Cancer is a disorder caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. It develops when the old cells do not die; instead, they grow out of control, resulting in the formation of abnormal cells. These extra cells form a mass of tissue, which is called a tumour. Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues and can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.
There are more than 100 different types of cancer and their symptoms and treatment vary depending on their type and how advanced they are. A localized cancer is believed to be at an early stage, while one that has spread is at an advanced stage. Following are the common elements considered in most of the staging systems:
Following are the five main categories of cancer:
Signs and symptoms of cancer depend upon the part of the body which is affected by it. Some of the general signs linked with cancer include:
Cancer is caused by mutations (changes) to the DNA within cells which results in the abnormal functioning of cells.
Gene mutations occur normally during normal cell growth but they are repaired by the cells. Rarely, a mistake is missed which causes the cell to become cancerous.
Following factors are known to increase the risk of cancer:
Cancer diagnosis includes:
Diagnose of cancer at an early stage can provide the best chance for a cure. Ask your doctor about the appropriate screening tests for you depending on your risk factors for cancer.
Cancer may be diagnosed by your doctor by using one or more approaches:
Once a person is diagnosed with cancer, the doctor will work to verify its stage. Depending upon the stage of cancer, treatment options and chances for cure are determined.
There are many treatments for cancer and many of them involve the combination of therapies. Following are some of the cancer treatments:
Preventing cancer by choosing a healthy lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to build a cancer-free future: