Cancer is a disease which involves abnormal growth of Cell in various parts of our body. Throughout our life, a cell will divide and replace in controlled activity but in the case of Cancer, the cell division will be uncontrollable which often forms lumps or cysts.
Medically cancer can be defined as “An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, in some cases, to metastasize (spread)”.
Cancer can happen in any tissue of the human body where they form a subset of neoplasms (tumor).
Most cancer cause tumors but not all tumors are cancerous.
There are 2 main types of tumor they are
- Benign Tumor which is non-cancerous
- Malignant Tumor which is cancerous.
The term “cancer” encompasses more than 100 diseases that affect almost every part of the body and are potentially deadly.
There are basically 5 Major types of Cancer – carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma, and leukemia out of Carcinoma is one of the most common types of Cancer.
Study of Cancer is called Oncology and the specialists are called oncologist.
Table of Content
Common Symptoms of Cancer
Although there are various symptoms of cancer which represents itself in disguise of other diseases the below mentioned are the most common types of symptoms for cancer.
- Persistent Cough with blood and chest pain.
- Change in bowel habits like continuous diarrhea or blood in stools.
- A sudden dip in blood count
- Lumps or swollen glands
- Blood in Urine
- Changes in warts or moles.
- Indigestion and difficulty swallowing the food.
- Unexpected Weight loss accompanied by frequent fever.
Causes of Cancer
Cancer-causing agents are called Carcinogens some examples of carcinogens are Arsenic, Asbestos, Benzene, Formal DE Hyde.
a) Cancer is also caused by UV Radiation from the Sun and also frequent expose to Radiation such as X-Ray.
b) Air Pollution is one of the major cause of Lung Cancer due to minute pollutants that are found in vehicle exhaust.
c) Cellular Towers, Cell phones, Cosmetics, Alcohol, Hair Dyes also contribute to various cancer types.
Also, read the article: What is a Hormone?
Types of Cancer
There are various types of cancer which will be explained in upcoming blog posts. However, the mentioned below are the most common types of cancer.
1. Bladder Cancer – This type of Cancer affects Urinary Bladder where it is diagnosed by Blood in Urine or multiple times sharp painful urination.
2. Breast and Testicular Cancer – This type of cancer affects persons Breast or Testis where it can be diagnosed by Lumps which can be felt during self-checking.
3. Colorectal (Colon and Rectal) Cancer – this type of cancer affects GI track mainly Colon or Rectal where can be identified by blood in stools or sharp pain in the GI tract.
4. Kidney Cancer – This type of Cancer affects Kidney where it can be identified by Blood in Urine which might be Pink or Red color or frequent pain in backside just above hips.
5. Leukemia – This type of cancer affects bone marrow where can be noticed by unexplained weight loss, fever and excessive bleeding from openings of our body.
6. Lung or Bronchial cancer -This type of cancer affects Lungs which can be noticed by frequent cough accompanied by blood, shortness of breath and pain in the chest.
7. Melanoma – This type of cancer affects Skin where we can notice unexplained sores, warts, Pigments which is easily noticed and by itchiness of skin accompanied by slight pain.
8. Pancreatic Cancer – This type of cancer affects Pancreas which can be noticed by Pain in the abdomen, blood clots, loss of appetite.
9. Prostate Cancer – This type of cancer affects the prostate, the signs are similar to Bladder cancer however additionally can be noticed by difficulty in starting or stopping urinating, burning sensation during urination and
10. Thyroid Cancer – This type of cancer affects Thyroid which can be noticed by Lump in the neck, trouble in breathing and swallowing of food, a sudden change in the voice where the voice will become hoarse and pain in the neck.
All these types of cancer can be treated by Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy or by Surgery.
Cancers are named after the organ which they affect which becomes easy to be identified.
Lung cancer has the most number of deaths according to latest reports due to various factors including Air Pollution, Smoking, Industrial Discharge, Inhaling of carcinogenic compounds like asbestos, etc. etc.
How to Identify Cancer?
Cancer can be identified by various tests.
- Complete Blood Count
- Blood Protein Test
- Colonoscopy, Mammography.
- Helical Computed Tomography of a lower dose.
- Pap Smear Test.
- PSA Test.
- Skin Test for any lesions or lumps.
Stages of Cancer
There are 5 stages of Cancer.
i) Stage 0
means there’s no cancer, only abnormal cells with the potential to become cancer. This is also called carcinoma in situ, which during early detection can be cured by surgery.
ii) Stage I
It means the cancer is small and only in one area. This is also called early-stage cancer, this type of cancer also means that this has not spread to nearby tissue but has potential to spread quickly which can be diagnosed and cured early by chemotherapy or by surgery.
iii) Stage II and III
It means the cancer is larger and has grown into nearby tissues or lymph nodes where it is highly potential to spread quickly to other parts of the body and this needs immediate attention which involves surgery or chemotherapy or radiation therapy for various days/months.
iv) Stage IV
This means that cancer has spread to other parts of your body. It’s also called advanced or metastatic cancer, which is deadly and is the end stage of cancer where it has spread to various tissues and lymph nodes, the life expectancy for this type of cancer varies according to the severity of cancer which has affected the organ.
There are many ways to defend cancer unless the cancer is not in Stage III or IV.
- One of the common ways to treat cancer is Chemotherapy.
- Radiation treatment is also effective for the treatment of cancer cells where it stops abnormal growth.
- Cancerous cells can also be removed by Surgery if it is not metastasized to other organs.
- Immunotherapy, Targeted Therapy, and Monoclonal Antibody Therapy are some of the ways to treat Cancer.
Government Measures to Control Cancer
Government has assisted many ways to control cancer/ detect cancer in very early stages where Indian Government launched a program called National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) where it is helpful in early stages of detection, treatment, and rehabilitation of cancer patients.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also has a separate wing for Cancer research where there is constant research on early detection and cures for various types of cancer.
They conducted a meeting which included various countries like UK, USA, France, India where they emphasized the commitment to reducing the number of cancer-related deaths.