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Cancer Overview

Cancer biology, also known as oncology, involves the study of tumours with potential to become malignant growths.  This is essentially a group of diseases with anomalous cell development and the possibility to spread to different places in the body. These appear differently from benign tumours, which don’t spread. More than 100 distinct malignant growths are possible resulting in a multitude of diseases commonly known as cancer.

Tobacco use is the reason for about 22% of cancer related deaths. Another 10% are because of weight, poor eating routine, absence of exercise or extreme drinking of liquor.  Usually numerous genetic changes to the cell are required before disease occurs. Around 5–10% of tumours can be attributed to heredity.  In general, genetics can predispose an individual to cancer, but it’s usually a poor-quality environment and unhealthy lifestyles that will ultimately act as a trigger for cancer. Malignancy can be recognized by specific signs and indications or screening tests. It is then normally further examined by clinical imaging and confirmed by biopsy.

The danger of building up specific tumours can be decreased by not smoking, keeping up a reasonable weight, not drinking an excessive amount of liquor, eating a lot of vegetables, leafy foods, grains, not eating much processed and red meat and avoiding overexposure to sunlight. Early identification through screening is valuable for best treatment results in most cancers. Malignancy is often treated by combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and targeted therapy such as immunotherapy.  Palliative consideration is important in individuals with end stage disease.

In 2015, approximately 90 million individuals were diagnosed with cancer. Since 2019, approximately 18 million new cases occur yearly. Mortality of cancer is approximately 9 million people annually.  Cancers which are most common in males include lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer. In females, cancers which are most common include lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer.  Rates of cancer occurrence and mortality are increasing as more people live to an older age and as a result of lifestyle changes.  Vulnerability to cancer later in life can often be a result of lifestyle choices made by the individual throughout their lives. 

References:

National Institute of Health

Statistics Canada

Medline Plus

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