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Causes and management of cancer


Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. There are over 200 types of cancer. Anything that may cause a normal body cell to develop abnormally can cause cancer; general categories of cancer – related to causative agents are as follows; chemical or toxic compound exposures, Ionizing radiation, some pathogens and human genetics.

Cancer symptoms and signs depends on the type and grade of cancer; although general signs and symptoms are not very specific the following can be found in patients with  different cancers: fatigue, weight loss, pain, skin changes, change in bowel or bladder function, unusual bleeding, persistent cough or voice change, fever, lumps of tissue masses.

Although there are many tests to screen and diagnose cancer, the definite diagnosis is made by examination of biopsy sample of suspected cancer tissue.

Causes and management of cancer

Cancer staging is often determined by biopsy results and help determine the cancer type and extent of cancer spread. In general, in most staging methods, the higher the number assigned, the more aggressive the cancer type or more widespread is the cancer in the body.

Treatment protocols very according to the type and stage of the cancer. Most treatment protocols are designed to fit the individual patient’s disease. However, some treatments include all: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The abnormal cell growth causing cancers are termed cancer cells, malignant cells or tumor cells. They can infiltrate normal body tissue. The process of cancer cells leaving an area and growing in another body area is termed metastatic spread or metastasis. For example, if breast cancer cells spread to a bone, it means that the individual has metastatic breast cancer to bone. This is not the same as bone cancer which would mean the cancer had started in the bone.

The three most common cancers in America are as follows;

Men:  Prostrate lung and colorectal.

Women: Breast, lungs and colorectal.

Children: Leukemia, brain tumors and lymphoma.

The incidence of cancer and cancer types are influenced by many factors such as age, gender, race, local environmental factors, diet and genetics. There are cancers that are either more or less predominant in a place than another e.g. stomach cancer is often found in Japan and rarely in the U.S.


Anything that causes a normal body cell to develop abnormally can cause cancer. Some cancer causes remain unknown while other cancers have environmental or lifestyle triggers or may develop from more than one known cause.

Some Major Causes of Cancer

  • Chemical or toxic compound exposures: Benzene, Vinyl chloride, tobacco or cigarette smoke, asbestos and more.
  • Ionizing radiation: Uranium, Radon, UV rays, from the sun, X-rays emitting sources.
  • Pathogens: HPV i.e. Human Papilloma Virus, EBV i.e. Epstein Barr Virus, Hepatis viruses B and C, KSHV i.e. Kaposi’s  Sarcoma – associated Herpes Virus, Schistoma spp. and helicobacter pylori, Markel cell, Polyomarines, other pathogens are still under study.
  • Genetics: A number of specific cancers have been linked to human genes and are as follows:  Breast, Ovarian, prostrate, skin and more.

NB: it is important to point out that most people have the risk factors for cancer and on exposure to cancer –causing substances (carcinogens) during their lifetime may not develop cancer. Also many people have genes that are linked to cancer but don’t develop it. We may ask its reason but although researchers have not been able to give a satisfactory answer for every individual, it is crystal clear that the higher the amount or level of cancer causing materials a person is exposed to, the higher the chances of the person developing cancer. There is evidence that even certain dietary lifestyle may play a significant role in conjunction with the immune system to allow or prevent cancer all survival. For these reasons, it’s difficult to assign a specific cause of cancer to many individual.

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