Table of Contents
Risk Factors of Cancer
Everywhere our lives, healthy cells in our bodies break and replace themselves in a very controlled way. Cancer commences when a cell is somehow adjusted so that it produces out of control. A tumor is a cluster of abnormal cells: Most cancers form tumors, but not all tumors are cancerous. Main Causes of Cancer Benign, or non-cancerous tumors, stop growing and do not spread to other parts of the body and do not create new tumors. Malignant, or cancerous tumors, crowd out healthy cells, interfere with body functions, and draw nutrients from body tissues. Cancer continues to grow and spread in a process called metastasis – eventually forming new tumors in other parts of the body. The term ‘cancer’ encompasses more than 100 diseases affecting nearly every part of the body, and all are potentially life-threatening.
Types of Cancer
The four major types of cancer are carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma, and leukemia.
- Carcinomas– the most commonly diagnosed cancers originate in the skin, lungs, breasts, pancreas, colon, liver, and other organs and glands.
- lymphoma– are cancers of the lymphatic system.
- Leukemias– are cancers of the blood and do not form solid tumors.
- Sarcomas– arise in bone, muscle or cartilage, and are relatively rare.
Cancer should be understood for thousands of years as a human ailment, yet only in the past century has medical science realized what cancer is and how it progresses.
Cancer is a disease that occurs when the entire body is imbalanced, the immune system is down, and normal protective measures are insufficient. Cancer, like other chronic illnesses, has a high prevalence throughout the population, but unlike chronic illness, it has potentially fatal results. The percentage of people developing cancer today is staggering.
The widespread fear of cancer partly stems from the fact that few subtle symptoms are exhibited before the cancer is quite advanced. Excessive fatigue, weight loss not directly due to dieting, appetite loss, and anemia are very general signs that affect the entire body. Initial symptoms depend more on the specific type of cancer and its location. Any abnormal changes in the body should be investigated, especially abnormal bleeding or lumps, and problems that develop and persist, even headaches, numbness, or a cough or hoarseness. Gradually developing but persistent digestive problems or changes in the skin, especially a sore or mole that suddenly itches, bleeds, or grows, should be taken seriously. Even though most lumps, fatigue, and weight loss are due to other problems, cancer should always be ruled out first. We know that most cancers are more comfortable to cure when detected early. Because many cancers develop after the age of sixty-five, subtle changes should not be ignored as symptoms of old age, but investigated further.
The Seven Warning Signs:
- Revolutionin bowel or bladder habits
- Apain that does not heal
- Irregularbleeding or discharge
- Thickening or part in the breast or elsewhere
- Indigestion or trouble swallowing
- A simplechange in a wart or mole
- Nagging cough or hoarseness
Preventative Health Tips- How to Lower Your Risk Factors?
Most cancers are preventable
The implications of proper nutrition should not be underestimated. Research has found it to be directly related to the prevention and treatment of a number of cancers especially breast, endometrial, prostate, stomach, and intestinal cancer
Diets low in fiber, fruit, and vegetables, but high in saturated fats and meats provide an environment conducive to cancer growth
Moldy and rancid foods, along with food additives and pesticides have also been implicated as cancer risks
Barbecuing meat, especially meat high in fat, as well as cooking and the browning of foods at very high temperatures increases the risk of cancer
Demographic studies show that people on a predominantly natural, high vegetable diet are less likely to develop certain kinds of cancer
Many nutrients (vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, etc) are used in preventing and treating cancer (some examples: the use of folic acid in treatments for cervical dysplasia is well documented, as is the use of vitamin C and beta carotene to help prevent certain types of stomach cancer, and zinc in the treatment of prostate cancer)
A positive and constructive attitude towards life has been shown to decrease the likelihood and severity of serious illnesses, including cancer
Causes of Cancer
Some of the Causes of Cancer of The primary cause of all cancer are a change, or modification, in the nucleus of a cell. For a normal cell to turn cancerous, its transmitted code must be reprogrammed for regular, uncontrolled cell unit.
Something that either starts or promotes the process are called carcinogens, and there are many types. Scientists theorize that about 10 million of the 300 trillion cells in a human body die and are replaced every second. With such a high rate of cell activity, the potential for occasional malignant cell mutation is high. In a healthy person, special cells from the body’s immune system can somehow recognize mutant cells and destroy them before they multiply. Nevertheless, some mutant cells may occasionally evade such detection and survive, causing cancer.
Because the Main Causes of Cancer are complicated, experts speak in terms of ‘risk factors.’ Any habit, trait, or use of a substance that increases the odds of getting cancer is a risk factor, and the risk for nearly all cancers increases with age. Inherited or familial, predisposition is a risk factor, although its influence varies from case to case. Researchers continue to identify genes that, when flawed, strongly predispose a person to get a particular type of cancer. Such genetic predisposition is considered an influential risk factor but by no means guarantees that the person will develop cancer.
Environmental risk factors relate to where and how we live.
The most common cancers are linked to one of three environmental risk factors: smoking, sunlight, and diet. Smoking is linked to cancer of the lung, head and neck area, bladder, kidney, stomach, cervix, and pancreas, as well as some leukemia. Excessive exposure to sunlight is linked to skin cancer. Dietary factors are associated with some cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and may be linked to others, such as cancer of the breast, prostate, and uterus. Eating habits suspected of promoting cancer include over consumption of alcohol, fat, and foods that have been smoked, cured pickled, or charred. Lack of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is also believed to be a risk factor.
Many substances in the environment have been identified as carcinogens, but in most cases, a high level of exposure is needed to cause cancer. Environmental carcinogens include chemicals, gases, substances, water, foods, pesticides, tobacco smoke, cleaning products, paints, and many industrial environments; excessive ionizing radiation (the type in x-rays, nuclear radiation, and radioactive wastes). And certain viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B, papilloma (a form of breast lump), Epstein-Barr (mononucleosis) viruses.
Also, unresolved psychological stress or grief and certain personality traits, like chronic feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, negativity, and hatred, have been suggested as cancer risk factors.
All these factors may contribute to cancer causation, yet any single factor does not cause cancer. Cancer results from ‘multi factor’ of age, inherited predisposition, all-around health, and carcinogenic exposure. For example, some people exposed to particular carcinogens will develop cancer, while others exposed equally to the same carcinogens may not. And as far as we know, most people who get a particular form of cancer are not strongly predisposed genetically to the specific disease. Everyone’s cancer risk profile is complex and individually unique.