List of Cancer Diseases
Cancer (medical term: malignant neoplasm) is a class of disease in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth through division beyond normal limits, invasion that intrudes upon and destroys adjacent tissues, and sometimes metastasis, in which cancer cells spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood. These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumours, which are self-limited, and do not invade or metastasize.
Cancers are primarily an environmental disease with 90-95% of cases due environmental factors such as lifestyle, and 5-10% directly due to heredity. Common environmental factors leading to cancer include: tobacco (25-30%), diet and obesity (30-35%), infections (15-20%), radiation, lack of physical activity, and environmental pollutants. These environmental factors cause or enhance abnormalities in the genetic material of cells. Cell reproduction is an extremely complex process, which is normally tightly regulated by several classes of genes including oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. Hereditary or acquired abnormalities in these regulatory genes can lead to uncontrolled cell growth, and the development of cancer.
The presence of cancer can be suspected on the basis of symptoms, or findings on radiology. Definitive diagnosis of cancer, however, requires the microscopic examination of a biopsy specimen. Most cancers can be treated. Possible treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. The prognosis is influenced by the type of cancer and the extent of disease. While cancer can affect people of all ages the risk typically increases with age. In 2007 cancer caused about 13% of all human deaths worldwide (7.9 million) and it is projected to be 12 million deaths per year by 2030.
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