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What You Need to Know About Cancer

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Cancer info image

Fast Facts About Cancer:

° Cancer results from the overproduction and malfunction of the body’s own cells
° It is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in a body
° These abnormal cells are termed cancer cells, malignant cells, or tumour cells
° These cells can infiltrate normal body tissues causing many symptoms
° Cancer cells can be identified by the name of the tissue that the abnormal cells originated from (e.g., breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer)
° Other animals and living organisms can also develop cancer

Cancer info image

Burden of Cancer

° Globally, cancer burden rose to 18.1 million new cases in 2018
° Cancer death also increased to 9.6 million 2018
° One in 5 men and 1 in 6 women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime
° One in 8 men and 1 in 11 women die from it
° Worldwide, the total number of people who are alive within
° Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide
° Globally about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer
° Approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries
° About 1/3rd of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks: high BMI, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use
° Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths

Cancer info image

Causes of Cancer

° Chemical or toxic compound exposures: Benzene, asbestos, nickel, cadmium, vinyl chloride, benzidine, N-nitrosamines, tobacco or cigarette smoke), asbestos, and aflatoxins
° Ionizing radiation: Uranium, radon, ultraviolet rays from sunlight, radiation from alpha, beta, gamma, and X-ray-emitting sources
° Pathogens: Human papillomavirus (HPV), EBV or Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis viruses B and C
° Genetics: A number of specific cancers have been linked to human genes and include breast, ovarian, colorectal, prostate, skin and melanoma

Factors That are Known to Increase the Risk of Cancer

° Cigarette Smoking and Tobacco Use
° Infections
° Radiation
° Immunosuppressive Medicines After Organ Transplant
° Factors That May Affect the Risk of Cancer
° Diet
° Alcohol
° Physical Activity
° Obesity
° Diabetes
° Environmental Risk Factors

Clinical Features of Cancer – CAUTION

° C-Change in bowel or bladder habits
° A sore throat that defies treatment
° Unusual bleeding or discharge (e.g, nipple secretions or a “sore” that defies healing)
° Thickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or other parts of the body
° Chronic Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
° Obvious change in the size, color, shape, or thickness of a wart or mole
° Nagging cough or hoarseness

Other Clinical Features to look out for include:

° Unexplained loss of weight or loss of appetite
° A new type of pain in the bones or other parts of the body that may worsen steadily, present occasionally, and is unlike previous pains one has had in the past.
° Persistent fatigue, nausea, or vomiting
° Unexplained low-grade fevers which may be either persistent or not constant
° Recurring infections which will not clear with usual treatment

Cancer info image

Treatment for Cancer

Depending on the stage and type of cancer, several protocols exists; most of which include but not limited to the following components:
° Surgery
° Chemotherapy
° Radiation therapy
° Combination treatments (a combination of two or all three treatments)
° Palliative therapy which is a medical care or treatment used to reduce disease symptoms but unable to cure the patient, utilizes the same treatments described previously.

Complications of Cancer /Treatment

1. Fatigue (both due to cancer and its treatments)
2. Anaemia (both)
3. Loss of appetite (both)
4. Insomnia (both)
5. Hair loss (treatments mainly)
6. Nausea (both)
7. Lymphedema (both)
8. Pain (both)
9. Immune system depression (both)

In conclusion, almost everyone on this earth has been affected directly or indirectly by cancer Concerted efforts are required from all to win the war against this deadly scourge.


Adams C. Insights from industry
News Medical Life Sciences
Webpage: accessed 28/01/2020 American Institute for cancer Research
Global cancer data by country: Exploring which countries have the highest cancer rates
World Health Organisation: International Institute for Cancer Research: Press Release. 18/09/2018
World Health Organisation: News Room. Cancer Key Facts
Roser M, Ritchie H. Cancer: Our World in Data.

Medical Disclaimer: KompleteCare™ aims to improve the quality of life for everyone with fact-based content about the nature of diseases, preventive care, behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider

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