General or Other | Oncology | Cancer (tumor) (Disease)
Cancer, a medical disorder known as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of various diseases, characterized by unregulated cell growth. Cancer can affect any part of the body. Through the lymphatic system or bloodstream the cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body.
Cancer occurs when the growth of cells in the body is out of control and cells divide too quickly or when cells forget how to die. Tumor-forming cells develop when the oncogenes (genes controlling cell growth and multiplication) in a cell or cells undergo a series of changes.
A tumor can be malign or benign. The benign one is the noncancerous tumor. Cancer cells may also spread via the blood vessels and lymphatic system to form secondary tumors called metastasis.
Some general signs and symptoms associated with, but not specific to, cancer include: fatigue, lump or thickening that can be felt under the skin, skin changes, such as yellowing, darkening or changes to existing moles, persistent cough, persistent indigestion or discomfort after eating, persistent, unexplained muscle or joint pain.
Causes and Risk factors
The cause of many cancers remains unknown, however there can be many causes of cancers, including: benzene and other chemicals, drinking excess alcohol, smoking, environmental toxins, such as certain poisonous mushrooms and a type of poison that can grow on peanut plants (aflatoxins), excessive sunlight exposure, genetic problems, obesity, radiation, viruses.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Cancer investigations include: physical exam, lab tests, imaging test (ultrasound and X-ray, Computer Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and biopsy. Examples of cancer: breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, Hodgkins lymphoma, Leukemia and many others.
Treatment varies based on the type of cancer and its stage. Cancer treatment options include: surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, steam cell transplant, hormone therapy, target medication....