Cancer is a broad term for a set of disorders in which aberrant cells divide fast and spread to other tissues and organs.
Additionally, tumors may form as a result of these quickly developing cells. They may also cause disruption of the body’s normal functions.
Cancer is one of the world’s major causes of death.
What are the causes of cancer?
Mutations, or alterations to the DNA in your cells, are the most common cause of cancer. More so, genetic mutations can happen from generation to generation. They can also occur as a result of environmental factors after birth.
External factors, often known as carcinogens, can include:
Radiation and ultraviolet (UV) light are examples of physical carcinogens.
cigarette smoke, asbestos, alcohol, air pollution, and tainted food and water are examples of chemical carcinogens.
viruses, bacteria, and parasites are biological carcinogens.
Factors that are risk contributor
You may be more likely to develop cancer if you have certain risk factors. The following are examples of risk factors:
Use of tobacco
Drinking a lot of alcohol
According to a 2017 analysis, an unhealthy diet includes red and processed meat, sugary drinks and salty snacks, starchy foods, and refined carbohydrates such as sugars and processed grains.
Types of cancer
Even if cancers spread to other places of the body, the name goes by the area where they start and the type of cell they are made of. A cancer that starts in the lungs and progresses to the liver, for example, is still referred to as lung cancer.
There are also a few clinical terminologies for different forms of cancer in general:
Carcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in the skin or the tissues that border the insides of other organs.
Sarcoma is a type of cancer that affects the body’s connective tissues, including the bones, muscles, cartilage, and blood vessels.
Lymphoma and myeloma are immune system malignancies.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow, which produces blood cells.
Early detection is really important.
When cancer in its early stages, it is referred to as early detection. This has the potential to improve therapeutic efficacy while also lowering fatality rates.
Cancer screenings may aid in the early detection of cancer symptoms. Some routine cancer screenings may reveal the presence of cancer.
How does cancer grow and spread?
Abnormal cell division
Your body’s normal cells divide and grow. The type of cell determines the life cycle of each. When cells die, new ones replace them.
Cancer disrupts this mechanism, which causes cells to develop abnormally. Changes or mutations in the cell’s DNA cause it.
Creation of tumors
Tumors, depending on where they form in the body, can create health complications.
Tumors aren’t always cancerous. Noncancerous benign tumors do not spread to neighboring tissues.
Some cancer cells can also move to other parts of the body via the circulation or lymphatic system. This is referred as as metastasis.
Cancers that have spread to other parts of the body are more advanced than cancers that haven’t. Metastatic malignancies are frequently more difficult to cure and deadly.
The most common types of treatment are:
Surgery removes as much of the cancer as possible. More so, the surgery is used in combination with some other therapy in order to make sure all of the cancer cells are gone.
Chemotherapy is a form of aggressive cancer treatment that uses medications that are toxic to cells to kill rapidly dividing cancer cells. Chemo helps to shrink the size of a tumor or the number of cells in your body and lower the likelihood of the cancer spreading.
To kill cancer cells, radiation therapy uses intense, focused beams of radiation. Brachytherapy refers to radiation therapy that takes place inside the body, whereas external beam radiation refers to radiation therapy that takes place outside the body.
Stem cells (bone marrow) Transplant
This treatment uses healthy stem cells to mend damaged bone marrow. Undifferentiated cells, known as stem cells, can perform a number of activities. These transplants allow doctors to treat cancer with stronger dosages of chemotherapy. Leukemia is routinely treated with a stem cell transplant.
Knowing the variables that contribute to cancer can help you live a healthier lifestyle and reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Preventive methods to lower your chances of getting cancer include:
Avoid tobacco and secondhand smoke
reducing your consumption of processed meats
eating a Mediterranean-style diet, which emphasizes plant-based meals, lean meats, and healthy fats
avoiding or using alcohol in moderation
keeping a healthy BMI and body weight
150 to 300 minutes of regular moderate physical exercise
Every week, a dependable source
avoiding direct sun exposure and wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun
Getting immunized against cancer-causing viral diseases like hepatitis B and HPV