According to the World Health Organization, there will be an estimated 21 million new cases of cancer in the world this year. Unfortunately, that means one in every six people will develop some form of the disease at some point in their life. The good news is we are making progress with survival rates increasing and more people surviving than ever before. This is due to people becoming more aware, research into better treatments, and early detection programs which have increased our understanding of this terrible disease. Cancer is not one specific disease but rather a general category of diseases where abnormal cells divide and grow uncontrollably. There are many different types of cancer, all with different causes, risk factors, signs and symptoms and treatment strategies. In fact there are over 200 known types of cancer that affect humans in various ways. You might think that’s a lot but scientists believe there could be as many as 1,000 types!
What Is the Cause of Cancer?
There is no one specific cause of cancer but people can increase their risk of developing a certain type of cancer if they are exposed to certain risk factors. Scientists believe the most likely causes of cancer are genetic mutations, environmental factors, and poor lifestyle choices. Poor lifestyle choices include behaviours like smoking, poor diet, and not getting enough exercise. It’s important to note that some people are simply more likely to develop certain types of cancer no matter how careful they are. You are at increased risk if you have a family history of cancer, are overweight or obese, or have a weakened immune system. And if you already have one form of cancer, it’s likely you’ll also develop another type eventually.
Risk Factors for Cancer
People who have a family history of certain types of cancer are at a higher risk. This can be due to genetic mutations that passed down through the generations so they are more likely to develop the same type of cancer. You can also increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer by making bad lifestyle choices. If you smoke, are overweight or obese, don’t exercise, or eat a poor diet, you may be at a higher risk of developing an aggressive form of cancer. The following are risk factors for cancer: – Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to develop cancer simply due to ageing. More than half of all cancers affect people 50 and older. – Gender: Women are more likely to develop certain types of cancer, including breast, cervical, ovarian, uterine, and colorectal cancers. – Genes: Some cancers are hereditary and linked to specific genes. If you have a family history of certain types of cancer, you may be more likely to develop them yourself. – Weight: Obesity and being overweight are risk factors for many types of cancer, including esophageal, colorectal, pancreatic, endometrial, breast, and liver. – Smoking and drinking: Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of developing lung cancer, throat cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
Symptoms of Cancer
The earlier you catch cancer and start treatment, the better your chances of beating it. Early signs of cancer usually include fatigue, weight loss, and changes in bowel or bladder habits. If you experience any of these, see your doctor as soon as possible. Some of the most common symptoms of cancer include a persistent cough, leg or arm swelling, and a change in the color of a mole or a skin lesion. Unfortunately, not all cancers have clear symptoms at first so it’s important to get checked out for anything that’s unusual for you.
How Can I Fight Cancer?
If you experience any unusual symptoms you should get checked out by your doctor. Early detection increases your chance of survival and successful treatment. To reduce your risk of developing cancer, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet, and avoid harmful habits like smoking. If you have a family history of certain cancers, you can take extra precautions like getting more frequent cancer screenings. You can also be a part of research and help scientists find better, more effective treatments for cancer. You can also educate yourself on cancer and help spread the word about initiatives like Movember and Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer is a terrible disease that affects millions of people each year. But by taking care of your body and reducing your risk, you can fight it off before it even has the chance to develop.