Cancer is a very lethal disease that is considered mostly difficult to be cured. It is usually the abnormal growth of cells and also involves the group of diseases along with. The cells usually undergo the uncontrolled growth and form lumps that may have the potential to invade and reach other tissues of the body. If the lumps don’t invade any other part of the body, it is usually known as the benign tumors but when these benign tumors start producing secondary sites and starts targeting the other body tissues the benign tumors become malignant. Cancer is such a type of disease that if not recognized in the earlier stages may lead to death. In this article, there will be discussion about causes, symptoms, and bit awareness about the treatment so that if you may get it, it is diagnosed at earlier stages.
Over 100 types of cancer affect humans. Tobacco use is the cause of about 22% cancer deaths. 10% of cancer is caused by obesity, poor diet, sedentary life style and increased alcohol intake. Many genetic changes are required to develop cancer. About 5-10% of cancer is due to genetic defects. The most common types of cancer in males are lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer. In females, the most common types are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and cervical cancer. Benign tumors are not harmful as malignant tumors. When cancer starts to be developed, benign tumors are changed into malignant and require the following characteristics:
Proper signals are absent for proper cell growth and division
Absence of programmed cell death
Signals are not sensed and the growth is continued without any control
Unlimited number of cell divisions
Promoting blood vessel constriction
Invasion of tissues and formation of metastasis (that is the process of cancer spread by formation of secondary sites.
The common causes of cancer are tobacco, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, excessive alcohol and certain infections e.g caused by Helicobacter pylori, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, human papillomavirus infection, Epstein–Barr virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The other causes include:
Exposure to particular substances that are carcinogens have been linked to specific type of cancer e.g tobacco smoke causes cancer in the larynx, head, neck, stomach, bladder, kidney, esophagus and pancreas.
Diet and exercise:
Some specific foods are related to causing the cancer e.g a high-salt food causes the gastric cancer. Aflatoxin B1, a frequent food contaminant, causes liver cancer. Betel nut chewing can cause oral cancer.
The ionizing radiations e.g ultraviolet radiation and radioactive material is a risk factor for cancer. Sources of ionizing radiation include medical imaging and radon gas.
Hereditary cancers are primarily caused by an inherited genetic defect.
Some hormones play a role in the development of cancer by promoting abnormal cell growth. Hormones are mainly related to developing sex-related cancers e.g cancer of the breast, endometrium, prostate, ovary and testis and also of thyroid cancer and bone cancer.
Signs and Symptoms:
The common symptoms of cancer are:
Un-explained weight loss
Change in bowel movements
Changes to the skin
Hair loss (most common on head and eye-brows)
Some cancers cause buildup of fluid with in chest or abdomen
Lung cancer causes blockage of bronchus resulting in cough and pneumonia
Esophageal cancer causes narrowing of esophagus making it painful to swallow
Colorectal cancer causes narrowing or blockage in the bowel
Ulceration can cause bleeding that, if it occurs in the lung, will lead to coughing up blood, in the bowels to anemia or rectal bleeding, in the bladder to blood in the urine and in the uterus to vaginal bleeding.
Cancer is usually diagnosed by following:
By Certain signs and symptoms
Investigation by Medical imaging and;
Confirmation by biopsy
The most common methods for cancer treatment are:
So, Cancer is a very lethal disease that must be diagnosed and controlled.