Cancer affects millions of people worldwide. Cancer research is ongoing, and many advances have been made throughout history to help identify the causes of cancer and how to treat it.
No matter your relationship with cancer, it is important to understand what it is and how it works. Knowing these basics can ensure you don’t feel in the dark about what a cancer diagnosis is and how its spread can affect a diagnosis.
Because there are so many different types of cancer, treatment and the body’s response to treatment and outcomes can all vary widely. The most common type of cancer in the country is breast cancer, followed by prostate cancer and lung cancer. Worldwide, lung cancer is the leading form of the disease, followed closely by breast cancer.
Cancer can be a condition caused by outside factors, like coal emissions, or it can be the result of habits like smoking or sunbathing. For some, cancer is the result of a genetic mutation that can be impossible to prevent without knowledge of the mutation.
Normal Cell Conditions
To understand how cancer operates, it is important to understand how regular cells behave. Usually, the body’s DNA alerts the cells to the right time to grow and divide into new cells. During the division stage, healthy cells make an exact copy of themselves. Generally, this process only happens when cells get damaged or grow too old. For example, your DNA will trigger skin cells to make copies of themselves when you get a cut or a scrape. This replaces the damaged skin with new skin cells.