Millions of people are diagnosed with carcinoid cancer each year in the United States. Not only does this illness cause severe emotional and physical distress, but it leads to staggering healthcare costs which are a significant burden to patients, their relatives and the general public. Therefore, a greater emphasis has been placed on prevention, with five key factors that will help lower the prevalence of cancer and the deaths which result from it.
Carcinogenesis Transforms Standard Cells Into Cancerous Cells
Cells are capable of becoming cancerous. They are the smallest bodily units and as such play an important role in the tissues. Every cell is comprised of genes which influence the manner in which the body grows and repairs damage. There are numerous genes which will determine whether or not a cell will divide, perform specialized functions or expire.
During carcinogenesis mutations will occur within the genes, and this can result in a breakdown of the usual cellular controls. Once this happens, the cells will not necessarily die, and fresh cells may be produced at times when the body doesn’t require them. This buildup of additional cells can lead to the formation of a tumor, which is also known as a mass. A tumor will either be malignant or benign. While a benign tumor is usually harmless, a tumor which is malignant is one which will spread to nearby organs and tissues.
Things That Cause Cancer
There are a number of things which will increase one’s risk of developing cancer. The most well-established of these are radiation exposure, infections, frequent use of tobacco products, excessive alcohol consumption, immunosuppressive medications and dietary habits. A lack of physical activity and obesity has also been associated with the development of cancer, as well as risk factors in one’s environment.
Understanding the factors which contribute to cancer’s prevalence is essential in preventing it. Both scientists and medical practitioners are in a constant search of new materials or substances which can cause cancer. One of the most famous examples is asbestos, which although was used in the construction industry for decades, the revelation that it contributed to mesothelioma and lung cancer prompted the passage of laws prohibiting its use. However, it is important to understand that while some risk factors are avoidable, others are not. For instance, it is possible for one to avoid smoking cigarettes, but not possible to alter one’s genes.
Those who are exposed to materials which are radioactive have an increased risk of developing certain cancers. Radioactive sources come in two forms, which is ultraviolet radiation resulting from the sun’s rays, which is known to cause skin cancer, and ionizing radiation which results from things such as X-rays, radon and fluoroscopy.
A growing body of research suggests that ionizing radiation is responsible for cancers of the breasts, thyroid and leukemia. Therefore, patients and their doctors must exercise caution whenever using instruments such as CT scans or X-rays. There are a variety of skin care products which can worn by those vulnerable to UV light to lessen the chances of developing skin cancer when working or playing outdoors.
A link has been found between certain types of infections and cancer. In particular, some viruses and even bacteria have been identified as culprits. The risk of developing cancer from an infection is greater in developing countries than nations which are developed. Specific viruses and bacteria which are known to cause cancer include Hepatitis C and B, the human papillomavirus (HPV), helicobacter pylori bacteria (which has been linked to stomach cancer), and the Epstein Barr virus, which raises one’s risk of developing lymphoma.
A couple of vaccines have been developed to help avoid cancer resulting from infection. They have received approval from the American Food and Drug Administration and while one is designed to protect against Hepatitis B, the other is designed to protect against HPV, which is notorious for its role in the development of cervical cancer.
Obesity And Poor Dietary Choices
The foods which you consume on a daily basis will increase or decrease your risk of developing cancer. A tremendous amount of research has been conducted on diet and its role in cancer prevalence, and there is no doubt that excessive consumption of certain foods and beverages has been linked to a higher incidence of cancer.
Foods which can shield one against cancer include vegetables (non-starchy) and fruit. Any diet which is high in calories, proteins, red meat and fat raises the likelihood of developing colon cancer. Among beverages, alcohol has been identified as the largest contributor of a variety of cancers, most notably that of the liver. A considerable portion of the American population is now obese. A connection has been found between obesity and a number of cancers, including that of the kidneys, colon, breasts, pancreas and esophagus. It is for this reason that it so important to avoid gluttony and eat a diet which is healthy and balanced.
Each day millions of people around the country are exposed to a variety of substances or chemicals, some of which are carcinogens. For instance, a connection has been found between the level of air pollution in certain areas and the higher incidence of cancer. Consuming water which has extensive amounts of arsenic has been found to cause cancers of the lung, skin and bladder.
Research has also been conducted on pesticides and their possible role in cancer risk. Unfortunately, the data collected from this research is currently unclear since there are various factors that may alter the results. One technique that is being developing to prevent cancer resulting from environmental factors is chemoprevention. It involves using certain substances to reduce cancer risk, and these substances might be manmade or natural. These agents will be applied to people who are at greatest risk of developing certain forms of cancer.