Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow and multiply out of control. The cells can invade and damage the tissue around them (metastasis) or form a mass that may slow down or stop the organ from working properly (tumor). The growth of a tumor is called malignant, while that of a benign tumor is called premalignant.
Metastatic cancers account for about 30 percent of all cancers and are often hard to treat because they have moved from their original location to another area where their growth can be stopped or controlled with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Cancer cells are different from normal cells in several ways: they grow more rapidly; their DNA has lost its ability to control cell growth; they have lost their ability to repair damage; and they have acquired properties that allow them to survive and spread throughout the body.
Types of Cancer.
The most common types of cancer are:
This is a very common form of cancer. It mostly occurs in men over 50, but can start at any age. Most prostate cancers are slow growing. However, if left untreated, some forms of the disease can develop into more aggressive forms.
Br e ast cancer
Br e ast cancer is the most common type of female cancer, with one in eight women getting it during their lifetime. The risk of breast cancer increases with age and having children. In addition to this, being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing breast cancer by about five times that of a woman who is slim and slim-to-fat with low levels of body fat (BMI).
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the UK and Ireland. Smoking is the main cause for lung cancers in both sexes and there is strong evidence that smoking causes 1 out of every 3 cases of lung cancer in men and 1 out of every 4 cases in women. Other factors such as exposure to radon gas and air pollution also play a role in causing lung cancers as they can enhance lung carcinogens present in cigarette smoke or polluted air (e.g., car exhaust fumes).
Ov a rian Cancer
Ov a rian cancer is the most common female cancer and the tenth most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide. While it is difficult to know exactly how many women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, the National Cancer Institute estimates about 15,000 new cases and 7,000 deaths from ov a rian cancer each year in the United States alone.
Ov a rian cancer is a disease of older women. It occurs more often in women over age 50, but it can occur at any age. The risk of getting ovarian cancer increases with age; it affects almost all women after they reach age 55 years. However, even though there are more cases among older women, younger women also develop this type of cancer.
Most ov a rian cancers start in the ov a ries and then spread to other organs or tissues around the body like the liver or pelvic bone. Many different types of cells can become tumor cells, so doctors cannot tell if a woman has ov a rian cancer based on her symptoms alone. The symptoms may include painless bleeding from your vagina or other areas (dysmenorrhea) and pelvic pain (cystitis). Other symptoms include weakness, fatigue and nausea that come on suddenly.
Cancer of the colon and rectum
Cancer of the colon and rectum is the fourth most common cancer in the world. It affects men and women of all ages, but is more common in older individuals. The most common type of cancer of the colon and rectum is called colorectal cancer.
The cause of cancer of the colon and rectum is unknown. It is not contagious, does not spread from person to person, and does not occur more often in people who have recently eaten red meat or other foods containing carcinogens such as nitrates or nitrites.
Cancer of the colon and rectum occurs when cells divide out of control, forming masses (tumors) that may invade surrounding tissues and spread to other parts of the body. The cells become malignant (cancerous) because they have lost their ability to control their growth.
This is caused by infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are over 100 subtypes of HPV and 80% of HPV-related cancers occur in women under the age of 50. While it is possible to get infected with HPV without developing cervical or other cancers, these infections cause persistent inflammation called precancers that can lead to cancer if left untreated.
Causes of Cancer.
Cancer is not a single disease, but rather a group of diseases with different causes, symptoms and treatments. While some types of cancer are caused by external factors such as smoking or ultraviolet radiation, others are caused by internal changes in cells such as damage to genes, other parts of DNA and cellular energy production.
Health habits that may trigger the development of cancer.
There are many health habits that may trigger the development of cancer:
Smoking is one of the major risk factors for lung, mouth and throat cancers. The risk increases with each cigarette smoked.
Smoking also increases your risk of developing other types of cancer. For example, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who smoke have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
Excessive Alcohol consumption.
In addition to smoking, alcohol consumption has been linked to several cancers, including liver cancer and breast cancer, as well as colorectal cancer. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption can increase your risk for developing colorectal or breast cancer by about 20 percent each time you drink more than two drinks per day.
A diet that is high in red meat, especially processed meats can lead to cancer. This is why it is often advice to consume less of red meat.
A diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, such as white flour and white rice. These foods provide empty calories, which are not helpful for weight loss or healthy eating. Instead, focus on eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
A diet that is low in fiber, especially from fruit and vegetables. Fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and can help to prevent cancer by reducing the risk of colon cancer by as much as 30%.
A diet that is high in fat. This includes saturated fat (found mainly in animal products), trans fats (found mainly in processed foods) and polyunsaturated fat (found mainly in vegetable oils). Research has shown that diets high in saturated fat have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other factors that can cause cancer.
With increasing age comes an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Certain genes may cause you to be at a higher risk for certain types of cancer than others.
Personal history (e.g., smoking) increases your risk for lung and other cancers, including those that arise from tobacco use.
