However vague as it may sound, the truth is that there is no definite answer to the question as to what exactly cancer is. It is actually an unwelcome conglomerate of more than a hundred diseases. Cancers are of various types but the root cause remains the same; abnormal and uncontrollable growth of cells. If detected early, chances of getting cured are higher than if left untreated which inevitably causes death.
Overgrowth of cells in certain parts or organs of the body marks the beginning of cancer. It is in fact a digression from the natural growth, division and destruction of cells. Cancer cells do not cease to grow; they keep on forming new abnormal cells and they even breach the periphery of other tissues by growing into them.
Technically, cells are rendered cancerous when the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of the cells are damaged. Under normal circumstances, when the DNA of cells gets damaged, the cells try to repair the same and in case it cannot the cell dies. Cancer is a situation where neither of the two occurs; no DNA repair, no cell death. These cells keep growing and forming new ones with the same abnormality in the DNA. This abnormality may be inherited or may be caused due to anomalies in the process of cell reproduction.
Essentially cancers are named after the place from which it originated irrespective of the organ to which it has spread. So even if a breast cancer has spread to the bones, it will be called a breast cancer instead of bone cancer. Other types are skin cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, etc. Moreover, every cancer has its own distinct rate of growth and response pattern. The rate at which a skin cancer grows is most likely to be different than that of lung cancer. This is why the treatment method is also targeted in accordance with the ay a cancer responds to the same.
You cannot afford to blame genetic or hereditary factors each and every time cancer occurs. It must be noted that there are certain activities in which we engage ourselves quite inadvertently; these activities or habits which are seemingly unimportant can cause the deadliest and most aggressive cancers. Take the instance of smoking. This can trigger cancers in your lungs, mouth, kidneys, bladder, throat and the list goes on to many other organs as well.
What would we do without the sun and all the Vitamin D that it provides us with? But at the same excessive exposure to sunlight can enhance your risks of having skin cancer. The same goes for people who prefer artificial tanning beds. Both sunlight and tanning beds are very likely to cause Melanoma which is a very aggressive form of skin cancer. Exposure to certain chemicals and substances like radon in hazardous working environments or to radiation increases the chances of being afflicted with cancer.
Cancer is not contagious at all. So you would be doing a noble job by not refraining from interacting with cancer patients; they need your support to fight this battle. Although there have been instances of cancer occurrence post organ transplant. When you have an organ transplanted, your immunity system tries to reject it as an alien body; so you take medicines that weaken your immune systems. Recent findings suggest that this risk is more in case of people who undergo solid-organ transplants.
Smoking damages just about every organ of our body and accounts for almost one-third of all cancer deaths. The rest lies in the hands of the consumers; whether to quit or whether to aggravate the risks of cancer knowingly. Alcohol intake is also associated with certain types of cancers. It does not matter what type of alcoholic beverage you are indulging in; the component ethanol is present in all of them.
So primarily it is the amount you consume over time and not the type of alcohol which influences the risks of being hit with cancer. Paying special attention to nutrition is also important; taking to fresh vegetables and fruits instead of red meats are advised. It is evident that a lot is in our hands and the probability of getting cured also rests with the awareness about our habits; tweak a few and the results can be rewarding.