What is Cancer? General Information About Cancer

Cancer is the uncontrolled proliferation of cells in an organ or tissue. Cancer can develop from almost any organ and tissue. Although there are many different types of cancer, they all start with the out-of-control proliferation of abnormal cells.
Although the exact cause of cancer is unknown, there are factors that increase the risk of developing cancer. These risk factors can be divided into modifiable and non-modifiable factors. The non-modifiable factors are age, gender, and family history. Modifiable factors are environmental factors. Environmental factors such as ultraviolet, different chemical agents, cigarettes, some foods, radiation and viruses usually cause cell deterioration. While the cause of the deterioration of the cell’s structure is approximately 90% environmental factors, only 10% depends on genetic factors.
Cancer starts from a single cell. That single cell;
• degenerate first,
• then dividing and multiplying indefinitely,
• bypassing the immune system,
• then mass building,
• spread to surrounding tissues,
• reaching distant organs
• and eventually life-threatening with organ failure
Except for muscle and nerve cells, normal cells in the body have the ability to divide. The ability to divide is a physiological mechanism that enables the healing of wounds and the regeneration of dead or damaged cells. However, this is not unlimited, the number of divisions of each normal cell is predetermined, and the time when each cell will die is also predetermined. Cells that have completed their life or function die programmed (apaotosis). Normal cells do not have the ability to divide and reproduce indefinitely. The disappearance of this brake system is a factor that paves the way for cancer. Cancer cells that divide and multiply uncontrollably form masses called tumors that can reach large sizes. These uncontrollably growing masses can suppress the surrounding normal tissues and organs, invade (invade) and disrupt their functions. In addition, after reaching a certain size, they can enter the lymph or blood circulation, go to distant parts of the body, form new tumor colonies in these areas and continue to grow (metastasis). However, not every tumor is cancer, there are also benign tumors formed by benign cells. The most important difference of these from cancer is that they do not spread to other parts of the body, that is, they do not metastasize.
Our immune system constantly finds and destroys degenerating cells. Tumor cells produce certain chemical signals to overcome the immune system. In this way, they can also overcome the immune system barrier.
Although there are many different types of cancer that can develop from almost any organ and tissue, breast cancer is the most common cancer in general, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers. Prostate, lung and colon cancers follow. However, the most common type of cancer differs between men and women. The frequency of cancer may differ according to geographical regions and race. Lung cancer is the leading cause of breast cancer in women both in our country and in the USA. In men, lung and prostate cancers are most common.
There may be different signs and symptoms depending on the region and organ where the cancer develops, as well as general signs and symptoms that can be seen in all cancers:
Unexplained weight loss, weakness, easy fatigue, severe pain that does not go away, palpable masses, fever, some skin changes are the symptoms that should be warning signs that can be seen in many types of cancer.
In addition, hoarseness, difficulty in swallowing, prolonged coughing, blood in urine, stool and saliva, all kinds of genital bleeding, bloody discharge from the breast are very important symptoms that should be investigated. Apart from these, headaches, dizziness, visual disturbances, persistent abdominal pains, urination difficulties, changes in defecation patterns, all kinds of changes in moles and skin and non-healing wounds, masses that develop in the body, especially in the breast, should be investigated in detail.
Breast cancer, colon cancers, uterine and cervical cancers are cancers that can be detected at an early stage with prostate cancer screening methods and can be effectively treated when caught at an early stage. It is very important to have regular screenings, starting at different times depending on the type of cancer. It is mandatory for people with a family history of these cancers to have regular screening and to apply to a doctor immediately, taking the symptoms seriously.

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