For the first time, cancer was discovered by doctors in Ancient Greece. Hippocrates (460-370 BC) called malignant carcinogen by the word karkinos, which in the translation from ancient Greek means “cancer”. Why did Hippocrates give such a name? The fact is that large malignant tumors in the cut reminded him of crayfish. Since then, malignant tumors are called cancer. But he was not the first to discover the disease.
Facts About Cancer that You Should Know –
Bone cancer, for example, was found in some mummies related to ancient Egypt (about 1 600 BC.). In the ancient Egyptian manuscript dated 1500 BC. e., there is a report about breast cancer. Moreover, according to this manuscript, the tumor was removed surgically, as in our time. Even then, doctors knew that distant tumors may appear again.
- Hippocrates believed that the human body contains four “humor” (body fluids): blood, sputum, yellow bile, black bile. He thought that excess black bile on a specific site of the body or organ and causes cancer.
- This theory existed throughout the Ancient time, then all the Middle Ages, until the beginning of the New time. In the 17th century, a theory appeared that cancer was formed through a fluid called a lymph.
By the XVIII century it was thought that cancer is a parasitic disease.
- In 1838, the German pathologist Johannes Müller proved that cancer consists of cells, and is not related to lymph. His student Virchov suggested that the cause of malignant tumors is chronic irritation. Later, Tersch proved that he metastasizes cancer through the spread of malignant cells, and not through some kind of unknown fluid.
- Since the end of the XIX century. by the 1920s it was thought that cancer appears due to injuries. Only in the 1970s, scientists realized that cancer develops through uncontrolled cell division.
- In our time, science that studies the mechanism of the formation of benign and malignant tumors, methods of their prevention and treatment, called oncology (from the Latin word oncos – benign tumors).
30-50% of cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyles.
How does cancer appear?
All normal cells grow, divide, and then die. This process is called apoptosis. When it is broken when the old cells do not die and instead go out of control, creating abnormal cells, – there is cancer. New abnormal cells are collected together, and this mass is called a tumor.
The tumors, in their growth, interfere with the digestive, nervous and circulatory system. They produce hormones that change the body’s functions. Tumors that remain in one place and show limited growth are believed to be benign.
Malignant tumors occur when cancer cells are transmitted through the blood or through the lymphatic system throughout the body (metastases) or when they divide and grow, causing new blood vessels to feed in the process of creating new blood vessels in the body or tissue. Only 10% of deaths from cancer are caused by primary tumors, the rest are due to secondary tumors that have arisen as a result of metastases.
Some types of malignant tumors move (metastasize) to certain areas of the body. So, for example, breast cancer gives metastases to the lungs, liver, bones and brain, and rectum cancer – in the adjacent lymph nodes.
What are the most common types of cancer?
Cancer can occur anywhere in the human body. In women, benign and malignant tumors often affect the mammary gland, and in men, the prostate gland. Lung cancer, colorectal cancer often affects both men and women.
In 2015, 8.8 million people died of cancer in the world.
Men are more likely to die of the following types of cancer:
- lung cancer
- liver cancer
- stomach cancer
- colorectal cancer
- cancer of the representative gland
- skin cancer
- laryngeal cancer
Women most often die of the following types of cancer:
- breast cancer
- lung cancer
- colorectal cancer
- cervical cancer
- stomach cancer
- skin cancer
According to the World Health Organization, in the next 20 years, the number of new cases of cancer will increase by about 70%. Almost 70% of cancer deaths come from developing countries.
Cancer is divided into 5 Categories –
There are 5 major categories of cancer –
- Carcinoma is a malignant tumor of the cells of the epithelial tissue of various organs. This, in fact, is also cancer.
- Sarcoma is a malignant tumor in the connective tissue (in bones, cartilages, muscles, etc.).
- Leukemia – blood cancer. It begins in the blood and in the bone marrow.
- Lymphoma is an oncological disease of the cells of the lymphatic system. Begins in the immune system.
- The tumors of the central nervous system are fixed in the brain and spinal cord.
How to treat cancer?
Options for cancer treatment depend on its type, stage, metastases, and overall health status of the patient. The goal of treatment is to kill as many cancer cells as possible, while trying not to damage normal cells.
Modern technologies are effective in combating certain types of malignant tumors, especially if they are detected early. However, some types of cancer treat very difficult.
There are three main methods of treating cancer –
- Surgery – It is a direct removal of the tumor.
- Chemotherapy – The use of chemicals to eliminate cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy – The use of X-rays to eliminate cancer cells.
One and the same type of cancer in two different people may vary greatly. In one or another cancer, for example, breast cancer, there are several subtypes. Each of these subtypes requires its own treatment method.
The survival rate for cancer depends on several factors, and first of all on its type and when the treatment begins. Also, the role of the age of the patient, the general state of his health, the country in which he lives.
For example, in the UK survival rate for testicular cancer is 98%, and for pancreatic cancer – about 1%. Also, in this country, 50% or more patients with some of the most commonly diagnosed types of cancer, live with a disease of 10 years or more. More than 80% of people with cancer type, which is easy to diagnose, live for 10 years or more. If a person is diagnosed with a cancer that is difficult to diagnose, then the survival rate of 10 years or more is less than 20%.
The risk of developing cancer can be reduced if
- Abandon smoking
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Limit the effect of ultraviolet rays
- Avoid stress
- Go for a healthy diet
The situation with cancer in India
In India , the incidence and mortality rate of cancer is constantly increasing. There are two main explanations for this. The first – in our country is not a good environmental situation. The second is that more and more Indians, whose age has reached 60 years and more, and they have a much higher risk of developing cancer.
WHO experts believe that in India the most important causes of cancer development are
- Tobacco smoking – 25%
- Obesity – 21%
- Alcohol – 14%
- Lack of physical activity – 14%
- Infectious agents
- Carcinogens at work (currently about 100 such carcinogens are detected), the use of solid fuels in the household – 3%
Other factors that influence the increase in cancer incidence in India
- Poor prophylaxis and lack of programs to promote a healthy lifestyle.
- Most Indians do not know what increases the risk of cancer. Also, many do not understand the need for a regular medical examination.
- Insufficient level of equipment of medical institutions by specialized medical and diagnostic equipment.
- Imperfection of the system of psychological, social and legal assistance to cancer patients and their families.
Some positive results in the fight against this disease in our country have been achieved through special state programs. Two such state programs have already been implemented.
This year in India, a new state program on the fight against cancer must start working (its concept already exists). It suggests a 15% decrease in breast and cervical cancer incidence, an increase by 25% in cancer detection at an early stage, an increase of up to 70% recovery.