Cancer is indeed one of the most dreaded diseases which claim many lives every year which begins as a renegade human cell over which the body has lost control. In order for the body and its organs to function properly, cell growth needs to be strictly regulated. Cancer cells, however, continue to divide and multiply at their own speed, forming abnormal lumps, or tumors.
In women, breast cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer are most common, whereas men are more susceptible to oral cancers, intestinal malignancies and prostate cancers. For this year’s world cancer campaign, the focus is on empowering people to make healthy choices and ensuring availability of proper treatment to all. Cancer is a disease that begins as a renegade human cell over which the body has lost control. In order for the body and its organs to function properly, cell growth needs to be strictly regulated. Cancer cells, however, continue to divide and multiply at their own speed, forming abnormal lumps, or tumors.
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the body. There are over 200 types of cancers which can affect any part of the body; most can fit into the following categories according to the National Cancer Institute:
- Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs
- Sarcoma: Cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue
- Leukemia: Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood
- Lymphoma and myeloma: Cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system
- Central nervous system cancers: Cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord
The three most common cancers in men, women, and children in the U.S. are as follows:
- Men: Prostate, lung, and colorectal
- Women: Breast, lung, and colorectal
- Children: Leukemia, brain tumors, and lymphoma
Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women. And it’s the second leading cause of death among men and women combined.
Not all cancers are natural-born killers. Some tumors are referred to as benign because they don’t spread elsewhere in the body. But cells of malignant tumors do invade other tissues and will continue to spread if left untreated, often leading to secondary cancers.
Dozens of factors have been tied to increasing the risk of cancer, including genetics, obesity, exposure to radiation, smoking, and alcohol abuse. Still more factors are said to help prevent the disease, such as exercise, drinking coffee, and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The incidence of cancer and cancer types are influenced by many factors such as age, gender, race, local environmental factors, diet, and genetics. Consequently, the incidence of cancer and cancer types vary depending on these variable factors.
Cancer has many possible causes, the prominent ones being –
- Genetics: Certain cancers run in families. For example, certain mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes greatly increase a person’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking accounts for around 30% of all cancer deaths. It is linked with increased risk of these cancers – lungs, larynx, oral cavity, nose and sinuses, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, bladder, ovary, colon, rectum and acute myeloid leukemia. Chewing of tobacco, a carcinogen, is linked to dental caries, gingivitis, oral leukoplakia, and oral cancer.
- Diet and Lifestyle: Research shows that a poor diet and not having an active lifestyle are the key factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.
Yet ever more people are surviving diagnosis thanks to earlier detection, better screening, and improved treatments. The three main treatment options are surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Radiotherapy, also called radiation therapy, involves blasting tumors with high-energy x-rays to shrink them and destroy cancerous cells. Chemotherapy employs cancer-killing drugs.
3 Things to keep in mind in order to Stay Cancer Free:
– Get to and stay at a healthy weight throughout your life.
– Be physically active on a regular basis.
– Make healthy food choices with a focus on plant-based foods.
5 Tips to follow for a Healthy Lifestyle.
– Include fibers in your diet for healthy bowel movements. Regular bowels are important for detoxification.
– Regular exercise is most important to boost immunity and avoid metabolic disorders like diabetes, hyper cholesterol, obesity, thyroid, hypertension etc. Yoga, paranyam are good for reducing stress, improving flexibility and correcting posture.
– Nuts provides a good source of energy and other nutrients which are helpful. They help in the reduction and maintainence of weight. Nuts are advisable for controlling bad cholesterol. Nuts like walnut, almonds and pistachios are good for diabetics, hypercholesterolemia.
– Intake of fruits and vegetables provides necessary antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These help to neutralize the oxidative stress in the body and avoid damages to DNA, ageing.
– Regular detox through green and herbal teas helps to maintain the balance in the body. Spa and Ayurveda therapies like body massages, shirodhara, chooran svedanam help to relax the body and mind. Lymphatic drainage therapy is also helpful to cleanse channels and get rid of toxins from the lymphatic system.