Understanding Cancer!

Cells and Human Body!

Human body is made of millions of cells. Every part of the body is made of cells. As old cells die new cells are continuously produced.  All the changes in the human body including gain in height and weight is due to cell division. Production of new cells is exactly as required.

What is Cancer?

Cells divide continously in the human body. Resemblance of daughter to the mother cell is exact and any damage to the DNA results in producing defective cells. Damage to DNA also causes these cells to divide continuously producing a overgrowth called cancer.

Types of Cancer!

As cells are present in all parts of the body, DNA damage can result in cancer production in any part of the body. Depending on the part of the body where cancer is formed, it is named differently. Squamous Cell, Sarcoma and Adenocarcinoma.

Cause of Cancer?

Causes for cancer are many. It could be the food we eat, the air we breathe or the sunlight. It could be even certain infections or rarely heriditary causes. Pollution from industry, automobiles and environmental radiation are also important causes.

Spread of Cancer!

Cancer cells have a tendency to spread in the body. Cells separate from the tumor and through the adjacent blood vessels or lymphatics reach other organs. These cells overgrow in the new organs and slowly destroy all the organs of the body causing the death of the patient.

Symptoms of Cancer are specific to the organ of origin. And these are not exclusive. Symptoms can be similar – in infections, benign lumps or malignant lumps. Hence any symptom, that is persistent needs evaluation to rule out cancer.

Diagnosing Cancer!

Cancer is a disease of the cells due to damage in the DNA. So diagnosing cancer is achieved by looking for changes in the DNA present in the cells. Tests like FNAC, TRUCUT and biopsy collect the cells from the tumor for study under the microscope.

Treatment of Cancer!

Cancer treatment involves treating the primary tumor and all the areas where it has spread. Surgery is the best treatment when disease is localised. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are used for advanced stages and those cancers that spread to other organs.

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