Cancer: Your guide to hope!
You probably know that cancer is a chronic disease that has physical and mental consequences. But did you ever wonder what is cancer or how cancer develops? Knowing this and the various types of cancers that may occur can help you in times of need.
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Do you know what is cancer and how a cancerous cell affects you? Cancer awareness is vital to save the lives of millions around the world. Read to learn more!
What is cancer?
Cancer is a group of life-threatening diseases. It forms when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably and spread to different parts of the body. Your body is made up of trillions of cells. It is normal for human cells to grow and multiply as your body requires them. This process is called cell division. New cells replace the damaged or dead cells. Cancer is diagnosed when abnormal body cells spread in an uncontrolled manner.
Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality worldwide. Lung, colorectal, liver, and prostate cancer are some common types of cancer in men. Breast, cervical, and thyroid cancer are common among women.
Now that you know what is cancer, have you ever wondered how cancer develops? Cancer may develop when the control mechanism of your body stops functioning or if there are genetic changes in the process. Here, older and damaged cells grow out of control instead of dying. This leads to the formation of new abnormal cells. The abnormal cancerous cells form a mass known as a tumor. However, certain cancers such as leukemia do not lead to the formation of tumors. Cancer can form in any part of your body.
Causes of cancer
Below are certain risk factors that may act as the causes of cancer:
The mutation of DNA in your cells can cause cancer. DNA contains instructions for the cells on what functions to perform and how to grow and divide. An error in these instructions can prevent cells from functioning normally. This gives rise to cancerous cells. A cancerous cell fails to stop and keeps growing.
Some early signs of cancer can occur due to inheritance. A family history of cancers can put you at risk of several types of cancers.
Although cancer can occur at any age in your life, it is more commonly diagnosed in older people. Typically, it affects people older than 65 years of age. This is because several types of cancer can take years to develop.
Viral and bacterial infections
Several bacterial and viral infections can cause certain types of cancer. For instance, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with cervical cancers, penile cancers, and some head and neck cancers. Similarly, cancer such as liver cancer is linked with exposure to Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B virus.
Lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, exposure to the sun, being obese, unprotected sexual intercourse and more can put you at risk.
Factors such as exposure to secondhand smoke, harmful industrial chemicals, occupation, and unhealthy health conditions can increase your risk.
Early signs of cancer
The signs of cancer may differ for the different types of cancer. Below are some common early signs of cancer that may help identify the disease.
- Continuous coughing
- Breathing difficulties
- Fatigue and weakness
- Bleeding or bruising
- Yellowing or darkening of the skin
- Changes in bowel or bladder habits
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Muscle or joint pain
- Persistent fever and night sweats
- Uncontrollable weight changes
Types of cancer
Here are some common cancers that various types of cancer cells may cause:
- Lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Brain and spinal cord tumors
- Head and neck cancers
- Multiple myeloma
When is Cancer Awareness Day?
Did know that 1.1 million cancer cases are reported in the country each year? November 7 is observed annually as National Cancer Awareness Day in India to raise awareness about cancer. World Cancer Day is observed every year on 4th February across the globe to create cancer awareness. It seeks to educate people about cancer with the aim of preventing millions of deaths due to the disease.
Read through articles on the causes of cancer and different types of cancer in detail. Our informative articles will guide you with effective tips to survive cancer and lead a fuller life. They will also help you understand the habits that are good for you and the steps you need to take.
If you or someone you know suffers from early signs of cancer, seek medical help immediately by booking an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. You can also buy health plans under Aarogya Care to safeguard your family from the medical expenses that may arise due to critical illnesses. This way, you can avail timely treatment and prevent further complications.Show More
Frequently Asked Questions
- Cough or hoarseness
- Eating problems
- Bleeding or bruising
- Fever or night sweats
- Neurological problems
- Swelling or lumps
- Weigh changes for no reason
- Skin changes
- Bowel changes
- Bladder changes
- Breast changes
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
- Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Human T-cell leukemia virus type, also called human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1)