.
Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy is mainly used for cancers that require hormones to grow and divide. Hormone therapy works by blocking and stopping the release of hormones that help cancer grow. It also helps to regulate the hormone balance in the body. It can be given either intravenously or orally in the form of pills or capsules. Hormone therapy is also used to lessen the symptoms of endocrine cancers.
Targeted Therapy: Targeted therapy works by blocking angiogenesis (growth of blood vessels) and important proteins that help cancer grow, multiply, and survive. Targeted therapy is mainly used for advanced-stage cancers.
Immunotherapy: It is mainly recommended for advanced-stage endocrine cancers and cancers that come back. It works by boosting the immune system of the body. Immunotherapy helps the immune cells differentiate healthy cells from cancerous cells and attach them.
Radiation Therapy: Doctors recommend radiation therapy for curative purposes and to manage endocrine cancer pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is endocrine cancer hereditary?
Endocrine cancer is caused by changes in the genes or DNA sequence. Some genetic syndromes that are passed on in families are found to increase the risk of endocrine cancers.
2. How can I prevent endocrine cancer?
There is no known way to prevent endocrine cancer entirely. However, a few measures, such as following a healthy diet, exercising daily, maintaining a healthy weight, preventing exposure to certain chemicals, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption, are found to reduce the risk of endocrine cancers.
3. Is it possible to treat endocrine cancer?
If diagnosed at an early stage and has not spread to other body parts, this cancer type can be effectively treated with excellent survival rates. The doctor performs the surgery in such cases to completely remove cancer. After the treatment, patients need to keep up their follow-up appointments as these help in preventing advanced-stage recurrences.
4. How do you control the side effects of endocrine cancer treatment?
Most of the side effects caused by endocrine cancer treatment are temporary and go away over time. Opting for rehabilitation support after your cancer treatment can help you manage your symptoms more effectively and recover at a faster rate. Medications may be prescribed for pain management, diet plans can be recommended to manage fatigue and help you feel energized, and gentle exercises may be recommended to manage strength issues and help you regain mobility.