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Cancer

Cancer is a group of over 100 various diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal body cells. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body via the blood and lymph systems as well. In this article, we will discuss cancer and its types, symptoms, and causes.

What is Cancer?

Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases globally and affects more than 11 lakh individuals in India alone each year. Worldwide, more than 10 million people succumb to this disease each year. In humans, the mechanism of cell division is highly manipulated and regulated by cell differentiation and proliferation. Uncontrolled cell division happened when a mechanism called contact inhibition fails. In healthy organisms, cell replication stops during this process, as cells come into contact with other cells.

Symptoms of cancer

Cancer symptoms will vary depending on what body part is affected. The various signs and symptoms of cancer are given below:

  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in the skin, such as yellowing, darkening, or redness of the skin, sores that are not healed, or changes in existing moles
  • Persistent, unexplainable pain in the muscles or joints
  • Persistent cough or breathing difficulty
  • Persistent indigestion after eating or discomfort
  • Lump or thickening area, which can feel under the skin
  • Changes in weight, like accidental loss or benefit
  • Persistent, unexplained fevers or sweating at night
  • Bleeding or bruising unexplained
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits

Causes of Cancer

Various factors cause cancer, and some of them are as follows:

  1. Physical Factors: It causes by Ionizing radiation, like X-rays and gamma rays
  2. Chemical Factors: It causes by smoke, drunk, and tobacco.
  3. Biological Factors: It causes by viral oncogenes, proto-oncogenes, and cellular oncogenes.

Types of Cancer

The various types of cancer are given below:

Carcinoma

It is a common type of cancer. It starts in the skin or tissues that line other body organs.

Sarcoma

Sarcoma is a cancer of muscle tissue like blood vessels, bones, muscles, and cartilage.

Melanoma

It is the most severe type of skin cancer. It comes from melanocytes that are a pigment-containing cell type, which gives the skin its color. It may also form in the eyes, nose, throat, and anywhere inside the body.

Lymphoma

This cancer starts in immune system infection-fighting cells. These cells are located in the spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and other body parts.

Myeloma

Myeloma cancer starts in the plasma cells. Plasma cells are a kind of white blood cell in the bone marrow. Plasma cells produce antibodies that help to fight infection, also called immunoglobulins.

Leukemia

It is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood cells. Bone marrow is producing blood cells that may grow due to problems with the development of blood cells. Usually, it affects the white blood cells and leukocytes.

Types of tumor

The tumor is classified into three types. These types are as follows:

  • Benign
  • Malignant
  • Premalignant Tumor

Benign Tumor

These tumors are found at a specific position in the body. Also, it does not spread to other body parts and is normally harmless. However, they can become lethal when a benign tumor develops in areas such as the brain. Sometimes, recovery requires surgery, and it does not develop back.

Malignant Tumor

These tumors are located at a specific position in the body. In addition, it does not spread to other areas of the body and is normally harmless. However, they can become fatal when a benign tumor forms in areas such as the brain. Often healing involves surgery, and it doesn't grow back.

Premalignant Tumor

This type of tumor may be benign, but the features of a malignant tumor are observed. It may not have yet metastasized, but it may be cancerous. In other words, a form of tumor that has an increased chance of being cancer is a premalignant tumor. Benign and, finally, malignant tumors become premalignant.

Risk Factors of Cancer

Although doctors know well about the things that may increase cancer risk, people who do not know any identified risk factors have the majority of cancers. Factors that are proven to raise the cancer risk include:

Age

It may take decades to develop cancer. That's why a lot of patients diagnosed with cancer are 65 years of age or older. However, it is more common in older adults; it could be found at any age.

Health Condition

The risk of developing some diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, can be significantly increased by certain chronic health conditions.

Family History

A genetic disease is responsible for only a small portion of cancers. Mutations could be transmitted from one generation to another if cancer is prevalent in the family. To see if we have inherited mutations that may increase the risk of some cancers, we may be candidates for genetic testing. Bear in mind that having an inherited genetic disorder doesn't necessarily mean we will get cancer.

Environment

Harmful chemicals that may raise the risk of cancer can be found in the air around us. Even if we don't smoke, if we go to a place where people smoke or live with someone who smokes, we might inhale secondhand smoke. An elevated risk of cancer is often associated with contaminants in the home or office, such as asbestos and benzene.

Diagnosis of Cancer

Before it spreads to other parts of the body, cancer detection and diagnosis are very important. To prevent cancer, the detection of cancer genes is key. Many methods are used to diagnose cancer. Some of them are as follows:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Radiography technique.
  • Biopsy
  • Molecular biology techniques.
  • Histopathological tissue study.
  • Computed tomography.

Treatment of cancer

There are primarily three types of cancer treatment available. These are as follows:

Surgery

It is the most common treatment of cancer. It removes the localized cancerous mass.

Radiation therapy

Radiation is used in this treatment to destroy cancer cells.

Chemotherapy

It is used to destroy cancer cells. In cancer patients, several chemical medications have side effects, including hair loss. Interferons are also used in cancer patients to build antibodies against these side-effects.

Complications of cancer treatments

Cancer and its treatment may cause various complications, such as:

Fatigue

Fatigue has many causes in individuals with cancer, but it can also be controlled. Chemotherapy-related fatigue or treatment with radiation therapy is normal, but it is typically temporary.

Nausea

Some diseases and cancer therapies may cause nausea. Often, the doctor will predict whether the medication is likely to cause nausea. We can avoid or alleviate nausea through drugs and other treatments.

Weight loss

Weight loss can be caused by disease and cancer treatment. Cancer robs normal cells of food and deprives them of nutrients. It is also not conditioned by how many calories or what type of food is consumed, and it is hard to treat. In most cases, artificial nutrients in the stomach or veins through tubes do not change weight loss.

Pain

Pain may be caused by cancer disease or cancer treatment, but not all cancers are painful. Drugs and other approaches can efficiently treat Cancer-related pain.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea may be caused by cancer disease or cancer treatment that damages the body's digestive system.


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