Cancer: What is it, Causes, and Treatments

By |2019-03-05T22:23:46+00:00April 28th, 2019|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: |

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Cancer is an often terminal disease that affects millions of people. According to a 2018 report from the American Cancer Society, 2016 saw an estimated 15.5 million individuals with a history of cancer. Cancer not only affects the individual but family and friends alike. It has brought about numerous fundraisers in a search for a cure, though so far none has been found. In this article, we are going to examine cancer and how it affects the human body.

 

What Is Cancer?

The term cancer is an umbrella term that describes a multitude of diseases that result in a cellular change that causes uncontrollable growth and cell division. Some cancer types may cause rapid cell growth, others may cause cells to not only grow but divide at a slower rate.

Some cancers appear as visible growths such as skin lesions or tumors. Other cancers are considered ‘invisible diseases’ such as leukemia where there are not any outward signs of the disease. In the natural lifespan of a body’s cell, it serves its purpose and then receives the order that it is time to pass away and be replaced by a fresh cell. Unfortunately, cancerous cells do not contain the components that cause them to die and instead they keep dividing and growing. The end result sees cancer cells building up in the body and taking both oxygen and nutrients that would typically nourish other cells.

Cancerous cells can harm the body in a multitude of ways. Including the formation of tumors, attack, and impairment of the immune system and even changes that affect normal bodily functions. The spread of cancer may be generalized to a specific area, or throughout the body via the lymph nodes.

 

What Causes Cancer?

There is a multitude of causes in relation to cancer. Some of which are preventable. Risk factors of cancer include:

  • Smoking and secondhand smoke
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Poor nutrition
  • Excessive UV exposure

Aside from these preventative techniques, cancer can also be caused by a number of unpreventable factors, such as age and family history, or genetics.

A person’s genetic code tells their cells when to divide and expire. Changes in the genes can lead to faulty instructions, and cancer can result.

Cancer Treatments

There are numerous treatment options for cancer today. Depending on the type of cancer, the spread of the disease, and the cancers stage will determine what course of treatment is taken.

The most common cancer treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation treatment
  • Hormone therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Precision medication
  • Surgery

Typically doctors will implement more than one type of treatment to ensure the highest probability of success. While cancer takes the lives of millions of individuals around the world each day, many have managed to survive with today’s modern medicine, and continue to live without relapse. Unfortunately, some cancers do relapse and return to the body, causing additional heartache and the requirement of continued treatment. The individuals here at National Health Insurance want to ensure you and your family receive top quality care with your provider.