Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths, is because of cancer. It is something that we require to know about. Dive in to discover out what cancer is and find out how it occurs. Don’t miss to know about the different cancers present out there in the world.
What is Cancer?
Cells are the key components that make up the human body. They grow and divide to form new ones as the body requires them. Usually, cells die when they become very old or damaged. The new cells take their place.
Cancer begins when genetic changes interfere with this orderly process. Cells start to divide uncontrollably. These cells can infiltrate healthy body tissues and could create a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. The cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can develop and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread.
How does it arise?
Cancer is a genetic disease. It is caused by changes to genes that regulate the way our cells operate, mainly how they grow and divide.
Genetic changes that lead to cancer can be inherited from our parents. They can also occur during a person’s lifetime as a result of errors that occur as cells divide or because of damage to DNA caused by particular environmental exposures.
It could also happen from chemical or toxic compound exposures, Ionizing radiation or pathogens.
Tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity are major things that can lead to cancer.
These symptoms are a kind of few indications. Noticing them in others or feeling them for yourself, it is better to have checked. There are many types of cancers. Writing symptoms for each would be tedious. The ones cited below are a few general things that one could identify.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Skin changes
- A persistent cough could be correlated with lung cancer.
If you notice any considerable differences in the way your body functions or the way you feel–especially if it lasts for a long time or grow worse–let your doctor know.
Types of Cancers
There are over 100 types of cancer. Cancer is generally classified into types depending on two factors, namely
- Type of cells which develop cancer
- The organ or tissue where cancer develops
Cancers divided based on the type of cells are:
Carcinoma begins in the skin or the tissue that covers the surface of internal organs and glands. Carcinomas usually form solid tumors. They are the most frequent type of cancer.
Examples of carcinomas include prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Sarcoma begins in the tissues that aid and connect the body. A sarcoma can develop in fat, muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, lymph vessels, cartilage, or bone.
Osteosarcoma is the most common cancer of the bone.
Cancers that emerge in the blood-forming tissue of the bone marrow are called leukemias. Large quantities of abnormal white blood cells (leukemia cells and leukemic blast cells) form up in the blood and bone marrow, crowding out healthy blood cells. The low level of normal blood cells can make it harder for the body to get oxygen to its tissues, control bleeding, or fight infections.
The four main types of leukemia are acute lymphocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and glands that help combat infection. There are two major types of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These are disease-fighting white blood cells that are part of the immune system. In lymphoma, abnormal lymphocytes makeup in lymph nodes and lymph vessels, and other organs of the body.
Multiple myeloma is cancer that begins in plasma cells, another type of immune cell. Plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. Multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells.
Melanoma is cancer that begins in pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes, which are specialized cells that make melanin (the pigment that gives skin its color). Melanomas typically occur in the skin but may rarely occur in the mouth, intestines or eyes as well.
These are cancers formed from specific types of cells.
Now let’s look at what are the cancers which appear in specific body parts and are few of the topmost common cancers in the world.
Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent and significant types of cancer. There are usually no signs or symptoms in the initial stages of lung cancer, but many people with the condition eventually develop symptoms consisting of a persistent cough, coughing up blood, persistent breathlessness and a few more. Lung cancer rarely causes noticeable symptoms until it’s transmitted through the lungs into other parts of the body.
Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells most often grows on skin exposed to the sun. But this common form of cancer can also take place on areas of your skin not regularly exposed to sunlight as well.
There are three major types of skin cancer namely
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Meet your doctor if you see any changes to your skin that worry you. To cut down your risk of skin cancer, avoid exposing your skin to sunlight and other sources of UV radiation for extended periods.
Liver cancer is cancer that arises in the liver. There are various types of liver cancers that arise from the multiple cells that make up the liver.
Many individuals don’t experience symptoms in the initial stages of primary liver cancer. When symptoms show up, they may consist of:
Abdominal discomfort, pain, and tenderness, yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, which is called jaundice, white (chalky) stools, nausea, vomiting.
Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the breast. These cancer cells create a tumor that can usually be detected on an x-ray or felt as a lump. This cancer occurs mostly in women, but men can get breast cancer, too. It can spread when the cancer cells get into the blood or lymph system and are carried to other parts of the body.
Colon cancer/Colorectal cancer is cancer that begins in the large intestine (colon). The colon is the final part of the digestive tract. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, and the third for men. It usually begins as a growth called a polyp inside the colon or rectum. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.
There are many more types of cancer like prostate cancer, skin cancer and many more.
How is cancer cured?
Cancer doesn’t have a properly defined cure. The main reason behind this is that cancer comes from our own cells and it is different in different humans. So, we cannot have a single drug to cure cancer. Doctors today try to cure cancer using surgeries, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, etc.
Cancer cure posses very high risk as we are trying to kill cells that were once part of our body and contain our own DNA. So, trying to kill such cells can harm healthy parts of the body as well. Scientists have proposed some methods like immunotherapy to cure cancer.
Precautions to be followed
Being physically active, limiting consumption of red meats, Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes (such as beans), avoid sugary drinks, and limit consumption of high-calorie foods, especially those low in fiber and rich in fat or added sugar are a few things that help us prevent cancer. Obviously you need to stay away from alcohol, tobacco, and similar things.
Being healthy both physically and mentally is surely one thing that we can do to protect ourselves from all kinds of dangers.