Hormones, menopause and cancer

Hormones, menopause and cancer

About the malignant tumors of some organs, we have already said above. At first, they are hormone-dependent – they occur against the background of the restructuring of a number of tissues and changes in the hormonal background during menopause. The scale of this restructuring is such that, according to oncology estimates, they increase the likelihood of malignancy of various tissues by an average of 30–40%. Naturally, from its probability in any other period. By the way, a similar “time of changes” – adolescence – gives a lower growth rate.

Oncology does not yet fully understand why cancer cases are more common in the second half of life than in youth. But, in any case, she has a hypothesis. And she says that it’s all about the ability of our genetic code to age with the body. Namely, that over the years we have less and less new cells, and their increasing percentage is initially formed with a defect. That is, the DNA of each new cell is increasingly duplicated with an error.

These errors in the copying by the daughter cell of the genetic code of the mother cell are not necessary. They arise by chance, under the influence of adverse factors from the outside. A young organism with a large biological resource resists these effects more successfully, because they have less effect on the daily process of cell division. In old age, the general position of the ecosystem, called the body, looks less optimistic. Therefore, if at the time of the nucleation of a new cell, the body is not in the best shape, the cell may also not be the best. In this case, with a pronounced malignant potential. And if you take into account that aging usually affects the immune system (although, it must be given, it is not so noticeable), the likelihood of its real malignancy increases greatly.

In this view, not everything is as clear and indisputable as it seems – one should not rely on it too clearly. But science has not yet developed other versions of the relationship of malignant tumors with age. One thing is clear: growing up is not aging. In the first case, most failures are temporary and are eliminated either on their own or with the help of a light external correction. And menopause is a period with a high malignant potential and an even higher number of cardiovascular pathologies.

If we have a focus of malignancy, its initial dependence on the hormonal background usually disappears as it develops. The fact is that tumors of the reproductive system are more prone than any other and are capable of independent synthesis of substances resembling the target hormone. This gives the same independence from the cycle or further inhibition of the childbearing function. But it gives us the effect of a false and dangerous “second youth”. In particular, a delayed and noticeably smoothed menopause (sometimes it does not seem to come at all), a more or less complete picture of youthfulness.

How such a “youth” will end, we understand. The question is different – how to distinguish a truly smooth menopause from the phenomena triggered by cancer? The mammary glands, testes, tissues of the external genital organs are really easy to examine. And what about the uterus and fallopian tubes, ovaries, prostate gland?

Unfortunately, nothing. Malignant neoplasms are a unique phenomenon in many respects. They can disguise themselves as endocrine glands, copying the work of the original cells. They themselves make their tissues germinate through the system of blood and lymph vessels – the so-called stroma. Cancer does not even have its own symptoms, since all the symptoms, as it develops, begin to produce organs that it destroys. And the true size of the malignant tumor is very small. We are used to associating the word “tumor” with something large. But cancer of the penultimate and last stage is, if we draw an analogy with the size, a pea. Well, the strength of the bean is no more. More often there are only sarcomas (a tumor of soft, non-connective tissues of an organ), and even then they are usually muscular.

All these outstanding abilities in terms of mimicry under full health make cancer a pathology that is well treated only in the initial stages. Yes, and which just in this period is almost undetectable … To find a tumor that has not yet given a single metastasis or has given only one neighbor to the lymph node is an unheard of luck for an oncologist. And by the way, a rarity in medical practice. Naturally, this is no less good for the patient, since the near metastasis, unlike the distant ones, is almost always operable, and will leave the body with the tumor. But, like the jackpot, only a few units get such a chance. We need to remember that bleeding between menstruation, an unexpected “jump” in sex drive, and other signs of increasing imbalance are not a compliment to our enviable health. Moreover, such obvious violations should not be taken for the jackpot mentioned above. It is quite possible that we are sitting at the wrong table and the bets were not made as we think … It goes without saying that with any neoplasms that we find in the tissues or on the surface of the skin, you should consult a doctor in all cases , except one. This exception is made when we can explain its appearance.

The only thing we can do is remember the main properties that are valid for most tumors. So:

1. Primary malignant tumors do not hurt until the final stages of the process. If it seems to us that cancer should always hurt, we are mistaken. Severe pains appear with the onset of growth of secondary foci – metastases of the mother’s tumor. This is especially true for cases when the primary tumor has been removed. But the secondary or secondary ones are irradiated, etc. because of the impossibility of their removal. If they begin to grow, despite attempts to suppress them, this growth is usually extremely intense. The rapid increase in the tumor and its germination leads to compression of the nerve endings in the tissues surrounding it – hence the pain. But for a maternal tumor, rapid growth is not characteristic – this is quite rare. Therefore, it will certainly be painless for the first few years from its inception.

2. The malignant neoplasm is always fused with the surrounding tissues – either the skin integument, or the deeper layers located under the tumor. For example, bone, unless, of course, the tumor is located in an organ that implies the presence of bones. The characteristic “leg” (goes into the deep tissues) and adhesions with the lower layers of the skin can be present both simultaneously and separately. In any combination, they provide the tumor with complete immobility and, as a rule, density (due to compression by surrounding tissues).

3. It must be remembered that the area of ​​the skin fused with a malignant tumor always looks different than other integuments. First, it will become thinner, change color, become smooth, glossy. The next stage is the appearance of non-healing erosion in this area. First, we can take it for an infection brought in at the site of damage. But malignant erosion is not related to infection and has little in common with it. Firstly, it will not respond at all to any of the usual measures in such cases. That is, for local or general administration of antibiotics, the use of ointments, compresses, other disinfecting procedures. Secondly, such necrosis is rarely accompanied by suppuration, but it rapidly deepens and expands. Thirdly, this ulcer produces a characteristic putrefactive smell common to cancer and gangrene.

4. Suspicion of cancer, if not a doctor, then we should cause all hormonal disruptions or pathologies of organs that have no obvious reasons. Or if the cause could not be identified with a standard examination of all organs / glands, which could cause a shift. As well as cases with atypical symptoms or course, an abnormal lack of response to therapeutic measures. If the doctor, for whatever reason, ignores potentially dangerous abnormalities, we have the right to conduct a biopsy of the tissues of the organ or neoplasm on our own initiative. It is better to do this in another institution – any one having the right to it and not requiring a mandatory referral to the procedure. It is all the more reasonable to show its results to another doctor – not necessarily an oncologist, although, of course, it is desirable.

5. The appearance of one or more painless, soft nodules, the maximum size of a walnut, located under unchanged skin, requires an immediate visit to an oncologist. This requirement does not depend on the degree of their mobility, the place of occurrence, the presence or absence of changes in the skin and other details. If we really need to know, a solid adhesion with skin will probably appear, but a little later – in a couple of months. What we see now is an inflamed lymph node / nodes. This is what a typical near cancer metastasis looks like. And its location is easy to determine by the location of this metastasis.

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