Globally, an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases are identified each year, and cancer maintains the second-leading cause of death in the United States, with over 1.7 million people diagnosed each year. Cancer is frequently discussed as if it were a single entity. While unregulated growth is the common denominator, cancer can manifest itself in a variety of forms, depending on a variety of circumstances. We inherit some, and we are exposed to others throughout our lives. It can be divided into hundreds of distinct disorders depending on the cells it affects. When the genetic background of each patient is taken into account, no two instances are the same.
As a result, HealthoWealth sees it vital to address this complexity in order to save more lives from cancer. We can increase our understanding of how cancer arises and interacts with the immune system by conducting fundamental cancer biology and immunology research. As a result, it may be possible to develop new, more effective cancer treatments. By reading this article you will know more about the causes of cancer.
When does cancer occur? Cellular Definition of Cancer
When cells acquire the power to expand uncontrollably, they eventually invade and harm the body’s natural tissues, resulting in cancer. Cancer progresses in stages, beginning with precancerous changes and ending with malignant tumors. Tumors do not arise in all malignancies, and various cancers develop at different speeds. The process of metastasis occurs when cancer cells travel from their original site to other parts of the body via the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
Where does cancer cause problems?
Cancer can affect a variety of body parts, including the skin, bone, blood vessels, and muscle, as well as the lungs, kidneys, and other organs. Cancer can also have an impact on the immune system, which plays a critical part in the development and course of the disease.
Is cancer hereditary? Genetic role in causes of cancer
Genes are DNA segments found on chromosomes that can change and become malignant over time. Diet and lifestyle decisions, as well as exposure to certain environmental conditions, can trigger these mutations. Only around 5% to 10% of all cancers are genetically inherited, but these are the malignancies that tend to strike younger people.
Lynch syndrome, which hinders cells from repairing their DNA when it is damaged, is one such inheritable genetic condition linked to elevated cancer risk. This can result in colon and uterine malignancies at a young age. Another genetic component is the BRCA gene family, which has been related to breast and ovarian cancer in some forms.
Today, scientists and physicians are searching for biomarkers, which can assist evaluate risks and treatment options based on a patient’s genetic profile, by using and inventing novel tests.
Does lifestyle or behavior is included in the causes of cancer?
There are a variety of behavioral factors that might result in genetic alterations and, as a result, cancer development.
- Tanning (excessive exposure to ultraviolet light)
- Diet plan (red, processed meats)
- Unsafe sex (leading to viral infection)
- Inflammatory conditions, such as ulcerative colitis or obesity
Smoking, which includes as causes of cancer especially lung cancer, or excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause skin cancer, are examples of behavioral risk factors.
Some of your dietary choices, like alcohol and red meat, have been related to certain types of cancer, while obesity has been linked to higher rates of cancer, a link that CRI investigators Lydia Lynch, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School, and Zhenyu Zhong, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Diego, are individually investigating.
The bacteria that live in our intestines, known as the gut microbiome, can be influenced by what we eat, and new studies by scientists like Cynthia Sears, M.D. of Johns Hopkins University have found that certain bacteria can influence the likelihood of colorectal cancer development as well as patient responsiveness to immunotherapy treatment.
Do Environmental factors play a major role in the Causes of Cancer?
Exposure to certain environmental variables is included as causes of cancer such as toxins like asbestos and benzene, as well as talcum powder and other kinds of radiation (including excessive X-rays). Carcinogens are compounds that have the ability to damage DNA. Other environmental causes of cancer include:
- Excessive exposure to the sun (UV)
- Carcinogen exposure from chemicals
- Chemotherapy and radiation at high doses (mainly in children being treated for existing cancers)
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Drugs that weaken the immune system (taken by transplant recipients)
- Radioactive materials, e.g., radon
In addition to other factors linked to aging and senescence, older people are more likely to have been exposed to environmental risk factors and, as a result, are diagnosed with cancer at a significantly higher rate than younger ones. When it comes to children with cancer, new immunotherapy tactics are allowing them to be treated not only more efficiently, but also without some of the harmful side effects that come with traditional treatments.
Do viruses or bacteria related to the causes of cancer?
Dr William B. Coley, the Father of Cancer Immunotherapy, proposed theories about the bacterial causation of cancer more than a century ago. Bacteria and viruses are causes of cancer and they can spread through a person’s behavior and surroundings.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that causes cancer in humans
- Viruses that cause hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV)
- Virus Epstein–Barr (EBV)
- T-lymphotropic virus in humans
- Herpesvirus related to Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS)
- Merkel cell polyomavirus
- Helicobacter pylori
Hepatitis B and C strains are causes of cancer like liver, and specific strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, anal and penile cancers, and a variety of head and neck cancers when transmitted sexually.
Since 1982, a vaccination against the hepatitis B virus has been available; in fact, this vaccine was the first preventative cancer vaccine ever developed. Dr Ian Frazer’s revolutionary work on the development of Gardasil, the first preventive vaccine against cervical cancer, was funded by the Cancer Research Institute.
Bacteria and viruses can also be genetically modified to combat cancer for us. Oncolytic viral therapy involves infecting tumor cells with engineered viruses that induce them to generate compounds that alert the immune system before self-destructing. Antibodies that target cancer antigens can be created via a technique known as phage display, which involves using a bacteriophage (a virus that infects bacteria) to develop novel proteins.
If, after reading the article “What are the causes of cancer? “, you liked it and became interested in studying in other fields of health and medicine, we suggest you read the following articles from the category cancer on our website.