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Why do people get cancer?

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Last Updated on by Noni May

Do you know cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide? Nearly one in every six deaths is caused due to cancer. Though this disease has been around since ancient times, it seems that more and more people are getting it these days. Why this? Doctors at the best cancer hospital in Ahmedabad say that there is no one single cause of cancer. 

It is caused by the interaction of many factors that include lifestyle, genetic disorder, environmental, and more. However, cancer is curable if detected early and treated effectively. 

Cancer develops as a result of mutations in the genes of your cells. Genes are made of DNA and control everything cells do. 

When cells grow, when they divide into new cells, and when they die, all these things are decided by genes only. So any changes made in genes can cause cells to grow out of control, which sometimes leads to cancer. 

Over 90 percent of cancers observed globally have shown some genetic alteration. These alterations are either inherited or sporadic, occurring by chance or due to environmental exposures (usually over many years). 

Five common reasons why cancer occur

Physical and chemical agents

  1. Materials: As discussed, cancer is caused by genes alteration. Sometimes the genetic changes occur naturally during cell division, while others result from exposure to cancer-causing substances (carcinogen) like asbestos, arsenic, benzene, chromium, cadmium. 

Beryllium, Plutonium, crystalline silica, nickel, etc. These are the most common cancer-causing agents to which most industry workers are exposed. 

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  1. Smoking: Tobacco smoking is the cause of cancer in the lung, neck, head, esophagus, and even in the bladder, stomach, pancreas, and kidney. Surprisingly, fifty known carcinogens are present in tobacco smoke. 

Lifestyle

  1. Diet: Many studies claim that specific dietary components are associated with increased cancer risk. For example, it is said that people who eat red meat or processed meat are at a higher risk of developing specific cancers (breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, or prostate cancer).
  2. Alcohol: Alcohol is a chemical carcinogen and another most common cause of cancer worldwide. Consuming heavy or regular alcohol increases your risk of developing oral cavity cancers, larynx (voice box), pharynx (voice box). However, the risk you have depends on the amount of alcohol you consume regularly. 
  3. Obesity: Abnormal levels of metabolic proteins and sex hormones in obese people may contribute to the development of this deadly disease. For this reason, obesity is associated with colon cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, post-menopausal breast cancer, and esophageal cancer.

Radiation

  1. Non-ionizing radiation: According to WHO, non-ionizing radiofrequency radiation from electric power transmission, mobile phones, and other similar sources can be described as carcinogens.
  2. Ionizing radiation: Ionizing radiation, including radon, x-rays, gamma rays, ultraviolet rays, and other high-energy radiations, have enough energy to damage the genes and cause cancer.

Infection and inflammation

  1. Viruses: Human papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Human T-cell leukemia virus-1, Epstein-Barr virus are cancer-causing viruses and hence are called oncovirus. These viruses can also be transmitted from one person to another via blood or other body fluid.
  2. Bacteria and parasites: Certain bacterial and parasitic infections also increase cancer risk. Mycobacterium M. tuberculosis, liver flukes, Clonorchis Sinensis, Schistosoma haematobium, are a few examples of cancer-causing bacterias and parasites.

Hormones

Estrogens (female sex hormones) are known human carcinogens. Although these hormones play essential physiological roles in both males and females, they have been associated with certain cancers like breast cancer and endometrial cancer in females.

Every type of cancer requires a specific treatment regimen. Hence it is crucial to approach the best cancer hospital in Ahmedabad for the correct cancer diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Cancer treatments usually include radiotherapy, surgery, and/ or systematic therapy like chemotherapy, hormonal, and targeted biological therapies.

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