Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissues.
Cancer often has the ability to spread throughout your body. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. But survival rates are improving for many types of cancer, thanks to improvement in cancer screening and cancer treatments.
Causes of Cancer: Cancer is caused by changes (mutations) to the DNA within cells. The DNA inside the cell is packaged into a large number of individual genes, each of which contains a set of instructions telling the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to grow and divide. Errors in the instructions can cause the cell to stop its normal functions and may allow a cell to become cancerous. A gene mutation can instruct a healthy cell to allow rapid growth, fail to stop uncontrolled cell growth and make mistakes when repairing DNA errors.
Age- Cancer can be diagnosed at any age.
Habits- Smoking, Excessive Drinking, excessive sun exposure, frequent blistering sun burns, being obese and having unsafe sex can contribute to cancer.
Family History- If cancer is common in your family, it’s possible that mutations are being passed from one generation to the next.
Health Conditions- Some Chronic health conditions, such as ulcerative colitis can markedly increase your risk of developing cancer.
Environment- The environment around you may contain harmful chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer. Even if you don’t smoke, you might inhale secondhand smoke if you go where people are smoking or if you live with someone who smokes. Chemicals in your home or workplace, such as asbestos and benzene, also are associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Prevention of Cancer: There is no certain way to prevent cancer. But doctors have identified several ways of reducing your cancer risks, such as: Stop Smoking, avoid excessive sun exposure, eat a healthy diet, exercise most days of the week, maintain a healthy weight, drink alcohol in moderation if you choose to drink, schedule cancer screening exams and keep asking your doctors about immunizations.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that concern you. If you don’t have any signs or symptoms, but are worried about your risks of cancer, discuss your concerns with your doctor.