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Radiation and Cancer or Causes of Cancer - Research Paper Example

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General Description of Cancer Introduction Cancer is a deadly disease that comes as a result of the body’s failure to regulate cell growth. Sometimes, the unregulated cells might spread to other body parts like blood or the lymph. The difference between cancerous cells and benign tumors comes in respect of the fact that the later neither invade other tissues nor metastasize…
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Radiation and Cancer or Causes of Cancer
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"Radiation and Cancer or Causes of Cancer"

Download file to see previous pages Acquired or hereditary abnormalities in the regulatory genes cause development of cancer. However, only 5-10% of cancer is hereditary. Cancer may be detected from symptoms or radiology findings. Definitive cancer diagnosis however requires a biopsy specimen for microscopic examination. Today, many types of cancer can be treated through radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. The extent of the disease and type of cancer commonly influence prognosis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (2010), cancer accounted for about 13% (7.9) million deaths worldwide in 2007 alone. With changes in lifestyles as the world develops and changes that occur due to old age, cases of cancer are fast increasing which means that the disease will continue to claim more lives with time (WHO, 2010). Causes of Cancer Chemical and Physical agents Environmental factors accounts for about 90-95% causes of cancer according to Jemal, (2011). Chemicals are the main causes of cancer. Pathogenesis of cancer can be traced back to mutations of DNA that cause metastasis and cell growth. Mutagens are substances that cause mutations of DNA. Tobacco smoking accounts for 25-30% of cancer and is also associated with many forms of cancer. It also causes about 89% of cancer of the lungs. Alcohol is a chemical carcinogen which is not a mutagen whereas tobacco is both a carcinogen and a mutagen. In Western Europe, alcohol causes 10% and 3% of cancers in males and females respectively (Jemal, 2011). Sasco, (2004) observes that in every three deaths of cancer, tobacco accounts for one death in economically developed nations, and about one for every five in the entire world. In spite of these facts, smoking rates are fast increasing world wide leading to the “tobacco epidemic” as some organizations describe it. Physical agents also cause cancer through their physical effects on cell. For example, prolonged exposure to mineral fibers and asbestos are major causes of cancer. Physical carcinogens must get into the body and one has to be exposed for years for cancer to develop. Diet and Lack of Physical Exercises Poor diet and lack of physical exercise is another cause of cancer, accounting for approximately 30% of cancer cases. In the US, excessive body weight is believed to develop many forms of cancer and accounts for 14-20% of cancer deaths (WHO, 2010). WHO also notes that lack of physical activities also increases body weight besides negatively affecting endocrine production and the body’s immune system. Diets that lack whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and those rich in red meat and highly processed foods are also linked to cancer. A diet high in salt causes gastric cancer while aflatoxin B1 causes liver cancer. The high risk of immigrants developing cancer in relation to the risk in their new country shows the relationship between diet and cancer according to WHO (2010). Infections It is estimated that about 18% of worldwide cancers are caused by infectious diseases (WHO, 2010). This proportion varies with the part of the world. For example, WHO estimates that 25% of cancer cases in developing nations and 10% in developed nations are caused by infections. Cancer is normally caused by viruses, bacteria and other pathogen or infectious agents. Cancers that are caused by viruses include (oncovirus) cervical carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and T-cell leukemia among ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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