Contributed by- Dr. Deepak Parashar
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a term which is used to describe a large group of diseases that are characterized by a cellular malfunction. It is a result of changes in the group of normal cell production within the body. Uncontrolled growth of cell results in the formation of a lump which is called Tumor.
Healthy cells are programmed in such a way that they know what to do and when to do to maintain the body’s health. But cancerous cells do not have any such programming and therefore they replicate uncontrollably. They serve no physiological function. Thus, they are called Neoplasm.
If this condition is left untreated, tumors have the capacity of spreading to other healthy tissues. Lymphatic Systems and Blood Stream in the mode of such transmission.
Three Groups of Tumor
Benign – Benign Tumors are non-cancerous tumors and grow only in one place. They develop slowly in a fibrous shell or capsule. They are rarely life-threatening and are quite similar to normal healthy cells of the body. They cannot spread to other parts. But they can be risky if they press on vital organs like the brain.
Malignant – Malignant Tumors are cancerous tumors. They grow rapidly and have the ability to spread to neighboring tissues and metastases. They are also referred to as Metastatic Cancer. This type of tumor can also invade the entire body.
Precancerous – Precancerous Tumor is a condition involving abnormal cell production which has the ability or is likely to develop into cancer.
Type of Cancer
Cancers are classified according to the type of cell they develop from. There are five main types of cancers:
Carcinoma Cancer – It develops from the epithelial cell (lining of cell that helps protect or enclose the organs). The most common forms of cancer within this type are Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer and Colon Cancer.
Sarcoma Cancer – It is a type of Malignant Tumor of bone and any soft tissues (Fat, Muscle, Blood Vessels, Bones and other connective tissues that provides support to surrounding organs). The most common Sarcoma Cancer is Leiomyosarcoma, Liposarcoma and Osteosarcoma.
Lymphoma Cancer or Myeloma Cancer – It begins in immune system cells. It is a cancer of lymphatic system which runs all through the body and can, therefore, occur anywhere. Myeloma develops in plasma cell (a type of white cell) that produces antibodies to help fight infection.
Leukaemia Cancer – It is cancer of White Blood Cell and Bone Marrow Cell (tissue that forms Blood Cells). Lymphocytic Leukaemia and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia are the common types of Leukaemia Cancer.
Brain Cancer and Spinal cord Cancer – These type of cancers are also known as Central Nervous System Cancers and are same are Benign Tumors. While some types of them can grow and spread to other organs.
Causes of Cancer
Cancer can be caused by a number of factors. Like other illnesses, most cancers are the result of exposure to a number of different casual factors.
Alcohol – The evidence that all types of alcoholic drinks are a cause of a number of cancers is now stronger than ever before. Alcohol can increase the risk of six types of cancer including Bowel Cancer, Breast Cancer, Pharynx and Larynx Cancer, Oesophageal Cancer, Liver Cancer and Stomach Cancer.
Being Overweight or Obese – Excessive weight has been linked to an increased risk of developing 12 different types of cancers including Bowel Cancer and Pancreatic Cancer.
Diet and Nutrition – Experts suggest that diet and nutrient intake, particularly diet high in red meat, processed meat, salted food and low in fruits and vegetables have an impact on cancer risk, particularly Colorectum Cancer, Nasopharyngeal Cancer and Stomach Cancer.
Physical Activity – Regular physical activity not only helps to reduce excess body fat and the cancer risk associated with it but being physically active can help to reduce that risk developing Colon Cancer, Breast Cancer and Endometrial Cancers.
Tobacco – Tobacco smoke contains at least 80 different cancer-causing substances. When smoke is inhaled, the chemicals enter the lung, passes into the bloodstream and are transported throughout the blood and results into cancer.
Diagnosis of cancer
- Sentinal Node Biopsy
- Blood Test
- Bone Marrow Aspiration
- Pap Test
- Sputum Analysis and Bronchial Washing Analysis
- Imaging Studies (Mammogram, Cat Scan, MRI, Ultrasound)
- Genetic Analysis
Treatment of cancer
- Targeted Therapy
- Stem Cell Transplant(Peripheral, Blood, Bone Marrow And Cord Blood Transplant)
- Photo-dynamic Therapy
- Laser In Cancer Treatment
- Blood Product Donation
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