Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by uncontrolled cellular growth. There are more than 100 different types of cancer, each classified for the type of cell originally affected.
Cancer damages the body when cells that change uncontrollably split to form a lump or mass of tissue called a tumor (except in cases of leukemia where cancer prohibits normal blood function from abnormal cell division in the bloodstream).
Cancer can grow and interfere with the digestive system, nerves and blood circulation and can release hormones that alter bodily functions. Tumors that live in one place and show limited growth are generally considered benign.
A dangerous form of tumor, malignant tumors, are formed when two things happen:
- Cancer cells successfully move around the body using blood or lymph systems, destroying healthy tissue in a process called invasion.
- The cells divide and grow, creating new blood vessels to feed in a process called angiogenesis.
When the tumor spreads successfully to other parts of the body and grows, it attacks and destroys other healthy tissues, said to have metastasized. This process itself is called metastasis, and the result is a serious condition that is very difficult to treat.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 14 million new cancer cases worldwide and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012 (their latest data). More http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/
Causes of cancer
Cancer is ultimately the result of cells growing uncontrollably. Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. Planned cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process breaks, cancer begins to form.
Unlike normal cells, cancer cells do not have a programmed death and continue to grow and divide. This leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grow out of control.
• Your habits
Some lifestyle choices are known to increase the risk of cancer. Smoking, drinking more than one alcohol per day (for ages 65 and over), excessive sun exposure or frequent blisters, obesity, and having unsafe sex can cause cancer.
You can change this habit to lower your risk of cancer – although some habits are more volatile than others.
• Your age
Cancer can take decades to grow. That is why most people with cancer diagnoses are 65 years of age or older. Although it is more common in older adults, cancer is not just an adult disease: cancer can be diagnosed at any age.
• Carcinogenic substances
Carcinogens are classes of substances that are directly responsible for damaging DNA, promoting or assisting cancer. Tobacco, asbestos, arsenic, radiation such as gamma and x-rays, sunlight and compounds in car exhausts are examples of carcinogens.
When our bodies are exposed to carcinogens, free radicals form that try to steal electrons from other body molecules. It argues that free radicals damage cells and affect their ability to function normally.
Until now, asbestos can still be found in many buildings in Adelaide. If you believe that your house has asbestos, then, you should contact a professional removalist to do asbestos removal and testing in Adelaide.
• Genes – DNA types
Cells can experience uncontrolled growth if there is a DNA mutation and thus a change in genes involved in cell division. Four types of key genes are responsible for the process of cell division: oncogenes show cells as they divide, tumor suppressor genes signal to cells when they do not divide, suicidal genes control apoptosis, and tell the cell to kill if anything goes wrong and Repair DNA genes instruct cells to repair damaged DNA.
Cancer occurs when cell gene mutations make cells unable to repair DNA damage and cannot commit suicide. Likewise, cancer is the result of mutations that inhibit the function of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, leading to uncontrolled cell growth.
• Genes – family type
Cancer can be the result of a genetic predisposition inherited from family members. Probably born with certain genetic mutations or gene errors that make a person statistically more likely to develop cancer later on.
Cancer and other medical factors
When we age, there is an increase in the number of possible mutations that cause cancer in our DNA. This makes for an important risk factor for cancer. Several viruses have been linked to cancer such as: human papillomavirus (cause of cervical cancer), hepatitis B and C (causes of liver cancer) and Epstein-Barr viruses (due to some childhood tumors).
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) – and anything that eliminates or weakens the immune system – inhibits the body ‘s ability to fight infections and increases the chance of developing cancer.