What is cancer?
We have all heard about cancer at one time or another. Either through the media, other people's experience or the sad situation of having gone through this disease with a loved one or in first person. There is information regarding this topic and we want to share it with you.
It is such a common term that perhaps we do not stop to look for what it really means and how we can understand this disease.
According to the WHO, "Cancer" is a generic term for a broad group of diseases that can affect any part of the body; it is also referred to as "malignant tumors" or "malignant neoplasms". Cancer begins in a cell. The transformation of a normal cell into a tumor is a multiphasic process and usually consists of the progression of a precancerous lesion into a malignant tumor. These alterations are the result of the interaction between the patient's genetic factors and three categories of external agents, namely:
- Physical carcinogens, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, with the disease and its symptoms in some cases, or because they have been struggling for some time and are getting tired and losing hope of finding an effective solution.
- Chemical carcinogens, such as asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxins (food contaminants) or arsenic (drinking water contaminant);
- Biological carcinogens, such as infections caused by certain viruses, bacteria or parasites.
In general, cancer is characterized by cells that have undergone a change in the control mechanisms that regulate their ability to differentiate and proliferate..
Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. According to WHO statistics, the number of new cases is expected to increase by approximately 70% over the next 20 years. More than 60% of the world's total annual new cases occur in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. These regions account for 70% of the world's cancer deaths.