World Cancer Day
Yesterday was World Cancer Day. Cancer is the six letter word that makes everyone silent. Everyone knows someone who has been a victim of cancer. About 40% of men and women will be diagnosed with some type of cancer in their lifetime. Assuming that 2/5 of people will get cancer, it is educational to know how cancer develops.
Cancer is roughly defined as a group of cells, working to deplete part of a body from its natural function. When a cell is undergoing replication, it will transcribe its DNA to another cell. When there is a mutation in the DNA of this new cell, it is considered cancerous if the mutation replicates in a harmful way.
Once a group of cancerous cells replicates, this is called a tumor. Tumors supply themselves through angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is a network of blood vessels set up by the tumor to surrounding areas of the body. These blood vessels work in tandem to steal nutrients from other places in the body, to keep the tumor alive.
Sometimes cancer is completely genetic. Those who have a family history of a specific type of cancer, are far more likely to also get that same cancer. Unfortunately for those who have been in traumatic events, exposure to carcinogens inside of buildings, and bombs, can disfigure people, and leave them prone to cancer. This has happened with the survivors of 9/11, the bombings in Japan, and people who are exposed to deadly mold used in buildings.
There are more than a few types of cancer, but there are some that are much more common in the United States than in the rest of the world. Common cancers include Melanoma, Lung, Breast, Thyroid, Stomach, and Prostate. Very rarely is Cervical Cancer diagnoses, but it is still a major threat to women.
Currently, scientists are developing a blood test that can detect eight forms of cancer. Hopefully, this test will be completely developed and approved by the FDA for testing in the near future. This test has the potential to change healthcare, and extend the lives of people through early detection. Hopefully, World Cancer Day will only be for the survivors, and not any victims.