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Understanding The Progression From Precancerous Lesions To Cancer

Views: 88     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-02-16      Origin: Site


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Cancer does not develop overnight; rather, its onset is a gradual process typically involving three stages: precancerous lesions, carcinoma in situ (early tumors), and invasive cancer.

Cancer develop

Precancerous lesions serve as the body's final warning before cancer fully manifests, representing a controllable and reversible state. However, whether this progression reverses or deteriorates depends on one's actions.

What are Precancerous Lesions?

Firstly, it's crucial to note that precancerous lesions are not cancer; they do not contain cancer cells. They can be viewed as cancer's close relatives, with a likelihood of evolving into cancer under the prolonged influence of carcinogens. Therefore, they are not equivalent to cancer and should not be conflated.

The evolution from precancerous lesions to cancer is a gradual process, typically spanning several years or even decades. This timeframe offers individuals ample opportunity for intervention. Precancerous lesions result from various factors, including infections or chronic inflammation, unhealthy lifestyles, and genetic predisposition. Identifying precancerous lesions is not a negative outcome; it's an opportunity for timely intervention, interception of malignant tumors, and potential reversal. Measures such as surgical removal, inflammation eradication, and blockade of stimulatory factors can restore precancerous lesions to a normal state.

Not all tumors exhibit typical, easily detectable precancerous lesions. Common precancerous lesions encountered clinically include:

  • Preventing Gastric Cancer: Beware of Chronic Atrophic Gastritis

  • Development stages: Normal gastric mucosa → Chronic superficial gastritis → Chronic atrophic gastritis

  • Histological changes: Intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia

  • Ultimate outcome: Gastric cancer

Although chronic atrophic gastritis doesn't invariably progress to gastric cancer, untreated conditions or repeated stimulations (like heavy alcohol consumption, bile reflux, Helicobacter pylori infection, or prolonged use of specific medications) can elevate cancer risk.

Clinical manifestations include:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Abdominal distention and pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Belching

  • Preventing Colorectal Cancer: Don't Underestimate Adenomatous Colorectal Polyps

  • Disease progression stages: Colonic adenomatous colorectal cancer → Intestinal inflammation → Colonic polyps → Colonic polypoid tumor

  • Transformation timeline: Benign polyps to cancer typically takes 5-15 years.

Symptoms of adenomatous colorectal polyps:

  • Increased bowel movements

  • Abdominal pain

  • Constipation

  • Bloody stools

Preventing Liver Cancer: Keep a Close Eye on Liver Cirrhosis

Progression stages: Hepatitis → Liver cirrhosis → Liver cancer

Risk factors: Individuals with a history of hepatitis B and accompanying liver cirrhosis are at high risk of liver cancer.

Intervention methods:

  • Regular examinations: Liver B-ultrasound and alpha-fetoprotein level testing every 3-6 months for patients with hepatitis B-related cirrhosis.

  • Active monitoring of hepatitis B virus replication and standardized antiviral therapy for hepatitis B patients.

  • Other preventive measures: Smoking and alcohol cessation, and avoiding overwork.

  • Preventing Breast Cancer: Be Cautious of Atypical Breast Hyperplasia

General process: Normal breast → Non-atypical hyperplasia → Carcinoma in situ → Breast hyperplasia → Hyperplasia → Breast cancer