Overview of cancer
Cancer is the general term for a large group of diseases that occur when abnormal cells divide rapidly and spread to other tissues and organs. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world.
Cancer growth and metastasis
In a healthy body, because the body needs to function every day, it can grow and divide into trillions of cells. Healthy cells have a specific life cycle, which is determined by reproduction and the cell type. New cells replace old or damaged cells when they die. It interrupts this process and causes abnormal cell growth. It is caused by changes or mutations in DNA.
Each cell has DNA in its individual genes. It contains instructions that tell the cell what functions to perform and how to grow and divide. Mutations often occur in DNA, but generally, cells correct these mistakes. When an error is not corrected, a cell becomes cancerous.
Mutations are cells that survive instead of dying and new cells are formed when they are not needed. These extra cells divide uncontrollably and cause growths called tumors. Tumors can cause a variety of health problems depending on where they grow in the body.
But not all tumors are cancerous. Benign tumors are not cancerous and do not spread to nearby tissues. Sometimes they grow and cause problems when pressed against neighbouring organs and tissues. Malignant tumors invade cancer and other parts of the body.
Some cancer cells migrate to distant parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This process is called metastasis. Metastasized cancers are considered to be more advanced than non-metastasized ones. Metastatic cancers are harder to treat and more malignant.
Types of cancer
Cancers are named for the area where they start and what types of cells they are made from, even though they have spread to other parts of the body. There are also several clinical terms for some common types of cancer:
- Carcinoma is cancer that begins in the tissues that line the skin or other organs.
- Sarcoma is a cancer of the connective tissues such as bones, muscles, cartilage, and blood vessels.
- Leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow that produces blood cells.
- Lymphoma and myeloma both are cancers of the immune system.
Risk factors and treatment for cancer
The direct cause of cancer is changes (or mutations) in the DNA of your cells. Genetic mutations can be inherited. These occur even after birth as a result of environmental forces. Some of these forces are:
- Carcinogens for carcinogenic chemicals
- Exposure to radiation
- Dangerous exposure to the sun
- Some viruses, such as human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Of smoking
- Lifestyle choices, type of diet, and level of physical activity
Cancer risk increases with age. Some health conditions that cause inflammation can also increase your risk of cancer. Ulcerative colitis, chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
Knowing the factors that contribute to cancer can help you lead a lifestyle that reduces your risk of cancer. According to experts, these are the seven best ways to prevent cancer:
- Avoid secondhand smoke and secondhand smoke.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
- Limit your intake of processed meats.
- Consider adopting a “Mediterranean diet” that focuses primarily on plant-based foods, lean protein, and healthy fats.
- Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation. Drinking in moderation is one drink per day for women of all ages and men over 65, and two drinks per day for men 65 and younger.
- Maintain a healthy weight and stay active by getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Protect yourself from the sun.
- Cover up with clothing, sunglasses, and a hat, and apply sunscreen often.
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This happens when the sun’s rays hit them strongly.
- Stay in the shade as much as possible when outdoors.
- Avoid tanning beds and sun exposure, which can damage your skin like the sun.
- Get vaccinated against viral infections that can lead to cancer, such as hepatitis B and HPV.
- Do not engage in offensive behaviour. Practice safe sex and don’t share needles while using prescription drugs or medications. Get tattoos only in authorized salons.
- Visit your doctor regularly so they can test you for a variety of cancers. This increases the chances of getting cancers as quickly as possible.
Remove as much cancer as possible with surgery.
It uses drugs that are toxic to cells to kill rapidly dividing cancer cells.
Your body uses powerful, concentrated radiation from within (brachytherapy) or from outside (external-beam radiation) to kill cancer cells.
Stem cell (bone marrow) transplant
Repairs diseased bone marrow with healthy stem cells. Stem cells are different cells that have different functions. These transplants allow doctors to use high doses of chemotherapy to treat cancer.
Immunotherapy (biological therapy)
- Your body’s immune system uses antibodies to help detect cancer so that it can fight it.
- Hormonal therapy
- Eliminate or inhibit the hormones that feed certain cancers to stop the growth of cancer cells.
Targeted drug treatment
It uses drugs to interfere with certain molecules that help cancer cells grow and survive.
Explore new ways to treat cancer.
It is used to reduce the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment such as nausea, fatigue, and pain. Alternative medicine:
- Relaxation techniques