Causes of Cancer

What is cancer?

Cancer is one of those diseases that is feared by most. Although it is not as deadly as heart disease, untreated cancer still can cause to death.

History explains, cancer came from the latin word carcinos which meant crab. Even back then , there are records of Hippocrates recording about the malignant tumors. Since opening the body is not allowed in Greek tradition, Hippocrates only had the luxury of describing and drawing the outwardly visibly tumors on the the different parts of the body. Treatment was based on the humor theory of four bodily fluids (black and yellow bile, blood, and phlegm).

According to the patient’s humor, treatment consisted of diet, blood-letting, and/or laxatives. Through the centuries it was discovered that cancer could occur anywhere in the body, but humor-theory based treatment remained popular until the 19th century with the discovery of cells.

Causes of cancer?

The unregulated growth characterized cancer is caused by damage to DNA, resulting in mutations to genes that encode for proteins controlling cell division. Plenty of these mutation events may be required to transform a normal cell into a malignant cell.

These mutations can be caused by chemicals or physical agents called carcinogens, by close exposure to radioactive materials, or by certain viruses that can insert their DNA into the human genome. Mutations occur spontaneously, and may be passed down from one generation to the next as a result of mutations within germ lines.

Most forms of cancer are associated with exposure to environmental factors such as tobacco smoke, radiation, alcohol and certain viruses. While some of these risk factors can be avoided or reduced, there is no known way to entirely avoid the disease.

Major Causes of cancer

Cancer maybe prevented. It can only be prevented however with the proper care of our body. Knowing the causes of cancer and what risk factors associated to is the first step in cancer prevention. Some of the causes of cancer is the following:

  • Smoking Tobacco. According to studies about 87% of smokers suffer from lung cancer.
  • Physical Activity. Exercising for about 30 mins a day will help regulate our body keeping us in shape all the time.
  • Genetics. Genetics can play a big role in cancer development. If you have a family history of cancer, such as breast cancer, taking extra precautions is vital. When cancer is genetic, a mutated gene has been passed down. Genetic tests are available for many hereditary cancers. Keep in mind that if you have a family history of cancer, it does not mean you will develop it. You only have a greater chance of developing it.
  • Environmental Factors. Studies have shown that people who are exposed to high amount of benzene are at risk for cancer. Benzene is a chemical found in gasoline, smoking, and pollution.
  • Sun Exposure. Skin canceris caused by exposure to the UV rays of the sun. A sunburn, or a tan is actually the result of cell damage caused by the sun. Skin cancer can be prevented in most cases. Wearing sunscreen when outdoors and staying out of the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest is your best defense.