Family history (e.g., hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer) can result to cancer development. The risk is higher if one or more close relatives has had the disease — though in many cases it’s not clear whether this is because the disease runs in families, or if it’s because people with a family history are more likely to smoke or have other habits that increase their risk for developing the disease.
Obesity is a major risk factor for cancer, especially cancer of the colon and rectum. Obesity increases the risk of obesity-associated cancers, such as colon cancer, by contributing to chronic inflammation that leads to increased fat accumulation in these tissues. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of non-obesity-related cancers such as breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers.
Obesity appears to increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer either directly or indirectly through other factors such as diet and physical activity. For example, obesity may increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer by increasing insulin levels and reducing nitric oxide production in adipose tissue (fat). This could lead to inflammation that promotes tumor growth.
The health impact of being an overweight or obese person has been studied extensively over the past few decades. When people are overweight or obese they are at increased risk for many diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Obese individuals also have a higher incidence of gallbladder disease and some types of breast cancer.
Stages of Cancer.
When cancer is diagnosed, the first step is to determine the type of cancer and stage. This helps doctors determine how advanced the disease is, how long it will take for treatment to start and what kind of treatment a patient might receive.
The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Radiation Oncology Program defines four stages of cancer: localized, regional, distant and metastatic. If a person has only one type of cancer or if there are no symptoms, it’s called localized. The next-closest level is regional. Stage 2 involves tumors that are at least 1 centimeter in size and have caused some damage to nearby tissues or organs. Stage 3 cancers are more advanced and involve more extensive tissue destruction than in stage 2 cancers. Stage 4 cancers are often fatal because they have spread beyond where they started in the body.
Cancers can also be characterized by their behavior — adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), bronchial carcinoma or ovarian carcinoma tend to behave differently from other types of cancer and may require different treatments for them to be cured.
Symptoms of cancer
Symptoms of cancer are signs and symptoms that may appear when the cancer is still small and its cells are still multiplying. These signs and symptoms can be physical (such as a lump or swelling) or they can be psychological (such as depression).
The key to early detection is recognizing the symptoms early. Early detection allows for treatment to begin as soon as possible, which can save your life.
Some of the most common symptoms of cancer include:
Weight Gain or Loss.
This may be due to an increase in appetite or a decrease in it, which can be caused by depression or other medical conditions.
Feeling tired all the time.
When you’re feeling fatigued, it’s usually because your body is working overtime to keep itself alive and functioning properly. But when someone with cancer is tired all the time, they might have trouble sleeping and may not be able to function normally.
A persistent cough that doesn’t go away with antibiotics, even though they do relieve symptoms such as pain or discomfort.
Chest pain that comes on suddenly
If you experience chest pain — often described as pressure, tightness or squeezing — it could be due to a heart condition rather than cancer. However, if you have symptoms of heart disease along with those of lung cancer, then you may have advanced lung cancer instead of simple pneumonia (which does not cause chest pain).
Other symptoms that may indicate cancer include:
- A lump or thickening in the breast skin
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
- Chest pain that does not go away after a few minutes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing
- Pain or swelling in a part of the body
- Fever (although this is not always present)
- Swelling in the neck, hands or feet (this is called lymphedema)
- Changes in bowel habits and stools (diarrhoea may be a symptom)
- Diarrhoea (more than 3 loose stools in a day)
- Fever (even if it’s not very high)
- Tiredness or exhaustion (even if you’re not ill)
- Sore mouth, lips or tongue
- Swollen glands or glands that stick out of the skin (lymph nodes)
- Bleeding from the mouth, nose or rectum
The effects of cancer.
The effects of cancer depend on the type, location and stage of cancer.
The most common complications of cancer are:
Life-threatening tumors that may invade nearby tissue or spread to distant parts of the body (metastatic disease).
Fatigue, weight loss and lack of appetite (cachexia)
Anemia due to blood loss.
Decreased blood clotting ability due to changes in platelet count.
Decreased red blood cell production (aplastic anemia).
Health tips that can prevent cancer.
Cancer is a disease that can attack any part of the body, but it’s more likely to strike in places you don’t expect. You may also be exposed to cancer-causing agents that you’re not even aware of.
The good news is, there are many things you can do to help prevent cancer. Here are some tips:
Regular exercise helps keep your body strong and fit, which helps reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. It also helps control weight and blood pressure, both of which can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease and certain types of cancer.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that people get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity exercise. The ACS also recommends that adults get at least two and a half hours of physical activity a week.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing many types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon/rectal cancer and endometrial (uterine) cancer. Being underweight also increases your risk for these types of cancers, as well as for some others such as ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Avoid tobacco products.
Tobacco use has been linked to a number of cancers, including lung cancer, oral cavity and pharyngeal cancer; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; bladder.
Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. It can affect your brain, lungs, liver, stomach, skin, bones and many other organs. This is why it is important to treat it immediately you discover you have have it. It is also important you live a lifestyle that prevents you from developing cancer.
Originally posted 2022-06-29 23:18:00.