What is Cancer?

All You Need to Know About Cancer

Cancer is a disease in which cells divide in an abnormal way that destroys and kills otherwise healthy cells and tissues. It is worth noting that not all tumors are cancerous as many are what is called “benign”. These tumors do not spread or break off in other parts of the body as cancer does although they can grow in size sometimes quite rapidly. There are over 100 types of cancer that effect the human body. Cancers can infect virtually any part of the body from the brain to the liver. People can even get cancer in their blood or bones.

Cancers are caused by a wide variety of various factors. 22% of cancers are caused by tobacco.  20% are due to a previous infection such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or Human Papillomavirus (HPV). 10% are due to a combination of obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and an overconsumption of alcohol. Many cancers today can be detected by various screen procedures of that part of the body to see if that area is infected. Biopsies can confirm a cancerous tumor over a benign growth.

Survival rates of cancers are also on the rise worldwide. For patients aged 15 and under the worldwide survival rate is around 80%. For the US, the average 5-year survival rate is up to 66%. As of 2012 about 14.1 million cases of cancer are diagnosed worldwide. About 8.6 million people worldwide each year as a result of cancer or its complications. Cancer accounted for about 14.2% of all the deaths in the world as of 2012.

Cancer is generally treated by providing some mix and match of chemotherapy, radiation to the infected area, or a surgical procedure to remove the tumor from the patient’s body. While there is no surefire cure for cancer there are many combinations of the aforementioned treatments as well as a few drugs that can help greatly prolong the person’s life while reducing pain, and sometimes even rid the person’s body of cancer. Not all cases are the same, however, and a cure is never a complete guarantee. In a few rare cases where it is also worth noting that factors not related to the person’s individual choices and lifestyle may contribute to cancer. Rarely scientists believe that there may be some possible genetic mutations that are responsible for people getting a cancerous tumor. It is estimated that cancer costs the healthcare systems around the world about an estimated $1.13 trillion in US dollars annually as of 2010. That cost is sure to increase further as the world becomes more populated and more countries gain access to advanced medicine that can diagnose cancer in people that have died among their population.

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