Life Threatening Disease of Cancer

Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases known to man. In fact it is not a disease; rather it is a group of diseases. The deadliness of this disease can be notified by the fact that cancer caused 13% of all the human deaths in 2007. It is characterized by the explosive growth of a group of cells which forms a tumor. These abnormal growths intrude and destroy the tissues which lie near to it. They can also reach other parts of the body through bloodstream or lymph vessels. The last property is true to some cancers not all. The branch of medicine which deals with this disease is called oncology.

Life Threatening Disease of Cancer

Cancer is known to be caused by abnormality in the genetic material of cells. The genetic material or DNA is affected by different factors which ultimately cause this disease. Carcinogens are the external factors. Carcinogens include chemicals, smoke emitted by burning tobacco, agents which can cause infections and radiation. Internal factors include faulty DNA replication or inherited genetic abnormalities. Usually two classes of genes are affected by the disease. Cancer promoting genes are activated which gives the cells properties such as abnormal growth and disorientation from tissue structure. Tumor suppressor genes are deactivated which results in the loss of normal function of the cells which includes exact DNA replication and following a cycle.

Cancer can be diagnosed by many ways. Detecting the disease can be like spotting a lump but diagnosing is different. The disease can be diagnosed by visualization of abnormal masses using advanced machinery such as MRI and CT scan, blood test, tumor marker tests, laboratory evaluation of the DNA to see if it has an abnormality in its genetic structure etc. The treatment is there but the effectiveness of it depends on the stage of the disease the patient is in, the type of the disease and the extent of the disease. Treatment includes radiotherapy, chemotherapy and radiology. There has been much advancement in making the treatment more specific. New drugs target the tumors with more focus and therefore minimize the damage to functionally normal cells.

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