The Biology of Cancer

The Biology of Cancer
In this report I will discuss the biology of cancer, including the explanations of what is cancer, what causes it and how it can be prevented. In addition, I will briefly discuss the different ways it is treated. What is cancer? Cancer develops when cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control. Although there are many kinds of cancer, they all start due to the abnormal cells growing out of control. Normal body cells grow, divide and die in an orderly fashion. Until a person is an adult, the cells divide very rapidly, whereas after they have become an adult, the cells in most parts of the body divide only to replace worn out or dying cells and to repair injuries. Cancer cells develop because of damage to dna.
Most of the time when dna is damaged, it dies or it is repaired whereas in cancer cells, it is not repaired. People can inherit this damaged dna and this accounts for inherited cancers. Many times though, a person?s dna becomes damaged because of the exposure to something in the environment, like smoking. This is not an inherited factor. Cancer usually forms as a tumour but some cancers like leukaemia don?t. Cancer cells usually travel to other parts of the body where they begin to grow and replace normal tissue. This process is called metastasis, and occurs as the cancer cells get into the bloodstream or lymph vessels of our body. When cells from a cancer like breast cancer spread to another organ like the liver, it is still called breast cancer and not liver cancer. Who gets cancer? Over one million people get cancer each year. Anyone can get cancer at any age; however, about 77% of all cancers are diagnosed in people aged 55 or older. Today, millions of people are living with cancer or have been cured of the disease. The sooner a cancer is found and the sooner treatment begins, the better the patient?s chances of a cure. Therefore early detection of cancer is very important when fighting cancer. What causes cancer? Some kinds of caner are caused by things that people do. Smoking can cause cancers of the lungs, mouth, throat, bladder, kidneys and several other organs as well as heart disease and stroke. While not everyone who smokes gets cancer, smoking does increase a person?s chance of getting cancer, in addition to drinking alcohol, which increases cancer of the mouth and throat. Radiation can cause cancer but the x-rays by the doctor or dentists are safe. Too much exposure to sunlight without any protection can cause skin cancer. Can cancer be prevented? Smoking and drinking alcohol cause some people to get certain type of cancer and avoiding tobacco and alcohol can prevent these. The best idea is never to use tobacco at all. People who already smoke should try to quit as former smokers have less chance of developing cancer than those who continue to smoke. The chances of getting skin cancer can be lowered by staying in the shade as much as possible, wearing a hat and shirt when in the sun and using sunscreen. Our diet, (what we eat) is linked to some type of cancer, although the exact reasons are not yet clear. It is best to eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetable and whole grains like pasta and bread and to cut down on high fat foods. There are tests, called screening examinations that adults should have in order to find cancer early. It cancer is found early it can often be cured. How is cancer treated? The four major types of treatment for cancer are surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and biologic therapies. A person?s cancer treatment will be entirely based on their unique situation. Certain types of cancer respond very differently to different types of treatment, so determining the type of cancer is a vital step towards knowing which treatments will be most effective. The cancer? stage, how widespread it is will also determine the best course of the treatment since the early stages of cancer respond differently to therapies of late stages of cancer.

The Biology of Cancer 9.1 of 10 on the basis of 3308 Review.