Types and causes of cancer:- Cancer is a generic term for many diseases that can affect any organ or part of the body. One defining feature is the rapid creation and multiplication of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, causing them to invade adjoining parts and spread to other organs. Widespread metastases (the process of spreading of cancer cells) are the primary cause of death on account of cancer. Cancer results from the transformation of normal cells into tumour cells through a long process that grows from a lesion to a malignant tumour. Usage of tobacco, unhealthy diet, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and air pollution are external factors that can interact with a person’s genetic composition and cause chronic illnesses leading up to cancer. This article will help you in knowing about types and causes of cancer
Some of the most common type of cancer in the world, along with their causes and treatment, are listed below:
Skin cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of skin cells, most often on skin exposed to the sun. The abnormal cells may spread to other body parts. There are three major types of skin cancer- basal-cell carcinoma, squamous-cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal-cell carcinoma mainly occurs in sun-exposed parts of the body, grows slowly and can cause tissue damage, but is unlikely to spread to distant regions or result in death. Squamous-cell carcinoma is more susceptible to spreading. It usually looks like a hard lump with a scaly top and may also form an ulcer. Melanomas are most aggressive and include a mole that has changed shape and size, is itchy and bleeds.
Skin Cancer Causes:
Ultraviolet radiation from long exposure to sun is the primary cause of skin cancer. Other factors may include-
-Use of immunosuppressive medication
-Chronic non-healing wounds can develop into squamous skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Treatment:
Treatment of skin cancer depends upon the location of cancer, age of the patient, type of cancer, and whether it is primary or a recurrence. For low-risk carcinoma, radiation therapy, topical chemotherapy or cryotherapy may control the disease. These may, however, be less effective than a specific type of surgery. If cancer has spread widely, chemotherapy or further surgical procedures may be required.
Breast cancer is cancer that develops from the breast tissue. It arises in the lining cells of the ducts or lobules in the breast’s glandular tissue. Signs may include a lump in the breast, a change in the shape of the breast, dimpling of the skin, patchy skin or fluid coming from the nipple. Diagnosis is confirmed by carrying out a biopsy of the concerned tissue. After that, tests are done to determine the spread and assess treatments that are most likely to be effective.
Breast Cancer Causes resulting from risk factors
Risk factors include obesity, lack of exercise, alcoholism, or hormone replacement therapy. Prolonged breastfeeding, weight control and regular physical exertion can minimize the risk of breast cancer. These are modifiable risk factors that can be controlled. Fixed risk factors include the age and physiological sex of the patient. A family history of breast cancer also increases the risk of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatment:
Timely detection can prove breast cancer treatment to be highly effective, increasing survival possibilities of 90% or higher. Treatment mainly includes surgery and radiation therapy to control the spread in the breast, lymph nodes and surrounding areas. Earlier, all breast cancers would be treated with mastectomy (complete removal of the infected breast). Today, the same result can be achieved by removing only the lump in the breast (partial mastectomy). Radiation therapy is done to minimize the chances of recurrence.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. It usually arises in cells lining the air passages in the lungs. Lung cancer is highly prone to spreading to other body parts through blood and lymphatic vessels. Both active and inactive smoking and tobacco consumption are the primary causes. These may result in shortness of breath, coughing up blood, unusual weight loss, headaches, and chest pain. Control of weight, a good diet and abandonment of tobacco intake can reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Lung cancer Causes:
As mentioned above, tobacco usage and smoking can cause irreparable damage to the lungs. Cigarette smoke contains carcinogens that can multiply and become malignant tissues in the lungs.
Exposure to radon gas is another cause. It is generated from the breakdown of radioactive radium present in the Earth’s crust. In the U.S, radon is the second-most common cause of cancer and causes 21000 deaths each year.
Outdoor air pollutants released from burning fossil fuels are another contributor. Wood, charcoal, and cow-dung residue are hazardous to breathe.
Lung Cancer Treatment:
The treatment of lung cancer depends on the size of the tumour, whether the cells are local or widespread, and the patient’s general condition. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy may be used in isolation or combination, depending on these factors. Targeted therapies are done through drugs that target specific molecular targets in the tumour. They kill the cancer cells only, block their growth and prevent their spread to other body parts.
Liver cancer, also known as hepatic cancer or hepatic malignancy, is cancer that starts in the liver. Liver cancer can be primary (starting in the liver) or secondary (metastatic spread from other parts to the liver). Liver metastasis is more common than liver cancer which begins in the liver. Primary liver cancer is fourth most common cause of death from cancer. Excessive weight loss, nausea, abdominal swelling, general weakness and fatigue, and discoloration of skin and eyes are common symptoms.
Liver Cancer Causes:
Liver cancer happens when liver cells develop changes in their mutations or DNA. These changes can occur in other structures in the liver, such as the bile duct, blood vessels and immune cells. Chronic infections with hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus increase the risk of liver cancer. Liver cirrhosis is an irreversible condition that can scar tissues to form in the liver and increase the chances of liver cancer. Diabetes, fatty liver disease and unusual, prolonged consumption of alcohol are also significant causes.
Liver cancer treatment:
Like other cancers, treatment depends upon the type of liver cancer and the extent of spread. Treatments include surgery, medication, and ablation methods. Ablation is the only non-surgical treatment that can offer a cure. These include radiofrequency ablation or microwave ablation. This method is used for small, localized tumours which are not spread to other body parts. A liver transplant can also be effective in cases where damage is extensive.