How Does Cancer Occur?
Cancer, the most common cause of death after cardiovascular diseases, is one of the increasingly important health problems. While cancer occurs in approximately 1 in 300 people every year, especially in western societies, this rate increases approximately 5 times in people over the age of 60. In line with these rates, it can be said that 2 out of 100 people over the age of 60 experience cancer and the most common type of cancer is breast cancer in women and lung cancer in men.
Cancer can be broadly defined as the continuous proliferation of cells that have lost control of division. As a result of mutation and damage to the cell DNA, the division rate increases abnormally and certain tissue cells proliferate rapidly. These randomly growing cells come together in masses and form tumor tissues. Tumors that compress healthy tissue cells, grow into these tissues, or destroy the tissue are called malignant tumors and usually spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body through the lymph or blood circulation. If they form new tumor kits in the tissue cells they spread to and continue to grow, those tissue cells also become cancerous and begin to divide uncontrollably.
Occurrence of cancer
Cancer formation occurs in 3 different division stages. The first stage is called hyperplasia, and in this stage, no deterioration in the structure of the cells is observed; only uncontrolled division occurs. The second stage is the dysplasia stage and the structure of the cells begins to deteriorate in this stage. This stage, also called the secondary mutation stage, can be defined as the first stage in which tumor formation and abnormal tissue masses occur. In the third stage of formation, it is possible to talk about the presence of residual cancer tissue. In this phase, cells continue to multiply uncontrollably, continue to grow and form larger masses. Malignant tumors acquire the ability to spread to distant tissues and organs during this division phase.
What are the treatment methods used in cancer diseases?
- The aim of treating cancer diseases is to remove or destroy cancerous tissues and cells. In the surgical treatment method, the cancerous tissue and other risky tissues around it are removed appropriately. This method is generally preferred for types of cancer that have not spread.
- Another of the most commonly used treatment methods is radiotherapy. When applying this method, cancerous cells are killed by exposure to ionizing radiation such as X-rays, electrons, neutrons, protons and radioactive isotopes.
- Chemotherapy is a treatment option in which cancer cells are killed through cytotoxic drugs.
- Other treatment methods used in cancer diseases are hormone treatments, targeted drug treatments and immunotherapy. The treatment method to be preferred to destroy cancerous tissues and control the disease is determined by the oncologist.