Cancer is a disease where cells multiply without control and destroy healthy tissue.
Cancer can endanger life and is the leading cause of death in many countries.
About 100 kinds of cancer affect human beings. With other kinds affecting plants and animals.
Cancer strikes people of all ages.
It occurs in both Male and Female.
Cancer can start anywhere in the body and spread.
The most common parts where cancer occurs are the skin, the digestive organs, the lungs, the cervix (neck of the womb) and the female breasts.
Things that incite cancer are the tar in tobacco, and some of the other chemicals in cigarettes, and certain kinds of radiation.
Today about half the cancer patients survive at least five years after treatment.
Cancer develops as a result of abnormal cell reproduction.
The genes in cancer cells don’t respond to the growth regulating signals and as a result the cells just keep multiplying and eventually after a mass of cells join together a tumor or neoplasm appear.
Some tumors are noncancerous or benign.
Benign tumors do not spread to healthy tissue or other body parts.
Cancer produces malignant tumors, which invade, compress and eventually destroy healthy tissue.
A huge danger is that cells can break away from the malignant tumor and move to other parts of the body and form other tumors.
This process is called metastasis.
The ability to spread to other parts of the body makes cancer hard to treat unless it is detected early.
Cancer is classified in two ways (1): by a cancers primary body site (the part where it first develops) and (2): by the type of body tissue it originates in.
The most common form of cancer in the world.
Most skin cancers don’t spread which makes them easy to treat.
A malignant melanoma (a rare form of skin cancer), which is more serious, starts in the pigment of the skin cells and rapidly spreads to other parts of the body.
Over exposure to the suns ultraviolet rays causes malignant melanomas.
Lung Cancer is strongly linked with smoking.
Smokers are much more likely to develop cancer.
The single greatest cause of death among men and women in most industrial countries.
Stomach cancer was a very common disease but no it is a lot less common.
People who eat well E.g. Fresh food and a well balanced diet, hardly ever get this disease. Which shows you that diet plays some part in it. Alcohol and smoking also put people in risk of it.
Is the most common cancer affecting women in affluent countries.
The number of children and the diet are linked to breast cancer.
Occurs mainly in industrial countries.
Lack of fibre in diets has been linked to colo-rectal cancer.
CANCER OF THE CERVIX:
Occurs mostly in countries where women live in poor conditions.
Good diet and personal hygiene reduces incident of this disease.
Most experts agree that people develop cancer mainly through repeated or prolonged contact with one or more cancer causing agents. Cancer is also hereditary.
The cancer starts because of a mutation of the DNA (a blueprint of the cell). It may also occur with external agents such as ionizing radiation, cigarette smoke, certain viruses, and some chemicals.
This does not lead to cancer but the damaged cells makes you even more susceptible to it.
The three main groups that cause cancer are (1) various chemicals, (2) certain forms of radiation, and (3) viruses.
CANCER DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS:
Only doctors can diagnose cancer but in a lot of cases people go to doctors after the cancer has advanced. People should be alert to ant physical changes that may indicate cancer. Early detection greatly increases the chance of the cancer being cured and the person surviving.
Doctors have many ways to detect cancer in its early stages. There are mammograms (detects breast cancer) and computerized tomography (detects cancer in vital organs such as brain and the lungs).
50% of the time cancers start in parts of the body that the doctors can check when you go because you are sick etc.
For a pap test fluid is taken from the vagina or cells scraped from the cervix and the cells are examined under a microscope.
When the detection of a tumor has been found patients must undergo another test called a biopsy to see if the tumor is malignant.
To test this, a small piece of tissue is surgically removed from the tumor to check if it contains cancerous cells. Similar tests are used to diagnose leukaemia and lymphoma.
Doctors use three main ways to treat cancer: (1) surgery, (2) radiation therapy, and (3) drug therapy.
The main method of treating cancer of the breast, colon and rectum, lung, stomach, and uterus.
In Surgery they remove the tumor and repair the affected organs.
RADIATION THERAPY (radiotherapy):
In radiotherapy they use X-rays or rays with radioactive substances in them to kill off the cancer. The problem with this is that as well as killing cancerous cells it also kills normal cells. Therefore radiotherapy must destroy as many cancer cells as possible with killing as little healthy tissue as possible.
Radiotherapy is the main method of curing cancer in the bladder, the cervix, the skin, or parts of the head and neck.
DRUG THERAPY (chemotherapy):
More than 50 drugs are used against many types of cancers. This method has proven to be particularly effective in treating leukaemia, lymphoma and cancer of the testicles.
Anticancer drugs are designed to kill the cancer cells with doing little damage to the normal cells.
They still can’t prevent that because the drugs are highly toxic they still cause some amount of damage to the cells. The drugs also produce some side effects such as loss of hair nausea and increased risk of getting sick.
The most effective form of anticancer is one, which involves a combination of drugs.
The large combination of drugs helps reduce the chance that the cancer will develop a resistance to the drug. Also ensures that you don’t get to many large doses of a drug.
Cancer research is investigating in a wide range of areas. Two fields that scientist’s have made rapid progress in is, cell biology and immunology.
Reducing The Risk.
The European community released the following set of guidelines, which can help reduce the risk of cancer.
1. Take up regular exercise.
2. Cut down on fatty foods such as butter and other dairy products.
3. Protect yourself from ultra-violet rays.
4. Do not smoke.
5. Cut down on alcohol consumption.
6. Cervical smear tests for women every 3-5 years.
7. Breast examination for signs of lumps, dimples, or puckering.
8. Eat healthy foods such as fruit, lean meat, and vegetables. Eat lots of food containing fibre.