Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2012, there were almost 14 million new cases of cancer and 8 million deaths reported due to cancer. Cancer is an abnormal and uncontrollable growth of cells in parts of the body. Usually, our human cells can grow and dissipate to develop a new cell. When the cells grow old and die, a new cell will regenerate and takes the old cell’s place.
But as cancer develops this process is disrupted and leads to abnormal growth of cells. One of the reasons cancer can be such a deadly disease is its ability to spread throughout the body. Since cancer cells often affect the immune system, our bodies are not equipped at all to handle the disease without rapid treatment. Very often, if cancer has spread too much throughout the body by the time it is detected, treatment is not enough to prevent death. Thankfully, treatment methods are developing rapidly and survival rates are improving steadily.
Scientists are not sure of the exact causes of cancer, but thanks to decades of committed research they have identified several risk factors which increase the likelihood of developing the disease. Genetics is one of the most significant risk factors according to recent research. Experts believe that cancer can be passed genetically through our DNA. This means that if your parents have had cancer, the chances of you developing the disease are higher.
Exposure to certain environmental factors is also believed to increase the risk of cancer. These environmental factors include dangerous chemicals (carcinogens & tobacco) and high exposure to UV rays (sun beds & the sun) can deteriorate our cells and tissues, and pollution.
Other risk factors include:
It is estimated that there are at least 100 cancer types. Typically, the different types are named after the parts of the body or organs that they effect. Different types of cancer are categorized into 3 of the following groups:
Within each of these categories, there are many many types of cancer. The most common types are:
The signs and symptoms of cancer vary to a large degree depending on the type of cancer in question and stages that it is at. However, there are a number of common symptoms which the vast majority of patients will experience to some degree. They include but are not limited to:
This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms. However, the key to identifying any illness is to be intune with your body so that changes to it become apparent quickly. If you usually sleep very well and empty your bowels once a day but suddenly can’t sleep and only empty your bowels every third day, it’s likely that something is up. By keeping an eye on your day to day bodily functions you will notice any changes to them more easily.
While studies are suggesting that THC, one of the leading chemical compounds from the cannabis plant can cure cancer, the studies need more in-depth research. Experts believe that not only can cannabis treat the side effects to chemotherapy an radiation, but that THC can actually kill off cancer cells, like chemotherapy, but without affecting the healthy cells. Experts describe that THC kills off cancer cells by ultimately making bad cells commit suicide. While this is still in early testing.
What we do know is that CBD oil (cannabidiol – another chemical compound from cannabis) also holds medical values. CBD is known to be able to reduce nausea and vomiting, two side effects associated with cancer treatments.
As a human being, it is essential to take care of the body through a healthy diet, exercise, and a balanced lifestyle. By undertaking care when it comes to looking after your body, you can vastly improve your health and lessen your chances of developing cancer.
Always remember that prevention is better than cure. However, even if you take the best possible care of your body you cannot fully prevent cancer. This is one of the reasons why it is seen as such a cruel disease.
The best thing to do is to be aware of the symptoms of cancer and keep your eyes open for any changes to your regular bodily functions. If you have any reason to suspect that something isn’t right, a visit to your family doctor will either put your mind at ease or help you to get to the bottom of whatever issue you may have.