Cancer is a group of diseases that develop from the body’s cells. These cells divide and grow uncontrollably, and the result is a malignant tumor. In some cases, cancer can spread to other parts of the body. It’s important to understand the causes and treatment of cancer to prevent it from spreading.
There are hundreds of different kinds of cancer, but each type is related to a specific group of abnormal cells. The most common types include lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. Some types of cancer are faster growing and can be deadly, while others are slow-growing and usually cause no problems. Regardless of the type of cancer you have, there are treatments available.
One of the main factors that contribute to the development of cancer is inherited gene mutations. These are changes in the genes that control when and how cells divide and grow. If someone in your family has a genetic trait that increases your risk of developing cancer, it is important to make sure that you do everything you can to reduce your risk. You may also have exposure to carcinogens, which increase your chances of developing cancer.
Another factor that contributes to cancer is lifestyle. Some people, such as smokers and people who don’t exercise, have increased risk of getting cancer. People with weakened immune systems, including those with AIDS, HIV, and organ transplant recipients, are also at higher risk.
The human body is composed of trillions of cells. Each cell contains a protein called a DNA. This protein contains instructions for how the cell grows, divides, and produces proteins. When a cell becomes a cancerous cell, it changes the way the proteins work.
The cells in the body are normally designed to die when they become abnormal. However, when a cell becomes cancerous, it continues to divide and multiply, even when the body’s signals tell it to stop. Eventually, these abnormal cells accumulate and build up in the bone marrow. A malignant tumor can then break off and travel to other areas of the body.
Cancer is caused by a combination of environmental factors, faulty instructions in the genes, and other factors. Some of these factors can be inherited, while others are triggered by things that happen after birth. Among other things, smoking, physical inactivity, and sun exposure all increase your risk of developing cancer.
If you think you or a loved one might have cancer, you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor can run tests to determine if you have cancer and how serious the disease is. They can also treat you if you have it, and they can rule out other conditions that can be dangerous to your health. As of 2016, 15.5 million Americans had a history of cancer.
Despite the prevalence of cancer, many people live long, healthy lives, and have no symptoms. In some cases, a person’s cancer is discovered by their physician during an exam for another issue. Using screening tests, such as a pap test, colonoscopy, or mammography, can help detect cancer. Other treatments, such as chemotherapy and surgery, can be used to remove the cancer.