What is It really???
After heart disease, cancer is the most dangerous disease of mankind. Early detection of cancer can greatly improve the odds of successful treatment and survival. Cancer is characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected. It harms the body when the cells divide uncontrollably to form masses of tissues called tumors. These cells don’t die, i.e. they don’t follow an orderly path of growth, division and death.Why it’s not affecting few of as even if living in same environment???
We may think answer is so simple, it may be smoking, or drinking too much, or eating a very unhealthy diet or by hereditary etc. But still the real reason remains unrevealed. The main suspect behind all these is radiation. If it was due to the radiation, then why not to people working in a nuclear reactor. Some occupations are exposed to radiation without being classed as nuclear energy workers. Airline crews receive occupational exposures from cosmic radiation because of reduced atmospheric shielding at altitude. Mine workers receive occupational exposures to radon, especially in uranium mines. Anyone working in a granite building, such as the US Capitol, is likely to receive a dose from natural uranium in the granite.
In fact we are exposed to low levels of radiations all the time. Even the fruits we are eating contain radiation; for example banana which is rich in potassium is radioactive. Each time you eat a banana, you are exposed to 0.1 microsieverts of radiation. This means eating 20 million bananas at one time might kill you due to radiation exposure. But let’s face it, if you’re eating 20 million bananas, the radiation is the least of your worries. so radiation alone is not the culprit.
There are five main categories of cancer:-
- Carcinomas begin in the skin or tissues that line the internal organs.
- Sarcomas develop in the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle or other connective tissues.
- Leukemia begins in the blood and bone marrow.
- Lymphomas start in the immune system.
- Central nervous system cancers develop in the brain and spinal cord.
Cancer cells stay within the body tissue from which they have developed, they grow and divide to create more cells and will eventually form a tumor. A tumor may contain millions of cancer cells. All body tissues have a layer (a membrane) that keeps the cells of that tissue inside. This is the basement membrane. If the cancer cells break through this membrane the cancer is called invasive. As a tumor gets bigger, it takes up more space in the body. The cancer can then cause pressure on surrounding structures. It can also grow into body structures nearby. This is called local invasion.
Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. There they can start to grow into new tumors. The place where a cancer starts in the body is called the primary cancer or primary site. Cells from the primary site may break away and spread to other parts of the body. These escaped cells can then grow and form other tumours, which are known as secondary cancers or metastases.
Cancer cells do not require the consumption of oxygen in order to produce energy as do normal cells. Instead, cancer cells rely on glucose (sugar) by about 5 to 10 times more than normal cells for their primary energy-producing pathway. Glucose is converted into lactic acid which is then recycled back into glucose by the liver. They “steal” energy from the host to fuel their own tumor growth which result in fatigue and the feeling of drained energy from the individual. That’s why researchers often call cancer cells as “metabolic parasites”.
For more details about causes of cancer, I prefer to go to this link.
Treatment options depend on the type of cancer, its stage, if the cancer has spread and your general health. The goal of treatment is to kill as many cancerous cells while reducing damage to normal cells nearby. The future of cancer treatment lies in providing patients with an even greater level of personalization. Doctors are beginning to offer treatment options based on the genetic changes occurring in a specific tumor.
Most existing cancer drugs and treatments are poisons, designed to attack and hopefully kill cancer cells, or at least slow their growth. But most of these treatments attack not just cancer cells, but healthy cells, too. Thus, people taking the drugs too often suffer horrible side effects. Therefore treatment that can target just the tumors while sparing other tissue is highly sought after. It may be a new drug or machine, a new invention, or a new way to give treatment. Nano-robots is such a vision..
It’s simply a mobile robot that can be created with existing nano-technology that can be used to seek out and destroy inimical tissue within the human body that cannot be accessed by other means. While the technique may eventually be used to treat small numbers of cells in the bloodstream, this is normally done effectively by white blood cells and antibodies, and this technique is not intended to replace that. The specified goal is to be able to destroy tumorous tissue in such a way as to minimize the risk of causing or allowing a recurrence of the growth in the body.
The technique is intended to be able to treat tumors that cannot be accessed via conventional surgery, such as deep brain tumors. However, since the technique is extremely effective and much less debilitating than conventional surgery, it should be used, if possible, as a replacement for conventional surgery in this application. It is successfully tested in mice and we can hope that it will turn into a safer anti-cancer treatment in future…