Why can cancer cells function in a normal body?
Have you ever wondered why so many people around are found to have cancer? As we grow up, we often hear about worrisome diseases like malaria, jaundice, heart attack but cancer is said to be a disease that happens to only a few.
There has been a sudden increase in cancer cases in recent years, is it due to better, more effective diagnostic methods? So what causes cancer cells to activate in a normal body?
What are cancer cells?
In simple terms, cancer cells are normal cells of the body that have changed into malignancy due to an abnormality inside the body or due to an external factor affecting the body for a long time. . These factors cause irreversible damage or changes in a cell’s normal DNA.
It is more difficult for the body to control these damaged or altered DNA cells than a normal cell. The loss of growth control for these cells leads to the multiplication of abnormal cells, which are diagnosed by doctors as tumors/cancers.
Wesley M Jose, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Oncology & Hematology, Amrita Hospital, Kochi (India) said: “Cancer is caused by both internal and external factors. Common internal factors include: genetic mutations, hormones, immune-related conditions, growth factor over-activation, and genetic changes. Extrinsic factors are lifestyle, smoking, alcohol consumption, chemical exposure, radiation exposure, viral infection, previous medical treatment with cytotoxic/cancer drugs. These factors can act alone or in combination to trigger a normal cell to become malignant.”
Common risk factors
Dr Satyam Taneja, Director of Oncology Surgery, Max Patparganj Hospital, shared that although doctors have found factors that increase the risk of cancer, most cancers occur in people without any disease. any known factors.
Factors that increase the risk of cancer include:
Cancer can take decades to develop. That’s why most people diagnosed with cancer are 65 or older. Although the disease is more common in older adults, cancer isn’t just an adult disease – cancer can be diagnosed at any age.
Certain habits in daily life can increase the risk of cancer such as smoking, drinking more than one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, overexposure to sun exposure or frequent blistering sunburns, obesity, and unprotected sex.
You can change these habits to reduce your risk of cancer.
Your family history
Only a small fraction of cancer cases are caused by an inherited condition. If cancer runs in your family, it’s possible that mutations are being passed on from generation to generation. So you can get tested to see if you have inherited mutations that can increase your risk of certain cancers. Remember that having an inherited gene mutation does not mean you will get cancer.
Status health yours
Certain chronic health conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, can significantly increase your risk of developing certain cancers. So talk to your doctor about your risk.
The surrounding environment contains harmful chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer. For example, if you don’t smoke, you can still breathe in secondhand smoke when you go to a place where someone is smoking or if you live with a smoker.
Chemicals in your home or workplace, such as asbestos and benzene, have also been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
According to Dr Satyam Taneja, Director of Oncology Surgery, Max Patparganj Hospital, the genetic mutations you are born with and the genetic mutations you acquire throughout your life combine to cause cancer.
Gene mutations can happen for a number of reasons, such as a mutation in the gene you were born with. You may be born with a genetic mutation that you inherited from your parents. This type of mutation accounts for a small percentage of cancers.
Gene mutations occur after birth. Most gene mutations happen after you’re born and are not inherited. Several factors can cause gene mutations, such as smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation, and inactivity.
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