What causes cancer?

What is Cancer

One of the biggest mysteries in the medical world is cancer. And that too is a wide topic. Consequently, it has a lot of causes and symptoms depending on the region which is infected. Enough with the vagueness, let’s get into detail. First off, let’s talk about what cancer is. Cancer is basically an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Cancer starts to develop when the body’s control system stops s working. When cellular changes cause uncontrollable growth and division of cells, a tumor starts to develop. Cancerous cells interrupt the procedure of regular cells. Even regular cells die on their own, but that’s just how the body replaces them with better functioning cells.

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Cancer is a broad term and has many forms. Some types of cancer are visible like a tumor, some like leukemia are not. There isn’t just one definite cause of cancer as many factors contribute to it. Cancer can affect any part of the body, from skin to bone to blood to even immune system.

Cancer is classified by the location of it in the body and the tissue that it forms in. For example, Carcinomas form in cells that cover the internal or external surface in the body while Sarcomas develops in bones or soft tissues. When cancerous cells start to spread to other regions, it is called metastasis.

Sometimes the cause of cancer is out of your hands, and is actually found in your genes, mutated genes that is. mutated genes can be caused by exposure to certain environments such as radiation. Only 5 to 10 percent of cancers are genetically inherited and usually occur early in life.

Other than genes, there are preventable behavioral factors which lead to gene mutations. It’s clear that smoking is a conscious choice, that too a very bad one as it can lead to lung cancer. Tanning may seem fun but too much of it can lead to skin cancer due to the sun’s UV rays. Even dietary choices have been linked to specific types of cancer. Things like alcohol, which is quite obvious and even red meat.

Your environment has a huge impact on the risk of cancer. Being exposed to things like asbestos, benzene and various types of radiations can cause cancer. These are all carcinogens which means those substances which are able to damage DNA and can trigger cancer. Older people have had more exposure to these environmental risk factors and are hence diagnosed with cancer much more often than the youth. For children with cancer, there have been many immunotherapy approaches which have the possibility of treating cancer more efficiently and with lesser damaging side effects.

Lastly, there are a few bacterial and viral causes of cancer. Exposure to Epstein-Barr virus, Human T-lymphotropic virus and Merkel cell polyomavirus are just some examples of viruses and bacteria that can lead to cancer.

Hepatitis B and C can result in liver cancer whereas the sexual transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV) can be liked to anal and penile cancers. The good news is, a vaccine that protects against hepatitis B has been available since 1982 which was the first preventative cancer vaccine.

A lot of things have been proven to cause cancer but with our technology and treatment rapidly getting better each day, we are improving our treatments and even coming up with the new ones. All thanks to the researchers in the medical failed who work hard to make the lives of people infinitely better. Modern medicine has never been better

A drop in tobacco rate has been seen as there has been more awareness about the risks of smoking. And according to the American Cancer society, cancer death rate has declines by 26 percent between 1991 and 2015.

Until Next Time,

Team Doctor ASKY!

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