You may think of cancer as just one type of disease that can affect any part of the body, but there are actually several different types of cancer—and some types are more deadly than others.
What is cancer?
Cancer occurs when cells in a part of your body begin to grow out of control. There are more than 100 different types of cancer, but they all start in cells. Uncontrolled cell growth can cause a mass of tissue to form (known as a tumor). Tumors can be benign or malignant, meaning they may or may not be cancerous. The two main types are—cancer and sarcomas. Both develop from connective tissue cells and tumors that affect soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves and blood vessels; carcinomas (cancers) occur in various organs while sarcomas are found in bones and connective tissues.
Where does it come from?
Viruses are responsible for many deadly diseases, including cancer. Cancer is a disease that changes your body’s cells and causes them to grow abnormally. Viruses may play a role in causing several types of cancer, such as liver cancer. Liver cancer occurs when abnormal cells in your liver divide uncontrollably and cause tumors to form; these tumors can block or damage vital blood vessels.
Why doesn’t everyone get it?
According to medical experts, human papillomavirus is primarily a sexually transmitted disease, but it can also be spread from one part of a person’s body to another. For example, if you touch your mouth and then rub your eye after touching HPV, you can get cancerous cells in your eye. Likewise, if someone with HPV shakes hands with someone else who touches their eyes or mouth before washing their hands afterward, they could have spread cancerous cells on their hands that were still contagious. So even without sexual contact or an exchange of bodily fluids, it’s possible for an unlucky soul to contract cancer.
Types of Cancer
There are more than 200 types of cancer, but there are only 10 major forms.
These cancers can be further classified by where they start, how fast they grow and what their survival rates are. The major forms of cancer include lung, breast, prostate, colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Of these five cancers, colorectal is considered to be one of the deadliest cancers on Earth because it has a five-year survival rate of 53 percent.
Additionally, prostate and pancreatic cancer have similar five-year survival rates at 50 percent each. Breast cancer is slightly better with a 67 percent five-year survival rate; however lung cancer has an abysmal 15 percent chance at surviving for another year or longer after diagnosis.
There are two types of tumours: malignant and benign.
Tumors, also known as neoplasms (derived from the Greek words neo, meaning “new,” and plasma, meaning “formation”), are abnormal growths of cells that arise as a result of defects in the regulatory processes that monitor the growth and development of cells. However, only some kinds of tumours pose a risk to a person’s life and health. This divergence is the fundamental basis for their categorization into either the malignant or benign category, with very few exceptions.
The kind of tumours that are the most dangerous are those that may infect and kill healthy tissues in the body’s main organ systems by penetrating the circulatory or lymphatic systems in order to do so. These types of tumours can spread quickly. Metastasis refers to the process through which cancer cells are dispersed to new locations, along with the spread of the cancer itself. Malignant tumours are those that develop and spread rapidly in this way. Cancerous tumours are also known as malignant tumours.
A tumour is considered benign if it does not spread beyond the location in which it was first discovered and if it does not represent a significant threat to a patient’s health. Even though benign tumours are aberrant, they pose far less of a threat to the patient than malignant tumours do. This is due to the fact that benign tumours have not completely evaded the growth restrictions that normal cells rely on to remain in check. They do not behave aggressively and do not penetrate the tissues around them nor do they disseminate to other locations. In some instances, they even act in the same way as the regular cells that they originate from. However, despite the fact that benign tumours are incapable of spreading to other parts of the body, they are still able to grow and put pressure on organs, which might result in signs or symptoms of disease. In certain instances, benign tumours can be the cause of death if they put pressure on essential tissues. One example would be benign tumours that put pressure on the brainstem, which is where the centres that control respiration are situated. On the other hand, it is extremely rare for a benign tumour to be the cause of mortality.
When it is impossible to anticipate how a neoplasm will behave, medical professionals refer to the tumour as having “undetermined malignant potential” or “borderline.”
Although the differences between malignant and benign cancers are critically essential, it is vital to note that these terms refer to overarching categories that include a wide variety of cancer types. Both the place of genesis of a tumour (the cell or tissue from which a tumour originates) and the microscopic appearance of a tumour are important factors to consider when classifying and naming the many types of tumours that can occur in the body. This classification scheme enables tumours to be characterised by a specific clinical behaviour, such as prognosis, and by response to therapy. However, the scheme is not followed with hard logic or consistency. Therefore, tumour nomenclature that is based on both the location of the cancer and the type of tissue it affects offers a technique of identifying tumours and deciding how therapy should proceed.
Thanks to advancements in our understanding of how the human genetic structure works, tumours may also be categorised according to the genetic flaws that can be detected in their individual cells. These kinds of categorization methods have been helpful in making judgments about the best course of therapy and in developing therapies that are tailored to address certain genetic abnormalities. Because to the discovery of tailored drugs, doctors are now able to prescribe treatments that are both more effective and less hazardous.
The naming conventions for benign tumours
The majority of benign tumours are given names by appending the suffix -oma to the name of the tissue or cell from which the malignancy originated. This practise accounts for the vast majority of benign tumours. For instance, an osteoma is a type of tumour that is characterised by the presence of cells that are closely related to bone cells as well as the structural and biochemical characteristics of bone material (osteoid). With a few notable exceptions, this guideline is generally adhered to when dealing with cancers that originate from mesenchymal cells (the precursors of bone and muscle).
