Definition of Cancer
Cancer is a disease that occurs due to the growth of abnormal cells that become uncontrolled, causing normal body tissue to become damaged (webmd.com). Basically, the body is made up of trillions of cells scattered throughout every organ and part of it. Later, these cells will continue to grow, divide and transform into new cells. Because these body cells need to be replaced, naturally old cells will die and be replaced with new cells.
Meanwhile, cancer cells will not die by themselves. These cells will reproduce themselves into an uncontrollable number. These abnormal cell changes can trigger the appearance of cancer cells. This disease can appear in any part of the body because it comes from cells in the body. This is what answers the question why there are so many types of cancer. reports and research that experts researched turns out that there are more than 200 different types of cancer.
Causes of Cancer
The main cause of cancer is the occurrence of changes (mutations) in genes in cells. It contains thousands of DNA in genes that provide instructions for cells to carry out their functions in the organs in which these cells live. However, the process is not always perfect. When cell division occurs, there is a risk that the new cells from that division will contain defective genes or have too many replications. This is called a gene mutation, characterized by a change in the structure of the gene.
Usually, a new gene mutation will have the potential to cause cancer if it occurs more than five times and involves different genes. This process can take up to years until these cells divide and form large enough cancer cells. Only then do the symptoms begin to appear and cancer cells appear when the body is examined. However, in children, genetic damage has occurred since in the womb or from birth.
In general, there are two factors that cause cancer that most often occur, namely internal factors (such as heredity) and external factors (for example, hormonal changes, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, exposure to sun radiation, viruses, and other chemicals. ).
- An unusual lump appears;
- Changes to the skin;
- Lymph node problems;
- Weight loss without cause;
- Prolonged cough or shortness of breath;
- The emergence of pain without cause; and
- Bleeding is not normal.
If you experience any of the signs or symptoms of cancer mentioned above, or have any questions about the symptoms of this disease, it’s best to talk to your doctor immediately.
Diagnosis of cancer should be done as soon as possible so that treatment can be done. This is of course so that the chances of the sufferer recover are higher, especially in the early stages. In addition, there are one or more approaches that doctors can use in diagnosing this disease. Diagnoses that can be made include physical examinations, blood tests (laboratory), MRI tests, ultrasound, X-rays, and CT scans (as imaging tests) and also a biopsy.
There are several other ways you can treat cancer at home, namely by making lifestyle changes, such as:
- Quit smoking;
- Eat a healthy diet;
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables;
- Limit processed meat;
- Maintain an ideal body weight, do physical activities actively and healthily such as sports
- Protect yourself from the sun; and
- Get regular medical care.
Treatment of cancer depends on the type and stage of the disease, the potential side effects, and the patient’s general health and preferences. In general, here are the most common cancer treatments:
Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses high-intensity chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in the body. This method is most often used as a method of treating cancer, because these disease cells develop faster than normal cells in the body. Chemotherapy drugs can be used alone or in combination as cancer drugs. Chemotherapy is an effective way to treat many types of these diseases, but it has a risk of side effects that you should also be aware of.
Radiotherapy is a cancer treatment method that relies on radiation using high-energy waves, such as X-rays, gamma, protons, and electrons to kill cancers cells. Although radiotherapy is the most common method of treating cancers, sometimes this therapy is also used to treat patients who are not affected by this disease, such as tumors and disorders of the thyroid gland.
3. Targeted therapy
Target therapy is a therapeutic method for treating cancers by using drugs or other chemicals to identify and attack cancer cells specifically without killing normal cells. These therapies include monoclonal antibodies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors.