Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Where can people find more information about cancer?
There are many ways a
person can find more information about cancer, but if they have any immediate
concerns about having cancer, their first source of information should be their
doctor. In addition to the references listed at the end of this article, the
following is a list of information sources that are well recognized as
authorities for cancer information by most clinicians:
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells
anywhere in a body.
There are over 200 types of cancer.
Anything that may
cause a normal body cell to develop abnormally potentially can cause cancer;
general categories of cancer-related or causative agents are as follows:
chemical or toxic compound exposures, ionizing radiation, some pathogens, and
Cancer symptoms and signs depend on the specific type and
grade of cancer; general signs and symptoms are not very specific but are as
follows: fever, fatigue, weight loss, pain, skin changes, change in bowel or
bladder function, unusual bleeding, persistent cough or voice change, lumps, or
Although there are many tests to presumptively find or
presumptively diagnose cancer, the definite diagnosis is made by examination of
a biopsy sample of suspected cancer tissue.
Cancer staging is often determined
by biopsy results and helps determine the aggressiveness of the cancer type and
the extent of cancer spread; staging also helps caregivers determine treatment
protocols. In general, most staging methods show that the higher the number
assigned (usually between 0-4), the more aggressive the cancer type or more
widespread is the cancer in the body.
Treatment protocols vary according to the
type and stage of the cancer. Most treatment protocols are designed to fit the
individual patient's disease. However, most treatments include at least one of
the following and may include all: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
The prognosis of cancer can range from excellent to poor. The prognosis depends
on the cancer type and its staging with those cancers known to be aggressive and
those staged with higher numbers (3-4) often have a prognosis that ranges more
Some cancers can be prevented by taking simple precautions, other
cancers may have the risk of contracting them reduced by several methods, and a
few may be difficult to avoid for some individuals.
Switzerland. World Health Organization. "Cancer." Feb. 2011. <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/index.html>.
United States. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. "Cancer Fact Sheet." Aug. 30, 2002. <http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/com/cancer-fs.html>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control. "Human Papillomavirus (HPV)." Sept. 22, 2010. <http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/>.
United States. National Cancer Institute. "Cancer Genetics." <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/genetics>.
United States. National Cancer Institute. "Cancer Vaccines." Aug. 4, 2010. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/cancer-vaccines>.
United States. National Cancer Institute. "Common Cancer Types." Nov. 4, 2010. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/commoncancers>.