Cancer and its effects
Cancer,the most deadliest disease of ,all derived its name from a greek word carcinos(crab ). It was called so because,when the ancient people cut into those tumour, the blood vessels stretched like that of the feet of the crab and hence cancer. Earliest form of cancer dates back to 1500-1600 bc and the earliest treatment was discovered by the Egyptians.
Today this disease kills around 7.4 million people around the globe and its the most widespread disease. The less known fact is that every body has cancer cells.If a doctor tells you that there are no more cancer cells it just proves that amount of cells are too small to show up in the tests. That is why every person is at a risk of cancer because if you feed the right food and the environment for these cells then they can multiply, then they start attacking the immune system and finally even a small cold might be able to kill you.
In this article,i'm gonna present a detailed view of what is cancer, how can we prevent it and the common myths surrounding cancer
WHAT IS CANCER?
Cancer is basically abnormal multiplication of cells. A normal cell multiply divide and they finally die ,which then get replaced with a new cell. But what happens if these cells dont die? These cells multiply abnormally and rapidly and they form abnormal tissues called tumours or lumps. Some of these tumours get dislocated from their present location and move around the body ,placing themselves in convenient positions or organs and hampering with their functioning.
Basically a malignant tumour is formed due to the following reasons
- When the cells multiply and form lumps and move around the body through the blood stream or lymph system ,destroying healthy tissues in this process
- The cell manages to divide and grow,thereby forming blood vessels on its own and thus feeding itself
and now the basic question,how does this tumour move?
WHY DOES THE TUMOUR MOVE?
Most of the advanced stage of cancer is formed when it has metastised to another part of your body, then it become quite difficult to treat. In the early stages,the tumour will be limited to just the area where it occured first.If the symptoms and signs are recognised first, then only that portion need to be removed, but if it has metastised then the condition is not that easy to treat and patient might not survive.So the obvious question why does the tumour move? More precisely how does it move?
Research shows that that this has got to do with the adheshion property of these tumours. Molecular interactions of these tumours with their neighbouring cells allow themselves to dislocate from their original place and reattach to another place
This discovery is quite important,because almost 80% of people die due to metastised tumours. Only 10% die to primary tumours. So if there is a way by which these tumour can be stopped from moving to other places,then secondary tumours can be prevented
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CANCER
Like any other disease, cancer shows symptoms too.Now why does cancer show these signs? Its mainly because when these tumours grow they push against the blood vessels or neighbouring organs, thereby restricting their function.If the cancer is in the brain, even the smallest tumour can cause these symptoms
But sometimes even if there is a tumour it might not show all these symptoms until it is large enough. Only when it is large enough, it will press against the neighbouring nerves and blood vessels and by then it might be too late. A cancer may cause extreme fever,tiredness or weight loss etc,this might be because it might be using up too much energy.And also it might cause the immune system to behave in a different way or it may release substances which may change the way body makes energy from food. Also some cancers eject some substance into the blood stream which can cause clot in the blood etc
Now lets look at the common symptoms
1) Lumps: The major common symptom is a lump. If you feel a lump near your armpit or any part of the body,be sure to check it out.. If the lump is small and is movable and does not cause any pain, then it might not be a malignant tumour. But its still safer to check it out and get it removed if possible.
2) Unexplained weight loss can be another symptom of cancer.As mentioned above you might be suffering from these weight loss because these tumour cells might be consuming too much energy to feed its blood vessels.so its always advisable to have a checkup if you feel tired or fatigue over al long peroid of time.
3) Prolonged cough and hoarseness: If your cough lasts more than 3 weeks,and if the antibiotics arent working, then now is the time to visit your doctor.. If there is blood in your sputum, it might not be tuberculosis, you might have throat cancer.
4) Abnormal bleeding: This is more common in women. If there is abnormal bleeding during your menustrual cycle, then it might be a symptom of uterus cancer.Sometimes removing the utereus might be able to save you,but if the tumour has metastised then it might be difficult.Blood in urine might be kidney cancer and blood in your suputum might be throat cancer.
5) Change in your digestion patterns: If there is blood in your excreta, then you might have bowel cancer.. Common signs of these include constipation, diarrhoea etc. If the bowel movement lasts even after 6 weeks, then definitely should consult a doctor.
