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Cancer Hum 176 Research Essay

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Cancer

Cancer is a word that comes filled with many questions. We all ask these questions. What is cancer, and where did it come from? There are many forms of cancer. Scientists spend days in and days out trying to understand each kind and how they form. Though not all cancers are deadly, some types can give you only days to live. Some cancers can be cured, and some cannot. While cancer is a natural illness within the nervous system, cancer is a terrible thing for a patient, and their family, to deal with.

What is cancer? Cancer is the general name for a group of abnormal cells that spread throughout the body, and can be found in every part of the body. Although there are many kinds of cancer, all cancer starts because abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated cancer cells can cause serious illness, and or death. Cancer cells do not die; instead they continue to grow and create the abnormal cells. They are called cancer cells because they invade tissues inside the body, and grow out of control. Cells become cancerous when DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is damaged. When DNA is damaged, it cannot be repaired, and it does not die as it should. Abnormal DNA can be generated into offspring, but it is mostly caused by mistakes in cell growth or environmental problems around us. Cancer cells travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body; allowing them to infect other parts of the body and form tumors. Cancer gets its name by the diagnosis of where the damaged cells are located. The behavior of cancer cells also depend on their location. The growth rates and response of these cells varies upon the treatment a patient may receive. Cancer can cause tumors, but be aware not all tumors are cancerous. Non-cancerous tumors are called benign, and can grow very large, but cannot spread to other tissues in the body.

How do you know you have cancer and what type is it? Cancer does not always present itself with symptoms. When cancer starts, there is no way to tell, until it runs out of room to grow. Some symptoms of cancer can be mistaken for your typical flu or stomach viruses. Once cancer grows large enough to effect the surrounding areas, more symptoms may irrupt. By the time most cancers start showing serious signs, it is too late for treatment. Cancer generally releases abnormal substances into the bloodstream, some that are usually not noticed as a sign of cancer. For example, pancreatic cancer can cause blood-clo...

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