Cancer: A deadly disease

Cancer: A deadly disease. It can be curable or non-curable, depends on the type and stage of cancer. Radio-Therapy or Chemo-Therapy is used to eradicate this disease from the body, but it doesn’t give assurance that it can never return back. If it’s at an early stage, it can be eradicated easily with the therapy. It is believed that if a person survives up to 5 years after the treatment and the disease does not give a knock in his life, then he has conquered it.

Usually, the tumor is misunderstood with cancer. Tumor (solid or fluid mass of tissue) can be cancerous or non-cancerous. There are 3 types of tumor:

  • Benign: They do not spread and are non-cancerous. They can produce excessive hormones, which can result in additional tissue formation on the skin.
  • Premalignant: the Pre-cancerous tumor. It is not cancerous yet but can take the form of cancer anytime, therefore, treatment is required.
  • Malignant: They are cancerous tumors. They spread at a faster rate and can even reach new places, where it was not developed earlier by breaking the cells. Example: The cancer was found on the skin, Melanoma (skin cancer), but spread to the brain as well. This is known as Metastasis.

 

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Patients suffering from cancer has two main concerns:

  1. Will they get rid of this disease and live a normal life again?
  2. Will this disease pass to their loved ones as well?

The answer to the first doubt is discussed in the first part. Now, let’s get to know if this deadly disease is contagious or not.

The answer to this is NO. Cancer is not contagious. It can’t be passed to the other person like flu or cold. Touch, kiss, sharing meals or breathing in the same air doesn’t spread cancer. The reason is cancer cells are foreign cells for any other person. The immune system of a healthy person can detect them and destroy them.

Cancer can be developed anywhere from head to toe, or in any part. It’s not a very common disease which can occur suddenly. The tumor has to be either premalignant or malignant to convert into cancer. The chances of a benign tumor to take the form of cancer is almost negligible.

Cases where Cancer can transfer to others:

Cancer cells are foreign cells to the body. The only way they can affect the other person if the immune system is weak. The immune system has the power to detect foreign cells and kill them before they can settle. If the immune system of the body is weak, the foreign cells can easily attack and give cancer cells can grow into the person.

Different scenarios, which can make it happen:

 Organ Transplant: If the donor is a cancer patient, chances are, the receiver can be affected by cancer as well. During organ transplant, the immune system of the body is made weak with medicines, so that it should not reject the transplanted organ. In that case, if the donor is cancerous, there are chances that the virus is transferred to the receiver as well, and the cells can easily attack because the immune system is not strong enough to fight back.

During Pregnancy: In most cases, if the mother is affected, the fetus remains safe; the cancer cell can attack up to the placenta. But if it’s Melanoma, there are chances that it can affect the fetus as well.

Blood Donation: If the donor’s blood contains cancer cells, the unique proteins on the surface of those cells make them foreign particles. The immune system then identifies them and destroy them, but if the immune system is weak, as in the case of organ transplant, the immune system can’t identify them and they can attack the recipient.

Tumor cells cannot be transferred directly, but Viruses can:

  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)
  • Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)
  • Human Herpes Virus Type-8 (HHV-8)
  • Human T-lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

All these viral infections are transferred to the other person either through Blood or Sex. By taking proper care, through vaccination and healthy diet, one can keep himself healthy and away from such virus infections.

But the virus alone can’t take a deadly form of cancer unless combined with other factors such as weak immune system, smoking, other health problems or infections.

Similarly, bacteria can also be responsible for the development of cancer cells: Helicobacter Pylori can increase the risk of stomach cancer.

The main cause of Cancer Development:

Changes in DNA in a cell can cause cancer. There could be many reasons for this like smoking, tobacco, sun exposure or radiation exposure. A person with a family history of cancer, poor diet or even overweight can be a victim as well.

Cancer Patient can lead a normal life:

It is clear that cancer is non-contagious. Therefore, don’t be afraid to share your life with your loved ones. It can’t spread like cold or affect the people near you.

Any healthy person cannot catch it with the day-to-day activities by sharing his life with a cancer patient. Spread happiness because everyone has the right to be happy.

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