PREVENTION AGAINST CANCER
As always prevention is always better than cure. As i mentioned in the beginning of this article every body has cancerous cells. If our immune systems are strong enough ,then it fights off the cancer on its own and stops it from multiplying. But if the tumour cells are multiplying at a larger rate, then immune system might not be able to tackle it and eventually it breaks down. Person suffers from multiple deficiencies.
An effective way to prevent cancer is by changing our lifestyle habits, especially our food habits.Cancer cells need food to survive,so by starving them we can kill them off.
1) Sugar is a cancer feeder, substituting sugar can very well reduce the risk of cancer. Substitute it with honey, but that too in small amounts
2) Milk causes the body to produce mucus and cancer survives best on mucus.. So cancer prone patients should reduce the intake of milk and substitute it with soya milk.
3) Cancer strives the best in acid environment. Chicken, Fish, Pork all are acidic and its advisable to rely more on fish rather than meat.
4) Fresh fruits, vegetables, juice produce enough enzyme to create an alkaline environment which is well suitable for destroying the cancer cells. Avoid tea, coffee which has caffeine.. Green tea is the best alternative or fresh juices as it nourishes the healthy cells.
5) Cancer cell walls have tough protein covering, therfore by abstaining from consuming meat, body releases enough enzymes to attack these protein walls and body's immune system can tackle the cancerous cells.
6) Cancer cells cannot survive in an oxygenated environment, therefore it is necessary to exercise daily and take in more oxygen. Also yoga and meditation have proven to be useful.
TREATMENTS FOR CANCER
1) SURGERY: Surgery is very efficient if the cancer has not metastised to other parts of the body. In case of a primary tumour, it is easier to remove the tumour as such or the organ which it has affected. But once it has metastised it is impossible to kill all the cancer cells.
2) RADIATION: Radiation is done by focussing high enery gamma rays from radioactive substance into the cancerous cells, thereby forcing them to commit suicide. Radiation had severe sideeffects because it destroyed the body's healthy cells,thereby weakening the bodys immune system and the pain is immense.. But now the technology has advanced so that high focussed radio beams are produced which targets only the cancer cells.
3) Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves injecting chemicals into the bloodstream which can alter the DNA and hence forcing the cancer cells to commit suicide. Chemotherapy attacks any dividing cells,not only the cancerous one but also the abnormal ones. But the healthy cells can recover from the chemical reactions ,but the abnormal cells cant. Chemotherapy is mainly used in metastised cancer as the medicine travels throughout the entire blood stream. It still has many side effects like hair loss,fatigue,nausea etc.
4) Immunotherapy: This mainly aims at building up the body's immune system so that it can fight off the cancer cells on its own.It injects a specific protein which causes the tumour to shrink. It stimulates the immune system thereby specifically telling it to destroy the cancerous cells.Bone marrow transplant is an example because the donor cells immune sytems attacks the cancer cells.
4) Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy involves injecting specified hormones to inhibit the cancer cells. It basically focuses on altering the hormone production so cancer growing cells are destroyed completely. In breast cancer it deals with lowering the level of estrogen.
5) Gene therapy: Altering the DNA is the root cause of cancer. Cells undergo mutation and it turns completely into something else.Gene therapy focuse on addressing this relevant issue by changing the gene which was responsible for cancer, therby removing its root cause.It will be the most effective remedy if it is succesfull.
COMMON MYTHS ABOUT CANCER
1) Cancer is not always hereditary. If your mom and dad dint have cancer ,it doesnt mean that you wont get it too. Cancer mostly arises due to the lifestyle habits..So dont sideline the symptoms if you have any, by saying that it is hereditary.
2) Cancer is not always associated with pain. Some cancer patients do not experience pain at all.some only experience only during the advanced stages. So make sure that you pay attention to other symptoms of cancer,especially if it involves a lump.
3) Cancer does not cause hairloss.Hair loss is caused due to the side effects of cancer treatments, only if you undergo one of these treatments you will experience hairfall.
4) Only women get breast cancer.. This is the most common misconception.Breast cancer is most likely to occur in woment, but sometimes men get it too.so if men notices a lump sumwhere near the armpit,be sure to check it out.
5) Cell phones cause cancer: There is no significant proof that cellphone cause cancer due to electromagnetic radiation. Researches are going on but no conclusive evidence has been found till now.
6) Hair dye does not cancer.
7) Anti-prespirants, deo, mouthfreshners all these things do not cause cancer.
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