Cancer is an umbrella term for a group of disorders in which cancer cells grow, multiply uncontrollably, and have the ability to invade other tissues and metastasize. Abnormal tissue masses are called solid tumors and may be benign or malignant (cancerous).
Cancer cells first develop from a genetic mutation in a single cell. This cell grows without the control that characterizes normal cell growth. Also, it fails to mature into the type of normal cell from which it originated. Uncontrolled localized growth follows. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells keep growing and multiplying even after lost cells have been replaced.
In many cases, the exact cause of cancer remains unknown. However, specific factors have been implicated in some types of cancer. They include:
• Chemical carcinogens
• Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure
• Hereditary predisposition
Smoking can cause lung cancer and has been strongly implicated in cancers of the mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, and several other organs. Although not everyone who smokes will get cancer, smoking increases the cancer risk. Similarly, high alcohol intake and smokeless (chewing) tobacco increase the risk of oral cancers. Not everyone who smokes will get cancer, but it increases the risk. I strongly suggest you put that out.
Cancer cell characteristics
Cancer cells are characterized by uncontrolled cellular growth and development. Typically, these cells:
• vary in size and shape
• Aren’t encapsulated
• Undergo abnormal mitosis
• Function abnormally
• Don’t resemble their cells of origin
• Produce substances rarely associated with the original cell or tissue
• Can spread to other sites.