Cancer is a condition when a few of the body’s cells grow out of control and spread to other bodily regions.

In the millions of cells that make up the human body, cancer can develop practically anywhere. Human cells often divide (via a process known as cell growth and multiplication) to create new cells as the body requires them. New cells replace old ones when they die as a result of aging or damage.

Occasionally, this systematic process fails, causing damaged or aberrant cells to proliferate when they shouldn’t. Tumors, which are tissue masses, can develop from these cells. Tumors may or may not be malignant (benign).

Cancerous tumors can move to distant parts of the body to produce new tumors, invade neighboring tissues, or both (a process called metastasis). Malignant tumors are another name for cancerous tumors. Malignancies of the blood, including leukemias, seldom develop solid tumors although many other cancers do.

Noncancerous tumors do not penetrate or spread to neighboring tissues. Benign tumors typically don’t come back after removal, however malignant tumors can. However, benign tumors can occasionally grow to be quite enormous. Some, like benign brain tumors, can have grave side effects or even be fatal.

What Causes Cancer to Develop?

Since genes that determine how our cells behave, particularly how they grow and divide, are altered, cancer is a genetic disease.

Cancer-causing genetic alterations can occur because:

of mistakes that happen when cells divide.
of DNA deterioration brought on by unfavorable environmental elements including the toxins in tobacco smoke and the sun’s UV radiation. (More details can be found in our section on cancer causes and prevention.)
they were handed down to us by our parents.

Cells with damaged DNA are typically eliminated by the body before they develop into cancer. But as we become older, the body becomes less capable of doing so. This contributes to the increased chance of developing cancer later in life.

The genetic mutations in every person’s cancer are different from one another. More alterations will take place when the cancer spreads. Different cells in the same tumour may have different genetic alterations.

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