Cancer growth Overview
Cancer growth is an umbrella term for a large group of diseases caused when abnormal cells divide rapidly, and spread to other tissue and organs. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world.
Some types of cancer cause rapid cell growth, while others cause cells to grow and divide at a slower rate. Certain forms of cancer result in visible growths called tumors, while others, such as leukemia, do not.
Most of the body’s cells have specific functions and fixed lifespans. While it may sound like a bad thing, cell death is part of a natural and beneficial phenomenon called apoptosis. A cell receives instructions to die so that the body can replace it with a newer cell that functions better. Cancerous cells lack the components that instruct them to stop dividing and to die.
As a result, they build up in the body, using oxygen and nutrients that would usually nourish other cells. Cancerous cells can form tumors, impair the immune system and cause other changes that prevent the body from functioning regularly.
Mutations can cause cells that should be replaced to survive instead of die, and new cells to form when they’re not needed. These extra cells can divide uncontrollably, causing growths called tumors to form. Tumors can cause a variety of health problems, depending on where they grow in the body.
Some cancer cells can also migrate through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to distant areas of the body. This process is called metastasis. Cancers that have metastasized are considered more advanced than those that have not. Metastatic cancers tend to be harder to treat and more fatal.
Causes of cancer growth
There are many causes of cancer, and some are preventable.
For example, over 480,000 people die in the U.S. each year from smoking cigarettes, according to data reported in 2014.
In addition to smoking, risk factors for cancer include:
Other causes of cancer are not preventable. Currently, the most significant unpreventable risk factor is age. According to the American Cancer Society, doctors in the U.S. diagnose 87 percent of cancer cases in people ages 50 years or older.
Types of Cancer growth
- Carcinoma is a cancer that starts in the skin or the tissues that line other organs.
- Sarcoma is a cancer of connective tissues such as bones, muscles, cartilage, and blood vessels.
- Leukemia is a cancer of bone marrow, which creates blood cells.
- Lymphoma and myeloma are cancers of the immune system.
Risk Factors and Cancer growth Treatment
- exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, called carcinogens
- exposure to radiation
- unprotected exposure to the sun
- certain viruses, such as human papilloma virus (HPV)
- lifestyle choices, such as type of diet and level of physical activity
Cancer risk tends to increase with age. Some existing health conditions that cause inflammation may also increase your risk of cancer. An example is ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
Knowing the factors that contribute to cancer can help you live a lifestyle that decreases your cancer risks.
- Stop using tobacco and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Limit your intake of processed meats.
- Consider adopting a “Mediterranean diet” that focuses mainly on plant-based foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than 65, and up to two drinks a day for men 65 years of age and younger.
- Keep a healthy weight and stay active by getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Stay protected from the sun.
- Cover up with clothing, sunglasses, and a hat, and apply sunscreen frequently.
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
- Stay in the shade as much as possible when you’re outside.
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlight, which can damage your skin just as much as the sun.
- Get vaccinated against viral infections that can lead to cancer, such as hepatitis B and HPV.
- Don’t engage in risky behaviors. Practice safe sex and don’t share needles when using drugs or prescription medications. Only get tattoos at licensed parlors.
- See your doctor regularly so they can screen you for various types of cancer. This increases your chances of catching any possible cancers as early as possible.
Cancer growth management
- Finding a cure: This is not possible for all cancers and situations.
- Providing primary treatment: Killing the cancer cells in your body.
- Providing adjuvant treatment: Killing cancer cells that remain after primary treatment to reduce your risk of the cancer coming back.
- Providing palliative treatment: Relieving health symptoms associated with cancer, such as trouble breathing and pain.
Immunotherapy (Biological Therapy)
Targeted Drug Therapy
- relaxation techniques