Cancer 101: Understanding the Basics

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The body of any human being consists of healthy cells that divide and replace themselves in a controlled manner. Cancer happens when the pattern of dividing and replacing cells alters and tends to outgrow out of control. This creates a knot in a specific area of the body which is known as a tumour, it is a mass composed of a cluster of such abnormal cells. 

However, most cancers form tumours, but not all tumours are cancerous. Benign or noncancerous tumours do not spread to other parts of the body and do not create a new tumour. While the cancerous or malignant tumours crowd out healthy cells and tends to interfere with body functions and will also suck nutrients from body tissues. That is the reason why cancer is considered as one of the leading causes of death in the world. 

Cancer growth and Metastasis

In order to function properly, a healthy body needs to grow and divide the trillions of cells. These healthy cells have a life cycle, reproducing and dying off in a way that is determined by the type of cell. As they die, new cells take the place of old and damaged cells. Cancer disturbs this process and leads to abnormal growth in cells. This generally happens by changes or mutations in DNA. 

DNA is available in the individual genes of every cell that instructs the cell about the functions and how to grow or divide. Mutations often occur in DNA, but usually, cells correct these mistakes. When these mistakes are not corrected, cells become cancerous. Afterwards, these cells multiply uncontrollably and form tumours. These tumours can cause a variety of health problems, depending on where they grow in the body. 

Fortunately, not all tumours are cancerous. Benign tumours are noncancerous and do not spread to nearby tissues. Although, they can grow large and can cause problems when pressed against other organs or tissues. On the other hand, malignant tumours are cancerous and can capture other body parts as well. 

Some cancer cells can also reach other body parts by migrating through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This process is known as metastasis. Cancers that have metastasised are considered more advanced and dangerous because they are harder to treat. 

Types of cancer

Generally, cancer is named for the area in which they begin and the type of cell they are made of, even if they spread to the other parts of the body. Furthermore, there are many clinical terms used for certain general types of cancer:

Carcinoma

This is the type of cancer that starts in the skin or the tissues that line other organs. 

Sarcoma

Cancer of connective tissues such as bones, muscles, cartilage, and blood vessels is called sarcoma. 

Leukemia

This cancer happens in the bone marrow which basically creates blood cells. 

Lymphoma and Myeloma

This is the type of cancers of the immune system. 

Risk factors and treatment

Now you know that the main reason behind cancer is the mutation of DNA in your cells. This can also occur after birth as a result of environmental forces. Some of these forces include: Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals that are also occur after birth as a result of environmental forces. Some of these forces include:

  • Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals that are also known as carcinogens
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to the sun unprotected
  • Through certain viruses such as human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Smoking or eating tobacco

Further, research also concludes that cancer risk tends to increase with age. Cancer can also occur in some existing health conditions that cause inflammation. 

You can treat cancer by living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding the following:

  • Stop using tobacco and avoid secondhand smoke. 
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Keep your weight in check and stay active by exercising.
  • Stay protected from harmful UV rays.
  • Get your vaccinations against viral infections such as hepatitis B and HPV.
  • Last but not least is to see your doctor regularly so they can screen you for various types of cancer.

Author Bio: Daniel Clark is a professional blogger from California USA who loves to write on numerous topics for health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. In the above article, he covers up the brilliant tips about different types of cancer and if you want to know about this deadly disease then visit Victoria Point medical centre for a cancer checkup.

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The Mind Centre was a counselling and meditation centre for several years before morphing into an information centre for people seeking to know more about mind and body health.

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