There are simply no two ways about it. Just about everyone has been touched by cancer in some way either through a family member or a friend or even yourself. Cancer is the name given to a group of diseases including breast cancer, skin cancer, colon-rectal cancer, and Leukemia-Lymphoma cancer. These diseases and others like them can be horrific, painful, and ultimately fatal. The key to fighting cancer is information.
There is a lot of information about these diseases available in brochures, literature, medical advice, and the Internet today. In this article, we will sift through all of the unnecessary information and get down into the useful stuff. First of all, what is cancer and how does it spread? There are about 200 different types of cancer that is researched and recognized today. Cancer is anything caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled division of a human body’s cells.
These cells can start in one location, the breast for example, and can spread to other parts of the body such as the liver through the blood stream or the lymph nodes. When this occurs, it is known as metastasis.
What causes these diseases? Because there are hundreds of different kinds of cancer, there are many different causes. All cancers have several common factors. What affects one part of the body may not affect the other.
Take melanoma for example. Melanoma is caused by the skin’s overexposure to the sun, but it only affects your skin. The sun is not going to affect your lungs at all much less negatively. Cancer is also like most diseases in that it is multifactorial. This means that there are many factors involved and that there is no single cause for a particular type of cancer. There are a number of factors that can facilitate or spur abnormal and malignant cell growth. Age, as always, is a factor. The older you are, the more susceptible your body is to diseases.
Also, cancerous cells take a long time to develop because your cells have to undergo a number of changes in the cell’s genes in order for it to become cancerous. A number of these diseases are based on one’s genetic make-up (i.e. they are hereditary). Breast cancer is an extremely good example of “genetic predisposition”. If you are born with one genetic mutation it is statistically likely that you will develop more.
Another way to contract a type of cancer is through a deficient or weakened immune system. Some viruses can cause lymphomas or cervical cancer. HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, and immune disorders can all weaken the immune system to the point where cancerous cells can quickly achieve a foothold in the human body.
What are some ways to prevent cancer? There is no single way to prevent these diseases.
They can and often do strike randomly. There are some prevention methods however. Quitting tobacco and alcohol use, becoming more physically active, checking bodyweight (to keep it more in line with what it is supposed to be), using sunscreen, staying away from significant amounts of radiation, and eating a healthy diet are all ways that some types of cancer can be avoided. The key is to be knowledgeable and to be safe.
Cancer is horrible, frequently fatal or life wrecking, and quite common. Studies have shown that half of all males and one-third of all females (in the United States) are likely to develop cancer at some point in their lives. They solution to prevention, treatment, and healing is knowledge, so learn as much as you can.