Uncontrolled proliferation or division of cells is called cancer. Whenever there is a need for division of cells, it happens and stops whenever it’s not required. When this control is lost then a marked lesion is developed, which is called as a tumor or cancer. However, some cancers may not develop into tumors.
There is no particular cause for cancer and anybody can get it. 70 to 80% of cancers are related to our diet, food and lifestyle. Environmental carcinogens, radiations, ultra violet rays constitute less than 2 to 5%. Of all the known causative agents of cancer, smoking is the most important and in the entire world 30% of cases are related to smoking or tobacco in whatever form it is. If cancer runs in the family then probability of getting it also becomes high.
By and large there are several cancers in the body. But for a person to know the symptoms which are relevant, one should be examined from head to toe. For example, if you start from the oral cavity, some ulcers in the oral cavity can be cancerous. So if there is an ulcer which has not been healing for a week or two, has been growing in size or bleeding on and off, one should certainly see the doctor. If a person has ulcers in areas which are close to sharp teeth or damaged teeth, then their possibility of developing into cancer is very high and one needs to see the doctor.
Similarly, some people would have hoarseness of the voice. Hoarseness of voice is a very early symptom of cancer of the vocal cords but some people suffering from common cold would also have hoarseness of voice and that usually settles down in a week or two, but if it persists for more than 2 to 3 weeks then the person should see the doctor as it could be a throat cancer or vocal cord cancer.
Coughing for more than 2 to 3 weeks could also be a symptom. Also a very common symptom of cancer can be difficulty in swallowing. If one has any lumps or bumps anywhere in the body, which might be painless then the person should see the doctor because most of the cancers start with painless lumps.
Similarly, if there is a problem of loose motions or constipation for a long time, one should again suspect cancer. A mole or birth mark may start growing in size, change in color, ooze sometime or might start crusting, which should also be suspected.
Cancer treatment is done by three modalities of treatment which are Radiation therapy, Chemo therapy and surgical treatment. Radiation therapy is done by radiation therapy emissions. Chemotherapy is done mainly by anti cancer drugs where 90% of the drugs are usually given by intravenous routes. In surgical treatment, the primary tumor is taken out by surgery. In most of the cancers, the patient may require all three modalities of treatment or two of them and in some patients, only one modality may be required.
Cancer may be prevented by avoiding the carcinogens. Most of the cancers are related to one’s lifestyle. If a person can modify it, 70 to 80% of preventable cancers can be avoided.
Fruits are the most important micro nutrients which fight against the carcinogens. So taking fruits with every meal is very important. Apart from that, a vegetarian diet is very important. All colorful vegetables are a great source of micro nutrients which are anti-cancer agents.
Non vegetarian diet is known to have problems and it can cause cancers especially in the GIT tract such as colonic malignancy or rectal cancers. What is good about vegetarian diet is that if you take salads along with non vegetarian food, then the ill effects of a non vegetarian diet can be countered. Even in non vegetarian diet, boiled diet is safer than a smoked and fried one. Smoked or barbequed food always increases the carcinogenic content of the diet.