What is Cancer? Cancer Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Stages

In the human body, cells multiply and reproduce in a steady and controlled manner. Cancer is caused by abnormal cell reproduction in the body, with potential to invade surrounding parts and spread to other parts of the body. This uneven multiplication can cause clusters of cells known as tumors. Tumors can be cancerous in nature or benign. Not all tumors are cancerous in nature. When they are not cancerous in nature, tumors tend to stop reproducing cells in abnormal patterns. They also don’t spread to other parts of the body.

However, when the tumor is cancerous in nature, it affects bodily functions, nutrient intake and suppressing of healthy cells. Cancer also causes tumors to spread to different parts of the body. Learn more about cancer symptoms and causes through this article.

What are the causes of Cancer?

The causes of cancer are varied and differ based on the type and location of cancer. Lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating, and use of tobacco in any form like smoking, sniffing or chewing are some causes of cancer. Exposure to chemicals, fumes, UV and radiation environment are some other factors can lead to many types of cancer as well.

Certain types of cancer can also be passed down genetically. Some cancers like breast cancers are seen more often in those who have near relatives with the disease. Hepatitis B or C is known to increase risk of liver cancers. Human papilloma virus increases risk for cervical or oral cancers.

Types of Cancer

The causes of cancer and the body part it affects determines the type of cancer. There is an extensive list of about 100 cancers in the world. We have short-listed a few common types.

These are the ten types of cancer that are common worldwide. This list includes: Cervical cancer, oral cancer, lung cancer, breast and prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, melanoma, lymphoma, leukemia, and kidney cancer.

Cancer Stages

What happens when you get the disease? What are the cancer stages?

There are mainly 4 stages to any type of cancer. Each stage represents the size and extent of the tumors and the body parts the cancer disease has affected.

  • Stage 0: This is the beginning stage of cancer. At this point the cancer is only at the place it has started. It has not spread to other parts of the body and can be cured, though follow up is needed.
  • Stage I: The tumor has begun to grow into surrounding tissues but not rapidly.
  • Stage II & III: The tumor begins to grow further into tissues surrounding the starting point of the cancer. The tumor has also grown in size. It has also spread to the lymph nodes of the body.
  • Stage IV: By this stage the cancer has spread to other organs in the body. This is also known as advanced cancer.

Symptoms of Cancer

The symptoms of cancer depend on the type of cancer the patient is affected by. In general, the severity of cancer symptoms comes from the size and stage of the disease. When the cancerous tumor grows unnoticed it starts to affect and push into surrounding organs. This can cause a number of problems ranging from fevers, aches and pains, to discoloration of the skin. The cancer symptoms also depend on the location of the tumor. A brain tumor for example, can cause serious health concern with even the slightest growth.

For detailed information on cancer symptoms, consult our specialists, as they will be able to give you information based on the organ affected. If you think you or your family member could have cancer, contact us at Columbia Asia Hospital for consultation today.

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