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Types of Cancer and risk factors? How cancer arises & spread? Types of Cancer Treatment?

Question by Khushboo Gupta On 22 February 2021, 11:05:54

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Answer by Khushboo Gupta On 22 February 2021, 11:52:06

 The most common disease which takes hundred & thousands of lives every year is the CANCER .

When our body cells (structural unit of life) starts growing abnormally is Cancer. Human body is made up of trillions of cells, so, It can almost start anywhere in the human body. Normally when cells grow & become old, they die & new cells takes their place. But during cancer this process breaks down & the old cells will survive & new cells will form when they are not needed, these extra cells can divide without stopping & form growths which is called TUMORS (related to mass).

There are three types of tumors

  • Benign Tumor :- They cannot spread or grow.  They are not cancerous.
  • Premalignant Tumor:- They are not yet cancerous but they can become malignant.
  • Malignant Tumor :- They are cancerous.

Difference between Cancer cells & Normal cells :-

  • Normal cells are the body’s basic building blocks & they have specific characteristics to maintain correct functioning of Tissues & Organs. Normal cells matured differently with their specific functions whereas cancer cells cannot.
  • Normally the cells receive the signals to stop dividing or Apoptosis (Programmed cell death), to get rid of unneeded cells. Which cancer cells ignores.

How cancer arises & spread :-

Cancer is a genetic disease which is caused by the changes in the DNA (genetic material of our body). We can get these changes from our parents or they can also arise during a lifetime of a person due to some environmental or outside exposure like tobacco,  smoke, & radiation such as UV rays from the sun.

In general cancer cells have more genetic changes (mutations in DNA) than normal cells.

These genetic changes can affect three types of genes – Proto-oncogenes , Tumor suppressor genes & DNA Repair genes.

Proto-oncogenes helps in normal cell growth and division. However, when there is any change in these genes they can become cancer causing genes (or oncogenes), allowing cells to grow and survive when they should not.

Tumor suppressor genes also helps in controlling cell growth and division. Cells with some changes in tumor suppressor genes may divide in an uncontrolled manner.

DNA repair genes helps in fixing damaged DNA. Cells with changes in these genes can add to the changes in the other genes. Together, these mutations may cause the cells to become cancerous.

When the cancer cells break away & start spreading in the body with the help of blood or lymph system & form new tumors, this process is called Metastasis (Metastatic cancer).

Types of cancer :-

There are more than 100 types of cancer. They are usually named after the organs or tissue where the cancer has been formed. The most common types of cancers are:-

  • LUNG CANCER:- This cancer begins in lungs & the most common cause of deaths among men & women.  It is caused by exposure to certain toxins, smoking etc.

The person with lung cancer have symptoms like coughing (with blood), chest pain, wheezing (breathing with whistling sound in the chest) etc.

  • SKIN CANCER:- It means abnormal growth of skin cells & This cancer is the most common. It is caused by exposure to sun.

The person with lung cancer have symptoms like red patches on the skin, unusual growth etc.


  • BREAST CANCER:- It is the most common in women but It can also occur in men . It can be caused by inherited mutations.

It shows symptoms like lump in the breast, changes in the shape & texture of the nipple or breast.


  • LIVER CANCER:- It begins in the cells of liver (hepatocytes) . Liver is the largest internal organ of the body. Having hepatitis, cirrhosis, heavy alcohol use can cause liver cancer. 

It shows symptoms like weight loss , yellowish skin (jaundice), vomiting etc.


  • KIDNEY (RENAL CELL) CANCER :- In this the cancer cells occur in lining of tubules  (very small tubes – which filters & cleans the blood ). smoking, obesity, & misuse of certain medicines etc.  are some of the causes of this cancer.

It shows symptoms like blood in the urine, lump in the abdomen, fatigue, loss of appetite etc.


  •  LEUKEMIA :- It is caused by rise in the number of white blood cells (WBCs). It is most common in children younger than 15.


Risk factors for Cancer are:-

  • Age
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Hormones
  • Radiation
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Infectious agent
  • Chronic inflammation


Types of cancer treatment are:-

  1. SURGERY :- It simply means removing the cancer cells by cutting part of your body by a sharp tool or a knife.

Surgery can be without cuts like -   ​​

  1. CRYOSURGERY (extreme cold produced by liquid nitrogen to destroy abnormal tissue)
  2. LASERS (beam of light use to cut through tissue)

Surgery can be of two types:-

  • Open surgery (one large cut)
  • Minimally invasive surgery ( few small cuts)


  1. RADIATION THERAPY/ RADIOTHERAPY :- It means killing the cancer cells with very high doses of radiation.

Radiation therapy is oftwo types :-

  • Internal radiation therapy – In this a source of radiation (can be solid or liquid) is put inside the body.
  • External beam radiation therapy -  In this the radiation is coming from a large machine outside.


  1. CHEMOTHERAPY :- It uses drugs to kill the cancer cells. It not only kills the fast growing cancer cells but it may harm the healthy cells also.

It can be given in many ways:-

  • Oral
  • Injection
  • Intravenous
  • Intra-arterial
  • Topical
  • Intrathecal

 As scientists & researchers are doing efforts to kneel down this disease there are lots of Recent developments in cancer treatment :-

  1. GENE SILENCING USING SILENCER OR SMALL INTERFACE RNA (SiRNA) :-After removing the cancer cells using above treatments, if a regulatory gene called silencer or small interface RNA is added which silences the oncogene & thereby stops further growth of cancer cells.


  1. CRISPR-cas9 IN CANCER TREATMENT :-  CSRISPR-cas9 is a gene editing tool to edit the gene of a DNA. CRISPR tool consists of a guided RNA & DNA cutting enzyme tool (cas9) .


  1. NANO TECHNOLOGY IN CANCER TREATMENT :- It means designing the nanoparticles  in such a shape that they can bind specifically to the unique receptor (found only in cancer cells) of cancer cells.


  1. IMMUNOTHERAPY FOR CANCER  :- It helps the immune system to fight the cancer. It increases the ability of T-CELLS to fight the cancer.


  1. MANGENTIC HYPERTHERMIA- MEDIATED CANCER THEAPY :- It is non invasive cancer treatment technique which is based upon heating the tumor tissues using nanoparticles. 


As cancer is not the single diseases, it is a class of diseases which can occur in anyone irrespective of their age. So, there may be chances that single treatment is not fully effective  combination of treatments can be done & it is necessary that joint efforts of all the countries are made to do more & more research & development in the cancer related treatments.

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