Cancer – Introduction
It is a disease that occurs when cells in your body start behaving abnormally. This can happen due to many reasons but the most common reason is genetic mutations.
Cancerous cells are able to divide uncontrollably and abnormally. They can spread through the body via blood. Also, they form tumors at different parts of the body. If left untreated, they may cause death.
There are various types of cancers like breast cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, leukemia etc.
What Causes Cancer ?
It causes cancer by damaging DNA inside cells. This can lead to genetic mutations that cause cancerous tumors to form. Although, it can also occur from exposure to radiation over a long period of time.
2. Chemical Exposure
These are substances that are used in everyday life. They can be found in household products like food. When these enter your body they may affect different parts of your body. Some of these chemicals can damage parts of your body.
3. Tobacco Smoke
It contains many harmful chemicals. Therefore, these chemicals have been proven to cause lung cancer and heart disease. There is no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure.
Treatment of Cancer in 2022
It is a procedure used to treat cancer. It also involves the use of drugs that are harm to cells.
In this therapy agents act on different targets in the cell cycle which eventually kills the abnormally growing cells.
There are two types of chemotherapy: systemic therapy and local therapy. First one uses chemicals that circulate throughout the body, while other one uses chemicals that only affect nearby tissues.
a.) Non – cancerous Drugs
It is any chemical agent that kills tumor cells. These drugs can either kill cancer cells directly or inhibit their ability to reproduce.
Cytotoxic drugs cause cancer cells to die by damaging them physically. Mitotic inhibitors prevent cancer cells from dividing into healthy cells.
It agents are a class of antineoplastics that damage DNA and interfere with its normal function. They work by covalently binding to DNA, forming cross links between adjacent bases.
This prevents DNA polymerase from replicating DNA, causing the cell to stop reproducing.
2. Radiation Therapy
This is a treatment method that uses high energy ionizing radiations (X-rays, gamma rays) to kill cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells.
With that it can be used alone or in combination with other treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, etc.
It is based on the use of antibodies that target specific antigens or cells.
Antibodies are produced naturally by B lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell), but can also be artificially created through genetic engineering techniques.
Once the antibody has been developed, it is administered into the patient body via injection or infusion into a vein.
Types of Immunotherapy
There are three types of immunotherapy: passive, active and adoptive transfer therapy.
First one involves administering antibodies from someone who already has the disease.
Second one involves actively producing the antibodies using genetically engineered immune system cells. While third one uses the body’s own immune system to produce the antibodies.
Survival Rate of Cancer Treatments in India
According to top oncologist in India, the survival rate of cancer treatment in India is much lower than that in western countries. According to the (WHO), It is the second leading cause of death globally.
In 2015, about 14 million people died due to cancer worldwide. Of this, 8.8 million deaths occurred in low-income and middle-income countries and 5.2 million in high income countries. Although the risk of dying from cancer is higher in developing countries than developed countries.
In India, cancer has become the second leading cause of mortality after heart disease. However, a study published suggests that the overall cancer incidence rates are increasing at a faster pace than any other major region of the world.
In between the year 1991 and 2012, the ASIR of cancers has been increased significantly as shown by the study conducted by IARC.
According to IARC, the ASIR of breast cancer in females and prostate cancer in males has risen over the last two decades. The ASIR of cervical cancer has decreased over time but remains among the highest in the world.
The ASIR of stomach cancer has also increased in recent years. Lung cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in India.