Published on Dec 20, 2022 and last reviewed on Mar 08, 2023 - 5 min read
Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells divide rapidly and spread to other tissues. Read on to know about the prevention of developing cancer.
Cancer is the most common disease that affects every part of the body. About 39.5 % of people are diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life. Cancer occurs when the genes stop controlling the way the cell divides. As a result, they grow and form abnormal cells. It is potentially fatal and one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Signs of cancer involve unexplained weight loss, chronic tiredness, persistent pain, fever, skin changes, unusual lump, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing. Early detection of cancer helps to treat it more effectively.
Cancer is a common disease associated with the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and can destroy normal body tissues. Cancer often spreads throughout the body parts. The spread of cancer from one part to the other is known as metastasis. It is the second most leading cause of death in the world.
The symptoms of cancer are as follows:
Sudden weight gain or loss.
Area or lump of thickening that can be felt under the skin.
Skin changes such as darkening or yellowing of the skin.
Trouble breathing or persistent coughing.
Presence of sores that do not heal.
Loss of appetite.
Unexplained muscle or joint pain.
Unexplained night sweats or fever.
Unexplained bruising and bleeding.
Cancer is caused by specific changes in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Many factors contribute to the development of cancer in the body, such as :
Tobacco products and smoking is the leading cause of oral, lung, esophageal, and laryngeal cancer.
Eating high-sugar and high-fat food in an unhealthy lifestyle increases the risk for many cancers.
Environmental toxins such as pesticides, radon, and asbestos can eventually cause cancer.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can increase the risk of skin cancer.
Women on hormone replacement therapy have an increased risk of developing uterus and breast cancer.
The various stages of cancer are:
Stage 1: Cancer is localized to a small area and does not spread to lymph nodes or other tissues.
Stage 2: Cancer grows but does not spread to other body parts.
Stage 3: Cancer grows larger and spreads to lymph nodes or other tissues.
Stage 4: Cancer spreads to other parts of the body, and the stage is referred to as advanced or metastatic cancer.
The treatment of cancer involves various complications such as :
Pain: May be caused by cancer treatment or cancer itself. Medication and other multiple approaches can treat cancer-related pain.
Fatigue: It is a common complication that can be managed. Fatigue associated with radiation or chemotherapy is very common.
Difficulty Breathing: Cancer treatment may lead to shortness of breath.
Nausea: May be caused by cancer treatment or cancer itself. Medication and other various approaches can treat cancer-related nausea.
Diarrhea or Constipation: Occurs due to cancer-related treatment that affects bowel movements.
Weight Loss: Cancer-related treatment often leads to weight loss as the cancer cells disrupt the normal cells and deprives nutrients.
Chemical Changes in the Body: Cancer disrupts the chemical balance in the body and increases the risk of serious complications. Symptoms and signs of chemical imbalances include frequent urination, constipation, excessive thirst, and confusion.
Brain and Nervous System Problems: Cancer can press on nerves and cause loss of functions of one or more parts of the body. Cancer associated with the brain can cause stroke-like symptoms and headaches.
Unusual Immune System Reactions to Cancer: In some cases, the immune system of the body may react vigorously to the presence of cancer attacking healthy cells.
Cancer That Spreads: As cancer spreads to the other parts of the body. The spread of cancer depends upon the type of cancer.
Cancer That Returns: The recurrence of cancer is a risk in cancer survivors.
The ways to prevent cancer are as follows:
Stop Smoking: Smoking should be quit as it is linked to several types of cancer. In addition, stopping will reduce the risk of cancer in the future.
Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure: Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can increase the risk of skin cancer. Therefore, sun exposure should be limited by staying in the shade, applying sunscreen, and wearing protective clothing.
Eat a Healthy Diet: A diet rich in vegetables and fruits should be consumed. Intake of lean proteins and whole grains is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise: Regular exercising is linked to lowering the risk of cancer. Thirty minutes of exercise every day keeps the person fit.
Maintain Healthy Weight: Being obese or overweight may increase the risk of cancer.
The treatment of cancer includes the following ways, such as:
Chemotherapy: It is one of the common cancer treatments that uses powerful drugs to destroy cancer cells and can be done intravenously (IV) or in pill form.
Radiation Therapy: Kills the cancer-causing cells with a high dosage of radiation.
Surgery: It is often attempted to remove the tumor surgically.
Hormone Therapy: Sometimes, the hormones can also block other cancer-causing hormones. For example, men suffering from prostate cancer can be given hormones to keep testosterone at bay.
Biological Response Modifier Therapy: Helps to stimulate the immune system and helps to perform effectively.
Immunotherapy: Often called biological therapy, treats disease by using the power of the body’s immune system and targets cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact.
Bone Marrow Transplant: Also known as transplantation and replaces the damaged cells with healthy cells.
Cancer is not one disease but a series of diseases. There are more than 200 different types of cancers. Treatment of cancer depends upon the disease's symptoms, type, and advancement. Most treatment plans involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Risk factors such as drinking alcohol, smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and catching certain viruses contribute to cancer development. Screening of cancer helps to detect it at an early stage. The treatment plan for people diagnosed with cancer depends upon the type and stage of cancer.
Last reviewed at:
08 Mar 2023 - 5 min read
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