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A Crash Course On Cancer 

 February 27, 2023

 

 

One of mankind’s greatest challenges to innovation and prosperity is cancer. An incurable disease that kills thousands of us every year, it’s certainly something that is known to almost everyone. Everyone has tried their best in different ways to handle such a disease, from a global institute down to a Mexican cancer treatment facility. Although we’re careful, small steps forward, the way is still certainly long. Fret not, however, as we are surely moving forward.

What this means is that large resources are being pooled into cancer treatment, and cancer research has taken place for a long time. This also means that innovation and novel ways to treat cancer are being discovered and invented as the days go by. As a result, even the local clinics nowadays are much better at handling cancer patients as compared to just a decade ago. In this crash course on cancer, we’ll talk about what cancer is and what treatments are currently present in trying to abate the disease.

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What is cancer?

Essentially, cancer is a type of disease that is characterized by the rapid growth of genetically corrupt cells in your body. When a part of your cell’s DNA code goes awry, it deviates from its normal functions and spreads uncontrollably throughout the surrounding organ. What this means is that even though they are tissues and cells that serve no purpose to your body, they could also be causes of harm.

There are two types of cancer cells: benign and malignant. The benign cancer cells are cancer that is simply masses that grow on your body without having any harmful effects other than their existence in the surrounding area. This may look like a lump or a bump on a specific part of your body. Malignant tissues, on the other hand, grow and spread at a much faster target than benign ones. Their rapid growth and spread interrupt and destroy the functions of surrounding tissues, which causes havoc and complications to your body.

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Your body has a natural system for fighting diseases and illnesses. Other than cellular regeneration, there is also your immune system. Your immune system works by identifying foreign objects, such as viruses and bacteria, and flushing them away through different needs. For example, you could get a fever that burns such microorganisms and lead you to a healthy state after. This isn’t the case for cancer, however, as your immune system virtually could not detect such illnesses. Since cancer takes the guise of your normal cells, your immune system doesn’t have any reason to be alarmed and attack it.

 

Treatments for cancer

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Over the decades, there have been different experiments and treatments for cancer. Let’s talk about three: radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Radiation therapy involves blasting an x-ray to the affected area and hopefully killing the cancer cells. However, this comes at the cost of also destroying the other non-cancerous cells. This proves to be an ineffective technique for sensitive areas of your body, such as the brain and the lungs.

Chemotherapy is a bit better. It works by injecting substances that target and kill rapidly growing cells. Since this is the main characteristic of a cancer cell, chemotherapy could work this way. However, it is still not discriminatory enough to leave the normal cells alone and specifically targets the cancer cells. Therefore, the most promising treatment of the three is immunotherapy.

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It essentially works by injecting substances into the body that triggers the immune system. Its notable innovation among the three is that there is a way to teach your immune system to specifically target cancer cells and let them do the work. So instead of outside interference, your immune system is actually the one that is being trained to target cancer cells. Although not perfect, immunotherapy is obviously the best way to treat cancer cells.

 

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