carcinoma in situ

Carcinoma in Situ: What Is It and Is It Treatable?

April 16, 2019

You’ve probably heard of cancer and the cancer-causing stuff called carcinogens but what about carcinoma in situ? This involves abnormal cells and is sometimes referred to as “pre-cancer.” There’s a lot of debate about whether or not this condition should actually be referred to as cancer. What’s most important is to know more about this condition. What’s it all about? What causes it? Can it be treated? The answers to these questions can help you to prevent the condition and treat it more effectively if you suffer from it. Any major cell damage can be very dangerous so it’s important to deal with it effectively.

The big issue is related to the term itself: “carcinoma” We’re talking about abnormal cells that haven’t become full cancer cells yet. Just the fact the cells could become cancerous is a major issue. Based on various studies up to 2% of the world’s population has cancer. So, it’s important to take steps to prevent it as soon as possible. The good news about this condition is the cells also aren’t moving from their current location. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take immediate steps. The goal should be to prevent the cells from becoming cancerous and spreading to other body parts.

What Is Carcinoma in Situ?

First, let’s talk about the name of the condition since it’s easier to break down what it actually is. Carcinoma is a kind of pre-cancer that begins in cells located in the skin or in the tissue lining of organs like:

  • Kidneys
  • Cervix
  • Bladder
  • Breasts
  • Liver

The different types of cancer are slightly different based on the location of the cancer cells. However, what’s important to note is they always have similar features. The cells haven’t fully developed into cancer cells and aren’t spreading outside their local area.

These cells have the ability to divide out of control. Sometimes they spread to other body parts but in this case, they haven’t yet. That brings us to the “in situ” part of the condition. The meaning is the cells are in their “original place.”

There are actually several types of carcinoma that people can suffer from. Carcinoma in situ can also form in different body parts. While it involves cancer cells they’re not fully developed and haven’t spread to close areas. In fact, it’s quite common for people to get cured of this type of cancer.

It’s still important that a patient receive treatment as soon as possible if they’re diagnosed with these kinds of “cancer.” That’s because there’s a higher chance the treatment will work and the cancer will go into remission.

Various treatments are available than other stages of cancer since the cells aren’t fully cancerous yet. They also haven’t traveled outside the area they’re located in. Several doctors actually suggest removing all the “pre-cancer” cells.

Here’s why. The chances the cells will become cancerous are sky-high. This is why doctors recommend taking steps to remove the cancerous cells as soon as possible. It also gives the patient the best chance at becoming cancer-free since the cells can’t move to other areas.

Is It Treatable?

These are some big questions. On one hand, the cancer cells aren’t fully developed and haven’t spread to other body parts. However, the problem is they’re still cancerous so they have the possibility of doing both.

The key is to deal with the cancer cells before they become malignant (dangerous). The key to diagnosis is having regular checks like ones for skin issues or breast cancer. These tests can help to detect the condition as soon as possible and provide the necessary treatment.

What are the treatment options? In many cases, doctors will recommend removing the cancer cells/tumors to make sure there’s no chance they’ll develop and spread.

For example, in the case of pre-breast cancer options include breast-conserving surgery (BCS). This involves removing the tumor and some tissue around it. The physician might recommend more drastic steps but it depends on factors like the tumor’s size and growth rate.

Radiation treatment often follows the tumor’s removal. This helps to reduce the chance the cancer will return later. This is a decision a doctor makes based on various factors like whether the risk of the cancer returning is high or low.

In addition to radiation treatments, the patient might also receive hormone therapy. This is another step that helps to reduce the chance cancer cells will return in the future.

Even if you’re not 100% sure there’s a problem make sure to get a checkup. It’s better to be on the safe side. When pre-cancer is detected sooner it means you’ll have more treatment options and a better chance of becoming 100% cancer-free.

The key is to be diagnosed with carcinoma as soon as possible. It’s important to watch out for different symptoms that could be signs cancer cells are forming. Meanwhile, if you ignore warning signs it could be tougher to get that same result in the future.

Warning Signs of Pre-Cancer

It’s important to know the warning signs that you might have pre-cancer and carcinoma in situ. This could be considered a type of “pre-cancer” since the cells aren’t fully developed yet. Here are some of the red flags to watch out for:

1. Restroom Habits

If you have to use the restroom more often or have pain when you do it then it could be a sign you have pre-cancer in your digestion system. If you have problems like continuous diarrhea or constipation these are other signs cancer cells could be forming.

2. Skin Bumps

It’s quite common to have bumps on top of the skin. However, if there’s a bump/lump right below the skin this could be a sign of cancer. It can be in areas including the breast, sex organs, and tendons/ligaments.

Make sure to report the bumps to your doctor as soon as possible. Do this when you first discover them or if the bumps have grown.

3. Continuous Fatigue or Pain

If you’re tired all the time or feel pain in your head, stomach, back, then get it checked out quickly. It could be one of many conditions or you just might be tired from work or workouts. The key is to get stuff checked out if the fatigue/pain is continuous since it could be a warning sign of pre-cancer.

4. Skin Changes

These changes involve the skin itself instead of bumps underneath it. If you work or play outdoors for long hours or have had many sunburns in the past then it’s important to monitor your skin’s health.

You should also look for other changes in your skin. They include freckles, moles, and warts that keep changing in color, shape or size. The bottom line: see a dermatologist if you notice a strange new spot on your skin. It could help to diagnose and treat carcinoma in situ.