Scientifically referred to as malignancy, cancer is a medical condition where cells grow abnormally anywhere in a body. These abnormally growing body cells are called tumor cells, malignant cells or cancer cells. Including breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, throat cancer, and lymphoma, there are over 100 different types of cancer. Symptoms for these widely vary depending upon the type of cancer.
Some of the most common types of cancer are:
Signs and symptoms of cancer vary as per the type of body part affected. Here is a some general signs and symptoms of cancer.
The major cause of cancer is abnormal growth of cells in any body part. There are a number of things that can lead to cell abnormalities. While some types of cancer may develop genetically, some may develop due to one more cause. It is important to understand that there are some cancer causes that are still unknown.
Here is a list of just some of the many major causes that may lead to development of cancer:
While there is no scientifically proven way to prevent cancer cells from developing in one’s body, there are a few precautionary steps one may take to prevent the complications of this disease. Here is a list of some such things:
There are several ways to diagnose cancer. Listed below are just some of the many ways:
Upon the diagnosis of cancer, certified medical professionals can help one determine the stage of the disease. Stage of cancer is identified to decide the course of treatment and to evaluate the chances of cure.
Diagnosis of cancer stages often includes imaging tests (bone scans or X-rays). This is done to see if the cancer cells have spread to other body parts or not. Different stages of cancer are illustrated by Roman numerals (I through IV). The higher the numeral is, the more advanced is the disease.
Treatment of cancer may involve:
Cancer and often the medicines and treatment involved in the prevention or cure of this disease can lead to several complications. Some of the many such complications are listed below:
Myth #1: Cancer is a contagious disease.
Cancer is not a contagious disease. Cancer cannot be spread from one person to another. However, in the event of an organ or tissue transplantation, one may develop cancer from a donor, who may have been diagnosed with cancer earlier. Also, certain communicable viruses may increase the risk of the disease. For example, Hepatitis B or C can lead to the risk of liver cancer if spread through sexual intercourse or infected needles. Another example of such disease is Human papillomavirus (HPV). It is a sexually-transmitted disease that increases the risk of cervical cancer.
Myth #2: Consuming sugar fastens the growth of cancer cells
Though scientific research has proven that cancer cells absorb more sugar as against normal body cells, no concrete evidence has yet been found that confirms that consuming sugar fastens the growth of cancer cells in the body. But here is something one must remember, consuming too much sugar can lead to excess weight gain, which may lead to diabetes and those diagnosed with diabetes are often at higher risk of developing cancer.
Myth #3: Biopsy or Surgery makes cancer cells spread in the body
Though this is very much possible, not many such cases have been brought to light till date. The chances of getting cancer cells spread in the body due to biopsy or surgery are extremely low. Certified medical professionals do take utmost caution to ensure that these medical procedures do not aggravate the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Myth #4: Cancer occurs due to medical history of the disease in the family
While it is true that those with family history of cancer are a greater risk of developing this disease, anyone can get affected by this disease with or without any family history. It is important to understand that cancer cells typically occur due to genetic mutations. This means one may inherit gene mutations from parents, but may also experience gene mutations due to a lot of other factors including smoking, radiation or exposure to a certain radiations or chemicals. Even obesity and diabetes may lead to gene mutations and eventually cancer.
Myth #5: Can dyeing hair cause cancer
No! Though some people claim to have developed cancer due to regular exposure to hair dye, there is no scientific evidence that proves it.
Ans: No. But it important to remember that, in some rare cases, sunburn, or burn scars may eventually lead to cancer. Often, skin cancer actually starts with a burn scar.
Ans: No. There is no scientific evidence proving that stress or tension may increase the risk of or actually cause cancer.
Ans: No. Cancer is not a contagious disease and cannot be spread from one person to another.
Ans: This actually depends upon the type of cancer. Some cancers may be cured completely; whereas, some cannot be cured completely.
Ans: Radiation is used to treat cancer. However, radiation can prove to be life-threatening and may lead to cancer if not handled properly. Too much exposure to atomic radiations or X-rays may lead to the development of cancer cells in the body.
Ans: There are some types of cancer that may be prevented such as mouth cancer, lung cancer and throat cancer. Certain type of cancers that develop in the body because of the exposure to certain chemicals can also be prevented.
Ans: It depends on a several factors such as types of cancer, stage of cancer and the health status of the patient, etc. While some types of cancer can be treated with a surgery, some may require radiation or chemotherapy. Some types of cancer can be treated with medication. However, it has been seen that mostly all the three ways of treatment are usually required to treat cancer.
Ans: Yeah! Treatment of cancer may be different for people for different age groups. However, a lot of factor, in addition to the age of the patient, are carefully considered over by the doctors before deciding the treatment method.
Ans: Treatment of cancer may lead to an excessive weight loss. Therefore, it makes sense for cancer patients to east a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grain and protein. Light exercise is also prescribed to those undergoing cancer treatments.
Ans: No! There are no herbal products that can cure the disease of cancer. However, a few alternative therapies may help cancer patients prevent the side effects of cancer treatment.
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