Is cancer a disease or disorder?

The word “cancer” is derived from the Greek word karkinos (cancer) meaning “tumor” or “abnormal growth.” As a noun, it means “an abnormal growth of tissue.” It indicates that cancer is a disease that originates in a specific tissue or part of the body and spreads to other tissues.

Cancer is a term used to describe the formation and development of abnormal cells in different parts of the body. These abnormal cells are known as neoplastic lesions or tumors.

Cancer can be defined as any of the following:

  • A group of related diseases, diseases, or disorders characterized by malignant (cancerous) cells.
  • A group of diseases and disorders that are caused by the malfunction of genes and are characterized by the abnormal growth of abnormal cells.

Cancer is a multifaceted disease, and its treatment plan is unique to the type of cancer being treated. It can be divided into four main types. These include:

  • Malignant tumors: Tumors that have the ability to invade and disrupt nearby tissue.
  • Metastatic tumors: Tumors that have spread from the primary site to other parts of the body.
  • Inflammatory tumors: Tumors that are caused by an inflammatory response.
  • Lymphomas: Tumors that originate from cells in the lymphatic system.

Cancer is a chronic condition, and the symptoms usually develop gradually. It may increase in size for years before being diagnosed. The symptoms of cancer can vary from person to person. For some, the symptoms are not very noticeable. For other people, the symptoms may be severe and obvious.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease that starts in a cell and spreads to other parts of the body. A cell is a tiny, oval-shaped part of tissue that is surrounded by a cell membrane. A cell typically has a nucleus, which is the main organ of the body. The nucleus holds the DNA inside the cell.

The DNA is the genetic material within the cell. DNA is responsible for the creation of proteins and other substances within the cell. The cell nucleus and the DNA within it provide the cell with the ability to perform its specific functions.

The nucleus contains a small number of chromosomes. The number of chromosomes is determined by the number of genes in the cell. The genes are the instructions that control the production of the proteins within the cell.

When a cell is diagnosed with cancer, the DNA within it has mutated and the cells are producing abnormal cells that can grow and divide and spread. A tumor is an abnormal growth of cancer cells that occurs in tissue.

How cancer starts?

In humans, cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of cells. Cells that are not functioning properly are known as cancer cells. The abnormal cells grow and divide and eventually spread to other parts of the body.

The following are some of the possible causes of cancer:

  • Genetic mutations: The DNA inside the cell changes and does not perform its proper functions.
  • Environmental factors: Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins, radiation, and chemicals can damage the DNA and cause cancer.
  • Tumor suppressor genes: Certain genes play a role in the normal functioning of the body. When a tumor suppressor gene mutates, it stops the normal functioning of the cells.
  • Environmental or occupational carcinogens: Exposure to environmental or occupational carcinogens may cause cancer.
  • Infections: Infections such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi can cause cancer.
  • Smoking: Smoking is a proven cause of cancer.
  • Medications: Certain medications such as those for diabetes and hyperthyroidism have been linked to cancer.
  • Exposure to UV rays: Exposure to UV rays from the sun and tanning beds is a known carcinogen.

Many different factors can cause cancer. The most common causes include the following:

  • Genetics: A hereditary cancer risk exists in families. This means that a person is at higher risk of developing cancer.
  • Hormones: Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can increase the risk of cancer.
  • Other risk factors: Some factors such as smoking, radiation exposure, and infections can raise a person’s risk and are known carcinogens.

What are the symptoms of cancer?

Some of the symptoms of cancer are not very noticeable. In some cases, they are the only symptoms that a person has.

Some people may have more noticeable symptoms of cancer. These include the following:

  • A lump in the body, such as the breast, liver, or lung.
  • Changes in the skin, such as ulcers or sores.
  • Changes in the lymph nodes, such as swelling or an enlargement.

These symptoms, if left untreated, can increase the risk of cancer growth and spread and therefore require immediate medical attention.

The symptoms of cancer vary from person to person. A person’s symptoms depend on the type of cancer a person has. Below are some symptoms of cancer that are commonly reported:

  • A lump in the breast.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Change in the liver, for example, swelling in the liver or jaundice.
  • Fatigue.

Symptoms of cancer that are not commonly reported include the following:

  • A lump in the head or neck.
  • Bleeding or discharge from the nose.
  • Persistent pain.
  • Painful urination.

What are the causes of cancer?

Some of the causes of cancer are:

  • Inherited risks: Some people are more likely to develop cancer than others.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to environmental or occupational carcinogens can cause cancer.
  • Mutations: A mutation occurs when a cell does not perform its normal function.

Some other causes of cancer include:

  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Other risk factors

How is cancer diagnosed?

A person may be diagnosed with cancer after they present symptoms or after a test reveals a problem. Testing can be done for different types of cancer.

These tests include the following:

  • Blood tests: This can detect cancer that has spread and is present in the blood.
  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests can detect cancer in the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, or other parts of the body.
  • Ultrasound: This is a painless test that uses sound waves to create images.
  • X-rays: This test uses small amounts of radiation to create images of the body.

What’s the outlook?

A doctor will help you understand what’s happening and how to manage your cancer. The right treatment can help you manage your condition and improve the outlook.

For people with cancer, the outlook depends on the type of cancer, how advanced it is, and other factors. Your doctor will discuss the outlook with you.

The 5year relative survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive 5 years after they are diagnosed with cancer. The 5year survival rate is used to compare the number of people who survive for 5 years after they are diagnosed with cancer with the number of people who would have the same type of cancer under the same circumstances. It is important to take note of the 5year survival rate as it is a good indicator of the overall outlook for a cancer.

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