Cancer is the abnormal proliferation or growth of a group of cells in the body. Cancer is described as a malignant neoplasm, which is the progressive worsening or metastasis of the tumor or group of cancerous cells. The metastatic nature of cancer, makes it very deadly if if it not caught early, as the disease can spread to other areas of the body through the lymph nodes. While there have been many culprits for the cause of certain cancers the mystery as to what directly causes other cancers, remain unsolved.
Examples of what causes cancer
While there are no definate answers, the risk of cancer increases with certain lifestyle choices and it is believed that healthy people, while not immune are less at risk for the disease.
- Heredity plays a big role in cancer. Some mutations on specific genes are thought to cause cancer, and these genes pass from generation to generation.
- Alcohol and Tobacco have long been linked to cancer. It is thought that alcohol promotes certain types of cancers while tobacco has been linked directly to lung cancer.
- The lack of diet and exercise, and the insurgence of obesity have all been blamed for contributing to the cause of many types of gastrointestinal cancers. Colon cancer is a popular example of a cancer that may be caused by poor diet and alcohol consumption.
- Many infectious agents are blamed for cancers. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Human T-cell leukemia virus-1 and Helicobacter pylori are indicated in cervical cancer, leukemia and gastric cancers respectively. These infectious agents are tranmitted in a variety of ways. The HPV is transmitted sexually, and is responsible for around 70% of all cervical cancer cases. Human T-cell leukemia virus-1 can also be transmitted sexually, but more importantly can be passed from mother to child during breastfeeding.
- Hormones also play a big role in causing cancers. High levels of estrogen and progesterone have been found in women with breast cancer. However, the concern with hormones in cancer is an inability to maintain normal levels as some hormones promote the growth of certain cell causing tumors.
- Exposure to radiation is also a factor in causing cancers. Skin cancers can be caused by direct exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Other forms of radiation from high voltage wires or nuclear, and other types of energy plants have also been implicated as causative agents.
Reducing you risk of cancer
- Cancer is a progressive disease. Regular visits with your doctor for thorough health checks can diagnose and treat the problem early.
- Make lifestyle changes. Have protected sex and practice monogamy. Other lifestyle changes are also necessary, proper diet and exercise are necessary to maintain proper health.
- Practice protective measures such as reducing your exposure to radiation either from the sun, or high tension wires. Certain toxins also cause cancers. If there is uncertainty in handling some chemicals contact the manufacturer before using them.