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Cancer Genesis And Cancer Treatments: An Overview

2731 words - 11 pages

The human body is made up of trillions of living cells all working together. Normally, these cells grow, divide, and die. However, sometimes the process is mismanaged; and during this time, uncontrolled cellular growth and division occurs. The uncontrolled growth and division lead to tumors, which usually leads to cancer. However, not all tumors lead to cancer. In addition, the word cancer is a general name given to over 100 diseases, which begin with uncontrolled cellular growth. If these growths are left untreated, they can cause severe illness and even death. In the United States, half of all men and one-third of all women will develop cancer sometime during their lifetimes. The threat of developing cancer can be reduced by changing one’s lifestyle. A better diet (Ames, 2001; Bergström et al., 2001), daily physical activity( Kampert et al., 1996), limiting sun exposure (Elwood et al., 1997), quitting smoking (Peto et al., 2000), and reducing excessive alcohol consumption (Tsugane et al., 1999); all add up to a reduced the probability of developing cancer. In addition, the earlier a cancer is diagnosed and treated, the less likely that that individual will die of it. Therefore, the combination of early diagnosis, therapies and lifestyle changes can beat the occurrence of cancer.
Cancer Genesis
Cancer begins when a cell starts to grow out of control. All cancers begin with out-of-control growth due to damaged DNA. DNA is the genetic material found in every cell, it contains instruction and blue prints for cellular growth, division, and death. Normally, when DNA damage occurs the cell has mechanism to either repair the damage or initiate its own death. However in cancer cells, the DNA damage is not repaired nor does the cell commit suicide. Instead, the cell continues to grow and divide as though everything is okay. The division leads to formation of new cells, which contains the damaged DNA of it parent cell. These damaged cells typically grow faster, grow larger, and replicate more, which usually leads to formations of tumors. An individual can inherit damaged DNA from their parents, but most DNA damage is caused by mistakes which occur during normal cell is reproduction or sometimes by environmental factors such as cigarette smoking, poor diet, and excessive sun exposure.
In addition, cancer cells can travel to other parts of the body, where they can begin to form new tumors by invading normal tissues (Liotta et al., 1991). This phenomenon is known as metastasis. Regardless of where a cancer might spread, it is always named by site of initial tumorgenesis. For example, prostate cancer that spreads to the bone is still called prostate cancer, despite the fact that it has spread to the bone. Diagnosis of initial cancer type is critical when determining the best treatment options since different cancers can grow at different rates and respond to different treatments(Richard J. Havlik et al., 1994). Treatment must therefore be aimed at a...

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