The uncontrolled division and growth of the abnormal cell in the body differing from the normal cells are the cancer cells. This unrestricted growth of the cells targets the immune system by weakening it, secondly it leads to severe tumors and other fatal impairment.
There are numerous types of cancers that can occur inn any part of the body, the division and growth can be at faster rate or can be slow. Few of the tumors are visible while others like leukemia are not.
Naturally our body has the potential to replace old cells with the new one after the certain period of time, or when it is required. This process is done by the process known as apoptosis. This phenomenon is advantageous and natural and so it does not cause harm to other cells and our body too. However, in case of the cancer, the cancerous cells does not have the characteristic of the natural death phenomenon and so the new cells keeps on adding using the nutrients and oxygen of the body.
These cells weakens the immune system, forms the tumor and harm the body in some or the other way, and changing the usual functioning of the body. Cancerous cells does not stay at specific area,rather the abnormal cell spreads quickly via the lymph nodes.
Mutations or the changes in the DNA of the cell is the main cause of the cancer. This mutations is inherited and therefore they can occur even after the birth due to environmental forces.
- There are numbers of external causes also for the cancers cells to grow, but few of them are
- Exposure to radiations and ultraviolet (UV) light.
- Pollution ( air, water, etc.)
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Smoking, asbestos
- Poor nutrition
- Over body weight
- Consumption of the alcohol.
- Biological carcinogens agents like virus, parasites and bacteria.
Symptoms of the person having cancer
- lumps or cyst or growth on the body.
- tiredness and fatigue
- night sweats
- changes in the skin
- unexplained weight loss
- digestion issues.
Different types of cancers may often vary in their warning signs and if one is experiencing such undefined symptoms you can contact to the doctor.
According the National Cancer Institute, there are around 100 types of cancer, these are named as per the area where they begin to develop and spread, for instance if a cancerous cell grows in lungs and spreads in other part of the body like liver, it will still known as the lung cancer. For naming few of the cancers, some clinical terms are used like:
Sarcoma is used cancer of connective tissues like muscles, bones, cartilage and blood vessels.
Myeloma and Lymphoma are the types of the cancers affecting the immune system.
Carcinoma is the type of cancer that grows beneath the skin or tissues lining the organs.
Other types are:
- Breast cancer
- Prostrate cancer
- Colon and rectal
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Characteristics of Cancer cells
Following are significant features of cancer cells and how they differ from the normal cells:
Cell growth: Normal cell has a life-span of specific time, which means it develops in the body through cell division, perform its role and when it becomes old or damaged it is been destroyed. This is known as programmed cell death or apoptosis. However, the cancerous cells lack this property and its keeps on dividing and growing, therefore the number of these harmful cell increase in the body.
Potential to attack nearby tissues: Normal cells works in a coordinate manner with their neighbouring cells, to make the body work smoothly. Whereas, cancer cell fails to respond to any signals given by the body and keeps on extending and invading nearby tissues.
Metastasis: Normal cell have an feature, where the adhesion molecule makes them stick to nearby cell cells. But in case of the cancerous cells, it is opposite where they do not adhere at one place and float freely to other parts of the body by the lymphatic system or bloodstream. For instance, when the lung cancer cell may travel to the lymph node, liver, bones and may harm that area.
Immortality: As discussed earlier, normal cell have a specific life-span, where they originate, grow, work, and die. Cancer cell, in contrast has a feature of defending death. They have figured out the a way to overcome the cell death by restoring their telomeres, that never get shorten and thus makes them alive. As in the normal cell, shortening of the telomeres ( structure present in the chromosome of a cell) is responsible for the cell death.
The two crucial features which are metastasis and invasion of the nearby cells, makes the cancerous cell to grow and develop. They even absorb nutrients and energy from the normal cell and thus weakening them in every way.
As per the World Heath Organization (WHO) cancer is one of the leading disease casing death of the humans, that counts 1 in 6 deaths in 2020. Although, continuous research is going out to find the solutions to this life-threatening invader found in the body.