Cancer – Overview, Causes, Types and Management
This is Sasa, your Health Assistant from Treat at Home. In this article, let’s get to know about the second leading cause of death worldwide, Cancer. It is an incurable disease which affects people irrespective of their age, sex, ethnics and nationality.
Cancer has been the most dangerous word for the last two to three decades. Many technologies are evolved and evolving for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which some of the body cells grow uncontrollably and spreads to other parts of the body. One of the natural and beneficial phenomena which happen in our body is cell death. Cells receive instructions to die, so that body can produce newer cells and replace the same to function better. This mechanism is called Apoptosis.
Cancerous cells lack this mechanism that instructs them to stop dividing and die. As a result, they build in the body, using nutrients and oxygen for their growth and eventually destruct normal cells. Cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body through lymphatic system or vascular system. through a process called Metastasis.
Cancer causes cells to divide uncontrollably. So the result is,
– Formation of Tumour
– Damage to the Immune system
– Functional impairment that leads to Fatality
Cancer is a broad term. Disease that results when cellular changes cause uncontrolled growth and division of cells forming a tumor specifically called cancer.
“Most cancerous form is Tumour, but not all tumours are cancerous”.
Causes of Cancer
There is no specific cause for cancer, but there are some factors and habits contributing to the causes of cancer. Researchers studied about how bad habits contribute to the ill effects on health and sometimes it eventually resulting in cancer.
Some factors are,
– Cigarette smoking
– Alcohol Consumption
– Poor Nutrition
– Physical Inactivity
– Excess Body weight
– Prolonged Mental & Emotional distress
– Genetic Factors
– Exposure to Radiation
Genetic factors are one among the main reasons which contributes to the development of cancer. Changes in genes can lead to faulty instructions like influencing the cell’s production of proteins. These proteins in the cells carry many of the instructions for cellular growth and division. Some genes change protein that would usually repair damaged cells.
Several elements affect the way that DNA communicates with cells and directs this division and death. This type of cancer is concluded as “Hereditary Cancer Syndrome”.
Types of Cancers
There are more than 100 types of cancer affecting humans and can be classified into groups based on,
– Location in the body
– Tissues that cancer forms
Based on the organ location,
Cancer can be termed as Breast cancer, Prostate cancer, Cervical cancer, Colon cancer, Skin cancer, Blood cancer, Lung cancer, Mouth cancer, Ovarian cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Testicular cancer, Throat cancer, Penile cancer, Stomach cancer, Bone cancer, Liver cancer, Tongue cancer and many more.
Tissues that cancer forms in,
These types of cancer usually originate in skin, lungs, breast, pancreas, other glands and organs.
These types of cancer usually affect bones, muscles, fat, blood vessels, cartilage and other soft, connective tissues.
These are cancer of lymphocytes.
These are types of cancer which affect the blood.
Cancer which affects the cells that make pigment in skin.
Treatment for Cancer
So far, the word “Cure” is not used for treating cancer. Instead of cure, Doctors and Physicians use some terms like Management, Remissions or Treatment.
Until medical professionals find a cure for cancer, it is smart to consider every treatment that might save lives or make people feel better, safely.
Whether it is conventional method of treatment or natural or alternative treatment, it is better to discuss all your options and clarifications with a doctor. Some conventional methods advised depends on the nature, type and prognosis of cancer.
Single or combined therapies are,
– Hormone therapy
– Radiation therapy
– Surgical procedure
– Stem cell transplant
– Targeted therapies
– Precision medicine or Personalized medicine
– Get Proper sleep
– Regular exercise & Meditation
– Taking care of your general Well-being and Health
– Avoid bad habits like Smoking , Alcohol consumption or Drug abuse
– Consume a Balanced diet with proper portions of vitamins, minerals and proteins
The wisest choice is to focus on the causes which result in cancer, taking steps to avoid them and working on the preventive measures.
Author: Dr. Raji Arabi
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