Cancer cells are cells the divide in the body without any specified reason, forming tumors and filling the blood with abnormal cells. A parent cell divides and form two daughter cells, and they build new tissue to replace the old or damaged cells. Cancer cells continue to produce more cells and spread to other parts of the body. This process is known as metastasis.
It is surprising to know that we all do not have cancer cells in our bodies. But our bodies continuously produce new cells some of these new cells have the capability to turn into cancerous. A healthy cell grows, divides and dies, when it is aged or damaged, whereas a cancer cell does not follow this procedure. Instead the cancer cells reproduce more abnormal cells and invades the nearby tissue.
Difference between normal cells and abnormal cells:
Normal cells are obedient and follow instructions, whereas cancer cells do not.
- Normal cells grow and divide only when they need to replace old and damaged cells, once their function that they need to perform is complete they die. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells may grow or may not and do not die when they should. Cancer cells do not follow a regular pattern.
- Cancer cells gather to form tumours and spread to the surrounding tissues. Sometimes they also break and spread to the other parts of the body.
- Cancer cells corrupt normal cells to grow new blood vessels so they can supply nutrients to cancerous tumours.
- The specific characteristics that cancer cells have is termed as, “Hallmarks of Cancer.”
- Normal cells are in many shapes and sizes and maintain uniformity. Whereas cancer cells are of different shapes and sizes and are a collection of cells.
What causes cancer cells?
Cancer is a dreadful disease and when it spreads can cause death, if it is not treated properly. It is stated that life is order and death is disorder. So living an healthy life is a miracle and blessing, whereas aging, diseased (cancer) and death is certain. When respiration takes place, energy is derived from the food that is taken and this produces 2% reactive oxygen radicals. These free radicals may attack or damage important molecules and structures in the body, causing disease and ultimately death. These free radicals can attack the DNA and change the normal cell into cancerous cells. This clearly states that the food we eat, proper nutritious food and antioxidants is not there in the food we eat can be a major cause for cancer.
TYPES OF CANCER
Cancer is a very dangerous disease, whether it is a developed or a developing country. It is said more than six million people in the world are affected in the world. There are a number of cancers, to mention a few—uterus, blood, breast, thyroid, skin, lungs, colon, prostate and so on. The five main cancers are—sarcoma, leukemia, carcinoma, myeloma and lymphoma.
This is the most common type of cancer. It begins in the tissue of the skin, or the internal organs of the liver or kidneys and can spread to the other parts of the body or stay in the place it was affected first. This may not be a life-threatening disease but can cause complications. It is generally treated by cutting out the cancerous tissue, or layer by layer of the cancer is removed, until no abnormal cells remain or it is also treated through radiation therapy. It can be cured if diagnosed early.
It is a lump or a swelling in soft tissue of the body. Sarcoma is a painless lump under the skin, usually on the leg or arm. Sarcomas that start in the abdomen, do not show any signs until it grows very big. Generally a biopsy is done to identify a sarcoma. Once it is diagnosed, tests are done to find out if it has spread to the other parts of the body, — a complete blood count is taken, CT scan, MRI, Chest X-ray PET scan. The results of these tests are seen to find out the stage and then treatment starts. Treatments are—Surgery, Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy and Targeted therapy.
This is the most common disease among children, adults aged 20, 55, to 66.It affects the blood forming tissues of the spleen, bone marrow and the lymph nodes. The symptoms are also many like headaches, fever, excessive bleeding (nose), weight loss and so on. Sometimes spots may develop on the skin, in colours of purple, red, or brown rashes. These spots can also be seen on the arms, legs, stomach, buttocks, inside of the mouth or the eyelids.
It is also called as plasma cell myeloma, as it is a disease of the blood. A thorough examination is taken, 24 hour urine sample, a bone marrow biopsy and skeletal radiography is done. In most cases it is not curable, but the right treatment can slow its spread and sometimes the symptoms can disappear. If the disease continues ,it destroys the bone, anemia is caused and kidney failure.
Many mistake lymphoma to be leukemia, but both are different. Lymphoma, starts in infection-fighting lymphocytes (white blood cell), whereas leukemia starts in blood-forming cells inside the bone-marrow. Lymphoma, spreads to the live, bone-marrow or the lungs. Like any other cancer it is curable and in later stages. This disease is mainly seen in children and young adults, the age group of 15-24 years. Symptoms can be common cold, swelling in the neck, groin, abdomen or armpits. Treatment—Biologic therapy –drug treatment; Antibody therapy—synthetic antibodies are inserted into the bloodstream; Chemotherapy—drug to kill cancer cells; Radiation therapy; Stem cell transplantation; Steroids; Surgery.
Seven steps to prevent Cancer
- Stop smoking or chewing of tobacco.
- The skin should be protected from extreme heat (sun).
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet.
- Regular exercise.
- Necessary vaccines to be taken, like HPV, Hepatitis.
- Safe sex to be practised.