Cancer is a collection of related diseases causing abnormal cell growth and spreads rapidly to other parts of the body. It can start almost anywhere in the body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally, the body cells grow and divide to form new cells. When the cells grow old, they die and new cells take their place. But in the case of Cancer, the whole process breaks down. Old or damaged cells do not replace the new cells. The cancer cells keep on growing and making new cells and these extra cells can divide without stopping. This causes problems in the part of the body where cancer started.
What causes Cancer?
Cancer develops mainly due to the changes which arise in the DNA within cells. Inside a cell, DNA is packaged into a large number of individual genes. Each of which contains a set of instructions which tells the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to grow and divide. If any error occurs in the instructions, it can cause the cell to stop its normal function and ultimately it leads to cancer.
10 Early Warning Signs of Cancer
Cancer often has no specific symptoms. It is unfortunate, that maximum symptoms of cancer can be explained by a harmless condition. So it is important that people limit their risk factors and undergo appropriate cancer therapy. If certain symptoms occur, then you should immediately go through a doctor for further evaluation. Some common early signs of cancer that may occur are as follows -
1. A persistent cough or blood in a cough:
Persistent painful cough or blood in a cough is the usual symptoms of cancer of the lung, head, and neck. Coughing that lasts longer than 1-2 weeks may be much more than a cold.
2. Change in bowel habits:
Normally changes in bowel habits are related to the quantity of solid and liquid food intake. If you feel that your bowel movements aren’t normal or your stool appears somewhat deformed and it lasts more than a few days, then it may be the sign of colon cancer.
3. Lump beneath the skin:
If anyone feels a lump beneath their skin in some parts of the body mainly breast, testicle, lymph nodes or any soft tissues in the body, then they should immediately go through the doctor, because it may be the early sign of cancer.
4. Unexpected body loss:
This is another early sign of cancer. Unexplained weight loss means you lose your weight more than 10 pounds for no known reason. It happens due to cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus or lung.
5. Persistent unexplained pain:
Persistent unexplained pain is an early symptom of cancer of bone or testicle. If a headache does not get better with treatment, it may be a sign of a brain tumor. Pain in the back can be a symptom of cancer of the colon, rectum, or ovary.
6. Sores that do not heal:
A sore in the mouth that does not heal for a long time, could be a sign of oral cancer. This type of cancer naturally happens in those, who smoke, chew tobacco, or often drink alcohol.
7. Unusual bleeding:
An abnormal bleeding can be a major sign of cancer. Bleeding from vagina or blood in urine may be the sign of cervix cancer or kidney cancer respectively.
Fatigue means extreme tiredness that doesn’t get better with rest. It may be an important symptom as cancer grows. But it may happen only in early stages of some cancers, like leukemia.
9. Itchy Skin:
The body acts as bacteria to treat cancer. The body immune system protects our body through fighting by using white blood cells to attempt to destroy it. It increases blood flow in cancer affected area, appears red & gives the feeling of itching.
10. Wounds that don’t heal:
This is one of the common symptoms of an early stage of cancer. If you notice that a wound or any another skin injury is taking a long time to heal, it could be a sign that cancer is growing in your body.
Stages of cancer:
It is very important to know the various stages of cancer because doctors use stages of cancer to determine and describe the severity of your particular case. By knowing the stages of cancer found in your body, doctors can formulate the effective treatment plan.
There are 5 stages of cancer –
Stage 0: It means the cancer is in one place.
Stage 1: It means a small tumor spread to nearby tissue.
Stage 2: It means the tumor is larger and may have spread.
Stage 3: It means cancer may have started to spread to surrounding tissue or lymph nodes in the area.
Stage 4: It means it has spread to other organs or areas of the body.
But you should not worry, because nowadays the treatment of cancer is much advanced than earlier. There are many therapies developed for curing the early stages of cancer, such as Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Targeted Therapy, Hormone Therapy and Stem cell Transplant.
There are various hospitals present in North Bengal where the treatment of cancer has happened more accurately & conveniently. Cancer treatment by Dr. Saptarshi Ghosh M.D. RADIATION ONCOLOGY (Gold Medalist) in Siliguri hospital is one of the most popular treatments in North Bengal.
Q. Are chemicals and pollutants causing cancer?
A. Yes, in special cases, prolonged exposure to a few chemicals may cause certain rare kinds of cancers.
Q. Do we get cancer from what we eat?
A. The answer to this question is both yes and no. The high-fat, low-fiber diet common in developed countries may play a role in about a third of all cancers. However, there are no toxins or chemicals in modern foods that are proved to cause cancer.
Q. Can stress cause cancer?
A. Researchers have done many studies to see if there’s a link between stress and cancer. And as per their research, there is no scientific evidence of that, where stress increases cancer risk.