The word ‘cancer ‘ comes from the latin "carcinoma" meaning crab. It is the most dreaded
disease and refers to all malignant tumours caused by the abnormal growth of a body cell or a group of cells .
Next to heart ailments,it is the second largest killer disease in the world. Cancer covers more than 200 diseases.Majorly it affects the age group of 50-60. Sex does not affect the incidence of the disease but however affects the site of growth.
In men, cancer is usually found in the intestines,the prostate and the lungs. In women, it occurs mostly in the breast tissues, uterus, gall-bladder and thyroid.
The symptoms of cancer vary according to the site of the growth. Some symptoms are :
a sore that does not heal ;
change in bowel or bladder habits ;
unusual bleeding or discharge ;
thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere ;
indigestion or difficulty in swallowing ;
obvious change in a wart or a mole;
persistent and nagging cough orhoarseness;
unexplained loss of weight particularly in older people;
a change in skin colour and changes in the menstrual periods especially bleeding between periods.
The prime cause of cancer is not known.
Certain cancer- causing substances, known as carcinogens, however, increase the chances of getting the disease.
About 80 per cent of cancers are caused by environmental factors .
Forty per cent of male cancers in India are linked with tobacco, a known cancer- causing agent.
The consumption of pan, bettlenut, tobacco and slaked lime has been linked with lung and throat cancers.
Heavy consumption of alcoholic drinks can cause oesophagal, stomach and liver cancers.
Occupational exposure to industrial
pollutants such as asbestos, nickel, tar, soot and high doses of X-rays can lead to skin and lung
cancers and leukemia.
Other factors contributing to cancer are vital infections, trauma, hormone
imbalance and malnutrition.
And also a faulty diet is the root cause of cancer. Investigations indicate that the cancer incidence is in
direct proportion to the amount of animal protein, particularly meat, in the diet. The villain here is ammonia, the carcinogenic by-product of meat
Change in diet, besides total elimination
of all environmental sources of carcinogens, such as smoking and carcinogenic chemicals in air
, water and food. Diet is
not just a minor, but rather a major factor in both the development and the prevention of cancer.
The disease can be prevented and even treated by dietary programmes that include ‘natural
foods ‘ and the use of megavitamin supplements.
One should cleanse the system by thoroughly relieving constipation and
making all the organs of elimination - the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys and bowels - active. Enemas
should be used to cleanse the colon. For the first four or five days take only
juicy fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, apples, peaches, pears, pineapples and tomatoes.
Vegetable juices are also useful, especially carrot juice.
After fruit diet take some alkaline-based
diet. It should consist of 100 per cent natural foods, with emphasis on raw fruits and vegetables,particularly carrots , green leafy vegetables, cabbage, onion, garlic , cucumber, asparagus,
beets and tomatoes.
A minimum requirement of high quality protein, mostly from vegetable
sources such as almonds, millet, sesame seeds, sprouted seeds and grains, may be added to
By furnishing the body with live minerals, vitamins, trace elements and chlorophyll
through wheatgrass juice, it may be able to repair itself.
There are certain vitamins that are employed in the fight
against cancer and that they can increase the life expectancy of some terminal cancer patients.
Vitamin C in large doses can be an effective prophylactic agent against cancer.
Mixture of vitamin C and copper compound has lethal effects on cancer.
Vitamin A also exerts an inhibiting effect on carcinogenesis. It is one ofthe most important aids to the body’s defence system to fight and prevent cancer.
Beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A may actually inhibit skin cancer
by helping the body thwart the cancer-causing process known as oxidation.
Green and yellow vegetables and fruits can prevent cancer.
The people who
ate green and yellow vegetables every day had a decreased risk of developing lung, stomach
and other cancers.
Those who reported the highest consumption of carrots, squash, tomatoes,
salads or leafy green vegetables, dried fruits, fresh strawberries or melon had a decreased risk
The other useful measures are plenty of rest, complete freedom from worries and mental stress
and plenty of fresh, pure air.
Risk Factors that Play a Major Role in Causing Deaths from Cancer Globally.
More than one third of 7 million cancer deaths are caused by 9 avoidable risk factors.Researchers found that approximately, Seven million deaths worldwide are from cancer,of which 35 percent were attributable to the nine well-known behavioral and environmental risk factors. The researchers also looked at how the risks, and the cancers they cause, were distributed over the regions of the world. This is the first assessment of the role of health risks in cancer deaths globally and regionally.
The researchers analyzed data from the Comparative Risk Assessment project and World Health Organization databases to determine the level of risk factors in different world regions, and separately for men and women; they also considered how hazardous each risk factor may be.
The analysis covered all high-income countries together, and separated low-income and middle-income countries into geographical regions: East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The nine risk factors were :
1. overweight and obesity,
2. low fruit and vegetable intake,
3. physical inactivity,
5. alcohol use,
6. unsafe sex,
7. urban air pollution,
8. indoor smoke from household use of coal
9. contaminated injections in healthcare settings.
They found that more than one in every three of the seven million deaths from cancer worldwide was caused by these nine potentially modifiable risk factors (2.43 million), with alcohol and smoking playing large roles in all income levels and regions. Worldwide, the nine risk factors caused 1.6 million cancer deaths among men and 830,000 among women. Smoking alone is estimated to have caused 21 percent of deaths from cancer worldwide.
In high-income countries, these nine risks caused 760,000 cancer deaths; smoking, alcohol, and overweight and obesity were the most important causes of cancer in these nations.
In low- and middle-income regions the nine risks caused 1.67 million cancer deaths; and smoking, alcohol consumption and low fruit and vegetable intake were the leading risk factors for these deaths. Sexual transmission of human papillomavirus is the leading risk factor for cervical cancer in women in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where access to cervical screening is also limited.
Among low and middle-income regions, Europe and Central Asia had the highest proportion of death from cancer from the nine risk factors studied; 39 percent of 825,000 cancer deaths in the low- and middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia were caused by these risks. The effects were even larger among men; one half of cancer deaths among men in the low- and middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia were caused by these nine risks.
These results clearly show that many globally important types of cancer are preventable by changes in lifestyle behaviors and environmental interventions. To win the war against cancer, we must focus not just on advances in bio-medical technologies, but also on technologies and policies that change the behaviors and environments that cause those cancers.