Cancer is a disease that causes uncontrolled division of the cell in a particular/ specific part of the body. It is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy other body tissues. In contrast with Benign tumors, cancer cells are life-threatening. Furthermore, possible signs and symptoms of cancer include abnormal bleeding, lump, prolonged cough, unexplainable weight loss, change in bowel syndrome, etc. There are over 100 types of cancer that affect humans worldwide.
So what makes cancer a life-threatening disease?
Under normal conditions, our body’s systems detect any abnormal cell growth and try to destroy them. However, Cancer cells, on the other hand, are genetically mutated cells that have or form the ability to hack the body’s “normal” functions somehow. Moreover, the fact that makes these cancerous cells challenging to cure is that they sometimes can perform genetic mutations and develop resistance against the techniques used to treat them. Additionally, cancer cells can produce ‘Unique Sub-clones’ and make it difficult to cure as one treatment method may kill one type of sub-clone but not the other one.
How is it different from the usual (Benign) tumors?
Cancer is a disease that spread to other parts of the body, infecting, and weakening the whole body. Benign tumors, on the other hand, are harmless accumulation/ mass of cells that cannot invade nearing tissues or metastasize- spread to other body parts. Also, benign tumors, when removed, does not grow back, unlike malignant tumors (cancer). However, tumors do not invade nearing tissues, but they have various adverse health effects. They sometimes cause the “mass effect” in the body that may compress tissues causing tissue death, organ damage, nerve damage, or reduce blood flow to a specific part of the body. The health effects because of the tumor become more prominent if they are present within the respiratory tract, sinus, or bones. Although benign tumors mostly are not deadly, benign brain tumors can be life-threatening. They are mostly treated through surgeries by removing the cellular mass from the body.
Is there any cure for cancer?
The best way to cure cancer is to diagnose it in its early stages. Also, as cancers are caused due to unbalanced diets, unmanaged weight, and stress, it can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet-health and mental health balance. Moreover, there are various ways by which cancer in a patient is managed namely;
Excerpt from our discussion with Sr. Radiation Oncologist Dr Manoj Kumar Sharma. Dr Manoj Shrama holds exceptional expertise in Oncology with a fellowship in proton therapy from New Jersey. He was recently awarded by CNN News 18 CME Award for oncology excellence from Shri Ashwani Kumar Choubey (Mininster of starte for Health & Family Welfare Govt If India)