Cancer is a disease that results when cellular changes cause the uncontrolled growth and division of cells. There are many cancer types. Some cause rapid cell growth while others slow down the process of cell division. All of the cancer types, however, are almost equally deadly and have claimed several high profile individuals in the country including the very recent demise of Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso, former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and Kibra Member of Parliament Ken Okoth.
To begin with, there are 5 common types of cancer that occur in different forms and exhibit different characteristics. An individual can carry more than one type of cancerous cells.
Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer. It is also the most deadly. It occurs in both men and women. It is most prevalent among people who smoke.
Breast cancer has been found to be the second most deadly type of cancer worldwide. It is a form of cancer that mainly affects the breast cells. The cancer is common in women but it can also occur among men. Health: How To Know If You’re At Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer
Prostate cancer occurs in men. The prostate glands, the glands producing seminal fluids, are the ones affected.
Skin cancer has also been proven to be a very dangerous type of cancer. It can occur at any stage of an individual’s growth and development process. it is as a result of exposure to substrates such as asbestos or prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays and excessive sunlight.
Brain cancer is a type of cancer where cells grow to form a mass of cancer tissue that interferes with brain functions such as muscle control, sensation, memory and other normal body functions.
What are the causes of cancer?
Smoke from cigarettes is the most common causative agent of the lethal lung cancer. The smoke from cigarettes has carcinogens that when inhaled get metabolized and cause cells to behave abnormally.
- Cosmetic products and drinking water
Cosmetic products containing extracts such as Parabens also cause cancer. If you are using tap water which contains some components of chromium which is commonly found in the lining of the tap, you are also at great risk of having your cells corrupted. You need to check it out and make sure that your tap is always checked regularly. You should not use the same tap for a long time especially if it starts rusting.
- Air pollution
Air is a transfer agent for most of the carcinogens. Excess exposure to agents of air pollution also put you at high risk of contracting lung and skin cancer.
- Too much sugar
Excessive intake of sugar is also associated with the high risk of cancer. Studies show that the limit for sugar intake is 6 teaspoons for women and 8 teaspoons for men. Sugar and starchy foods raise insulin levels in the body. A high level of insulin puts you at high risk of contracting cancer.
- Red meat and processed foods
Pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer is associated with a high intake of red meat. Processed foods also contain chromium components that are used in preservation. Excessive use of such foods put you at a high risk of contracting cancer.
- Lack of exercise
Constant exercise lowers the risk of cancer by more than 50%. A lack of exercise also increases the chances of contracting it by more than 60%. So choose now which side you want to be on; the risky or the safe side.
- A lack of vitamin D
An acute lack of vitamin D has been linked to several cancers including breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer. Vitamin D is essential in the maintenance of the body’s immune system as well as the repair of mutated DNA.
- Exposure to radiation
Too much exposure to Ultraviolet rays and extreme light wavelengths can also cause skin cancer. You need to limit your exposure as far as possible. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D. However, prolonged exposure can achieve completely different results.
What are the common [warning] signs of cancer?
- Lumps and swellings
Unusual lumps or swellings can very much be the early signs of developments of cancerous cells. Whenever you see them, you should not sit back and wait. You should consult a medic immediately.
- Persistent and hoarse coughs
Persistent coughs could be as a result of infections in the bronchitis. It could be that cancerous cells are developing around the lungs. If you have a persistent cough then you should see a doctor.
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
Any unusual weight losses or gains could be because of unusual activities happening in your body. It could be because your cells are multiplying abnormally [weight gain] or because cell division has been inhibited [weight loss].
- Fatigue or extreme tiredness
Whenever there is an abnormal activity going on in your body, your brain will coordinate with the rest of the organs to continually send ‘signals.’ When this happens, you have to be conscious enough to realize. If, for example, cancerous cells are developing, you will occasionally feel bouts of tiredness and fatigue that cannot be explained.
- Breast changes
One of the earliest signs of breast cancer in women is that breasts change. There can be a lump in the breast or your breasts will be unusually hard and painful. This can also occur in men. Health: How To Know If You’re At Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer
6. Frequent fever
If you are having a persistent fear then you need to go see a doctor. The fever also comes with tiredness.
- Changes in nails
Unusual changes in the colour of your nails indicate several types of cancer that could be building up inside your body. Skin cancer and liver cancer or liver cirrhosis is characterized by black or brown spots on the nails of fingers or toes.