Description of Cancer

Cancer begins in your cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong. New cells grow even when you do not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass called a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant.

Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for where they start.

For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis.
Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is.

Most treatments may include:
1. Surgery
2. Radiation and/or chemotherapy
3. Some may involve hormone therapy, immunotherapy or other types of biologic therapy, or stem cell transplantation
Content Details
Last updated on:
04 Sep 2017 | 03:27 PM (IST)
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Frequently Asked Questions about Cancer

Celery also serves as a rich source of cancer fighting compounds such as pthalides, flavonoids and polyacetylenes. It also contains coumarins which enhances the activity of certain white blood cells and help keep the cancer cells at bay. Ways To Use: Prepare a chutney or a spread using a bunch of coriander leaves, 5 to 6 stalks of celery, half a bunch of mint, lime, ginger, garlic, salt, green chilly. Blend with a little water. Can use as a dip or as a spread for sandwiches.
Vitamin E is an important fat-soluble antioxidant that is required to be taken along with fat for better absorption by the body. Since sunflower seeds contain fatty acids, the Vitamin E is easily absorbed. Vitamin E and other antioxidants found in sunflower seeds prevent the cell from undergoing oxidative damage and repair cell membranes thereby cutting down the risk of cancer. Selenium present in the seeds also helps prevent breast cancer.
Studies show an apple contains 10% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C and fiber. Also, enriched with dietary fiber it has been found to lower cancer risk and aid weight management. Surprisingly, the peel of the apple contains 80% of anticancerous products (quercetin and triterpenoids). Research also shows that Apple was found to be beneficial in lowering the risk of colorectal cancer specifically.
Grapes are a rich source of resveratrol, a potent phytochemical linked with reduced levels in cancer, heart disease, and stroke. They are also a rich source of ellagic acid which provides protection to the lungs against environmental toxins.
Studies suggest that papaya pulp is enriched with carotenoids, beta-carotene, and lycopene. Lycopene being highly reactive towards free radicals serves as an effective cancer agent. Lycopene has been found to be protective against prostate cancer. It has been found to induce cancer cell death and has shown anti-metastatic activity. Enzymes from papaya were found to destroy proteins that provide protection to the tumors and were effective against cervix, breast, liver, lung, and pancreas cancer.
Cherries are a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. The high content of antioxidants also provides cherries their rich dark color. Phytochemicals such as quercetin provide the fruit their antioxidant property and fight cancer. They have been found to be beneficial in lowering the risk of cancers such as colorectal, mouth, pharynx, and lung cancer.
The holy basil or revered tulsi is packed with medicinal properties and has been widely used in India for ages. Experiments have shown that daily consumption of a few raw tulsi leaves can prevent the occurrence as well as slow down the spread of cancer.
No dish is quite complete without a dash of turmeric powder (haldi) in this curry-crazy nation. As a fact, it does much more than adding color and flavor to our cooking. The compound ‘curcumin’ present in turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and prevents cancer cell from growing and spreading. It is recommended to eat a small piece of turmeric root raw every morning on an empty stomach for its maximum benefits.
Onions contain active compounds that successfully inhibit the development and spread of cancerous cells. Studies reveal the presence of a powerful antioxidant (quercetin and allicin) that is responsible for the same.
Recent studies have shown that ‘silymarin’ is effective in checking the growth of cancer cells and also stifles the growing cancer cells in the human body. Silybin, a flavonoid found in milk thistle, protects the healthy cells from getting infected. Its antioxidizing nature helps the body counter the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Few fruits that help to prevent and fight cancers are: 1) Apples 2) Berries 3) Grapes 4) Avocados 5) Papayas 6) Kiwis 7) Cherries 8) Pomegranate
Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are often the most commonly recommended fruits to fight cancer. Berries, a rich source of antioxidants, are also abundant in proanthocyanidin antioxidant, phenols, zeaxanthin, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, and lutein. They have been found to increase the overall immunity of the body and also neutralize the free radicals damaging the cells and therefore prevent cancer.
Avocados are a rich source of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, which is responsible for blocking the intestinal absorption of certain fats. As per research, avocatin B, a type of fat found in avocado, is found to combat acute myeloid leukemia (a rare cancer). It also serves as a source of potassium and beta- carotene that are beneficial in promoting immunity.
Enriched with cancer fighting antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and copper, the kiwi fruit has been found to be of great benefit across several disease areas. High vitamin C content plays an important role in preventing free radical damage, thereby reducing cancer risk.
Pomegranate is packed with antioxidants, and regular consumption of pomegranate juice has shown to prevent prostate cancer, and prevent all types of cancers from spreading. It has been found to reduce the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels too (which generally increase in cancer patients). Recent research has also shown the benefits of pomegranate juice in patients suffering from breast cancer. Enriched with polyphenol antioxidants which inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors and the anti-inflammatory properties, pomegranate helps in reducing the size of tumors too.
An ever-present herb in the Indian kitchen, adding fresh or dried ginger (adrak) to any dish ups its taste quotient greatly. While fresh ginger is rich in gingerol, the dried or powdered version contains zingerone. Both of these compounds are powerful antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory qualities that are understood to protect against cancer. Besides cooking main dishes, ginger and lemon tea is also particularly beneficial.