Cancer definition, to put it plainly, is a name given to a set of related diseases. For someone to be diagnosed with cancer, their body’s cells begin dividing rapidly and begin spreading to the surrounding tissues, thus making it painful to endure. The disease can occur almost at any part of the human body, made up of trillions of cells.
Cells generally develop and grow and divide to create new cells as the body requires them to survive. When these cells grow old and die, they are replaced by newer cells which come and take their place.
When it develops, this orderly process is generally disturbed, and the cells break down. As they end up becoming more abnormal, the damaged cells, survive instead of dying and the new cells forming are not required. So these extra cells end up dividing without anything stopping them, thus resulting in growths known as tumours.
Solid tumours are generally formed by many cancers, which are in turn, masses of tissue cells. Blood cancer, also known as leukaemia does not form tumours that are solid.
Tumours which are cancerous are malignant which means that they can spread and invade tissue lying nearby. As they grow, cells break and travel to distant parts of the body via the lymph and blood system and form newer forms of cancer.
Benign tumours are those which do not spread or invade tissues lying nearby. They can be quite large however and do not grow back once they are removed. Benign brain tumours, however, can be dangerous and fatal.
There are many ways in which cancerous and normal cells differ. Cancer cells are less specialised than cells which are normal. Normal cells generally mature into specific cell types that have certain functions whereas cancer cells do not.
Cancer cells also do not respond to signals from the brain and nervous system that tell them to stop spreading or dividing further.
They also have the ability to escape the immune system and the network of organs, cells and tissues that protect the body from any sort of infections and other conditions. These cancer cells can “hide” from the immune system and remain undetected.
These tumours also play a role to help the immune system stay alive and grow further. These cells can actually make the immune system from further getting rid of other cells.
These cancer cells are generally genetic and are caused due to changes to the gene which control cell functions – especially the way they divide and grow.
Genetic causes can be inherited from parents and also occur due to errors which can occur as the cells divide due to damage to the DNA from environmental exposures. Cancer can also be caused by chemicals and substances such as tobacco smoke, UV rays and radiation
Different people possess cancer that have their own unique characteristics. As they keep growing, different changes can occur as well.
Cancer cells occur also due to mutations in DNA than normal cells. These changes can sometimes have no role in causing cancer and are the result of cancer, more than the cause.
Scientists have also learned that molecular changes that can lead to the occurrence of cancer. Certain mutations occur commonly in different types of cancer and due to this, they are characterised by genetic alterations which are believed to be driving this.
Cancer can spread in different forms when they occur. During the process of metastasis, they break away from where they’re formed for the first time. They travel through the lymph and blood system and then proceed to form newer tumours. A primary tumour is the same type of cancer as a metastatic tumour.
Cancer that spreads from places where it starts is called metastatic cancer. They have the same name as original, or primary cancer. Breast cancer, for example, that spreads and forms a metastatic tumour in the lungs is metastatic breast cancer and not categorized as lung cancer.
There are close to at least 100 types of different cancer. They are generally named after the tissues or organs from where they originate from. Lung cancer begins in the lung cells and for example, brain cancer starts in the brain cells. Here are a few of the different types of cancers:
This is a common type of cancer that are formed due to the epithelial cells. These are the cells that cover both the outside and the inner surfaces of the body. There are different types of such cells and they form a column-like shaped under a microscope.
Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that produces fluids in the mucus. Tissues that possess this type of cell is called glandular tissues. Cancers in the prostate, colon, breast are generally adenocarcinoma.
Basil cell carcinoma begins in the base layer of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin.
The other types of carcinoma are squamous cell and transitional cell carcinoma.
This is a type of cancer that forms in the bone, and soft tissues and these include fat, blood vessels, muscles, fibrous and lymph vessels.
The type of cancer found commonly in bones is known as osteosarcoma, and the most common tissue include malignant fibrous histiocytoma, liposarcoma, leiomyosarcoma.
Blood cancers are generally categorized as leukemia. They begin at the bone marrow and they do not form tumours. They instead form white blood cells that are abnormal and build up in the bone marrow and blood, thus taking over normal cells of the blood.
As there is a low level of cells, it becomes harder to get oxygen to the tissues for the body, or for that matter, even control bleeding or fighting infections.
Other types of cancers include lymphoma, multiple myeloma, brain and spine cell tumours and many more.
We ensure that cancer-affected patients can get the best treatment and help to lessen the pain or treat the cancer cells.
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Good morning Joji. We would like to share extremely positive feedback regarding Abhijit with you. He was phenomenal! Please consider making him a permanent staff with Portea. Respectful, kin....
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