What you should know about Cancer basics.
1) Cancer is not just one disease.
There are many types of Cancer. It’s not just one disease. Cancer can start in different places in the body. It can start in the lungs, the breast, the colon, or even in the blood. Cancers are alike in some ways, but they are different in the ways they grow and spread.
2) How are Cancers alike?
The cells in our bodies all have certain jobs to do. Normal cells divide in an orderly way. They die when they are worn out or damaged, and new cells take this place. Cancer is a disease in which cells take their place. The Cancer cells keep on growing and making new cells. They crowd out normal cells . This causes problems in the part of the body where the Cancer started.
Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body.
3) How are Cancers different?
Some Cancers grow and spread very quickly. Others grow more slowly. They also respond to treatment in different ways. Some types of Cancer are best treated with surgery, others respond better to drugs called Chemotherapy. Often 2 or more treatments are given to get the best results.
4) What are tumors?
Most Cancers form a lump that doctors call a tumor or a growth. But not all lumps are Cancer. Doctors take out a piece of the lump and look at it to find out it it’s Cancer. Lumps that are not Cancer are called benign. Lumps that are Cancer are called malignant.
There are some Cancers, like Leukemia ( Cancer of the blood ) that do not form tumors. They grow in the blood or other cells of the body.
Dr Vijay Anand Reddy,
Director, Apollo Cancer Hospitals,