Epithelial cells are the cells that form sheets that coat the skin and the internal organs. Benign tumours that originate from epithelial cells are categorised in a number of different ways, and as a result, they have a range of labels. In some circumstances, the categorization is determined by the cell of origin, while in other instances, it is determined by the microscopic architectural pattern or the physical appearance of the tumour. For example, an adenoma is a benign epithelial tumour that either originates in endocrine glands or creates a glandular structure. Adenomas can also form glandular structures on their own. Cystadenomas are a kind of tumour that develops in the ovarian epithelium and often contains many big cysts.
A tumour is said to have given rise to a polyp when it produces a mass that extends into a lumen (a hollow or channel within a tubular organ). Polyps are also known as protrusions. The majority of polyps develop from epithelial cells. In the strictest sense, the term “polyp” can only be used to refer to noncancerous growths; in order to prevent misunderstanding, a malignant polyp is referred to as a “polypoid carcinoma.”
Papillomas are a type of benign tumour that develops from the skin or mucous membranes and has the appearance of fingerlike projections.
The naming conventions for cancerous tumours
The guidelines for utilising prefixes and suffixes in the name of malignant tumours are quite similar to the principles that are used to identify benign neoplasms. The suffix -sarcoma denotes neoplasms that originate in mesenchymal tissues, such as supporting or connective tissue like muscle or bone. For example, the word “muscle” might refer to a kind of sarcoma. On the other hand, the suffix -carcinoma implies that the cancer originated in the epithelium. A prefix identifies the type of cell that makes up the majority of the tumour, much as it does for benign tumours. Therefore, a liposarcoma develops from a cell that is a precursor to a fat cell and is known as a lipoblastic cell; a myosarcoma originates from cells that are precursors to muscle cells and are known as myogenic cells; and squamous-cell carcinoma develops from the outermost layers of mucous membranes or the skin (composed primarily of squamous, or scalelike, cells).
In the same way that the term “adenoma” refers to a benign tumour of epithelial origin that assumes a glandlike form, “adenocarcinoma” refers to a malignant epithelial tumour with a growth pattern that is comparable to that of an adenoma. The word is typically followed by the organ in which the cancer first appeared, such as “adenocarcinoma of the lung.”
The suffix -emia, which derives from the Greek word for “blood,” is used to denote cancerous tumours that develop in blood-forming tissue. Therefore, a malignant growth of white blood cells is what is meant when we talk about leukaemia (leukocytes). Malignant lymphomas are a type of cancerous tumour that can develop in lymphoid organs like the spleen, the thymus, or the lymph glands. These lymphoid organs include the thymus. This usage can be misleading because the suffix -oma, as was explained above, more correctly identifies a benign neoplasm. However, the term lymphoma is frequently used without the qualifier malignant to signify cancerous lymphoid tumours.
The suffix -oma is also used to denote other types of cancer, such as seminoma, which is a malignant tumour that originates from the germ cells of the testis. Another kind of cancer that may be designated with this suffix is melanoma. Melanocytes are the skin cells that create the colour melanin. Malignant tumours of melanocytes should be named melanocarcinomas, but for historical reasons, the word melanoma continues to be used.
There are several cases in which a neoplasm is given its name after the doctor who initially described it. For instance, the malignant lymphoma that is now known as Hodgkin disease was named after the English physician Thomas Hodgkin, who first reported it in 1832. Burkitt lymphoma was named after the British surgeon Denis Parsons Burkitt; Ewing sarcoma of bone was reported by James Ewing; and nephroblastoma, a malignant tumour of the kidney in children, is often known as a Wilms tumour, named for the German surgeon Max Wilms.
Place of birth or origin
The site of origin of a tumour, which is so important in its classification and naming (as was explained above), is also an important determinant of how a tumour will grow, how quickly it will give rise to clinical symptoms, and how early it may be diagnosed. This is because the site of origin of a tumour is so important in its classification and naming. For instance, a tumour of the skin that is located on the face is typically discovered relatively early on, but a sarcoma that is placed in the deep soft tissues of the belly might develop to weigh 2 kilogrammes (five pounds) before it causes a significant amount of discomfort. The location where a tumour first formed also has a role in determining the signs and symptoms of disease that an individual will exhibit and plays a role in determining the various treatment choices.
Breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer are the three most prevalent types of tumours found in females. The prostate, the lung, and the colon are the areas of the body that are most commonly impacted in males. Every location and subtype of cancerous growth has its own unique collection of clinical symptoms. On the other hand, there are a number of similar clinical presentations, often known as syndromes, that are caused by a wide variety of tumours.
Treatments & How To Beat It
Scientists have been working for many years to find a cure for cancer. Research, such as that by John Hopkins University and Purdue University, has provided valuable insight into how cancer forms and spreads in humans.
Some treatments for various types of cancer include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Although there is no guaranteed method to prevent cancer from taking hold in your body, there are many things you can do to protect yourself from developing deadly cancers. Eating a healthy diet with proper nutrients and maintaining a good exercise routine can help you lower your risk factor. It’s important to be aware of other health risks too; it’s never too early or late to start getting check-ups! Many diseases share symptoms with cancer so it’s important to seek out medical attention if you notice any unusual changes in your body.
Do not delay going to see a doctor if you suspect something might be wrong – call them immediately! The sooner they know about any potential issues, the better equipped they will be to treat them before they become deadly cancers.