Cancer is a complex group of diseases with many possible causes. In this section you can learn more about the known causes of cancer, including genetic. Find out the basics about cancer, including symptoms, causes and treatments. Learn steps you can take to prevent cancer. The substances that cause cancer are called carcinogens. A carcinogen may be a chemical substance, such as certain molecules in tobacco smoke. The cause.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are over types of cancer. For example, sarcomas develop in bones or soft tissues, while carcinomas form in cells that cover internal or external surfaces in the body.
Basal cell carcinomas develop in the skin, while adenocarcinomas can form in the breast. Improvements in cancer detection, increased awareness of the risks of smoking, and a drop in tobacco use have all contributed to a year-on-year decrease in the number of cancer diagnoses and deaths. According to the American Cancer Society, the overall cancer death rate declined by 26 percent between and When a person has cancer, the outlook will depend on whether the disease has spread and on its type, severity, and location.
Cancer causes cells to divide uncontrollably. It also prevents them from dying at the natural point in their life cycle. Genetic factors and lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can contribute to the development of the disease. Several elements affect the ways that DNA communicates with cells and directs their division and death. After nonmelanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type in the U.
However, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death. Treatments are constantly improving. Examples of current methods include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Some people benefit from newer options, such as stem cell transplantation and precision medicine. Some cancers cause early symptoms, but others do not exhibit symptoms until they are more advanced.
Many of these symptoms are often from causes unrelated to cancer. The best way to identify cancer early is to report any unusual, persistent symptoms to your doctor so they can advise you on any further testing that may be needed.
Some symptoms of cancer can be found here. Article last reviewed by Mon 12 November All references are available in the References tab. The genetics of cancer. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
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Register take the tour. Table of contents What is cancer? Causes Treatments Types Outlook Takeaway. Cancer cells do not die at the natural point in a cell's life cycle. The side effects of chemotherapy include hair loss. However, advances in treatment are improving the outlook for people with cancer. Smoking increases the risk of many different types of cancer. How do I recognize cancer before it starts to cause serious health problems? All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Scientists have shown how a drug cocktail of four compounds can convert glia, or support cells, next to damaged neurons into new working neurons.
Breast cancer screening saved over 27, lives in A new study estimates that breast cancer mortality rates have fallen by approximately half in the United States in , thanks to screening and therapy. A step toward better treatment? Current treatments for alcohol use disorder are unsatisfactory, but recent research points toward a new intervention that may also benefit mood disorders.
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Forgot ID or Forgot Password? Cancer Risk Factors As mentioned, some cancers, particularly in adults, have been associated with repetitive exposures or risk factors. The following risk factors and mechanisms have been proposed as contributing to cancer: Smoking, a high-fat diet, and working with toxic chemicals are examples of lifestyle choices that may be risk factors for some adult cancers.
Most children with cancer, however, are too young to have been exposed to these lifestyle factors for any extended time. Family history, inheritance, and genetics may play an important role in some childhood cancers.
It is possible for cancer of varying forms to be present more than once in a family. It is unknown in these circumstances if the disease is caused by a genetic mutation, exposure to chemicals near a family's residence, a combination of these factors, or simply coincidence.
For example, Wiskott-Aldrich and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome are known to alter the immune system. The immune system is a complex system that functions to protect our bodies from infection and disease. The bone marrow produces cells that later mature and function as part of the immune system. One theory suggests that the cells in the bone marrow, the stem cells, become damaged or defective, so when they reproduce to make more cells, they make abnormal cells or cancer cells.
The cause of the defect in the stem cells could be related to an inherited genetic defect or exposure to a virus or toxin. Exposures to certain viruses. Possibly, the virus alters a cell in some way. That cell then reproduces an altered cell and, eventually, these alterations become a cancer cell that reproduces more cancer cells. Pesticides, fertilizers, and power lines have been researched for a direct link to childhood cancers.
Whether prenatal or infant exposure to these agents causes cancer, or whether it is a coincidence, is unknown. Some forms of high-dose chemotherapy and radiation. In some cases, children who have been exposed to these agents may develop a second malignancy later in life. A second malignancy is a cancer that appears as a result from treatment of a different cancer.
Cancer Genes How do genes affect cancer growth? Types of cancer genes There are three main types of genes that can affect cell growth and are altered mutated in certain types of cancers, including the following: These genes regulate the normal growth of cells.
Scientists commonly describe oncogenes as similar to a cancer "switch" that most people have in their bodies. What "flips the switch" to make these oncogenes suddenly become unable to control the normal growth of cells and allowing abnormal cancer cells to begin to grow, is unknown.
These genes are able to recognize abnormal growth and reproduction of damaged cells, or cancer cells, and can interrupt their reproduction until the defect is corrected. If the tumor suppressor genes are mutated, however, and they do not function properly, tumor growth may occur.
INTERVIEW: After battling cancer, Ryuichi Sakamoto learns about its cause
Cancer causes more fear than any other disease. However, many cancers can now be treated and put into remission. This means traces of cancer are no longer . Learn about what causes cancer and factors that can increase your risk. We also have cancer prevention tips and bust some common myths. There is no one single cause for cancer. Learn about the various possible causes , including risk factors and how genes affect cancer growth.