According to a research at National Cancer Institute, about 1.5 million people in U.S are diagnosed with cancer and more than 575,000 die with this deadly disease in a year. Well, what is cancer? Is this a single disease or a collection of diseases?
Cancer also known as malignancy, is mainly a name given to a assemblage of certain diseases. In cancer, an abnormal growth is shown by some defective parts of the body, without stopping and can invade and destroy other tissues. Not every tumor (abnormal growth of cells) is cancerous. Only malignant tumor have the ability to spread and destroy other tissues, while benign tumors stay in their place.
Whenever cancer affects a tissue in the body, cells of that tissue start to show abnormal behavior by letting the old ones survive when they should rupture, and forming new cells when they are not required. This is a condition known as a tumor or neoplasm.
Mostly cancer form solid tumors which is a clump of defective tissue, but there are some forms of cancers such as leukemia, which affects the blood.
Causes Of Cancer:
About 95% of cancer cases are due to factors such as economic, lifestyle and behavioral factors. Certain chemical substances are known as the leading cause of cancer. These are known s carcinogens and are present in tobbaco, which enters the lungs while smoking. High salt diet causes gastric cancer, alfatoxin B1 causes liver cancer, Betel nut chewing causes oral cancer etc.
About 5% of cancers are due genetic causes and inheritance. A clear cause of cancer have not been known till now, because multiple causes are there in most of the cancers.
Some researches have shown that the mutation and default in three genes present in cell’s DNA known as proto-oncogenes, DNA repair genes and tumor suppressor genes contribute cancer in that specific tissue
Researches have shown that cancer risk can be reduced by reducing factors such as limiting UV rays exposure from the tanning beds and sun, avoiding alcohol and tobbaco, taking a balanced and a healthy diet and by proper medical care.
TYPES OF CANCER:
There are more than 100 types of cancer. Usually, cancers are named from the organs and tissue from which they are originated. For example, brain cancer starts in the cells of brain, oral cancer starts in the cells of oral and breast cancer starts in the cells of breast. Cancers are also categorized by the type of cells that formed them. These categories include:
- Carcinoma (formed by the epithelial cells)
- Sarcome (formed in bone and soft tissues)
- Leukemia (formed blood and bone marrow)
- Lymphoma (begins in lymphocytes( B and T cells)
- Melanoma (begins in melanocytes)
- Brain and spinal cord tumors (formed in brain and spinal cord)
SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS:
Cancer is not really easy to diagnose in its early stages. When it begins, it produces no signs of its production. The symptoms of cancer only appears when it has been grown to larger masses. The different types of cancers show relatively different signs of its existence. For example, lung cancer would show extreme coughing and pneumonia, colorectal cancer may cause the narrowing of bowel which tends to change its function, breast cancer clearly shows the clumps of defective tissues and etc. But the most common symptoms that nearly all the cancers shows include:
- Weight loss
- Skin changes
Cancer can be diagnosed with the help of screening by medical imaging, physical examination and certain tests like blood and urine test etc
TREATMENT FOR CANCER (NON-MEDICATED):
Cancer can be treated with the help of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, palliative therapy and targeted therapy.
There is a list of drugs and medications for cancer that has been proved very beneficial for treated many types of cancers in the human body. The popular and most effective drugs and medications include:
- Bortezomib (Velcade)
- Chlorambucil (Leukeran)
- Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar)
- Irinotecan (Camptosar)
- Irinotecan liposome injection (Onivyde)
- Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
- Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
- Trastuzumab (Herceptin)
It is much better to prevent a disease than to treat it, so we should take some helpful measures to prevent cancer.
- Avoid smoking tobbaco.
- Limit the use of alcohol.
- Avoid having the exposure of UV rays through the sun and tanning beds.
- Have a balanced and healthy diet.