Cancer is known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a broad group of various diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream. Not all tumors are cancerous. Benign tumors do not grow uncontrollably, do not invade neighboring tissues, and do not spread throughout the body. There are over 200 different known cancers that afflict humans.
Cancerous cells are also called malignant cells. Cancer grows out of normal cells in the body. Normal cells multiply when the body needs them, and die when the body doesnt need them. Cancer appears to occur when the growth of cells in the body is out of control and cells divide too quickly. It can also occur when cells forget how to die.
VARIOUS TYPES OF CANCER:
There are many different kinds of cancer. Cancer can develop in almost any organ or tissue, such as the lung, colon, breast, skin, bones, or nerve tissue.
CAUSES OF CANCER:
Determining what causes cancer is complex. The following causes can directly damage genes or combine with existing genetic faults within cells to cause the disease. Approximately five to ten percent of cancers are entirely hereditary. Many things are known to increase the risk of cancer, including :
Benzene and other chemicals
Drinking excess alcohol
Environmental toxins, such as certain poisonous mushrooms and a type of poison that can grow on peanut plants (aflatoxins)
Excessive sunlight exposure
Lack of physical activity
However, the cause of many cancers remains unknown.
SYMPTOMS OF CANCER:
Since prevention is one of the most important cancer fighting tools, it is important that cancer be detected as early as possible before it spreads.
Telltale Signs of Cancer include: A lump or thickening in the breast or testicles; a change in a wart or mole; a skin sore or a persistent sore throat that doesnt heal; a change in bowel or bladder habits; a persistent cough or coughing blood; constant indigestion or trouble swallowing; unusual bleeding or vaginal discharge; and chronic fatigue. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see a physician for testing.
The following are symptoms that may occur in specific types of cancers:
» Bladder cancer: Blood in the urine, pain or burning upon urination; frequent urination; or cloudy urine
» Brain cancer: Dizziness; drowsiness; abnormal eye movements or changes in vision; weakness, loss of feeling in arms or legs or difficulties in walking; fits or convulsions; changes in personality, memory or speech; headaches that tend to be worse in the morning and ease during the day, that may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting
» Breast cancer: A lump or thickening of the breast; discharge from the nipple; change in the skin of the breast; a feeling of heat; or enlarged lymph nodes under the arm
» Lung cancer: Wheezing, persistent cough for months; blood-streaked sputum; persistent ache in chest; congestion in lungs; enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
» Oral cancer: A lump in the mouth, ulceration of the lip, tongue or inside of the mouth that does not heal within a couple of weeks; dentures that no longer fit well; oral pain, bleeding, foul breath, loose teeth, and changes in speech
» Prostate cancer: Urination difficulties due to blockage of the urethra; bladder retains urine, creating frequent feelings of urgency to urinate, especially at night; bladder not emptying completely; burning or painful urination; bloody urine; tenderness over the bladder; and dull ache in the pelvis or back.
WAYS TO PREVENT CANCER?
» Avoid smoking and exposure to smoking
» Practice sun safety and recognize when skin changes occur
» Eat your fruits and veggies
» Limit red meat and animal fat
» Limit your alcohol intake
» Exercise for cancer prevention
» Know your personal and family medical history
» Get screened for cancer regularly.
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