Cancer is one of the most important non-communicable diseases. It is a common disease that needs cure. It affects all living beings irrespective of their age or sex. In the past year, 13 per cent of all deaths were due to cancer and this percentage is increasing with every passing day.
Cancer is an illness that occurs when healthy or regular cells transforms into cancer cells. It forms when a single cell gets affected and then multiplies. They are very hard to get rid of owing to their inability to self-destruction. Sometimes, some cells divide abnormally and form a lump. A lump of this type causes ulcers. It causes serious complications in our body. These cells slowly destroy the organs and then the whole body.
Cancerous cells utilize the total food of the body. The person becomes weak, loses weight, and ultimately dies. The lump or tumor may be benign or malignant. A tumor is benign if it is enclosed in a connective tissue while it is malignant if the tumor grows.
Types of cancer
Cancer can be of the following types:
- Sarcoma:This type of cancer occurs in muscles, cartilages, bones, blood vessels or connective tissues.
- Carcinoma:The cancer which originates from skin or cells lining the internal organs is called carcinoma.
- Lymphoma: The cancer of lymph glands and lymph nodes is known a s lymphoma.
- Leukemia:This occurs in blood forming organs especially in bone marrow.
It was discovered that no body part and no species of living beings is free from cancer.
Causes of cancer
The causes of cancer can be listed as follows:
- Excessive smoking can be associated with lung cancer and cancer in various parts like mouth, throat, larynx, urinary bladder, etc
- Cancer in the mouth or oesophagus is caused due to chewing of tobacco or betel nuts.
- Dyes, chemicals and heavy metals may also cause cancer.
- Ionic radiations like X-rays cause cancer.
- Cancer in the stomach, liver, gall bladder is due to alcohol.
- Pollutants like smoke may also cause cancer.
However, the exact cause of cancer is not known yet. The above are the substances that lead to cancer. These substances can cause mutation of genes and are known as mutagens. The mutant genes have no control over the normal functioning cells thus leading to cancer.
Cancer can develop in any part of the body but mostly develops in organs like liver, alimentary canal, larynx, lungs, etc.