Many diseases that affect a person are life-threatening. Cancer is one of those fatal diseases. Cancer is basically a general name that is given to a whole group of diseases that have one thing in common – abnormal cell growth. The causes of this disease cannot be traced to a single factor because many factors contribute to its birth. Its effects are explained by the rapid spread of abnormal cells and the way they pile up upon each other. This paper attempts to discuss the causes and effects of cancer.
Firstly, some things have been given the name of carcinogens. Carcinogens refer to cancer-causing substances. Tobacco is an obvious example in this regard. Smoking is one of the most immediate causes of lung cancer. Statistics indicate that lung cancer has been the cause of the greatest number of deaths due to cancer in the USA for both men and women. Research has also found that it is one of the most avoidable forms of cancer death also.
The second important cause of cancer is the genetic makeup. If faulty genes are carried by a person from his birth, the chances of getting inflicted by cancer are raised to a high level. Breast cancer is usually caused due to inherited gene mutation. Colorectal cancer is also usually inherited. Therefore, genetic counseling is usually suggested for those who have a very strong history of cancer in their family. They should seek knowledge about their genetic makeup.
Another important cause of cancer is the everyday environment that a person is exposed to in routine. Different types of radiation, tobacco smoke, ultraviolet light, and some cosmetics products, all contribute towards the cause of cancer. Substances like radon, lead, and arsenic are usually found in homes and can lead to cancer. Furthermore, asbestos is also a contributing factor. Living near cellular phone towers and being exposed to the radio frequency waves used by cell phones all the time are equally dangerous.
One of the effects of cancer is that due to the local overgrowth of abnormal cells a swollen mass is produced. This swollen mass, also known as a tumor, can then become a source of extreme pain. Moreover, metastatic tumors can invade new parts of the body and spread there. For example, cancer spreads from the breast to the bones and then causes fractures. Hence, its fast-spreading ability and the ability to leave the original site and infect some other part of the body is the most alarming aspect.
Another common consequence of cancer is weight loss. Statistics indicate that around eighty percent of people with cancer suffer weight loss. Lastly, cancerous cells also weaken the immune system, and hence the body becomes vulnerable to several kinds of viruses and infections that the immune system would have otherwise been able to recognize and destroy. This explains why pneumonia usually bedevils patients in the last stages of cancer.
Summing up, cancer is a multifactorial disease. Ranging from general exposure to radio frequency waves to genetic makeup, this disease is caused by a variety of factors. Its effects are extremely painful and eventually life-threatening.