WHAT IS CANCER
Our body has different types of cells, which grow and multiply several times in a day to maintain normal function. Occasionally this cell division is affected and creates a wrong cell or an abnormal cell – these cells are called cancer.
Our body has different types of cells which grow and multiply several times in a day to maintain normal function.
Occasionally this cell division is affected and creates a wrong cell or an abnormal cell. These divide further in an uncontrolled way affecting the other parts of the body.
These cells which divide abnormally are called cancer cells.
These cells can locally infiltrate the adjacent organs or invade the blood and lymphatic system and cause spread or metastasis.
Cancer can occur in almost all parts of the body and they are categorized mainly from the cell in which they begin.
Cancer arising from epithelium or covering of an organ – CARCINOMA
Cancer arising from connective or supportive cells E.g: (Bone, Muscle) – SARCOMA
Cancer arising from cells which produce blood(bone marrow) – LEUKAEMIA
Cancer arising from cells of immune system – LYMPHOMA and MYELOMA
Cancer arising from nervous system – ASTROCYTOMA, GLIOMA
How Does Cancer Start
By damage to DNA – the genetic material in the cell
By interfering with cell division and other controlling mechanisms of the cell.
Damage to DNA can be caused by certain hydrocarbons or chemicals present in tobacco for example, radiation or certain chemical action in our body when the built-in protection mechanism fails. Certain substances stimulate cell division causing damage to DNA and causes mutation.
Any factor which leads to the above can produce cancer.
What Do We Understand By Stages Of Cancer
Staging is done when the patient is first seen with the particular cancer.
Staging is important because it decides the treatment to be given and also gives an indication of the outcome.
Can We Prevent Cancer
Yes, some common cancers are preventable.
Leading a healthy life certainly takes you a long way.
Avoiding smoking and Avoiding tobacco chewing can reduce the risk of oral cavity and lung cancer.
Avoiding or Limiting alcohol consumption, regular exercise and healthy body weight can reduce the risk of breast and endometrial cancers.
It is strongly recommended for women to get a cervical smear and mammogram after the age of 35 or earlier if needed, as per your doctor’s advice, to ensure early detection of cancer and to enable complete cure.
What Is Genetic Cancer Risk
It is the likelihood of developing cancer depending upon your family history.
There are certain genes in our body which protect us from developing cancer. When these genes are faulty that individual is at a higher risk than a normal individual with a risk of cancer.
Only a small percentage (up to 5% ) of certain types of cancer is due to people being born with a faulty gene.
A faulty gene is inherited and sometimes occurs for unknown reasons. Not all those who have a mutated cancer protection gene will develop cancer, but they are at a higher risk.
At the cancer institute a comprehensive molecular oncology department with Highly qualified staffs are available for genetic counseling where you can clarify your risk and discuss options for genetic testing, its limitations, advantages and disadvantages.