Understanding cancer in 5 minutes – An introduction to the concept and cluster
So much is spoken and written about cancer, yet so less is understood. The awareness is still dim and ignorance at its peak.
Cancer is one of the leading cause of death in the world and the numbers are adding up pretty fast. That’s why we have decided to re-introduce the concept of cancer in a much-simplified way. A way that does not need you to have a medical degree or carry a dictionary to understand this beast!
Our body is made up of millions of cells which follows a set pattern of birth-divide-death. This is a continuous cycle that goes on ceaselessly. This is the way we grow, heal and develop.
But if the cells break this cycle and refuse to die then it results in cancer. The faulty cells continue to divide and form a mass called a tumor. As the cancer cells continue its process of division, the tumor goes on increasing in size!
The definition goes as – “Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells”.
Causes of Cancer
Cancer roots back to a thousand causes. From smoking to genetics, alcohol to stress, the sun and air many things are marked to be causes of cancer. Yet, many more reasons are still to be discovered!
10 most common and known causes of cancer are –
- 25 – 30% are caused by Smoking/Tobacco
- 15-20% occur from Sexually Transmitted virus – HPV or other infections
- Sun tanning
- Air pollution
- 30–35% are linked to unhealthy Diet
- 5-10% are linked to Genetics
Cancer can occur across any part of the body. From the hair to the nails, any part that has cells can become cancerous. There are more than 200 types and subtypes of cancer known today. But most of them are rare, some are less dangerous but a few of them are the real killers.
The most common types of cancer in men
The most common types of cancer in women
The most aggressive types of cancer
These cancer types spread first and are usually identified at later stages when treatment and recovery are very hard. They do not show any noticeable symptoms in initial stages which make the diagnosis very tough.
That is why it is recommended to go for regular screenings even if there is no sign or symptom of cancer growing within. In many cases, it is seen that the person is perfect in one moment and critically ill in the very next moment. Some cancer can spread really fast!
There are many instances when people have made early diagnosis of cancer during regular screening and this proved to be their saviour!
Cancer is tough to treat but easy to prevent. Most of the cancer deaths happening today are caused by preventable reasons. Studies state that more than 40% of cancer deaths are preventable. In fact, recent studies and researches have coined that cancer is a highly preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes.
Here are 15 simple prevention tips that you can always use as a shield against cancer.
- Quit smoking
- Limit alcohol
- Avoid stress
- Add physical activity to your schedule
- Let food be your medicine
- Sleep right
- Avoid exposure to harmful chemicals
- Use sunscreen
- Maintain a good gut
- Add anti-cancer foods like moringa, turmeric, flaxseed, cruciferous vegetables etc.
- Foods rich in anti-oxidants are good to add
- Focus on flushing. Toxins left inside is the main reason for colorectal cancer!
- Limit your sexual adventures to one partner.
- Get vaccinated against cancer-causing viruses.
- Go for regular medical check-ups and cancer screenings.
Signs to check
Not all cancer types give out symptoms, but awareness and alertness can help spot the red lights.
- Blood in urine or stool
- Lumps or swollen glands
- Unexpected weight loss
- Warts or moles
- Change in bowel habits
- Persistent cough
- Trouble swallowing
Though these symptoms not necessarily indicate cancer but definitely calls for your attention. Visit your doctor and get the tests done. Either to rule out the concern of cancer or to fight it with early diagnosis.