October 2020

Cancer is a disease that is characterized by the growth of uncontrollable cells.

It is undoubtedly one of the most widespread diseases in the world. It is a menace threatening the lives of many people.

It the body when the spoiled cells divide uncontrollably, they form lumps of tissues known as tumors.

Cancerous tumors have very detrimental effects on the nervous, digestive, and circulatory systems and also secrete hormones that affect the body function.

There is however some tumors that remain in one spot and show limited growth thus considered as benign.

The major categories of cancer include:

  1. brain cancers
  2. blood cancers
  3. digestive/ gastrointestinal cancers
  4. bone cancers
  5. breast cancers
  6. Endocrine cancers
  7. eye cancer
  8. Genitourinary cancers
  9. Gynecologic cancers
  10. head and neck cancers
  11. respiratory cancers.

Blood cancer affects the bone marrow which is responsible for the formation of the red blood cells thus resulting in leukemia and lymphoma.

Another critical type of cancer is genitourinary cancer which normally affects the male urinary tract and genitalia.

On the other hand, the female reproductive system is affected by gynecologic cancers such as the cervical, ovarian, endometrial, and vaginal.

Head and neck cancer is yet another type of cancer that affects the moist surfaces of the neck or the head such as the mouth, nose, or throat.

The other type is respiratory cancer, which affects the lungs.

Skin cancer is yet another type and it mainly results from exposure to Ultra-violet rays of the sun.

Cancer has become one of the monstrous killers in the world claiming the lives of many innocent people.

Understanding the fact that the human body is composed of billions of cells is of paramount importance in the study of this disease.

Cells can be defined as the basic minute building blocks of the body tissues.

Cancer develops out of the body cells. Typical cells duplicate when they are required by the body and die when they are no longer required.

Cancer tends to start when the growth of these cells is out of control and cell division takes place so rapidly at a very critical speed that cannot be controlled.

Another cause can be when some cells don’t die.

The already established causes of cancer include:

  1. excessive consumption of alcohol
  2. benzene as well as other chemicals
  3. exposure to excessive sunlight
  4. obesity
  5. viruses
  6. radiation
  7. genetic problems

Death of cells should be regular and should be controllable by the normal processes of the body.

Cancer cells do not however experience regular death but continue to grow even when the body does not require them.

This contributes to the massive growth of cells out of control.

Treatment of cancer takes different approaches depending on the type of cancer that is in question.

This helps to determine its stage, how much it has grown, and to check whether the tumor has stretched from its initial location.

It is also important that the symptoms are well observed to ascertain that the victim is suffering from cancer and not any other form of illness.

Like treatment, symptoms depend on the type and location of cancer.

Lung cancer for instance causes chest pains, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Colon cancer on the other hand causes constipation, diarrhea, and blood in the stool.

Some cancers do not have any kind of signs such as pancreatic cancer which shows symptoms only when the illness is at an advanced stage.

If cancer is confined in one area and not spread, it is typically treated through surgery.

Surgery is also common with skin, lung, breast, and colon cancer.

It is also used when cancer has only spread to the lymph nodes.

When all cancer cannot be removed completely, radiation, chemotherapy, or both are applied.

Radiation involves focusing very high-energy rays on the cancer cells which damage them.

Chemotherapy on the other hand alters the cell division process thus eliminating the cancerous cells.

There are some types of cancer such as Lymphoma, cancer that attacks the lymph glands, which cannot be treated with surgery only but requires a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.

Other types of treatments include:

  1. immunotherapy which targets the immune system to battle against the tumor
  2. hormone therapy which alters the production of hormone stopping or killing the cancer cells
  3. gene therapy which replaces the damaged genes with functional ones to detect the cause of cancer.

Due to the heightened risk posed by cancer, advanced treatment is paramount.

There are so many types of cancer categorized according to the organ affected.

Detecting symptoms and treatment of cancer is very difficult and this best-explains the reason why it has become a major challenge in society.

Treatment of cancer can be conducted in different ways including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and gene therapy.

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