Cancer causes and control:Cancer is a condition which is characterized by the emergence of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to invade and destroy normal human tissues and organs. Cancer has the ability to spread throughout your body in most cases.
Cancer causes and control information is very important to prevent or cure cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world.
But survival rates are improving in many types of cancer, thanks to advances in cancer screening, treatment and prevention.
Cancer causes and control
Cancer is caused by a mutation in the DNA within cells. The DNA within a cell is packed with a large number of individual genes, each containing a set of instructions that tell the cell what functions it should perform, and how it is to grow and divide.
Errors in the instructions can cause the cell to stop working normally and can allow the cell to become cancerous.
What about mutations?
Genetic modification may command a healthy cell to:
• Allow for rapid growth. Genetic mutations can tell a cell to grow and divide very quickly. This creates many new cells all with the same mutations.
• Failure to stop uncontrolled cell growth. Normal cells know when to stop growing in order to have the right number for each cell type
Cancer cells lose the controls (genes that suppress tumors) that tell them when to stop growing. Mutations on tumor suppression allow cancer cells to continue growing and accumulating.
• Make mistakes when correcting DNA errors. Modification of the DNA gene may mean that some mutations are not corrected, leading to the formation of cancerous cells.
These mutations are the most common form of cancer. But many other genetic variants may contribute to cancer.
What causes genetic mutations?
Cancer causes and control: Genetic mutations can occur for a number of reasons, for example:
• Congenital genetic mutations.
– Mostly person born with a genetic mutation which is inherited from parents. This type of mutation causes a small percentage of cancer.
• Genetics that occur after birth.
– Many genetic mutations occur after your birth and you do not inherit it. Many other factors can cause genetic mutations, such as smoking, radiation, bacteria, carcinogens, obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation, and a lack of exercise.
Genetic mutations often occur during normal cell growth. However, cells contain a way to detect when an error occurs and correct an error. Occasionally, an error occurs. This is also a reason of causing the cell to become cancerous.
How do genetic interactions interact?
Congenital genetic mutations and other mutations acquire throughout your life work together to create cancer.
For example, if you have inherited a genetic mutation that puts you at risk for cancer, that does not mean that you are certain that you will get cancer. Instead, you may need one or more other genetic mutations to create cancer.
Your genetic makeup may increase your risk of developing cancer when exposed to a specific cause of cancer.
It is not clear how many changes must be made in order for cancer to develop. It is possible that this varies between types of cancer.
Risk Factors for Cancer Development
While doctors have an idea of what can increase the risk of cancer, most cancers come from people who do not have known risk factors. Common factors for increasing the risk of cancer are:
Cancer can take decades to develop. That is why most people diagnosed with cancer are 65 years of age or older. Although more common in older adults, cancer is not the only disease in adults – cancer can be diagnosed at any time.
Some unhealthy lifestyle choices and habits are known to increase the risk of cancer.
Smoking, tobacco use, drinking more than one drink per day for women and up to two drinks a day for men, excessive sun exposure or sunburn, obesity, and unsafe sex can all contribute to cancer.
You can change these habits to reduce the risk of cancer – although some habits are easier to change than others.
Only a small fraction of the cancer is due to an inherited condition.
If cancer is common in your family, it is possible for mutations to be passed from one generation to the next. You may have a genetic testing option to see if you have inherited mutations that could increase your risk of certain cancers.
Remember that having a mutation does not mean that you will get cancer.
Other chronic health conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, can greatly increase the risk of certain cancers. If you have a medical history with certain diseases such as hepatitis B and C and human papillomavirus. Then take opinion of your doctor about your risk.
The environment may contain harmful chemicals which increase the risk of cancer. Even if you don’t smoke, you may still be exposed to second-hand smoke when you go to a smoking area or to someone who smokes.
Home or work chemicals, such as asbestos and benzene, are also associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Environmental pollution is also a risk factor for causing cancer.
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and other ionizing rays such as x rays
Some Drugs are also responsible for causing cancer. Overdosage of drugs is main cause.
Types of Cancer
There are more than 100 types of cancer, commonly referred to as organs or tissues where the cancer is caused. In men, the most common cancers are lung, prostate, stomach, colon and rectum.
