Everyone knows that cancer is a life-threatening disease, that it can cause death, or may be cured. We also know that one may have a relapse. But , have you wondered what cancer actually is? What is so dreadful about this disease that it is life-threatening? What is exactly happening in the body of cancer patients?And mainly, what causes the disease?
Causes of Cancer
Cancer, unlike many of the life-threatening diseases, is caused by a variety of environmental factors and not virus or germs. However, there are some exceptions.
Human papilloma virus, for example, causes cancer of the cervix in females. Such cancer causing factors are known as carcinogens. When cancer is diagnosed, it can be either due to one or the combination of a variety of factors.
These factors are:
Prolonged exposure to a number of chemicals like coal-tar, soot, asbestos, nickel, lead, chromium. etc causes lung cancer. Vinyl chloride and aflatoxin B may cause cancer of liver. Aniline causes cancer of the urinary bladder and arsenic causes skin cancer.
Unmonitored radiation from various radioactive sources usually do more harm than good. They cause gene mutations and even cancer. Continuous exposure to x-rays, alpha rays, gamma rays and radiation from radioactive isotopes must be avoided.
Though rare, even viruses can cause cancer. For example hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus may cause liver cancer. Parasite Schistosoma haematobium is associated with cancer of the urinary bladder.
International studies suggest that diet high in fat increases risk of cancer. What happens is, when we ingest a large amount of fatty foods, excessive bile acids are produced that aren’t thoroughly consumed. These bile acids and their metabolites produced by intestinal bacteria are carcinogenic in nature.
A person whose family has a history of cancer is more likely to develop cancer.
Cancer due to Habits and Customs
Excessive alcohol consumption may cause cancers of liver and esophagus. Oral cancer are more prevalent in people who have cigarettes, cigars or chew tobacco.