Cancer- A Beast in The 21st Century

Cancer Cells
Cancer Cells

Cancer is the abnormal growth of carcinogenic(cancerous) cells anywhere in a body. This abnormality in the growth of cells is termed as cancer cells, malignant cells, or tumor cells. These cells can infiltrate normal body tissues. Many carcinogenic cells that affect the tissue are further stated by the name of the tissue that the carcinogenic cells originated from (for example, breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer etc...).

What Is Cancer?

Cancer is a gathering of diseases including unusual cell development with the possibility to attack or spread to different parts of the body. These stand out from amiable(friendly) tumors, which don't spread to different parts of the body. Conceivable signs and side effects incorporate a lump, irregular bleeding, long-lasting cough, unexplained weight loss and a change in regular bowel movements. While these side effects may indicate cancer growth, they may have different causes. More than 100 types of diseases affect people.

Tobacco(cigarettes) use is the biggest cause of cancer with about 22% of cancer deaths. Another 10% are due to obesity, bad appetite, lack of physical activity or excessive drinking of alcohol. Other factors include certain types of infections, exposure to ionizing radiation and environmental pollutants. 15% of cancers are due to infections such as Helicobacter pylori(stomach ulcer), hepatitis B, hepatitis C, human papillomavirus infection(HPI), Epstein–Barr(herpesvirus 4) virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). 

Approximately 5–10% of cancers are because of inherited genetic defects from a person's parents. signs and symptoms or screening test can be used to detect cancer. It is than then further investigated by medical imaging and confirmed by biopsy.

What are the different types of cancer?

There are more than 200 types of cancer; far too numbered to include in this article.

1.Carcinoma: Cancer that begins within the skin or in the tissues that line or cover internal organs -- "skin, lung, colon, pancreatic, ovarian cancers.

2.Sarcoma: Cancer that begins in the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.

3.Leukemia: Cancer that evolves in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.

4.Lymphoma and myeloma: Cancers that starts in the cells of the immune system.

5.Central nervous system cancers: Cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord -- "brain and spinal cord tumors.

What are the agents of cancer?

Anything that causes a normal body cell to develop an abnormally gigantic can cause cancer. Many of the things can cause cell abnormalities and are linked to cancer development. Some of the cancer causes remain unknown, while other cancers have environmental or lifestyle effects or may develop from more than one known cause. Some may develop by a person's genetic structure.

1.Chemical or toxic compound exposures: Benzene, asbestos, nickel, cadmium, vinyl chloride, benzidine, N-nitrosamines, tobacco or cigarette smoke (contains at least 66 known potential carcinogenic(cancerous) chemicals and toxins), asbestos, and aflatoxin

2.Ionizing radiation: Uranium, radon, ultraviolet rays from sunlight, radiation from alpha, beta, gamma, and X-ray-emitting sources of cancer development.

3.Pathogens: Human papillomavirus (HPV), EBV or Epstein-Barr virus(herpesvirus 4), hepatitis viruses B and C and Helicobacter pylori; other bacteria are being researched as possible agents.

4.Genetics: A number of specific cancers have been linked to human genes and are as follows: breast, ovarian, prostate, skin and melanoma.

Recently, other risk factors also have been that add to the list of items that may increase the risk of cancer. Specifically, red meat (such as beef, lamb, and pork) was classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer consider these as s high-risk agent for potentially causing cancers; in addition to that, processed meats (salted, smoked, preserved, and/or cured meats) were placed on the cancer-causing list. Other quite less defined situations that may increase the risk of certain cancers include obesity, lack of exercise, chronic inflammation.

Other items like smartphones were rigorously studied. In 2011, the World Health Organization stated that a smartphone low energy radiation as "possibly carcinogenic(cancerous)," but this is a very low-risk level that puts cell phones at the same risk as caffeine and inorganic vegetables.

Cancer symptoms and signs:

Symptoms and signs of cancer depend upon the type of cancer one has, where it is tracked, and/or where the cancer cells have increased:

1. Local symptoms:

Local symptoms may occur due to the total mass of the tumor or its ulceration. For example, heavy effects from lung cancer can block the bronchus resulting in a cough or pneumonia; esophageal cancer could cause narrowing of the esophagus, making it highly difficult or painful to swallow; and colorectal cancer may lead to shortening or blockages in the bowel, affecting bowel habits.

2. Systemic symptoms:

These include unintentional weight loss, fever, excessive fatigue and changes in the skin. Hodgkin disease(cancer of the part of the immune system), leukemias(a cancer of blood-forming tissues) and cancers of the liver or kidney can cause a constant fever.

3. Metastasis:

Cancer can spread from its original site by local spread, lymphatic spread to regional lymph nodes or by hematogenous spread via the blood to distant locations, known as metastasis. When cancer spreads by a hematogenous route, it usually spreads all over the body and affects many organs as well.

How do physicians determine cancer staging:

The following is the way how the NCI(National Cancer Institute) describes the TNM staging system:

1. Primary tumor (T)

a).TX - Primary tumor cannot be evaluated

b).T0 - No evidence of primary tumor

c).Tis - Carcinoma in situ (CIS; abnormal cells are present but have not spread to neighboring tissue; although not cancer, CIS may become cancer and is sometimes called pre-invasive cancer)

d ).T1, T2, T3, T4 - Size and/or spread of the tumor

2. Regional lymph nodes (N)

a).NX - Regional lymph(fluid that circulates throughout the lymphatic system) nodes cannot be evaluated

b).N0 - No regional lymph node involvement

c).N1, N2, N3 - Involvement of regional lymph nodes (number of lymph nodes and/or extent of spread)

3. Distant metastasis (M)

a).MX - Distant metastasis(cancer growth) cannot be evaluated (some clinicians do not ever use this designation)

b).M0 - No distant metastasis

c).M1 - Distant metastasis is present

Consequently, a person's cancer could be listed as T1N2M0, meaning it is a small tumor (T1), but has spread to some regional lymph nodes (N2), and has no distant metastasis (M0).

How to prevent this beast:

Most experts are convinced that many cancers can either be prevented or the risk of developing cancers can be exponentially reduced. Some of the methods are simple; some are relatively extreme, depending on an individual's view.

1. Prevention of cancer, by avoiding its very causes, is the simplest method. First on most clinicians and researchers list is to stop smoking tobacco. Next, Avoiding excess sunlight (by decreasing exposure or applying sunscreen) and many of the chemicals and toxins are excellent ways to avoid cancers.

2. There are two vaccines which are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent some specific types of cancer. Vaccines against the "hepatitis B virus", which is considered to be the prime cause of some of the liver cancers and vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 are available everywhere.


Screening tests and research for cancer are intended to help recognize a disease at a beginning period when cancer will probably be conceivably restored with treatment. Such screening investigations are breast exams, testicular exams, colon-rectal exams (colonoscopy), mammography(using low-energy X-rays to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening), certain blood tests, prostate exams, pee tests etc. 

Individuals who have any doubt that they may have growth ought to examine their worries with their specialist as quickly as possible. Screening reports have been the matter of many conflicts lately. Screening may not be economical for some group of patients or prompt to further other tests, yet every patients' extraordinary conditions must be considered by specialists or doctors in making proposals about requesting or not requesting screening tests.


1. American Cancer Society 
2. National Cancer Institute
3. "Cancer – Signs and symptoms". NHS Choices.
Cancer- A Beast in The 21st Century Cancer- A Beast in The 21st Century Reviewed by Piyush Narayan on July 01, 2018 Rating: 5


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