In women, the most common cancers are breast, colon, rectum, lung and cervical cancers.
Symptoms of Cancer
Cancer is a disease where sometimes there are not many signs or symptoms or sometimes symptoms of early stage so most cancers are diagnosed when they reach the stage of the disease.
Symptoms vary according to location, stage and type of cancer.
The signs and symptoms of cancer will vary depending on the part of the body affected.
Other common signs and symptoms associated with cancer include:
• A lump or tightening sensation felt under the skin
• Weight changes, including sudden loss or gain
• Skin changes, such as yellow, black or red skin, sores, or changes in existing moles
• Changes in bowel or bladder habits
• Chronic cough or shortness of breath
• Swallow difficulty
• Continued digestion or discomfort after eating
• Persistent, unexplained pain in muscles or joints
• Persistent, unexplained fever or night sweats
• Unexplained bleeding or injury
When to see a doctor
Schedule a time to see your doctor if you have persistent symptoms or signs of anxiety.
• If you have no symptoms, but are worried about the risk of cancer, talk to your doctor about your concerns. Ask what cancer tests and procedures are right for you.
Stages of Cancer
The stage describes how the disease has grown as the size of the tissue and how it has spread to other parts of the body
Stage 0: Cancer cells exist but have not yet spread to surrounding tissues
Stages I, II and III: Increase the number, promote disease by tumor size and invasion of surrounding organs and tissues
spreading of cancer to distant organs and tissues
Cancer screening can help detect many types of cancer early, especially the cervix, rectum and colon. Early detection contributes to effective cancer treatment and ensures better prognosis.
Typical medical tests include screening for cancer symptoms such as tumors
Laboratory tests such as blood tests, pap smear
Medical Imaging such as X ray, MRI, Ultrasound, CT scan
Biopsy – examines abnormal growth cells under a microscope
Types of Cancer Treatment
There are many types of cancer treatments. The types of treatment you receive will depend on the type of cancer you have and its stage.
Some people with cancer need only one treatment. But most of the people need combination of treatments, such as chemotherapy and / or radiation therapy.
When you need cancer treatment, there is a lot to learn and think about. It is only natural to feel frustrated and confused. However, talking to your doctor and learning about possible treatments can help you feel more in control.
• Cancer Treatment Biomarker Examination
Biomarker testing is a way of looking at genes, proteins, and other substances (called biomarkers or tumor markers) that can provide information about cancer.
Biomarker testing can help you and your doctor choose cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment in which drugs are used to kill cancer cells.
• Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy is a treatment that slows down or stops the growth of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Learn about the types of hormone therapy and the possible side effects.
• Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment
Immunotherapy is one of the cancer treatment that helps your immune system to fight cancer.
• Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and reduce cancer tissue. Learn about the types of radiation, why there are side effects, potential side effects, and more.
• Transplantation of Stem Cells
Cell implantation is a process that returns blood-forming cells to cancer patients who have been damaged by very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation. Learn about the types of implants, the possible side effects, and how the transplantation of stem cells is used to treat cancer.
When used to treat cancer, it provides a procedure by which a surgeon removes cancer from your body. Learn about the various surgical techniques used to fight cancer and what to expect before, during, and after surgery.
• Targeted Treatment
Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment in which the main aim to change the cancer cells that help them grow, divide and spread.
Based on the type and stage of the cancer, treatment depends. Cancer treatment consist of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery and target therapy.
Cancer and treatment of it can cause many problems, including:
• Pain– Pain can be caused by cancer treatment or cancer, although not all cancers are painful. Medications and other alternatives can effectively treat cancer-related pain.
• Fatigue– Fatigue in people with cancer has many causes, but it can be controlled many times. Fatigue associated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy is common, but it is usually temporary.
• Shortness of breath – Cancer treatment or cancer can cause a feeling of shortness of breath. Treatment can bring relief.
• Nausea – Certain types of cancer and cancer treatment can cause nausea. Your doctor may sometimes predict that your treatment may cause nausea. Medications and some other treatments may help to prevent or reduce nausea.
• Diarrhea or constipation– Cancer and cancer treatment can affect your intestines and cause diarrhea or constipation.
• Weight loss.
