Cancer is considered a group of diseases. In cancer, the uncontrollable growth and spread of abnormal cells take place. Generally, the normal cells that become damaged in our body die or are replaced by other healthy cells. But in the case of cancer, the cells keep on dividing and spreading, creating tumors that interfere with the proper functioning of the body.

Cancer can be developed in any part of the body. It can spread from the organs to the tissues, bones, or even blood. Cancers are also given different names based on where cancer originated. The different names of cancer are lung, breast, prostate, and many more.

But do you know different cancers also share common characteristics? Such as-

  • Abnormal cell division.
  • Abnormal cell growth.
  • Invasion into the neighboring tissues.
  • Spreads to other parts of the body.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Cancer

Cancer is considered one of the most complex diseases. People cannot always manifest cancer with the symptoms. Some cancers are silent and unpredictable. These silent cancers are known to the person at the last stage of cancer and lead to death. 

While some cancers can be predictable with the help of the symptoms. Some of the warning signs and symptoms are given below –

  • Facing difficulty in swallowing and breathing
  • A lump or mass in the body
  • Changes in the bladder habits
  • Loss of energy and fatigue
  • Continuous cough 
  • Immediate weight loss
  • Unexplainable discomfort or pain
  • New or changing moles

If you or anyone around you faces these symptoms, consult with the doctor immediately. If you are facing these symptoms, it does not always mean you have cancer. Cancer can sometimes be genetic, and if you have a history of cancer in your family and have been facing any of the symptoms, talk to your doctor.

Risk Factors of Cancer

A variety of factors can cause cancer. Sometimes it can be genetic, sometimes it can be due to lifestyle, or sometimes it can be caused by environmental factors. 

Let us look at the risk factors which can lead to cancer –

  1. Sun exposure – Sometimes, overexposure to the sun can lead to cancer. Sitting in the sun for longer affects our skin and can lead to skin cancer.
  2. Tobacco use – Smoking and chewing tobacco can lead to and increase the risk of lung cancer, throat cancer, oral cancer, and many others.
  3. Poor diet – Saturated fats, processed foods, and a diet high in red meat may increase the risk of colon, breast cancer, and rectal.  
  4. Lack of Exercise – Lack of physical exercise and activity have been linked to an increased risk of breast and colon cancer.
  5. Alcohol Consumption – Excess drinking of alcohol can increase the risk of breast, liver, and other types of cancer.

Diagnosis and Treatments

Diagnosing cancer involves a series of tests. First, a physical exam is taken, then imaging tests and a biopsy. Now you might be wondering what biopsy means – it is a process where a small tissue sample of the affected area is taken out and examined under a microscope to determine whether it is cancerous.

Once cancer has been diagnosed, treatment starts based on the type and stage of cancer and the patient's age, overall health, and other factors.

Some of the common treatments for cancer are –

  1. Surgery – In this, the cancerous tumor and surrounding tissue are removed.
  2. Radiation therapy – It uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.
  3. Chemotherapy – It uses drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body, eventually resulting in hair loss.
  4. Hormone therapy blocks the hormones that cause certain types of cancer to grow.
  5. Immunotherapy – Makes use of the body’s immune system to fight cancer. 

Prevention: Lifestyle Changes for Cancer Prevention

There are many ways to prevent cancer, but certain studies show lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing the disease.

  • Eat a healthy diet – To prevent cancer we need to take a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, protein, and whole grains that keep us healthy.
  • Exercise Regularly – Daily exercise can boost your immune system, reduce inflammation, and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit Smoking – Smoking can play a vital role in causing cancer. Quitting smoking is considered the most effective way to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
  • Protect your skin – As discussed above, overexposure to sunlight can lead to skin cancer. So, protect your skin from the sun by applying sunscreen.
  • Get vaccinated – Certain vaccines can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, which include HPV and hepatitis B.

Regular cancer screenings, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and Pap tests, can also help detect cancer early when it is most treatable. Talking to your healthcare provider about when to start regular cancer screenings is important.


Cancer is a disease that touches many lives. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent or cure cancer, understanding the disease, recognizing the signs and symptoms, undergoing regular screening, and making healthy lifestyle choices can significantly reduce the risk of developing the disease.

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