Find Out What Causes Cancer

dnaCancer is a major killer in the world’s population. In the U.S alone, an average of 1,600 people die from cancer everyday. Just what is cancer caused by, and what can be done to minimize this risk? Cancer is not just one disease. It is a group of diseases that stems from abnormal cell growth that is uncontrollable. Cells that are damaged divide without control and form tumors that can spread quickly over the afflicted region. They destroy the healthy cells around them.

When cancer is found in the blood, the cancer cells spread and interfere with the function of the normal blood cells. When the body tissues do not receive enough supply of healthy blood, they die off. Internal organs fail and result in death of the individual. There are more than one hundred different kinds of cancer. Each type is classified by the type of cell that is afflicted. Different types of cancer can be caused by different things.

Some cancers are genetic. A person can be born with cells that have genetic mutation. This does not necessarily mean that the individual will develop cancer. However, statistically speaking, the existence of the mutation makes the person predisposed to developing the cancer. Cancer of the breasts and ovaries is one example. Colorectal cancer is another type that can run in the family. Genetic testing can be done to find out if a family member is predisposed to these types of cancers.

Prolonged overexposure to the sun’s UV radiation can bring about skin cancer. Among cancers, this is the most common one. Skin cancer can be melanomas or non-melanomas. Both can be treated effectively if found and treated early enough. You can minimize your risk of developing skin cancer by applying a broad-spectrum sun block before you go out everyday.

Smoking can lead to cancer of the lungs and other internal organs. Lung cancer is hard to treat once it is diagnosed. Tobacco smoke contains more than seven thousand chemicals, many of which are carcinogens. Examples of these are cyanide, formaldehyde, benzene and methanol, all known poisons.

A person’s lifestyle can contribute to causing cancer. Obesity leads to a whole gamut of health problems. In the U.S., one in three cancer deaths is connected to obesity, lack of physical activity, and poor nutrition. Although it may not be the direct cause, an unhealthy lifestyle does raise the risk of cancer development and can increase the rate of the cancer spreading.

Exposure to environmental carcinogens causes many types of cancer. These carcinogens can be found in the workplace and in the home. Chemicals in cleaning agents and hair dyes, paints, and asbestos are just a few of the common carcinogens that can be found in the home and at the workplace. Air can be polluted by second-hand smoke and car exhaust. Regular exposure to these can raise the risk of cancer development.

Some cancers are unpreventable, especially the ones that are genetic. However, when you have a better idea of what is cancer caused by, you can minimize your risk by avoiding exposure to carcinogens and leading a healthier lifestyle.

The History Of Cancer

Paper and technologyA history of cancer usually includes the history of different treatments that finally evolved into the modern science of oncology, which is the name for the branch of medicine that is dedicated to the treatment of this dread disease.

The word cancer comes from the way that a malignant tumor looks. The veins get stretched and it reminds people of crab feet. Cancer is the Zodiac sign for the crab.

The Earliest Documentation Of Cancer

The earliest history of cancer known today comes from the writings of Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians. There is actually documentation of attempts to cut off cancer cells by the Egyptian doctors over 3,500 years ago. The process consisted of cutting off visible tumors and cauterizing the wound with fire. However, documents do say that there was no real treatment to cure the disease. Perhaps this was done to provide comfort to the sufferer, but it must have been painful.

Hippocrates lived around 400 BC, and he described several different types of cancer. He described them with terms that include crab and crayfish. However, in his day, the Greeks did not believe in opening up the body, and this was true even for people who had already died Because of this, his descriptions only include tumors that were visible on the outside. His surviving drawings represent the appearance of these tumors on or just under the skin where they could be seen.

In those early days, treatment was still based upon the idea that the body had for fluid. These were two different kinds of bile, blood, and phlegm. Thus, the treatment consisted of laxatives, dietary changes, and blood letting.

Cancer Treatment In The 16th To 19 Century

It wasn’t until the 16th century that doctors began to dissect bodies. That way, they discovered internal cancers that could cause illness and death. These doctors had all sorts of theories about the causes of cancer. These were based upon the knowledge they had at the time, and some were surprisingly intuitive, but others were pretty outlandish.

One of the first real discoveries of the cause of cancer was made in 1775. A British surgeon realized that chimney sweeps tended to suffer from scrotum cancer more frequently than others. In the 18th century, the more widespread use of microscopes helped scientists and doctors get a better idea of the appearance of cancers in cells.

Still, they thought that cancer was caused by a type of poison that spread through the body. In a way, these early cancer doctors were right because some cancers are caused by exposure to carcinogens, as in the case of the chimney sweeps in England.

In the early years of cancer surgery, the results were very poor. However, this may have been because of poor surgical hygiene more than anything else. However, by the 19th century, surgeons began to understand how hygiene improved survival rates because it helped reduce the high risk of infections.

The 20th Century And Beyond

The American Cancer Society was founded in the early part of the 20th century by a group of doctors and business people. This body helped doctors and scientists pool their knowledge to make greater progress and dispel the myths about cancer treatment.