Cancer and cancer treatment can cause weight loss. Cancer gets food from normal cells and deprives them of nutrients. This is often unaffected by how many calories or what kind of food is being eaten; difficult to treat.
In many cases, using artificial nutrients through the tubes of the stomach or arteries does not help to reduce weight.
• Chemical changes in your body.
Cancer increases the risk of serious complications by disrupt the normal chemical balance in your body.
Signs and symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, constipation and confusion are seen due to chemical imbalance.
• Brain and nervous system problems.
Cancer can suppress nearby nerves and cause pain and loss of function in one part of your body.
Cancer involving the brain can cause headaches and symptoms such as stroke, such as weakness on one side of your body.
• Unusual immune actions of cancer.
In some cases the immune system can respond to the presence of cancer by invading healthy cells which is called paraneoplastic syndromes, this unusual reaction can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as difficulty walking and seizures.
• Cancer spreads.
Cancer spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, as cancer progresses. Mostly cancer spreads depends on the type of cancer.
• Recurrent cancer.
Cancer survivors are at risk of recurrence. Some cancers recurrence is more than others. Ask your doctor what you can do to reduce the risk of developing recurrence.
Your doctor can create a follow-up care plan after treatment. This program can include scanning and testing periodically in the months and years after your treatment, to check for recurrence of cancer.
Doctors have discovered a number of ways to reduce the risk of cancer, such as:
• Stop smoking.
If you smoke, stop it. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking is associated with several types of cancer – not just lung cancer. Stopping of smoking now will reduce the risk of cancer in the future.
• Avoid excessive sunburn.
Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays coming from the sun can increase the risk of skin cancer. Reduce sunlight by sitting in the shade, wearing protective clothing or applying sunscreen.
• Eat a healthy diet.
Choose foods rich in fruits and vegetables. Choose whole grains and lean protein. Limit your intake of processed meats.
• Exercise several days a week.
Regular exercise reduces the risk of cancer. Do 30 minutes of physical activity several days a week.
If you do not exercise regularly, start small and work up to 30 minutes or more.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
Obesity may increase the risk of cancer. Work towards achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
• Drink alcohol in moderation.
Stopping of drinking is best. If you like to drink alcohol, please do it in moderation. For healthy adults, that means you drink one drink a day for women up to two drinks a day for men.
• Schedule cancer tests.
Talk to your doctor about what types of cancer screening tests are best for you depending on your risk factors.
• Ask your doctor about immunizations.
Certain viruses increase the risk of cancer. Immunizations can help protect those viruses, including hepatitis B, which increases the risk of liver cancer, and human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases the risk of cervical cancer and other cancers.
Ask your doctor if vaccination against these germs is right for you.
Making Decisions About Cancer Treatment
After a cancer diagnosis, people with cancer and their families have to make many decisions about treatment.
These decisions about cancer treatment are complicated by feelings of anxiety, unfamiliar words and a sense of urgency.
If the situation is not extremely urgent, take time to research your options, ask questions to doctor about treatment and talk to a friend or family you trust.
Decisions regarding cancer treatment are yours, and you need to feel comfortable with your decisions.
Most of the people do not know where to start and how take proper decision. Here are some simple but important steps you can take as you begin the process of making decisions.
Understand your diagnosis
Individual treatment plans mostly depend on which type of cancer it is and its stage. So you should learn as much as you can about your particular diagnosis. You may want to ask your health team questions about the disease.
But be careful when doing research online. Many sites are shocking, inaccurate, and misleading.
If you come across unfamiliar words while researching online, use a medical dictionary or ask your healthcare team for an explanation.
Know your options
Talk to your doctor about treatment options for your type and stage of cancer.
Ask to the doctor about the side effects of each treatment
Sometimes cancer can cause long-term side effects, or side effects, which can last for months or even years with treatment. Talk to your health care team about the long-term effects of each treatment and how it is managed.
In addition, discuss sexual or reproductive health problems with your health care team, including the risk of infertility.
Consider the risks and advantages of each treatment option.
Evaluate the pros and cons of each treatment option, including:
• Opportunity for treatment
• Short-term and long-term side effects
• Chances are that the cancer will return after treatment
• Life opportunities