Cancer is a topic most of us are familiar with, whether through media, school or firsthand experience. Some types of cancer get more limelight than others. Breast cancer receives almost a third of funding as compared to other common cancers. But even the other common cancers (lung, colon, leukaemia) are more widely known than the rarer types of cancer. Curious to note, rare cancers make up about a quarter of all cancer cases! Read on to discover some strange types of cancer. Cancer of the Foot?Yes as odd as it may sound, cancer does affect nearly all parts of the body including the feet. Cancer is a type of disease that attacks cells of the body you can definitely get cancer on your feet. This cancer is considered rarer than most and is often hard to discover. Moles, bumps and strange pains may be an indication of potential cancer of the foot. Some likely types could be nerve, bone, circulatory system or skin cancer with Melanoma being the most common. Of all cancers affecting the feet melanoma could be responsible for up to 5% of cases. Vaginal CancerWith age, the cells of the vagina (as well as the rest of the body) change increasing the likelihood of cancer. This is true for most cells in the body. However, this is still a rare occurrence. Most cancers that affect the female reproductive systems do not start in the vagina (only about ~1%). Of these, however, most are the type of skin cancer, similar to cancer in the feet. What's different is the type of skin cancer, with feet its melanoma whereas squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of vaginal cancer. Interestingly, vaginal cancers arise most often after menopause. The signs are usually small bumps or sores developing near the cervix slowly. This is usually curable with surgery. Much rarer than this are adenocarcinoma, sarcoma or melanoma developing in the vagina. Regular screening seems to be the best method for early detection and treatment, talk to your gynaecologist if you notice anything unusual.Cancer in your spit?Saliva and the enzymes it carries is essential to food digestion and fighting infections. Although this is very rare (fewer than 1 person in 100,00) cancer can attack the salivary glands. Symptoms like numbness in the cheek and mouth area, or persistent lumps on the jaw and cheek areas are likely early warnings of this type of cancer. Although not very common this type of cancer has a low survival rate if detected late, but early detection increases that rate substantially (5-year survivability up to 90%). Research in decades of salivary gland treatments found that the ideal form of treatment is still to be discovered. In the meantime surgery and radiation remain as the best available options. More common in men, there is seemingly no higher risk in smokers or alcoholic beverage drinkers. This is unlike the majority of other cancers affecting the areas in and around the mouth. Note: people with a history of workplace containing radioactive substances seem to have a higher risk of this cancer.Rare bone cancerChordoma is a literal one-in-a-million type of bone cancer that presents in the bones of the spine and skull. Through research and testing, it has been found that the cause of chordoma is tiny cartilage remnants on the bone while we are still in our mothers’ womb. Because of the scarce number of cases, it is hard to conclude much about this cancer. Scientists have however been able to rule out genetic factors in this type of cancer. Chordomas grow slowly but intensely. Regarding treatment options, surgery is one of the best options because chordoma does not respond to other methods well (chemotherapy, radiation etc.). Understandably surgery is a very serious step considering that this cancer affects mostly the spine and skull areas. As it stands even with surgery this cancer has a very high chance of showing up again. Extremely rare cartilage cancerWith fewer than a thousand cases reported since 1959 this cancer is most definitely very rare. Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma spreads quickly making early detection the most vital part of treatment. With Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma over 60% of cases occur in the bones like spine, jaw and ribs. However it can occur in any part of the body, thus detection is itself hard. Symptoms may include pain and swelling of the areas being affected. Like other growths and cancers, if this occurs near the spinal cord this may lead to paralysis. Treatment is usually surgery and chemotherapy combo, as studies have shown lower success when only surgery is done.Cancer, in your heartThat's right, cancer can be found in the heart tissues as well. Something we can all be thankful for is that this type of cancer is extremely rare. Most hospitals report only about 1 case per year! You may be curious, why do we hear about cancer affecting every part of the body but rarely affecting the heart? It comes down to the way cancer works. The primary way cancer cells work is by uncontrollable cell division and multiplying. This causes many problems for the surrounding tissues as well as the body. The key difference with heart cells, most of the cell division occurs when we are in the fetal stage. After birth the cells in our heart are done dividing (Note: there is some cell division in the heart, however, this is very infrequent compared to the rest of the cells in your body). The heart is mostly made up of muscles tissues that are able to grow in size as you grow up. So, since cell division is very infrequent in the heart tissues, the likelihood of cancer in these cells is very low. Most instances of this cancer form in utero in babies. However, it is possible in adulthood although outstandingly rare!
We often consider “cancer” as a disease in itself, however as you can see cancer is much more complex than that. While these cancers mentioned are stranger and rarer than most, be sure to check with your doctor if you find any symptoms in yourself. [av_promobox button='yes' label='Consult Now ' link='https://www.medibuddy.in/?utm_source=blog_cta&utm_medium=blog' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='large' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello']For more information, you can always talk to a doctor online on MediBuddy.[/av_promobox]